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Matts (1087)

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I work for MessageLabs [] in Toronto, ON, Canada. I write spam filters, MTA software, high performance network software, string matching algorithms, and other cool stuff mostly in Perl and C.

Journal of Matts (1087)

Monday July 15, 2002
02:02 AM

Not want an iBook

[ #6354 ]

Does anyone *not* want an iBook? If not why not?

I can think of many positive sides, but not the negative. What are the downers? Proprietary hardware? Crappy wavelan performance? Annoying HFS?

Come on - what's *wrong* with the iBook?

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    1. Too expensive
    2. Screens too small. TiBook sounds better.
    3. Too expensive
    4. I don't have one
    5. Too expensive

    Of course, for all I know, the maintenance costs make it cheaper, but the initial cost means i'm not getting my T?iBook for a while yet. Hmm. Maybe I should rent one.

      ---ict / Spoon
    • Expensive? I dunno. Base model's only $1200, and that's if you can't get a developer or educational discount.
      • My current employment hasn't been for too long. (I see my first pay next week.) Not much in the way of savings left, so even $1200 is expensive. That said, I'm not much of a fan of base models =(

        Again, that's why I'm more inclined for a TiBook - you get a better screen for a start...
          ---ict / Spoon
        • I dunno. While the TiBook has great gobs of power to burn and that huge screen, it's also pretty fragile as these things go.

          If the screen is the deciding factor, that's fine. If not, well, even though it's slower, the iBook still has power to burn. Granted, in the "overkill" range rather than the "huge overkill" range, but still.... power to burn is still power to burn. :)
          • Yeah, the screen is a deciding factor. A big one

            Also, for reference, I'd been thinking of the
            price you mentioned in $Aus rather than $US, so,
            um, just rereading what I wrote now that I'm
            thinking of it in converted terms (double it),
            damn these machines are expensive =)

            Is the iBook much sturdier than a TiBook?

            (<i>makes a note to go to his Apple dealer
            and start knocking things onto the floor</i>;
            should go anyway to see how the screens compare).

              ---ict / Spoon
            • Are the sturdier? Well, they feel so. The TiBooks feel awfully flimsy. I also know of a number of people with busted TiBooks, but none with broken iBooks. (And I know I've abused mine some, but it's still going fine)

  • I use pc card foo to transfer photos from my microdrives. :-)

    and screen is a bit small; but that makes the whole box smaller so it's a plus too.

      - ask

    -- ask bjoern hansen [], !try; do();

  • Does the iBook have a line-in port? The Ti doesn't, and I find this to be a real downer as I used to import my new vinyl into iTunes, but can't do that anymore (without extra hardware).
  • Apart from the outrageous pricing policy (which is nevertheless better for the iBooks) the two things I hate most about iBooks are the one-button mouse -- possibly the most braindead decision in computer design ever -- and the keyboard with a mapping of its own (also violates a bunch of sane design principles imho). I know you can remap it but then you have to put little stickers on the keys. It should have been right from the start.

    Of course, that won't be sufficient to keep me from buying one as


    -- Robin Berjon []

    • Experienced Apple users are usually quite content with the one button mouse. I actually use Debian on my iBook, with F11 and F12 mapped to the middle and right mouse buttons. It bothered me for a month or so, but I strangely got used to it.

      Of course, when I first saw a mouse with more than one button in a store as a kid, I couldn't understand it and wondered what the point was. I continued to wonder all the way through grade school, secondary school, and my first couple of years of college. Then I got

      J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
      • Yes that's what I heard but to me it's reminiscent of Windows users getting used to the crashes and freezes ;-) If I move my hand away from my keyboard I still want to have maximum functionality available. The only reason why I use a five button mouse is because I haven't yet laid my hands on a seven or nine button mouse... I almost need a rolling keyboard there!


        -- Robin Berjon []

        • So throw a multibutton mouse on the thing. I use a two-button trackball most of the time, and a five-button one when I really need the extra buttons. OS X supports up to five-button mice in the core event system (there are events for buttons 1 through 5) and if you need more, well, usually the vendor has a driver to do it.
          • That is precisely what I was thinking of doing, and one of the reasons I'll definitely still buy one as soon as I can afford it. I just think that it's a shame that the pad doesn't have more as it's not always convenient to have a mouse around. Oh well, no laptop is ever perfect :)


            -- Robin Berjon []

            • ctrl-click on the mousepad is equivalent to a right-click. I use a 3-button mouse at home, but the ctrl-click doesn't bother me much when I don't have my mouse handy.

    • Trackpad. I don't like trackpads. I like the joystick 'nipple' things you get on IBMs and Dells.
    • One mouse button. It's been said before and I'll say it again. I was using an imac this w/e and I hated having to reach for the ctrl key for the context menu.
    • Heavy. The ibook weights 2.2Kg, where my current laptop weights 1.4Kg, making an ibook half as heavy again.

    Hmm, a list of things that'll stop me buying an ibook - though I'm still considering an apple desktop machine (with a two button mouse...)

  • Only a G3, though how relevant that is in laptop world is to be determined. If I recall from gnat's descriptions of YAPC, I think he did part of the movie editing on a G3 iBook. The mac bigot Art guy here at work has a G3/500 "Pismo", the predecessor of the iBook, and he said "A G4 is nice, but there's still alot of life in a G3." I spent alot of time at the local Apple Store, and at a CompUSA playing around with both an iBook 14" G3/700 and a TiBook 54/800. For web browsing, and word processing and the li
  • These are some quirks I noticed on my iBook. Listed in no particular order:
    • No line in
    • The trackpad is way too big. I've got a teeny tiny Dell Inspiron that I use (about 3.4lb), and that has a perfectly sized trackpad. As it stands, the iBook gets epileptic mouse syndrome
    • One button mouse. I have yet to get used to the "control-click", "command-click", "option-click" idioms.
    • The USB ports are on the left side; works in general, but if you get an external mouse (I haven't, yet), then the ports are on th
    • Everything JUST WORKS

      I bought my iBook two nights ago. (I'll do a journal entry shortly with thoughts.) I continue to be shocked at how EASY, things are.

      • Every time I come across something that doesn't work (or doesn't work the way I've come to expect it to work), I poke around a little. Eventually I come to one of two conclusions:
        • That's fair. (You can't launch an Aqua app directly on the command line, like you can with Windows or X; you need to use the open command)
        • That's better. (The print drivers are pretty spartan, but they always have a preview button. It generates a PDF file, which automagically opens up in Preview. I like being able to generat
        • I'm straying into pointless-pedantry territory, but you can execute an Aqua app directly; for example:


          In other words, there's an executable binary at the heart of the .app which can be executed in the ordinary way.

          I do love the open command though - especially the way it can work out which application to use for a particular file. For example, here is my .mailcap in its entirety:

          application/*; open %s&read

          (The "read" is there to get around the fact t

    • No console on boot. Can't see what those messages are, if you really want to. (There has to be a way to do this; I haven't found out how yet.)

      Hold down command-V during startup. Can't remember where I found it -- I think in some Usenet message when I was googling for something else.

  • Reasons not to buy an iBook:
    • 12" model too small.
    • 14" model too heavy.
    • Graphics card way underpowered for anything 3D-intensive (OpenGL support is dog-slow, for example).
    • Apple screwed its users with .mac and a high price for Mac OS X 10.2.
    • A G3 does have a lot of life in it, but Mac OS X is *much* happier on a G4.

    I recommend iBooks to people, both before and after I bought my TiBook. I still recommend TiBooks the same way I did before I bought mine: if you need it/want it, get it. Otherwise get the