It’s a Unix System. I know this.

So, where to begin?

We’re in the process of moving and going from a dual income family to a single income family.  Of course, this meant that we needed a new TV.

Even I will admit that the logic there is questionable, but since we had a pretty sizable chunk of savings put aside and had spent much less than I’d expected during the house hunting, a new TV materialized.

The new TV, by the way, is much lighter and will be far easier to move to our new home.  Also, because it has five HDMI inputs, I should be able to drastically reduce the rat’s nest of cabling behind the entertainment center.

On the other hand, when we hooked up our Mac Mini to the thing via a DVI –> HDMI adapter cable, we wound up with two choices for screen display:

Choice 1: a three inch black border on all sides of the Mac screen.

Choice 2: overscan chopping off the menu bar and dock.

Also, the Mini, while a fine machine in general, is one of the first Intel minis, so it has the lousy bluetooth and wireless modules, which made it frustrating at times to use with the Apple-branded KB and mouse we picked up when our Kensington wireless desktop died, AND it was pretty bad as far as contributing to the cable mess.

The solution, arrived at after some hours of thought, was to buckle down and throw money at Chairman Steve’s Hobby Project, which my wife graciously consented to after I picked one off the shelf at the nearby Apple store and walked around the store with it for a half hour whining.

I believe her words were along the lines of “Look, just buy the thing and stop trying to convince me you have rational justification for it”, but I’m not quoting her exactly.

So now we have a 40GB AppleTV hooked up to the TV, our iTunes content looks dreadfully nice, there are fewer cables AND I’m learning far more than any sane human would ever want to know about converting mkv files to something the AppleTV can play.

And we had a Mac Mini that suddenly needed a role to play, because hardware needs purpose.


For the record: Thunderbird and Firefox are dead simple to move over from Windows to Mac.  I’m very glad that I wasn’t tied to, say, Outlook.

I’ve had more hassles with the iTunes library, because I was trying to merge it with the library that existed on the Mac already and this meant putting it in /Users/Shared, and I have had more godawful permissions issues in the last two days than I ever hope to see again, but right now it looks like all my iTunes – US Store AND Japanese Store – and non-iTunes content are happily on the Mac and therefore on the AppleTV.

I am, however, torn between the simple joy that comes from being able to pop open a terminal session and chmod the frak out of folders until they behave and the deep conviction that NEEDING to drop into terminal and chmod the frak out of things is Just Plain Wrong.

Now, I still do have an awfully nice gaming PC at my disposal, and my plan is to use it to watch Blu-Ray movies and play the hell out of the wide assortment of games available for the platform, with the Mac being used more for schoolwork and kept largely game-free.  The disadvantage here is that if I’m booted into Windows, I’m not going to be able to pretend that I’m doing homework when I’m really slacking.

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