Macbook Pro 17

Macbook Pro

After about a month and a half of researching, flip-flopping and scratching my head, I finally took the plunge and ordered my new system, a sweet little Macbook Pro 17″ which I affectionately named ‘Beast’.

I wanted to hold off on posting anything right away regarding the new computer just to have a bit of time to get to know it. Not only did I leap from a PC to a Mac, but also from Adobe CS2 to CS4, so the past week or so was a lot re-learning keyboard shortcuts, file systems and all the little processes I take for granted as I work. It’s like trying to drive before locating the steering wheel.

So after a week of crunching through Photoshop and Illustrator as I continued with my freelance jobs, Beast passed all of my tests with flying colors (literally). The glossy monitor is stellar with nice bold colors and I love the simplified design with it’s sleek silver casing and utilitarian black rubber keyboard. I worked on some stuff last week at my local watering hole, something I had never done since I had only owned desktops until this point. I feel like I’ve been living in the stone ages.

The last Mac I owned was a Performa circa 1996, which would freeze up in the middle of summer on the equator. The bad taste in my mouth led my straight to a PC (Dell, to be specific) which I had been faithful to for 10 years. Yet here I sit, enjoying the cool aluminum below my palms and marveling at the adorable little icons at the bottom of my screen.

24 Comments

  1. I too went from a desktop (G5) to a laptop (MBP). I’ll never go back to a desktop.

  2. Hope its doing well :)!

    I have my MacPro and MBPro. Both are amazing.

  3. Congrats on the new laptop! I have the two years old 17″ macbook pro but then I would love to own the new one though.

  4. I made the PC/Mac leap a year ago to the month. Looking back im constantly in shock at how unaware i was about how the windows UI prevented me from working efficiently. there is no real learning curve, more of a readjustment but all of the adjustments are very much worth it. the ONLY thing i HATE. is copy/paste. the control+c gesture was infinitely more friendly on the fingers than macs cmd+c.

    the cntrl+alt+delete equivalent is command+option+esc.

    cmd+tab to shuffle through apps which im sure any windows pro is used to using works.

    Cmd+Shift+N in Mac Finder creats a new folder even if youre saving an image from the web and theres no “new folder button” and right click is disabled.

    http://wcrawford.org/2008/02/28/everytime-i-think-about-you-i-touch-my-cell/
    with the MBP, this install will prove invaluable. I set up left and right 3 finger swipes for fire fox to go back and forward in the browser, and i also set up up and down 3 finger swipes to cycle left and right for open tabs.

    there’s also a script or install you can dig up that allows you to use the tab key to select which dialog button you want. in windows i used to always hit tab space for yes, no, cancel, delete etc when dialog boxes would pop up. out of the box Mac doesnt do that and terribly annoying for windows converts.
    i dont remember where i found it but if you needed it im sure you could find it fairly easily. i did my first week with the mac.

    also, this will help you out.
    http://www.noupe.com/php/20-useful-php-jquery-tutorials.html
    I particularly like Control+Cmd+Esc to quit all programs and restart the machine.

    And last i’ll say what my boss whos a avid mac guy told me my first day:
    “if i see you minimize a window/program ill punch you” haha. use CMD+H to hide stuff if you need to but i rarely need to do that with expose. F9 and F10 are a godsend.

    Enjoy!!!

    p.s. the rotate and brush resize in CS4 PS are amazing.

  5. I’ve been trying to decide if I should make the leap to a MacBook Pro as well. I’ve been a PC desktop person forever but really want to make this switch. But I worry about whether or not it’ll really be enough power to work comfortably, especially with high-res print work.

  6. John Koski

    Congrats! You won’t be disappointed ;)

  7. Ryan

    Once you go “Mac,” you’ll never go back.

    I just got a new 24″ iMac on Saturday (2.66Ghz, 4Bb Ram, 640Gb HD). It has become my new entertainment center, now if I could only figure out how to hook my xbox 360 to it and play Halo on it…

    The display is amazing, speed is awsome, I love it. My computer that this one is replacing is a 6 year old 12″ Powerbook. And I thought I was screamin’ when I got that (867Mgz G4, 640Mb Ram, 40Gb HD). I’ll still use it to check email and stuff when wife is using iMac.

  8. I’ll be getting the 17″ MacBook Pro soon, too. It’ll be my away-from-the-studio machine for book design and layout. I realize 17″ will be cramped, having grown used to the 23″ Cinema Display with my dual processor G5 PowerMac. (But, then, hopefully next year I’ll upgrade the desktop machine to an Intel PowerMac and–if things go according to plan–a 30″ Cinema Display.

  9. @ Eric
    I work in an ad agency where we do everything from video, radio, all types of print and web. Never once have i encountered a situation where even 1 person working there would consider trading an old worn out Mac for a brand new slammin PC.

    if thats your concern, High res print work, its not a reason ;).

    Time to get a Mac bud.
    Now you’ll spend more money, but itll perform better, likely never have any problems, never get 1 virus or bug and out last any PC out there.

    more than enough power.

  10. Marvin

    I started out my graphics “life” with Amiga, then with Mac and when Apple lost their mind somewhere in the 1990s (and Commodore lost it’s life), I had (reluctantly) moved to PC and, up until 3 years ago, never looked back.

