Zachary W. Huang

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Thoughts on my MacBook

December 20, 2021

I recently got a MacBook Pro 14in. Here are some thoughts:

I remember reading some comments about how people had tons of tabs and applications open on this computer without a hitch, and I have to say they’re right. One thing which is definitely different about MacOS is that it’s super easy to have a lot of stuff open. You just start an application or a command, and then you can switch over to another window and do something else Typically, I’m a real stickler for closing windows after I’m done with them (my brother’s desktop drives me crazy because he always has a million unused windows open all the time), but MacOS is telling me “no, it’s OK”, and I’m starting to believe.

The laptop itself is silent and fast. It started heating up when I started a system update while installing OBS, VLC, and Minecraft at the same time, but that seemed to be the most stressful thing I’ve put it through so far.

The keyboard is nice. It pains me that the control key is not in the bottom left (fn is there instead), but it can easily be changed in settings (the same can’t exactly be said for Windows). I also changed caps lock to escape :)

To be fair, I’ve had this laptop for less than 8 hours, but I haven’t yet had any significant issues with dev stuff. There was an issue where CommandLineTools was installed over XCode or something like that, but a quick stackoverflow search fixed the issue. A few macports error out when installing (Julia, yabai, mit-scheme), but I can easily workaround with an alternative or just downloading a release instead.

The screen is very nice. The refresh rate is high, and the colors look very nice. Edit: So apparently, MacOS does a weird thing where there is a “native” display resolution (3024x1964 for my laptop) that the screen actually is and a “logical” display resolution (1512x982) that applications have access to. As a result, certain programs that don’t have MacOS in mind end up with resolution issues (typically by a factor of 0.5). For example, OBS doesn’t record the entire display unless you manually set the video resolution to be 3024x1964. And in the game Clone Hero, going fullscreen subjects you to an extremely low-res experience, since it automatically sets the resolution to be 1512x982 instead of 3024x1964.

One thing I’ve noticed (and I don’t really like) is the … uh … let’s call it the “entrepreneurial culture” of MacOS developers. Because on no other operating system does it cost $8 to unlock the middle click (I’m only half-joking). There’s tons of calendar and todo apps that require a subscription - like, really? Maybe I’ve just been spoiled by FOSS. Sidenote: obviously, I know that I’m not being forced to use any of these paid apps, but their very existence was a bit of a culture shock. I understand the subscription-based pricing model for professional software like the programs made by Adobe, but a calendar app? smh

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