Archive for the ‘Apple’ Category

Mac vs. PC Cost Analysis – Round 2

Tuesday, July 10th, 2007

There’s no question about it. Last month’s Mac vs. PC Cost Analysis article struck a chord. I was praised and lambasted around the Internet for it. It was also republished by Computerworld, where it pulled in a lot of traffic. If you didn’t catch it, I recommend the Computerworld version of the story, which was lightly updated because of Apple’s release of its new MacBook Pro model line on June 5.

It seemed to me that people who criticized this story missed the key points I was trying to get across:

1. This was a pure, hardware-based, speeds-and-feeds kind of comparison. I was comparing the hardware goods only, including CPU, chipset, RAM, video, display, hard-drive capacity and specs, ports and upgradeability, dimensions and weight, and so on. In other words, I was attempting to make an objective comparison that did not inject any evaluation about the hardware, anything at all about the software, or my personal experience with the operating systems and hardware involved. It was an on-paper comparison.

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IPhone Lust? Get over It

Tuesday, July 10th, 2007

Hey, if I were you, I’d buy it. But I’m me, and I have to get over it. I’ve bought one too many things of late. Worse, I was a total iPhone Luddite. What, no 3G? Gawd, who wants that! Besides, it looks huge on in the TV ads. Plus, $60 to $100 a month, for AT&T’s network? I … don’t … think … so.

And then my buddy Ken Mingis placed the one he bought — after pledging with me that he would not buy one, I might add — in my hand. The universe tilted. I entered an altered state of being. And my mouth dropped open. I had to have one. Had to!

So 3G or not, I’d probably be buying one. If I could. But my wife, Cyndy, would probably make me sleep out back in the shed (along with the mystery mammal that’s living beneath it). And she’d have cause. Apple’s iPhone is darn expensive when you consider the two-year contract. And as you’ll see, I haven’t exactly been frugal lately.

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The New ‘Santa Rosa’ MacBook Pro 17

Tuesday, July 10th, 2007

Just as I was sending last month’s newsletter, Apple released a significant update to its MacBook Pro line. Among other things, the 15-inch model got an LED screen, which I’ve examined closely. It’s very bright, and consistently so across the entire screen. The MacBook Pro LCDs are almost as bright, but like all LCDs, they have minor anomalies, and they tend to fade a bit with age. The expectation is that the LEDs will be more consistent and won’t fade so much. I couldn’t find any downsides to 15-inch LED screen, but I’m interested to hear from readers who have it. If you do, please send me a note and let me know what you think of it.

The new 17-inch MacBook Pro also came with a surprising set of upgrades. Finally, the 17-inch model offers 1,920-by-1,200-pixel resolution. That had been a glaring omission in the previous MBP line. The new higher-resolution display is a $100 option. I vastly prefer this resolution for this size screen. It gives you a lot more screen real estate. Some people may find that some things are too tiny for comfort, but Apple does a much better job than Microsoft at creating UI structures that work well in multiple resolutions. So, for example, the tiny colored dots that let you close, minimize, and expand Finder and program windows appear to be the same size no matter what resolution you’re in. The only issue you may have is with the text of some Web pages. Safari has an optional toolbar button pair that lets you increase the font size of the current Web page up or down one notch. (The Command+ and Command- keyboard combos also handle this.) That was only the only adjustment I needed to make for my aging eyes.

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