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RobinTibbs

MacBook and OSX: A Switchers View

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So I've had my MacBook for around a month now and it felt like the time to give a little opinion.

 

First of all let me say that I am very very happy now I have switched, overall i love everything about the OS and the MacBook itself. The only drawbacks are just annoyances that come from having used Windows for a long time.

 

Let's start of with the laptop itself. i decided to get the White 2.0GHz and grab some extra ram from Crucial, i now have 2GB, fitting the RAM was easy as pie and I am amazed at the speed this thing goes, i want an app open, it opens, I want to encode things AND watch TV on EyeTV, well i can do that too. On my old windows laptop apps took a while to load and when i tried to do 2 intensive tasks it either gave up, or took aeons. Perhaps I am beginning to regret not upgrading the stock hard drive, as I record a fair emount of TV and wouldnt mind having my entire collection of music, but it upgrading the HDD is as easy as the RAM, then I may just buy an aftermarket drive and fit it myself.

 

I am amazed by what gets built in, I don't know of a single windows laptop (there probabaly are ones tho) that has built in wireless, Bluetooth, webcam AND DVD burner.

 

They keyboar is great too, i can pretty much touch type without looking at the keyboard and the way the MacBook keyboard it laid out it decreases typing errors from hitting the wrong key, woo hoo!

 

I like the 2 finger scrolling, though i have one comment about the touchpad, you have to hit the button to click on things rather than being able to hit the pad itself, unless I'm missing a setting. While we're on the keyboard, there doesnt seem to be a hash key, you might call it something different in Us but i'm sure you know what I mean?

 

What next, ok lets go to they built in iSight cam, the quality is good for taking small snaps and the accompanying PhotoBooth software is a joy to use, just a shame the MSN version for Mac doenst seem to support webcam?

 

I've heard some negative comments about the heat but I don't really think it gets any hotter than my old machine. It most certainly is very quiet, sure i notice a moo sometimes, but that really doenst bother me unless i'm in a really quiet room.

 

ok finally, the battery life, I get approx 2-4 hours depending on what I'm doing.

which is a significant improvement

 

Let's move on to OSX

 

WOW, ok, I really could go into so much detail about why it's better than windows, but since I've talked alot already, i'll try and keep it brief :)

 

I love how it doesn't crash, occasionally an app needs a Force Quit, but in windows if one app locked up i might need a reboot, not so in OS X.

 

Installing/uninstalling an app, i was amazed at how easy it is, even the more complicated apps seem to install easier than on Windows.

 

Software update is elegant compared to Windows Update. It's not intrusive, it just WORKS.

 

The bundled iLife sweet is great to. I haven't had a chance to fool around with iDVD/iMovie much but the other apps I have gotten great use out of.

 

Security, well, i havent needed to worry, I have the firewall on but i keep forgetting i dont' reaaaaly have to worry about viruses or spyware.

 

Annoyances with OS X? Well they are few. At first i was annoyed about the lack of start menu because I felt that was a good way to organise programs, but eventually I ust made my Dock smaller and that works well.

 

hope you enjoyed that little, sorry if it dragged on but I thought I'd note down my thoughts. Thanks for reading

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Great story. Thanks for sharing your experience. As for the hard drive, if it is very easy to upgrade, you might go for one of the 100 GB 7200 rpm drives to get the added benefit of the spindle speed boost as well as the size increase.

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I like the 2 finger scrolling, though i have one comment about the touchpad, you have to hit the button to click on things rather than being able to hit the pad itself, unless I'm missing a setting. While we're on the keyboard, there doesnt seem to be a hash key, you might call it something different in Us but i'm sure you know what I mean?

 

the hash key is is alt + 3 and there is a setting in system preferences under mouse and keyboard to enable clicking on the touchpad

 

for webcam on MSN try aMSN a personally use Adium which as yet doesnt have webcam.

 

in regard to start menu: if you havent got quicksilver yet get it, you will never turn back, i find myself constently going for the shorcut in windows.

 

jack

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What I just discovered (yes, just this very second!) is that you get a "windows-style" delete button with fn+delete. I've been looking for that one...haha.

 

In any case, my opinions on the macbook are VERY similar to yours.

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At first i was annoyed about the lack of start menu because I felt that was a good way to organise programs, but eventually I ust made my Dock smaller and that works well.

 

Try this... drag your applications folder to the dock and then ctrl-click (or on the MacBook you can do the 2 fingers on trackpad click thing). That's a very good way to replicate the Windows start menu.

 

Oh and yes, Software Update is so much better than Windows update lol. I never installed updates on my PC because it was just so damn annoying and took FOREVER!

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Yeah, there are laptops out there with all that great stuff, but usually they cost $2000+. Bluetooth on PCs is rare, but it can be added via USB or something if you need it.

 

As for the Start Menu, get Quicksilver (http://quicksilver.blacktree.com/) like user jackt mentioned. It is the ultimate companion to OSX. It's faster for me to launch an app with QS than to move my hand to the mouse to click a dock icon. Forget organizing.

Edited by chet

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I've been messing with Quicksilver some. I don't see the miracle usefulness people claim. I can launch an app just as fast with Cmd-Shift-A (Finder shortcut for Apps folder) and typing the first few letters as I can hitting Cmd-Space and typing the first few letters (Quicksilver). The ability to create Automator-like workflows on the fly using the functional sentences is interesting, but not the most intuitive thing ever. I find myself spending more time sitting around pondering how I might be able to take advantage of Quicksilver to do something than if I just did it. It's definately a power user's workflow type application, I'm not sure it's necessary for a new Mac user. Putting the application folder in the dock is really handy for Windows users used to a start menu though.

 

Anyway, I do love my MacBook. I used to use my PowerBook G4 for as much as I could since I liked the OS X experienve, but was forced onto my Dell desktop any time I needed a lot of processing power. Now, my Dell is relegated to download daemon since it's home and online all the time, and I do most everything on the MacBook.

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This comment is for RobinTibbs regarding the Trackpad.

 

1. Select 'Keyboard & Mouse' from the System Preferences (or you can hold down the Apple key and press spacebar to invoke the spotlight, then type 'trackpad')

2. Select 'Trackpad'

3. Under 'Trackpad Gestures', select Clicking to enable tapping in the pad

4. You can also select 'Dragging' to enable dragging. It works like this: tap on the object you want to drag twice as if you double click, but do not lift up you finger after the second tap. Now drag the object to the desired destination and let go your finger.

5. As for myself, I also enable 'Tap trackpad using two fingers for secondary click.' This option enable me to tap using two fingers at the same time to emulate a right-click.

 

Besure to exeriment with other settings.

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I can't stand clicking on the touchpad. I have to use the click button. If not, I always end up clicking on things that I am just trying to scroll over. It's such a pain. The button works great though.

 

Oh, and right click on the trackpad anyone? It works great too!

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I love the two-finger right click. I think using two fingers with the single mouse button is more comfortable than having an actual second button. I agree with you about tapping on the trackpad to click too. That drives me insane.

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