ramblings of an aimless mind

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Archive for September 2010

An Apple a week.

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An undeniable advantage of the PhD life is the opportunity to attend conferences. In my case, I have an additional advantage, namely that my department allows me to borrow a laptop for the duration of the conference. For my last conference, I was handed a sleek Sony Vaio netbook-ish thing. So it was with some expectation that I requested a laptop this time.

Imagine my glee when the person in charge came out and said “we have a Mac for you”. It was something of a “its a boy!!” moment and all day I kept stealing glances at the laptop bag lying next to my chair in office. I was finally going to test drive a Mac for a whole week!!! yippppeee!

Once home, I wasted no time in pulling the laptop out and powering it up. After the bit of whirring and lights blinking, the magic words appeared on the screen.

“Loading Windows 7”.

WTF????WHO would do such a thing???? and for F**K’s sake WHY???? I watched in despair as the familiar multicolour window logo was followed by the desktop with a huge clock in the top right corner.

Thankfully, despite that setback, I managed to figure out that the laptop was dual booting and made it revert to it’s native Mac OSX. Now I was ready for the full Mac experience.

So what do I think of the Mac? The short version is that I am impressed, but not converted. While OSX is nice and shiny, I do not see anything that would massively boost productivity. In fact I miss some of the small features from Windows and Linux that I have started to love, like the “Win+R” shortcut that allows the user to launch a program without having to go through whole menus. Also, I have not managed to find the delete key on the Mac. Whats that about? Does Apple think that people only use the backspace? In all fairness though, I have been using it only for a little while and maybe haven’t figured it out yet.

While the software failed to impress, I have completely fallen for the feel of the laptop. The display is brilliant, keys soft and tactile, mouse pad and button are a pleasure to use and the laptop as a whole has a very durable and sleek look. There are plenty of nice little features like the magnetic clasp on the charger and pretty good battery life that make the MacBook a pleasure to use.

So I did like it, but I am still not prepared to fork out £1000 for a Mac when I could probably get the same hardware for significantly lower. The laptop has another 4 days to convert me 🙂

Written by clueso

September 9, 2010 at 10:58 pm

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