Home Sweet Home (Screen)

As of right now, and always subject to change.  

You’ll notice I subscribe to a minimalist model on the Macs. I prefer my desktop, Dock and menu bar relatively clean and uncluttered. Also, my MacBook and iMac cycle through a folder of wallpapers with the MB’s theme being blue, the iMac’s red. 



MacBook 13:


iMac 24:


My iPad vs. My MacBook: A Realization

It’s not forcing yourself to use a device that makes it part of what you do, it’s when you reach for something like the iPad involuntarily that you know it’s integrated itself comfortably into your life.

So true.

I let my daughter play with the iPad the other day—something I don’t do often because I have enough personal info on it to treat it private—and sat down in my office. Didn’t want to sit at the desk to read, so I decided to listen to music.

Only after putting headphones on did it occur to me that I have a MacBook I can use in the chair! Let’s see, where did I put it? Oh yes, behind the table next to the chair, on the floor, plugged in. All dressed up and nowhere to go.

It also occurred to me I haven’t brought my MacBook to Starbucks since I got the iPad. Further, on my recent trip to AZ I brought both devices, but the MacBook was never even taken out of the bag.

In short, I realized just how much I prefer the iPad for 90% of what I used the MacBook for. It’s a 13″ unibody that seems clumsy to me now. In fact, for most tasks it is clumsy compared to the iPad.

You CanNOT Get a MacBook-Equivalent PC Laptop For A Lot Less Money.

I sent a series of tweets recently inspired by two things:

  1. My search for a MacBook-like PC to run Windows 7.
  2. My realization that no such PC exists for a lot less money than a MacBook, though everyone (including many who should know better) seems to repeat this nonsense.

Below are the the tweets:

  • Dear WSJ and tech pundits: You can’t get a MacBook-equivalent PC for a lot less money; you only get a lesser one.
  • I’m sick of these low-voltage 1.3 GHz no-power laptops being treated as MacBook equivalents. It’s BS.
  • I’m sick of PC laptop starting prices of ~$650 when they use old or weak processors, old WiFi, have no Bluetooth, etc.
  • Closest is an HP Dv3t configured similar 2 MacBook @ $900 with lots of HP giveaways. Nice, but not a lot less $$.
  • The HP has more drive space and RAM. The MacBook has better battery, trackpad, smaller, lighter, unibody.
  • My point is when you’re within $100 on two laptops, take your pick, but the cheaper one is hardly a no-brainer.
  • Oh, and Dell XPS 13 and Lenovo models comparable to MacBook are priced higher.
  • Summary: Go thru PC makers’ lengthy BTO process; see what you really get b4 claiming a MacBook for a lot less.

The summary nails it. As you go through all the BTO screens for so many models, you find where each promising PC either falls off the list (e.g., no Core 2 Duo processors, no LED screen), or the price keeps adding up as you configure it like a MacBook.

Think about this: What would a MacBook cost if Apple used an older Intel processor with just 2MB cache (or a low-voltage Centrino or Atom processor), slower DDR2 800MHz memory, Intel graphics, WiFi 802.11 b/g (not “n”), no Bluetooth, a weak battery, a tray CD drive, etc.? That’s exactly what PC makers do to create the low-end machines they (and a willing press) love to tout so much. And don’t even get me started on the big, heavy, lumbering beasts touted for having 15″ screens even though they have the resolution of a 13″.

Regarding the HP mentioned above, CNET configured one that was the same price as a MacBook. Theirs had a slower CPU, but like mine had more hard drive and RAM. They didn’t even list the MacBook’s great 7-hour battery, incredible glass trackpad, or unibody construction as advantages. Yet for the same amount of money HP didn’t include any of those things. In other words, CNET undersold the MacBook even as they acknowledged getting a PC close to it requires spending similar money!

I’m not blasting the PC makers. It’s a cutthroat industry for them; they need to make dirt cheap machines because they have to advertise dirt cheap prices. But one thing is crystal clear: if you don’t use yesterday’s technology, or drop features, or skimp on the battery, etc., it costs money. There is no MacBook-like PC for $700.

