2005-02-06

Mac mini

My Linux build server at work died this week. It's still not clear whether it was memory or disk. For the time being, I'm working on a headless machine and using VNC on Windows.

I'd forgotten what an unsatisfactory hack VNC is. It's visibly slower than using a machine directly, it's ugly (with -depth 24 I have to start a particular Java application before the desktop gets the right color), and random little things don't work (alt-tab, the alt key in general, and the clipboard being the most annoying). [Update: using version 4 of the VNC server fixes the keyboard problems. Stupidly, on Debian you need to install vnc4server rather than just upgrading vncserver.]

Thanks to all this frustration, I've ordered a Mac mini to act as head. With Unix locally, I will probably be better off running most applications locally, and can continue to build remotely.

And I'll have a decent mailer at last! I've been disappointed to find that Thunderbird is no better at handling 15 MiB HTML mails than MS Outlook. I don't know how Mail will fare, but at least I'll have check-as-you-type spelling checking and the ability to search my mail in finite time.

3-4 weeks...