MacBook

I bought a MacBook Core 2 Duo about a week ago. I bought it CTO (Configure To Order) with 2GB of RAM because I wanted to run some version of Windows. My last Apple laptop was a PowerBook G4 12″ rev. A, so the Macbook is a big jump in performance.

The only problem I’ve had was the DVD drive. DVDs and CDs wouldn’t mount on the desktop, though the drive showed up in the System Profiler. I was able to boot from the install DVD and ran the hardware tests with no problems. I reset the PRAM and then DVDs showed up on the desktop.

I installed Boot Camp and Windows Vista RC2 after it took me some time to figure out how to partition the 120GB HD into two Mac OS Extended partitions and one NTFS. I ended up using rEFlt for the boot menu and it works great. Vista runs with Aero on the Macbook’s Intel GMA 950 chipset. Performance is OK. The only problem is not being able write to the NTFS partition (reading works) when running OS X. Maybe someone will write a read-write file system similar to the NTFS for GNU/Linux.

I also installed Parallels (with a trial key) and Vista RC2. Even with 2GB RAM, system memory is paging out when Parallels is running so it seems that 3GB of system RAM would be ideal. Aero effects do not show up in Parallels with 2GB Macbook system RAM. Vista performance on Parallels seems to be about 75% of Vista on Boot Camp.

I used Michael Baltaks’ DoubleCommand and remapped the enter key to forward delete, so CTRL-ALT-DEL is now three keystrokes instead of four (fn-ctrl-option-delete).

I had no problems adding the MacBook, Boot Camp PC and Parallels PC to a Windows 2003 Server Active Directory. One thing I haven’t been able figure out is why a directory listing of a PC share is slower on the MacBook when I’m logged into the domain as opposed to logging onto the MacBook as a non-domain member.

Merom and Santa Rosa

I’m ready for a new notebook computer but with Leopard and Vista around the corner, maybe I’ll wait for a system with either of those installed. With Core 2 (Merom) Macbooks (Pro) most likely being introducted by Apple in their September 12 announcement, plus being able to run Windows, I’m leaning toward another Mac(intrash).

Currently, I’m using a Rev. A 12″ Powerbook and a Shuttle SB51G desktop with a 2.2 GHz P4 and 845 GE chipset – not exactly the latest technology. Since I don’t do anything, it’s adequate – the Powerbook is running Apache and MySQL for testing, so that’s OK for now.

I downloaded Vista Beta 2 but I have yet to install it. There’s no Windows Aero for me anyway because my Shuttle is using a ATI AIW (Radeon 9000) for video.

Being a former heatseeker (who would pay $1500 for a Motorola Micro Tac Elite?), I know you should just buy what you need. With the Santa Rosa platform due in H1 2007, I guess more patience is required. What I always wonder is why, when you get a new computer, is it fast and then a couple of years later, it’s so slow?