MacBook review

Keep in mind that the intent of this review is to evaluate the MacBook, not necessarily the operating system. iMacs and PowerMacs have other/more applications and abilitites.

It is my opinion (and experience) that the Macintosh operating system has not been as flexible as Windows and Linux. This scenario has lead to less opportunities for possible modifications that could cause instability…and, I imagine, limited opportunities for contributions to the platform.


I was allowed to review a “model a1181” MacBook…

For external monitors, it has a mini DVI out port.

Magnetic attraction is used to keep the unit closed…

…and, the power connection is magnetic. Tripping over the cord doesn’t send your MacBook flying off a table or desk: it breaks away without damage to the cord and the system.

The AC powercord shows green when battery is full. There are lights on the battery so you can check its capacity status. You can check it with the computer off, and the battery out of computer.


After booting to a desktop, I chose to “install” the Mac OS X…choosing the option to erase the hard drive, and install the operating system.

After completion, I found there is no easy/simple way to disable the startup sound. To not have the sound at boot, you must mute sound before shutdown. (After a search of the internet, I found other options…but none I preferred.)

The bottom of the notebook was warm enough for me to use a notebook lap desk…

The touchpad is nice and large…sometime too sensitive to the touch…sometimes I had to press on the pad to get a response. I consider myself a “Windows power-user”, so I wish there were a “left-click” button. When I rested my hands near the touchpad and keypad, the sharp edges of the MacBook began to indent my skin causing some uncomfortableness and pain. I assume by its looks, the MacBook Pro gives more space…

The “sleep” function is nice! When in “sleep” mode, you open the MacBook, and it awakens. And using the wireless remote will do the same.

VoiceOver is an application that reads aloud the contents of files, web pages, Mail messages and word processing files (allowing you to navigate the interface and interact with application and system controls…visually impared individuals I have been in contact with give me the impression that they prefer the “Jaws” application).


The operating system indicated…

Hardware Overview:
Model Name: Mac
Model Identi?er: MacBook2,1
Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo
Processor Speed: 2.16 GHz
Number Of Processors: 1
Total Number Of Cores: 2
L2 Cache (per processor): 4 MB
Memory: 1 GB
Bus Speed: 667 MHz
Boot ROM Version: MB21.00A5.B07
SMC Version: 1.17f0

For me, 1 GB RAM felt a little slow…

System Software Overview:
System Version: Mac OS X 10.4.10 (8R3032)
Kernel Version: Darwin 8.10.2
Boot Volume: Macintosh HD
Computer Name: TechTalkRadio MacBook
User Name: S!ick (slick)

Revision: ZB0E
Protocol: ATAPI
Socket Type: Internal
Low Power Polling: Yes

Only 120 mm round discs can be used in most models…a 120 mm round disc is a standard CD/DVD.

To boot to the optical drive:
power on computer…
insert the optical disc…
and hold the “C” key.


I am dissappointed that there is no “Firewire 800”. (It is available on the MacBook Pro…)

802.11n Wi-Fi lets you connect to: 802.11n, 802.11a, 802.11b, and 802.11g wireless networks.

Bluetooth 2.0+EDR is included.
There is an infrared port.
Audio in and out ports also support optical digital connection (as well as 1/8″ plugs).


The operating system will allow connnectivity to Windows server networks.


An integrated iSight camera is placed about the display screen…the microphone is positioned to the right of it.

The iChat application allows access to AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) accounts. You may video chat with up to three connections, and audio chat with up to 9.


I love the Front Row application. Via its interface it gives access to music, photos, and videos and can be controled with the included wireless Apple Remote control unit.


I like the iCal calendar application: it’s nice…inviting…it makes me want to use it…


Every Mac comes with iLIfe ’08 to allow creation of photo books, greeting cards, calendars, DVDs, websites, and podcasts.


After using Garage Band, I can only recommend it for creating very basic podcasts…

There’s iPhoto…iDVD (for playing DVDs)…


I would use iMovie for video mail, diaries, blogs, etcetera. You can export movies to different file formats, including:
apple tv
QuickTime movie (MOV)
MPEG-4 (considered to be the latest, worldwide standard)

I recorded some example videos and posted them in my Revver account.


Having never attempted to install applications into a Mac operating system before, after a few tries, I was able to (install Yahoo Messenger). I didn’t know what I was doing wrong, and I wasn’t sure how to do it…

I was very dissappointed that I needed to install software for a (Logitech) mouse. I expected that if I connected a mouse I would at least get basic functionality.

I did not attempt to do so, but removing applications is supposed to be easy: delete them from the hard drive. You will need to search the entire hard drive for remnants (THIS IS WHY I LOVE “PORTABLE” APPLICATIONS)…


At an Apple Store, a “Genius” can transfer your data from PC to Mac:


While I was reviewing the MacBook, I read a post from a guy that had trouble getting his issue resolved by Apple, he received a response…and an offer for a free iPod. I’ve heard that a lot of the Apple/Mac faithful have not been happy with the company lately…but I feel that this guy’s experience is something worth mentioning, and considering.


For what it’s worth to you, I was able to boot to an Ununtu CD…


In summary:

As they say, “It just works”. Novice, elementary, and intermediate computer users should consider a Mac as their:
first computer…
and only computer.

More experienced computer users should be able to determine on their own if they should purchase one.

If I were to spend my money, it would be on a MacBook Pro (with the RAM maximized).

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