Something Beginning With C
Cushla arrived on Saturday morning and we've managed to settle into living together again after a year apart. Leaving her behind in hosptial when I had to leave the country was very hard and not something I want to repeat. We intend solving this by not letting the anorexia become a problem again. I have a lot of hope here, Johns Hopkins did a very good job with her.
She brought back my Powermac G5 with her. I've installed Panther on it and I'm now trying to get Linux working with Yellowdog's experimental offering. Currently it gets halfway through booting the kernel, but it seems to be getting confused about disk drives and I'm going to need to give it some kernel parameters, but yaboot is giving me grief in this department.
The G5's big selling point is of course speed. Something which I have not yet managed to test. None of the software that comes with it is CPU bound and the software that would give me an idea about speed (e.g. povray) is refusing to compile for me. Unfortunately when time has to be shared between hacking and girlfriend, girlfriend wins.
The machine is definitely fast, I just can't tell you how fast. On the other hand it is almost worth it just for the case, it is a thing of beauty.
Now that I've had a few days playing with OS X I've come to the realisation that GNOME 2.4 really is quite good. The core anyway. The keep-it-simple mantra of GNOME really pays off in terms of usability. OS X is mostly excellent, but it does slip every now and then. I definitely prefer Epiphany to Safari, Safari has a lot of rough edges. OS X wins in the gaps where GNOME hasn't yet expanded, things like a complete system configuration interface. Of course they only have one sort of system to write for :).
The fancy visual effects are neat, but quite frankly they add nothing to the usability. The dock might have true transparency, but this is useless since the icons will almost always obscure what you want to read.
Fast user switching is very useful, especially with two of us in the house. I have also got very attached to Expose, although I'm not sure I'd do it quite the same for a GNOME implementation. A GNOME solution may not be necessary, the normal solution to having too many windows on one screen is to have multiple virtual screens, an equally effective solution to the same problem. Even with Expose it is possible for too many windows to pile up to be useful.
The G5 is replacing my normal development machine and since I haven't got Linux running yet, nor have I got my head around MacOS X's development environment (e.g. I can't get libjpeg to give me shared libraries) there isn't a currently running system to develop on. One way or the other this should be fixed this weekend.