Nov 232007

Bought a new computer the other week, and got it delivered tuesday evening. Apple’s web store proved to be efficient, and hit the delivery schedule spot on in the estimation.

I moved into the mac camp more than two years ago, and had no intention of straying from Steve’s disciples. lynch, the replacement of gromit the iBook, is a Powerbook Pro. Sleek and metallic, and hopefully powerful enough to last the next few years as the generic computation device of choice in the HQ.

Leopard, which was supposed to come pre-installed, wasn’t. But with the provided dvd that was quickly taken care of. Though not without a hitch, as the admin password for the Tiger-installation proved to be more significant than assumed (yeah, to be able to upgrade the operating system you have to remember said password).

While the iBook had a decent screen, the LED-powered screen the new laptop has is leaps and bounds ahead. And the extra real estate and brightness does not come at the expense of battery life either. Quite the opposite, as a fully charged battery clocks in at unexpectedly above four hours.

The keyboard is less plastic than that of the iBook, but sizewise there is no significant change. The illumination in low-light conditions has yet to prove its worth. As has the automagical brightness adjustment of the screen. Disabled both on account of occasionally triggering them accidentally in normal sofa conditions. And first worrying whether my flu medicine has kicked in an extra gear in surrealism.

The famed new release of OS X, Leopard has been stable and not too changed from the Tiger. Which is to say that I haven’t been playing with the Spaces or the Timemachine yet. The latter supposedly kicks in uncomfortably when an external drive is connected, something bound to happen when bringing in music and photographs from gromit.

Installed lots of mandatory applications instead of fiddling with the operating system. No firefox 3 yet, it’s too early in the cycle for that. Safari 3, on the other hand, seems to work well, and doesn’t go on memory consumption binges like firefox recently has every now and then. Though its lack of “where this link points to”-info field is more than a cosmetic demerit. Canon’s site was spectacularly slow, so camera software has to wait (and iPhoto may be able to pull the images out anyway). Nokia’s brand spanking new PC-Suite Light for the Mac shows some definitely interesting tools as well.

No games yet (apart from ScummVM and a multi-talented interactive fiction interpreter). Lynch ought to pack enough power to facilitate gaming natively (I’m dreading my first step into the inevitable MMORPG addiction), with a bootcamped Windows XP (as soon as I find an SP2-equipped XP installation disk) and virtualization. With both VMWare and Parallels bringing circa-2003 XP on the desktop with ease, and there’s no disrespecting DosBox emulator either. One of the three alternatives will, sooner or later, provide the ability to finish classics such as Planescape:Torment and Fallout 2 comfortably on the sofa.

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