Stunningly beautiful paperweight

My mac, which I got back from the repair shop last Friday, is out of commission again.

Macintosh people love to go on about how beautifully designed and user-friendly macs are. But in my hands they are failure prone and difficult to use (no equivalent of Alt-Tab that lets you cycle through all windows regardless of what application they’re running in, no equivalent of Windows-D that hides all windows, reliably). At BloggerCon this weekend I mentioned my woes to a recently departed Apple employee. He said, “yeah, the 15-inch titaniums fail a lot. You want one of the new aluminum 15-inch powerbooks. They did a much better job designing the hinge on that one.” Gee, thanks.

But wait, there’s more. When you close a powerbook, the keyboard comes into contact with the screen and transfers all kinds of wonderful stuff from your fingers to the LCD surface. The more scrupulous mac owners I know carry around a thin cloth or piece of foam, to protect the screen. I tried this for a few days, before my mac conked out again, and found all of the fiddling around to be kind of a schlep.

This raises the question: am I just unlucky, or are the mac people delusional?

6 thoughts on “Stunningly beautiful paperweight”

  1. Probably both :-) I’ve had some hardware problems with my 15″ tiBook, but they’ve been less than friends with PC laptops have had.

  2. Interesting. My Sony Vaio is going strong after four years. It’s had a few minor problems, but nothing that I wasn’t able to repair myself with relatively little effort.

  3. I know people who have had 15″ Ti’s swapped out several times (earning the phrase “tinfoil book”. Remember, titanium isn’t strong, it’s strong *per mass* which just means you use a lot less of it in a given application…

    My 12″ “AlBook”, on the other hand, has survived several drops (the battery corner is, umm, “bent”) and half a dozen keyboard spills with no ill effect. I’m pretty happy with it after 8 months, and that says a lot – my previous laptop was a Panasonic Toughbook :-) I think the aluminum (and, frankly, the white-plastic iBooks) are much more solidly built than the TiBooks.

    (I do carry a piece of thin leather for the keyboard – mostly because a friend got ahold of a bunch of Aqua colored leather, and it was amusing :-) I do have a few gouges on the screen (from an accident involving some cardboard and a bike frame) but no pixels were harmed.

    As for the window selection thing – I still run X and most of my windows are xterms and emacs, with fast switching via ratpoison; I generally context switch more heavily going to other multi-window apps. But I’m odd that way :)

  4. “No equivalent of Alt-Tab that lets you cycle through all windows regardless of what application they’re running in, no equivalent of Windows-D that hides all windows, reliably”

    In OS X 10.3 hold down command-tab to see a list of running apps. While continuing to hold the command key hit tab again to move from one to the next.

    Also in OS X 10.3 the F11 key will clear all windows. Hitting F11 again brings them back.

    F9 “tiles” all windows. F10 does something interesting, but I forgot what… 😉

    Good luck with your faulty Mac.

    Dan

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