Recycled Computing

Adventures in Intel Mac Land, Part 2

- 2012.01.09

I think that I've mentioned how much faster and more entertaining browsing is with an Intel Mac, but I haven't mentioned that with an Intel chip I can use one of my favorite browsers, Google Chrome. Chrome is fast and easier to use, at least to me, due to the single field for searching and site address display. I enjoyed using TenFourFox with my G3 and G4 computers, but Chrome should be a viable browser for a while as Google intends to be more and more of a player in the software business.

I guess that the big difference in using an Intel Mac versus a PowerPC is that I am not taxing the hardware by using software that is really too current for it. Nothing seems to be forced or strained in use, and everyday use is seamless. I am happy with my purchase of a used MacBook, as this model is easy to update and still has a replaceable battery. The new Unibody MacBooks are certainly pretty looking, but the battery is difficult to replace. I know that Apple's design has concentrated more on design than real world usability. Think about it - would you buy a car if you have to take it to the garage if the battery goes bad.

Okay, maybe you would take the car to the garage because you are rich as Midas or don't like to get your hands dirty. But why should you and I be forced to pay for something you can do yourself. Are we in control of our technology, or does our technology control us?

It is a control issue. If you use Apple's garden, do you have to eat all the fruit and accept everything on the menu?

I don't know, but I like to use my equipment as long as I can, and I worry that Apple is starting to adopt a planned obsolescence model as it's business plan. I hope not.

Luxo Jr.

On a more hopeful note, I'd like to chime in on the ten year anniversary of the iMac G4 "Luxo". I used one of these babies in the past and was more than mystified when this design was dropped in favor of the "slab" iMac. The "Luxo" was the best desktop I ever used due to the adjustability of the screen.

iMac G4

Like many folks, I use bifocal glasses, and this unique design was the best thing I ever used for getting the screen just right.

You know all of us prefer an Apple computer to other manufacturers, but sometimes Apple abandons something that is truly innovative and useful. I have never used a desktop that allowed me work so comfortably as the G4 iMac. That adjustable screen can be tweaked to the right position to eliminate neck or eye strain. No other desktop system offers this adjustability.

In the recent Low End Mac Round Table, the "Luxo" is discussed at length. I know that someone has talked about about ripping out the guts of a "Luxo" and replacing it with a Mac mini so that you could run a modern Intel with that neat flat panel display. I can just see a couple of problems. Finding a 20" G4 iMac in the wild could be tough. Ripping out the guts of the G4 could be tough as well. Then you've got to work out the wiring of the video leads to the HDMI output on the mini....

Still, it would one hell of a hack.... LEM

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