Weblog on the Internet and public policy, journalism, virtual community, and more from David Brake, a Canadian academic, consultant and journalist

Archive forFebruary 2nd, 2005 | back to home

2 February 2005
Filed under:Gadgets,Personal,Software reviews at10:53 am
  • On the good side – it looks lovely (both the hardware and the OS) and was really straightforward to set up – particularly the networking bits. However…
  • Providing the iBook with a base 256Mb of RAM is ridiculous – it isn’t enough to do any real multitasking. Running Firefox, Fire (for instant messaging), OpenOffice and “Blinkx”:http://www.blinkx.com/content/mac.php (a new hard disk indexing program) slows the machine to a crawl. It surely wouldn’t have added that much to the cost to ship with 512Mb as standard, especially since there is only one spare memory slot.
  • OpenOffice for the Mac is a dog – and to be fair the OO team almost admit as much. Unfortunately progress towards a proper OSX version appears to have “slowed dramatically”:http://porting.openoffice.org/mac/.
  • AppleWorks is similarly irritating. It is at least MacOS look and feel compliant but if you want to use it to work with Office files you have to open AppleWorks, change the open file dialogue to allow you to open non-Appleworks files, then work on the file and “save as” back into the file’s original format – every single time. And I don’t trust it not to mess up my formatting.
  • If I can mount an FTP server and I give myself full rights why does the Apple network software insist that the server be read-only? Is there any way around this? For some reason I can’t mount my Windows PC using the normal Windows file and print sharing.
  • Whose bright idea was it not to include a “forward” delete key on Mac notebooks?

I don’t want to leave things on a sour note – I am pretty hopeful that once I receive the additional 512Mb of RAM I ordered and I get ahold of MS Office my user experience will improve dramatically…