I continue to stress out over the move. I have two painters coming over today for quotes on patch/paint on the old place to get it ready to sell. I have no news and no commitment on when we will get keys for the new place, so I’m now putting together the contingency plan so that when on Friday they tell us, “oh, maybe next Friday, or the one after that” I can scramble and try to reschedule the dozen things that will happen in the next few days.
I bought a KVM yesterday, a DVI one and the adapter I need to hook it up to the new work laptop. I’m currently dragging both computers and my four-million-pound 20″ LCD monitor to the kitchen table and working there. I’ve started using the LCD in portrait mode, because it rotates 90 degrees, and I find it pretty helpful while writing and editing. I can open two full-page views, one on top of the other, or one really long page, and avoid a lot of scrolling. I’d like to do this from now on, although my monitor stand is slightly shaky like this. I’ll be glad to have the KVM – I currently keep the mac running, mostly to run iTunes all day and to keep my mail open, and I have it sort of behind my other computer, so I have to look around to see it. I work the music with the remote, and that’s fine, but when I do look at the mail, I have the bad confusing habit of trying to move the pointer with the wrong mouse until I realize what the hell I’m doing. I’ve thought about one of those systems where you can hang multiple displays on one set of input, and can drag windows from the Mac to the PC or whatever, but I’m sure they all involve some form of VNC that will bog down machines or require jumping through network hoops that I can’t deal with right now.
I also found a NeXT VMware image at http://osvirtual.net/en/nextstep-3-3-with-drivers-vmware/ and fired it up yesterday in Fusion. I got it to work with no real problem, except I’d forgotten about a lot of the weird quirks about the NeXT interface. And I think a lot of the allure of it back in 1991 was probably that it was a generation ahead of everything else out there, and it ran on the cool black hardware. I like the idea of a NeXT cube, but I think clunking along on a 25 MHz 68030 is probably not ideal. Back when a Mac IIfx was a speed demon and cost you $9000, the NeXT was a steal.
I just went off on a browsing tangent, reading about the IIfx. It’s weird, it was the fastest Mac until the Quadra AV came out in 1993. And in 1995, I had the Centris version of the AV at work (the Centris 660AV) and I had the same machine when I went to WRQ in 1996. And in both cases, they were already doorstops at the time. Like I remember when MP3s were first starting to become popular, and I downloaded some MP3 ripping software and popped a CD in the player (actually into the required caddy, and that into the player), and it took roughly two days of running day and night to rip the 9 tracks. There are times I romanticize old hardware, but then I remember how clunky the stuff was back in the day, and I’m not as fond of filling up my storage space with it.