Sunday, October 19, 2008

Apple Store Visit

Yesterday I went over to the Apple Store in King of Prussia, PA with a friend, mainly to check out the new MacBooks and MB Pros.  The new machines are nice, though IMHO the deletion of the FireWire 400 port from the MacBooks was a mistake.  I also would like to see two FireWire ports on the MacBook Pros (Rohan, my almost two year-old MBP has FW 800 and FW 400 ports).  The MBs have two USB 2.0 ports but IME, FW400 provides better sustained throughput than the supposedly faster USB 2.0.

The new trackpads are nice and address one problem (IMHO) that Apple needed to.  Namely, the lack of a two button mouse.  The entire trackpad acts like a mouse button, even down to the click.  But if you go into System Preferences > Trackpad, you can configure either the lower left or right corner as a secondary mouse button.  Voila, you now have a two button mouse.  Sweet.

The other reason for taking a trip to the KoP store was to get a new power supply for my wife's G4 iBook.  The iBook was issued to her by the School District of Philadelphia about 2.5 - 3 years ago and it's been great.  A few days ago she noticed it wasn't charging and Friday night, I discovered that this was because the cord was frayed near where it plugs into the iBook.  It was delivering enough juice to slowly charge the machine when it was off, but not nearly enough when the box was powered on.  Worse, it's a fire hazard.

Luckily, I was able to use the power supply from the G4 iBook I used as my primary machine before buying Rohan.  That box gets occasional use by my daughters, and the Apple power supply design could be more robust, so I didn't want to share it between the two iBooks.

Unfortunately, the school district is strapped for cash and the odds of getting a replacement power supply through it are about nil, so I reluctantly coughed up the cash for a new one.  If and when Judith has to return the iBook to the school district, I'll keep the new power supply as a spare.

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