New "Late 2008" 'Books

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Soooo . . . did anyone happen to notice the new MBs and MBPs?

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dankephoto's picture
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MacBook and MacBook Pro

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Hmm

Yes I did. I would have to say that they are quite nice. The aluminum construction should make them quite strong too.

I especially like the fact that they are using something other than Intel integrated graphics (on the Macbook). Still integrated graphics, but at least nVidia's is a bit faster.

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Well killing off Firewire kin

Well killing off Firewire kinda sucks, as does the glossy only option for the displays. I can't say the new design has grown on me yet. The black keyboard is kind of reminiscent of the TiBook days, but I don't know. I won't be getting one anytime soon thats for sure.

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I just checked them out at th

I just checked them out at the Apple Store today; the new construction makes them sturdy indeed. I'll be picking up a new MacBook as soon as I sell my 12" PowerBook G4 (anyone wanna buy it? Wink

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Just picked the new MBP up.

Just picked the new MBP up. It's sitting next to my first-gen MBP as I transfer my information. The new screen is amazing. It's far brighter and has an amazing viewing angle. The new construction feels much more solid. The new machine seems to be running a lot cooler than my first-gen, but that may be due to its using a core2 duo chip. The lack of FW 400 is a little odd, and the 800 to 400 cables were expensive at the store. The new method for migration over Ethernet is much faster than I thought it would be. These are just first impressions, but so far, this has been a worthwhile upgrade.

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Remember, when shopping...

Dr. Webster wrote:

I just checked them out at the Apple Store today; the new construction makes them sturdy indeed. I'll be picking up a new MacBook as soon as I sell my 12" PowerBook G4 (anyone wanna buy it? Wink

Be sure to get the Extended Color Basic version.

It comes with 16K instead of 4k.

(Yes, I just can't let the keyboard thing drop.)

--Peace

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yes!

No firewire. Ack! My old iBook likes Firewire because I can connect another Mac and do file transfers and boot at 400Mbps. Connecting a USB drive to my old iBook using USB 1.x is slow. So, the iBook will miss firewire, but someone said "Firewire? That's so old!" And, I think I have to agree, now that USB 2.0 does 480Mbps. Apple got rid of the floppy disk and other aging parts on newer computers, I think it may be time to say goodbye to Firewire. I just wish some other technology would go away like Bluetooth, Blueray Disc/HDMI, and Intel processors.

Eco-rant. I think that the EPEAT Gold award is a big deal. It shows that Apple is a company that is moving forward. I was at a recent local Mac users group, and a new Mac user showed up who happened to be actively working to help the environment.
http://www.greenpeace.org/international/press/reports/greener-electronics-apple-rank-4
http://www.apple.com/hotnews/agreenerapple/

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Re: Remember, when shopping...

Eudimorphodon wrote:

(Yes, I just can't let the keyboard thing drop.)

What about the chiclet keyboard don't you like? I've been using the one that came with my aluminum iMac for over a year, and I've found I actually like the key feel better than the previous Apple Pro keyboards. The new MacBook keyboards feel the same way.

It's a bummer about the FireWire thing, but no big deal for me -- the only FireWire peripherals I have are external hard drives, and all of them also have USB 2.0 interfaces.

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Re: yes!

mmphosis wrote:

I just wish some other technology would go away like ... Intel processors.

Umm, what? Intel's chips single-handedly kept Apple's hardware moving forward (there was no way to put a G5 into a laptop, and the PowerPC architecture had stagnated and hit a performance plateau anyway), and their chips are currently some of the best-performing available for consumer systems.

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Re: yes!

Dr. Webster wrote:
mmphosis wrote:

I just wish some other technology would go away like ... Intel processors.

Umm, what? Intel's chips single-handedly kept Apple's hardware moving forward (there was no way to put a G5 into a laptop, and the PowerPC architecture had stagnated and hit a performance plateau anyway), and their chips are currently some of the best-performing available for consumer systems.

You are right. I don't have to like Intel processors, but you are very right. I am glad to see that Apple has an alternative to the intel GPU/CPU glommeration in the new MacBooks.

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Chiclets...

Dr. Webster wrote:

What about the chiclet keyboard don't you like? I've been using the one that came with my aluminum iMac for over a year, and I've found I actually like the key feel better than the previous Apple Pro keyboards. The new MacBook keyboards feel the same way.

