Digital World: Straight from the heart

Regardless of what the headlines may scream, most people are basically very conservative - with a small "c."

By DAVID SHAMAH
January 9, 2007 07:48

 
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Regardless of what the headlines may scream, most people are basically very conservative - with a small "c." The small minded ones look askance and say "what's a guy like you doing with that?" - not realizing that, due to their prejudiced ways, they are denying themselves what could be a beautiful relationship. I know that people look at us as we sit in a cafe, some looking down their noses, saying that you're not worth the money and effort. But others, I know, stare not because they disapprove - but because they would give anything to change places with me, to be the one seated at the table across from you. Where do I begin? How do I sing your praises? Is it your white shell, your gleaming surface that bespeaks a purity of heart and soul - yes, soul? Is it your versatility - the fact that you're equally at home in any of the cultures that surround us, able to switch in single stroke between your manifold abilities and orientations? Is it the fact that you've got what it takes - coming fully equipped for the many challenges thrown our way every day? Is it your sleek profile, your lightweightness, your super speed, your gentle touch - your complete outclassing of the competition? Yes - it is all this, and much, much more. You've become my constant companion, the one who knows my deepest, darkest secrets. If only "they" got to know you better - would anyone blame me for feeling this way? Could they? I think not! Dare I even say the word that comes to mind, to describe my feelings for you? No, I dare not - not in public, at least. The world just isn't ready for this kind of a relationship, between man and machine. But I'm betting a lot of those old-fashioned notions will change as more people get to know the Macbook (http://www.apple.com/macbook/macbook.html). About the virtues of the Macintosh, much has already been said - by me, among others. From start to finish, the Mac experience is far more than just pretty pictures with a smiley-face icon greeting you at startup. Part of the charm is the built-in iLife software, which includes super easy to use software to produce movies, music, DVDs, and Web sites (http://www.apple.com/macbook/ilife.html). Now that all the Macs, from the bargain-priced Mac Mini to the most expensive machines in the line, have Intel dual-core processors and each machine is fast and furious. The differences in speed between the 1.87 ghz iMac and the 2.33 ghz version are not as significant as the numbers would imply (the 1.87 ghz version is plenty fast on its own). And, even after all these years, Windows XP is still an also-ran to Mac OsX, in my opinion (potential indignant e-mail correspondents, note that last phrase). But the Macbook is a different creature altogether, chock full of features that make computing simple. It's got a Web camera built right in (along with the software to use it); a Firewire port; two USB 2.0 ports; built-in WiFi and Bluetooth; and an Apple Remote that allows you to run the computer as a DVD or CD player while you sit on the living room sofa. Its battery is tops in terms of providing remote power, as well - you can get as much as six hours of juice from a fully charged Macbook battery that is not connected via WiFi to the Internet and doesn't have a CD or DVD in its internal drive. But those features are old hat for Macs nowadays. A more unique feature is the Macbook's trackpad, which allows you to scroll through a document by placing two fingers on the trackpad and moving them. Mac veterans know that Apple never was one for a right click contextual menu, but the company decided to include it on mice shipped with desktop systems beginning several years ago (the better to appeal to Windows users). The trackpad on the Macbook does not have a right click feature either - but in one of the coolest hardware features on the Macbook, placing two fingers on the trackpad and clicking the mouse button gets you a right click menu! Also very cool is the Macbook's Sudden Motion Sensor: It detects sudden changes in the position of the computer - such as would occur if the Macbook were to fall off a table - and automatically disengages the disk drive heads from the drive platters, thereby protecting your data. When the coast is clear, the drives start up again and everything works the way it's supposed to - no harm, no foul. Here's the hardware feature I really, really like: The MagSafe power connector, which connects the Macbook's battery charger to the computer via a magnet, with no internal pins to attach an external power pack to, as is the custom among most PC laptops. As a matter of fact, one of my main motivations in upgrading to a Macbook was because of just such an electrical connection problem in my old HP laptop. The electrical connector, apparently on the motherboard, was no longer seated properly, and the local HP service agent wanted a ridiculous amount of money to fix it (i.e they would only do it if I bought a new motherboard). Buying a Macbook cost more than the NIS 2500 HP wanted for the repair, but in truth the Macbook is a bargain because you're in essence getting two computers for the price of one. With its Intel processor, the Mac can now "do Windows" without batting an eye. Apple supplies a free utility called Boot Camp (http://www.apple.com/macosx/bootcamp) that lets you switch back and for between Mac OS and Windows (you have to supply your own copy of Windows XP, of course). But instead of Bootcamp, I would suggest the virtual Windows machine supplied by Parallels (http://www.parallels.com). With Parallels, I can run a full-fledged Mac or Windows system at the same time, with no need to reboot anything. The Parallels system utilizes all of the Mac's > resources, including CD/DVD, WiFi, USB ports, etc. If you're used to Windows versions of programs and/or don't want to get alternative Mac versions of your favorite software, the $80 Parallels costs is a small price to pay for the convenience of switching back and forth between Mac and Windows systems. And the Parallels default install requires 8 MB of space and 96 MB of RAM, a not too taxing demand even for the most basic 60 GB Macbook. Of course, any music or video you play on the Windows side comes out through the Macbook's speakers even when you're working on the Mac side, which means that my favorite online streaming radio program (Windows only), Replay Radio (http://www.replay-video.com) works just like it did on the old Windows laptop. Thanks to my Macbook, these days I'm in computer heaven. Who wouldn't write a love letter to such a computer? http://digital.newzgeek.com

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