New Toy

Two posts in an hour? Unprecedented. I would prefer to stagger them but that way I’d just not get round to writing everything down.

Well, my 3year old PowerBook (Mac laptop) was finally due for replacement and I have to say it’s done me proud. It’s happily kept up with a suite full of brand new Intel iMacs despite being built on the old PowerPC architecture. It stills beats my 6 month old desktop PC at home once I get more than two applications running simultaneously (and I quite often get well into double figures) but the Superdrive had gone, I’d replaced the hard drive once (down to 60GB which was perpetually full to burtsing), it’s taken a knock to one corner at some point in the past and it’s standard practice at work to replace every 3 years anyway.

And so to my new toy – a brand spanking 15″ MacBook Pro. Not the top of the line 17″ version – I couldn’t justify the expense and wouldn’t want a laptop that big anyway TBH. Externally it looks very similar but with a bigger trackpad, built in iSight camera and few scratches you can tell the difference if you stand them side by side. Leopard, the latest Mac operating system is everything Vista wishes it could have been. Some graphical and efficiency improvements but otherwise the same solid, reliable and effective OS I had been using previously.

Using Bootcamp I can boot into Windows for those essential high powered applications (Read: I could now play games if only I had the time!), Parallels allows me to run Windows within Leopard (so AQA Exampro, Teacher’s Report Assistant and Paint.net all work as well as IE for compatability testing) and I’ve even installed Ubuntu linux in Parallels as well (although, again, I’ve not had time to play with it yet).

Another issue is that I’ve changed my mind on browsers. I’ve been an Opera fanboy for a while now and never warmed to Safari, my new browser of choice. It’s slick, efficient, quick and the main reason I loved Opera – the ‘speed dial’ – also works in Safari (well, the CMD-# keyboard shortcut for bookmarks does which amounts to the same thing AFAIC).

My biggest issue is still with online WYSIWYG editors. Moodle, Joomla, B2Evolution and WordPress all of which I use regularly) come with WYSIWYG editors that just don’t work with either Safari or Opera. I’m forced to resort to Firefox in order to get line breaks working, or else hand code the HTML (which negates the whole point of a WYSIWYG editor in the first place).

It’s a small price to pay and only a minor inconvenience but overall I’m still a very happy bunny!

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