Saturday, January 27, 2007

MacBook Pro

Given the amount of time I spend using a computer I couldn't wait any longer. I was at Microcenter today and they had a sale on a number of Apple products, so I came home with a new 15.4" MacBook Pro. It's the entry level MBP, with a 2.16 GHz Core 2 Duo, 1 GB of RAM, 120 GB hard disk, SuperDrive (DVD burner) and 128 MB video card. At some point I'll double the RAM but for now it's OK.

The factory software load included demos of MS Office 2004 and Apple's iWork, full versions of iLife 06, OmniOutliner, and Comic Life. OmniOutliner looks like a pretty interesting app, one which I need to check out.

After unpacking it I used the OS X Migration Assistant to copy over my data and preferences, but decided to not copy over my apps, preferring to install them fresh. The Migration Assistant uses a Firewire connection between the new and old machines. The old machine is booted in Firewire Target mode, and the new box copies everything over. I had 23.6 GB of stuff to copy from my iBook, which took a bit less than an hour.

The hardest part of the setup was getting Rohan -- the new machine -- onto my wireless LAN. I had a brain fart and could not remember the security settings for the wireless LAN and so I had to factory default my Netgear WAP, then reconfigure it.

The other glitch I ran into was when I installed MS Office 2004 and couldn't open Entourage. It gave me an error message along the lines of "The version of Entourage cannot open this profile." After some Googling, it occurred to me to download and install the latest update for Office, which fixed the problem.

By default Apple does not install X11, so that needed to be loaded from the OS X CD 1. Other apps I installed included Firefox, ZTerm, UniTTy, TextWrangler and NeoOffice. The latter is still a bit pokey but it runs a hell of a lot faster on Rohan than my iBook.

I definitely plan to take Parallels Desktop for a spin. I'm hoping that I can setup XP under Parallels and run the programming software for my Yaesu radios. Visio is not made for Mac, unfortunately, and it's something else I'd like to be able to run.

The keyboard feels nicer than my iBook's and the increased screen resolution (1440x900 vs. 1024x768) really makes a big difference. The speakers sound pretty good, much better than the quiet, tinny speakers on the iBook. Naturally, it runs quite a bit faster than the iBook.

More as I use it.

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