Friday, April 25, 2008

Offlede finds more downs than ups of Mac conversion

The new MacBook Pro is on the left, and the old Toshiba Satellite is on the right. It's actually not a total conversion because I'm keeping the Toshiba.

My new friend came all the way from Shanghai in just a few days. And now that the Apple MacBook Pro is here, I'm adjusting to several things.

I decided to buy the MacBook when the old Toshiba Satellite was slowing during Web browsing. I wouldn't want Offlede readers to suffer because of inferior equipment.

Another reason for becoming a Mac convert is the Final Cut Express video editing software I had installed. The slimmed-down version of the software has all the tools needed for news-like videos. Journalists don't use special effects, so I won't miss them. Besides, it's light years beyond Microsoft Movie Maker, which was imprecise and not even close to sophisticated.

The following are a few differences and potential downsides I've noticed on the new Mac. I haven't looked into solving them yet, so don't judge me for judging the Mac too quickly. These are only superficial observations (and ones I was aware of before the purchase):
  • There's no forward delete key. There's only a backspace key labeled "delete" that, of course, deletes backward. I'm used to deleting forward on a PC. Am I missing something?
  • My Web site looks funny. Certain letters are cut off on the right sidebar, such as in the "Journalism Job Links" section. The hook of the J in "Job" is not visible. My Georgia font looks different in Mac's version of Firefox, I guess.
  • The keyboard is slightly offset compared with my Toshiba. This is noticeable when I hit the "caps lock" key instead of the "A" key.
  • There's no right click on the trackpad. This is especially bothersome in Firefox, in which I often highlight a word on a Web page, then right click and hit "Search Google for 'keyword.'" On the Mac, I have to open a new window and search for it. Some fixes would be Google Desktop with a Web search window or an external mouse with a right button.
  • Surprisingly, I miss the tabs on the Windows toolbar.
  • Are there "page up" and "page down" keys on this thing? The arrows are too slow. On a PC, I hit those keys instead of using the vertical scrollbar.
I found fewer positives. They are great, though. They are:
  • The 15-inch widescreen is not glossy. That's the main reason for converting: Most PC laptops have a glossy screen that looks like a mirror in harsh light. The matte Mac is easy to see and easy on the eyes.
  • It's thin and purrrrty.
  • The keys are pleasantly soft. Typing is an enjoyable experience - if I could just stop hitting the "caps lock" key.
  • It's fast. I was beginning to wonder if it was the network that slowed my Toshiba. But the Mac is fast on my home's wireless, so I guess not.
I'm not discouraged; it will just take an adjustment. If you have any suggestions to deal with the drawbacks, let me know.


Lou said...

My first post on The Offlede! I was born and raised a Mac person. We do not even know what the things you miss on the PC are. Right click? Nonexistent. Delete forward? Huh?

You soon will discover the countless benefits of the Mac. Like the fact that it won't get a virus. And that it will outlast any PC you ever owned. I still lay out pages on my 12-inch iBook from 2001.

I'm jealous of your new machine.

— Mandy from ACES

Anonymous said...

You taking pointers from television about how to be a Southern gent? I would never expect to see a man in a cowboy hat on a television you watch.

Just don't go confusing Texas country with Southern country, OK? Don't be one of those Northerners who thinks "it's all the same."


Andrew Knapp said...

Mandy, I am so going to miss that forward delete key. Boo.

WN, I don't know about Texas. All my stock is in Southern country.

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