An Apple update…

It’s the middle of August and I’ve had my Apple laptop, a Macbook, for about 9 months.  My only disappointment is that Apple upgraded the Macbook not soon after I got it, so I’m using the last model and not the most recent model on the market.  Other than that, there have been very few hassles with the laptop.  I still wonder if I should have gotten the black version instead of the white version, but when I upgrade (which will be many years from now), I may get the black version.  I chose to get the base model, as I was thinking about the possibilities of an upgrade, unknowing that additional hardware would cost nearly an arm and a leg (figuratively speaking).

I chose to get both office suites – one from Apple and one from Microsoft.  Each office suite has their own advantages and disadvantages.  I also got a year subscription to the .Mac service (which has since changed to MobileMe) and additional warranty (college student = higher chance computer will be injured in some way).  If there is any additional software I want to have for my system, it has to be Aperture 2, a photography program similar to Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom (which are severely overpriced).  Photography is one of my interests, and with a Mac, I am finally able to see what my creative skills are.

There is no doubt that I am glad that I switched to a Mac.  I grew up a Mac kid, so it is only natural that I return to the system that has kept a similar interface for so many years.  It was also the only computer available when I was in elementary school; the computer lab was filled with Macintosh systems (there was no such thing as an iMac back then).  The computer lab also had the pain-in-the-ass Commodore 64, a computer that was NOT user friendly and caused many problems.  How I remember all this, I’ll never know, but my exposure to the early Mac was an incentive to return to the computer I grew up with.

As for actual problems, there have been very few.  For some strange reason, my Macbook never came with the Boot Camp software, I had to load it with the CD the laptop came with.  Apparently during the production of this computer, it must had been forgotten.  Thankfully, it is an easy program to install and doesn’t cause any problems.  Since Apple computers can now run Windows, I had considered running Windows XP because it would be the only way I’d have access to Maple Story, a Korean-made 2D side-scrolling MMORPG.  It turned out that installing Windows severely slowed my computer down (it’s only a 2.0 GHz) and ate a majority of my hard drive, since partitioning the hard drive was a requirement for installing Windows (whichever version).  So, in the end, after 9 months of use, I’ve decided not to install Windows, since I still have a fully functional desktop that does everything that I need it to do.

Other noticeable problems (but not major enough to return to the the store to be looked at), was how long it took the computer shut down after using Time Machine, the new backup program that came with the new operating system, OSX.  There have been some glitches, but nothing serious.  Updates are automatic, and they don’t have pop-up windows that remind you all the time that there’s a new update.  There are also no nagging boxes to tell you that your desktop is cluttered with programs you don’t use.  My desktop has TWO items – my HD and the desktop version of MobileMe.  The programs I use often are in the Dock.  Why have them anywhere else if I use them so much?  It would be a waste of time trying to load them everytime.  All the other programs are in Applications, which is also conveniently on the dock.  Clicking on the Applications folder pans out to display twenthy-something icons that are the programs used on this computer.

I was at first resistant about getting any kind of Apple computer because I had an anti-one-mouse-button mantra in my mind.  However, it doesn’t bother me so much anymore.  Besides, if you get an actual mouse, it has TWO buttons; the design of the mouse makes it seem like there is only one.  If there are any TRUE problems, it is the compatibility of programs between Mac and Windows.  The majority of the world still runs on Windows.  However, with Apple’s inpressive marketing abilities, the iPhone now sells in 70 countries, thus the Apple name is very international.  They give student discounts (though not very much), and most university and college bookstores that sell computers will have both Apple and Windows machines.  Hardware-wise, I’ve been disappointed in the fact that the Macbook comes with a mini-DVI port and not a regular one found on PC laptops.  Not only is the cable overpriced at $20, it is far too short to make buying one worthwhile.  I bought one anyway, since I had to do a presentation for my credential program and I was still learning about the computer.

Overall, I am extremely satisfied with my Macbook – it has great battery life (for those pharmacy terms where I don’t get a power outlet), a SUPER LONG extension cord (Dell has serious issues in this department with short cords), which means that if I can’t get the closest seat to a power outlet, I can be a little farther away and still be able to plug my computer in.  The magnetic release mechanism on the power cord has been a godsend.  Instead of yanking the ENTIRE laptop off the table or bed, the power cord disengages from the computer because it’s only a magnetic connection.  So, no more tripped cables and broken laptops.  I take great care of my systems, and I hope this Macbook will live up to many years of service.

Until next time…

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~ by twilightmelfina on August 12, 2008.

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