Friday, February 09, 2007

MacBook Installation

I said I'd write about my install experience so here it is.

Painless. Nothing complicated to figure out. The only difficulty I had was that the Mac didn't automatically configure and connect to my home Wi-Fi network. That would have been just a little difficult for it to do since I'm using a shared key with MAC address filtering. I spent about 2 minutes trying to find the right place to configure this. 2 minutes is not bad considering I haven't touched a Mac since 1991!

I was up and running in 1 hour and that includes the time it took me to find the address, username and password to my Wi-Fi router, find the MAC address for the Mac's card, enter it, install Firefox etc. Not bad! This took far less time then it typically takes me to set up a new Windows machine.

Once I had it up and running I wanted to get Firefox installed. It took me a second to figure out that I had to drag it to the Applications folder but I did remember an article I previously read about this so I had help. Then I had to figure out how to move the 'shortcut' to the Dock. I know my terminology is wrong - I suspect this will take longer to learn then the Mac. I figured that out in about 2 minutes so now I had Firefox on the Dock - did I say that right? 'On the Dock'? Hmm.

Then I installed Google Browser Sync. All of this took about one hour. Then I wrote my first post on the Mac from the Mac.

OK I needed a desktop productivity suite so I installed OpenOffice which was a little more complicated since there's no native OS X version (funny, I never cared until now) and you have to install X11 first. I followed the instructions and downloaded X11 from the Apple website, tried to install and then read the small print: "System Requirements: Mac OS X 10.3 through 10.3.9". Oops. I'm running 10.4, the X11 version of which is apparently on the install DVD...Which took me about 15 minutes to locate and install. [Dogs! I keep getting messed up with the CTRL-TAB, CTRL-SHIFT-TAB, CTRL-C etc. features of Windows and Mac - different] Then downloading and installing OpenOffice Mac version - all in all about 1/2 hour of work. Then I had to move my iTunes library and some personal file folders to the Mac. I also discovered this really cool feature, "FileVault" which encrypts my home folder. In Windows I had to use TruCrypt which works nicely but not seamlessly. I've also used other encryption technologies like PGP (commercial version) which a) costs too much and b) last time I used the full-disk encryption feature on my laptop, after a few weeks of use it refused to boot. Luckily there's a nifty utility that allows you to decrypt your drive...36 hours later I had my 60GB drive descrypted and could boot. Last time I used that feature! Now I know that Vista has this feature but I'm not testing Vista so for now I don't care.

I never mentioned the packaging. Slick. I'll post some pictures with my next entry.

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