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First thoughts on the MacBook

John Federico

Yes, I pulled the trigger on a new MacBook.

First impressions: Love it.

I purchased the entry model with the 1.83 ghz Core Duo, a 60 GB hard drive and the Combo Drive. 60 GB of storage is a little tight these days, but I've made adjustments by moving my music and videos off the laptop drive and am now manually managing the music on my iPod. (Podcasts are still managed automatically. Otherwise, why bother?) ;)

The first thing that grabbed my attention while using the machine is the speed of MS Office. Office hasn't yet been ported to a Universal Binary, so it's running in emulation mode under Rosetta. Well, even under emulation, it's still twice as fast as my Powerbook G4! I can't imagine how fast it will run when it's native Intel code. I'm noticing a slight increase in frequency of Entourage errors when retrieving mail from my imap account, but beyond that, it's smooth sailing.

The glossy screen is brilliant - brighter than any other screen I've ever used. The real test will be in bright-light conditions but so far it's been great.

Like my 12" Powerbook and iBooks, I don't like the fact that I need special video adapters to connect external displays, especially when I just know that I've got to have extra ones. I spent nearly $60 on these adapters alone - (1) mini DVI-to-DVI adapter for home; (1) mini DVI-to-DVI adapter for work and; (1) mini DVI-to-VGA adapter for those times when an LCD projector just doesn't have a DVI input.

I also purchased Parallels Desktop at the introductory price. Oh. My. This software runs Windows 2000 faster than my last Dell machine and it's just as seamless an experience. Of course, the only reason I need Windoze is to run Quickbooks Online and Accipiter AdManager - both designed for Windows IE ONLY. (What ever happened to standards...?...!)

I haven't seen any discoloration issues with the machine, although I'm making extra efforts to keep it cool to help prevent that. I also use an external keyboard most of the time. I'll be at Gnomedex the remainder this week so external keyboards and cooling tricks are out of the question. Let's see how it holds up.

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