The MAC, Part 2

So it gets here. Unfortunately, it got here on day where I was in the middle of being throttled down for 24 hours by my ISP for violating their absurd rule on “fair use.” Hughesnet knows it can do whatever it wants so it sets outrageous rules when it comes to download. At that time I was throttled down to dialup speed because I had aborted a 500mb download of my comic book creation software. I hadn’t actually DOWNLOADED said program, I had just started to and aborted but for some reason they charged me like I had dl’d the whole thing. I’m switching ISPs once another satellite dish provider comes up this way and I can get out of my contract.

I didn’t expect the need for a huge download, but again, first impressions are key so I didn’t want to judge the MAC on the slower connection speed.

I was also in the middle of a work shift when the fedex guy arrived so I had to wait a dreaded hour in order to unpack the box. When I did, what came out surprised me.

The MAC Book Pro is all aluminum. 17 inches of glorious aluminum. It looks like something Queen Amidala from Star Wars would use on her sleek silver ship in Episode 1. I can see this thing on her dresser right next to her “ceremonial” wigs, headdresses, holo mirrors and autographed picture of Darth maul. It’s sleek, it’s fancy, and it’s an absolutely gorgeous unit. I couldn’t be more pleased with the design, even if it’s a dreaded MAC, because I have to give credit where credit is due — they really designed it to appeal to the geek in all of us.

Since it is a desktop replacement, it’s a smidge heavy. But not unbearable heavy or bulky. You’d notice it if you had to lug this thing around and sometimes it does feel like a surfboard when I carry it from room to room cradling it like a baby because, let’s face it, this thing is worth more than my car.

The screen is probably the best LCD I’ve ever seen. It has CRT quality written all over it. Big and bright, nicely done and the “glossy” format really isn’t the bother that some people seem to say it is. I don’t know the difference, really, since this is my first MAC and all I can compare it to is my Hanns-G HG216D LCD monitor, which is bigger and brighter, but doesn’t look as good displaying pictures as the MAC does.

One thing that bugged me when I opened the box was that there’s a power adapter and then there’s an extra three feet of cord in the box. But no indication where that extra three feet of cord goes. In a really weird move, there’s actually a compartment on the power adapter that you remove in order to use the 3 feet of cord. Not really a problem if you read the book (and a nice design feature once you “get it”) but still, it’s confusing if you don’t know what you are doing. The power adapter also has two prongs that pop out of the top of the unit that you can use to hold any unused cord space. A nice touch.

The keyboard takes some getting used to. Tactile feel is decent, though I do sometimes type “god” instead of “good” and I’m making a lot more spelling errors using this keyboard than I do on a PC keyboard, but with time, I’m sure I’ll get used to it. For those who don’t know, they use the “apple” key for a lot of the functions that PC users use the control key. What’s the control key for? Why for right clicking of course!

Yes, MACs still don’t have the whole two button thing. I don’t get it. I really don’t. I can hook up an external PC mouse and it recognizes it, but if there’s one thing I hate about the layout of the unit is that lack of a right mouse button. You can get used to it, but dammit, this is the 00’s and about to be the 10’s, and someone has got to drag the company kicking and screaming into the 1990’s.

The speakers on the unit are decent so far. Haven’t really played around with them as much yet, but the sound quality is good from what I’ve heard.

Okay enough with the unit design.

Thoughts on firing it up in the next post.

Jim