Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A week or so later...

I've been able to log a lot of hours on the new MacBook Pro and am still quite pleased with it.  I haven't really been able to get as much done as I had hoped, especially in the multi-media editing department.  The "honeymoon" period of breaking in my new Mac is still in force, but I am definitely getting to learn its weaknesses and find myself frequently wondering how to do X and Y like I have taken for granted on the PC.

Anyway... here are some more impressions.

1. Safari is kind of lame. I've been using it on IPad so I already knew this, but I thought the experience might be a little better on the MacBook Pro.  I downloaded Chrome and feel more at home now.

2. I am digging the multi-touch gestures.  So much so that I was trying to find a way to get them on the PC.  The two finger scroll (vertical scrolls window, horizontal scrolls desktop) is fantastic. Three fingers brings up the "dashboard" which is similar to holding Windows Tab.  One annoyance is the lack of a right click button on the track pad. I went out and purchased a really cool "magic mouse" that gives me multi touch and also the right click (caveat: right click is actually not a button, just a click on the right side of the mouse, which is all one surface) The quality of the mouse seems very solid, but my $20 logitech corded mouse on the PC performs just as well, minus the multi-touch.

3. Apple accessories are expensive (yeah, no surprise). The aforementioned mouse was about $70. It is Bluetooth, but similar "PC" versions are about half the price. Granted it also looks like a "piece of art" so I guess I am paying for form as well as function. The wife is going to notice my additional purchases soon so I better prepare my defense. :)  On the plus side, I did find some generic components that should be sufficient- a miniport to DVI adapter ($20 vs the $40 Apple wanted), an internal hard drive bay that fits in the superdrive slot for $20, etc.  Some components are worth scrimping on, but it also somehow feels wrong- the Apple logo is important to Mac owners.

4. There are a few annoyances, but one that particularly irritates me.  It generally takes a good 10 seconds for my internet connection to be recognized after I wake the computer, even though the screen turns on instantly. I checked online and it sounds like this was not the case for some of the earlier versions of OSX, like Snow Leopard.  The 10 second delay occurs whether I'm using a direct ethernet connection or wireless.  Not a showstopper, but I usually open a browser window first thing and I get the "Internet is not connected" message.

5. The "task bar" on a Mac is great. I can jam many many icons there and don't have to try to hunt for applications on my desktop and/or start menu.  Spotlight is also a simple way to find an application that isn't on my task bar (command space).

6. I really like the way the top menu (file, edit, etc) is "context aware". It changes based on the application you are in.  Similar to what Microsoft is doing with Office these days, but much simpler.

7. Mac OSX's unix shell is great. It's using a Bash shell, which I spent many nights working in back in my college days. I find myself running a lot of familiar unix commands, particularly the other night when I was trying to get a new web site launched (along with some DNS configuration changes).

8.  Installing applications was not intuitive at first. I had to download a "DMG" file and then drag the application into my apps folder.  After doing it a few times, I've come to appreciate the simplicity of it.  I also don't have to worry about "crud" in a registry, generally speaking.  Most apps seem to be content to live in the applications folder without spreading out on the hard drive.

9. The laptop is actually quite easy to lug around. It weighs only slightly more than my work laptop, which is a Dell i7.  It also fits in the same bag, despite being 17".

10. The build quality and especially the aluminum chassie continues to impress me. I haven't had it out much, but when I do I tend to get the "hey, that is a nice laptop" type comments. Unfortunately, the downside of people noticing is that people notice.

11. People that know me say "woah, you got a Mac? I thought you were a PC guy- Why?" I may need to develop my elevator speech and give them a business card with my blog url on it.

A lot of adventures a head of me. I'm not sure where I'll be in another week! I'm still having a lot of fun exploring and learning the new system.

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