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
.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 :)