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The Mac Is Back

August 24th, 2006

Good to their word, the Apple Store got my Powerbook back after 5 days in the repair shop (they said three days to a week, none of this “working days” crap). The new screen is in, and it works beautifully (though I haven’t had time to heat-test the screen area darkening yet). Not a stuck or dead pixel on it anywhere–which is a step up from my previous screen, which had a single pixel with a dead green element, though it was off to the side. I have the feeling that with another computer maker, the complaint (which could not even be demonstrated well in the store, I had to use digital camera pics to show it) probably would have been refused and a free repair not given–even within the warranty, where Apple allowed me to get a repair three months later so long as I reported it within the warranty period. As usual, Apple gets high marks for service.

Being off the Mac does make me appreciate it over the PC more, though a good deal of that has to do with software versions. Qualcomm’s Eudora email software, for example, is very good on the Mac, but it sucks big time on Windows. Alert sounds especially were impossible to control well, and I couldn’t find a way to set auto mail check intervals for each account separately.

Also, generally, Windows apps work within a single window, whereas Mac apps can split tasks of a single app between several windows, if necessary. Like in MS Word on Windows, if you have more than one document open at a time, they can appear within one main window, and then a sub-window appears inside that has its own window buttons (minimize, maximize, close) just below the main app’s buttons. If there are no docs open, a gray pane persists. On the Mac, each doc has its own window, with toolbars and palettes free-floating. Maybe it’s just personal preference, but I like that better–it allows for freely sizing each window and allowing for overlaps. Less constricting, less crowded that way.

In any case, I’ve got my security blanket back. Yes, it’s pathetic, I know. But we all have things we’d rather not do without for long periods of time. What’s yours?

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  1. ykw
    August 25th, 2006 at 04:30 | #1

    I’m very happy w/ my Dell laptop connected to a 20″ lcd monitor via a dvi cable, with the latest windows and office software. The whole package works extremely well, and I’m fast with it since I’ve spent so much time with it. I could not be happier. The Mac’s are nice too when combined with recent non-buggy software.

  2. Shari
    August 25th, 2006 at 13:45 | #2

    To be fair, some versions of MS Word seem to work the same way as applications work on a Mac. That is, each document opens in its own window with formatting option buttons across the top of the screen (rather like Internet Explorer). This started with MS Office versions released for XP according to my sister (who knows quite a bit about such things). Newer versions may allow you to customize how things appear or be restricted in the manner you mention. If you’re using a newer version than Office 2000 for Windows, you might want to poke around the viewing options and see if you can change it to suit your tastes.

    Personally, I see benefits in both ways. If you minimize the window inside of Word, the tabbed window at the bottom of the main application window is rather useful but if you want to stack them or reposition them, it’s not so great.

    As for ykw’s comments about his Dell laptop, I wish him luck with it. The one that my husband had was a huge disappointment. Components started failing within 1.5 years (the ethernet, the S-video) and the computer died entirely after about 2.5 years (one of the power inputs conked out and would have cost 70,000 yen to replace).

    If you add the fact that Dell makes it extremely difficult to service their computers if you buy one in another country (you have to transfer the service tag and it takes a month to process the application) to the fact that they use relatively expensive proprietary components that ordinary users or even some repair shops have problems ordering, you have a real headache on your hands if anything goes wrong. I’ll never buy a Dell product again.

    Considering I’ve bought 5 Apple notebooks and not one of them has ever failed (obsolescence occurred before breakdown), I think Apple has it all over Dell on the notebook longevity front and obviously have the advantage in international support. Apple doesn’t make you do anything differently if you bought the computer abroad.

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