That the chiclet keyboard "feels" better then the previous Apple Pro keyboard is unfortunately more of a commentary on how *bad* the previous keyboard was then an endorsement of the new. Apple has a long history of squishy-gummy-lifeless keyboards, and the white-key Pro was barely better then the one that came with the first candy-macs. (iMac and B&W)

(After toying with it for less then an hour I ended up giving the white-key that came with a Mac Pro to my two year old to pound on. Of course, I don't even remember what I did with the "Mighty Mouse", other then dispose of it as quickly as possible.)

That aside though, when it comes to the chiclet keyboard it's the look I find funny, not the actual mechanism. (I've only had the briefest experience with it but most reviewers seem to say it works better then it looks, so I'll accept that it's probably mechanically "OK".) The Apple design team's obsession with brushed aluminum, the epitome of cheesy 1970's Hi-Fi Stereo Component Chic, has reached its logical conclusion. By incorporating the black monitor frames they've already gone the last mile in matching *to the letter* the design sensibilities of the Poster Child of 1970's geek technology, the Radio Shack TRS-80. The chiclet keyboard just takes it over the top.

Of course, it's not just the TRS-80. How about the TI-99/4?

Real brushed metal (stainless steel) instead of silver paint, and even has *black keys* on the chiclet board. Or maybe a Timex-Sinclair model?

There's literally dozens, if not hundreds, of examples of early home computers which aped the 70's Sony Stereo look. Not to say that the chrome stereo look is the worst thing to come out of the 1970's, of course. It's actually probably pretty darn wonderful compared to Harvest Gold appliances (with dark wood paneling accents) and Avocado Green carpets. Still, though, it amuses the heck out of me that these things are being sold as the epitome of "cool" thirty years later. I seriously wonder if the Apple stylists earnestly believe in what they're peddling here, or if they're just counting on no one who buys these things realizing that they're having a private joke at their expense.

Quote:

It's a bummer about the FireWire thing, but no big deal for me -- the only FireWire peripherals I have are external hard drives, and all of them also have USB 2.0 interfaces.

Seriously, I have to wonder about the nasty little pr**k at Apple headquarters who's job it is to take the red pencil and decide which features get redlined in order to insure that the "cheap" Apple laptop is sufficiently brain-damaged to make settling on it an agonizing and unsatisfying option. No other PC manufacturer operates in such a blatantly consumer-unfriendly manner. It seems particularly ridiculous in the light that their cheapest laptop even now is still twice the price of anyone else's entry level.

(It's ridiculous that the *cheapest laptop* Lenovo sells, the Atom-powered S10 netbook for $399, has a better port configuration then the $1299 MacBook. It even has an ExpressCard/54 slot.)

Target disk mode is the *one and only* thing I *really love* about Apple hardware. R.I.P., I guess. *sigh*

--Peace

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New MacBooks

Here's what I posted to our local Mac Group's list:

I really don't understand it. Firewire is not an obsolete standard like SCSI (at least SCSI on personal computers). How much extra does it cost for the Firewire hardware?

The only thing I know is that Firewire requires a high voltage power supply (I think like 30 volts) to be able to supply the 45 watts in the standard without running too many amps through the cable (at 5 volts 45 watts is like 9 amps!?!), but this only makes it more useful and simple to use than the 5 watts or so USB2 supplies. As regards video, here is what Wikipedia says:

"IEEE 1394 has been adopted as the High Definition Audio-Video Network Alliance (HANA) standard connection interface for A/V (audio/visual) component communication and control"

Seems like the standard for video, which is probably why it is still on all the high end Macs. I just don't think you should have to pay the $500+ premium for the convenience.

Then again, I don't think this is a good time to be raising the price of new Macbooks either, no matter how fancy the new manufacturing process is. I thought the 'unibody' process was supposed to be simpler and less expensive to do?

