Two Years With My MacBook Pro

It's been about two years since I got my MacBook Pro, (maybe a little less), so I thought I might analyze how well the computer has done for me. Over two years I've had both enjoyments and complaints, and I have a few comparisons to make as well between this laptop and the alternatives.

Before getting this computer, I was pretty much a Microsoft guy (besides having an iPod and later an iPhone). My friends would get into Mac vs. PC debates and I would support PC for all the usual reasons - more widespread programs, a more sensible operating system, and so on. Largely, I think my dislike for Macs stemmed from my annoyance at having to use them every once in a while at school and being unfamiliar with the foreign interface.

me with my Dell XPS,
my first semester at Georgetown
My first computer all my own was a Dell XPS M1530, which I got halfway through my junior year in high school. It was a laptop with a navy top, a forward-slanting profile, a webcam, a fingerprint reader, and - as it turned out - kind of a flimsy keyboard. It ran on Windows Vista, which I didn't quite like so much compared to Windows XP, which I was used to on the big old desktop PC we had. Nevertheless, the computer worked just fine, and I enjoyed it as my first laptop and as my computer used during my freshman year at Georgetown.


There's my computer -
displaying Peter's Publisher!
Then one night during the following summer, I dropped that laptop and the screen cracked. For a while I could still see most of the screen, and it was only the lower right corner cut off by the crack that was totally black. Then the screen died entirely and I really had to find something new. While I had had my Dell, my younger brother as well as my best friend had gotten Macs, and after having asked them curious questions about it for months, I decided to follow them.

Overall, the Apple experience is very good. It took me quite a while to get really comfortable with the interface, but now I really appreciate all the tricks that can be done on the trackpad and keyboard, and any machine without them seems inefficient by comparison. I do, however, have two big complaints (that I can think of right now, at least):

  1. File organization is too inflexible. On my PC I could put my folders in any order I want, and now it has to be alphabetical. I'm also continually bothered by iPhoto and whether I should store my photos within that application or put them outside it in my regular documents. Although I've been gradually drawn over to iPhoto, I'm still pretty annoyed by the file structure.
  2. Note the missing treads on the right.
    Now the front left one came off too.
  3. MacBooks have totally faulty treads! This might seem like a minor thing, but it's actually very serious. I've now had three little black feet fall off of my laptop, and this would be ok, except that when these treads fall off, they open up little holes that expose the battery and logic board! Who's smart idea was that? Why not keep it fully aluminum and have no holes at all? It seems the treads are put on with a pretty flimsy adhesive, since many other people have had this problem as well.

In the end, though, I will have to concur with what has been common wisdom on the internet, expressed succinctly by this comic: Whatever computer you use has become increasingly less relevant, compared to what you use on the internet. The search engines, social networks, web applications and other websites we choose are already much more important to our technological lives than people's differences in hardware and software. In spite of that, though, I sure hope this MacBook Pro lasts me a lot longer: I don't want to buy a new computer anytime soon!

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