I can haz a Mac!


Yesterday, after months and months and months of saving, I finally bought a Mac. I think I've been saving for over a year now, so it's hard to describe how I felt when I was able to take my baby home! Excited mostly, but also a little nervous about making such a financial commitment over something I had never had a chance to use before.

My first impression when I unwrapped my shiny 15" MacBook Pro out of its packaging was how light it felt. I occasionally use my dad's laptop which is about 5 years old, and it's very cumbersome. It's also very noisy and slow! I took it with me on Drew and Rachel's CSS course, and was very embarrassed by the massive whirring clicking slab I had to use whilst the others in the group all had sleek, elegant Macs which didn't take half an hour to start-up. My Mac is so quiet that when I turned it off, I had to press my ear against the case to convince myself it wasn't still on!

Everything about the Mac is designed around the user. Right down to the power cable which is not only magnetic, so pops out if an accident-prone like me trips over the lead, but the box thing that's attached to the cable has two little legs that pop out to wrap the cord around. The keyboard illuminates and screen brightens when the lighting is poor (which I had fun testing by flicking the lightswitch on and off!) Setting up was a great experience. My wireless Internet was automatically detected, and at the end of the process, the inbuilt camera offers to take a photo for a 'buddy icon'. I chose a default one instead. (I was having a very bad hair day!)

Despite my affection for my new best friend, there are a few things that I had difficulty with. For example, the keys are slightly different (the @ key is on the 2 key, and some of the buttons have funny shapes on them), but I think I'm already getting used to that. I did have a bit of a blonde moment trying to use iTunes, because I didn't realise the menu bar across the top changes for each window. And only having one mouse button rather than a left and right one... that's going to take me a while to get used to.

Most of the software on it seems to be a 30 day trial (including Office for Mac). Microsoft offer a 60 day trial for their Office suite which I am taking advantage of before my ICT coursework is due shortly after Easter. Then I will have no need to use it! But from looking at the Apple site, iWork is something around $45, whereas Microsoft Office is.... too much! So why not just have it pre-installed on the machine?

One of the things that drew me to get a Mac was the Time Machine. This saves frequent backups, and presents them as pages going back in time. Before using Time Machine, I had to delete everything off my drive which was a bit annoying because all my stuff from my PC is on there. I hope it doesn't mean I can't use both. I also managed to connect my PC and MacBook wirelessly, and share files... although I messed about with the settings a bit and can't connect them again. But it was easy enough the first time!

So far, I think it is worth the hours I toiled working at the Juicebar last year and doing design projects to pay for it. I won't have any money for a while, but I see it as an investment, and I hope it won't be too long before it starts paying for itself.