Home > Geeky, hardware > Mac on loan, part one

Mac on loan, part one

January 26, 2007

I have a MacBook on loan from Apple Computer; here it is beside my ThinkPad X40.  My first impressions: 1) Wireless networking easier to use than any laptop I have ever seen.  2) “Intuitive” means “whatever you are accustomed to using.”  It took me 15 minutes to figure out how to open a new tab in Safari, and I still can’t open a blank one. 3) The keyboard is very high quality but flat keys seem odd to me.  4) Despite quite sophisticated power management the battery life is nowhere near that of my X40.  4) The screen is fantastic.  5) Would it kill Apple to make a real right and left button for me to click on? 6) You have to use a dongle to hook up an external monitor. 7) Though a distinct improvement on earlier MacBooks, it doesn’t strike me as being that durable 8)  It enters and recovers from “sleep mode” very smoothly 9) It is really, really fast. 

In other news, I got SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop (SLED) 10 installed on my ThinkPad X23.  My first impressions: 1) It is easy to use, 2) except for the wireless which I haven’t got working yet, 3) it comes with a TON of very well-designed software.  BTW I much prefer OpenOffice to MS Office.  3) The screen looks nicer than with Windows – SUSE apparently has some very good video drivers.  4) It is faster than Windows XP on the same machine.  And of course 5) it has a better command line than XP.  (I miss my programmable text editor, though.  Will have to find a *nix version of Notepad++  and hopefully an Apple version too)

So I have 3 operating systems for the next month.  I will definitely write a huge head-to-head comparison ‘round the beginning of March.

Categories: Geeky, hardware
  1. Ed
    January 27, 2007 at 19:46 | #1
  2. james old guy
    January 29, 2007 at 12:28 | #2

    I am looking foreward to an unbias opnion.

  3. January 29, 2007 at 18:48 | #3

    I’m looking forward to the review, as well.  On one of my contract jobs I used MACs exclusively and the “one-button” mouse issue took my all of a day or so to acclimatize.  Same with other differences to PC/WinTel systems.

    Given the intrusiveness of Vista, MAC/OS-X is looking even more inviting to me.

  4. January 29, 2007 at 18:51 | #4

    BTW, these two things have more weight for my needs, so it would tilt me to a Macbook:

    4) The screen is fantastic.
    9) It is really, really fast.

  5. Lucas
    January 29, 2007 at 22:03 | #5

    I should point out that you can attach an external 2-button mouse and it works without a hiccup (at least on my ancient iMac G3).  I think Apple should get with the program and
    (1) debundle their hardware and software
    (2) get 2-button mice
    (3) presumably other things as well.

  6. Abhilasha
    January 30, 2007 at 15:11 | #6

    I have been working with imac for my work,…and definately, a better OS then Windows…

    I installed 15+ applications and it did not require a single reboot…

    Also, I love the interface…So friendly !!!!

    Still havent got around to using the Linux much…but Mac definately is better then windows…

  7. zilch
    February 1, 2007 at 08:28 | #7

    I too am looking forward to your in-depth review.  I’ll be in the States all of March, and might be in the market for a laptop, if all goes well.

    As you probably remember, I’m a fawning Jobs sycophant, so I’m already biased.  But two quick comments on your comments:

    2) I only used Safari to download Firefox when I got my computer.  For my purposes, Firefox is superior to Safari in every way.  But your point is well taken- I still have to ask my son where things are on our XP machine at home.

    5) This is indeed one of the maddening things about Apple/Jobs: sticking to an inferior or idiomatic configuration to satisfy what appears to be some obscure aesthetic principle.  The mouse is of course a case in point.  Silly.

  8. Jonathan
    March 23, 2007 at 12:20 | #8

    I am anxiously awaiting your comparison. My iBook just died and I am very curious what you have to say about the Macbook and the others as well.

  9. March 24, 2007 at 15:44 | #9

    I dunno how in-depth it is, and it certainly isn’t objective, but here’s the first installment –

    Apple computer review part one: hardware

    Obviously the hardware is less than half the story.  Tomorrow I’ll try to post part two, the review of OS-X.

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