Last night, I helped Bryce “Zooko” Wilcox-O’Hearn — Python hacker, computer language and security aficionado and all-round sweet guy — purchase a Mac. Like me, he was hoping to get one of the 15″ G4 PowerBooks, and like me, he found out that everyone’s been out of stock for the past few months. He purchased one like mine — a 12″ G4 Powerbook with the RAM maxed out to 640 MB. I walked him through the non-UNIXy stuff over dinner at Mel’s Montreal Deli.
Zooko feels a little odd about Mac OS X, coming from the Debian world. I showed him the Terminal app and said “Here go you, BSD with tcsh as the default shell. Zooko checked for the presence of bash and was pleased to find it there.
“I’d feel safer if I installed Linux on this thing,” he said. “Maybe I can have the best of both worlds by installing Linux, and then running Mac-on-Linux to get at the cool OS X stuff.”
I kept my own counsel, deciding to let him try it out over the next couple of weeks. A lot of the hardcore end up liking using OS X as their desktop UNIX. It’s the pleasant UI, the way the hardware the integrates so well with the software and most of all, the way things just work on the Mac that inspires such loyalty. try it. You’ll like it.
My own personal take, Zooko: buying a PowerBook and putting Linux on it is like winning a gold medal and then having it bronzed.
(Hmmm. Perhaps I’d better don the flame-proof accordion. Really guys, I run Linux too.)
Welcome to the club! Your Steve Jobs idol, to be worshipped several times a day, is in the mail.
(Tyler informs me that there’s a 1GB SODIMM now available, which would put my Mac at the 1.1 GB RAM mark. I checked the price, and it’s 5 times as much as the 512MB SODIMM’s. Really maxing out the RAM would be cool, but I can wait. I need new pants and dress shirts more.)