Aleksandar • Vacić

iOS bits and pieces

Mac-ed

I’ve jumped the fence into Apple’s backyard. I bought the lower MacBook Pro 15" model, with 2.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 2GB RAM and 120GB SATA disk. As someone who’s been on Windows from 3.11 to XP (with brief dive into OS/2 WARP) this is quite a change. I love Apple’s products, love the design, the attention to details.

I also love the uncompromising advancements and getting rid of the old stuff. Removing floppy, using only DVI connectors, removing modem - Apple usually did it first.

mbp-black.jpg

MacBook Pro itself is a great machine. It gets warm at times, in the top left corner and along the upper edge, but nothing unbearable. It’s inexplicable to me why Apple included just two USB ports when clearly there is plenty of space. Rest of the connections are great and I adore having DVI port on it. The slot-in drive makes very ugly noise when it’s sucking the disc in, otherwise works ok (although I used it only for Leopard installation). I’ll need to check for RPC-1 firmware, but I have little hope in that.

Speaking of Leopard, the disc I received with the MBP is labeled as upgrade disc. At first I thought that I’m fucked if I ever need to reinstall (that I would need to install Tiger first). As it happens, I needed to reinstall two days after buying. I’m happy to report that Archive and install went just fine from that disk, thus “upgrade” label could be just a gimmick. Whatever it means, I’m fine with this.

Challenges

I’m not an average user. I developed web sites (part of a larger product platform) for enterprise-level clients which means various custom-built stuff for Windows platform. I need to use various Windows programs and tools from the company. I need to be able to access Windows-based servers, both through remote desktop connection and through file share. I work daily with IIS and ASP (old one), possibly .NET in future, MS SQL Server.

Thus for me, switching to Mac is a path full of challenges. And since my old Windows laptop is being sold just after Mac is bought, I needed to be able to immediately continue working as nothing happened, both home and office.

This was the most important aspect of this transition. I have lots of valuable data (to me at least) and for this to be seamless as possible, I needed to switch to MBP but continue to use Windows apps as they were, until I gradually transfer all of my habits to Mac apps. That naturaly meant using virtual machines.

There were many obstacles, but now that I mostly got it, it’s time to write about it all, as I’m certain it will help someone else.

Howto: T-Mobile 3G USB modem on Leopard

During the current business trip to the UK, I was provided with T-Mobile’s 3G USB modem. While I was using Windows laptop, everything was nice and dandy. Connecting it to USB port was all I needed to do: it automatically installed all drivers and apps and started itself. All I needed to do was click on Connect and in few seconds I was online, with fantastic 3.6Mbps speed.

When I switched to Macbook Pro running Leopard, things weren’t so rosy. Connecting to Mac yielded “unrecognized device” or some similar error. There was nothing about Mac on the included CD.I later heard that there is in fact Mac CD in the package, I only was not given one After some searching, I found the drivers but actually getting online was a bit more trickier. Here’s the step-by-step guide.

eBay frauds

I recently posted my old laptop for sale on eBay. I have bought several stuff before (using a different account) and was aware of how things generally work. I was also aware of the number of different scams bustards use to trick both sellers and buyers. Items I bought had rather low price, thus thieves and other cheating scam had no interest in it.

This time however, I was selling a valuable laptop. It was the first thing I ever tried to sell, thus I was extra careful and checked everything and everyone.

Leopard launch at Apple Store in Regent Street, London

There was a good deal of interest in the store, and lots of buying

(Photo: Aleksandar Vacić)

My business trip to London coincided with the Leopard launch. Of course I could not miss that, even though I did not buy anything, due to me being very busy on Friday and completely forgetting to transfer the money to an account connected with my card 1.

The store was chock full and the queue was running around the store. On the entrance you got Leopard themed t-shirts. Rather lame (I don’t like this supernova X design) and only in one size, which is M; it looks like british people are mostly thin. Who would’ve known

It was interesting watching it all. People were in rather long queues in front of the registers, even though arriving tomorrow will give you probably no waiting at all. Lots of people were buying Macs, some even going with two or three. The workshop at the top was fully seated plus some people standing (first time I saw that in this store).

A testimony for the iPod brand strength is that there was queue for buying iPods too - lots of those in queues were taking home various side-buys apart from Macs and Leopard.

For the fun, I asked one of the guys running around (fetching stuff that people bought) can I buy a MacBook Pro with custom hard disk. I expected sorry, please come in tomorrow but he actually said sure, although it might take up to an hour. Well, what can you say - just great.

There were some people in Apple shirts that did not do any selling, mostly speaking with people. Some had rather hard-to-miss outfits. ;)

Take a look at assorted photos I took last evening - I hope they catch the atmosphere.