A close friend of mine had been to the US for work in his company’s headquarters. I had asked him to get me a laptop and I’ve been playing with it since the night before yesterday.

What kind of laptop? It is a 12-inch Apple Powerbook with Mac OS X 10.3.9. It has a 1.5 GHz RISC processor (apparently, equivalent to a 3GHz CISC processor such as Intel/AMD ones) with 512 MB DDR RAM, 60 GB hard disk, Combo drive which can read DVDs and write CDs, a GeForce video card with 64 MB dedicated video RAM, Airport Extreme for wireless networking, Bluetooth built-in, very clear speakers, keyboard with big keys (really like that keyboard), and much more. I haven’t been able to grok all the features, let alone explore all of them…


I have never used Mac OS before in my life, so, it’s difficult exploring the computer. My previous experience with computers is not helping and the keyboard shortcuts are a bit different and they depend on the special Apple key (which they call ‘Command’ key).

The first thing I tried was to get online. After 20 min of exploring, I finally figured out how to change the IP address, netmask, etc. I think I am getting the hang of using the menus.


The graphics in Mac OS, needless to say, are very appealing. The rollover effects for the tray (or whatever they call it in Mac), the genie effect when minimizing a button, etc. are nice. Pressing F9 causes all the windows to be rearranged such that you can see all of them, click on the window you want to see and it comes up in front. Very nifty; after all, there is no taskbar.

The software installed is amazing as well. I hope to get used to Garage Band soon so I can make starting songs again (I had made one song using FruityLoops a long time ago). The DVD player immediately popped up when I inserted the Yahoo! 10th Birthday Videos DVD (I was so inspired when seeing those videos but that’s another story). All the interpreted languages like Python, Perl, Ruby, PHP were already present. That reminds me that Mac OS X is built on top of Darwin, an open source core based on BSD. iTunes provides a one-click import interface for my Audio CDs. It was a breeze to transfer the songs to my iPod.


If you are still wondering about the “g4swaroop”, my friend joked that I should change my handle from g2swaroop to g4swaroop (because of the G4 processor of the PowerBook) – I thought that was an appropriate title for this post since this is the first post using the PowerBook :)

I still have a lot to explore. I hope to get the hang of it before my copy of Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger arrives. I also have to figure how to “install” software – I have to figure out what the .sit, .dmg and .mpkg extensions mean… that means time to explore the Help (Command-?).

W.r.t. Powerbook and Mac OS X, I would appreciate any words of advice from the Mac veterans :)

22 thoughts on “G4Swaroop

  1. First off, HOLY CRAP ! You rich geek you !

    Yes, getting used to X can be a raw deal initially, but Im sure the geek in you will find that a challenge well worth the effort !

    Watch the iPod… working between the Mac and WinXP causes a re-format of the hdd in the iPod (I started with songs from a Mac on my iPod, when I plugged it into iTunes on WinXP, it reformatted the whole thing)

    The thing at the bottom is called the dock.

    How I envy you being able to use Quicksilver. I miss that sooo much on my windows box. *sigh* Try it out, its probably the best 3rd party application for the Mac out there. Once you start using it, you will wonder how you ever got on without it !!

  2. Hey Swaroop,

    You seem to be on a roll acquiring all this Apple hardware recently. First the IPod, then the laptop. I got myself an IPod when I came back from Norway. Maybe I should do the same thing for the laptop too … :-)



  3. Someone’s jealous*! guess who!!!

    well anywayz a 12 inch… are you ok with a 12 inch G4?

    hmm…20 minutes is a long time to figure out :P

    congrats for acquiring mac os x and the g4…waiting for me to get older than i am and also rich so that I can acquire the ‘drool’ tools ! :)

  4. Dude, you are one lucky dog! ;) I am in US of A and even I can’t afford Powerbook and you can! Even I want to join Yahoo! and get paid in lakhs! :)


  5. @Vig: Thanks for the warning, I’ll be careful with the iPod. I’ll take a look at QuickSilver as soon as I finish this Fink download. Thanks for the tips! :)

    @Kiran, @Noorul: Thanks :)

    @Anand: Go for it!

    @Pradeep: Heh heh :P … it’s ironic that it was your suggestion that made me think of getting a PowerBook in the first place :D

    @Prem: So, Kapil finally got it. Cool!

