Gadgets

Macbook Pro Experiences

So at the weekend I couldn't hold back any longer, I went and bought a spanking new MacBook Pro 17" behemoth of a machine. I justified it to myself because I have to use my own kit in this new contract. Lovely as the Powerbook is, running Virtual PC all day long is just no fun at all.

The first thing to say is that this is, by a long margin, the fastest computer I have ever owned, notebook or desktop. Of course I spent most of the weekend rebuilding it to my requirements. The OS X element was very easy with the migration tools which Apple provide you just plug in a firewire cable to your old machine and leave it for an hour. When you come back everything including all of the applications data and, most impressively of all, configuration, has been copied across and you're just ready to go with no more effort required.

Of course the big draw for me of the new machine is the Intel chipset and BootCamp which allows me to run Windows on a new partition on the disk. For beta software it was very easy to get going, just decide what size disk you want Windows to have (I've gone for 40gb) and then run through the usual Windows installation process and install the Mac  video, sound and network drivers that BootCamp provides for you. Everything was all set up within a couple of hours, after which I spent the traditional 6 or 7 hours installing all of the various software I need for work and securing the leaky sieve that is Windows security.

So I've been using the Windows installation at work all week and as a pure Windows machine it flies along quite happily. There are a few little annoyances to do with key mappings... There is no delete key (the Apple delete key becomes backspace by default) so I have used Remap Key to change the right Apple key to be delete. The other problem is the one button trackpad, you can't work in Windows without a right mouse button so you need to download this little program which makes the Control key act as the right button in the same way it does in OS X. But given that BootCamp is beta software and in the end Apple really don't want you to be using Windows much anyway I am incredibly impressed.

The beauty of my setup now is that I effectively have two computers, an official work one and my "real" computer which can be used when I'm not in the office. If you can afford the premium of going for the Pro I can heartily recommend it, whether you're a Mac user or not. Overall I am guessing this is exactly what Apple want to happen, their kit is so much better than any of the other manufacturers, so if they can tempt some Windows users across with the lure of BootCamp I can't believe that many wouldn't enjoy the experience and become confirmed Mac accolites for the future.