The Macs. They tempt me.

15 02 2009

I’ve been having… unpure thoughts lately.
While I’m fairly happy with clipper running Ubuntu 8.10 as my working desktop machine, I realize that clipper is getting a little long in the tooth (I have not worn the keycaps off, but there’s a distinct ‘looseness’ in the keyboard). It’s now 4+ years old, and while it’s ‘working’, it might be time to consider an upgrade.
The macs tempt me. After setting up mom with her macbook, I had a better feel for the mac mobile experience. The latest line of macbooks has enough power in a non-bulky configuration that I can do all my development and serious work on them without making compromises.
I stopped by the Apple store to try out the new macbook touchpad (as I’m not a fan of touchpads in general), and I have to say I was impressed. The ‘glass’ touchpad implements multitouch in a good way (one finger for ‘single click’, two fingers for ‘right click’). I’d still miss the ‘nipple’ pointing device in the middle of the keyboard, but I think I’d be okay.
The last thing motivating me is the need to run some business software. I’ll be taking over more of Stonekeep’s finances, so I need to run Quicken / Quickbooks. While Intuit has done the right thing and put Quicken / Quickbooks online (though with our account with DCU, much of our banking can be done remotely anyway), having native commercial apps available, plus all the wonderful opensource / free apps – is a huge draw.
A properly kitted out laptop from Apple (250gig HD, 4gig RAM, Macbook 2.4Ghz) runs $1800-ish. This would be my machine for another 3-4 years at least – the price is reasonable, though a little daunting.
But then I look at other things that would bring me – like Time Capsule. Brilliant.
It would mean abandoning Linux as a desktop. A moral dilemma to be sure.




5 responses

15 02 2009

As I understand it, OSX doesn’t support “focus follows mouse”. This is an issue for me as it is my preferred desktop behavior.

15 02 2009
Doctor Memory

There are some 3rd-party applications that implement focus-on-mouseover for OSX, although they’re all slightly flaky in various ways — I eventually just gave up.

15 02 2009

@matt and @doctor memory – I’m boggled there are people who still do focus follows mouse. How very OLWM. 🙂
I’ve made it a personal goal of mine NOT to get wedded to a particular behaviour or environment, particularly if I see the industry moving away from it. I made the change from a command line email client to a GUI when I realized I was limiting myself by sticking with ‘pine’ as a mail client (though I still fall back on it on occasion). I’m trying my best to work with gnome (as the most popular Linux desktop), though I’m still not convinced it’s better than KDE, etc etc.

15 02 2009

I loathe touchpads – they’re awkward and overly sensitive (I move my mouse with my palm a lot) and you can’t right-click and and and.
The MacBook touchpad works great for me. Two fingers/click to rightclick makes a huge difference. There’s a “lag” setting for the touchpad to prevent accidental usage (I eventually disabled that function because the response lag was annoying but it’s good to know it’s there), two fingers to scroll down also makes a huge difference.
I still get a shoulderache in my mousing shoulder but nothing’s perfect. Computer mobility is worth it, and I have a mouse & great keyboard for when I’m at my home desk.

16 02 2009

The Time Capsule is a very overpriced drive; you can do just fine with any external plus Time Machine (included free with your new laptop).
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