Being a quick write-up on a day’s experience with a current 13-inch MacBook. Summary: I like how it feels but not how it looks.
Summary: 2.4GHz, 4G. I don’t get the Pro because I hate the extra size and weight on the road.
Migration · Yesterday I whined shrilly about the hours of work that the omission of FireWire, and consequent crippling of the excellent OS X Migration Assistant, cost me. I still think it was an error in judgment by Apple — the point is supposed to be that there’s less drudgery on a Mac — but I adopted Zack’s suggestion, like so:
Make an admin account on the new Mac under a new name. I always have one of these around for backup purposes anyhow, named “Backup”.
rsync to move your home
directory (in my case,
/Users/twbray) from the old to the new
Make an account on the new computer with the same short-name as on the old computer; OS X will helpfully notice the directory you just copied over, ask if you want to use that, and even go change the file ownerships for you (which can take a while).
That’s about all. A few minor settings here and there got lost, but
nothing serious. I also rsynced over
/opt and a few things from
/Applications. The biggest pain point in getting everything
running, since I didn’t migrate over my MySQL databases, was remembering how
to set up the stupid MySQL “user accounts” and passwords that are no earthly
use to anyone.
I have to give a tip of the hat to Adobe. I copied over Lightroom but it was whining about serial numbers. So I went off and logged into Adobe’s online store; it remembered everything I’d bought, offered a chance to re-download the latest versions, and had the serial numbers right there beside the download links.
This weird notion of proprietary binary-only packaged desktop software might just catch on, I tell ya.
Sad · I have to say I’ll be sorry to let Black Beauty go; maybe my favorite computer of the last couple of decades. But the keyboard was deteriorating under the pounding from my meaty farmers’ fingers, the 2G-RAM limitation was really starting to hurt, and well, hey, given the corporate backdrop, it seemed like maybe I should order while the ordering was good.
When this new thing is sitting side by side with Black Beauty, it looks like a Taurus beside a Lamborghini. The gleamy black and silver is ugly, ugly, ugly, to my eye; like a Dell. I suppose I’m in a minority.
The visual gloom extends to the screen, which is not particularly brilliant. I’ll reserve judgment on the colours till I calibrate it.
Other gripes: The keyboard’s action isn’t quite as smooth, and the back-lighting is amateurish; as I type this with the puter on my lap, I can see the light gleaming out from under the edges of all the keys.
Finally, I got the new Dual-link DVI adapter, just in case; I wish I’d read the reviews over at the Apple Store first. It burns one of your USB ports, providing a replacement with insufficient power for anything interesting; plus it’s big and klunky and ugly.
Happy · The combination of the speed-bump and extra RAM makes a difference. Everything’s a little snappier, and I can actually do real work in Lightroom. Which is good.
The unibody construction actually does make a difference too. Even with the keyboard gripes, my hands are happier slinging this thing around and pounding way with it on my lap.
The thing I particularly like, though, is the extra-large trackpad. I’m not using any of the new more-than-two-finger gestures, it’s just the size that’s nice. I’m not sure of the neuromuscular trade-offs, but my dragging and dropping is more accurate and seems to require less work. This is a big deal.