Mac Laptop

I recently purchased a MacBook Pro laptop to go with my iPhone (The iPhone is a new environment for me to develop for), and although I’ve critised mac users for most of my time as a PC user, I can understand why they use it now, I prefer it over Windows now.

I think the latest advantage of the new MacBook Pro range is that they are Intel cores, meaning they can now dual boot Vista, so if I want to, I can still use Windows (which I only really use now for Microsoft Visual Studio and SVN.

Advantages to MacOSX

  • For a start, Mac OSX supports multiple desktops through an application known as Expose/Spaces. There are things you can get for Windows to do this, and Linux does this natively, but the Mac is the smoothest transition i’ve seen.
  • The battery life for a Mac is AMAZING. On my way to Bolton to return some library books, I was using Vista, it said I have 20 minutes left, I rebooted into MacOSX, I now have 50 minutes left. I’ve got this running for 5 hours unplugged with constant use programming. I’ve had it running even longer when not using it, with the battery barely losing any life. Not only that, but if you put the Mac to sleep by closing the lid, you can hot swap the batteries supposedly if you do it in 30 seconds. I have had reason to try this yet, but I’m looking forward to see if this is true.
  • No shoddy plastic/tft screen, the MacBook Pro uses tempered glass, which is a hell of a lot easier to clean smudges off.
  • The screen is backlit evenly by LEDs.
  • The keyboard is backlit based on the amount of light from the webcam. During the the keyboard is not light, but if I move my hand over the camera it turns on and get brighter the more I cover.
  • Interface Builder – what an amazing tool which just kicks the ass out of Microsoft’s VS window tools. Not to mention with objective-c it can become very powerful.
  • Networking, no having to screw around for hours to get things to work, to share files in a folder, I just add it to the shared list. Looking up networks is practically instantaneous, compared with the 5 minute wait Windows gives to check 255 addresses. I’ve had one problem with the WiFi in Bolton, and that was my MSN didn’t work in MacOSX, it did in Vista, but that was it.
  • My new laptop has a better Vista score than my PC.
  • MagLock power cable. So many motherboards for laptops get broken because of them chunky power adapters getting stood on or bent or pulled. The Mac laptops use a MagLock power cable that is held in place by a powerful magnet.
  • Cooling: I cannot believe still how cool the laptop runs, they really do use power efficiently and yet you wouldn’t notice to use one. I left it on overnight to download something, and in the morning it was only slightly warm on the bottom, yet freezing on the top.
  • Style: They are nice looking, especially the integrated cdrom on the side, they use things such as MiniDisplay or something to that extent, and some tiny ethernet to retain their low profile, but I can live with it (it supports WiFi n).
  • Dictionary: Anything I type is has automatic OS spell checking ^-^.
  • Updates: No more Microsoft Updates telling me to restart every 4 hours (or 10 minutes on XP). I choose when I want to update, it notifies me once, and thats all, I can update whenever. And when I do update, if I choose not to restart, I do not constantly get told that I should restart, it understands that I’m busy, that is why I’m doing things, unlike Windows when typing suddenly it pops up and if you type a word with a Y in or press enter, oh no looks like it restarting.. again.
  • Terminal: I like how it comes with gcc, and I can just make a Makefile and source file and just compile in terminal.
  • Multitouch pad: I love this one, one finger is left click/move, two fingers is scroll in the direction I move and right click. And three fingers when in finder, allows me to move backward and forward (like alt+left/right in windows explorer). Not to mention the pinch maneuver to stretch and squish images.

Advantages of Windows

  • A lot of software is made for Windows only, which is annoying, I have to find either cross platform or Mac only downloads that are comparable, which isn’t as hard as it may appear, but is a nuisance. Like TortoiseSVN, I haven’t found a decent Mac version yet. I can always boot into Windows, but I do prefer MacOSX environment.
  • Maximize, I love the maximize button and miss it a lot when in MacOSX, I hate everytime I open a window I need to stretch it to fill my screen. Is it too much to ask to have something that does it automagically. Maybe I’ll write a program to do it…
  • Print Screen, I hate the key combo for print screen on MacOSX, and I miss home/end.

Really there is good and bad things about both, neither will get it right since they want to be different from the other, but at the moment, I’d have to say Mac is slightly in the lead with design for the user. Microsoft let itself down with Vista by trying to make it more shiny than useful. If anything they made things more difficult, like going to the place where you can disable network adapters, etc.