Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Mac update

Time for an update on my venture into the world of all things Mac.

So far, it's all going swimmingly well with a few exceptions. I'm getting used to the Macbook Pro which I find to be a very nice machine. That multi-touch trackpad is just a dream to use and I never miss a mouse

Currently my main uses are email, browsing, some (albeit limited) wordprocessing, some minor spreadsheet work, Twittering and updating my Google Sites cricket club web pages. In many ways I guess it's being used like an expensive netbook, but I'm cool with that.

Other than the trackpad, the bonuses for me are a great battery life, a superb screen and virtually no noise operation - fan is almost inaudible, keys are quiet and you almost never hear the hard disk. I still drool and dribble over the design, and luckily, being aluminium that's easy to wipe off.

The ability to connect and write as well as read my NTFS formatted external drive is a boon too - not sure where that came from, but it appears Snow Leopard may have that ability hidden away but not publicised very well. The web is full of people saying they can't without some dark magic, but I can and I'm very glad of it.

There are a couple of things I haven't yet managed to get to grips with, but I suspect that's a matter of time/use.

I need to spend some time with the iWork suite. I'm sure Pages (wordprocessor) has a lot to offer, I just wish I could get it to save to Word format by default - maybe it's possible, I just haven't found the setting yet. NeoOffice can.

I've tried editing some photos in iPhoto without too much joy. I've also download the GIMP, but that looks like it could be overkill. I've got a £50 voucher from my birthday for the Apple Store (we have one in Cardiff now), and I'm toying with getting Photoshop Elements 8 (I have v2 for Windows and like it a lot). Having said that, I'm not sure the Macbook Pro's 13" screen is designed for lengthy photo editing sessions.

One other thing , coming from a Windows background, I wish screens could open up full screen width. By default most screens open up leaving plenty of room either side of the active window. I don't know why, but that irritates me to hell - again, there might be a setting somewhere that resolves that - either that or I have to learn to live with it.

Having the MBP has also seen me make more of a concerted effort to utilise the "cloud". As I've previously noted, I've started to make far more use of the exceptional Dropbox online storage solution, whilst MobileMe keeps my contacts and calendars and email all nicely synced.

With one of the two websites I manage in the process of being migrated to Google's Sites and the other one heading that way, I'm doing more and more stuff in, and via the "cloud" - and it feels good.

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