2007 — 28 Feb: FileMakerPro 8.5 & Parallels Desktop, heh?

Or, guess who got a late afternoon software delivery from UPS yesterday after a nice cup of Assam and toy (PC and camera) demonstration session with my neighbour? So now I shall be gently easing myself off Alpha 5 on my XP system and into this brave new world on the iMac for my database work. I shall also have an equally gentle poke into the art of running virtual machines1 via Parallels Desktop on the iMac. Yesterday's announcement of their "Transporter" capability may yet come in handy, and ought to be a free upgrade, it seems. (The UK distributor, by the way, is in Winchester.) And this morning's parcel from Mr Amazon (FileMaker Pro 8: the missing manual) offers another 700+ pages of bedtime browsing.

I'm not sure which is preferable: launching into new toys straight away or tidying up after the blizzard of shifting stuff around to accommodate the blighters in the first place. I know which is more fun, though. But if I'm crushed to death under a tottering tower of books you'll know which choice I made.

Who knows? Running OpenOffice under an iMac-hosted Ubuntu VM may actually prove a perfectly viable alternative to grappling with X11 on the UNIX that underpins OS X. In fact, it might even turn out to be a shame I didn't keep one of my old OS/2 installation sets. And come to think of it, I only fairly recently chucked out a DR-DOS 7 from Junior's crowded shelves! Wotta waste.

Of course, what might be real fun would be running my VirtualAcorn A5000 emulator under XP running in a VM on the iMac. But I burned up my last spare OEM copy of XP during the trashing and re-building of the XP on my Gateway, and I certainly don't intend to buy yet another2 copy. Mr Gates has had quite enough money from me in return for all the pain... Why Microsoft won't allow its customers to uninstall and re-install OEM copies is merely another indication of their paranoia or their grotesque greed. Or both, I suppose.

IT's the same the whole world over... department

Now I have both excuse and reason to read the "Apple" section of slashdot, I find stuff like this:

I'm not sure it's even a love of Microsoft and IBM so much as a love of control and hostility to change, especially change not implemented by them.

I've seen a government office's IT department refuse to send a standard USB mouse to a team that needed one for a Mac they had purchased because "we don't know how to support a Mac." Even after the head of the team had calmly explained to them that all they need to know in this particular case is how to tell a USB connector from a PS/2 connector. I don't see anything there but the IT department trying to play power games — something that I see hints of every single time I go out to visit a client site.

"Bastian", in "Can Apple penetrate the Corporation?"

It's a great shame that the columnist "MacBiter" from the UK Computer Shopper died recently. His stuff would have been as good a reason for buying the magazine as the one-page "Acorn" section (by James Hope et al) used to be back in the early 1990s.

Guilty Pleasures... department

What with all the excitement of hosting "Mrs Dave" on a flying visit to pick up some "Boston Legal" DVDs for after-hours consumption, and the brain ache of Yet Another Computer Manual (though, to be fair, the TextWrangler user manual is beautifully written), I had somehow failed to note this excellent link to the New York Observer (and a cartoon by Drew Friedman with Nabakovian overtones) picked up in the Fantagraphics blog. Sorry about that!

Just back from the Oxfam Bookshop, dodging showers, and clutching:

Day 117  


1  I've already had a play with the so-called Browser Appliance using VMWare. That gave me an Ubuntu / Firefox setup running under Windows XP and worked quite nicely.
2  Copy #2 was used to rebuild a particularly crappy Dell installation for Christa. By the time I'd bought both a graphics card and an OEM XP, that cheap PC turned out to be rather poor value, though I must say it's still going strong so far.