This newer but unimplemented Firewire standard sounds very useful and further simplifies the multiple ports on most laptops (and desktops):

"IEEE 1394c-2006 was published on June 8, 2007.
It provides the following improvements
* A new port specification which provides 800 Mbit/s over the same RJ45 connectors with Category 5e cable which is specified in IEEE 802.3 clause 40 (gigabit Ethernet over copper twisted pair)
* An automatic negotiation that allows the same port to connect to either IEEE Std 1394 or IEEE 802.3 (Ethernet) devices.
* Various minor updates to IEEE 1394b
Though the potential for a combined Ethernet and FireWire RJ45 port is intriguing, as of December 2007, there are no products or chipsets which include this capability."

I always thought Firewire would become the standard for connecting home theatre components together, eliminating a huge amount of wiring, though most components or speakers would still need to be self powered. It looks like this might be taken over by HDMI though I am not really familiar with what HDMI is capable of.

(geek on a soapbox mode off) :^)

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Re: Chiclets...

Eudimorphodon wrote:

Seriously, I have to wonder about the nasty little pr**k at Apple headquarters who's job it is to take the red pencil and decide which features get redlined in order to insure that the "cheap" Apple laptop is sufficiently brain-damaged to make settling on it an agonizing and unsatisfying option.

That's not a very nice thing to call Jonathan Ive.

I agree with you; Apple's hardware is expensive. But it always has been, and always will be, and people have and will continue to pay for the privilege of owning a Mac. I'm still using Macs because, at the end of the day, I don't want to come home to put up with more of the bulls**t Windows problems that I have to deal with at work. I'd be willing to bet that the vast majority of "switchers" Apple has gained in the past couple years feel the same way, and at the same time, most of them probably don't give a crap (or even know about) TDM. Ever since Uncle Steve took the reins again, Apple's been much quicker to kill "underutilized" technologies in its machines, and it seems that most "average" home users (e.g. the majority of Mac owners) don't even seem to notice.

What I really want is a Mac netbook though. Sure, I could pick up a Dell Insipron Mini 9 and hack OS X onto it, but then I'd still be getting headaches. So it'll be an entry-model aluminum MacBook for me.

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If I had the $1299 I'd be in

If I had the $1299 I'd be in the same boat. I'm in dire need of a new portable, and the Macbook looks nice. I hate how flimsy most plastic laptops feel and it sure seems that the new Macbooks take care of that. I'll have to head down tot he local Apple store to give one a field flex test. I don't care much for the black keys, as white with black text show up better in the dark, but if some how the backlit kb on the higher end model works ok then the point is moot. So long at it doesn't kill night vision. I'm still looking aweful lusty at the Lenovo netbook with a custom OS X... If only Apple followed suit on the netbook trend. It'd be the mini of the portable Macs.

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FireWire ports in Apple consumer notebooks Petition
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I was thinking about getting

I was thinking about getting one, but even the white one is still out of my price range. I know, it's apple, but I can't afford more than $500 on a notebook atm, so as a stopgap, I ordered a EEE PC 1000H for less than $500 shipped. I think it will be a great purchase. My pismo just died or else I would wait it out and save up, but working off the school computers (as I am doing now), or the 450mhz B&W G3 just ain't cutting it.

Though I do like how thin and light they have made the new macbook while keeping it rock solid. .95" and 4.5 pounds is mighty sexy.

One other thing people have failed to mention that apple killed, is after 10 years, the battery lights. I know, they are still there, but built into the case, and not on the battery. So now, you can't check the battery while it is out of the macbook. At least it seems that way from all the reviews I have seen and the promo video, they are firmly anchored to the case. Unless they did something totally apple and made it so the lights are still there but they drilled holes for teh lights in the case so you can see them...IDK, someone want to verify this? I will be taking a pilgrimage to the local apple store to check this out for myself, and will report back. It's not too big a deal, but if I carry a spare battery, I want to know if it has a charge before I swap it into my notebook. I would assume these machines don't have PRAM batteries, but small capacitors like the 12" PB.

-digital Wink

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Re: FireWire ports in Apple consumer notebooks Petition

And of course we know how much Apple cares about these online petitions...

It still amuses me that a $499 Dell Vostro 1510 has the firewire port that Apple just deleted from its $1299 machine.

--Peace

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OK, I just went to best buy t

OK, I just went to best buy to ply around, and was surprised to find they had a new macbook on display at the apple boutique. It was the $1599 higher end non pro model.

