My MacBook Pro Experience - Day 2

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:

Topic: Apple

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  • UI

    Thanks for giving it a genuine chance. All it ever takes is a dash of curiosity and
    some time. I'm still discovering UI niceties after years of use.

    Your blogging compatriot Mary Jo Foley complained of being frustrated with the
    Mac's UI, claiming it was difficult to use. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but
    when one substitutes intellect for muscle memory, all the doors swing open.

    At some point soon, it will hit you. The design and engineering of this box all
    point to one central tenant. It is understood that, by far the most impressive cpu
    in this equation, is not under the keyboard, but between the ears.
    Harry Bardal
    • Tasteful.

      Very eloquently stated, Harry.
    • I use both...

      ...mac and win, and IMO the most difficult thing about switching back and forth is the cmd/ctrl button. When I have been using windows more I find myself stabbing at the ctrl button on my mac wondering what the heck is going on, and when I have been using mac more I end up hitting the windows button and opening the start menu constantly. It's one of those things that--for me--hasn't gone away. But other than that I find the mac os very smooth and easy to use. I like that when I want to change some system setting or something like that it generally takes about half the number of clicks that it takes on windows.
  • I always find it ironic

    when Windows user complain that Apple doesn't use control key for the copy, paste
    and cut keyboard shortcuts. Because the only reason Windows uses the control key is
    because PC keyboards don't have a command key. That's right kids, the command-c,
    v and x keyboard shortcuts were lifted right from the MacOS when Windows 3.0 came
    out, and since PC keboards didn't have a command key, Microsoft mapped it to the
    control key instead.
    • That's funny...

      My old Apple II had a Ctrl key...certainly pre-dated Macs. You sure you got the right scoop on this?
      • frgough is right about the command/control keys

        techboy_z: frgough said that Microsoft lifted the c-v-x
        keyboard shortcuts from the Mac for Windows. Since
        Windows didn't have a command key, they mapped them
        to the control key.

        For an excellent explanation on this and other keyboard
        differences, read's article, "How Apple
        Keyboards Lost a Logo and Windows PCs Gained One" at:

        Pay special attention to "Command Control Confusion" and
        "Blaming Apple for Microsoft?s Mistake" halfway down the

        But in addition to this, almost everything Microsoft did in
        duplicating the Mac OS GUI -- I assume to avoid outright
        copyright violations -- they reversed everything.

        Window made the close button on a window to be on the
        right side not the left as on the Mac. They put the icons
        on the desktop on the left side of the screen not on the
        right as the Mac. Named the trash can the recycle bin.
        Instead of an Apple menu at the top of the window, made
        a Start menu at the bottom.

        It is ironic when a Windows user thinks the Mac is all
        backwards... it is Apple that designed the Mac GUI with the
        user in mind, whereas MS copied the Macintosh user
        interface, often simply reversing the GUI to avoid copyright