A couple weeks ago, a shiny new MacBook Pro landed on my desk, and Holy Crap what a difference a new Mac makes!
A couple Friday’s ago, my new company-issued laptop arrived: one of the shiny new MacBook Pro’s. And all I can say is Holy Crap!, what a difference a new computer makes. I’ve been working on a 667 MHz Titanium G4 PowerBook for about three-and-a-half years now, and my aging Mac has started looking its age. And even though it’s been a reliable workhorsie, I was more than happy to send her out to pasture.
When the new MBPro arrived, I made what I believe is a simple and fatal mistake, and that was to boot up and use the Migration Assistant to transfer my data (apps, settings, and all) over to the new machine. And while the MBPro ran well once all my data transferred over (that process took about 45 minutes), certain apps weren’t behaving nicely, mainly Microsoft Office. And since I live in Microsoft Office during the workday (I edit in Word, crunch sales figures and track book progress in Excel, etc.), having Word constantly crash just wasn’t going to cut it. So, I backed up my MBPro to a LaCie FireWire drive, and then gutted and reinstalled the system, partitioning the hard drive, and then spent the better part of an afternoon and evening reinstalling all of my apps from scratch. Yeah, that took a while, but since doing that, my new MBPro has been running smoothly, and I’m really digging this new machine.
And while I’m definitely smitten with the new MBPro, I do have a couple nits to pick, and both of them relate to the battery. While I love, Love, LOVE the new MagSafe power connector (it’s already saved me from yanking my MBPro off a table once), the power brick seems a bit heavier and is certainly bulkier than the previous model. Since I commute to O’Reilly’s Cambridge office on the T every day, that added bit of weight is something I have to consider. Is it worth taking the brick home at night to keep powered up, or do I leave it at work and just bring it home on the weekends or when I really need to? Of course, the other solution is to go out and buy another brick for home, but since that would be at my expense so I’m not sure whether I want to do that just now. We’ll see.
And that leads to the other issue: battery life. I hate to say it, but man do these things suck the juice out of a battery! Yep, that’s true. It’s no wonder Apple didn’t want to post anything specific about battery life on these things back in January. Now, granted, I’m still getting used to working on this machine, and I haven’t fine-tuned its settings for untethered life, but still, one thing’s for sure, the battery drains mighty quickly on the MBPro, and that is going to force me to go out and buy another battery to lug around, and I hate having to do that more than buying another power brick, but hey, I don’t have many options.
Those two nits aside, I still love the MacBook Pro. It’s a wicked-fast machine, and it totally blows my old PowerBook out of the water. And for those of you who might be worried about running the Adobe Creative Suite on a Mactel, I haven’t had any problems yet. Yeah, Photoshop and InDesign are a little slow to start, but in comparison with how they started up on the TiBook (a 667 MHz G4 PowerBook), the application startup time is comparable, and application performance is on par (at least for what I’m doing; your mileage may differ).
Am I impressed with the MacBook Pro? Damned sure I am. Are there Universal apps to run on the new gear? Yep, just look to Apple’s Universal Application page and you’ll find plenty of your favorite apps, ready and waiting to be installed.
This just in…
Apple just released a public beta for Boot Camp, which lets you run Windows XP on an Intel Mac. I’ve heard rumors of this for a little while, and thought, well, maybe we’d see this around WWDC, but I’m guessing that Apple decided to release Boot Camp early because of all the hacking that’s been going on (much like what Apple did a couple years ago when they released their own X11 package so you didn’t have to install things like Oroboro on your Mac to run X Window apps).
Stay tuned; I’m going to have to see about getting a copy of Windows XP installed on this machine — and stat! Not because I want to use Windows again, but because I think someone should cover it here.