I pulled the battery cover off, and took the battery out, and like I thought, no lights. In fact, the battery looked like a giant iPhone, it had a rounded black plastic edge. I pressed the button to check the battery while it was out, and the lights flashed in sequence back and forth non stop until I put it back in. Pretty odd, but interesting. It almost reminded me of Kitt from Knight Rider (the older one).

I also don't think this would be a viable option for one who carries a spare battery, since I had the damndest time getting the cover back on.

I do like how the trackpad physically clicks when it plays role of button.

-digital

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Ohh, ohh, the netbook Mac sho

Ohh, ohh, the netbook Mac should debut in a year or so since Jobs just claimed that they won't. And we all know how poo-pooing a market directly from the top of Apple means that they are seriously looking at entering it...

vai Wired

Now, what would they call it? The Macboot Net? The Macbook mini?

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Re: I was thinking about getting

iamdigitalman wrote:

I was thinking about getting one, but even the white one is still out of my price range. I know, it's apple, but I can't afford more than $500 on a notebook atm, so as a stopgap, I ordered a EEE PC 1000H for less than $500 shipped. I think it will be a great purchase. My pismo just died or else I would wait it out and save up, but working off the school computers (as I am doing now), or the 450mhz B&W G3 just ain't cutting it.

Though I do like how thin and light they have made the new macbook while keeping it rock solid. .95" and 4.5 pounds is mighty sexy.

One other thing people have failed to mention that apple killed, is after 10 years, the battery lights. I know, they are still there, but built into the case, and not on the battery. So now, you can't check the battery while it is out of the macbook. At least it seems that way from all the reviews I have seen and the promo video, they are firmly anchored to the case. Unless they did something totally apple and made it so the lights are still there but they drilled holes for teh lights in the case so you can see them...IDK, someone want to verify this? I will be taking a pilgrimage to the local apple store to check this out for myself, and will report back. It's not too big a deal, but if I carry a spare battery, I want to know if it has a charge before I swap it into my notebook. I would assume these machines don't have PRAM batteries, but small capacitors like the 12" PB.

-digital Wink

$500 would have easily gotten you one of the last 1.67GHz Powerbook G4's or a used MacBook without too much trouble.

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yeah, I know, but I seem to h

yeah, I know, but I seem to have bad luck with used machines, weather purchased off ebay or from a reputable seller. 3 in the past year is too much, I decided to get something brand new for a change.

-digital Wink

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Sounds like sometime next wee

Sounds like sometime next week I'll be picking up one of the base-model aluminum MacBooks. I checked them out at the Apple Store earlier in the week and they do indeed feel solid, and for a full-featured laptop, the weight isn't too bad either. I may try to figure out if it's possible to transplant the backlit keyboard bits into one that doesn't have them.

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Re: I was thinking about getting

GEOS wrote:

$500 would have easily gotten you one of the last 1.67GHz Powerbook G4's or a used MacBook without too much trouble.

G4s are roadkill. Only a fool would pay $500 for one. Sure, there are plenty of fools still doing it, but does it surprise anyone that the world is full of fools?

Lest anyone get the wrong idea, note I'm not saying this from from a position of material superiority, here. I just spent $130 to max out the RAM and throw a 250GB hard disk into a G4 Powerbook simply because I don't feel rich enough to blow $2500 on an Apple laptop right now, and would preferably rather postpone the hassle of converting back to Linux. The problem is I'm regretting the decision at this point. I'd already accepted the fact that with a G4 I was getting locked out of "Commercial" applications like Photoshop CS4, but I find it very ominous that they still haven't released an "official" PowerPC build of OpenOffice 3.0, and there are numerous other examples of free software projects abandoning PowerPC.

PowerPC is the dead bloated goldfish stuck to the filter. Sure, it's still in the tank but that's only because no one's had the heart to net it out yet. And it's getting picked to pieces as we speak.

As for finding a MacBook for $500, uhm... yeah, maybe, you might find a 32-bit Core Duo one for that. If any are still working. A look at Craigslist bolsters my suspicions, there. There's a pathetic number of "MACBOOK WANTED - $500!" ads, but no one selling for that. Looks like a busted/very cosmetically challenged one off eBay is as close as you're getting.

Given the facts, I think it's sort of hollow to suggest to someone with $500 to spend that a used Mac is somehow a better bargain then a PC laptop. Admittedly I wouldn't of gotten a eeePC for that money if it was going to be my *only* laptop, but different strokes for different folks.

