It has been over two months now that I’ve had my MacBook, and I thought I’d leave some impressions about it. My last computer was was the first 15-inch Intel Core Duo MacBook Pro, so I’ll be using that as a reference point for comparison.
This was the hardest decision for me. I’ve gotten used to the 15-inch screen that I’ve been using for years now, and I was worried it would be hard to adjust. Surprisingly, I didn’t seem to even notice the difference at first, but when I started programming a project for the iPhone I found myself wishing to see more code on the screen. It’s livable, but definitely a point against.
The new screen is brighter, a lot brighter. It makes other regular LCDs look like they are dimmed. This new screen has a weaker viewing angle than the older matte screens I’m used to, but I feel the contrast and color definition are stronger. Overall, I prefer this screen over my MBP.
This is the new style keyboard that Apple has been slowly integrating into its line since the 2006 MacBook. I prefer the newer keys aesthetically, but it hasn’t seemed to make a bit of difference to me otherwise. Same basic layout, still works.
Amazing. When they did the system update for the MBP trackpad to enable the two finger right-click and scrolling I stopped using my Mighty Mouse, but this multi-touch trackpad steps up the game even more. The gestures are simple and natural. The three finger browser back/forward swipes and the four finger Exposé and desktop gestures make me smile every time I use them. I feel like I’m piloting the Starship Enterprise.
My one gripe with the new no-button trackpad is that the physical click is clunky and a little loud compared to the virtually silent button on my old MBP. I tried out the ‘Tap to Click’ option in the trackpad settings, and I’ve stuck with it. It recognizes a two finger tap as a right-click as well, and it hasn’t really led to any accidental clicking. Now I only need the physical click for drag operations.
I never replaced the battery on my Pro, and after three years the charge was hovering around an hour depending on what you were doing while on battery power. I seem to remember getting slightly more than two full hours when I first got the computer. The new MacBook is usually closing in on four hours of use before I spring to plug it in. I’d tend to call my usage ‘general computing’. I’m rarely encoding videos, but have kind of a balance between photo editing, programming, and browsing. Generally, the battery seems very strong considering the higher power of the computer and brightness of the screen.
Sean showed me some benchmarks that listed better performance out of the higher end MacBook versus the current low-end Pro model. It wasn’t a phenomenal difference, but every little bit helps. I never really felt slowed down by my MBP in the three years I had it, unless I was doing something obviously taxing for the system. To me the performance on my MacBook is an incremental improvement. That said, I consider twice as fast to be incremental (thanks to Moore’s Law). I usually can’t do things fast enough to keep my Mac busy.
I have one firewire peripheral, a 500GB WD My Book drive, which recently has been working intermittently (not a good quality for a backup drive). It also is USB 2.0 compatible, and the difference for me is negligible. I could see lack of firewire on the MacBook being a big deal for video professionals, but the screen size would probably be an even bigger issue. So, this didn’t really sway my decision.
It turns out having a smaller laptop is awesome in every respect besides screen size. It’s lighter and more portable, and that is a big win. I take my laptop all over the place, and the size makes it much less invasive to bring along. I actually feel like now it would be a little hard to go back to a 15-inch model.
Just in case you haven’t gotten your hands on one yet, the new unibody line is really sturdy. It feels like a brick, in a good way. I think I could stand on my MacBook without it breaking. I fully expect it to survive wear much better than my old MBP did.
No buyer’s remorse here. This is a computer I’ll be happily using for years to come.
Chip & Jules, I hope you have a wonderful 30th anniversary. You have a beautiful family, and have been amazing friends. You have such a sincere love for people, and are full of the joy of the Lord. I love you guys, have a delightful day!
Finally, THQ has announced the game from our other team at work, Drawn to Life: The Next Chapter.
The Wii version is not being developed by 5TH Cell, but I’ve had a few glances at the DS version that they’ve been working on here and it looks way better than the first Drawn to Life. I’m sure more news and screens are sure to follow soon.
There is a lot to catch up on, but I finally posted some new photos tonight. I’ve decided no longer to dump all my photos onto flickr. I’m going to make flickr a place to put photos that I like, or photos to share that I think friends would appreciate. I’ve spent way too much time posting way too many photos that no one would ever want to look at.
