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Monday, August 28, 2006

My impressions so far...

After using my new 20" Dual Core iMac for a few weeks now, I can safely say that I made a good purchase. Of course, as with any new system, I've encoutered some strange behaviour, but most of that has been dealt with. Last week, I removed the 512 MB of RAM installed in my system and replaced it with a Kingston KTA-MB667/1G stick of RAM; 1GB chip, with the option to install a second one later on. Although I don't have numbers to verify my claims, the system performs better as a whole; all applications launch faster, all Finder operations seem snappier than before. All in all, a wise choice to upgrade. The surprising part was that I got this memory upgrade from CompuSmart, of all places; they have been maintaining a small Apple section, and I will continue to go there because of this...

The upgrade is where one strange thing happened. The day before I upgraded my RAM, I found that my Airport hardware just seemed to vanish from the system. No amount of coaxing would get the hardware detected. I rebooted twice, to no avail. The following day, after installing the new RAM, I relaunched the system, and lo and behold, the Airport was back. I have no explanation, but I am happy that it is back.

I have also added an APC ES 650 UPS to my setup:

The easy to install software allows me to monitor the status of the UPS, as well as provide some parameters for safe shutdown of my system in case of a power failure. As the ES 650 provides 8 outlets (4 surge protected and 4 surge protected and UPS protected), I decided to connect my DSL modem, wireless router and iMac to the UPS side of things. Might as well protect my entire setup.

On the software side of things, I have installed MySQL, made some modifications to the PHP config file and installed Moodle, the open source LMS that I had experimented with in the past. The platform has truly matured and it is a really great application to play around with, especially in my professional field. My preliminary examination of the platform has yielded some great ideas for the future. I also took the time to install a new Preference Pane, that allows me to easily launch and shutdown the MySQL server. On another topic, I replaced the official BitTorrent client for Transmission, a freeware BitTorrent client, and let me say that Transmission has so far blown the pants right off the official client. I highly recommend this software, if only for its automatic management of ratios and seeding.

More news later...

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