For the second time, I chose an iMac as a computer at work. I like a lot its simplicity. Only one cable, few options, a big screen and that's all. The other manufacturer where it is easy to order has a complex offer. Is the computer for playing ? for the office ? at home or in a company ? A public one, a private one ?

I nervously installed Debian as soon as the machine arrived. What if it did not work, would I have to use OS X for the next three or four years ? Luckily, everything went well, and the procedure is much simpler than it looks: install rEFIt, shrink the system partition with diskutil, add two partitions for Debian and its virtual memory with Disk Utility, and restart on the Squeeze installation CD-ROM, be guided by the installer, make sure to install the GRUB on the Debian partition, not on the master boot record. Just in case I would suddenly need it, I also installed the proprietary ATI drivers, that provide graphical acceleration.

I then installed Grid Engine, to take the best out of the hyper-threaded four cores of the processor. The README.Debian file is very clear and allows a simple configuration in a couple of minutes. Being a beginner, I still had to try two times, because at the beginning I was using localhost instead of a more proper name for the machine. It also took me some time to find two key parameters: slots for executing multiple jobs simultaneoutly, and priority to avoid the calculations freeze my desktop, because it is still just a desktop computer.

I do not know if under OS X recent iMacs heat that much, but in these times of heater restrictions, I can conveniently heat my hands on the aluminum case of the machine. However, I am a bit worried for this summer, when restrictions will be on air conditioning.