Okay, I can’t believe I still haven’t made a post about the MacBook Pro that I managed to buy in an entirely crazy series of events. Yes, I have mentioned it in a couple of posts, but still, something as huge as this deserves it’s own very loooong post. Buying a MacBook Pro one day was like a dream for me. Can’t believe it came true so early. Now I need some new inspiration. :P
So yes, I’ll just start from the beginning. One fine day, I was just bumming around on Facebook, and one of my friends had posted a note about this online giveaway thing called HP Better Together Giveaway. He also mentioned how his friend won an HP Mini in the same competition last year. Last to last year, actually. Anyway, so I just decided to check this website out. Now I’m not somebody who enters into contests because I’ve always felt that my luck isn’t particularly fond of me. So the working of this competition was simple – HP had collaborated with certain school/college related websites and organised this giveaway in which they were giving away an HP dv6 and an HP Mini. So different websites with which HP had collaborated were organising their giveaway on different sets of dates. As in one website finished and the next one started it. What you were required to do to participate in the giveaway varied from website to website. Some website wanted you to put up a picture of your current computer and tell them why you need a new one, others wanted you to post some funny incident from college. I participated in this on about 5 websites. And the one which made me win was the website which had the simplest way of entering. I just had to join their Facebook page and post a message there about me wanting to participate. I did that and my entry went into a random name generator website and to my utter disbelief, the random name generator actually selected MY NAME! I was like “Oh fuck you’ve got to be fucking kidding me!” when I got a message from the website telling me that I’d actually won an HP DV6 and an HP Mini! I was overfuckingjoyed!
So you must be wondering how the MacBook Pro happened instead of the HPs, no?
Well, what happened was that even though this contest was a worldwide thing, HP wasn’t too keen on sending me the machines because they would’ve had to pay crazy service tax on the shipping or some similar economic issue. So they kept making me wait while all the other winners (US-based) got their machines. Finally they decided that they’ll send me the equivalent of the two machines in terms of money. My problem with them was that HP’s machines are much more expensive in India than they are in the US. So the money they were sending wasn’t sufficient for me to buy the two machines out here. However, they weren’t willing to give me anything more and even I thought that I’m getting all this for free anyway, so might as well take what they’re giving me. To cut the long story short, they sent me the money, and I bought me a shiny new 13-inch MacBook Pro.
First, the specs.
Processor: Intel Core2Duo 2.2GHz.
RAM: 4 GB.
HDD: 500 GB.
GPU: Integrated NVIDIA GeForce 9400M.
OS: Mac OS 10.6.3 Snow Leopard.
So yep, it’s an average configuration. I mean, it would’ve been good by mid-2009 standards but now they’ve all these Intel Core i5s and i7s in the market, so a Core2Duo is strictly average. Another thing that makes it average is the lack of a discrete graphics processor. But I’m no gamer or graphics artist, so it serves me just fine. Now about somethings I LOVE about this machine, and some things which I don’t like so much.
- The body: I don’t think I even need to say much about the body. The aluminum unibody casing is kickass, and I just love the edge to edge glass screen. Cleaning this thing is a pain in the butt, though. The unibody construction is a welcome change from my Dell Inspiron 1525’s body, whose paint has started chipping off and screws have started falling off.
- The keyboard: The backlit keyboard works like a dream. I’ve discussed backlit keyboards with many people and have always been of the opinion that it is a strictly convenience based feature. As in it’s not absolutely necessary. But now my feelings towards it have changed to a fairly large extent. I love the backlit keyboard. I find myself squinting to make out the lettering on keys of other machines now. And the best part is that not only does it automatically adjust according to the surroundings, there are also shortcut keys for adjusting the intensity of light according to the user’s requirement. It’s a big help when you’re trying to save power or watching a movie in the dark. I personally don’t like any other light distracting me when I’m watching a movie. This is one grudge that I have with some HP machines. They have way too many unnecessary status lights.
