Switching to MacBook Pro part 1 - First impressions

I have decided to spend some time blogging about my first impressions of my new MacBook Pro. I have never used a Mac before and the decision to pass over to the "dark side" was not easy I can hounestly say, but I finally came around. My friends at work use Mac and I have seen what they can do. So for my own sake and for all others interested I will write some blog posts about all my impressions. I will use the MacBook as a home entertainment center and my main computer at home. But also for doing some .NET development.

13-inch MacBook Pro with aluminium casing
2.26 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor
500 GB hard disk
2 GB RAM (but I have ordered a 4 GB unit and it will arrive in a month)

External gear
Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adaper (for external screen or projector)
Mini DisplayPort to DVI Adaper (for external screen or TV)
Apple Remote (for watching movies)

My intentions
My first intention was to only install Windows on the Mac, but I quickly put this aside. I want to experience the Mac and in the process learn something new. This was quite hard for me since I am an absolute novice when it comes to a Mac. Only a month ago I sat down at a Mac at work trying to help a customer. I was looking for a file that my co-worker had saved somewhere. The conversation ended with med saying "I'll have to call you back". I just couldn't figure out how to find the file. So a novice. I am used to have absolute control over my computer and what I can do, so this feels like starting over again.

I will run Mac OS with all the good stuff it brings. But when I feel something doesn't work I will switch to Windows. I guess the first thing I'll be installing on Windows will be Visual Studio development environment.

I went with the smaller 13-inch because I'll probably be using an external screen at home, and I have regretted buying a 15-inch computer for quite some time now. It's just not as easy to bring with me.

The question is if I'll be running Windows on dual boot or a virtual copy. I must confess I'm not really sure which is better but a lot of developers seem to run a virtual Windows for these sort of thing. The drawback with dual boot is that I have to actually start my computer with either Windows or Mac OS. I'd rather run Mac OS and just start up Windows when needed. If I have understood this correctly I don't have to partition my hard drive into one Windows and one Mac part when running only virtual. But I'm not sure of this. Since I'm not sure I can't choose how much space the Windows part would get and so on, so I'd rather not choose at all.

First impressions
When first getting the box in my hand It felt like a religious moment. So clean. Almost as if I wasn't supposed to open it. The box seemed to say "don't break me and never, ever throw me away".

The same feeling after opening the lid. "Am I really supposed to remove the computer from the box?" Even the inside of the box is fitted with foam rubber. Why can't the PC world understand that the design and feeling is quite important. And you don't have to litter both box and computer with markings of all sorts. The mobile wold has learned the hard way that design is almost everything. When we get more and more connected and carry around our technical stuff, it's actually quite important how it looks. A couple of months ago I just couldn't care less how my computer looks. But now that I have this computer in my possession I feel like one of the cool guys.

Except for the computer I got the power cord, a book that says "Everything about Mac", some Cd's which I guess contain Mac OS and some applications and some kind of black cloth probably for wiping the screen with (although I'll probably lock this cloth in my safe since it's so clean and nice).

I'm a PC guy and when using a PC laptop there is no question which way is up, since the bottom of the computer seems to be a playground for how much stuff you can fit in one small area. I'm not saying I can't find the top of the Mac but it's ridiculously clean. Everything that doesn't fit the design has had to go. Weather this is a good or bad thing from a user perspective I'll have to see, but so far so good.

The computer was wrapped in some kind of plastic and before being able to remove this I had to break the seal. This contributes to the feeling that I'm not opening an ordinary technical gadget where the goal is to rip open everything as quickly as possible. This is a moment between me and my new computer. Cherish the moment.

Before switching on the computer I go against all my instincts and actually open the little booklet to read the instructions. It seems I owe this to my computer. Not to abuse it the first thing I do.

The first this that hits me is how they actually try to amplify the feeling of me and my computer as a team. On the first page: "Congratulations, you and your MacBook Pro are made for each other".

They are also very aware that they are winning a lot of PC owners over (including me) since everything seems to be addressed to a new Mac user, not a new computer user. So now I am using a Mac, not a computer. This is a Mac.

Getting the computer to run
The power cord comes with two connections. Either I connect the adapter straight to the socket or I can use the extended cord. My first impression is however that the shorter adapter will be completely useless since I have about 1,5 meters of cord, which is hardly enough for reaching up on and ordinary table.

The short power cord.

The long power cord.

When connecting the power to the computer I am used to the ordinary PC connector - you look for the hole and then insert the connector. On the Mac you use the MagSafe which is fitted with a magnet and easily connects with a click. This can come in handy for all the times you trip over the power cord (i have done it several times). On the Mac the connector will just plop out without the risk of dragging the computer to the ground.

Now I am ready to start the computer.

My new MacBook Pro compared to my 15-inch HP 6710b.

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