Tuesday, December 07, 2010

The MAC - What I like, what I hate

I got a MAC in July and Subhash has been suggesting that I do a post on what I like and what I don't. I have been putting it off but I think now I have the leisure to do a little bit of thinking on this tool of my trade.

Overall, it is not a wonder machine, awesome thingy. It is just another machine, which runs fast, which runs quiet (this is a big plus over my older Lenovo) and does its work well almost all of the time.

What is to like

1) I hated the trackpad initially. But once you get the hang of it (and learn the many shortcuts to doing things with multiple fingers on the trackpad), which usually takes two days, it is a joy to use it. Makes me feel very sad to go back to a non Apple trackpad.
2) I love the fact that I have spaces much like the SUN workstations. I can put my browser in one space, my documents in one, email in one and chat client in one. It is a joy. I used to always miss this feature in my Lenovo an actually had two monitors (one on the laptop and one external) with the desktop extension, to make up for it.
3) The keyboard is nice. It is probably the best I have ever used or experienced.
4) Battery life is good. If I don't play music or do any other such battery-sapping activities, it has even lasted me 7 hours sometimes.
5) Of course the Apple Dock is good. Far better looking than the Windows task bar.
6) I love the MAC widgets! They have one for every taste :)
7) I love the fact that a lot of apps are in-built, like stickies notes, remote terminal connector (unlike windows terminal, this looks good) etc.
8) I love how well this thing searches (whether it is email, documents or anything else). The COMMAND+SPACE is a lifesaver. Lenovo needs a Google Desktop to do what the MAC does inherently.

What is to not like:

1) Let's face it. A MAC is not a Microsoft product. Nor was it made for MS. So naturally although you have the entire suite of office at your disposal, it is just not the same. Especially for XLS. Ohh, and I HATE Entourage (of course I can use Apple mail). But my hatred for Entourage merits another bullet item by itself.
2) ENTOURAGE is BAD. As if that was not enough, it also now crashes liberally after a recent patch for upgrade by MS. And I have no idea why they don't fix it. I can never seem to select a conference room (actually I cannot even scan the list) without crashing it. And now, I found a solution to preventing it crash (thanks to an internal Wiki tip) when I am scrolling through emails randomly but still setting up a meeting gives me nightmares.
3) It HAS to sleep when I shut the lid. I find this extremely annoying, an extremely poor design and really idiotic. Especially considering how difficult it is to carry this machine around without shutting the lid :( And coming back up after a sleep takes forever sometimes (with getting back network coverage especially)
4) The edges are SHARP. So when I type with it on my lap (which is what I am supposed to do, going by the technical definition of a laptop), it makes the lower part of my arms (just beyond the wrists) very sore. I hate it.
5) Needless to say, its sharp edges make it a very unsafe device for kids. You get your finger between the laptop lid and base when its closing and that makes it unsafe even for me! Plus it is metallic so people who try to use it in cold temperatures can wear gloves.
6) The MAGSAFE power cord pin is a joke (or maybe my piece is defective). Sometimes it refuses to sit right and charge my laptop. Those are the times that I am scared as to what will happen to my data when I run out of battery.
7) The VGA adaptor is a pain. If I forget to carry it to a meeting (this I always do, by design), I cannot project anything. Even if I do carry it along, it doesn't work well with projectors for me (at least I have never been able to figure out how to make it fit my screen size) so I just leave it back.

I will probably add more to this list later :)


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