MacBook Pro

My new laptop arrived on the same day in May that my TechDis Accredited Trainer confirmation arrived. It was hard to decide which I was most excited about. Initially, I think it was the TechDis trainer status because it is something I have always hoped would happen. I will write about the scheme and what I like about it soon, but for now I want to register some of the trials and tribulations I have had with the laptop.

Well, I say laptop – because that’s what it is, in the strictest sense; but really it’s a delight, a willing servant, a friend, a colleague, a flirtatious tart (especially when finding WiFi), a trial, a nuisance, an enigma – a puzzle? It’s a 15″ MacBook Pro.

This is my first foray over to the dark side (well – second, if you include the iPhone Trail back in February) but is something I’ve considered for a long while. The final straw was when my Vista Laptop (a real meaty beast with everything you might need from a laptop) started playing up. Having used Windows exclusively through all of it’s incarnations since x3.1 I’d become used to the slow start up and the constant need to download updates but now it was throwing me off the internet every half an hour or so. There were other frustrations (which eventually turned out to be the fault of Firefox and Zone Alarm) but with my XP laptop seemingly on its last legs I took a leap of faith and bought my first Apple computer. As a final Windows footnote – my XP laptop is currently enjoying a new lease of life as we found it was still insured and sent it for repair. The scratch pad hadn’t worked for almost two years!

So why so many epithets for the MB Pro? Well, it is all of those things and more.

Positives:

The battery life is good. Depending on what I am doing it will last between 3 and 4.5 hours. I’ve just unplugged it to see what it say now – fully charged and on low light, with Safari open and writing the blog – it say 6.5 hours; but of course it lies. I might just get 5 if I’m lucky.

Just open the lid and there it is, panting ready to go anywhere you want to take it. I suppose that this is one of the reasons I would never get a full 6.5 hours out of the battery because the machine may well be ‘closed’ for varying periods but using just enough juice to be ready when I need it. To be honest – this is its biggest positive for me: open and go!

Negatives

Not too many really – mainly frustrations. The first would be the price – ouch! and the next would be the quirky new way of using a keyboard; learning the idiosynchrocies of an Apple OS.

Some of the keyboard controls I’d come to expect over 20 years of using a p.c. simply don’t exist. For example there is no [delete] button. It took me an age to find out that [fn]+[<-] deletes to the right (as opposed to [<-] which deletes to the left). There is no real right click without a mouse. There is – but it involves two keys [ctrl]+click on the pad. However some of the right click functions can be totally keypadded by using the [cmd] key, which I think used to be called the Apple Key. [cmd]+X or C or V or Z for example does cut, copy, paste and undo as expected. But (certainly here in WordPress) the paste doesn’t retain formatting – and I’ve yet to find a format-paint function.

Anyway – enough for today. I will come back to this as I record my trials and excitements with the Mac.

Also see: MacBook Pro 2

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5 Responses to “MacBook Pro”

  1. MacBook Pro « The New Village e-Learning Blog Says:

    […] dsugden wrote an interesting post today on<b>MacBook Pro</b> « The New Village e-Learning BlogHere’s a quick excerpt […]

  2. colhawksworth Says:

    I moved over to Macs about, well let’s see…. about 5 years ago, after using PCs since 1988 – and whilst I still technically have access to Windows PCs, I would not go back to using one as my main computer.

    For me, the Mac OS (with all its quirks) is logical and simple – which is how computers should be. Using the good-old ‘car analogy’ – you just want to get in and drive – not know how it works and have to tinker with it every few miles.

    I guess if a life-long Mac user moved over to Microsoft Windows, they’d wonder why you need a right-click at all?
    I do not have an answer as to why we still call the cmd key the Apple key – If I remember back to the Apple II, which I used to have in a design tech lab – that did have an ‘Apple’ key, so it’s probably just a historical thing; but why replace the symbol with that strange looking series of loops?

    I wish Macs were more prominently integrated into our UK education infrastructure at all levels, then maybe software houses and hardware companies could cater for them on a more even footing.

  3. Gail Says:

    There’s no delete key? Funny English Macs. I have a delete key.

    • dsugden Says:

      Yes – I believe that’s what we call the backspace key. What I needed was a forwardspace key. ;-0

      • Gail Says:

        Oh THAT! They didn’t teach you the magic word during MAC initiation? HA HA on you! I’d share it with you but then they’d kill me.


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