So I never thought the day would come. I started on the new job three weeks ago and I was issued a MacBook Pro running OS-X Yosemite (10.10) I had a somewhat crestfallen look on my face when I saw it but I’ve adapted nicely.
I have to say functionally not much different than Windows and vice versa. Things I do like about it are I’l list.
- The Retina display is REALLY nice and sharp.
- The OS is intuitive – well, only because I’ve used Macintosh computers in prior days all the way back to the origin. So it wasn’t such a stretch to remember where things were. And there’s very little difference now between OS-X and Windows.
- The design of the case is really slick.
Now the problems I have with the machine:
- Only two USB ports. Oh sure they give you two thunderbolt ports too. But like Firewire what the hell can you attach to those thunderbolt ports that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.
- There’s no easy way to install things on the command line in OS-X. You have to download an app called Brew to do it.
- The App store isn’t used for just apps but systems updates too. And you cannot update without a god fucking damned Apple ID. That really irks me, plus you have to tap in a credit card too. After all they don’t distinguish between systems and applications so they need to bill you somehow for the apps.
- The machine is plenty fast but every now and again I’ll detect a freeze up – just wait a couple seconds and the mouse will return.
- As to Safari – the behavior of hiding the scroll bar over on the right in a web page is stupid.
- The clickable gesture touchpad. Ick! I know, everything is going gestural, even my Windows 10 box at home uses them. But the other thing, the whole mouse pad clicks down. It’s really annoying. PC manufacturers figured out detecting force on a touchpad long ago – why the hell is Apple still using it. It feels cheap.
- No on board ethernet port – which means you have to suck up on of your USB ports with a network dongle.
- No easy dock capability. My Dell E6420 has a big old dock connector on the bottom of the machine. The Mac world you have to buy a $300 to $400 Thunderbolt dock. The dock for the E6420 is less than $100.
So there you have it, my honest view of a brand new 15″ MacBook Pro. I honestly doubt I’d buy one for personal use knowing what I now know. And I still have the memory of an older MacBook that could not connect to an 802.11G network, only 802.11A/B. Of course they fixed it – for $79 you could download the next version that DID connect to 802.11G.
It’s funny the place I work is a mixture of these Macintoshes in the dev side – and Lenovo T420 and T440 machines on the business side. And I will be the first to admit even the Lenovo boxes feel cheap as hell. But then even IBM’s ThinkPad felt poorly constructed and mostly plastic too so nothing changed there. I’ll stick with my Dell machines – they’re built solid. In fact the E6420 I have – I could get the external casing and turn it into a ruggedized machine. And I bet it wouldn’t cost a fortune. Plus the case on the this E6420 is magnesium.