Hot and Sandy

Travel writing, pictures and stuff for people I know. Quite a lot of cycling talk, and some semi-controlled ranting. Hiking, outdoor and two-wheeled stuff, perhaps a little computing when it's worth talking about. Meandering thoughts.

Wednesday, November 14

Mac Usefulness

I love working on my Mac - it frustrates me that companies still won't consider using OS X as a productivity platform.  Before I got my first Mac in 2004 I was a total PC person.  Never really used anything else except scientific UNIX and some alternative shells (LiteStep anyone)?

I really needed a new laptop for my studies.  I'd arrived at College to find that every desk in the grad room except mine had a new Dell machine on it, complete with big 19" flat screen.  My desk was empty.  I discovered that day that my research grant had to cover a computer as well.  Only problem was that I was limited to about £750, which doesn't buy you much in terms of  a PC laptop.  So I bought a 12" iBook with a hefty student discount.

It was awesome.  I was working faster.  I was able to use UNIX applications for image processing through X-Win terminals.  I could move files around faster, and the battery lasted 7-9 hours.  Best of all?  I was getting uptimes of 40 days without a reboot and without a crash.  Brilliant.  There was only one thing wrong with OS X.  Spotlight.  It's slow, it hogs resources and it's a horrible waste of time.

My recommendation?  KILL spotlight stone dead (I used Tiger Cache Cleaner, but there are other more hack-y ways) and start using Quicksilver.  Go on, Google it.  I never use anything else to find a document, do a calculation or launch an application.  You can even use it to launch Finder windows and control iTunes!  What's not to love?


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