More Mac Impressions

I’ve had my PowerBook G4 12-inch lapop for two weeks now. Here are some of my experiences so far with it. I hope this doesn’t come across as any sort of advertisement or rabid fanaticism. Up until now I’ve been a PC guy and my desktop machine is an Athlon based self-built PC running Debian Linux.

Stuff I like

This first thing is probably not as much mac related but I do like the freedom of the wireless network. It’s liberating to check email, chat, surf anywhere in the house although for “real” work I still sit down at my desktop. The desktop is just more customized to my liking for when I want to code.

I’ve played with iMovie and came away really impressed. The capture process is completely painless since it detects scene changes and starts a new clip at each one. I have some video footage of our family trip to Europe and to capture it all we basically I just had to hook up the camera via firewire and watch it while iMovie did its capture thing. Apple really opened up the video editing process for everyone by automating the most tedious part of it. The editing process moves quickly along to sequencing clips, adding titles, and adding transitions.

I also found HandBrake which automates the ripping and transcoding of DVDs to Divx ( is that how the kids spell it today? ). I took my Three Amigos DVD and made an 831MB Divx file to view on the road.

Rendezvous works great, especially on a cramped 12 inch display, for quickly switching between visible windows. The sleep and wakeup process are also very responsive and quick.

Stuff that annoys me

iMail works great and seems a decent enough mail client but I can’t get it to accept the self-signed SSL certifcate for my mail server. Apparently, there are ways to get it to accept it but none are very straightforward. I just want a check box that says “accept this certificate.” This may be enough to get me to put Mozilla Thunderbird on here.

Safari is a nice browser too but I was just annoyed that short of editing the user.css file there was no simple way to block ads. I found PithHelmet
, which works great but is shareware. The cheapskate ( especially after remembering how much I paid for the laptop in me ) is pushing me to install Firefox with the AdBlock extension.

Finally, the case gets uncomfortable warm after about 20 minutes of usage so most of the time I end up using a coffetable or even the floorto rest the laptop on. But the machine itself is very quiet, no noisy fans to annoy everyone in the room.