Mac Pro – Impressions II

After a week and a day with my new Mac Pro, I’m more delighted than ever. Highlights:

  • More software added: BBEdit, Photoshop Elements 8 for Mac
  • In the mail: Dreamweaver CS4 for Mac (crossgrade)
  • Win-PC networking fixed (issue on PC side)
  • Installed HP P1505N networked printer for all machines
  • Upgraded memory to 7GB (+3[2GB] SIMMS + 1 existing 1GB) – removed two 1GB’s to fill 4 slots.
  • Added 1TB Hitachi SATA for backups and music


The hardware upgrades were particularly pleasant. Adding memory and drives in any well-designed computer case should be a no-brainer, but Apple makes it even easier with pull-out trays or slot frames. No need to access the motherboard. No SATA cables needed – the drive just plugs in.

The HP CD installer did not work well with Snow Leopard. I had to manually delete the install and reinstall a download. The Win-XP install went fine and left me convinced that the Mac installer version is a stripped-down afterthought. It is the only Mac installer I have yet used that does not follow Apple installer interface conventions. However, all machines now print great on the new ethernet printer, which runs only $249, half the price and weight of the non-networked parallel port HP1100 we bought for this household in the year 2000.

I bought the Hitachi drive “bare” – unformatted. On the Mac, just partition the new drive, which takes abotu 15 seconds, and you’re done. Time Machine, Apple’s backup utility, is backing up the Mac HD now and is 75% through a 48GB backup, in about 20 minutes. Impressive!

All in all, now I wish all my machines were Mac. So many Windows XP and Vista operations are SO slow – especially, startup, shutdown and Internet Explorer 8 – even with the very fast AMD dual core processor. It is edifying to switch over to the PC, and unfortunately somewhat of a letdown. I am hoping to shed some of the startup crap that slows Windows down so much. Larger apps are so bloated that the PC app manufacturers load “helper apps” that run in the background all the time, giving the user the impression app startup is quicker than it would otherwise seem. Managing this in msconfig works but is a pain – I never did find a really good PC startup manager.

Apple users used to have really outstanding startup managers. I see no need of one at the moment, but if I do, I’m confident they’re still available.

No one seems to know of a really good IPTC photo editor for Mac. This is “the other” embedded file-info format on photo images (besides EXIF). IPTC contains all the comments and keywords that many photo browsers like JAlbum utilize so neatly. I can use PhotoShop or PS Elements (I think), but Photoshop is quite klutzy for IPTC and EXIF, with no batch or profiling functionality, and changing IPTC in Photoshop updates the EXIF, which is unacceptable.

Regular users know I run project SETI 24/7. I also use it as a realtime benchmarking standard.

  • Average daily SETI credits: AMD dual core (Win-XP) 756.27, Intel Quad core Xenon (Mac OS 10.6) 978.61, AMD quad core (Win-XP) 1,430.15 units.
  • Measured floating point speeds: AMD dual core (Win-XP) 2993.42, Intel Quad core Xenon (Mac OS 10.6) 3131.16, AMD quad core (Win-XP) 2412.27 million ops/sec.
  • The Mac has not accumulated an average SETI credit yet equal to the two main Windows machines, but it takes some time for SETI to catch up to what the machines are uploading after they come online.   SETI already ranks the Mac #1, followed by the two AMD PC’s.

No wonder my Mac friends would never consider running on other platforms!

Postscript:  Hewlett Packard Registration

“Thank You For Registering With HP”: Is this what we can expect as thanks for registering a new purchase with HP?

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