I’m a … a … a Mac

by admin on December 28, 2009

As I reported in my last post, I made the big move from the PC world to the Apple world this holiday season. I took the iMac out of its box on the day before Christmas. For my wife Kay, who has campaigned tirelessly for years to bring me over to the “light side,” it is a great victory. I’m still getting used to the new computer, of course, but I am sure that I will come to appreciate its advantages.

So, here is a picture of me and the new baby, which is of course open to my favorite website.

One thing that I do like about the iMac is the size of the monitor. My desk has a little shelf in the center that is intended for a computer monitor, but I was worried that the iMac’s 21.5-inch screen was not going to fit. The desk was made in an era when such large screens didn’t even exist, except maybe as an ultra-expensive luxury for graphics junkies. Now, however, 21.5 inches is the smallest iMac you can get! I was getting ready to cuss out Steven Jobs — but as you can see, the 21.5-inch screen turned out to be a perfect fit. It stretches exactly from the shelf on the left to the shelf on the right without blocking anything.

Just for your amusement, here is a picture of me using my old Windows computer for the last time. I had already set up the iMac on my desk and then discovered that there were still some files on the old computer that I hadn’t transferred over. So I set up the PC in the only available place in the house …

No editorial comment was intended here, I swear.

As for the chess-on-a-Mac question, I decided to pony up the $60 for a copy of Shredder 12 for Mac. Fritz and Rybka seem not to be available for Macs, and I know that Shredder is at least in the same league with them strength-wise. Does anyone have any knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of Shredder as an analysis engine? With Fritz, I always felt that I understood exactly what I was getting, when to pay attention to the computer and when to question it. Shredder will have to earn my trust.

I hope all of you have had a great Christmas, or whichever holiday you celebrate! I’ll get back to some more traditional chess-related topics next time.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Ashish December 28, 2009 at 3:27 pm

Congrats on joining the Mac family! I can’t comment on the quality of Shredder’s analysis, but its UI doesn’t hold a candle to the Chessbase family of products. What I’d recommend to any serious Mac-using chessplayer is to choose among the several options for running Windows on a Mac, e.g. Bootcamp, Parallels, Fusion, … and then run Fritz/Rybka under Windows.

Unfortunately the Chessbase products do not seem to run under WINE.


G. Walters December 28, 2009 at 4:40 pm

I’m a bit jealous. Every time I see the elegant Apple look, I’m tempted. I would definitely run Window on Mac. I don’t think I could do without Rybka and I certainly couldn’t do without ChessBase. I have no idea what the loss of power is in running the two operating systems simultaneously, presuming that’s required. Having said all that, Deep Shredder 12 (Windows) is a superb program, and I think it’s possible that it’s superior in endgames. You’ll be giving up 100-200 Elos on the evaluation function, though.


admin December 29, 2009 at 5:47 pm

Thanks for your comments. I decided that using Windows and Boot Camp was just inelegant, and maybe expensive too (if I have to buy a whole new copy of Windows). If chess was the only thing I was going to use Windows for, it didn’t seem to be worth the expense.

Hopefully the Elo points won’t matter too much. (I’m not planning to play Magnus Carlsen any time soon!) The main thing I need the analysis engine for is to spot things I’ve missed in my games and in ChessLectures, and a 2900-strength assistant will be, for all practical purposes, just as good as a 3000-strength assistant (I think).

Plus, I still have ChessBase on my Windows netbook.


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