OS X Leopard

I have 4 computers (1 laptop and 3 desktops) packed away - I now do everything on one fully loaded MacBook: for medical reasons(*), I either need to have my legs elevated or be walking - sitting at a desk for more than a few minutes is not a good idea. Fortunately, I can still hike for up to 3 or 4 hours at a time :-) Anyway, having everything in one laptop works best for me.

Anyway, since the work and research part of my life is bound up with one nicely configured laptop, I was hesitant to change anything, but after burning 4 backup DVD-Rs and cloning my laptop's disk drive to an external disk, I did a fresh install last night and restored my user files from the cloned disk.

It took a few hours to get all the tools working that I use (and I am probably still not there yet), but the time was well spent. I think the Time Machine idea is awesome - you really need to try it to appreciate it. I plan on alternating between two external disks, keeping one at a friends house for off site backup.

I am still deciding if the Finder changes are all that great. The icons don't seem as distinctive as the old ones. I do like the document automatic preview options.

The Java JVM support (version 5) performs well, and the NetBeans IDE (used only for Ruby and Ruby Rails development) seems more responsive. Ruby is installed as a shared library framework so if you should run many simultaneous Ruby processes, some real memory would be saved (like Apple does for multiple JVMs running). I was going to do my own Ruby install and decided against it.

Leopard seems very much faster than Tiger but that may be partially because I wiped the disk and did a clean install (the ultimate disk defragmentaton :-)


(*) A bit of advice: last year I was working really long hours sitting at my desk without getting up often enough - that lead to deep vein thrombosis and 2 pulmonary embolisms. Set a timer to remind yourself to get up every 30 minutes or so!


  1. Hi Mark,

    A friend of mine pointed me to this small cool app: http://www.workrave.org/welcome/

    It is not still available for OS X, but it is great for recovery and prevention of RSI.

  2. Hello Behrang,

    That timer program looks good. I use the 3-2-1 Widget for OS X. I like to let people know just how important it is to interrupt the 'flow' and get up and walk around. Especially for computer programmers: it is too easy to get into coding and not think of taking a minute or two break to move around.

    Best regards,

  3. The 3-2-1 widget is very neat.

    What I like about WorkRave is that every 5 minutes or so, it disables the mouse and the keyboard and forces the user to take it easy! :))

    Also every hour or so it shows some animated pictures like how to stretch the fingers, the body, etc.

    Some time ago I had some terrible backache while sleeping more than a few hours in my bed. At first I thought my bed is the problem. But I found out that the real problem is me sitting behind my desktop in an unergonomic style for hours and hours.

    It is great to let people know how important this small and tiny breaks are.

    All the best,

  4. I work from home these days, and so I'm very aware that I don't exercise enough. =) I have the Mac set to announce the hour, and I used to get up and do stretches, jumping jacks, &c. when it tolled. Unfortunately, lately I just ignore it... =/


  5. For the Mac, check out AntiRSI:


    Great free program you can customize to suit your needs.

  6. Hello Jellybean,

    AntiRSI looks good. However, for me, it is important to simply get up and walk around for a minute or two so the simpler 1-2-3 timer set to 20 minute intervals works great.

    I find that getting up and walking around gives me some time for thinking about what I am working on. I have always thought that one of the best toolsets for a computer scientist is a pad of writing paper and a good pen :-) It is good to get away from the keyboard.


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