March 27, 2008

I've Been Living in the Recent Mac Past

Not too long ago, you might recall I had the unfortunate opportunity to crush my MacBook Pro laptop while at Spring Training in Arizona, effectively just about doubling our trip's costs. In a mere 30 seconds I went from being jubilant as to the A's success on the field to dismayed at seeing my Web and productivity lifeline with cracks and dead spots on its LCD, and its metal all bent out of shape. On Friday, after spending a few days backing up the machine's data (all 140+ GB of it), I turned in the laptop to the Apple Store, in hopes they can save me about $800 to $1,000 by fixing it and avoiding my needing a new MacBook Pro so early in the product's life.

With my MacBook Pro in the shop, I've gone back in time a full Mac generation. I dug around in our closet and found my PowerBook G4. While it looks a lot like the MacBook Pro, it's about half as good. It has 40% the hard disk space (80 GB vs. 200 GB), 50% the RAM (1 GB vs. 2 GB), and the processor's clock speed is only 60% as fast. (1.25 GHz vs. 2 GHz), not to mention it being of the non-Intel PowerPC variety. I even had to delete a full 30+ GB of iTunes music just so I could copy the big drive's data to the small one.

While the good news is that I moved over all my important data, and am fully synched on e-mail and Web bookmarks and the like, going back a full generation has taken away a lot of niceties I'd taken for granted, like VMWare Fusion and running real Outlook (not Webmail), like getting 3 hours of battery life, not 40 minutes, and MagSafe, instead of a 3rd party power adapter I had picked up after getting increasingly annoyed at Apple's offering.

Also, as I had intended to leave my old G4 in hibernation for "a rainy day", like this I guess, I never got the keyboard fully perfect after my beagle had opted to walk on it one fine evening, as a result, some of the letters I use most frequently, like "e", "r" and "y", require pressing multiple times, or with more emphasis, like I really mean it. Of course, hitting the keys harder also means they occasionally come up a few times in a row and need overuse of the delete button. That is getting rrrrrrrreeealll tiresome about now.

I have to admit I'm a bit lucky to have kept this old laptop where I could get it instead of being dead in the water when I took my MacBook Pro and treated it like common kitchen rubbish for the trash compactor. I'm also glad I could be up and running the next day. But with that said, I'm eager to get a call from Apple in the next few days saying my MacBook Pro is as good as new, and I can get back to being current again.

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