Thursday, March 30, 2006

MacBook Pro, day 1

My MacBook Pro arrived yesterday morning - 2 days earlier than I expected (a nice surprise - when I left for the office Fedex's website was saying that it was in Indy, on-track for a Friday delivery. Then I got the knock on the door about an hour afterwards...). I had too much work to do to deal with it right away, so I set it up last night.

The configuration is a pimped-out MacBook Pro, with the 2.16 GHz preocessor upgrade, 2GB of RAM, and the optional 7200RPM 100GB hard drive. The setup was, for the most part, vary simple - I just copied my older PowerBook over using the Migration Assistant and let the transfer (about 60GB of data) roll while I had dinner and went out for a couple of errands. The only three things of note from using Migration Assistant: It was unable to copy over Missing Sync (my third-party Palm sync software) properly, but I just had to re-serialize it to solve that, it does not copy over the serial number from Apple Remote Desktop Admin (again, re-entered), and all my VPN configurations were left behind. To fix that last glitch I simply exported my VPN configs from the old PowerBook, then re-attached all the passwords. Not a big deal for most, but since I have about a dozen VPN configs loaded (I use VPNs to manage most of my clients' networks) it was a little painstaking.

That done, here's my early thoughts. I love MagSafe (the new connector scheme for the power adapter), though the brick is a tad bulky. It provides 85w of power, though, instead of the 65w older PowerBooks drew. Rosetta poses virtually no issues, and performance is pretty good on emulated code, too. My only real loss for now to Rosetta's limitations (no mixed mode operation) is the Flip4Mac WMV codecs - the Universal version hasn't shipped yet. Some people have noted a whine coming from the transformer on-board on MacBooks - I may have heard it (not sure), but one of the first things I did was back down the backlight a notch (reduces power use notably, and it's still brighter than my Rev. B Aluminum PowerBook G4 was). No noise issues at all accordingly.

Also? This sucker is fast. I mean, boot in 1/2 the time, launch apps that are native instantly instead of waiting, and super-quick program switches with native code. Just to give you an idea - I went from the PPC version of Missing Sync on the old PowerBook to the Universal build on the MacBook, and the first time I synced my Treo this morning I thought it had failed - because the entire sync took only about 10 seconds.

Nope. It went perfectly. It just worked about 5-6 times faster than I'm used to. I think I'm going to like this MacBook a lot.

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