Late to the Party...

by Brett McLaughlin

Well, I finally gave in to the hysteria. I'm a Java editor at O'Reilly, but have been foraging more and more into OS X land, for a couple of reasons.

First, I'm a bluegrass player (banjo, guitar, mandolin, etc.), and always playing with recording stuff. That got me into Macs, as all the good audio recording software (ProTools and MOTU [Mark of the Unicorn]) runs better on Macs. Although none of these guys are OS X-compatible yet, they forced a nice G4 desktop to enter into my life.

Lately, though, I've been more and more intrigued by OS X and it's ability to solve so many of Windows' inconsistencies and annoyances. I'm also beginning to really dig into Java and OS X, both as an editor, writer, and programmer. In fact, I'm going to try and write Volume II of my Enterprise Java series entirely on an OS X machine, code samples and all.

So with all that history, I convinced myself to get a TiBook instead of a PC laptop, and it arrived today... and man, I'm hooked.

Look, I have a Mac desktop, so there's nothing per-say different about the TiBook in terms of operation or OS or anything like that... but the thing is just so ... well ... sexy! Sleek, silver, and my wife is still oohing and aahing over it (and she thinks computers are good for two things: solitaire and coasters). Anything that an 8-month, 3-week pregnant woman coos over at this point that doesn't wear diapers is a major deal, you know...

So as I 'blog this I'm throwing on the developer tools, and getting ready to check the sources for one of my books, the upcoming NetBeans: The Definitive Guide out, and I'm just struck by how Apple has finally done what Windows, Unix, Solaris, Linux, and all the others have been trying to do for so long: make you look cool to be a developer, instead of like a geek.

Instead of looking like some nerd that should have on horn-rimmed glasses, I can code on a machine that would fit in more at an IKEA magazine booth than an Internet cafe. And with 512 MB of RAM, I can edit Photoshop images that are 50 MB+ without having to kill my Java processing (an XSL transformation running under Ant) in the background; my Windows desktop (also with 512 MB) chokes on the exact same task. So now I've got the sleek, sexy exterior with the under-the-hood power I want.

You know what? I realize that I'm late to the party, and that I'm saying the same things that you probably have been hearing for months; but who cares? It's new to me ;-) And of course, that means that now there's a full-time Java editor at O'Reilly floating around looking for more Mac books, in addition to the upcoming (you heard it here) Java on OS X that I'm already bringing along. So sell the cars, kids, and get yourself a TiBook. Best buy of the year, bar none!


2002-05-29 12:48:38
Mine is still in the mail.
I am enivous. Mine is still in production & I won't get it for another two weeks.

It's a very sad state of affiars, indeed.

2002-05-31 11:05:41
Welcome aboard
The more the merrier!

I must say, I'm taking a Java programming class next quarter and I'm looking forward to bringing my TiBook into class.

OS X really is OS Nirvana. Jaguar's speed optimizations have got me drooling and the Developer Tools have piqued my curiosity enough to learn programming.

2002-06-01 00:27:03
O'Reilly Java Book?
As you are a Java book author and you started to like Macs - when can we expect your first Mac OS X Java book? :-)

There are some good Objective-C Cocoa books, but I don't want to learn a new language - so I stick with Java anyway.

And I'm interested in programming Macs.

2002-06-03 10:23:26
Java on OS X
I have some suggestions for such a book. Please write about using Java on OS X taking advantage of OS X capabilities. Yes, Java applets should be portable. That's cool. But I also want to be able to write a full-fledged app that can use Apple Technology if it is available, like the Cocoa bridge mechanism, AppleEvents, and QuickTime. Apple recently released a tech note about how an applet can tell it is running on OS X and some best practices advice. Most likely, my apps will only ever be run on OS X, not in any cross-platform way. Why write them in Java and not Cocoa? Good question. Java's a great language with a lot of libraries. That might be enough. Thanks.
2002-06-04 18:21:36
O'Reilly Java Book?
Expect it early next year. It's in the works now, and it should be pretty cool ;-) Expect more in that space to come, as there is a lot out there!