New Machine - Parallels doesn't work

Clean shiny mac with a clean shiny Leopard in it. So I try a clean install of Parallels 3.0 and I find a black and white C dump and a sweet encouraging messaging indicating that it "Unexpected Quit". It seems that when you give Apple loads of money for hardware and not so much for some software, they think that means that it doesn't have to work.

Turns out I had to download the latest dmg from the Parallels site and install that to make it work. Not too hard but the I haven't seen a C dump in a long time. That is the user friendly mac at it's best.


New Machine - Tools

Life is all about acquiring the coolest tools so for all the Windows tasks that i used to do with ease I need to find the most efficient way to do the same thing on the Mac.

This is a little bit of a tight rope walk because learning something new is about doing things a different way but it's also about being efficient so you have to try both and see which is the best.

So these are the tools that I have currently installed that seem to help a little. I expect that we will need many more,

JumpCut multi-clip support
Quick silver fast access to anything on your computer

New Machine - Default preferences to change

There seem to be lots of settings that appear to be different from what I expect. Since what I expect is a windows experience I wonder if I should be changing these. At least if I document them I can reverse the decision later.

System Preferences

- Defaults to no password and auto-login.
- Check the "Require password to wake this computer"
- Check the "Disable automatic login"

- Defaults to "Allow all incoming connections". Very bad.
- Switch to "Allow only essential services".

Keyboard & Mouse

Use all F1, F2, etc as function keys
- Defaults to disabled because you always need to
adjust your screen brightness? Silly people.


Use two fingers to scroll
- Enable this so you don't have to move the mouse to
the scroll arrows

Allow horizontal scrolling
- Enable the horizontal while you are about it.
Not as useful but nice when it's needed.

- Enable this so that you don't have to move your
fingers so far to click something,

- Dragging windows with the mouse is easy and
only requires one finger.
- Drag lock appears to be enabled whether the checkbox is
checked or not.

Tab trachpad using two fingers for secondary click
- Defaults off but is a better way to get the context menu than
holding down ctrl and clicking.

Keyboard Shortcuts
Full Keyboard Access
- Defaults to "Text boxes and lists only" instead of "All controls".
Mac's hate the keyboard.

- Unlock the properties and select "Name and password"
so hackers can't see a list of usernames.

New Machine - First impressions

My first impression was that it was really heavy. I wanted a big machine so I can't complain but man is it heavy.

Plugged in the fancy magnetic power cord and it started up perfectly. A short setup and I am on the network and ready to go.

Second impression, when the setup started it played this welcome video full screen on the hi-def glossy monitor. I can honestly say that I almost fell over. Stunning.

So I am logged in and the "dock" shows some applications at the bottom of the screen and the finder appears. The finder window is small so I try to resize it but, third impression, the cursor doesn't change when you hover over the window frame. Strange that it doesn't offer that feedback.

While wondering how to find Safari I notice a little bouncy thing in the dock. I look close to see that it says, "Software Updates". Wow they are already trying to improve my machine for me. Nice Apple.

The update starts OK but with another UI problem. I thought Mac were supposed to be user friendly. The first option is "later" or "Install and Restart". Well after the surprise of having to restart has passed I select it "Install and Restart".

It asked for a couple of legal agreements from iTunes and Mac OS X and then to my astonishment it asked me again if I want to restart. Didn't I just answer that question?

Ok, here is another one. Being a developer I like the keyboard over the mouse but when I press the "Enter" key on a mac it seems to want me to rename the icon? That is just not logical. To start Safari I have to use the mouse and double click it.

Yes, yes, you are going to hear some winy old Windows guy complaining about having to do things a different way for a little while.

Here is another example. Safari opens and I am blasted by more ads (The PC Mac adverts are obviously propaganda). I am sucked in and click on a link to a new Alecia Keys song. I now have to setup iTunes which seems reasonable. One of the dialogs explains that "iTunes can download album art", which sounds nice but I read on, to do so I need "to create an account on iTunes", "Just go to iTunes and click on 'Get Album Artwork'." Does it sound odd to you that a dialog is explaining to me that I need to go to a web page and which link to press without including a hyperlink to the place? I have no idea where iTunes is or where this link is. This is just bad UI.

So quite apart from the fact that the marketing people have worked out a way to get me to create an iTunes account for something that is freely available on the net, I am blown away by the horrendous user interface again.


Ok, I am a dummy. While user interfaces should be built for people like me I now feel stupid. The dialog explaining all this stuff that I need to do isn't actually expecting me to do it. I give up my search and press the Next button and guess what the options are? "Yes - take me to the iTunes store" or "No - don't". I think I should have known that these options were going to be available while I was studying the previous dialog. My bad.

Alecia Keys is still not playing but I have the iTunes store in front of me. If I remember the instructions from that dialog then I am supposed to select "Advanced" and "Get Album Art". Lucky I used a pencil and paper to note that down. Perhaps that should be Mac new ad.

PC - Hi Mac.
Mac - Hi PC.
PC - I hear that I need to use pencil and paper to use your crappy interface.
Mac - Wait, just press the Next button and everything will be explained.

but this little saga doesn't end here. You should see this, it is really funny.

So I press "Advanced" and select "Get Album Art" as instructed. Guess where it takes me? Yes, that's it, the iTunes store that I am already looking at. Wow, this stuff is crappy. It turns out that that dialog was completely unnecessary, all I needed was a button titled "Create iTunes Store account so that you get Album Art" and I would have been happy.

You will laugh at this. Turns out I already had an iTunes account. Go figure.

So finally I got to listen to Alicia Keys. The song sucked.

New Machine - Arrived CINCINNATI, OH

While munching on Yogurt and a nice bowl of raisin bran, the nice FedEx man arrives and can you believe what he is carrying? Yes, a little brown box with a smaller white box in side.


New Machine, Now in MEMPHIS, TN

At 4:27pm on November 25th a short flight to Memphis puts it 2 states away.

New Machine, Now in ANCHORAGE, AK

At 1:36pm on November 24th the MacBookPro has arrived in the US. They are so kind to be traveling on a Thanksgiving weekend, if only they would go a little faster :-)

New Machine, From SHANGHAI, CN

What do 2.6, 4, 200, 7200, 17 and glossy have in common? They are all stored safely in a little, flat, white box with an ON button.

If you haven't guessed yet, it's my new MacBook Pro. After a lifetime of Unix and Windows it's time to start on another adventure.

I have to admit that it feels a little like I am just switching monopolies. While the Apple is not as large it seems just as controlling. Based on the delayed Java releases on OS X and the no Java on the iPhone this is not going to be all roses.

However, my reasoning stands. I basically have three reasons to change.

  1. My Windows XP environment on my trusty Sony Vaio is old and in need of an upgrade.

  2. The hardware compatibility issues with Windows continue with regular blue screens especially with graphic intensive applications.

  3. The upgrade path for Windows seems fraught with problems. Vista's security issues persist with most continuing to run the 32 bit on 64 bit hardware.

I can't say that the migration to a Mac will be ideal. I know they have hardware issues and as they become more popular they will inevitably encounter more security issues.

The tipping point is for me came when I realized that moving to OS X doesn't preclude me from running Windows in a VM. I watch a buddy of mine use Parallels run Vista on OS X and everything just works.


Complexity, a perspective

Complexity, ranked high due to ignorance, is not complexity, but ignorance.