Rodney Campbell's Blog

Tales of a Mac Convert (in progress)…

by on Jan.31, 2007, under Life, Technology

I recently became the proud owner of one of the new Apple 17" MBP’s (MacBook Pro) (2.33GHz Core 2 Duo, 3GB RAM, 160GB Hard Drive) and am enjoying the experience so far (except for that rediculous wireless mighty mouse).

I’ve been a Unix user for some time (I’ve mostly used Solaris (& SunOS) on Sun SPARC machines over the past 15 years and have dabbled with various Linux flavours) however I’ve also got to use windows at work as well (those corporate app’s I need to run).

I’ve been relatively happy/tolerant with windows (probably because I spend most of my time on my Unix workstation) over the years and all my previous laptops have run windows. However late last year I had major malware infections to both my windows machines (desktop and laptop – at different times) – which required a complete rebuild of each to be safe. I was pretty p***ed to say the least and whilst I don’t necessarily believe the Mac OS X is more secure than windows by design mantra I do expect it to be significantly less of target. With the advent of Parallels (I’ve been a VMware user on Windows for some time) and the time came for a laptop refresh I decided to take the punt and see what the other side of the fence looked like.

On the Wireless Mighty Mouse front – perhaps it’s just a carry over from my other window managers I’m used to (on Solaris or Windows) but I still like to use the context sensitive right button menus (a lot). The mighty mouse doesn’t have a "real" two button mouse (it emulates it by detecting whether you’re clicking down on the left or right of the shell). The problem is that this is so flakey (if you are even barely touching the mouse anywhere it almost always treats it as a left click) – and as the Mac has so many one click actions you end up left clicking and doing something (you don’t want to) when you just wanted the right button menu.

Having two separated buttons would make this both more reliable and you’d get that tactile feedback doing it – I’ll persevere a little longer but I think I’ll be switching to a "real" bluetooth mouse soon – any recommendations of ones which have decent support under Mac OS X?

To transport my new pride and joy around I grabbed an STM bag for the 17" MBP – I got the STM Large Convertable (shoulder bag and backpack in one) specifically because it was small, thin and light so I wouldn’t be able to cram too much crap into it – just the MBP, wireless mouse, my 160GB external laptop hard drive, eyetv and perhaps a few papers and discs. This way it isn’t some huge bulky backpack which weighs a ton (like my previous laptop backpack) – in fact it ends up nice and close to the body when I’m using it as a backpack and it feels incredibly light – even with my 17" laptop in it – marvelous.

Lastly I also picked up one of the Elgato EyeTV Diversity’s (my kit also included a 3 month IceTV trial code as well). It is remarkably good and HD is glorious – however one tip I have for reception is that (the antennas have magnets on the bottom) if you put the antennas onto some metal surface (at home I have a metal frame desk so I just magnet onto that – anywhere basically – so the antennas are actually under the desk – and at work just onto a metal filing cabinet) it seems to give MUCH better results.

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