Eddie Hedges

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Macs are cooler than you think

Set the story

Ok, so first a little background on when I got my Mac. When I graduated in May 2008 my mom and stepdad took me to an Apple Store and I thought it was the coolest place ever. I walked out with a brand new Macbook Pro with 4GB of RAM and 250GB of HD space and a sweet bookbag especially made for carrying laptops. I was on top of the world, but looking back on myself and how I used my Mac back then, I'm slightly embarrased.

I had become the typical Mac user and loved every minute (Oh God why?). The applications I used consisted of Safari, iTunes, Microsoft Office 2008, Mail, and a little bit of iMovie. What I am trying to get at is that I could have done all the things I was doing on a Microsoft product for a much cheaper price. That didn't matter cause I had a Mac! Don't worry this post isn't about bashing on Macs because I love them or bashing on people that own Macs, well not all of them :).

Although I started out a typical scrub Mac user I learned a more about the awesome of Macs during my summers as a technology assistant at Fredonia Highschool and ever since then I have continued to learn and don't plan on stopping.


The best application that I learned about was Terminal (if you have a Mac find using Spotlight ( Space + Command ) or in /Applications/Utilities/ ( Shift + Command + U )). I first learned the simple say command. Here are some examples you should try once Terminal is open.


say Hello, World!

say I did not know Macs were so awesome.

say Eddie Hedges is a cool dude.

You can do this with any string of letters and or numbers. There is also a list of different voices you can make it say. The voices can be found in System Prefrecences under System then Speech. Under the Text to Speech tab there is a System Voice drop down list which contains the voices. Here are a few examples of how to change the default voice.


say -v Good This is the good news voice!

say -v Agnes I am Agnes.

say -v Cellos The weather could definitely be cooler yeah

While these are very simple commands there are some more complex ones that do things like allow you to play a text based game and even watch Star Wars IV right from Terminal!

The following command will start up a text based game so read and try typing stuff in there. Have fun! You can quit the game with ( control + C ).

Play a text based game

emacs -batch -l dunnet

The following command will start up Star Wars Episode IV in ASCII.

Watch Star Wars Episode IV

telnet towel.blinkenlights.nl

I realize that all of these things aren't very productive but I use terminal daily for my programming needs. I use it to SSH, scripts, starting all kinds of services, making files and folders, opening files in Sublime Text 2 and git with GitHub. It helps me be productive and makes me feel like a leet haxor. Okay so now to the point of the post.

What it all comes down to...

College and high school students are wanting a Mac because it is cool and it almost hurts to watch people pay over two times as much money for a computer that they don't know how to use to its full potential, when they could just buy a cheaper one that also has an internet browser and Microsoft Office built in! I'm a supporter of Apple products but I don't think that purchasing a Mac because it is "cool" is a smart idea. That is the only reason I wanted a Mac, but I got lucky because I am no longer "wasting" the power of my Mac and the money that was spent on it has definitely paid for itself.

The gist of it all is don't buy a product that you won't get your moneys worth out of because not everyone gets lucky like me.