Houston, Tranquility Base here. The MacBook Pro has landed.
The proof of the pudding, they say, is in the eating. And so far, I’m liking what I’m eating.
My shiny new (refurbished) MacBook Pro arrived this morning via FedEx ground. The timing stunk — I was up to my ears in alligators due to some network issues at the data center (turned out to be a DDoS targeting another client in the facility, but it was bringing our stuff to its knees). Phone was ringing off the hook, and I was engaged in some serious geekified troubleshooting to determine if we had a problem. (“Houston, we have a problem” is a whole different post!)
Anyway, I’ve spent the better part of this afternoon moving in and getting comfortable. It is not nearly so jarring as I expected it would be. Nor am I sure why I thought it would be jarring, except that in the past any time I touched someone else’s Mac I was terrified that I’d mess something up. I guess that since this one is mine, I don’t have to worry about putting something where it’s not supposed to be.
Mail was easy enough to configure, and anything that runs in a browser works just like it does on my PC. I’ve tried to use the Mac for all of my routine tasks this afternoon. I figure that’s the quickest way to find those things that I need for day-to-day work: Just start working, and I’ll bump into them along the way.
I’ve installed OpenOffice 3.0, Microsoft’s very nice Remote Desktop Client (which allows me to easily connect to my Windows servers to manage them remotely), Cyberduck (for FTP), and VirtualBox. My Linux background made it easy-peasy to configure keys in SSH so that I can remote into my Linux boxes; since the Mac runs UNIX underneath, it’s quite happy talking to Linux boxes. I’ve connected to our file server and updated files with no problems.
As for the hardware itself, all I can say is that i’s stunning, as expected. The fit and finish is truly amazing, and the little details are wonderful. For example, close the lid of the laptop and you feel a satisfying pull as magnets lock it in place. There’s no click-whump of a mechanical latch engaging as the lid closes. It’s a minor difference, but tremendously satisfying. The display is fabulous — uniformly bright and crisp. The trackpad is terrific (although I generally dislike track pads and will likely use a Bluetooth mouse with this one most of the time); gestures are wonderfully intuitive and come naturally — like scrolling through a web pages by dragging two fingers down the trackpad.
All in all, I’m quite happy with what I’ve got here. Still need to set up a virtual Windows machine for a few things (SQL Server Management Studio, Visual Studio, and Expression Web Developer come to mind). I’m interested to see how well Windows runs on this thing virtually.