Thoughts after 12 hours with the Macbook Pro


  • The thing arrived fully charged (well, 90%). The manual even said it’s designed to be enjoyed right away. I love that. Most cool gadgets require a big charging cycle before you get to use them, and all you really want to do after opening them is play with them.
  • It’s very thin, and feels well made
  • The keys feel great, which I was a little nervous about
  • During the setup process, it turns on your camera and prompts you to take a picture of yourself for use as your avatar on the system – a nice touch.
  • From what I can tell so far, the battery indicator is actually honest about how much is left (unlike most computers I’ve owned.) It’s probably too soon to tell if this trend will last
  • Java pre-installed, and Ruby pre-installed, both at recent versions
  • The stuff I wanted to “just work” – wireless, bluetooth, sleep, external mouse, etc – just worked
  • Safari 3 is noticeably better than Safari 2. I hadn’t used Safari 3 until this point. I didn’t care for Safari 2 at all (mostly because it had very serious bugs that made it a pain to develop for).
  • Spaces seems to work well/fast. It was better than the 3rd party multiple desktop tool I was using before.


  • The 1440×900 screen resolution is a bit worse than I expected. I actually looked at it and thought it might have come out set really low from the factory, but nope, that’s as high as it goes.
  • It didn’t come with Leopard pre-installed. They shipped it with a CD so I had to install it myself (which isn’t fun and effectively negates the “use it right away” idea)
  • I had one forced-reboot based on a kernel panic
  • I haven’t really figured out why the screen keeps adjusting it’s brightness. I know they have some kind of light sensor, and I’m sure it dims after a certain period of inactivity, but the thing changes too much for my taste (I’m sure there’s a setting somewhere).
  • Some of the key placement annoys me – namely the “fn” key where I want “ctrl” to be. In fact, there are 5 modifier keys in the lower-left corner of the keyboard: shift, fn, ctrl, alt, and apple. (see photo). That’s one more (“fn”) than what I’m used to, and since I’m still learning the keyboard shortcuts, it makes it hard. Additionally, there is no dedicated page up/page down key, they double them up on the up/down arrow keys. Presumably one of those 5 modifiers plus the arrow is going to get me page up.
  • It didn’t seem to auto-discover any of the computers on my home network, although once I figured out how you point it at a specific ip address it was able to mount shares no problem. I wouldn’t normally fault the Mac for this since this appears to suck on every OS ever, but in Leopard it looks like they went out of their way to hide where you’d find shared computers. The UI heavily relies on them being auto-discovered, so you have to search to find out what to do when that goes wrong.
  • Much like my Mac Mini’s keyboard, there is an eject button. Much like my Mac Mini, the eject button almost never works.
  • Time Machine doesn’t yet support network attached storage, and as such is useless to me.
  • MySQL doesn’t yet have a Leopard package, so it’s control panel doesn’t work yet.

I’m also taking this opportunity to switch from Parallels to VMWare Fusion, and that process went super smooth. VMWare has a great tool called the VMWare converter that worked flawlessly.

I knew there would be some tradeoffs when switching platforms, and some learning curve issues, so it’s not too bad. Thankfully being BSD-based, I’m able to do all of the stuff I am used to doing from a development perspective (all of the standard unix commands are there, MacPorts lets you download the usual open source packages, etc) so that part is very familiar.

2 thoughts on “Thoughts after 12 hours with the Macbook Pro

  1. I’ve considered it, but I’d say it’s unlikely. My current IDE of choice for Ruby is Net Beans 6, which has real graphical debugging and some nice features for jumping into methods. I’m not particularly interested in learning a new text editor (in addition to vi and emacs), particularly one that only works on one platform. But, I may get into it at some point if the current tools start to annoy me.

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