More blunt thoughts on the x86 Macintosh

I’ve been watching reaction to the Apple announcement. On the one side, there are a lot of long-time Mac fans who have been expressing a kind of unfocused pessimism. Something about the move makes them really unhappy at a subconscious level, but they seem unable to express exactly what. Then on the other hand, there are lots of people saying “Hey, it’s just a computer, it’ll still run OS X and be pretty and be a Mac even if it has a Pentium 4 inside.

Nikon, SCSI, Firewire, VueScan, Mac OS X

Since I know people find my web pages while searching for information about Nikon scanners and Mac OS X, I’d like to offer the following endorsement: The Ratoc FR1SX Ultra-SCSI to Firewire adaptor works perfectly with Mac OS X 10.3, and doesn’t need any drivers. Plug the unit in to the back of your SCSI-based Nikon film scanner, and you suddenly have a Firewire-based Nikon film scanner. This can then be used with Ed Hamrick’s excellent VueScan software to fulfil all your scanning needs.

Learning experience

Yesterday was a day of unwanted learning experiences. A less charitable observer would have termed them ‘massive fuck-ups’, but I think I learned plenty. In particular, I learned that one of our Netfinity 7000 machines has the hot-swap SCSI arrays wired backwards compared to all the others. This, in turn, enabled me to learn all about recovery procedures for disk arrays. I am very happy that I had chosen to set up the machine in question as a RAID-5 array.

Don’t complain about Windows

Someone on a mailing list was whining about how his totally legit copy of Windows XP had taken offense at some changes he made to his system, and he’d had to phone up Microsoft and grovel for a new activation code to enter before he could boot his PC and get his data back. Well, I’m kinda unsympathetic towards people who choose to support Microsoft by buying their software but then whine about how awful it is.

Burning inside: CD-R and archiving data

Some people may wonder why my web site was left unchanged for over a year. Well, I’m engaged in a lengthy project to digitize my entire photo collection, using a Nikon film scanner to produce 3000×2000 scans direct from the negatives. Some of the images are decades old, and often the film has deteriorated and needs careful restoration. Color film in the 70s really wasn’t very stable, and these negatives haven’t been particularly well cared for either.