Well today I turn 44!

The best that I can do for a birthday present during my self imposed spending freeze is to take the day off from the Mac, and go and have a long, long, long lunch at Al-rruz at the invitation of Ines and Juan-Carlos, ride the Fat Boy (not before lunch naturally) and take some pictures.

The best thing I can do is to be thankful that I will be spending it for the 16th year with Sands and the first with Moreno.

I will just have to wait for my birthday (and Christmas) present. Now that the cash has started coming in with the addition of new hosting contracts, some paying gigs (AppsForMacs, Gadgetell and Appletell) and some much appreciated donations I am prepared to ‘tempt fate’ and start to think about what configuration would work best for me:


No real decision to be made here. I have a 23″ ACD which I love and being the person that I am the thought of having two screens that didn’t match just sends a shudder down my spine. IF I was starting from scratch I would be seriously tempted by a couple of Dell screens, but I am not going to ‘step back’ and sell the 23″ ACD so pride, vanity, call it what you like, dictates a 2nd 23′ ACD. I would like to pick one up off eBay ) or someone that is selling one so if you are selling one or know someone that is please bear me in mind) but every time I look it really doesn’t save enough to make the hassle worth while.

Mac Pro

Am thinking that the best configuration that gives me value for money now (within the budget I am aiming for) and the greatest future expandability/use is:

– 2.66Ghz
– 1GB Apple RAM & buy an additional 3GB and install myself
– Radeon X1900 XT graphics card
– 250GB Apple hard drive & buy and install a 2 x 500GB ones myself
– Bluetooth

What do you think/suggest? I would also be interested in your suggestions for buying RAM and the hard drives.

Keyboard and Mouse

I have always used the Apple Keyboard and Mouse with all my Mac’s and don’t have a specific problem with them. The wireless keyboard that I used with my Mac mini became very sluggish and stiff to use so is now used very rarely with the Mac mini in the lounge, and I have a Apple USB keyboard with the Mac mini now.

I have had keyboards in the past with all kinds of buttons and features and never really used them, but I am starting to think that with the way I am using the Mac these days it may not be a bad idea to get a Keyboard and Mouse with more functionality and flexibility. Of course they will still need to be a great design, ‘fit’ with the image of the Mac and look cool ………… so if you want to make some suggestions please let me know. I am not convinced that they need to be Wireless, but the keyboard will ideally to be a Spanish one.

The rumored new Apple keyboard looks very cool. It is based on the Mac Book keyboard which is really good, but would be limited in terms of features – but the coolness could well win the day with something like this!

The diNevo Edge looks very attractive BUT not sure I could live with something with the Windows logo on, and how easy is it to use a ‘PC’ keyboard with a Mac? I would be interested to hear from anybody using this type of keyboard by way of a comparison with a Mac keyboard.

It does seems that finding a ‘cool’ non Apple Mac keyboard is going to be tough!


I think time has about been called on my old Epson Stylus Photo 890. It has done a good job, but the years and dust have taken their toll.

My inclination is to get a combination printer and scanner that will allow us to print out good quality photographs.

Again if you have any experience or recommendations please let me know.

Now I am off to enjoy my day with Sands and Moreno – take the Fat Boy (not me!) for a ride, play with Moreno, long lunch – am really looking forward to it.

22 thoughts on “44

  1. darren rolfe

    I think it was on the MacBreak Weekly that they discuseed a little about the MacPro and the actual speed difference between 4 core and 8 core. I’m no chipset expert but I think the basic problem is that the 8 core is just plonked on top of the 4 core board. So there can be some bottles necks with the bus as it is essentially designed for a 4 core.

    Hope this makes sense. Check the episode out worth a listen.

    And choose wisely…

  2. Danny

    Happy Birthday Chris! – I have the exact same views on keyboards, third parties do such great jobs but they are inevitably windows orientated. Im not sure I could live with the logo but also without all the mac specific keys.

  3. Kadeeae

    Happy Birthday from one of your Vox lurkers 😉

  4. Mac Sokulski

    Happy Birthday to you! You live in a zoo, you smell like a monkey and you act like one too… Sorry, could not resist, my son actually sang this on my birthday 🙂
    Now to the serious stuff.
    Memory, I don’t know how all the memory configs are, but I had to get a 4GB kit for my Mac Pro. There was no 3GB kits of this kind. Visit http://www.kingston.com and do a search of their memory for Mac Pro.
    Video card, unless the Mac Pro has the radeon as default I would stick with the Nvidia card. When it comes to Lightroom/Photoshop and even games, it runs just fine. I see no reason to change it.
    Keyboard. matias.ca has some very good keyboards. I’m currently using the cheap usb white one, and I find it even better than the apple keyboard.
    Mouse. Definitely look at the Logitech MX Revolution. This is the best mouse I’ve ever used. The free flowing scroll wheel is absolutely brilliant, both for editing video and scrolling through tons of pictures in Lightroom. Fits very snugly in the hand and very comfortable to use, unless you are left handed.
    Printer. I would have recommended HP Photosmart 3200 series, which is the one I currently use. Unfortunately it is not available anymore. I must say that I’m very impressed with this all-in-one. It has a tray for 8.5×11, and a special tray for 4×6 photo paper. Individual inks (6), and a pretty good scanner. If I was to replace it, I would look for a printer that has first of all, individual ink tanks. In my opinion this functionality is a deal breaker for me.
    Well enjoy your day, hope to see some cool photos soon.
    Happy Birthday!

