Wednesday, September 10, 2008

What I like about the MAC

Although I did have a bit of trouble with iPhoto, I do like many many things about the mac. Short list:
  • screen is very easy on the eyes, can't tell why but its just very pleasing to look at
  • the multi-touch trackpad turns a barely useable mousing device into something I miss when its not there
  • no window focus changes due to alerts from background software, instead the app "bounces" in the dock at the bottom of the screen
  • sound is really good
  • the way the monitor always knows how bright to be
  • ditto the back-lit keyboard
But what about the "feel" of the running programs? How does the mac compare to my work PC when they are both doing the same thing?

Here is one back to back comparison with my work PC (a Lenovo T60 2Ghz running XP pro). Watching a video on MSNBC the PC becomes nearly unresponsive. The volume controls seem to hang as I try to use them. I could still do everything, but the video - even in the background - caused my PC to be jittery. Windows pop more slowly etc. I had to go to the control pannel to bring up the volume controls. The keyboard volumn was all the way up - but somehow this is not connected to the volumn in the control panel (which was nearly all the way down). I'm sick of trying to figure out how the control panel volumn goes down - I only push the buttons on the keyboard.... In any event, as the image below shows, both processors are pretty well utilized:

Here is the mac playing the same video. On this machine, a Macbook pro (2.4 Ghz running 10.5.3) it reports one processor at 100% and the other at 11% for firefox. That leaves 89%.

There is a noticable difference in the way the machines feel. The mac is competely usable. The screen grab SW worked as if the computer was doing nothing but. On the PC, bringing up MS Paint to save the Alt-Print Screen buffer took a long long time. The volumn control on the keyboard worked with no delay. Its as if those buttons have a direct connection to the physical amplifier - it is that responsive.

I've used PCs since high school in 1989 and they've always been like this. Clunky. The Mac is not clunky. Some of the bundled software might not "just work" (at least not the way I wanted to use it) - but the system itself most certainly does.

By the way, Obama is great in this video...

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