MacBook Reactions

So I have now been using a black MacBook for about five days and I am really enjoying it. The comments made by a whole bunch of people reveal that this is a personal choice that can only be slightly influenced by your peers. Before I get into my initial reactions I just have to say how funny it is that I try to post good stuff about teaching and learning with technology, but the posts that get the most traction are the ones about Apple Hardware and other product style reviews. I think I may have to switch this blog over to an Apple Fanboy site.

Ok, now on to my MacBook thoughts … I am noticing a few things now about the MacBook that I thought I would share as a follow up to the previous post:

  • I am missing the lighted keyboard … I hate to say it but I look at the keyboard quite a bit when I type. I type fast, but I never really did practice the way Mrs. Hawk (my 9th grade typing teacher) would have liked. With that said, I am digging the MacBook’s keyboard design.
  • The sound is lame … the built in speakers suck. Completely underpowered compared to the MBP. I don’t use the speakers on my laptop much, but I do when I am on the road in hotels. I love music so when I travel my laptop turns into my in room entertainment system. Maybe I just need to forget how good the MBP speakers sounded and get on with life.
  • I am not missing the larger display … the native resolution of 1280 x 800 on the MacBook is treating me just fine. I can always go back to a virtual desktop setup, but Expose continues to be my favorite choice for rapid switching.
  • I love the glossy screen … I know you can get that on the MBP, but I didn’t have it and really like it. We shall see how it holds up on a plane with an open window shade, but so far so good.
  • Video seems a little slow … but I guess that is to be expected. I am only noticing it now as I have hooked up to a 23″ Apple Display … it just feels that way, but it may be in my head. It does do a great job of driving the display however.
  • It gets dirty … and I mean it gets dirty fast. I have no idea how to care for the glossy screen, but I find myself wiping fingerprints off the case a lot.
  • Sexy … yep, I said it. This thing is sexy. People check it out … funny, MBP’s are everywhere on campus and this thing just turns heads. Not that I am into that sort of thing!
  • It is fast … with 2 GB of RAM it is very speedy. I have to say it feels faster than my MBP (which was a first generation Intel MBP) except for when I launch Word. Thankfully (a) I don’t launch it as much as I used to and (b) a native Intel version has been announced.
  • The size … the form factor simply kicks ass. The size and weight are amazing. It has sharp edges around the wrist rests that I will need to get used to, but it is a joy to hold, sit on your lap, and use. I am liking that … it reminds me of why I loved the old 12″ PowerBook.

Later today I am getting my USB Broadband Modem and will be testing it. That will be the make or break on this thing for me … I will post my reactions either tonight or tomorrow on that one. So there it is for today — my mind may change tomorrow, but so far I am really liking the MacBook over the MacBook Pro. Any other thoughts for me?

Sick and Tired

I am getting really tired of all the Apple news as the lead up to MacWorld … I am usually a little more interested, but all the iPhone stuff is too much and killing the Mac web.  Add to that Jobs’ 2002 comments about tablet computers and you have a whole bunch of nothing going on.  Just my RSS reader lighting up with garbage.  That’s all.

That Time of the Year

Yep, it is that time of the year again … football is in the air. As we all get ready to answer the bell, I am reminded of getting ready for the season. For me it was always the real football — soccer … 2 a days hurt a lot after a summer of fun, but by mid-October the work put in was well worth it. Figuring out how to create a new team that could go after a huge goal was always a challenge. Winning late in the season always made the effort disappear. I remember going into seasons with big expectations and having to work extra hard to maintain, extend, and realize those exceptions. I sort of feel like I am in the same boat now.

Given WVU’s high hopes you are going to have to put up with me. Trust me, I know it is going to be a long shot, but just to have the Mountaineers in this position is amazing. Madeline has her WVU cheerleading uniform and the forthcoming Max has a jersey waiting for him. It is going to be an amazing fall, not just b/c WVU football could be good, but for a lot of reasons!

.Mac up to a TB

I am not a Mac rumor guy … but this jumped out at me.  This is sort of old news, but as I was logging into my .Mac admin panel I noticed that I had a TB of data transfer … that was the other day, now when I log in I don’t see any mention of it … hmm?  It sorts of makes me think this is tied to the whole MacWorld thing coming up this month. I remember back in the day — you know maybe 13 months ago or so, Adam Curry was using a .Mac account to deliver his podcasts because they didn’t have a hard limit on bandwidth transfer. That changed. But, here we are creeping back up to a very respectable (even generous) level. This has me thinking that thre are potentially two things going on …

The first is a real podcasting application and distribution system built on the iLife tools with big hooks to .Mac … that would be a major deal for me. I podcast here and there — for both personal use and, with more frequency, for educational purposes. The process is relatively straightforward, but still not easy enough for my tasts. I want one click easy … you know, click once and record, click again to stop, encode, add meta data, and publish … ok, that’s two clicks, but you get the picture. For my dollar iLife is missing a simple publishing tool (read personal content management system) that supports RSS enclosures. .Mac would provide the perfect platform.  BTW, we are working on a simple classroom podcasting toolset at PSU … more on that later.

The second is some sort of media transfer capacity … this has been writen about before and as cool as it all sounds, doesn’t get me as excited as a podcasting/writing application does. Trust me, I have my eye on the whole Intel Mac Mini as DVR/Media Center thing rumor mill thing but at the end of the day I can live without it. I know it would be great for a lot of people, but my life isn’t driven by TV or video so I am not as jacked at these prospects.

Eiter way, that is my big rumor post for the new year … I am hoping for option 1, that’s for sure. Thoughts?