Nearly One Year with Mac OS X

OK, I admit it. I’ve grown to love my MacBook (mid-2007, see for the black MacBook). It does everything I want it to do quite well, but the the learning curve has been much steeper than I remember it being with the circa 2000 PowerBook G3 (FireWire) (again, see ) running Mac OS 8.5 through OS 9. It’s been discussed over and over again, I know, but I think Mac OS X has surprised me with how smooth it runs, its speed, and how well the programs work, especially those writing programs, such as MS Word and TextEdit.

What do I miss? Well, I probably should have gone with the MacBook Pro, but I wanted to save money. The larger screen of the MacBook Pro (15.4/17″) would have been better for Web site design than the 13.3″ screen of the MacBook. But then, even though I have Adobe Creative Suite 3 Web Premium, I just have not been designing very many Web sites. Mostly, I have been writing. As for the writing, the 13.3″ MacBook is perfect and “good to go.”

I suppose I miss how the Dreamweaver 4/Fireworks 4 Suite worked so well in Mac OS 9 on my 14.1″ Powerbook G3 (Firewire). It’s a superb suite of programs and the machine was great for Web site development. But I’m planning on getting into the new Adobe CS3 and using CSS for building sites. I just haven’t done it yet. People I know who use it professionally say it’s quite good. I will master it eventually.

I bought MS Office Mac 2004 last year and I think it’s better than MS Office 2001, except for the lack of a later version of Internet Explorer. (OK, I admit, I also miss the clamshell package) I’ve come to adore Firefox. It’s such a great browser — the only thing I miss about IE is that little left side bar “thingy” that captured Web pages for future viewing. That was a great feature. Also, the plus and minus signs atop Explorer were really convenient to expand or reduce browser text. I’ve learned how to deal with these issues in Firefox, but it’s just not quite as user-friendly or convenient.

All-in-all, I no longer feel like a Luddite. I have all the recent plug-ins for multi-media viewing, I can actually see videos clearly and with good sound. iTunes works fantastically with my iPod. I can open practically any file thrown at me. (I refused to install Windows Media Player, though. It’s not nearly as good as QuickTime and I like to keep MS products to a minimum on my machine.)

So I’m giving the MacBook 4.5 out of 5 stars and Mac OS X 10.4.11 a generous 5 out of 5 stars. As I acquire and learn more new programs, I’ll report back and let you all know how things are going. Certainly, when I buy Mac OS X v10.5 Leopard I will report on it.

Thankfully, the Mac is still a Mac. And they’re the best machines available.

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