  5. Gary

    Happy birthday Chris! 🙂

    I’ve heard that the Logitech MX Revolution which Mac mentions is the bees’ knees, but haven’t tried it for myself. Mind you, I’ve heard comments over the last year or two (probably from VersionTracker) that the Logitech driver is … not very good.

  6. Gary

    Ah – there we are. This is the Logitech review that made an impression on me and stuck at the back of my mind…

    (There’s a keyboard suggestion too.)

  7. Chris Marshall Post author

    @All: Thanks!!!!!

    @ Darren; Love the priorities! I read something a week or so ago that said that the 3.0GHz really didn’t perform significantly better, and that the 2.66GHz was a better option. 8 core not an option unless Apple make all Mac Pro’s 8 core now Intel have dropped the prices eben further.

    @Danny: glad the cat is OK!!! I have tried contacting Logitech for a review item. First I logged onto the press room and said that I was in Spain but my preferred language was English – got an auto reply saying the guy was away until 17th September. Sent same request to the UK press office bounced back even though sent through their site). Emailed the US press office, including the above story – no reply so far after 2 days!

    Is a shame as I really like the look of the keyboard and figure that with a bit of creativity I could de Windows it 🙂

    @ Kadeeae: Thanks, good to see you on this site. I will be back on Vox at some stage (promise – again!)

    @ Mac: so nice of you 🙂 I was working on the assumption of a 1GB stick and a 2GB stick, but will that throw a spanner in the works with the 2 x 512 that Apple ship with?

    Interesting what you say about the video card – that has probably saved me a few $’s!

    The MX is certainly high on the options. I looked at that site, they look fine, but they are basically Mac keyboards – I want something with some extra functionality. I am pretty much resigned to the fact that I will have to go with a non-Mac one if I want that though 🙁

    BUT I had a total break from all technology today, including no pictures – just wanted to get away from it all and have a very simple day!

    @ John and Jennifer marshall: heh, proud of you and thanks for everything over the last 44 years!!

    @Gary: thanks. I am not sure I could ‘handle’ an ergonomic keyboard, in fact I don’t know anybody that uses one. Do you?

    @Paul: thanks, I have a few years on you 🙂

    Is looking good for the MX, and the diNevo is a very strong possibility at the moment.

  8. Mac Sokulski

    I believe the memory has to be in pairs. That’s why you are getting 2×512. So you should get 2x1gb or 2x2gb…
    To get almost full functionality of the diNovo Edge keyboard you can use a program called ControllerMate. It will remap pretty much any key and function of the keyboard.

  9. Chris Marshall Post author

    @Mac: I think I need my memory in a pair, or would that make me twice as daft?

    IF Logitech ever get back to me I may well take a look at that software.

  10. Gary

    @ Chris re memory pairing

    If your memory is not currently paired but should be, does that not make you a half-wit? 🙂

    @ Chris re ergonomic keyboard

    No, but I used to have the Apple adjustable keyboard. More pictures here. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if it wasn’t still in its box, under the eaves of my parents’ house…

  11. Chris Marshall Post author

    And yesterday you were all so nice to me!!!

    Well slight problem today involving Moreno, glass of water and keyboard – so am back on the old Wireless Apple which is terrible – doesn’t like this climate at all. My keyboard sort of works, only everything is upper case. Will see if it sorts itself out overnight.

    That adjustable one is truly horrible! I am getting the MX Revolution mouse, but not decided on the keyboard yet!

  12. Wayne LeFevre

    You already got my B-Day wishes, so…

    Keyboard. I still like my Logitech S530 cordless. Very nice, very Mac.
    With the Mac Pro, you will have to decide if you want wireless or not. Only Mac that’s not standard. If you ever wanted to go 802.11n or AppleTV I’d give it a go since it’s not too much more, otherwise, meh.

    Do you want to contact my contact at Logitech?

  13. Chris Marshall Post author

    @Wayne: The S530 is certainly an option – good call! And yes please re Logitech contacts, will take this up with you directly so IM or Skype later? I wouldn’t bothe with wireless on the Mac Pro. As you know I have the ethernet laid throughout the apartment and I can’t see me actually moving a Mac Pro around to use it 🙂 Even if I went Apple TV I would do that over the network, but I can’t see me going the Apple TV route.

    @John: thanks

  14. Chris Marshall Post author

    And the latest is ……….. the PR agency that the Logitech Spanish site directs you to no longer work with Logitech!!!!!!!!

  15. Glenn Wolsey

    I think the Apple keyboard is perfect for you now Chris, you mentioned you want the Apple logo, so there you have it – wired or wireless, ultra thin. I’m going to swap my diNovo Edge out for a wireless one in a few weeks 🙂

  16. Chris Marshall Post author

    @Glenn: certainly looks an option now I admit. Will be interested how you find it compared to the diNovo. In ‘theory’ Logitech are sending me one to use, but I think I will check out the new Apple ones pretty soon. Sands really wants a Spanish layout keyboard, and I recently ended up with a USB and wireless keyboard attached to the Mac mini which made me think that might not be a bad option longer term – have a wireless Spanish layout keyboard connected and sat around the study so I can swing it over and use it for the Spanish stuff.

  17. Chris Marshall Post author

    Sands has the new Apple keyboard for her iMac and although the Expose and Dashboard shortcuts don’t work with the older iMac’s it is very cool to look at the keys are certainly very impressive.

    The footprint seems to small/fragile for me and I think that the ‘extra’ keys are really very week. Not a huge hit in my eyes

    The deNovo Edge has just turned up and is charging right now!

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