Apple iMac(x86) first impressions - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 17 Old Feb 25th, 2006, 7:00 pm Thread Starter
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Apple iMac(x86) first impressions

First and foremost: This is NOT intended to create a another MAC vs. PC thread. We had plenty of them already. Everybody know anyhow which one is better, so there is no point in discussing the difference again. Now, having said this, here are my first impressions:

For the folks that don't like to read it all: Evrything just works, as usual with Apple, just faster.

The firm I work for, decided to install off site backup for all the data that are being used in the day to day business, and I as the Director of IT decided we are going to try the new Apple, especially thinking about how the off-site backup can be established and run. (That is another thread and we can talk about that)

So,,, our day to day volume is about 70GB, witch means with a 5 day retension and rollover a 500GB disk should do the trick. That settled the amount of disk needed and the rest was just specified by our Director of IT.

In the end we got:

iMac 20"
2GB Ram
500GB Disk
wireless(bluetooth) keyboard and mouse.

Unpacking the beast:
If you have already seenan imac, you know, in essence it's a 2" think LCD monitor, and everything is included. When turned it asked to turn on the mouse, paired the mouse, and then the same with the keyboard. So now I have a working keyboard and mouse. "Big deal" Some may say, but remember, this unit is a virgin. so no driver loading, no nothing. OS X boots just as usual, nothing to be seen that this is not a PPC. OK, next test: Get the Office CD, load Office. Since M$ felt there is no real need for a special X86 version of Office, this will run in Rosetta. I expected at least some kind of hint/warning/whatever that the software I am loading is not x86 code, but no, it loads the CD, installs Office, and everything just works.

Now, after having played with this unit now for 3 hours, I can say:

It really is distinctly faster. The usual .1 to .4 seconds of waiting when changing programs are just gone. And I compare it to a PowerMac also with 2GB of Ram, so that should be about the same.

Now another cool thing is the remote control. That way Lanette or I can control iTunes and the complete 80GB music library from across the room. Or use it as a DVD player with integrated 20" monitor.

Tomorrow I will play a bit with the windows integration, see how windows programs are going to run.

in short: I likes!

Andreas Pleschutznig
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post #2 of 17 Old Feb 26th, 2006, 2:25 am
 
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So your firm's off site backup consists of an iMac in your house? I popped into my local PC World but the only iMac they had was a G5. There also quite a comprehensive review here. M$ say that they'll "ship the next version of Office for Mac as a Universal application".
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post #3 of 17 Old Feb 26th, 2006, 9:21 am Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beemerlt
So your firm's off site backup consists of an iMac in your house?
Yes, anything wrong with that? This is Data supposed to only come into play if something BAD happened to the whole office. Like fire, another 9/11 or stuff like that.

Quote:
M$ say that they'll "ship the next version of Office for Mac as a Universal application".
Wonder what they are going to charge for that upgrade.

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post #4 of 17 Old Feb 26th, 2006, 11:01 am
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Andy,

Thanks for the quick impressions. I just ordered a pair of MacBook Pros (I HATE that name) for testing at my firm. Steve Jobs says we'll be deploying Intel Macs by the end of the year, so my team needs to get up to speed on them.

One question for you: what do you mean by "windows integration?" My understanding is there is no version of VPC that works on the Intel Macs yet. Are you loading wine or some other emulator?

Nathan
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post #5 of 17 Old Feb 26th, 2006, 11:07 am Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nath3an
One question for you: what do you mean by "windows integration?" My understanding is there is no version of VPC that works on the Intel Macs yet. Are you loading wine or some other emulator?
Nathan
I was meaning that I would be taking a real look at the currently available virtualization products. But so far I have unable to find something that is really usable.

I hope that the rumors I heard ae true that VMWare is actively developing a VMWare version for the Intel based Mac's.

THAT would then really a ones-takes-it-all machine, all major OS's on one monitor at the same time without having to resolve to extra CPU's and redirecting the output via VNC or X.

Bottom line: for the time being I have not found a viable virtualisation product. Guess I have to wait until VMWare brings their new product (IF they do)

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post #6 of 17 Old Feb 27th, 2006, 10:05 am
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post #7 of 17 Old Feb 27th, 2006, 11:06 am Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nath3an
I saw that the other day. The issue here is that they are not running Mac OS on the host, they installed Linux and then, of course the Linux version of VMware is gonna work.

I heard rumors that VMWare is working on a version of their workstation product for MAC OS natively. THAT would be the ticket, because then you can literally run all three major OS's on one machine and with acceptable speeds.

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post #8 of 17 Old Feb 27th, 2006, 1:18 pm
 
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Well I could think of several things wrong with the idea. Theft, fire, floods
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post #9 of 17 Old Feb 27th, 2006, 1:50 pm Thread Starter
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Well I could think of several things wrong with the idea. Theft, fire, floods
I still don't get what is wrong. Being a secondary backup, that ONLY comes into play if the main Office burns down or is otherwise SERIOUSLY damaged, even IF it get stolen, flooded or otherwise destroyed the worst that happens is that I have to install another one (a new better, faster one)

Now theft: THAT is quite easily addressed: In MAC OS X one has the ability to encrypt all the data that is being written to the disk with a 128bit encryption. Which means that your 'standard' thief will NOT be able to read anything that is on that system. The thiefs that would be able, most likely don't even need the system.

