imacThere’s never been a better time to get a new Mac. Since last June, the whole line-up of consumer machines has been completely revamped. Choices include the cost-efficient MacBook or a super-duper quad-core iMac. I am particularly impressed with the pixel real estate made available on the new 27-inch iMac. With a finer resolution than previous pricey monitors, this new all-in-one desktop counts as many pixels in width as the 30-inch Cinema Display and only 160 less pixels in height than that flagship monitor that is still listed at $1,800 by itself.
You may have read about the merits of working with two monitors. My three-year old 20-inch iMac has the same resolution as the current 22-inch Samsung, which you may find at a bargain—with bigger pixels. Also, with one large screen instead of two small neck-twisting ones and an all-in-one computer, you will have fewer cables.
I had to visit the Apple Stores in New York during the ATA Conference and play with the new machines. I was amazed how everything, although appearing a little smaller, looked so perfectly legible and sharp. Regular web pages occupied a slice of the screen displaying an unusually long ribbon of information. Imagine working on two documents at the same time, keeping a dictionary or two and email open on the sides while having the main project front and center.
If productivity on the Mac made a great leap in affordability with the 27-inch iMac, the news is not that good on the translation tools front. As noted from the vendor forum organized by the ATA, only Wordfast claimed to have a native Mac app—which is even not technically native since it works on Java and is still seriously flawed. Thankfully, for those who need to run a translation environment tool in Windows, there are now 4GB of standard RAM on the latest Macs to make them run smoothly in a virtual machine. For those who don’t want to deal with Windows at all, OmegaT is the only ray of sunshine. Version 2.0 is out of Beta and works quite well. Still, it is another Java-based program with some quirks. For example, in order to run large dictionaries, you have to go to Java Preferences in the Utilities folder of your Applications folder and manually set memory requirements higher. Regrettably, there are also a few missing features: identical segments in the source language have to be identical in the target language, and there is no way to split or merge segments. But the silver lining is: the application is lightweight, TMX-based, and just plain works. And did I say it is free?
Come to our next meeting on December 12 to discuss the latest news and win raffle prizes, including Mac OS X Snow Leopard. More details at YA