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Monday, September 10, 2007

MacBook On The Road

Day #11 – It has been a full week since completing the MacBook Project. I figured that giving myself a week to travel and work with the finished product might lead to some insights on what I might do differently. So far the experience has been great. I have had the opportunity to do some word processing, web crawling, compatibility testing, FTP site visiting, network sharing and remote location Wi-Fi connecting. I have observed a few issues that are somewhat minor, but worth mentioning:

1.When booted to Vista, the power icon in the tray says I am connected but not charging, when on battery power. Not a big issue, but it does seem to inhibit the normal warnings you would receive when running low on battery power. The system will go into stand-by to protect data, but it happens without warning. After plugging into power, I have had no wake-up/restart issues.
2.Some internet content that was not compatible with Quicktime did not want to play via any of my browsers (Safari, Firefox, IE). After loading Flip4Mac software, including the WMV player, I have had no problems with any web content.
3.Microsoft Office compatibility is a critical factor for me. So far, all content that I use has worked flawlessly, save one (1). When loading a Powerpoint Slideshow (.pps file), I can view the slides, but the slide timings that were saved as part of the show do not appear to work in Open Office. Not a big deal. I am sure I will cover this in a future series that is focused on Open Office.
4.Audio volume is very low through the built-in speakers. I plan to test some external speakers in the coming weeks, but plugging that stuff in kind of defeats the portability factor of this laptop. I have not yet tested the system with ear buds, or my noise canceling headphones.

Battery life on the MacBook has been very good. I have been using the default power settings, and average nearly 4.5 hours on a charge. I have done most of my work on battery power and have 16 cycles and 100% health at this early stage of the game. I am sure that I could approach the six (6) hour rating, if I was willing to dim the screen and put the system to sleep on a shorter interval.

We have spent the last several days on a trip to Arizona for a family event. We took approximately 70 pictures with our Digital SLR on Saturday evening. By Sunday morning, they were loaded into iPhoto, and published to our .mac gallery. I will tackle a slide show DVD when we return home.

To sum up this entry, so far so good. Mac Os X and Vista are both performing admirably well.

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