Bleah. It seems that I may have caught the cold (or 'flu, or
whatever) that M brought back from sunny California.
We went out for a walk anyway, picking up bread for dinner, depositing
a check, and then heading down to get popcorn from our somewhat nearby
London Drugs (our supermarket of choice no longer carries Pop Secret
On the way, we discovered that the new Save-on-Foods store was open,
so we checked it out. It's all shiny, since it's only been open for
two weeks. It's also smaller than our regular store, and seems to be
more yuppie-oriented, with lots more organic food, drugs, and hygiene
products. Also bottled milk (!) and more organic (but perhaps not
free-range) eggs than the other store. And it has much nicer
displays, especially in the meat and bakery sections.
It's actually a really nice store, and I almost envy the people living
in the “quality concrete” tower blocks nearby.
In London Drugs, I finally got a chance to play with Mac OS X. I'm impressed. I
can now easily imagine happily using this operating system, especially
once Adobe and some of the architecture software companies get their
software ported to run natively. It still has all the cool NEXTSTEP
features, with a nice Mac OS like surface. Most of the reviews I'd
read are by people who are either coming from the Mac OS world or the
Linux world, with the people in the first group not having any
appreciation for the coolness that is Unix, and the people in the
second group not having any appreciation for the coolness that is the
Mac. And none of these people have ever really used a NeXT. Needless
to say, their opinions aren't terribly useful in judging what the
system would actually be like for someone who loves Unix, deliberately
bought a Mac, and has lusted after a NeXT since calling and ordering
their very first brochure.
I'm happier running Linux on my Mac than I was running Mac OS—it's
much more stable (although there are a variety of bizarre and annoying
problems that still crop up on PowerPC Linux). I have access to some
applications I didn't have on Mac OS (notably Emacs, which is both
light years ahead and behind editors for Mac OS). Most
importantly, I have terminals, where, if you know the right commands,
you can create incredibly powerful chains of them to process text and
But I also miss the power and ease of use of applications such as
Photoshop (for which the GIMP is a challenger in power, but not even
in the same galaxy for ease of use) and Illustrator (for which I not
aware of an equivalent). I also like some of the aspects of the Mac
OS Finder (although I prefer to do most things on the command line,
it's nice to be able to organize files graphically).
Mac OS X looks like it will handle all my needs elegantly. I'm sure
it's full of frustrations, like all operating systems, but it has the
advantage of being open enough to allow fixes to be made, and the
advantages of being corporate enough to retain a consistent look and
feel and overall polish.
ArsTechnica has the
best review I've read so far.