Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Apple MacBook Pro Arrives

Well, the trial has begun. I received the new MacBook Pro today, and boy, is it a beauty. If there is one thing Apple knows, it's the concept of "Whole Product." If you ever bought an Apple product, you know what I mean. The packaging was beautiful! Even the foam surrounding the notebook was cut into a work of art. I knew this was not just another box. The computer itself is clean - no stickers advertising what you just bought. No junk "ad-ware" inside the box ("Office 2007 trial edition! Quicken Trial edition!" junk, junk, junk!). No sample music or pictures. Clean, clean, clean. After years of special ordering laptops for business stripped of consumer-grade crap, it was a joy to just have the computer turn on and not assault me with advertising.

The laptop is beautiful. It is like driving a Packard or Cord instead of a Plymouth.
I have to say, I'm impressed with OS X, especially the "Leopard" edition. Knowing I was entering unknown territory, I just ran the tutorials and video - glad I did. There is a lot there!
Things that I really liked, in no particular order:

  • The multi-touch trackpad is very cool. Like the iPhone. Cool and, more importantly, functional.
  • The glowing keyboard when it gets dark.
  • The ambient light-sensitive screen.
  • "Spaces," which allows you to have multiple "screens" to help de-clutter your screen. This is a concept that has been around since at least the '80s, but they did it very well.
  • "Dashboard" and widgets -- little applets like Google Desktop that you can call up as needed --things like weather, calendar, calculator, etc.
  • Time machine for backing up the thing (although, I would rather it allowed backups to a networked server instead of forcing it to an attached storage device. Perhaps there's a way around that...)
The key to this Mac thing working, though, is that the computer must fulfill the mission, which is to replace my Widows boxes completely. That is the goal. I have three questions:
  1. Can I get my work done on it without continually resorting to Windows?
  2. Is it usable in its own right?
  3. Is it better than working with Windows? In other words, even if it can be used, should it be used? Is there a "value proposition? that makes finally dumping the pig of the Axis of Evil (the Microsoft/Intel deadly embrace of faster machines only to be consumed by the yawning maw of crappy systems software) a real option?
The machine itself is beautiful and well put together. Leopard looks to be a good OS. More to come!


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