    @Ankit: Yeah, 12-inch is good enough. I love its compactness. Don’t worry, you’ll get to play with much more fancier drool maal than I will ;)

    @JD: Why don’t you send me your resume? I could sure use the referral bonus :mrgreen:

  6. Man, I want to get a powerbook now :D

    If could easily decide to go with it, if I could convince myself to live without Linux (read: macosx+opensource does everything).

  7. And btw, isn’t a powerbook too heavy (4,5,6 lbs) when compared to x86 notebooks (2.3 lbs for thinkpad)?

    Also, 12″ powerbook seems to fit my budget, but still I feel 12″ is too small for my eyes, as my desktop monitor is 15″, though I haven’t seen any of the powerbook.

    Throw some light.

  8. Hello Swaroop,

    * [Del.icio.us Mac](http://del.icio.us/tag/mac) will help you in finding useful things for your new box.

    * [KernelThread on Mac OS X](http://www.kernelthread.com/mac/osx/) – another useful link

    * [Mac for Unix users](http://www.macdevcenter.com/pub/a/mac/2002/10/22/macforunix.html)

    I had used a mac for some time (thankfully :-) ). It tries to be VERY user friendly. Luckily, you can compile most of gnuutils stuff on it. I would suggest you get yourself bash first, the default shell supplied with mac (tsh, i think) is very irritating.

    Oh, btw, enjoy the embrace of Steve Job :-)

  9. I will ask the same person to get for me next time he goes ….its very tempting to have one …. congrats :)

  10. @Sridhar: It is a bit heavy. Well, you can’t have everything ;) … 12-inch in theory sounds small but it doesn’t seem that small when I am actually using it now.

    @Raj: Thanks for the tips! Appreciate it :) Btw, Bash _is_ default for me. I have Mac OS X 10.3.9 on my system.

    @Pramod: Thanks :)

    @Sudheer: The same person is going to get a laptop for himself next time … so you may have to look for someone else ;)

  11. Hi Swaroop,

    Sorry for the late reply,

    This is the latest update i have about tiger and believe me i have been working with it for about 15 days… and it is great
    Features like spotlight – Instant Search, Dash Board and Safari RSS are simply Great…

    Introducing Mac OS X Tiger. The world’s most advanced operating system now puts even more power at your fingertips.
    Explore more than 200 new features that will change how you use your computer. Discover how the innovations in Tiger work together seamlessly to give you a more enjoyable and functional platform for anything you do with your Mac.

    Experience the breakthrough new desktop search technology that finds anything on your computer as quickly as you type. Search your entire system from one place: Files, images, emails, contacts, calendars and applications appear instantly.

    Zooming to the top of your Desktop with the click of a function key, Dashboard, like Exposé, disappears just as easily. Use Dashboard to access nifty new mini-applications called widgets.

    Safari RSS
    The world’s fastest web browser for the Mac, Safari now boasts built-in RSS support. Scan the latest news, information and articles from thousands of websites in one easy-to-read, searchable article list using Safari RSS.

    iChat AV
    Tiger iChat AV brings multi-way video and audio conferencing directly to your Desktop with new technology that delivers stunning, true-to-life picture and crystal-clear conversation.

    An innovative personal automation assistant that helps you streamline challenging repetitive manual tasks without programming, Automator works like a robot inside your computer.

    QuickTime 7
    Make the future of video crystal clear with new QuickTime 7 features including user-friendly controls and pristine H.264 video. Upgrade to QuickTime 7 Pro and capture your own movies, then share them via email or .Mac.

    .Mac Sync
    With .Mac sync now fully built in to Mac OS X Tiger preferences, staying up to date is simple. Sync information from your favorite applications to multiple Macintosh computers and your .Mac account seamlessly.

    The spoken English interface to Mac OS X, Voiceover enhances the Universal Access capabilities of Mac OS X to provide a new way for the visually impaired to access the Macintosh through speech, audible cues and keyboard navigation.

    Parental Controls
    Mac OS X Tiger is the most family-friendly operating system ever developed, thanks to Parental Controls. Protect kids over a wide range of system preferences and applications, including Mail, Safari, iChat and more.

    Take control of your correspondence with Mac OS X Tiger Mail, now featuring Spotlight search technology. Find email instantly and accurately, organize messages using Smart Folders and share, save or view emailed images easily.

    If there is anything else do let me know.

  12. great goin swa.. a mac is a mac…i use it for my applications in visual effects…trust me its an amazing piece of hardware and software…. get tiger on it and its gonna kick ass. enjoy!

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