Technology

An Apple a day…

…keeps Ms OhWaily busy.

The past week has seen the arrival of the newest technology baby into the Oh Waily household – a MacBook.
Yes, for those Mac-ites out there, I have transferred my allegiance over from “the dark side”.

So, what do I think of the experience so far?

Aesthetics:  9 out of 10.

Loved the little carry-case box it came in, with padding and protective papers.
Love the clean, minimalistic lines of the white casing.  This is probably the biggest joy – not an ugly, big, black or grey box with a screen sitting on top.
Love that the little Apple logo on the top lights up when the laptop is in use.
Sorry Apple, you can keep your “sexy” new aluminium cased laptops – that’s just heading in the direction of PC laptops as far as I’m concerned and doesn’t have any special set-me-apart design appeal.
The only downside I foresee and why it’s only a 9/10 is that keeping this shiny white outside clean and dog-hair free (static you know) may prove to be a minor bugbear.

Ease of Use: 8 out of 10.

Although with a friend’s helpful tips and tricks, this is becoming less of an issue for such a greenhorn, newbie. And to show how it was welcomed (and what a SF geek I can be some times), it’s hard drive now bears it’s own name – R.Daneel Olivaw.  Sad I know, but there you are.
On things physical – the trackpad works fine, not keen on a single select button only though.  This means that a mouse is a definite requirement to speed up many tasks (not that I was going to be mouseless anyway – just something to note.)
I like the feel of the keyboard and the screen is plenty bright enough for my needs.  It’s small compared with the giant screen I’ve been using with the PC, but that’s just a case of my adapting or spending a bit more money on an external monitor.
Most things are fairly intuitive once you get over the difference in the way Windows software and Apple software are set out.  The first few days I was constantly going to the top right to close windows.  :/   But I have eventually realigned myself.  The only other oddity is the need to Command-Q to genuinely close an application.  I’m not sure about the rationale for this.  Still, it’s not a big deal either, just odd.
Finding where everything lives on the hard drive was also reasonably easy.  And whenever I was in doubt about how to do something a quick Google and there was some sort of answer to my problem or question in one forum or another.  Who knew that there was such a group as ehMac in Canada ?  It was nice to see they have a good chuckle at their own linguistic quirks.

My only current outstanding “what the…” is how to delete text from the right side of the cursor instead of the left side.  I haven’t bothered to Google that one yet, but will do shortly as it is getting to be a touch tedious.

Ease of migration: 6 out of 10

This one is down to me though, not the computers.
I did most of the migration manually using a USB memory stick.  It was painfully time consuming, BUT it did give me a much greater insight into the amount of electronic clutter and rubbish that can accumulate on one’s hard drive.  It also gave me a much better opportunity to de-clutter and re-organise the way things were laid out on the Mac.  If I’d just worked out a wireless network and gone “copy all…” then nothing would have changed and I wouldn’t have given the amount of rubbish any second glances.  The clutter mayhem would have continued.

Old Windows Software Issues:

This one has turned out to be less traumatic than I thought it might be.
I’ve downloaded Open Office for Mac to take care of my current need to access MS files and it is working just fine so far.  The only shortfall is the inability to open Publisher files, but they were few and far between anyway.
One surprise is that iMovie and/or iPhoto can’t cope with my Sony digital video camera’s mpeg file type so I had to go find freebie software that could.  That problem is solved, but not neatly and may require a more refined solution in due course.
MindManager have a Mac version, but it is (so far) oh so ugly and counter-intuitive – unlike it’s Windows stable mate.  The lovely people at Mindjet are even willing to swap out my Windows key for a Mac key (but only once, and it’s only a one way ticket).  But on the Mac trial version that I have downloaded to assess it, I am not so sure that I will migrate this over – I may look to Bootcamp or virtualisation to use my much prettier, intuitive Windows version.  Such a shame.
That leaves the family history software – pretty much the only thing that doesn’t have a Mac version.  It needs to be run under virtualisation.  So unless I find something that I love more than this software, I will need to take a trek into the virtual world of Windows on an Apple.

And that’s it so far.

Tomorrow the IT guy is scheduled to visit and attempt to set up Remote Desktop for me.  That might be the MacBook’s biggest test to date.  I have my fingers crossed that it will go well and not produce the first real drama of ownership.

Ooo.  I forgot to mention how wonderful it is at picking up our wireless network.  Mr OWW’s Lenovo laptop is an absolute pig for not picking it up for hours on end – even when it’s a foot away from the router/modem.  The MacBook has no such issue – turn it on and you’re connected.  Not only connected, but as far as I can tell there is no real significant difference in the wireless speed from when it gets plugged directly in to the router.  Certainly not what I expected, having visited and used other in-home wireless networks with laptops. My experience is a significant fall-off in speed if you are wireless compared to plugged in.

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1 thought on “An Apple a day…”

  1. Re deleting text from the right of the cursor, on the MacBook you have a compact keyboard where “bksp” deletes text to the left of the cursor. I use an external (“extended”) keyboard which also has a “delete” key which deletes to the right of the [cursor]. I just tried it, having never found a use for it previously, and it works!

    Re the Sony mpeg video, did you install Perian? It extends QuickTime’s ability to handle a number of additional file formats. While you’re at it grab Flip4Mac WMV which adds Windows Media playback to QuickTime (not included with Perian).

    Like

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