New Computer!!

A few weeks ago my Inspiron 8100 died (again). Having already replaced the hard disk, I decided it was time to replace the whole machine and went shopping for a new laptop. A few days later I had decided that an iBook was the right choice.

Why? Well, on the desktop I am a very happy Linux user, particularly since the Gnome desktop is now a very polished and pleasant environment to use. But recently I have found something lacking about Linux support on laptops: power management still doesn’t Just Work™ and wireless card support is patchy, particularly for newer features such as WPA.

So far I’m getting on very well with my new “toy.” As hoped, the basic things worked out of the box, including wireless, and battery life seems to be ~4 hours even using the wireless. The keyboard is very comfortable, and I’m slowly getting used to the single trackpad button! It’s also very portable, although when at home I do miss my old laptop’s 15″/1600×1200 screen. The two-finger scrolling feature of the trackpad is very nice though.

Switching to a new environment always takes a bit of getting used to. This ArsTechnica Guide helped me get the basic differences and this article also has some more advanced tips, but I’ve also spent some time finding OS X equivalents for my favourite apps.

Safari is very good for surfing (although I miss Firefox’s type-ahead find) but finding an RSS reader took a while. NewsFire is very pretty, and I could manage the nag screen at startup, but it’s also crippleware, with a limit of 25 feeds. NewsMac is free and looks pretty good, but has a horrible interface for categorising your feeds. Surprisingly, the best one I have found is the the free, cut-down version of NetNewsWire which meets my needs nicely.

With all my thesis writing that’s all I’ve had time to experiment with so far! I’ll post more soon.

One Response to “New Computer!!”

  1. Too busy to... » Applications for “Switchers” Says:

    […] Unfortunately thesis work has kept me from blogging any further experiences with my new toy. Hopefully this post will address this failing! […]