I figured my first post should be kind of an introduction about me, but I’d rather not be all personal. My idea of talking about me is telling about the technology I use and enjoy using, this includes computers and server technologies.
My primary system is a work-issued MacBook Pro. I use this for everything, and I usually take it everywhere. It’s loaded with Mac OS 10.5, and all of the design and coding software I need. Now, I did have a choice in the matter of taking the new Mac, or keeping my old Toshiba. I chose the Mac due to the fact that I really do like Mac OS. I enjoy the feeling of using it, and I enjoy the speed, stability, and of course the look of it. I also felt that it was time or an upgrade to a computer with multiple cores and more RAM (2gb in this guy). I’m not here saying that Mac is better than Windows, blah blah, I’m just saying that I prefer the OS as well as the hardware. In my field [Digital Media] Mac’s are almost essential. And since I’ve started using my Mac I’ve found that the programs designed for Mac OS are really pretty good. Example below.
For all of my web editing, from HTML to PHP and CSS, I use Coda by Panic. Coda gives me the ability to edit my sites either locally or remotely, nothing new there. It also has an excellent CSS editor built into it, a great code editing IDE, and even code reference manuals. I can even use terminal from the same window. Now, Coda is Mac only, and I’m sure there are Windows programs like this out there, but I never found them. The closest one to come close was Dreamweaver, and Dreamweaver is terrible now. Coda is also a beautiful looking program as opposed to the utility look of Dreamweaver. I’ve noticed that Mac programs all seem to look very nice, and offer the same (if not more) functionality. Why do Mac developers focus on looks as well as functionality and PC developers don’t? I don’t know.
I run a lab full of 10 Mac Pros. These computers are all tied to our main server, BAM. BAM is a 4 year old XServe G5 attached to a 4 year old Apple RAID unit with 3.5 TB of space. I’ve never managed a Mac server before this job. I’ve managed Linux servers of various flavours, as well as several Windows servers, everything from 98 to 2003. I never liked Windows servers, as easy as they can be to manage, I hate the system so much. Linux and I usually have a decent relationship, if I set it up myself. Of all of the Linux servers I’ve set-up and run, not one of them has died on me. The Mac servers and I have a love/hate relationship. First, I love the ease of configuration of most things (web, DHCP, NetBoot, etc.); however, I’ve also noticed that some of the more advanced functions tend to need a little “linuxesque” configuration. This is not a hug problem for me of course, but Apple tends to change standards for their own system. Files are not in the places they should be, they are moved or use different syntax, and it drives me batty at times. I have had a server fail on me because of updates that were done on the system. This resulted in me having to completely re-install the system. Granted, this probably was caused by the previous sysadmin’s massive hacking of the system to get it to “do what he wanted,” but it was still a massive headache. Once I installed and configured the system myself, I have yet to need even a reboot. I’m not really on-the-fence about using Mac servers, they are excellent machines, and I think they make great servers…especially because they all come with great tech support through Apple;-)
As for web technologies, I am a Web 2.0 junkie. You might notice in the Papers section I have a few papers about Web 2.0-tech, that’s not a coincidence of course, it’s my chosen field of study. So, because of this, I have used many different systems. This site uses the wonderful WordPress, it’s easy, sexy, and stable; everything I could ever need. I chose WordPress over some others such as Drupal mainly because Drupal is highly advanced, and has so much built into it that I will never use. Don’t get me wrong, Drupal is an excellent system that gives users so much functionality and so much customization, but I would use it for a larger, more needy site. My lab actually uses Drupal for it’s main site, and it works fine. WordPress is great for this site and myself because it’s simple, clean, and I can actually edit most of the looks and plug-ins myself, a big selling point for me.
As for social networking, I use Twitter, Facebook, and sometimes Livejournal. I have a limit on these now. For instance, I only have a MySpace account in order to see other friends’ pages, that’s all. My Twitter updates my LiveJournal as well as my Facebook, and I’m debating on closing the LiveJournal anyway. It’s pointless to have 2 blogs.
So there you have it. Some information about me and my tech. I’m going to try to make a point to actually review programs and systems on here, we’ll see how far that goes.