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November 26, 2007

Main issues with a MacBook

It's been a couple of months now and I'm still happy I switched. This entry just documents the issues that I've seen.

Bigger hard drive
First one is I should have gotten the bigger drive, 250GB. I'm out of disk space now and I want to make VM ware virtual machines and they are just big.

15 inch or 17 inch
It doesn't really matter. On a plane in economy you aren't using any laptop once the person in front leans their seat back so I don't think the size is a big deal. The 17 inch screen is nice when working on it at home etc.

Dont upgrade to Leopard... yet...
I've had panics and application crashes more since I upgraded. I had no panics at all pre-leopard and now I get them maybe one a week. Nothing manic but annoying none the less. Time machine is the coolest thing about leopard I think though.

Safari still isn't a very good browser.
IE is better as is firefox. I find sites that don't render correctly on safari which pushes me to use firefox.

No Java 6
Apple seem to have forgotten Java developers with Mac OSX. Leopard comes with a Sun Java 5, I think 1.5.0.11 but its pretty old in the tooth now.

Buy VMware fusion not Parallels
I've had parallels panic the machine after failing to allocate contiguous memory and no issues with vmware plus it's cheaper. Most people at IBM use vmware so making vm images with that makes more sense as others get the benefit.

Office for the Mac
Why don't the arrow keys work properly. Same thing in eclipse. Home/end etc don't seem to do anything on a Mac when they move the cursor to the beginning of the line, end of lines etc elsewhere. There is probably a way to make them do something besides annoy people but it should do this out of the box. I still much prefer the windows version of office in terms of usability. It'll be interesting to see Office 2008 when it's out in January.

Buy Snap it pro
Snap it pro is a screen capture program that works with stills or makes movies of what you are doing. Very cool.

Fast sleep should be default
I hate having to wait for the safe sleep. I have it doing a fast sleep now using a pmset command but the default 10 second sleep is frustrating (I have 4GB of ram, writing it to disk takes a while).

iChat AV
Most frustrating piece of software due to firewalls and just plain getting anything but text to work. My mum bought an iMac and we can't get them to conference over video. It's a big selling feature but it just doesn't work well enough out of the box.

Summary
All this said, it's probably the best laptop I've owned and I'm pretty happy with it day to day. It's fast, more responsive than a windows laptop. I don't get disk thrashing like I did with windows. It's a lot faster than a vista based desktop in terms of feel when using it.

November 26, 2007 in Leopard | Permalink

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