The Geek Icon
I have completely spoiled myself.
So I haven't been writing here much, but one piece of news was that I got a promotion at work, with a nice hefty raise. Of course, I promptly decided to use my flush new funds on new hardware (don't worry, I'm also prudently paying extra on my student loans and putting a good chunk into savings as well; I'm still a mostly pragmatic geek).
At work, a lot of people were surprised at my choice, but that is only because by day I am a Microsoft-centric developer, bravely forging ahead for the Empire. But when I come home at night, I spend all my time with my first computing love, Apple. Those who know me have probably heard my stories about my very first computer at age seven, the Apple //e, and my wacky antics developing in Apple BASIC. I've pretty religiously had some type of Mac for personal computing after that, starting with a Mac Classic II, through an LCIII, to a clamshell iBook, a Mac Mini, and now, a sleek, smokin' 15" MacBook Pro.
It is teh awesome!
Even though I've been using OS X on my Mac Mini for a while, the new machine gave me the momentum to hunt down some good new software to play around with. A big hat tip to a coworker of mine (he's a designer, and fits the stereotype that all designers love Apples) to pointing me toward Open Source Mac where I had a troll through the list and grabbed a few nice looking downloads to try out.
The first one I tried out was Camino, and I have to say I'm pretty impressed. It feels very responsive and I like the fact that it's just a simple, straightforward browser the way Safari is. At the moment it's winning slightly over Safari for its rendering capabilities.
Some of the other apps I've downloaded to check out:
- Cashbox - I've had a hard time finding a good, free, personal finance app to replace GnuCash (and even that had its annoyances). Maybe this one will pleasantly surprise me.
- Handbrake - the laptop is now in part replacing the Windows small form factor machine I had for multimedia. A good DVD ripper means I can archive & catalogue our movies for instant access (no more fumbling around with disks and risking scratches).
- Miro - has a lot of good reviews as a media player and video podcatcher. I don't really watch video podcasts at the moment, but now might be the time to start since I have a portable 15" widescreen at my disposal.
- Pixen - looks like fun for pixel doodles & art.
- Senuti - means I can migrate the music on my iPod quickly over to the new machine.
I'll need some time to take a look at each and maybe I'll even write a little review. In the meantime, I'll keep playing with the new toy! Here are a few Photo Booth snaps of me having a blast on the couch, just my MacBook Pro and me, generally being a huge dag: