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Posts Tagged ‘powerbook’

As I leave UCSB I depart with my trusty Powerbook.

As I leave UCSB I depart with my trusty Powerbook.

Today I leave my trusty Powerbook G4 for a new MacBook Pro. As part of my graduation gift I need to set up my Powerbook for my Brother and trust that he will take as good care of it as I have.

It is an oddly sentimental parting, I know that the Powerbook will remain in the family, in fact I can see it every day.

And yet…

It is traveled the world with me, spent four years of college and I have changed so much since I received it after my high school graduation four years ago.

This is also the first time I am not migrating my hard drive I have been migrating, upgrading or archive and installing all of my computers since OS X was initially released. So simply moving my files over and reinstalling the applications seems like a fresh start in a way, yet at the same time it feels like I am losing something.

I will miss the stubborn latch, the custom feet made of painters tape, the noisy DVD drive and all of the dents and dings that I felt personally when the computer received them. I have become so used to the hardware that using the new MacBook Pro makes me feel slightly fumbling and awkward.

Now I need to move forward, embrace my new laptop and customize it so it feel like mine again.

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Rain is coming again to Santa Barbara.

Rain is coming again to Santa Barbara.

I just read that my laptop has been added to Apple’s vintage and obsolete product list. I believe I can still get parts if needed as I live in California and there is some state law or exception requiring parts to still be available. I think at least, to be honest the article is not really clear.

Overall though I am quite happy with the longevity and reliability of my Powerbook G4. When Apple shifted to the MacBook Pro line and left the PowerBook line my computer still felt new as the case did not undergo a change. That combined with taking good care of my laptop makes many people think that my laptop is new, they are shocked to find out how old it actually is (I love metal over plastic for that reason). 

Sure there are some missing parts, namely I don’t have two feet and I am missing a screw on the side. A bit of painters tape replaced the feet and a single screw is not that important. In the last year I maxed out the RAM and the upgraded the hard drive which really gave it enough to last until the end of this year.

I will have to upgrade though, not because it is not fast enough (well maybe a little) or because it is broken but because the processor is the wrong architecture. I need an intel processor so I can run various Windows only lab software like AutoCAD programs, FPGA programming software and probably MatLab.

Until the day I need to upgrade eventually comes my PowerBook and I will keep on going.

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The entrance to the UCSB dorm Manzanita Village

The entrance to the UCSB dorm Manzanita Village

Apple released a new set of laptops today. And of course I want one of the new ones since mine (Powerbook G4) is getting a bit slow, especially when trying to process 10mb RAW image files. Aside from that one speed aspect and the lack of an intel processor I am still happy with my laptop.

There are few things about the new ones that really stood out too me.

The glossy screen. Before there was the option to have a matte finish, which I prefer only because that is what I currently have. I have read a lot of negative opinions about how glossy has terrible reflections compared to matte. Usually the same people also say how much better CRTs are compared to LCD. What has amused me is that CRTs are quite glossy, I guess the argument is valid when using a laptop outside.

The other (negative) changes are in the keyboard. Some decry the recessed keyboard versus the traditional powerbook style keyboards, that does not really bother me. What does is the loss of the fn enabled numpad as well as the enter key (it used to be between the Apple key and the keypad). I know I could use fn+return but for programs like Mathematica enter is the main key used in running processes.

The new design looks interesting and I do like the all glass screen, or at least I liked it on the iMacs I have seen. The other new feature that might have some useful functionality is the presence of two video cards: one integrated and another discrete. I have always been a proponent of the separate graphics cards for those that need them and having both, according to Apple, will help save on battery life. Anything would be better then my one hour battery I currently have. I would like to see if anyone finds a way to combine or run both for better graphics processing.

In short I want a new Macbook Pro. Of course I won’t be getting one. Though I might possibly have the chance of buying or receiving one if and or when I am accepted or attend graduate school. Ideally by then the new laptops will have a refresh on them to sort out the inevitable first generation issues.

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