Kate and I got a bit of a windfall earlier this fall. Our savings are in good shape, we’ve got new shoes and the car has a new muffler, so a new computer seemed in order, but we delayed until after our trip to Europe. After Europe turned into after the holidays, with the end result that we didn’t get the new computer ordered until last week. Yesterday, our new – refurbished – 2.6Ghz iMac arrived. Setup was quick and easy, most of the data has been moved over and I’ve even got my old Windows edition of PS running in a virtual machine. I haven’t installed the printer yet, but barring problems on that end, I’m back in business with little more than a couple of hours invested.
I use a Mac at work, although primarily as a platform for VMware, and I’ve owned Macs before, so even though my previous computer was a Windows laptop, surprises have been few. So far, the screen is the only real surprise; the difference in screen gamma shows all the flaws in my photos. Most of them look pretty good, but a few of those done on the old machine look just awful, for example compare the photos illustrating this post with the versions posted here. Luckily, the bigger screen and extra horse power of this machine make cleaning them up a relative breeze.
I’m using Sun’s free Virtual Box virtualization software to run the windows virtual machine. It’s pretty straightforward, and if you’ve used any of VMware’s desktop products, the transition is easy. If you’ve never used virtualization before, this is a straightforward way to keep access to your old applications when you move to a new platform. Performance is just dandy as long as your host machine has got enough juice.
We decided to go with a Mac for a number of reasons, but primarily because a Mac was the only platform that allowed us to consolidate our household computing needs onto one computer. Kate’s video editing software is Mac specific, my stuff will run on anything with virtualization, so there we go. And the Mac just looks cooler sitting on the desk.
I’d say that there weren’t any other upgrades in our near future, but whenever I say no upgrades, I seem to have to take it back shortly. If nothing else, at least now I can listen to iTunes while I edit photos.