(If I were to get a Netbook the Acer Aspire One looks darn sexy for the money. It's teeny and chincy, but only $350 for 1GB Ram/120GB HD/WinXP... I dunno. One review even said it was fast enough to play the original "Half Life"...)

--Peace

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well, the machine I am gettin

well, the machine I am getting is close enough to "real laptop" territory, plus I was going for battery life, and no mac I know of can get 7 hours. 5 yes, but 5 is not 7.

Plus, I am kinda getting out of the mac world. It no longer seems to inspire me like in the old days. I have thought about starting to sell off my collection, but that money would go towards living expenses.

Also, the mac is more of a hobby for me, rather than something I would like to get into full time. It's hard to explain, but I think my journey with the mac has come to an end I think...

-digital Wink

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PowerPC is, for better or for

PowerPC is, for better or for worse, dead just like you say. I'm sure there will be lots of complaints when 10.6 comes out next year for Intel only, but it's time for the world to move on. My friend bought a Core Duo Macbook for $600 on craigslist, which wasn't a bad deal.
As for the netbooks, I'll probably get one and an iMac the next time I buy a computer. They're small enough to take anywhere and cheap enough to be mostly expendable.

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UPS should be delivering my n

UPS should be delivering my new MacBook sometime today; anyone have any questions about it that haven't been answered elsewhere?

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Re: UPS should be delivering my n

Dr. Webster wrote:

UPS should be delivering my new MacBook sometime today; anyone have any questions about it that haven't been answered elsewhere?

Yes: Can I have it?

Smile

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Re: UPS should be delivering my n

tmtomh wrote:
Dr. Webster wrote:

UPS should be delivering my new MacBook sometime today; anyone have any questions about it that haven't been answered elsewhere?

Yes: Can I have it?

Smile

Sure, for the low, low price of $1299 (plus shipping and handling).

Incidentally, for anyone looking to pick one up, Amazon is offering a $50 mail-in rebate on the new MacBooks (along with some other machines).

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wow, just wow

so I had the oportunity to watch the apple event, and I am at the part where they are talking about the new GPU, the 9400M has 54 gigaflops of horsepower. To put that in perspective, the first G4s in the fall of 1999 had just 1 gflop. That is moore's law in effect. Amazing to see how far we have come.

-digital Wink

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Re: UPS should be delivering my n

Dr. Webster wrote:

Sure, for the low, low price of $1299 (plus shipping and handling).

Incidentally, for anyone looking to pick one up, Amazon is offering a $50 mail-in rebate on the new MacBooks (along with some other machines).

Coincidentally enough, it turned out I got a new laptop in the mail this week myself. My wife decided my recent PowerBook "epoxy-fest" was the last straw, so... being a smart lady she ordered me a refurb MacBook Pro instead of a new MacBook. ;^)

At $1499 for a 2.53Ghz/250GB/512MB GT8600 model, it's a pound heavier but $100 cheaper then the high-end MacBook, and by compensation for the pound of weight it has a *real* non-RAM-stealing video card (only about 20% slower then the 9600GT in the new Pro, and about twice as fast as the 9400M), a higher-res screen, and a preeeecious Firewire Port.

Now that I have it I frankly can't imagine why anyone would go for the $1299 new MacBook as long as the $1349-$1499 Pro refurbs hold out. But I guess I've never been a slave to fashion. ;^b

--Peace

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Re: UPS should be delivering my n

Eudimorphodon wrote:

At $1499 for a 2.53Ghz/250GB/512MB GT8600 model, it's a pound heavier but $100 cheaper then the high-end MacBook, and by compensation for the pound of weight it has a *real* non-RAM-stealing video card (only about 20% slower then the 9600GT in the new Pro, and about twice as fast as the 9400M), a higher-res screen, and a preeeecious Firewire Port.

I looked at all the refurbs Apple had to offer, and was tempted to pick up a refurb MacBook Air instead (the low-end model is $1349), but decided I actually wanted a *usable* laptop.

I considered a refurb MBP, but the added weight and size weren't up my alley. I'm one of those weird people who think laptops should actually be small and portable -- hence the reason I had bought a 12" PowerBook G4 previously -- and the MBPs are just too big. I'm also not a gamer, so graphics performace doesn't really matter to me. The MacBook is my second machine; all my real work is done on my aluminum iMac.

