As scheduled, the Macbook I ordered last week showed up today, I’ve officially bought my way into the cool club. With a bit of glee, I opened the box at work and plugged in the shiny white plastic covered notebook that so many swore would make me smile and love mac. After a few minutes, the laptop was configured and on the Wi-Fi at work and the mass downloads started for all the updates. Good thing I could let this run while I was doing other work, there was nearly a gig of data that had to come down.
With all the updates done and my lunch coming up soon, I looked forward to configuring the system and installing software. First thing I did was install Firefox, this proved to be a bit more of a hassle than I was anticipating. One of my first computers was a Mac Classic II back around 1990, about 5 years ago I had a G3 iBook for a while but got rid of it and I use Macs on occasion at work, but I’m not nearly as proficient in using software as I am with Windows. So I go on to download the .dmg file onto my desktop and double click it. I’m shown a funny screen that is the familiar Firefox icon and the Applications folder, a plus symbol between them. I click on the Firefox logo and it launches Firefox, but it’s still not installed. Not after some poking around did I come to figure out that I needed to now drag the mounted image into the Application folder in Finder. Great, first thing I do on a Mac and I feel like an idiot, and I’m a network admin. Now that I feel dumb, I move onto some other quirky things about the Mac that are, well they are quirky for a Windows users.
Now I’m not saying one is better than the other, but there are some really funky things to get used to. For me, I’m very dependent on the CTRL key in Windows for several things, the Command key in Mac does nearly the same things but is in a different physical location on the keyboard. While my touch typing hands are very used to striking the CTRL key with my left pinky, I now must figure out how to efficiently strike the Command key with my left hand, curling my thumb in seems to give me the best results thus far.
There is a lot of shit installed, nearly 18 gigs of data were installed upon first boot. Only two pieces of trial software, those are now ditched, tons of stuff that I’m still trying to figure out what exactly it does and what I’m supposed to do to work it into my daily routine. A co-worker tells me that he can clean a lot of this out, mostly the foreign languages and printer driver crap that I’ll never use
Turn the bloody screen brightness down! Holy shit, this is really bright, I feel like I need suntan lotion on my eyeballs from looking at the screen. I have every intention of doing a color calibration on the screen when I have some free time at work, until then I have some minor tweaking done and the brightness turned down to about 40%.
On a positive note, there is lots I’m very happy with.
- The keyboard, although slightly off-center, is really a joy to type on
- The mag-charger is such a stupidly simple design, works so well
- Although bright, I’m very impressed with the resolution of the monitor
- Software installs are fairly quick, once I figured out how to do it
- I’ve only bogged down the system once, got to love Core-2 duo
- After installing the CS3 suite, I opened it all at once, it all opened!
- 1GB of RAM is actually very impressive
- The hinge. I’ve loved the hinge design since the original iBook, it makes so much sense
- Spell check built into everything by default
- Bluetooth works great with my cell phone, although I haven’t tried to sync with iCal
- Touchpad has right click! Granted it is not the traditional way of doing it, but it works. Two finger scrolling is also pretty dang nice
There are also a few things that I’m still scratching my temple about.
- Dashboard. Yes there are a lot of cool applications, not sure how often I’m likely to use it though
- TextEdit, the program I”m writing this in is nice, but I think I’m going to look into Open Office or another rich text editor
- It’s so white. I’m almost afraid that I’ll have to carry hand wipes with me just to keep it clean
- It’s so soft – the case that is. I’m very afraid that this thing is going to scratch, badly. My G3 did the first day I had it.
- Is a remote really needed? Yes, very cool and seems to work well, but I doubt it will get any use outside of showing non Mac users what it does.
- The Delete key really is a backspace key, there is no dedicated Delete key, which I often do use in the Windows world.
Overall, I have about 2 hours logged in actual time on this. I’m writing this article from my couch, in front of my TV with Bella, my dog, trying her best to snuggle on my lap under my arms between me and the Mac to sleep. Hopefully I can start to utilize some of the other features and functions that are in this laptop, I didn’t buy all this extra power just to surf the web. Until then, it will be sitting comfortably in the Crumpler Considerable Embarrassment messenger bag (full review coming soon) that I bought to transport it in.