The Life Unwired with Ben Combee (unwiredben) wrote,
The Life Unwired with Ben Combee

Am I Starting to Become a Mac Fan?

On my trip to California last week, I finished Andy Hertzfeld's book Revolution in the Valley. Its a collection of stories about the development of the Macintosh computer, and reading about the fun and camaraderie involved in building something world-changing really affected my own decision process in deciding to change jobs. While the book is built from stories on Andy's website,, but the real value is with all of the high resolution pictures that are in the book, including staff photos, Polaroids of the original Mac user interface, pages from engineering log books, and spots from magazines and Apple ads. The book is also just fun to read, and even though I'd gone through a lot of the stories on, it was fun seeing them presented again.

When I was at Metrowerks, I was exposed to the "cult of the Mac" for the first time, but I always resisted its call. When I had to use a Mac, I always was frustrated by the interface and unfamiliarity. It was easy to use, but it didn't feel powerful. Later, I had a chance to use Mac OS X on a G4 desktop, and it wasn't too bad, but I never really though it worked better than a well-managed and tweaked Windows system. Now, I'm starting to think that maybe I'll get a Mac this year. The Mac Mini's are really cute and I could reuse a lot of the gear I've accumulated; it might fit in well with my home entertainment center. I made myself promise that I wouldn't buy one until after Tiger (Mac OS X 10.4) is released, so I've bought myself some time to decide if an Apple lifestyle is appropriate for me.

Along with this fascination with Mac OS, I've listened to a few good talks from IT Conversations from the 2004 Mac OS X conference. In particular, Wiley Hodges talk about XCode 2.0 and what's going on with developer tools at Apple reminded me of my work at Metrowerks from mid-2003 when the G5 was just a rumor. Apple has done a lot of the investment in their platform that was needed to make it successful, and I'm really looking forward to trying out GCC 4.0 and seeing how much improvements there have been since I last did a lot of GCC-related work.
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