I wouldn’t care as much about this if a buyer knew what he was getting. But given the current tech reporting a lot of buyers think they’re getting a “MacBook” for much less money, and that’s pure, unadulterated crap. I’m disappointed the tech pundits haven’t seen the same trends I have and called it what it is.

Meanwhile, what I’ve learned from this exercise is simple: if your budget won’t allow a ~$1K machine, skip the cheap laptop crap and go straight to a netbook. Yes, they also use weak processors, low-cost components, etc., but at least they’re priced like it. Further, they’re smaller and lighter than a laptop, so they have a tangible advantage cheap laptops don’t.

Posted via email from The Small Wave.

Did Apple Ask Microsoft To Pull Laptop Hunter Ads?

PinocchYes, according to Kevin Turner, Microsoft’s chief operating officer speaking at the Worldwide Partner Conference in New Orleans. During his speech he recounted a call he claimed to be from Apple Legal. According to the transcript:

And you know why I know they’re working? Because two weeks ago we got a call from the Apple legal department saying, hey — this is a true story — saying, “Hey, you need to stop running those ads, we lowered our prices.” They took like $100 off or something.

Is Turner telling the truth about this? I can’t say for sure, but it’s instructive to note that in the same transcript he says this about the Laptop Hunter ads (emphasis mine).

“Oh, I’m looking to spend less than $1,000.” Well we’ll give you $1,000. Go in and look and see what you can buy. And they come out and they just show them. Those are completely unscripted commercials.

Turner’s not being very truthful there. At the very least, it’s bending the truth to such an extent one must violate the laws of physics to pull it off. Unscripted? Please. Aside from certain events being staged, there’s also the kind of dialog that people are just not using unless prompted.

The latest example of this kind of dialog is in the most recent ad where, when showing a silver HP laptop (silver, to help it look like a unibody MacBook), the man talks about how sturdy it looks. No one usually talked about how “sturdy” a laptop felt until Apple began hacking them out of aluminum blocks. Apple’s been getting raves for the unibody durability, so now one of Microsoft’s laptop hunters coincidentally mentions the same thing about a cheap plastic laptop? Right.

I believe that when Microsoft picks a target price of less than $1,000 they’re on solid ground eliminating the Mac from contention. However, the rest of the supposedly “unscripted” dialog is bogus.

So did Apple Legal really call and request the ads be pulled, or is Turner bending the truth again? It sounds farfetched primarily because if Apple really felt they had a case for the ads to be pulled, they’d take action in writing. A written request, maybe even a Cease and Desist letter, would be more the style of Apple’s (or any large company’s) legal team. It just doesn’t seem like something they’d handle via a phone call to the COO.

Scoble Is Slobbering Again

Robert Scoble is apparently drooling all over a new… (wait for it) Dell! It’s called the Z, and he’s very excited:

this is the first Dell that has me slobbering in a very long time.

And with that ringing endorsement he also says he’ll be “dumping” his Mac. OK.

From the photo it seems like a nice looking machine, in that black MacBook sort of way (which is a nice looking machine).

But isn’t that kind of a “been there, done that” design? And it still runs Windows, right? I couldn’t help but notice it has the requisite PC stickers on it. Further, was Scoble only interested in Macs for their hardware/design? The Mac OS meant nothing?

You can see more about the new Latitude Z here. Meanwhile, don’t dump your Mac, Robert, sell it. Or send it to me.

TAB – A Continuing Discussion of the Unibody MacBook 13″ vs. PowerBook 12″

Charles Moore wrote a great article about the unibody 13″ MacBook compared to the much-loved 12″ PowerBook. A friend of Charles argued that until the dimensions were nearly identical it could never be considered a replacement. Charles feels there’s a little more to it than that.

I think they’re both right (yes, life is good sitting on top of this fence).

I don’t disagree with Charles’ friend that width is a big factor, and here the new MacBook is much bigger than the 12.” However, I would suggest that depth is the more critical (for use on a table, airline tray table, etc.) and here the new model is only slightly bigger. Further, weight is a big factor and the two are pretty much identical.

So you need to consider just what you’re getting for those extra couple inches of width…

Read the rest of this article on theAppleBlog >>