Monthly Archives: October 2010

A 2010 MacBook Pro's Improvements

I continue to be thoroughly impressed with this new MacBook and had to write a post on it. The new MacBook Pro¬†(MBP) I’m using, purchased Oct 2010 (Model: MacBookPro6,1) is, IMO, dramatically improved over the previous MBP (purchased July 2007) I used at Falafel.

  • Battery last far longer
  • Keyboard is much nicer and I like having space between the keys
  • Unibody design is a huge improvement and the sharp edge¬†seems less of an issue
  • Clamshell enclosure is much nicer with the rubber seal around the screen
  • Lack of heat while using the battery can’t be overstated compared to the old model
  • One button mouse is awesome and works exactly as my fingers automatically expected it would

Btw, I’m really enjoying working on a Mac. I was somewhat concerned at first but having traveled a fair amount while at Falafel I used the built-in Mac keyboard a lot so the adjustment hasn’t been anywhere near as I’d anticipated since many of the shortcuts are/were the same on Windows. I find I’m wanting Windows Explorer occasionally as Finder seems a bit sparse particularly when it comes to context menu choices though I can live with that.

Moving from development on Windows to OSX

One of the many things that drew me to MerchantCircle was the opportunity to work on OSX and an OS stack. Last Wednesday I got a new 17″ MacBook Pro (OSX 10.6.4, 2.53GHZ core I5, 8GB RAM and 500GB HD) as my primary development machine but this time running and developing using OSX (not Vista). This has been a pleasant change and has stirred up some long dormant Unix commands from college days on Sun workstations. MerchantCircle.com is built on an OS stack and leverages lots of interesting technology which I’m digging into such as NoSQL databases and Python.

One thing that’s made moving to OSX less of a “thunk” is the fact several of my essential applications are available including Google Chrome, JungleDisk, Privoxy, Remote Desktop, Skype, Thunderbird and Trillian. I’m also able to continue using my preferred Microsoft IntelliMouse Optical (though I’m interested in trying Apple’s MagicMouse) and Microsoft Natural Pro keyboard so in many ways I feel right at home. While I’m already familiar with many keyboard shortcuts with the built-in keyboard I’m still scratching my head over the lack of support for the Home/End keys on my MS keyboard.

Regarding the hardware the uni-body MacBook is much nicer and far more solid than the old model I’d been using and the one button multi-touch mouse pad is pure bliss. Unlike the old machine, the new latchless closure means no more jamming of the release button which at times was rather frustrating. The new machine has a rubber seal wrapping the entire screen which means crumbs/dust/dirty/lint etc. is less likely to get to the inside of the machine while carrying it in my bag. Apple has built a highly refined laptop and the marriage of OSX with the hardware is devine.

I happily bid adieu to the various things that didn’t work well using Windows on a Mac like resume from sleep, problematic multi-monitor support and various USB “challenges”.