Takes Two (Cores) To Tango

April 16, 2006

January 2005

I stood in line at 6AM in Valley Fair in January 2005 to be one of the first people to get the original Power PC Mac Minis, and was rewarded with a fantastic computer that became the computing hub of the house. After attaching two 250GB Firewire hard drives (mirrored using the RAID software built-in to Mac OS X), it stored all of our music, photos, videos, and coding projects. It was the house's music server, web server, mail server, and file server. I would use Photoshop to work on images, Live and Reason to compose music. It did it all, and now they are telling me that the new one is four times faster?!?! Where do I sign up?

February 2006

<a href="/pictures/20060318-mac_mini/"><img align="right" src="/pictures/20060318-mac_mini/images/CRW_0429.jpg" width="300" height="200"></a>I've been waiting for this day for a long time.
Steve Jobs answered my prayers and unveiled the Intel-powered Mac Mini today. A call to the Apple Store at Valley Fair mall reveals that they have not yet received any units, so I will have to order one online. After slogging through the now-hammered <a href='http://store.apple.com/'>store.apple.com</a> site, where it took their heavily burdoned servers more than a minute to verify my credit card, I had a new Mini configured and in their system.

I selected the $22 "overnight shipping" option because I'm impatient, but later got it refunded because the system was built in China and FedEx'd to my house. There is no overnight FedEx from China ;-).

The machine is wicked fast. It just smokes the G4 PPC Mini in anything, except for when it runs apps compiled for PowerPC using the Rosetta translation utility, then things are slightly slower than the old Mini. Not a big problem, since most things I use are compiled now for both Intel and PowerPC. A notable exception is Photoshop, but I can work around that for now.

April 2006

"duomini" has been a pleasure to use each day. It makes my G4 PowerBook and old Mini feel sluggish. The <a href='http://labs.macromedia.com/technologies/lightroom/'>Lightroom</a> beta is my new favorite software. I really don't feel the need to use Photoshop for anything but making new graphics or icons for the web site or <em>really</em> messing with digital photos.

Aperture 1.1 should be in stores in a couple of weeks, so we'll see if it will knock Lightroom from the champion's spot.