TITLE: My New Baby
AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford
DATE: May 23, 2008 9:41 AM
Why is it that I feel compelled to write about getting
a new Macbook Pro? Lots of people have one by now.
But for a computer guy like me, a new laptop is one
part professional tool and one part toy, a new user
experience that shapes how I live.
my last laptop purchase,
I splurged and bought an entry-level Macbook Pro. The
15" screen seems so much bigger than my iBook's 13"
screen, because it is. The actual screen size is
13-1/8"x8-1/4" versus 9-3/4"x7-1/4", which is 50% larger.
One motivation for buying the iBook last time was having
a smaller machine for while flying. That worked out as
planned, but even when I travel a lot I don't travel all
that much. I'll have a chance to see how well the new
machine travels next week when I visit Google.
Migrating files and configuration was much simpler this
time. The Pro comes with a 200GB drive, rather than the
30GB(!) drive the 2005 iBook shipped with. Of course,
this experience only accentuates that I am old. I think
of that 30GB drive as horribly restrictive, yet not that
many years ago I would have felt like a king with one.
The new machine's drive is close enough to my office
machine's 240-gig drive that I was able to mirror all
of my files. That said, I was surprised a bit to find
that the "200GB Serial ATA" drive advertised has an
actual capacity of 186.31GB...)
It's a good idea for me to get a new machine every once
in a while, and not just for the new technology, which
is itself a wonderful advantage. I'm a creature of habit,
more so than most people I know, and my brain benefits
from being pulled out of its rut. My fingers must learn
a new keyboard. I have to dig out a new bag to carry it
in, because my OOPSLA 2005 isn't wide enough. The
Leopard interface is just different enough to open my
eyes to tasks that are now carried out subconsciously
on the older machines.
Whenever I get a new machine and face the task of despoiling
the pristine, out-of-the-box set-up of my system with my
own files, I feel the urge eliminate clutter. A big part
of this is always clearing out my
-- currently at 13,604 files and 1.46 GB on disk. (My
stuff/ folder is full of folders, so I just
took a break to write a quick Ruby script to count the
files for me.) But this time I also paid close attention
to /Applications/personal, where I store nearly
all of the Mac applications I install on my machine. The
only exceptions are major-league apps such as iWork and
Adobe Creative Suite.
/Applications/personal on my desktop machine
contains 59 apps total, including four "classic" (pre-OS
X) programs. I also have two folders of apps on trial in
the stuff/ folder, totaling another 27.
Hello. My name is Eugene. I am an application junkie.
Whenever I read about a cool app in a blog or an e-mail
or a magazine, I go "Ooh!" and download it. I delete
many of these; for the 86 on my machine, I've probably
tried and deleted several multiples more. But often they
find there way into a folder somewhere because I just
know that I'll use them soon. But usually I
don't. I don't use Paparazzi or Keyboard Cleaner, or
PsyncX or WordService. They are all fine programs, I
am sure, but they just never broke into my workflow.
Same for Growl and AquamacsEmacs.
So this time, I decided to transfer only programs that I
recall using as a part of my work or play. Right now,
the new Macbook has 20 apps, ranging from workhorses
such as NetNewsWire and VoodooPad to programming tools
such as PLT Scheme and Scratch down to fun little utilities
such as LittleSecrets and PagePacker -- and one game so
far, SudokuCompanion. Let's see what I miss from the big
stash, if anything...
And don't get me started on the widgets I installed back
when Dashboard seemed so very cool. I almost never use
a one of them. None have made it across the divide yet.
My Macbook Pro now knows me as wallingf. Perhaps
I should give her a name, too. It's personal.