The Mac-age: Could the New Mac Pro Cause Me to Go All-Apple?

image When I bought my first iPhone back in 2008, I was a dedicated Apple skeptic.  I hadn’t used a Mac since the Lisa 2 era, and had no plans of ever using one again (unless Apple were to issue a new version of my beloved Odyssey: The Compleat Apventure; I’ve always said I’d switch my entire computing universe to Macs, if I could play that game again).

Anyway, I now own an iPhone, an iPad, and two Mac Minis, which as I noted the other day are the best home media option.  I like Front Row and, thanks to a comment to my last post, I installed and really like Plex.

As a matter of fact, I am seriously considering dumping DirecTV (and the never-ending “Searching for signal in Satellite In 2” message that keeps denying me True Blood) in favor of some combination of an OTA antenna, Netflix, iTunes and, maybe Hulu Plus (I got my beta invite a couple of weeks ago, but haven’t checked it out yet).

My only holdout remains my desktop.  I use one of the Mac Minis on the desktop periodically, and have become very comfortable with OS X.  Some things, most notably web browsing, just seem to look better in OS X.  I recently bought and really, really like dual Dell UltraSharp U2711 monitors (these beauties are so bright and vibrant that I feel like I need shades to use them; and I mean that in a good way), so an iMac in not an option for me.  It might be an option for my wife, who seems to destroy any electronic device she uses semi-regularly.  I genuinely think she has some electro-magnetic aura that kills electronics.  It would make a great X-Files episode.

Neither she nor I are computer gamers (again, in my case, pending the return of OIdyssey), which may be a good thing if either of us ends up with an iMac and a Magic Mouse.  Here’s the quote of the year so far in an otherwise positive Engadget review of the new iMacs:

[W]e don’t think hardcore gamers are going to flock to the Mac at these numbers, but you’re not going to be unhappy if you’re just looking to have some fun. (Playing any of these games with the Magic Mouse will make you tear your hair out and light your skull on fire, however, but that’s a different story.)

This leaves the forthcoming Mac Pro, as the only carrot that could draw me across the all-Mac line.  I still think they are too expensive.  However, the beautifully designed and easily upgradable case is very appealing to me.  I have even convinced myself that I don’t need Blu-ray on my desktop (though it is irritating that Mac Minis don’t have Blu-ray, as that requires me to keep a stand-alone DVD player).  What it comes down to is noise.  Or the lack of it.

As anyone who knows me (for example, my neighbors with the barking dog) will confirm, I am very sensitive to noise.  I’m a super-light sleeper, and anything more than a pin drop will wake me up, and keep me awake.  My current HP desktop isn’t loud, but it isn’t quiet either.  I’d probably pay a premium for a Mac Pro- if it were really quiet.  I’m betting it’s not, but I’ll certainly inquire once the new models hit the street.  A rocking new Mac Pro, with my current monitors and Parallels installed in the name of Live Writer would work nicely.  Very nicely.

In the meantime, here’s some bonus video of yours truly playing Odyssey: The Compleat Apventure in 1985.  I really loved that game.

Why doesn’t someone port this game to the iPhone/iPad?  I’d buy many copies, just to show my thanks.

Bonus tech support for Google searchers who will have this problem: if you buy a Dell UltraSharp U2711 monitor and have a bad picture, be sure you are using dual-link DVI cables (one came in the box with the monitor).  They look similar to, but are not the same as, older DVI cables.  You can’t use your existing standard DVI cables.  Trust me.  It took me about a half hour to figure this out.

2 thoughts on “The Mac-age: Could the New Mac Pro Cause Me to Go All-Apple?

  1. Hi KentSeriously, you don't need a Mac Pro to run dual screens. I run a 22″ along side my iMac 24″ – see picture at flickr here:…In that photo you'll also see my 40″ Sony in background which runs off a MacMini (old 1st of Intel ones) and controlled from my iMac via the builtin ScreenSharing.And I run Win7 via Virtual box flawlessly.Go on, do it. One of those Dell 27″ screens would look lovely next to a 27″ iMac! All you'd need is one of these [or similar]…)Cheers mate.

  2. I like your setup!I have and will consider the iMac + Dell 27″ option, particularly now that the iMac comes in a 27″ configuration. My issue is that I just bought those monitors, they were expensive, and I love them. Here's my thinking:If I am truly going to go all-in, I want something I can open up, modify and add to- like the Mac Pro. I'd probably get an SSD for my boot drive and then add lots of after-market HDs for video and song files, etc. At the moment, I'm still hesitant to go all-in, due to price, my expectation that the Mac Pro is noisy, and the fact that Macs don't work as seamlessly with my HP Media Server, which I use and am devoted to for excess storage and automatic, network wide (meaning my wife's and my kid's computers too) backup.So, if I'm not going to go all-in, I think I'll keep my current system, which has the ability to display one of the Mac Minis on one of my Dell monitors when I want to work in OS X.I'm still pretty early in my Mac-age, but that's what I'm thinking now.I have that same Mac Mini hooked up to my TV in my study (that is its primary purpose), and man do I like the way playlists (in Front Row) and iTunes movies and TV shows work. I bought a season pass for Big Brother, just so I could watch it without ads.

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