    One fateful evening and one Windows XP lock-up too many (I had become a rather sought-after person in my area due to my expertise at diagnosing and fixing Windows nightmares), I’d had my fill. I realized that my creative process was including editing the Registry regularly (which is like doing neuro-surgery in the middle of a movie in hopes that it will make the sound better), rebooting and everything just short of having to sacrifice a goat (don’t think that hadn’t crossed my mind, but there just aren’t that many goats around here… thankfully). I went online and bought a MacBook Pro 15″. After I got it and had the lovely machinery in my possession for a month, I couldn’t figure out why I hadn’t done this YEARS and YEARS before.

    People snivel about the “Apple premium,” but the *real* premium is not having the OS consistently fuck-up whatever it is you happen to be in the middle of. That alone is worth whatever extra cash I had to put out for the machine.

    I think you will be incredibly happy with your choice. “Beast” is a good name. I’ve named mine Giskard after a character in the Asmiov “Robot” novels. :)

  11. Like others – I made the switch from PC>Mac two years ago. I have an iMac which I love. I have never had a problem with it in my two years. My PC would suddenly stop recognizing my printer on a whim. No real reason. Just one day it decided that it would be a good idea to stop printing. That and a million other problems.

    I’d love to have a MPB but I can’t justify spending nearly $3000 for a lap top. I do think Macs are a little over priced but totally worth it if that’s what it comes down to. I’m in the market for a used MBP to take with me on my big road trip from UK to Mongolia this summer. I’ll just reformat the hd and make happy with it. Eventually I want a MacPro. The iMac gets a bit slow when I’m working with large photos.

    But my God do you own a beautiful piece of functional art!

  12. James, our plans are too similar. I’ve been on a PC for ages and finally decided to switch to a Mac for photography (Aperture mainly). I bought CS4 last month and was awaiting judgment on new Mac Pros. Action = pass.

    My decision rested with the 17″ MacBook Pro + 24″ Cinema Display, just need to exercise the credit card muscles. Apple’s Developer program offers great discounts (better than education even).

  13. james (Author)

    Wow, look at all the wonderful computer stories and advice here. Thanks very much for all the insight, it’s great to read up on peoples’ experience, preference and reasoning behind their choice in hardware.

    David, very much appreciate the links to fix up some shortcut issues. I’m having the same difficulties transitioning my workflow over to the Mac, just in terms of my shortcuts, and those downloads will certainly fix things up. Thanks!

  14. Ben

    I may be the only one that went from Mac to PC .. and not regret it.
    Sure I’ll buy a Mac again, one day, but my 5 years experience on a PC didn’t get me as much trouble as Mac users predicted for me.

    Actually, in 5 years time, I got maybe the horrible blue screen once.
    (I used to get the Mac Bomb three or four times a year on the mac)

    Vista, well, I kinda like it, even if 99% of the web community spits on it, I admit: i like it.

    But, yes, one day, I might go back for a mac, for its design, and because I like both worlds.

  15. James V.

    @ Ben

    Essentially, an Intel Mac would be perfect for you. You can run both Mac and Windows OS’s on the same beautiful machine.

  16. james (Author)

    Ben, I might have made the jump from PC to Mac but my old Dell Dimension with Windows XP never did me wrong. I can remember getting the blue screen once in 5 years, and the only hardware problem I experienced turned out to be a faulty monitor cable. I was never one to get in on the PC vs. Mac wars either, other then to drive fellow designers nuts :) I also have no problems with Vista either, works fine for what it is and I still use it at the office.

  17. Congrats on the new machine! I named my computer “Beast” as well, though it’s a PC rig I built myself as a birthday present. After four years I’m proud to say it remains true to its namesake. I’ve definitely got Mac-envy, though I feel like you can get so much more computer for your money if you build a PC from parts.

    Either way, enjoy your Beast!

  18. Devin

    james,

    I just want to say that the fact you’ve been using Cs2 for all these years is a point of inspiration for the rest of us!

    To all those naysayers that lambasted me for not upgrading, I say hah!

  19. You wrote about your shift to CS4, I hated the new shortcuts of Photoshop.

    By the way, congratulations on new Macbook Pro, you would never get congratulations buying a PC ;)

    Cheers

  20. @ Brendan Falkowski just upgrade the ram as high as the machine/OS can handle. im willing to bet the slowness with larger files disappears. Upgrading ram on my machines is always priority #1 when i get a new one.

  21. Came across this article by John Nack, Principal Product Manager for PS, where he talks about PS CS4 performance on the new MacBook Pros, especially in regards to the GPU acceleration. Figured it might be of use to you:

    http://blogs.adobe.com/jnack/2009/04/a_note_about_ma.html

  22. Jukes

    James, I’d imagine jumping from PC to Mac is a big enough shake-up, but I’ve always been more curious about the shift from desktop to laptop. Have you been able to get into a comfortable workflow working from the laptop?

    I’ve always toyed with the idea of shifting to a laptop for the obvious mobility factor, but I have an unshakable preconception of laptops as more of a novelty item than a workstation for serious design work.

    Anyone else have stories on shifting from desktop to laptop as a designer?

  23. Daan Weijers

    Hehe, that sounds great!

    I’m probably moving from a Windows Laptop to a nice 24″ iMac soon :)
    Probably not switching between Photoshop versions though, CS3 is a little cheaper than CS4 :)

  24. My first PC was a desktop and I decided that not being able to take it with me was very annoying. So i bought a laptop.

    Soon after i realised that my mistake was to buy a HUGE 17″ Sony Vaio that weighs somewhere in the region of 3 tonnes. Although top spec 2 years ago, its now well out of date and I am looking to buy myself one of those beautiful MacBook Pro’s.

    Not a 17″ like you, far too big I have realised. Thing is, I’m a poor student and it is taking a very long time to save for it. Grr. I want it now! haha.

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