One week with a Mac…..

Yesterday marked a full week as a Mac user. I must admit that right now, I’m still slowly crawling out of the “what did I get myself into?” hole as I’m still struggling with the transition. It’s definitely a learning experience as I adjust.

For the most part, I REALLY like the hardware aspects of the MacBook Pro. Compared to my Dell XPS m1710, the hardware is quite nice. The machine is much faster (CXF builds in about 20 minutes compared with about 30 minutes) but also runs a LOT cooler. I can actually sit and type with it on my lap without burning my legs. Battery life is much better as well. It’s quite a bit lighter. The power brick is a LOT smaller and lighter.

I was quite concerned about the “single button” touchpad as I use context menus a lot. However, after just a couple days, I’ve come to the conclusion that the two finger click method is a TON better and much more comfortable and less straining on the thumb. Instead of curling the thumb under the palm to hit the other button, you put two fingers on the touch pad instead of one and just click. The hand stays in a natural position.

I’ve already blogged about the built in iSight cameral thing. That’s a fun “toy”.

I really have only two complaints on the hardware front:

1) The ambient light sensor – this seems to be in a stupid place under the grill on the sides of the keyboard. Whenever I reached to hit delete or escape, I ended up casting a shadow or something and the screen would dim driving me nuts. I ended up turning that off. IMO, it would be better to have that sensor at the top of the screen with the camera.

2) Lack of dedicated PgUp/PgDwn/End/Home keys. As a programmer, I spend a lot of time navigating around code to find bugs, debug things, etc… Having to use two keystrokes for those actions is a bit strange. Normally, I use an external keyboard (I highly recommend the Kinesis Contoured keyboard) which has the keys, but when traveling, it’s a bit awkward.

All in all, I’m very pleased with the hardware. Software is another story, but that’s for another blog entry and I’ll give myself more time to adjust before bitching about that.


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