Mac UK

New iBook Sans DVD-ROM

Dirk Pilat - 2001.07.31

Howdydoody to you, precious reader, who made the bold decision to read another chapter of this increasingly irreverent little niche of online literature (only in the sense that it's made of letters and words: I don't proclaim this to be art or anything snotty like that).

All weekend I lived through an experience me and my poor partner (she really is to be commended for being such a hardy soul) never made before: We were desperately trying to spend 1,300 pounds on a computer (or to be correct: the incredibly iBooksexy DVD iBook).

As I work in a rather remote part of Scotland where Apple retailers are rather scarce (one in 4,000 square miles), I used a little business trip to London on the weekend to get me that piece of equipment I longed for for over three months. To my astonishment, every retailer I went to was very eager to sell my the CombiDrive or CD-ROM iBook, but every request for the DVD-ROM issue was either greeted with hollow laughter, a certain unbelieving facial expression or just plain tears. Apparently there is no DVD iBook in the whole of London, and nobody knew when there were any more coming in.

One bloke was trying to flog off one of his ex-demo models that had been standing for weeks in the shop window, but he was not ready to either go down with the price or throw something in with the machine. No way, Jose.

After more than 24 hours of unsuccessful walking around the streets of London during the worst heat wave for a decade, something snapped in me: I had to have a bloody iBook for my flight back to Scotland, and by golly, I was going to get one - so I bought the CD-ROM Version. DVD movies are overrated anyway, and I saved a couple of hundred quid, even though I whacked a cool 128 MB extra in it.

So this is what it's like: I am sitting here on my flight from London to Scotland with my new gorgeous iBook strategically placed on my lap. Very much to the envy of my co-passengers (har, har) I am able to type away happily to bring you my first impression of this thinking man's ultimate gadget. The first couple of minutes have certainly been very enjoyable: After installing Mac OS 9.1 and OS X 10.0.3, I still had enough battery life for another 90 minutes (thanks for preloading the battery, guys). The display proved to be beautifully crisp and well designed, and the keyboard has a good feel to it.

Using 9.1, the desktop looked familiar, with the software bundle pretty exhaustive. I always wanted to get my hands on AppleWorks 6, and I can vouchsafe for its good design and great handling. The mouse pad (or whatever it's called) is pretty difficult to use if you're a hard-core mouse user like me, but I'm sure I'll get there. Don't know how it will work for my Total Annihilation addiction, though.

As soon's as I'm home, I'll copy my graphic and Web design applications onto it and see how this baby breezes through my Photoshop jobs. Now that I am an ecstatic person with the plane about to descend onto the west coast of Scotland, the only thing that is left for me to do is a) remind you again of the biggest hacker convention in Europe , HAL2001, where I'll be hosting a session on Health and the Net and b) ask you kindly to email me your experiences in trying to get hold of an iBook.

Cheers me Dears. LEM

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