Three Weeks with my Mac

by Mike Shea on 13 March 2007

It's about sixty degrees today and the strange time change shift lets me sit outside and write my first article from the deck of my new house on my new MacBook. I've never owned a personal laptop before so it's nice to take the opportunity to see what it's like to combine nature (as natural as a townhouse back lot, but at least it looks out over woods) and technology.

I have now had my MacBook for three weeks and I love it. My only regret is not considering the MacBook Pro a little more, but the MacBook does just fine. There isn't any one single area I can point to and say "this is why Macs are better than PCs." It isn't any one particular feature, although there are a lot of nice little things, but it is nice to have a single computer that is designed from top to bottom, hardware and software, around human beings rather than re-factoring human behavior around the quirks of a PC.

The Mac "Just Works" most of the time. There are a few things that don't, however.

Things About My Mac That Piss Me Off

Things I Love About My Mac

So How Am I Using This New Mac of Mine?

When I first bought a new fountain pen, my beloved Pelikan M-1000, I ended up writing about two or three short stories just because I wanted to use the pen. With my MacBook I've written 10,000 words of The Gray Wolf, my new novelette. I won't say that my mac made me any more productive, but I am writing a lot more than I was.

I spend a lot of my time in Safari and I don't really see a need to go to Firefox. Once I enabled tabbed browsing, it ran exactly as I would expect any browser to. All of my favorite sites seem to work fine.

iTunes still handles all of my multimedia. I actually spent $20 on Cover Scout to hunt down album art for all of my music and audio books. It took a good couple of hours but now my stuff looks great in that fancy gitchy album filter. Cover Scout was a recommendation on Mac Break.

Media Fork lets me rip all of my DVDs to H.264 which is a real standard, I believe, and plays in iTunes. Yes, it would be nice if Xvid played in iTunes, but I'll live with h.264. I'm a long way from digitizing all of my DVDs, there's no reason I can't just grab one off the shelf and play it if I want to.

Two things I'm not nearly doing as much of include Everquest and Warcraft. I wanted to kick my PC Gaming habit over the next two years and, if these past three weeks are any indication, I'm a lot closer than I thought. I hate booting up my PC. I hate swapping the DVI cable from my MacBook to my PC. I love Warcraft when I'm actually in it but most of the time I'm more comfortable with my Mac hooked up. I can't say why, but I just like it.

Favorite Mac Websites and Podcasts

Half of my fun with my Mac has been reading, listening, and watching all of the various sites, podcast, and video casts from the secret society of Mac evanglists. Below are my choice cuts: