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April 28, 2007


John Muir

Prior disgruntlement with SuSE … check
Tiresome experiences fishing out components from a cramped tower … check
Face to face with hardware upgrade answers to software questions … check
What's the difference exactly between a format and a 'quick format'? … check

Some experiences are pretty universal. Fortunately the laptop I was eyeing when *everything* went wrong with my machine was a PowerBook and the OS I took a blind leap into was OS X instead of Vista.

Usually, I'd say a clear head is the best initial condition for a good purchase. It only makes sense that it should be. But for me it was just as I said, and your post reminded me of the experience. It was a Sunday and most of our stores were closed (Scotland a few years back) so it had a fine weird feel to it. But I was damned impressed with what I got, and since I snatched Mac Office along with it I was able to resolve my own (admittedly quaint) crisis.

And yes, I've subsequently downloaded drivers via my PowerBook innumerable times when thing Just Didn't Work on other systems.

And relax…


Unfortunately going to see a Mac in a store here would require a drive of a couple of hours and fighting through traffic in the Raleigh, NC area.

I understand why resellers are reluctant to take on Apple. Apple has not been the best reseller partner. I was amazed to learn that most small resellers can't even sell iPods.

I was also impressed that the HP website had a few models available that you could only get through their resellers. That's better than most treatment for resellers.

Perhaps we'll get Macs in the local Best Buy, and my next moment of crisis can be tempered by a visit to see some Macs and PCs.


I don't like Norton either. Symantec and McAfee got in a features war and the only result seems to be that both programs are complete monsters. Only Eset's NOD32 and Kasperky seem to be both very effective and light on resources. Leo Laporte says he gets so many calls from people who have had problems caused by Norton internet Security that he's lost count.

BTW, have you tried the WebKit nightlies on OS X?


As you probably know, these are the early versions of what will eventually make its way into Safari, and making them available is part of Apple's open-source commitment to the KHTML engine. They seem pretty smooth and stable to me. Tim Gaden is reporting that they will now cope with GMail's rich text editing:


I wondered if they might work for you in the web apps you needed that in.


I fail to how how a Mac "saved the day." Any working OS would have done the job of accessing Dell.Com just fine.


Well the Mac happened to be my only working operating system. There were actually three operating systems on the PC and none would work.

I didn't make a big deal out of it, but the problem didn't happen on the Mac, both systems were running at the time of the power outage.

Also if the Mac OSX system had faced the same reinstall, it would not have had a problem since the drivers are all on the one disk.

Maybe Microsoft has done this with VISTA, but I haven't heard. In this day of downloadable software, I would sure find a way to make certain that along with cd-rom and video drivers that my OS install disk included ethernet drivers.


You'd better be careful! If you keep letting us see all those cool photos and telling us all how wonderful it is there, you might attract some Mac desktop support people to compete with you!

Juan de Dios Santander Vela

I think people clearly underestimate one thing Apple does exceedingly well: it provides both installable copies of the OS, and a "factory restore" DVD, that you can use either on your entire hard drive or on a particular partition, so that you can have your Mac as it came from the factory… but just on one part of the disk, leaving the remaining ready for any other OS…

That, and the ability to boot up in Firewire Target mode, usually makes much easier saving the day if you happen to have another Mac lying around…


I'm kinda curious why you don't want to run Parallels on a good MacBook Pro? It's not the cheapest, but it sure is elegant on a single slim computer. You could save a lot of money and time by maintaining one computer rather than several.

I'm an Apple Business Agent and recently made a sale to a realtor. She needs WinXP for some stuff, but loves the simplicty of the mac OS. It was an easy transition for her to make. Would that make a difference for you if your next laptop had a larger screen and a bit more power to run Parallels?


Actually there is a good chance I will do that, but my "luck" with Apple products has been a little spotty since I left the company in 2004.

The dual G5 I bought had some memory problems out of the box which were hard enough to duplicate that I just took care of it myself.

I bought a nice 15" Aluminum Powerbook just after Apple fired me. Of course, it lost one of its memory slots right after going out of warranty and wasn't one of the units covered by the extension.

Then just before I got the MacBook, the Aluminum PB started having the hinge video problems. An Apple reseller told me how much it would cost to have that fixed at Apple, and I just couldn't see spending that kind of money on it especially since my son was an Apple technician and could fix it, if we could get the part.

Then I bought the MacBook which discolored immediately, and in less than six months the battery wouldn't charge. It took some convincing but I did get Apple to let me FedEx it back since there is no reseller within two hours of me.

Now it is discoloring again.

In the fall of 2005, I bought a Dell Latitude D610, it's had hard service and now has gone to college with my youngest daughter. So far it has had fewer problems than a Mac, but it's still early on that and it is just one system.

Maybe it is because I live not far from where there once was a Boondocks sign.


Or maybe it is just a gut feel, but I am not certain Apple is really committed to the hardware anymore.

Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love Macs. In fact I admit to an addiction to Macs. If I could buy a MacBook Pro with an OEM copy of Windows and MacOS X and be sure I was getting technology that didn't need the next eight months to work out the bugs and which came with a "no non-sense if it breaks I will take it back for three years warranty" that didn't cost me an arm and a leg, I would probably do it.

I think Apple has Lexus priced products with a warranty than doesn't justify the price. That's an Apple trend in my opinion. Dot Mac certainly doesn't justify its price.

Having said all that, and still loving Macs, I know that I can buy a pretty good Windows laptop for $1,000 which is a lot less than I would pay for a new MacBook Pro laptop.

There is an authorized HP laptop service center ten minutes from my house. I was in his store the other day and heard him taking care of a customer. I'm convinced he did a good job. I thinking about trying to convince him to dance with the Apple elephant, but I'm not sure that I want that on my conscience.

I guess to net it out, experience has taught me to see beyond the glitter of Apple products, even OSX.

Right now Apple is enthusiastic about the iPhone. Resources are limited at Apple, the best will go towards the iPhone.

Millions of people will buy the iPhone just on the assumption that it will be good, and I hope it is.

Granted Apple's technology is stellar usually, but I am uncomfortable with the model that we buy because Apple produces.

I want them to earn my laptop business with not only the best technology but also the best service and reliability.

I don't get the feeling that best laptop service and reliability ranks very highly against getting the iPhone out on time. After all even OSX lost on that one.

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