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MacBook First Impressions

My MacBook arrived yesterday, exactly one week from the day I ordered it. Took it five working days to get to me, not counting the Memorial Day holiday. It started in China went to Alaska, Indiana, Tennessee and finally to me in Idaho.

The MacBook (white) comes with two cdroms and I ordered the iWork cdrom. It also comes with a tiny user's manual, about like what you get with your cell phone. One thing I did not expect, was the two Apple decals. Being that this is my first Mac, I thought that was cool and reminded me of Red Hat putting in stickers of the Shadow Man in their OS boxes, back in the day, when RH came in boxes.

The MacBook is a solid little laptop that looks as nice in person as it does in pictures. It seems to be just about right in the size department. The wide screen does not make it feel 'big', at least to me. The power cords were amusing to me. There is the standard magnet release plug cord with a tidy, fold away wall wart, and a extension cord for the wall wart that buys you another three feet or so. Having not owned a lappy for over ten years, I'm not sure what that's all about. Perhaps there are times when a longer cord would be useful. I'll have to wait and see.

The little white Remote is cute, reminescent of the iPod Shuffle. I have not tried it yet but did unwrap it from it's plastic wrapper. I plugged in the wall wart and then the lappy and it started to charge the battery. The light on the magnet plug turned orange, so I guess that means it was charging. Later the light was green.

My wife and I watched the "Show" of turning on a Mac for the first time together on the dining room table. It plays music and even talks at you! It was fun and impressive. And much more on-target than Window's 95's Rolling Stones music. Remember that?

It walks you through WiFi and user name and passwords and I forgot what all else. Nothing lame or boring about it. Finally, it loads the Aqua GUI and you are ready to play. Since I was not able to get WiFi up after about an hour of futzing with it, I gave up and plugged it in to my LAN. Later on that night I chatted with my brother on iChat. We tried to do the web camera thing, but we had encryption on and the software would not allow us to connect. Not sure what that was all about. I soon grew tired and headed for bed.

The next morning, after a reboot, I was able to get on the WiFi without issue. I think what I experienced was the system cataloging itself for the search feature. Linux has a similar system and it bogs the CPU down for a good two or three hours. The touch pad was easy to use and I soon learned how to drag windows with one hand on the mouse button. I need to learn how to do the key stroke for the contextual menus.

The first program I played with was the Automator. I had it open a text file and read the passage to me on command. The Mac comes with a dozen different "voices" and I had to play them all. When my kids got up this morning, I had the Mac greet them. They were impressed. But more so with the graphical checkers program.

My initial experience with my first Mac was overall very impressive. I can't wait until I can get on it again and explore more fully. Stay tuned for a more in-depth report in a few days.

0 thoughts on “MacBook First Impressions”

  1. Hey thanks murray! Great tip. I was wondering if double tapping was supported in OSX.
    I’ve been making myself at home on the MacBook. Setting RSS feeds in Safari and downloading essential programs, at least essential for me anyways; ViM, Firefox, Abiword and Parallels. Next I have to burn a copy of the latest Ubuntu so I can run it on the Mac as a virtual machine. I will be loading the development tools on the Mac tonight. Eventually I will get to loading RoR and MySQL so I can get down to business coding. I also need to move my creative files over to the MacBook. My novel, art work and such. Fun times.

  2. contextual(right click) menus – no need to use the option key,go to system preferences/mouse keyboard,check the box by use two finger switching,then to get a right click just put 2 fingers on the track pad and click-that simple!

  3. The female voice in Opera is very similar to the default voice in the Mac. But there are many variations on the Mac. You could mix and match voices with Automator to create a radio drama effect. Although it would sound like it was being read by a bunch of wacked out robots. ;)

    You can have the Mac read just about anything. It also has a voice activated command feature which I have not tried yet. Yes, it can read books, websites and slide shows. Opera was fun, but this is really fun. :0

  4. So here is the question of the week… Which was a better voice, Opera or Mac? I’m seriously curious since in Opera it’s an add-in and mac it is not. More importantly, could the voice be used to read books, websites, etc?

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