This encryption possibility built into the OS from the ground up makes it possible to install solutions like this one without having to worry about data thiefs. Even if someone IN MY HOME gains physical access to the system while I am logged in, they can't do jack schitt with the data, since it resides in a different account, with a different encryption schema/key. Again this is one of the main reasons why we/I chose a MAC as to compared to a different solution.

Let me hear other mistakes I made. I am always glad if that happens because that gives me a reference point if I have thought about something or not.

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post #10 of 17 Old Feb 27th, 2006, 2:00 pm
 
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Your call. It's not my data ( I hope).
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post #11 of 17 Old Feb 27th, 2006, 2:05 pm
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Backup...

I like that idea, Andy. Currently we (well I) take tapes home with me for a "big disaster" backup, and essentially do the same (encrypted, etc.).

I would LOVE to have something off site that didn't cost a bundle and didn't require me to remeber to change tapes, and placing something in my house was an option I had in mind.

What type of connectivity do you have between sites that can handle the load in a timely manner (I need to convince the boss that we need some T1's at my house )

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post #12 of 17 Old Feb 27th, 2006, 3:23 pm Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gino
I would LOVE to have something off site that didn't cost a bundle and didn't require me to remeber to change tapes, and placing something in my house was an option I had in mind.

What type of connectivity do you have between sites that can handle the load in a timely manner (I need to convince the boss that we need some T1's at my house )
Actually you are better off with cable (at least here in Houston) since they deliver anything between 3Mb and up to 8Mb was as high as I have seen it bursting. That way the connection costs are also relatively low. That also answers the question what connection we are using: Just a 'plain old' cable connection.

Then, in order to keep the amount of traffic managable (I wonder that nobody pointed that one out yet, 70GB CANNOT be transferred in a single night even on 10Mb) I set up a 'rsync' connection which only copies the data that has changed, yet keeps the data set as a whole, so preventing the dreaded incremental back up problems. At least in our case I can backup a days worth of data changes in 3-4 hours with the help of rsync and keep the data safe and sound in a ssh tunnel and compressed in transit. Basically from the time the data leaves the disk drives here in the office there is no time when it is visible anywhere in unencrypted form.

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post #13 of 17 Old Feb 28th, 2006, 6:17 pm
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Randy, I too bought an iMAC. Long time PC user but tired of the problems with windows and all of their inherent issues. Agreed, Apple just plain works from right out of the box!

The only problem is that HP and Apple did not coordinate on "old" Laser Jet printer drivers. I am having a hell of a time printing wireless to LaserJet 4. I think I have looked at every board and read every item on "how to set up Print" but can get it on it to work. I can print to it if connected via USB, but not wireless. It will print if I share with either PC or Apple.

Thisa issue is the only one I can find.

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post #14 of 17 Old Feb 28th, 2006, 8:15 pm
 
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Seeing as you have an unresolved printer problem, should you amend your statement to say Apple just plain works from right out of the box (most of the time)!
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post #15 of 17 Old Feb 28th, 2006, 9:42 pm
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I wouldn't allow data to be stored at somebody's house either. But, what would I know besides BSCI 7799, ISO 17799, ISACA (Cobit), ISSA, FERPA, HIPAA, etc.. etc..

Not my worry.

I'm interested in the virtualization. I'm looking at doing a couple hundred OS'es virtualized and would love to use apple just to have some Mach Kernel stuff running in my laboratory.

sam
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post #16 of 17 Old Mar 1st, 2006, 10:01 am Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by selil
I wouldn't allow data to be stored at somebody's house either. But, what would I know besides BSCI 7799, ISO 17799, ISACA (Cobit), ISSA, FERPA, HIPAA, etc.. etc..
Sam,

In my quest to make things "better" I'd be REALLY interested which regulation says that storing an encrypted desaster backup at someone's house is not OK or not good practice.

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post #17 of 17 Old Mar 1st, 2006, 12:58 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andy
Sam,

In my quest to make things "better" I'd be REALLY interested which regulation says that storing an encrypted desaster backup at someone's house is not OK or not good practice.

ISO 17799 says that disaster backups and other off site data should be stored in a secure, environmentally safe place, geographically dislocated from the site. The regulations and most insurance companies state that you should use best practices for example --> http://www.sans.org/rr/whitepapers/recovery/1274.php .

Storing backups at somebodys house though done is NOT best practices. Especially if the computer holding the LIVE backup is used by the individual at the home.

But if you don't believe me maybe Gartner Group will help you out with seeing some specific industry issues --->
http://www.gartner.com/DisplayDocument?doc_cd=128123


If you take credit cards though it can be regulated via the vendor contract. I don't know what business you are in so it is hard to target a specific regulation or law.

A resource for MANY of the regulations can be found here ---> http://www.drj.com/new2dr/rulesregulations.html


Encrypting is good!
http://www.snwonline.com/evaluate/sa...article_id=608

But, if the key is on the machine, the data gets mangled (over a network for instance), or something else happens getting it back will be expen$ive...

Perhaps you are going to take tapes home in your car?
http://www.computerworld.com/securit...108101,00.html


Then again YOU have to ballance risk, cost, and mitigation costs.

sam
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