mac stuff

November 4, 2008

At last a non-linky ranty post. I’m sure my reader will be delighted.

I got an iPod dock today. Just the simple overpriced Universal one from Apple. and it’s actually quite an impressive little thing. It’s ultra simple, just a heavy thing with a hole and a couple of sockets.

One plugs it into one’s computer (or PSU sold separately) and one’s stereo. And one can experience the novelty of remote controlling the iPod.

Which is fun, but doesn’t quite work right; the “menu” button doesn’t work right, which is a shame, because there are enough buttons on the remote to simulate the whole clickwheel. I wonder if one day we’ll get a posh Apple Remote with an actual clickwheel on it? It’s probably one of those annoying but reasonable Apple design decisions, as I can’t actually read the text on the iPod screen from where I sit.

As for sound? That’s the point of the exercise, and it does indeed sound a lot better than connecting directly to the headphone socket. The volume level seems to default–rather sensibly–to maximum. It is a line out after all. A decent volume and all, unlike the headphone socket with it’s lame EU volume limit. That results in quite a weak output into a line input and also, sadly, many headphones.

Anyway, it’s quite a nice thing, if not exactly value for money. I may or may not get another one to sit on top of the old G4 that my iTunes library lives in.

While I was in the Apple Store, I also sneaked a quick look at the new MacBooks. And they are very, very nice. The MacBook in particular is nice and light and solid. And makes my iBook look, rather unfairly, rather awkward. The Pro I lifted of the desk was a bit warm. And a bit heavy. But it looked a lot smaller than the old one, even though it isn’t. Good trick.

I can see exactly why Firewire got left off. As that nice Mr Brockerhoff said, there isn’t actually room on the bezel for a FW400 connector, and it would be politically impossible for Apple to put FW800 on it until 1600 and 3200 are actually available in (presumably) Nvidia silicon.

A bit frustrating, but there you go. Especially as the chip presumably supports it. (and up to 12 USB connections, btw.)

Anyway, the new MacBook is pretty convincing to me, and I would get one if I wasn’t skint. Or a Pro. Not sure.

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