Sunday, November 1, 2009

New Laptop

As of late, I have bought a MacBook Pro. At the time, I did it mainly for completeness - I have used all of the major operating systems except for OS X (All the NT-based Windowses, Many distributions of Linux, FreeBSD, OpenSolaris). I have a personal commitment to portable code, so I thought that I would have one more platform to make sure my code runs on it.

However, this laptop quickly became my choice computer to use. It seems to be the best medium between a low-level Unix environment and a high-level Windows environment. The command-line is a staple of any unix developer's toolbox, and I find Windows' lack of an integrated terminal (that doesn't blow) very disgruntling. A note on that, actually - Why the hell can't we make terminals wider than 80 characters on Windows? Literally every other operating system has figured out a way to make that work. On the other hand, OS X has many supported applications (Something in which Linux and Unix as a whole are lacking) as well as having a very intuitive user interface (to an extent - Those silly minimization animations are ridiculous)

Anyway, enough harping on Apple. I believe that I must be starting to drink the Kool-Aid or something - I'm liking this computer more and more. In fact, I like it so much that I've decided to get rid of my old laptop and use this one instead. I used my old one because it was a tablet and I found it useful for taking notes in math classes. However, I have found that that HP laptop as a whole is shoddily made. For example, the trackpad will move the mouse and click, even when i'm nowhere near the laptop. It makes watching movies excessively annoying when the laptop is set up on a desk, I'm 2 feet away from it watching peacefully, and the mouse moves to the pause button and pushes it, completely unprompted. I have found that on paper, the two laptops cost about the same, have comparable power, but the MacBook Pro just has so much more polish.

So I have finally began the process of wiping that old laptop to sell. But then, what was I to do if I was on the go and needed to use Windows? Lo and behold, the MacBook Pro has an Intel processor, so I installed Windows 7 on it with the help of Boot Camp. And of course, I installed some of the games that I own, just to try them out. I know for a fact these games are completely unplayable on my older laptop, but on the MacBook Pro they run completely fine! Once I set the screen resolution to a little bit smaller than native, I was getting a consistent playable 30fps in Left 4 Dead.

One thing is clear - Apple's engineering clearly outshines HP's. Though this may not be a fair comparison, as the HP was a tablet, the usability speaks for itself. In fact, the MacBook Pro runs games so well, I believe I could take it to a lan party and play all night, and not have to lug my giant heavy desktop gaming system. So much better.

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