Late Macworld thoughts

Macworld happened while I was out of town so I got all the news a week late. The big news this time around is that Intel-based Macs are now available, six months early, with dual cores, no less. These machines are in the form of the iMac and the new “MacBook Pro“.

MacBook Pro is the name of the next generation of Apple’s professional-level laptops, which will eventually replace the Powerbook line entirely. I assume the consumer-level iBook will become the MacBook and pro-level desktop systems will be no longer be called PowerMacs. Rebranding a line of machines as well-known as the Powerbook is a bold move, especially when the new name is a dumb sounding as this one. I’m sure I’ll get used to it but my first reaction upon hearing it was a cringe.

This is the point where I should be complaining that I just bought a new Powerbook last month that’s now obsolete, but this really doesn’t bother me a bit. The first rule of computers (and many other things) is “Don’t buy first revision hardware”. This is doubly true for a case like this where the processor architecture has changed and early adopters risk not being able to use all their old software right away. By the time the second revision comes around any late-surfacing bugs should be ironed out, most applications will be updated, and we may even see a couple new features (not that I’ll be buying one then either; I’m good for a couple years at least).

Other than that, this new laptop doesn’t offer much that I don’t already have. With the dual core CPU it’s much faster, of course, but for what I do my Powerbook is perfectly sufficient. Processor aside, the most interesting features are the built-in iSight camera, which I would probably never use, and the magnetic power cord connector, which I would love to have. Our laptops usually live on the kitchen table with a cord reaching across the back door to the closest wall socket. It’s a disaster waiting to happen.

To mourn the end of the Powerbook line, the bunch is hosting a funeral for the Powerbook at House of Shields in San Francisco tonight. At one block from the office it’s very convenient, but I didn’t plan to stay in the city tonight so I’ll be skipping it.

Speaking of hardware, the night before leaving on vacation one of the drives in Cairo, our desktop Mac, died a sudden death. Not the drive the backups are on, thankfully, but the one the system runs from, which rendered the machine totally unusable. I’ve picked up a new, larger drive and will be fixing it this weekend.


Kevin says:

Now, I actually am bummed that my work-provided powerbook died and was replaced just 2 months ago. Couldn’t it have held on just a little longer?

kchrist says:

Ahh, now work-provided laptops are another story. I’d want one of these too if I wasn’t the one paying for it and it wouldn’t be my primary personal-use computer.

Sadly, I couldn’t even get my boss to buy me a Mac Mini for the office, much less a Powerbook.