- The touchpad: You have to use the touchpad on this machine. You just have to use to to know how bloody awesome multi-touch gestures can be. I find myself trying to do the two-finger scroll on every other touchpad that I now end up laying my hands on. Also the four-finger swipe to bring up Exposé is like the best thing ever. When people tell you that it’s actually fun to work on a Mac, they’re not lying.
- The battery: I’m used to not getting the kind of battery life that companies promise on their websites. But the battery on this machine has totally lived upto, and almost surpassed expectations. It’s quite a relief to know that I have a computer who’s battery is not gonna die on me in 1 hour and 30 minutes flat. It actually lasts around 4 and a half hours in case of fairly moderate to heavy usage (WiFi + browsing + YouTube + iTunes + downloads, etc).
- The menubar: I just love the way the menubar functions. But I’d like to give credit to an application called iStat Menus for this. This has made my menubar my one touch access to everything I need. It tells me about my CPU usage, my battery status, my CPU temperature, fan speed, network activity and what not. Sure the Windows taskbar does most of these things, too, but it doesn’t do them half as beautifully and conveniently as the Mac does.
- The dock: I don’t think I need to say much about this. It has already been integrated into Windows using 3rd party applications such as RocketDock. But it’s brilliant. Puts all your commonly used applications in one place and lets you launch them conveniently. Groups similar documents and application windows. And some of the nice things are that application developers can optimize their application icons for the OS X dock. For example: The Apple Mail icon shows the number of unread mails right in the dock. The Transmission icon shows the number of completed downloads and the upload/download speeds in it’s icon. The folders open up beautifully to show their contents. All in all, it reduces the amount of clicks and mouse movements you have to make for launching your applications.
- Cut: The fact that there is no “Cut” option, sucks. Yes, I can cut-copy-paste text between documents and on browsers, but I can’t cut files from one place and place them onto another. I have to first copy the files, paste them, and then send the original files to Trash. Double the work. Sucks. I know it saves me from accidentally deleting files, but still, I’m really not that dumb.
- QuickTime Player: Sucks. Big time. It doesn’t play half the things. Yes, I know I can install VLC Player and play everything on that instead, or maybe download Perian [and just for the record, I have done both of those], but still, it would’ve been nicer if QuickTime was a bit more robust. All in all, video rendering is one thing that has been a bit of a disappointment for me. Even VLC Player doesn’t really make the video watching experience fun, and likes to crash fairly regularly.
- Flash: This is the only major problem that I have with the Mac. Yes, I know Steve Jobs has given his reasons for not allowing Flash on iPods, iPhones, and iPads, but the Flash experience should have been made much, much better on their mainstream operating system. The Flash support on Snow Leopard sucks to say the least. Watching something as simple as a YouTube video shoots up the CPU usage to 50%. And if you’re watching it in High Quality, it goes up to 100%, and that takes the CPU temperature to a sweet 85 to 90 something degrees, and I’m not very comfortable with that. Similarly, quite a few websites on the interwebs are either completely Flash based, or have some Flash based portions or ads on them or whatever. The point is that I can’t open many tabs in my browser because the combined effect of a number of Flash based websites takes the CPU usage back to 100%. And because of all this stupidity, I’ve been forced into using a Firefox Addon to stop it from running anything Flash whatsoever. And even though it does kind of solve the multiple tabs issue, but it’s still a pain in the butt because it keeps interfering with GMail chat functionality. It’s all so blah. Now I don’t know if Apple is at fault, or Adobe, but I do know that Apple seriously needs to do something about this because right now I have to switch on my Windows machine just so I can watch a YouTube video, and looking at the number of people who watch YouTube videos these days, I don’t think Apple is going to be very comfortable about this.
So yep, now you know everything about the MacBook Pro. And just for the record, I’m not showing off. Okay Sahil? :P
Also, the MacBook Pro is a she and her name is Agalia. You can leave your love for her and your hate for me in the comments. And with that it’s a wrap on this edition of Power Breakfas.. fuck, I need to stop watching CNBC TV18. Er, bye! Later!