So I signed up to beta test Spark Mail App for Mac. I like the app for iOS. Really can’t say much about it since it is not installed.
Shortly after it debut, I installed Windows 10 on my Sager NP8690. I was hoping Windows 10 would run well… this didn’t happen. I’m not trying to bash Windows 10, many seem to like it. For me the experience was a little meh. I still prefer mac OS and my iMac, but I’m running out of space (too many pictures and videos taken with my GoPro Hero 4 Silver). So what about my really cool iPad 3? It is so slow with iOS 9.3.5 and it is painful to use to the point where I am typing faster that it can can process the keys. This usually results in many misspelled words or auto-corrected to something that makes no sense.
So this weekend I removed Windows 10 and reinstalled Windows 7 Ultimate x64. The only downside is the lack of support from Microsoft. I figure I’ll keep it around to play some games and have something to use when I go on extended visits with family. What I really want in a new MacBookPro 15″ with the Touchbar. Too bad it is way out of my price range.
Maybe next year I’ll pick up the next MacBookPro with a cheaper price and maybe better specs.
Over the last 18 months, I’ve been using my iMac as my main computer. I configured multiple Desktops (spaces) changed the screensaver, installed programs, games (Diablo 3 and Steam for Team Fortress 2). Basically making it my own, just like I do with Windows and Linux.
So one day I was looking at other features of Finder, and decided to change the window color from white to green for the Documents folder. You can do this by clicking the gear icon and Show View Options. After I goofed with the colors, I reset it back to white. then I noticed I can add a picture to the background. I copied over a jack-o-lanter picture I found last year and there was the small picture I copied. Then I decided to change the Arrange by from None to Name and clicked the Use as Defaults. I closed the window and didn’t think anything of it for a week.
When I came back a week later, I noticed some of my Finder windows had the jack-o-lanter as the wallpaper. I went through the process to remove the wallpaper, but noticed I could not change the wallpaper. It was stuck with the jack-o-lantern. After some searching on Google, I found a post by Pigstick on mac-forums.com which explained how undo what I did.
Change the Arrange by to None, then you can reset the background to any color or change the picture. Don’t forget to click the Use as Defaults button.
I’ve been using the iMac constantly since I bought it. It has replaced my Sager Core i7 as my primary computer. About a week ago I upgraded the RAM to 12GB so I could play Team Fortress 2 and Diablo 3. Oh and the memory upgrade also helped with running the Windows 7 Enterprise virtual machine I need for work.
So let’s talk about the memory upgrade process. According to Apple, the most RAM my 2011 Core i5 iMac can upgrade to was 8GB. I really had a hard time believing this. I can see 32GB being a maximum. So I started looking into going beyond the 8GB limit. Normally I purchase memory from 4allmemory.com, but several colleagues mention looking at Crucial.com. The Crucial website had an option to scan my computer for the exact match. So I downloaded the zip file and extracted CrucialMacScanner.app. The information will open in your default web browser.
I can upgrade the AM to a maximum of 32GB. WOOT!! I scaled the WOOT back after checking the price for a 16GB kit. So I went with a 8GB kit to bring the total system RAM to 12GB. The price seemed fair, and Crucial is a trusted company. I received the memory within a few days and installation occurred shortly after dinner.
The link Crucial provided for video directions were for a Dell GX desktop computer. FAIL!! The correct directions are located on Apple’s Support web site. However, the web site also states the maximum RAM is 16GB. FAIL!! Besides that, the directions were perfect.
OK, now I have plenty of RAM, time to purchase Diablo 3. I am a big fan of the Diablo series. My friends and I have played for 14 hours strait (before children) at LAN parties. I still have my original characters. I have to admit about not being too thrilled about logging into Battle.net just to play, but I like the idea now and here’s why. Diablo 3 is installed on both iMac and my Sager notebook. I can play the on either computer, and have access to my characters. So if the kids are using the iMac, I can pickup where I left off with my notebook. WOOT!!
Some users have complained about the performance of Diablo 3 on the iMac. I have not seen any issues with the game. I tweaked the video settings up a little, but I didn’t go crazy with enabling every single shadow, rain drop or whatever. I average about 80 FPS (Frames Per Second). I doubt I would see a performace hit with multiplayer.
Over the past year I’ve been thinking about getting a new PC for the family. The current Dell Dimension 8200 (almost 10 years old) was having a hard time running Windows XP and all the patches and security to keep it mostly virus and malware free. I installed Ubuntu 11.10 server on that Dell PC and turned it into a media server and backup storage device.
So what to get for the family? I could go with another Windows 7 PC and have the option to have more virus and malware installed every time the kids go to one of their kid friendly sites. My wife might need Windows 7 for remote access to work, plus it’s a familiar interface for everyone.
I could go with Linux OS such as Ubuntu 11.10, Linux Mint 12 (when it is available), or some other disto. But the problem with Linux for the family, a whole bunch of kid websites just don’t work with Linux. For example, Cartoon Network has some pretty cool games, but most of the games will not work in Linux. Those games require different engines such as Unity (not to be confused with Unity for Ubuntu). Also, many games that I like to play are not available in a Linux environment. I tried running Windows XP in a VM, but the performance is terrible and the games require high-end video cards which you never see in a VM.
My buddy at work suggested getting an iMac. The first thing that went in my mind, “How am I going to afford that?” Turns out the entry level iMac is within my budget. So I stopped at the local Apple Store and took a look. Usually I’m in there for a few minutes with the kids to kill time while my wife is shopping. Now I had time to shop. As usual I was assaulted but several employees right away. But I needed time to look over what they had and get some ideas before I would talk with someone.
Steve, the sales person, saw I was ready to have my questions answered. After a few minutes of talking about my concerns and what I wanted to accomplish, Steve unlocked the iMac and let me install some of the games from Cartoon Network. Out of all my years in IT, from selling to support, I’ve never heard someone say let’s unlock the computer and install the web apps you mentioned. So I played some of the Cartoon Network games. I was hooked. Just need to upgrade the memory from 4GB to 8GB. The Apple memory is expensive. Looks like I’ll be checking on-line for a better price.
Now, what am I going to do about some of the Windows only applications I need? I will keep my notebook PC as a dual boot between Windows 7 and Linux (not sure about keeping Ubuntu). Maybe I’ll install VMWare Fusion, VirtualBox, Parallels or Bootcamp for my Windows needs. I doubt I’ll ever break away completely from Windows. Too many applications I need for Windows for my job.
So this Christmas Santa will deliver a new computer for the family. It will meet the needs of my family, address my concerns, and also give me a little education in the Mac world.
Now, what book should I get…