Location: North Florida, United States

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Friday, May 26, 2006

The Macbook Pro - Newbie Review

I am a Windows person....formally. Truth be told I have used Macs very rarely in my existence, and found them to be quite....interesting. Perhaps part of it was a major departure from the norm...the norm which is basically Windows. Windows is a powerful tool, no question about it, and the more economically sound of the two operating systems. But I, after having such shitty luck on my last two notebooks (both by Dell btw), I have come to the decision. I was forced into deciding between two entirely different operating systems. Windows, and Mac OS X. I will admit that for a period of time, I was entirely anti-Mac, I found them difficult to work with, they couldn't play the games that I wanted to play, and they just all around could not, nor would not work well for me. I decided to get my first ever Apple product when Apple introduced their "iPod". Granted I was late on purchasing the iPod, nor did I feel like spending three hundred dollars, I bought, the iPod mini. It's sad though that approximately three months later the iPod color debuted. Shortly thereafter, the iPod video debuted. I decided simply to shake my head at the decision.

I had heard rumors that Apple was thinking about switching over to the Intel architecture. I did not know what to make of this, yet after seeing the massive amounts of both memory that I was missing out on (my current computer could only support 512 MB), I decided to purchase a new computer (a Dell Inspiron 600m). It was only after learning about that notebook's flaws that I regretted the decision. No matter how many times I tried to customize the GUI of Windows (face it, you have to install software which just guzzles your RAM), no matter how many times I lost everything to viruses (I in the meantime tried three different virus softwares: ESET, McAfee, and Norton), and no matter how many times those said viruses forced me to reimage my hard drive, I just was not satisfied with it. With the computer defects (it'll charge to like 92% and pretty much stop charging after that), the motherboard issue (hey, the motherboard is faulty, Dell still refuses to issue a recall), and everything else, I was heartbroken, $1150 dollars down the drain. It was a sad day in my life when I lost over $140 dollars in iTunes stuff, countless digital images (basically all my Cozumel shots, my trip to New York, my visit with my uncle), and a few major papers that I had worked on over the year. I was heartbroken. Then I heard about the debut of the new Macbook Pro.

I was sad and disheartened when I found out the price was $1999. For that amount of money I could get a HD-television. I kept track of current issues with the Macbook Pro and hearing of the whine, I was willing to wait awhile. To be honest, I only heard the whine once, when I took it off the charger. I think it's tied to the webcam or photobooth, cuz it does that when I run those programs. :( I then thought about driving down to Miami two days before and talking to her about it, but in the end decided that I would not want to do such a thing. I was worried about whether my school costs and my car insurance were going to hold to July. I sat down and calculated and connived and contrited, and literally tortured myself since April. But in the end, I decided that the Macbook Pro was too good an offer to pass up, especially after the debut of bootcamp. So in the middle of April, after dwelling on it for weeks, I decided I would purchase the Macbook Pro. Being a college student and not having direct access to my trust fund, I and my grandmother (who is in control) decided to purchase the notebook, after I had thought about it and dwelled on it. My grandmother seems to think the notebook was worth it just for the AC adapter (which disconnects when unwanted tension is placed on it). One thing I liked about the new Macbook Pro was the absence of near obsolete ports (ports including dial up port (which is I think one port that should have remained), old fashioned printer ports (which now run off USB2 and soon Bluetooth (some already do)/Wireless USB) and other stuff.

One thing I enjoyed about going into the Apple Store was first off, the look of the Apple store, and second off, the people that were in the store. Though like a true salesman who was trying to get me to buy everything (in the attempt to make me learn about the Mac which I think I've learned a lot over the past two days), I shot him down. I did however, get the Apple CompleteCare plan, which was a wise thing seeing as the Dell Inspiron 600m didn't have an extended warranty on it and therefore would have been replaced regardless of whether it would be replaced with my growing obsession over the past few months. I think the boot up for the computer is tons better than Windows (course, some Windows computers can theme the boot). Anyways, the guy was very nice, told us about the so-called "genius bar" and had lessons on actually learning about the Macbook Pro.

