I have had my MacBook Pro for a month now and so far I believe it is the best machine I have ever owned. I have owned a lot of machines! The key to loving the MacBook Pro was to make it my main box — my ThinkPad T43p is still here — but over there as my secondary machine now. Now I do everything with my MacBook Pro.
I have been able to nearly replicate my entire Windows experience on my MacBook Pro by purchasing or cross-grading over to the Mac version of the software. Here are the Top Ten Reasons I am loving my MacBook Pro:
1. Mail: I do a lot of email every day. I get a lot of Spam and Junk. I need to easily reply to 11 email accounts throughout an 18 hour workday using IMAP. The bundled Mail application in OS X is truly magnificent. It beats Outlook 2003 and Entourage 2004 in every conceivable way. The application is fast, robust, reliable and super-easy to setup and manage. I could not ask for a better way to manage my mail and the fact that Mail is bundled for free as part of my MacBook Pro experience is a delight unlike no other.
: I use words all day long. Sometimes I want to know the second or third definition of a word and I jump online to do an unabridged search on Merriam-Webster.com
. My MacBook Pro has the Oxford American Dictionary dictionary and a thesaurus bundled for free with the machine. The great thing about this dictionary is I can check spelling as I work in Pages
. I can Right-Click on a word and have it looked up in the Dictionary and Thesaurus application.
3. Screen: The 17-inch screen is bright and vibrant! I have no dead pixels. I could not want for a better display.
4. Bluetooth: Setting up a wireless mouse via Bluetooth is easy. Unlike Windows, getting a Bluetooth mouse working is as simple as clicking a few buttons.
5. Networking: I have an Airport Extreme working as as a wireless internet and wireless printing hub for my MacBook Pro and Janna’s MacBook. It was a delight to set up and it took all of sixty seconds per machine to get everything communicating. Try doing that on Windows.
6. Power Cord: The power cord for the MacBook pro is unique because you can pick how much cord you need. If you’re traveling, you take the short cord. If you’re at home and you have a longer reach to the power outlet, you plug in the “extension” and you’re in fine power shape. The power brick for the MacBook Pro is large and, in my experience, it doesn’t sit well in my surge protector because its weight keeps pulling it loose from the power socket. Having the extra cord length means the brick can sit on my desk where it can work out of the way of the floor and stay plugged in at all times.
: I know a lot of Mac die-hards hate the .Mac
portal. I think it is a wonderful service worth every bit of the $100 I pay a year. I can synch all my vital information to .Mac. I can pull down that information from another Mac or even my Windows machine! .Mac also curries belonging and a shared vision of the Mac environment and I entirely support that blend of belonging. As a newbie, .Mac makes me feel part of the game.
8. Keyboard: The keyboard — but not the giant wrist rest — is superb. The keys are magical and responsive and the fact the keyboard lights up in low light is a welcome event when you’re working in a dark room.
: The power of iCal
is your ability to conveniently share calendars across people and projects. I also really like the calendar “views” I can create and then turn on and off at will. I have a “Books” calendar in purple, an “ASL” calendar in red, a “Janna” calendar in pink, a David calendar in blue and an “Urban Semiotic” calendar in green. I can turn each calendar on and off in my basic iCal view. I can drag an “Urban Semiotic” event onto a “Janna” event and that event goes to her calendar in her color. That allows me to view and manage individual projects as I wish without having to look at everything else.
: I know some die hard Mac fans do not like Spotlight because they feel it isn’t very robust or customizable. However, coming from the Windows platform I can tell you there is nothing on that side of computing world that compares with the ease and richness of Spotlight on a Mac. Spotlight is fast, simple and it just works. That wraps up my Top Ten MacBook loves. I many more MacBook loves, but I’ll save them for another day. Tomorrow we’ll discuss the Top Ten Reasons I Hate My MacBook Pro