You might recall that a while ago, I bought a Mac Mini as a sort of experiment. Well, the experiment worked, and that little Mini quite soon became my main computer. My old Dell hasn’t been so much as connected, never mind actually used in a very long time. I still use a Windows virtual machine on the Mini so I can run Microsoft Money, but in general my home computing is roughly 90% Mac and 10% Linux on my Acer Aspire One. But while the Acer is nice to play with, and it’s convenient to carry around, I’ve found it a wee bit slow for email, and that tiny screen can be a bit awkward sometimes. So I obviously needed a better laptop.
And what I wanted was a MacBook. I did a lot of umming, ahhing, dithering and muttering to myself over this. I came close to getting a new, faster desktop, but decided to leave that for a while and go for the laptop. I did consider one of the newer, fancier aluminium bodied MacBooks, but after reading a lot of reviews, and checking the specs, I decided that the white plastic bodied entry level MacBook offered the best value for money. It comes with a respectable 120GB hard disk, 2GB of RAM and a video card that’s a lot better than the Mini’s embedded thingy. I got it from Amazon rather than Apple, as it was a wee bit cheaper, and with my Amazon Prime subscription, next day delivery was free.
Like all Apple kit these days, it arrived in nicely minimal packaging – a box with a carry handle barely big enough to hold the MacBook and its power supply, disks and little manual.
First impressions of the computer were very positive – the keyboard is as pleasant to type on as the Apple desktop keyboard, and setting it up was extremely simple. The widescreen display is bright and clear, and it feels a lot faster than the Mini. I copied my iTunes library from the Mini’s external hard drive with no trouble at all, and I’ve got my main email account set up on it.
I still have to add some extensions to Firefox and install some office software – I’ve got a spare couple of licences for Microsoft Office 2008, and took the opportunity to get a “Family pack” of Apple’s iWork ’09. I’ll also need to get Lightroom installed so I can play with photos, and I’ll no doubt need to do some more tweaking and twiddling to get everything right.
I’ll also be upgrading the memory to 4GB as soon as the package I’ve ordered from Crucial arrives.
More reports may follow, as I use the machine more. And in the traditional manner, this post was written on the new toy.
 And if my bank ever switch to providing data in a format that works with other finance packages, I’ll drop Money in an instant…
 More on the latest update on that later
 Using IMAP for email means I can have my email on as many computers as I like without risking losing something important
 A good deal, this. For a small amount more than a single licence, the Family Pack is licenced for up to five Macs in the same household.
 A wee bit under £40, which will leave me with two 1GB modules free to put somewhere else.