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Re: UPS should be delivering my n

Dr. Webster wrote:

I considered a refurb MBP, but the added weight and size weren't up my alley. I'm one of those weird people who think laptops should actually be small and portable -- hence the reason I had bought a 12" PowerBook G4 previously -- and the MBPs are just too big. I'm also not a gamer, so graphics performace doesn't really matter to me. The MacBook is my second machine; all my real work is done on my aluminum iMac.

I guess it shows how spoiled we are these days that a five and a half pound portable could be considered "too big". ;^)

My work laptop is a 17" MacBook Pro, and I'll admit that lugging eight pounds anywhere other then back and forth to work in my trunk is annoying enough that I wouldn't want one for my home machine. But the 15" is "reasonable". It's light for its size and fits a regular bags. And I haven't used a desktop at home for years, so "desktop replacement" muscle is a nice bonus.

(If I did use a desktop I probably would of given up and gone to a NetBook by now, but I've come to the conclusion that keeping things synced across multiple machines is *way* too much of a hassle. But different strokes for different folks.)

The only thing I'm really at all bothered with is the Nvidia 8600 "recall that's not a recall" but, eh. At least the rest of the motherboard chipset isn't Nvidia. (Their system chipsets have a notoriously spotty reputation. That plus the "First-Rev Apple Hardware-itis" you get with any new Apple laptop makes me think I'm better off with the devil we know.) ;^b

--Peace

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smart ladies

Eudimorphodon wrote:

Coincidentally enough, it turned out I got a new laptop in the mail this week myself. My wife decided my recent PowerBook "epoxy-fest" was the last straw, so... being a smart lady she ordered me a refurb MacBook Pro instead of a new MacBook. ;^)

(^: This comment makes me smile because a few months ago, a smart lady that I know ordered me a two year old MacBook from ebay. I think she was cringing just watching me limp along with my seven year old iBook. I am happy with the MacBook. I am no fan of the intel cpu fan, but this may be the last of the Vs. The intel cpu fan fires up whenever "Web 2.0" bloat runs, watching a movie, and other stuff that would choke my old iBook.

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Re: UPS should be delivering my n

Eudimorphodon wrote:
Dr. Webster wrote:

Sure, for the low, low price of $1299 (plus shipping and handling).

Incidentally, for anyone looking to pick one up, Amazon is offering a $50 mail-in rebate on the new MacBooks (along with some other machines).

Coincidentally enough, it turned out I got a new laptop in the mail this week myself. My wife decided my recent PowerBook "epoxy-fest" was the last straw, so... being a smart lady she ordered me a refurb MacBook Pro instead of a new MacBook. ;^)

At $1499 for a 2.53Ghz/250GB/512MB GT8600 model, it's a pound heavier but $100 cheaper then the high-end MacBook, and by compensation for the pound of weight it has a *real* non-RAM-stealing video card (only about 20% slower then the 9600GT in the new Pro, and about twice as fast as the 9400M), a higher-res screen, and a preeeecious Firewire Port.

Now that I have it I frankly can't imagine why anyone would go for the $1299 new MacBook as long as the $1349-$1499 Pro refurbs hold out. But I guess I've never been a slave to fashion. ;^b

--Peace

As soon as the new models came out I had my sister buy the exact same MBP you did. Its a nice machine. The one she had got stolen about a month ago and she was in need of a replacement. Hope that GPU doesn't burn out though.

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Oh, Hazel, look. The field! It's covered in blood

Quad 2.5 G5, MBP 2.6 17", DP 2.7 G5, Mini 2.33, MBP 2.16 CD, DP 2.0 G5, DP 1.42 MDD, 17” PowerBook 1.67, 12" PowerBook 1.5, TiBooks 1GHz 867 & 667, iMac G3 500, Cubes 500 & 450, B&W G3 450 & 350, iBook 300's, 366 466, Beige G3 350, PDQ G3 233

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Re: New "Late 2008" 'Books

They are rather strong I dropped my macbook pro from about 4 feet cause i was holding it and i went to click and it fell out of my had and went screen first into the ground and all it did was scratch it.