TITLE: My New Baby AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: May 23, 2008 9:41 AM DESC: ----- BODY: 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 new Macbook Pro Unlike 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 stuff/ folder -- 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. -----