My MacBook Pro Experience - Day 2

Summary:A quick update to my MacBook Pro Experience.Last night I decided to see how good the MacBook Pro is as a DVD player and bought out my "default" movie - Aliens. Not only do I enjoy this movie each time I watch it, I felt that it was a great movie to test out the the system's screen, sound system and the software DVD player.

A quick update to my MacBook Pro Experience.

Last night I decided to see how good the MacBook Pro is as a DVD player and bought out my "default" movie - Aliens.  Not only do I enjoy this movie each time I watch it, I felt that it was a great movie to test out the the system's screen, sound system and the software DVD player.

First off, I was surprised to find that the MacBook Pro has a slot-loading drive rather than the traditional tray.  As a rule I don't like slot-loading drives, not because of any particular bad experience I've had, it just doesn't seem as reliable and I feel like I have to handle the disc too much.  That said, the drive worked just fine.  It's a nice, silent drive.

OK, now onto what is so far my favorite feature of the MacBook Pro - the Apple Remote infrared remote control.  This thing is cool.  If you've not seen one before it looks like a small iPod nano that you use to control the media features on the MacBook.  Play, pause, volume control and skip forward and back are all controllable without having to get up and touch the actual notebook.  Very cool.  I did get distracted by the Apple Remote though, wondering how to changed the batteries in the thing.  I couldn't see a seam anywhere.  As it turns out, it's cleverly hidden at the bottom of the unit.

DVD playback on the MacBook was fuss-free and the quality was excellent.  I found that I had no problem doing other things while the DVD was playing and I like the fact that it pauses when you minimize the DVD player screen to the dock.  It also shows you a small image of what was on the screen too.  Nice touch. 

The sound system on the MacBook Pro is better that I'd expected it to be.  Aliens is a movie that shifts gears a lot and goes from whispering to thundering explosions very rapidly.  On a system with poor speakers I find that you have to fiddle with the volume all the time to keep the audio at the right level where you can hear it when things are quiet but that it's not blowing your eardrums when things pick up.  I didn't find myself having to do this on the MacBook and that was another pleasant surprise.

I feel that I'm starting to get used to the OS now.  I've got a lot still to learn - when I sit behind a Windows machine I'm bringing over a decade of experience to the keyboard.  Just finding out that CTRL C, CTRL V and CTRL X didn't work was a shock.  I was pleasantly surprised to find out that CTRL is substituted for CMD on the Mac though.  Getting to grips with the little things makes a difference.

Does knowing how Windows works help give you a head start with Mac?  I dunno.  I tend to find my way around new things by experimentation and investigation.  I did the same with Vista - yes, some things look and feel and work like XP, but there's a lot of new corridors to walk down and new rooms to investigate, and you only find these by taking the time to snoop around.  The funny thing is that while I can see similarities between Mac and Windows, I really don't see Windows Vista as being a Mac clone, as many people have said.

I'm gonna spend a lot more quality time with the MacBook over the weekend.  I want to get the WiFi working so I can connect to the web with it.  I want to see what the world looks like out there with Mac eyes!

Previous installments:

Topics: Apple

About

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes is an internationally published technology author who has devoted over a decade to helping users get the most from technology -- whether that be by learning to program, building a PC from a pile of parts, or helping them get the most from their new MP3 player or digital camera.Adrian has authored/co-authored technic... Full Bio

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