Sunday, 13 February 2011

Attack of the 15" Mac

Well I've now had my first Mac experience and it survived :)  And so did I...

First things first the problem that my father in law was having...  As far as I can see he was doing everything right to connect it to his network, the difference as far as I can see is that the window for connecting in OSX is smaller than in Windows, and he was not pressing the button on the router at the right time to connect it (I dislike his router, in order to be user friendly it has a terrible interface - it's got a MAC filter but rather than entering it you put the router into discover mode and then try to connect so that it adds your MAC address to the list).  Yes I did get the irony writing that sentence.  It has a MAC filter that Mac's don't like.

Anyway, the plus side is I had the problem solved in about 2 minutes.

The machine itself...  Well I can see that it is beautifully made (I should also say that it was not a MacBook as I was told, but a Pro).  I like metal machines, my home laptops are also aluminium - but sheet not billeted.  It feels well put together, the chiclet keyboard has a great feel to it, and everything feels just solid.

OSX...  Well whilst I don't think it’s bad - I also don't see it as anything better than Windows 7.  Just different…  I was expecting a much better experience setting everything up and was rather dissapointed.  Maybe I had too high expectations.  It wasn't bad, just not what I was expecting.  Especially the 1.5GB system updates (I thought that was a Windows thing?) followed by another round of updates (again, I thought that was a Windows thing...)  And it had to reboot after the updates (I was having serious Deja Vu issues at this point ;p)

All in all it's an OK machine.  Except for the screen - I don't know if it's because I am a coder, or because I like photography and have a lot of high res pictures; but I like a lot of desktop real estate.  It doesn't have to be a physically big screen, but I want pixels!

Put a real resolution on the screen (and a BluRay drive) and I may actually be interested in buying one, as long as I can duel boot into Windows (hey I am a .Net developer by trade).  With a decent screen and drive I would even pay the premium for the machine – at that point I could see the value for money.

I guess I must be a minority of Windows user though...  I haven't had a virus since I had SQL Server 2000, and I do not have any admin work - although I do admit to wiping all machines to remove the crap manufacturers infect their machines with - my ultra-portable Sony is so much faster now I have removed the 15,000 Vaio 'applications' - but you can't blame MS for that.  I ruin my own DTR machine by using it as a test bed for lots of things.  As a result I do a reinstall every 12 months or so.  But Mrs Stace’s Vista machine (She's happy with it and doesn't see the need to upgrade to Windows 7) has not been reinstalled since I set it up about 5 years ago.  Except for backing my photos up to multiple external drives, but trust me that would happen no matter the system!

My brother on the other hand has one of the most infested machines I have ever seen.  Give Mac's a decent market share and I can see him doing the same if he had one of those :)

Thanks for the comments yesterday all.  I think that Lynn and Ariel hit the nail on the head.  They are machines, nothing more, nothing less.  There are fanbois (deliberate mis-spelling) for all systems, and all of them are annoying.  Especially when they refuse to help as they did in the office this week (Jerica, absolutely agree – that’s just not cool).

Well I have it out of my system now :)  Back to fun stuff this afternoon.  I still have a load of new Macro shots that I have to copy from the camera :)

Oh one last thing.  The Apple Magic Mouse is cool!  Now to try and find some Windows 7 drivers for it...


  1. Bottom line, if someone'll pay me hourly rates to play with it, I'm a fanboi! :)

  2. I have toyed with the idea of getting one in the past as the desktops do look nice. I also wanted to understand what all the fuss was about. They are V expensive though and the self promotion of Mac owners is totally dull

  3. Glad to hear you got it to work. Family relations restored!

    Apple Magic Mouse

    Maybe something from the Open Source massive would resolve the issue? ;-)

    Then again, maybe get a Microsoft Kinnect bar (for the Xbox) and hook it up to your PC with some hacked out drivers. Who needs a mouse then? You'll be waving away like a lady in search of a rave ;-)

  4. Jenny: lol. Nothing like being a corperate whore is there? (Not having a go, I've done it often enough!)

    Becca: They are really not cheap. As I say, if there was a decent screen and drive in the machines I could see the value. But not with what they have at present.

    Lynn: Thanks Lynn. It was commented on that I said I would have no idea. Something along the lines of 'And you said you couldn't do anything for it!' But everyone is happy so that's that.

    I think I found something this morning to try with the mouse. I'll have to take the laptop with me next time we see them and try it.

    I do like the idea for the kinect though... Keep fit coding. Could be a whole new DVD (or BluRay ;p) fitness fad!

    It does seem that I have the respect of my father in law's colleagues though... 'Wow, it wouldn't connect - you must have one secure network, mine just connected with no issues, no nothing!'

    I guess that is another thing I don't like about the Mac's "This can never be infected" myth. Open networks with no Mac filtering is just dangerous - I'd never leave a WiFi network I installed open like that. Nothing is totally secure, but you have to have something (kind of like car security - you can't be 100% secure, but you need to be more secure than those around you...)

    Oh and Melissa of course I don't hate you :)


  5. connecting a mac to a router is dead easy.. is the router wireless or wired?

    You do not need any skills..
    I love my Mac laptop.. I am transgirl, open and proud...

  6. It was a wireless network.

    It wasn't hard (very similar experience to setting one up on Windows 7). It's just that you had to be much more accurate with the timing than on the Windows boxes.