Heidi out, Charlie in

by Volker Weber

After working almost exclusively with Heidi, I fired up Charlie again tonight. Let me tell you, this is unbelievable. After you worked on a Mac for two weeks straight, a Windows notebook fells incredibly clunky. It is noisy, it takes forever to wake up from suspend, the design is awful, and the software ... well, it is Windows.

Some things in the Stinkpad are better: The keyboard is much more responsive and I also like the Trackpoint more than the Trackpad. It also has two PCMCIA slots and an IR port that I was missing somewhat with the Apple.

While I was using Heidi, I also compared her closely to the PowerBook. I am somewhat undecided. The PowerBook design is way better, and it feels more precious. The keyboard is less murky, but on the other hand the G4 makes the machine a lot hotter than the G3 in the iBook. As a side effect, battery life does not seem so extensive than with the iBook. I can only derive from some observations here since I have never put a PowerBook through its paces but it seems to be missing at least an hour, even without an Airport card.

Comments

It may become even more difficult in a few weeks, the rumour mill says the iBook range will be re-vamped and get G4 processors soon. On the other hand, with G4 processors, the battery life may go down.

Ruth's 12" PowerBook runs for about 3,5 hrs without an airport card (which we just installed yesterday), which seems to match your experience. We haven't had any problems with excessive heat being developed on the PB, although we have seen that raised a number of times as an issue.

John Keys, 2003-03-19 07:18

Well, rumours seem to be part of the Mac world. There should have been a new iPod for at least eight weeks now. So, we will see. :-)

From what I have seen with Tobias' 12"G4, I would not call this excessive heat, but it is certainly very warm and the PowerBook needs a fan to get rid of it. The iBook does not seem to even have a fan and it gets only a lukewarm so you can actually feel that it is on. The hottest part seems to be the disk drive.

One can safely assume that heat dissipation is an indicator of how long the battery will power the device. I don't have any first hand experience there and Tobias runs it only from the power supply (as I do Charlie). Charlie has only had 200 cycles on the battery and the status monitor tells me it needs to be retrained. I tried that but it has not worked very well yet.

Batteries seem to be the equivalent of tires on an automobile. You have to plan for replacement from the onset. It depends somewhat on how you treat them but eventually they need to be replaced.

Volker Weber, 2003-03-19 08:26

Yes, I also never had expected that the change from working with a Mac to a Windows notebook would be such a big step backwards to me as it is. My 15" PowerBook is my first Mac in a long (computer-)life and I still can't believe why I ever have used anything else.

Battery life is around 3 hours with Airport card on - that's better than my 3 month old ThinkPad. I am missing two things on the PowerBook: the right mouse button (Notes, Smartsuite) and the Delete key.

My biggest problem is: Originally I had planned to use the ThinkPad in the office and the Mac at home so that I never again had to carry a computer with me . But I am missing the Mac when I am in the office and sometimes I need the Thinkpad at home. So in the meantime I am usually carrying two notebooks with me ... -:)

Otto Foerg, 2003-03-19 22:26

That is what the 17" Powerbook is for. Your one and only computer. :-)

Volker Weber, 2003-03-19 23:05

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I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.

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