My grandmother who watched me set it up thought that Mac OS X was similar to Windows 3.1 in some ways, just incredibly sooped up and re-themed. It does give the appearance slightly, growing up seeing and using Windows 3.1 computers I do have the right to testify to this. Course, I think it was just during the age that both companies were actually trying to make their operating systems look like each other to promote user friendliness. Now however, Mac and Windows are constantly at each other's throats. And after using it for a day (I used and enjoy using both Safari and Firefox). The wide screen is incredible. I enjoy the resolution because it's so high (1440x900), and leaves lots of room for prime real estate. I also enjoy the fact that the computer comes out of standby so much more quickly than Windows does. It's very....satisfying to know that when you open the lid the computer comes up automatically. It also possesses a aesthetically pleasing boot up that I have come to enjoy that Windows lacks (though I give points to Gates for trying, hey it's getting better). It may be nothing but both my iPod and the Macbook Pro had this smell to it that I find somehow pleasing really in a wierd sort of way. While first thinking about getting the computer simply to also dual boot it, I have since decided not to. With Neooffice out, and the possibility of more games for the Mac seeing as it shares the same processors as Windows computers, I can now simply breathe and relax. I think it would be sort of taboo to install Windows on a Mac.

As to the actual Mac OS, I think it's a wonderful look. It maintains a similar feel to the previous Mac OS's (I think the last time I actually wrote anything on a Mac was inbetween sixth and seventh grade at camp. :S The keys are different from Windows computers, and that's to be expected, but it still has that QWERTY type keyboard that I find easy. It's not so much the keyboard as the commands. Instead of control+T it's command+T (with the wierd square/circlish looking thingy). Battery power isn't the greatest, but it still is good. I've had it off the charger for about 50 minutes (primarily before I started typing this. And it had about a 98% charge then and it's down to 70%. The wireless icon is great compared to the Windows icon (it shows the strength of the signal instead of simply a connection, though it doesn't show activity over the line like Windows does. It's a great machine really. The commands are getting easy to pick up on, and soon I wonder if I'll even be able to type o the same keyboard that I used to use. The only button that sounds different compared to the other's is the "l" button.

I thought about the Macbook, but it's keyboard wasn't like this one, and I wasn't sure whether I would have liked it or not. But I would honestly say that I thoroughly enjoyed this notebook compared to the other two Dells that I've owned. We'll see how it goes. But Mac has won me over.


Blogger heldmyw said...

Hi! Read your post with interest, and though a comparison might be useful!

Picked up a sweet package on a 2.63Ghz eMachines PC with all the yada-yada-yada two years ago because of the (barely) under $500 price. 80Gb storage, nice software, printer, bag o' whatnots, you know!

It's fine, and, I put RegistryFix (Not free, but get this! Now!), AdAware (free), Spybot (ditto) and a few others on for routine maintenance and protection, as well as our company's subscrition to SOPHOS (Which, BTW does nothing but work. No notices, no talkies, just defends, protects and kicks ass. updates it owns self and never bothers you. I'd marry it.).

Anyway. To work. There's a ginormous iMac on my desk in replacement for the ol' faithful G4. (has it been 5 years? Dang!) I hooked 'old' up to 'new' and transferred ONLY the stuff I wanted, and that, as they say, was that. No issues. G4 acted like a fine hard drive. Gots ta "install" pricey software, doncha know?

iMac uses OS 10.4.2. (Tiger-good, not perfect) AND XP Pro. Boot in either. Boot in one and emulate the other. The Mac is dominant and works mucho faster. My terrabyte of external hard drives (4 slim units in RAID at $467 TOTAL) all fit in an inbox and give me legroom.

Creepy. The computer, upon activation of bluetooth, found my phone, pda and printer, and, without prompting just sorta casually mentioned that it would be happy to 'pair' with them.

I, as a formal promoter of computer relations and not retyping calendars and contacts, said "go ahead" and voila! I'm sync'd. No drivers no downloads, swap a few I.D.'s and, hey! Presto! A security pane in the preferences file... geez!

It even let me hook up my old Wacom tablet. The one that wasn't supported by Wacom way back when OSX was young... the bastards.

ALSO! Look for "Little Snitch". Beautiful piece of software that alerts you whenever some nefarious scalawag tells your computer to "call home". Stifles that, and, will you be effin surprised at 'who' and 'what' is stealing your info! Crap!

Sorry to go on so long.

I'm, if you want to rank on me, or swap stories. I don't sell anything, I work for my county's educational infrastructure, and am full time employed.

... and old... half a century of directing and editing television...

Be warned!

6:09 PM  
Blogger Manav said...

Nice review!

1:40 AM  
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Blogger mahasiswa teladan said...

Thanks for review, it was excellent and very informative.
thank you :)

8:18 PM  

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