3 Macbook Pro annoyances

I’ve had the Macbook Pro for a week or two now, but I’ve really only been using it when I travel. That said, here are three minor annoyances.

#1 – Power Corner is already gone

The cover that protects the extender on the power cube is gone. It was destined from day 1 to be gone, but it was gone by day 2. If a small plastic part comes off on its own, it needs a leash. I’ll let you know as soon as I lose the VGA dongle as well. I’ve seen at least one left behind at every conference I’ve gone to. It would be worth the extra couple of cubic centimeters (brain by Montessori!) of case space to include a VGA-out as well. To be honest, I’d rather have this in the case than the DVD burner. It’s already the heaviest laptop I’ve ever carried, it wouldn’t add to much to throw in a VGA plug. By the time most projectors I use have a DVI plug–or a cable on site for the plug–I will have moved on to my next laptop. But I got a little off track there–had I known that it would disappear so quickly, I would have super-glued a little plastic leash to that plastic corner.

#2 – PNG should be portable

This is going to be the first of many hassles with switching between Mac and Windows. I dropped a Powerpoint presentation from the Mac to a PC without having “exported” it properly, I guess. As a result, I stood in front of a crowd of people with empty slides because the PNG files wouldn’t render properly on the PC, and it claimed it needed a Quicktime update. Yes, yes, I know: this could just as easily be a Windows annoyance, but the whole idea is that these are supposed to be Portable Network Graphics. And had I done the presentation on a Windows laptop in the first place, it would have worked. Why should Quicktime have ever come into play? Anyway, the suck.

#3 – Keynote click to the end

In the second of two presentations, I was smart enough to swap out the presentation machine, and used Keynote, hoping to distract my audience with pretty transitions. Unfortunately, I got over-eager in clicking forward on the remote, and ended up at the end of the presentation. Double clicks during a slide render should not take you to the end of the presentation. I’m sure there is a way (I hope there is) to fix this in the preferences, but it is *bad* to be half-way through your show and have the presentation decide to skip to the end for you.

To defend against the Mac goon squad… I love the Mac: it’s quick, works well, good battery life. I haven’t yet installed XP (using either method), but I’m not sure I will. I wonder just how often I will want to switch over while on the road. At home, I’ve got XP on my main machine already. I am very happy with the machine, but these are just three of what I assume will be more minor annoyances.

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  1. Posted 6/18/2006 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    the first problem of course is for trouble shooting. if they get far enough along they will ask you ‘do you have the x cover’ if you do, that shows an obsessive compulsive disorder, if you don’t that indicates a lack of care….. thus allowing the to better meet your customer care needs.

    the png thing is a misconfigured pc

    the double click…. well you have to just ‘be steve’ and relaxe when giving your presentation, you get used to it…. just ‘be steve’.

  2. Posted 6/18/2006 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    Turtleneck is on order.

  3. Posted 6/19/2006 at 11:44 am | Permalink


    I feel for you, man. Those little plastic covers are soooo cute, you hate to lose them. Whoever said packaging isn’t part of the experience? The previous mac powerbooks had a little domed cover for the power cord that was even nicer. Lost as soon as possible, of course, but nice while it lasted. Like first love. Sort of.

    Misconfigured PCs abound. And png’s (and TIFFs) will send them into a tizzy all the time. It is unfortunate, but those of use who live with machine that is capable out of the box have to watch out for them. They don’t watch out for us. Lately I’ve started “printing” my presentations to PDF and JPEGs and SWF as a fall-back position. And eschew transitions. You know they are high in chloresterol, anyway, don’t you? Sort of like the eggs benefict of professional communication.

    Keynote navigation is another world. Wait til you try to grok the “second screen” instructions. Has anyone every had this do what they expected the first time? I think, like debits and credits, the terminology is inverse to the lay person. And when you compensate, in your mind, by inverting them, it does the opposite to THAT. Hint: open a presentation in “play” mode and press the question mark. A huge list of shortcuts appears (as it does in Powerpoint). You’ll get a shivver of excitement as you realize the potential of “Z” and “X”… ahem. Where was I.

    All the best. And welcome to the family. See you in Brisbane?


  4. Posted 6/22/2006 at 4:43 am | Permalink

    I’m relieved to see that ‘third-degree burns on lap’ didn’t make your list. I ordered an MBP on Monday, so your comments about what to dread are useful.

    Came here via Kottke. Your ‘How to Cheat Good’ is brilliant. I’m thinking about printing it out for my Googling students. Amazing how obtuse some of the commenters were, though.

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