Sunday, February 26, 2006

Apple should have called Rosetta Windows

About a year ago I bought a 12 inch iBook as I got a good deal on it and I was curious to see what Apple had to offer. I kept hearing about stability and ease of OS X. I was tired of tinkering. You know the times when you're using your computer and you would load a driver, uninstall the driver, try a different version of the driver, uninstall the program, reinstall the program just trying to get your work done. I marveled at my iBook as I turned it on and it attached itself to my wireless network after I answered some questions. The printers at my office and home loaded up across the VPN. I began just basically using the computer, I no longer tinkered. I went on to move my family and house to the OS X operating system, having since bought a mini, a PowerMac, and PowerBook. What didn't stop was my thirst for the latest, greatest. I got my Intel based MacBook Pro 5 days ago, I ordered it the day they were announced. I began the process of moving applications and files over from my "old" Powerbook. I'm just about functional now with my mainstay applications: Word, Excel, Firefox, Acrobat, iCal, AddressBook, and a few others. The speed is noticeability faster. I don't mean you see a difference on the stopwatch, I mean you'll see a difference time-wise , 1 - Mississippi, 2 - Mississippi, get the point. The keyboard is a little stiffer, the screen is smaller (I had a 17" PB), but I don't seem to mind as it's much brighter. But that's not the point here. As you may be aware you must have a universal binary version of your software to run in native mode on the new Intel Mac's. If you're not using a new universal binary, a part of OS X calls Rosetta which translates the old PowerPC code into code that the new Intel chip will understand and execute. All transparent to the enduser, other than..... The crashes. Yesterday I had to scan a about 60 pages of a contract into a PDF. Acrobat froze time and time again. I would have to start again. I tried using the HP software to scan directly into a PDF, frozen again. I tried plugging the scanner into a different USB port. I tried scanning into a text file. Just like I used to do when I ran Windows. It brought back less than fond memories. Then I remembered my PowerBook was still up and running. I plugged the scanner into the PowerBook USB told the same HP software to scan the pages into the same version of Acrobat. All 60+ pages right into the file, chose a filename and saved it. No crashes, no freezes it was just like it was after I left Windows. Maybe Dvorak was right, maybe Rosetta is actually Windows running on Apple already.

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