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I’ve been a PC/Windows user all my life. But just recently, after installing Windows 7 on my Dell Vostro laptop (which was running Windows Vista), I’m starting to experience my fair share of Windows problems. So I decided jump ship and join the Apple camp – here’s a look at my new toy… a shiny new Macbook Pro 13.

This was how it arrived. Hmm… doesn’t look like an Apple product at all. But don’t judge the book by its cover…

Phew! Yes… this is more like it.

Ahh! OK now we’re talkin’ !

Beautiful packaging, tightly put together, glossy and shiny. What you’d expect from Apple… much like a BMW engine ūüôā

Here it is with all the cables and stuff. The power cable is a really a marvelous piece of work… more on this later.

Here’s the special power cable I was telling you about earlier. It is magnetically attached so that if you trip over the cable (like I often do), no worries at all. It comes off but the Mac just keeps running. (In case you don’t know, the battery does not come off in a MacBook.)

OK time to power it up. WOW took like only 15 seconds to boot up. Shut down was even quicker… less than 10 seconds I think. Clearly beats Windows flat in this area. But the 4GB Ram comes in handy I suppose.

BTW the track pad is quite tricky… looks like it’s got no mouse buttons but you can click on the Bottom Left area for a left click and click on the Bottom Right area for a right click. You will need to know this when you go through the initial setup (because tapping the track pad will not work at first until it is enabled after setup). Fooled a Mac novice like me indeed!

What I LIKE about the MacBook Pro

1. Beautiful finish and supersonic boot-up and shut down time.
2. Touch Pad has wonderful two-finger scroll-up and scroll-down control.
3. Touch Pad lets you do pinching like the iPhone. (But it’s not as easy as the iPhone).
4. The lighted keypad looks cool at night, good if you need to use your laptop at night.
5. The laptop doesn’t seem to heat up much, compared to my Dell Vostro which is like an oven after 10 minutes use.
6. The charger is quite compact, much more cleverly designed than Dell chargers.
7. The battery life is pretty good. Just yesterday I was clocking around 6.5 hours+ from a full charge.

What I¬†DON’T LIKE¬†about the MacBook Pro

1. If you come from a Windows environment, you will really suffer in File Management tasks at first.
2. Everything on the screen appears smaller. And I’m not getting any younger. You can try to pinch on the Touch Pad to make things biggers, but most likely you’ll give up¬†after a while.¬†
3. PrintScreen is such a pain. You need to use the Preview application, then there is a timer which sets off the PrintScreen function after a few seconds. Does anyone know an easier way?
4. There are no Home, End, Page Up and Page Down keys (but there are some Hot Keys to do this – see below).
5. I found out that my Xerox Laser Printer doesn’t have driver support for Mac, so off I went to buy a new printer.
6. Maybank2U Online Share Trading – it doesn’t work with Mac unless you run Windows and install IE. The last version of IE that runs on Mac was IE 3.0 or something. Most likely I will end up installing VMware and running Windows… no escaping from Bill Gates. I called Microsoft but they tell me that I can’t move the Windows from my Dell Vostro to the Mac. The more Mac buyers, the richer Microsoft becomes.
7. The 250GB hard disk is really crap by today’s standards.

Microsoft Office

Did I mention that I’m not gonna install MS Office? Nope, I’ve opted for Open Office instead, it’ll do everything that MS Word and Excel does. I’ve saved myself around RM500 and this has helped me to acquire the superior hardware instead ūüôā Anyway all the reviews on Apple’s website say that MS Office for Mac really sucks so this is a no-brainer decision for me. Having said that, a week on, I’m still getting used to Open Office. Guess I’m working at 70% speed compared to MS Office, but I’ll get there eventually.

Useful Hot Keys

If you are¬†looking to buy a Mac, you’ll want to know these keystrokes:

END                   :    Command  +  Right Arrow
HOME               :    Command  +  Left Arrow
OPEN                 :    Command  +  O
PAGE UP          :    Fn  +  Up Arrow
PAGE DOWN   :    Fn  +  Down Arrow

Web Developers

Any web developers out there considering switching to Mac? You will need an FTP Software and an Apache environment. I recommend Cyberduck for a free & simple FTP, and MAMP for your Apache, PHP and MySQL.

All in all, the MacBook takes getting used to. I was told Mac users don’t need to install anti-virus, this is a weird concept for me, I’m still coming to grips with it. But if you do have an anti-virus on your Mac, please let me know which one you recommend ūüôā