(Almost) 8 pounds from Freedom.

Well, in 3-5 weeks my home office will be about 8 pounds away from complete freedom from PC-dom. I finally bit the bullet and ordered a Mac. The final straw was my primary Linux box. About six months ago the machine started crashing randomly. It always seemed to happen when doing large compiles (like gcc, glibc, or XFree86) so it was pretty apparent that the problem was memory-related. I ran Memtest86 and, sure enough, the machine wedged part way through the test. So I replaced the memory … and the machine wedged hard in the same place when I ran Memtest86. Well, that meant that the memory controller was the problem. Rather than return the memory, I figured I’d just get a new motherboard and use the new (and faster) memory instead of the old (and now revealed to be good) memory. So, I replaced the motherboard and the machine was more flaky than before. I ran Memtest86 again and it turned out that half of the new memory was just bad. Unfortunately, I ran out the warranty on the memory before I bought the new motherboard . Fine, my fault. I can live with it. What I can’t live with is that now, the machine I have at home and the machine on my desk at work are virtually identical, with identical installs of Gentoo Linux and the work machine is a joy to use – stable and fast – and the home machine crashes randomly, and often. I’m sick to death of PCs. I just want my computer to work. I started my computing life as an Apple user, and now that MacOS doesn’t suck, I’m going back to being an Apple user. Only my laptop (hence the 8 pound reference) remains part of the Wintel hegemony. If my Mac experience is positive, that might change in a year or two too.

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