RDC and Free PCs
Then comes the painful part. IE PC. (Preaching to the choir, I know.) Over the past year and a half I’ve fallen victim to a number of IE PC’s illogical shortcomings. I’ve learned to filter or negotiate CSS, to make sure an element
hasLayout with the trusty old
height: 1%; Holly Hack, to set floated elements to
display: inline; preventing doubled margins (where would we be without Position is Everything?).
So I’ve got a pretty solid handle on hacking IE PC into submission. Being on a Mac the lingering tedium now is dealing with Virtual PC which enables me to test on multiple versions of IE, Opera and Firefox (and if I’m feeling saucy, early versions of Netscape). That is until the other day at work when I was finally forced to install Microsoft’s Remote Desktop Connection Client so I could use Groove to collaborate with coworkers. Remote Desktop Connection is pretty much Virtual PC—minus the Virtual. It uses a networked PC and doesn’t require the processing overhead on your Mac. Brilliant.
That same day, Keith posted about the free Mac mini he scored and mentioned something about a similar offer for a free desktop PC. Having just experienced the ease of testing on an actual PC (and not a sluggish, emulated one) from my Mac I decided to sign up and give it a shot. I had been meaning to try out one of those NetFlix-type rental services anyway so I signed up for the Blockbuster trial. There are a couple of different PCs to choose from, none of which come with a monitor—which is not a problem since I plan on connecting with RDC anyway. In fact, I’ll probably throw the beige box in a closet and be done with it.
This is an ideal arrangement and offer for the independent Mac freelancer who can’t justify the cost of a PC or Virtual PC and doesn’t want to wait for the recently announced MacIntel.
Next thing you know I’ll be pimping free iPod shuffles and pining for Apple schwag seen on Mike Industries.