I’m still going to be posting to my photo page, but I’m linking to the photos from flickr. You’ll notice I’ve turned off the comments on the photo page. I’ve decided that flickr is a better place to host commenting for the photos anyway, and this will prevent there from being two places to comment on the same picture. The photo page is still for the photos I’ve taken that I’d like to highlight.
Stay tuned, more to come.
If you’ve been wondering how we stay entertained working long hours to hit game deadlines, wonder no more:
I sleep on a couch. It’s apparently something people have a hard time understanding. “Why do you sleep on a couch?” is one example of a question I hear a lot. “Where is your bed?” is another one.
A few years back I lived in a studio apartment. It wasn’t a big place, but I lived alone. I was getting tired of sleeping on the floor and I had a minor cash surplus. I didn’t have room (or money) for both a couch and a bed. I figured I’d be having friends over once in a while, and rather than walking into my bedroom, I preferred to present the feeling that they were walking into my living room.
And that leads us to the inevitable next question: “Why didn’t you get a futon?” Which provides a segue into what this post is really about. Industrial design.
Let’s learn a lesson from our friend, the spork. Half-spoon, half-fork, genius! We just eliminated 33% of silverware! Except that in reality, it’s not quite as clever as it is in your brain. Sporks are awful. The tines are not long enough to hold anything substantial, and they cut out a huge portion of the liquid holding capacity of a spoon. Instead of an unstoppable hybrid utensil, what you really end up with is the worst of both worlds. It is a terrible fork, and a substandard (at best) spoon. I have little doubt in my mind that it was conceived as a result of budget cuts, not a passion for cutlery innovation.
To me, a futon (or hide-a-bed) is just the furniture equivalent of the spork. When I go to sleep on a futon, I do so with the assumption of back pain tomorrow. It’s not any more comfortable of a couch either. It’s schizophrenic furniture with low self-esteem. No thank you, I’ll take one couch please.
So that’s what I did. I marched up to IKEA and bought me a couch, and I sleep wonderfully, thank you.
Update: Since getting married, I’ve been sleeping in a real bed. As of yet, I haven’t had to spend a single night on the couch. Thanks honey :)
Two buses passing each other on the Ave.
My cousin Amy posted a facebook note yesterday that pointed to this article. It contains this quote:
It is the grimmest of ironies that one of the most savage, barbaric acts of evil in history began in one of the most modernized societies of its time, where so many markers of human progress became tools of human depravity: science that can heal, used to kill; education that can enlighten, used to rationalize away basic moral impulses; the bureaucracy that sustains modern life, used as the machinery of mass death, a ruthless, chillingly efficient system where many were responsible for the killing, but few got actual blood on their hands.
President Obama said this April 23, 2009, referring to the Holocaust. What did you think the quote was about?
There is a new article on Kotaku from Brian Crecente who recently had a little play time with Scribblenauts.
First I wrote night vision goggles. A pair appeared in the air above my character. When I slipped them on his head the screen turned green.
For those of you who still don’t fully comprehend what I do… I did that. I made the graphic effect for those goggles so that they look like someone might expect night vision goggles to look. There’s a little glimpse into my world.
I propose some twitter tags for every day of the week:
Music Monday: “Have you heard of this band Coldplay? They’re pretty legit. #musicmonday”
Tech Tuesday: “Dropbox is amazing. Thank goodness for technology! #techtuesday”
Wacky Wednesday: “Scariest. Dog. Ever. http://thehomebased.com/?p=189 #wackywednesday”
Theory Thursday: “I think we perceive time proportionally to our physical size. #theorythursday”
Follow Friday: “A bunch of people follow Ashton Kutcher (@aplusk), he’s big time. #followfriday”
Satirical Saturday: “I think the Yankees have a moderate budget. #satiricalsaturday”
Salivate Sunday: “Have you forgotten how awesome Chipotle burritos are? #salivatesunday”
Update: Yet another article today. An interview with our Creative Director Jeremiah from IGN DS.