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Pretty Glaring Oversight

October 16th, 2008

While the prospect of the new Macbook Pro is overall very positive, there are a few significant down points. One of those is the glass screen–I see no real advantage here, and the reflectivity is a major down point. I never liked the glossy screens before, and these computers seem to be more reflective than ever. Had it been made glass so one could get touch-screen functionality, that I could understand. But without that, it’s a drag on the computer’s appeal.

Another down point is the lack of a 400 Mbps Firewire port. I mean, really? I have to buy pricey adaptors and new cables to use a bunch of equipment I own? Now, Apple does mercilessly phase out stuff which is no longer hip–they were among the first, if not the first, to ditch the floppy disc, for example–and I do understand that USB is winning the game. But it’s still a pain.

But one legacy ditch Apple executed with this model is one that makes zero sense to me: no more out-to-TV. Seriously. You can still use VGA and DVI, but if you have an old-fashioned TV set and need to go out to it, you are out of luck with the new Macbook line. No more cables going to composite RCA or S-Video. Kaput.

That’s a huge deal for me, as this is going to have to be a work computer, and we have no HDTVs at my work–all are old NTSC boxes. The new Mac would not be able to use those, at all. I would be limited to a single VGA input box I have set up in the lab, and our LCD projector, which can take VGA in. But that also means I am on a short leash, as long VGA cables are not an easy schlep.

What the hell, Apple?

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  1. October 16th, 2008 at 11:15 | #1

    you can get a vga to s-video adaptor! well i should say i had one 4 years ago so i hope they are still available.

    Also you gotta(well you don’t have to but ya know…) check out this anti-obama article going around my old religious circles: http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/viewarticle.php?selectedarticle=2008.10.14_George_Robert_Obama%27s%20Abortion%20Extremism_.xml

  2. Luis
    October 16th, 2008 at 13:13 | #2

    Mages:

    You mean an upscale converter? Aside from being expensive, they tend to be bulky and usually require a brick and power cable you have to plug in, not something you want to lug around from place to place and set up every time, not to mention they often require finagling to get to work right–in other words, a lot less than optimal. If it was just one TV you used all the time, then OK, but for any one of a dozen old TV sets, it just isn’t feasible.

  3. Luis
    October 16th, 2008 at 14:41 | #4

    Mages:

    I wish it were that simple. I have one of those. Apple says they won’t work. The only thing that would work is an upscale converter, which takes the digital signal and converts it to analog. They cost more than a hundred bucks and are a box with a power cable which usually requires a brick. We have one here at school, used for something else.

  4. Paul
    October 16th, 2008 at 16:09 | #5

    The new MacBooks are getting… well, not quite panned, but a ton of reviewers seem to have the same initial reaction as you, Luis: Meh. Not all that big of a deal.

    I think Apple has been suffering, lately, from a bit of a spell of overly optimistic expectations. The newest iPods? Meh. Not a big deal, not like when they went from B&W to color, or added video, or the Nike+ system. The new iPhone? Kinda cool, except for the semi-buggy OS (mine is still not functioning anywhere near as fast as my old one did running ver 1.X of the OS) and the 3G network not being all that it’s cracked up to me.

    Now the new notebooks that just aren’t all that big of a deal… and something I’m wondering and won’t know until I get into the local Apple store: How heavy are they? I’d assume that going to more glass will make them weigh more.

    Kind of fits in with the general malaise everyone feels in the USA right now with the economic disaster.

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