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Initial Macbook impressions


I've been using the Macbook for a few weeks now, primarily as a test device for epilio links, which means with a browser and not much else.  Here are my initial impressions...
It does look sweet, shiny and white when you open the box, and yes no 3rd party AOL phone dialers, Norton Anti Virus harassment when you turn it on.  The whole opening the box experience is very nice.

When I use the machine and have it open, the edges of the base/keyboard are pretty sharp and hurt your wrists after a while.

Black dog hair really stands out on a white computer, to give you an idea of how Jessie's hair gets everywhere, when I first opened the laptop after taking it out of the box, there was already a hair on the touchpad.

All the Mac Shortcut Menus have this funky key External Image that is shown for various tasks, I spent a while looking at the keyboard and it doesn't exist.  It turns out it's the option key External Image.  If Apple make the software, make the hardware (and sue anyone else that tries to make compatible hardware) why not just put the symbol on the key?

Safari has three buttons, which I assumed to be close (red), minimize (yellow) and maximize (green).  For some reason you can't maximize Safari with a button.  Fortunately Firefox works the way you'd expect so that is now the default browser.

Going to sleep and waking up.  OK I don't have any apps installed on this apart from the apple applications right now, but wow, when I tell this thing to sleep, boom it's asleep, literally at that kind of speed, boom it's sleeping.  Open it up, bam it's awake.  All my Windows machines take much longer to go to sleep and wake up (I sometimes wonder if it would help if read them a story and gave them some milk), sometimes they even refuse to wake-up.  The Mac does it so quick I sometimes wonder if it's just pretending to be asleep.

I miss the right mouse button.

I was amazed at how I plugged in an external drive and straight away Time Machine popped up and asked if I wanted to use this drive as the backup device.  Time Machine reminds me of Roxio's Go Back which I used to use on Windows about 8 years ago.

I can't figure out how to tell how good my wireless reception is, is there an option somewhere that will show me what kind of percentage I'm getting?

Why do Macs have a backspace key instead of a delete key?  I did find fn backspace does the same as delete.

It's very weird to install software and not think about where it's getting installed to and things.  This is the way it should be, but it feels so strange to let the OS control it (probably because in the past anything you let the OS handle got screwed up)

The magnetic power hookup reminds me of the one's on Deep Fat fryers.  I wonder if there is a 3rd party market for making little adapters that do the same thing for regular PC laptops.  They would only need to be a short 3 inch piece of cable with a magnetic connector in the middle, and a male and female connector on each end that matches your laptop connectors.

I like Garageband but you need to download about 140 mb of samples to really have any fun with it.

The Mac bluetooth picked up my phone and knew what it could do with it, no fussing.

I'm still coming to grips with the Operating System, and the single mouse and some of the new shortcuts.  The next plan is to start installing some real software and see if things start to slow down.


Gravatar Image1 - Carl,
A couple of thoughts..

I agree totaly about the option symbol! It shouldn't be that difficult....

In the Apple world applications aren't "encouraged" to run full screen. It's not like windows where apps typically take the full screen. So Apples' maximize button says to enlarge the window only as much as needed to show all the information. It does make sense if you're on a larger monitor.. if you go to different websites you'd probably see it conform to the needed size.. Most apple apps are like this I think I think it's in their user interface guidelines. I'm surprised firefox didn't follow this guideline...

To get the right mouse button I think it's command-click. But there should be a menu option in your mouse preferences. You can set it so if you tap with 2 fingers then it detects that as a right mouse click. You can also scroll with 2 fingers... that's sweet!

I agree about the delete key stuff... the full keyboard has both... the bigger problem for the laptops is no equivilant to a Break key... not good for notes work in a virtual machine.. On screen keyboard is your friend!

There's a good podcast - Mac Observers Mac Geek Gab or something... They just talked about the wireless reception quality recently... within the last 4 episodes I think... you can probably find it quickly in the show notes.

Drop me a line if I can be of any help as you acclimate!

Gravatar Image2 - @1 Thanks David. I forgot to say, I do love the two finger scrolling!

Gravatar Image3 - The keyboard thing must be US layout-specific: I have that symbol on my key! (It doesn't say "Option" either, just "Alt")

Re right-click, instead of that, I find myself missing the Mac's two-fingered tap on the trackpad when I switch to using someone else's PC laptop... it's weird how you get used to this stuff.

Gravatar Image4 - good post carl. If you've been following my tweets this week, you know I've been "learning" to use my new MacBook as well. I've been taking notes for a big blog post. You beat me to it, but I'll try to get mine out this weekend.

Btw, I spent some time at the apple store today working with one of their teachers, and he was great. He agreed with me about the things I don't like about mac, as opposed to telling me that I should just accept things the "apple way".

Gravatar Image5 - re. Right mouse click.. get yourself a mighty mouse, works via bluetooth and is touch sensitive left and right mouse clicks. I can't live without mine. Emoticon

Gravatar Image6 - I have been using the MacBook Pro for a couple months now and struggled with the same things. After some time I got used to them. Dare I say I have a MS wireless mouse hooked up to it and the right click works with it. I do use the trackpad with the 2 finger click most of the time though.

I actually find Notes the hardest app to use with the keyboard. No Break key and I can't find a keyboard shortcut for View/Refresh on the laptop keyboard. The OS intercepts the function keys for its own tasks.

Gravatar Image7 - The Option key has been killing me for years, and seeing ^...always thought that was Shift+6, oh no, that's control Emoticon.

So after years of awkwardly Googling which key corresponded to each symbol, I just decided to make a set of stickers for myself. A few buddies at work wanted them too, so I made a whole batch. They're made of lexan and printed on the under side, so super high quality, nothing janky since it's a $2,500 machine after all.

Check them out: whatkeys.com

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