Learning to love OS X

So I’ve had a Mac for a little over a week now. Despite spending a few necessary evenings getting Vista installed and set up, I’ve found myself using OS X the most, and I find my appreciation for it growing the more I use it. I’m starting to get a better feel for XCode now (thanks to the earlier tips, and training myself to single-click rather than double-click on source files to avoid extra pop-up windows) and am beginning to understand things like how Frameworks function (and I have to say, they look very sensible), and what on Earth Carbon and Cocoa are and why they both exist.

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We went to see Transformers at the weekend - I wasn’t particularly hopeful that it was going to be that good, despite the trailer doing quite a good job of selling it, but I went along anyway just to see. The first half was actually pleasantly surprising - some good, well proportioned action scenes and some semi-Ferris Beuller styled comedy. Cheesy, but it knew it and went with it, and it worked as a fun film.

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You might have noticed I haven’t said much about my editor project for a while. That’s partly because late May and June got rather busy for me work-wise so it mostly got shelved in that period. The other reason is that all the time I’ve managed to spend on it in the last couple of weeks seems to have involved as much tearing down as building up. I’m now on my third (I think) iteration of basically bulldozing major parts of the infrastructure and rebuilding them.

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Vista on a MacBook Pro

So, last night I downloaded Boot Camp 1.3 (all 275Mb of it!) and got Vista installed. It took a pretty long time, but I have to say that Apple do a great job with their instructions and tools - after following them I had a vanilla Vista install going with no trouble at all. The only thing I had to do was figure out how to turn Aero on after the graphics drivers were installed.

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Birthday Bonanza

Well, mentally it’s not far off. We had a really busy long weekend due to both my wifes’s and my own birthday and we’ve had a good time. A superb meal at our favourite restaurant, a little too much wine and generally a relaxing time was had. We even got around to booking ourselves a proper holiday in November (Thailand), something we haven’t done for far, far too long. We’ve both been really busy with work so we haven’t gotten around to getting away properly since 2005, so this is something to look forward to.

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Some OSX Progress

As I’ve mentioned, we have a pretty busy weekend ahead what with birthdays and such but I’ve taken a little time to at least get Ogre building and running on my new MacBook. Thanks to Justin’s great work this wasn’t that hard and I could test out what the GPU on this baby can do. Manages pretty well in fact; it doesn’t appear to support MRTs unfortunately, which surprised me (this might just be down to the OSX GL drivers though), and I’m having a few issues with floating point textures right now which again might be drivers, but otherwise it appears pretty nippy.

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Shiny Alien Technology

So, I finally took the plunge to become a somewhat disoriented owner of a Mac, just over 24 hours ago. It seems a lot of people are losing their OS X virginity these days, perhaps it’s something in the water. Perhaps it’s disillusionment with Vista, the iPod halo effect, the Intel switch and Bootcamp / Parallels, technical bi-curiosity, or most likely a combination of all of the above, but I could tell that I was not the first person that day in our local Apple store who answered ‘Yes’ to the ‘Is this your first Mac’ question.

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It’s my birthday next week, and as I get perilously closer to the half-way point of my fourth decade on this Earth, it occurred to me that I should perhaps look into broadening my spare time activities a little, to include more things that don’t involve bombarding my skull with a grid array of (admittedly rather attractive) photons. My wife was also needing some ideas for presents, which as everyone knows gets harder the older you get and the more ‘stuff’ you accumulate.

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I do a fair amount of MS bashing on this blog, but I like to think it’s not rabid anti-corporatism but actually a valid commentary on what’s often wrong with the dominant software supplier. Most of the time. To reinforce this, I have to say ‘kudos’ to them over their recent actions with the 360 hardware failure rate. I’d thought about verbally tearing them a new one over it here in the past, but didn’t mostly because everyone else was already, and I didn’t feel I had an appropriately personal message to convey about it, not owning a 360 yet alone having a series of defective machines.

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An interview I did a few weeks ago with Alistair Wallis for Gamasutra has just been published! It’s been titled “Tooling Around: Steve Streeting On Open Source 3D Engine OGRE 3D”. I'm always a little bit nervous about how I might come across in these things (guess I'm still not used to a great deal of personal publicity) but having read it, I think it turned out pretty well. Thanks go to Alistair for approaching me to do this!

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