Saturday, September 02, 2006

First Impressions

The first thing you notice is the presentation and attention to detail. The MacBook is packed snugly in a soft filmy cover and the remote control, power supply and instruction manuals are all neatly arranged and in easy reach. Unpacking all this is tech-porn for a geek with any new computer, but Apple makes it high-class.

The machine itself is very thin and feels relatively light and compact. I got the 13.3" dual-2GHz model so the screen is smaller than I'm used to and limited to 1280x800 resolution but it's bright, crisp and very readable.

The setup proces with the revolving box effect is made exceptional with the login photo taken on the spot with the built-in iSite camera.

I've got a home network with an Apple Airport Express 802.11g network and it was smart enough to detect all settings and alert me that the MAC address wasn't registered with the hub. It let me progress and I configured the wireless later after doing a quick "ifconfig" from the Terminal app. Using a bash shell under all this eye-candy is pretty thrilling and makes you feel like there's endless possibilities under the hood to play with.

The startup was painless and fast. Before long, I was logged in and faced with the challenge of re-learning all the UI shortcuts and methodologies I'd gotten used to on Windows. Fortunately, that only really takes a day or two. It helps if you've got friends to give you tips as well :) I'll discuss that in a future post.

Not all things went right though - it was obvious from the start that the battery indicator wasn't registering the battery even though there was one installed. That was the start of many trips back to my Apple store to work it out. It figures. 2006 should be called "Year of the battery", apart from being "Sony's year of hell".

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