People really only connect Apple with iPods, iMacs and other “cute” computers like the Mini. But in reality, Apple Computer Corporation offers much more than beautiful design and innovative features.

Apple started putting out computers around the same time as Microsoft, but never had the level of public acceptance, industry acknowledgement and the marketing machine that Microsoft built virtually overnight.

oldmac.jpgEarlier versions of Mac OS where usable, but did not have the overall diversity of software available to it that MS Windows had. Apples were most used by early adopters, which were mostly collegiate types, professors, scientists, hackers and so on. Lots of schools from elementary and intermediate schools all had macs. I remember using them alot. They were cool, but it was hard to just turn it on and figure out how to do something without being trained. I remember PCs being much simpler to use.

Mac went through a relatively stagnant stage in the late 80’s and early nineties. I almost forgot they existed, but then the iMac craze started gearing up. But unfortunately, even though it was a “pretty” and functional machine, it was still running Mac OS9, which I considered “legacy”. I heard rumbles that a new Mac OS was coming…

oldImac2.jpgIn 2001 Mac OSX was launched. It was a paradigm shift for Apple. It totally, 1000%, completely revolutionized the everyday usability of Mac. Mac OS X was the thing that triggered my interest again and caused me to buy a new Mac. The original iMacs were “cool” and colorful and really appealed to the younger generation X & Y’ers.

I bought a well equipped Apple Mac G4 500 Mac Cube with Mac OS X 10.0 (Now up to 10.4.8 with 10.5 coming next spring). It had 512mb RAM and an 80gb HDD. It was quite a machine. I opted for the nVidia card rather than the ATI. It was probably the best, but most expensive computer I ever bought.

CubePlus2.jpgOverall, software was slow to come that natively supported OSX. Any software that you had leftover from OS9 could run in a OS9 virtual environment that would run within OSX. It worked ok, but was a bit annoying and not nearly as beautiful as OSX’s Aqua environment.

Eventually, the cube, although quite a unique piece of hardware, had it’s flaws. The nVidia card’s fan stopped spinning, but luckily I noticed, but it got way too hot to use. I tried various methods of cooling without making too much an impact on the coolness factor.

Stupid me, I didn’t buy a warranty and didn’t want to be without it and shell out $$ to get it fixed. Eventually the card burned out, I picked up a great replacement on Ebay, but Macs were advancing quickly and the little 500mhz G4 was getting sluggish with all that software. So I shelved it after about a year or so and it started collecting dust. Eventually I sold it off to my brother for a few hundred bucks. (I paid $3400 for the cube, upgrades, 15″ LCD flatscreen, etc.)

overview-hero2.jpgI was Macless for a few years until recently when a buddy of mine was preparing to move out of state and was trying to liquidate his machines. He just happened to have a nice, almost new 1.8ghz G5 tower with 1.5gb RAM, >300gb HDD, nVidia 5200 Ultra, and a Superdrive. Even better though, I got it for only $500 w/ a 19″ Samsung LCD, Apple Keyboard & Mouse with all original packaging.

At the time, I was pretty into PCs and didn’t have time to screw with the Mac. I needed a good Linux machine though, so I downloaded Redhat Fedora Core 5 and installed it. It hosted not only this blog, but a few other of my friends and family, such as Mattbob, eDoug, and Mircat.

Eventually though I wanted to try out the Mac, so I moved the sites off the box, busted out the original Mac OS X CDs and reinstalled 10.4 and updated it to 10.4.8.

To make a long story short, I am now using the Mac again as my primary workstation in my home office. I hooked up my HP Scanner I use for some side work I do, iPhoto with my Sony A100k 10.8 megapixel digital SLR, still have MS Office 2004 for Mac, and other pieces of software I had left over from the original cube or that came with the new G5, which was substantial. My next purchase will probably be a nice, loaded Mac Mini Dual Core.

Mac also has an excellent 1U server called the xServe, which currently sports quad Xeon (2 Dual Core chips)…


“The Xserve packs phenomenal power and industry-leading capabilities into a high-density, 1U rackmount server that fits easily into any network environment. And this award-winning UNIX-based server just got a 5x (1) performance boost over the Xserve G5, thanks to quad-core 64-bit Intel Xeon processing. Additional features include up to 2.25TB storage, two eight-lane PCI Express slots, dual onboard Gigabit Ethernet, and a combo drive. With all this, the Xserve provides the stability you need and the performance you want, starting at just $2999.”

The servers, in conjunction with the xServe RAID, make an excellent solution for network services.


“Meet the elegantly engineered companion to Apple’s highly regarded Xserve server hardware. This cutting-edge, self-contained storage solution holds up to 14 hot-swappable Apple Drive Modules — a phenomenal 7TB of data — in a rack-optimized storage enclosure.”

Then you can buy a bunch of them and combine them with xSan Software.

“Expand your network horizons with Xsan, an enterprise-class storage area network (SAN) solution that’s surprisingly affordable. Xsan lets multiple computers concurrently access terabytes — even petabytes — of storage on Xserve RAID over high-speed Fibre Channel. Order Xsan today for $999 per node.”

The skies the limit with Apple Mac Servers and peripherals.

To end it up, here is my “Dream Server” setup.

10 of these servers, each with a 14tb xServe RAID…

* Two 3.0GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon (40 cores total)
* 32GB RAM (8x4GB) (320gb RAM total)
* 750GB Serial ATA ADM @ 7200-rpm (22.5tb of internal storage)
* 750GB Serial ATA ADM @ 7200-rpm
* 750GB Serial ATA ADM @ 7200-rpm
* 8x SuperDrive DL DVD (Not really needed, but cool)
* ATI Radeon X1300 (For my Norad style display setup)
* Dual channel 2Gb Fibre Channel (to interconnect everything)
* Dual channel gigabit NIC (For fast network access)
* Dual 650W Power Supply (Redundancy)
* Rack Mounting Kit – Square Hole Rack
* Xserve RAID (14x500GB) (Additional 70tb of storage)
* Mac OS X Server Maintenance 36 Mths Unl. Client
* Apple Remote Desktop 3 (Unlimited Managed Systems)


It’s only around $454,179.00, but shipping is FREE!! Yay!