Why it is Difficult to Hate Apple

As I've explained over many blog entries (here, here, here, etc.) I've had many problems with my MacBook Pro and more recently with the Leopard upgrade. And yet I remain an Apple fan. But why?

Well, partly because I've received uniformly excellent service. Every interaction I've ever had with Apple has been top notch with capable people answering my questions and fixing my problems. Yes, I did finally have to push a bit to have my MBP replaced finally, but Apple did the right thing ultimately. The support has been wonderful.

And, of course, partly because the Mac OS X user experience is unrivaled. These are people who generally seem to think long and hard about how their software should work. I was reminded of this recently when my Apple Frustration Index (AFI) was starting to rise again due to an overall performance slowdown of my machine (lots of pretty, spinning beachballs) and mysterious problems waking the system from sleep--all of which started after my recent upgrade to 10.5.2 (I am not alone.) I had hoped this latest update would get Apple back to their previous levels of OS quality, but apparently not. Hence the increase in my AFI.

In the midst of an AFI episode in which my MPB failed to wake up in closed-lid mode when attached to the Sun 24" monitor and USB keyboard/mouse in my office, I happened to instead try running with the lid opened and with mirroring turned off. I've been aware of this mode, but had never played with it.

Sitting at the MBP, enjoying the extra real estate and the ability to drag windows onto the 24" display, I thought it sure would be cool if I could have both the MBP keyboard/trackpad AND the USB keyboard/mouse active at the same time. That way, I'd almost have the feeling of two separate machines. To my amazement, that scenario just works. I'm writing this blog entry using the 24" monitor and USB keyboard while next to me the MBP is displaying my email and other windows. It really does feel like two machines. Yes, I could use Spaces to achieve a similar effect, but I like the psychological distance between these two "machines". As someone who spends too much time with email, I like having to move to another keyboard and screen to check my mail.

So, I thought all that was cool. And then my screensaver activated and started randomly displaying my photos as usual. On both screens. But with a different photo on each screen. Just what it should do, but not what I expected. A small thing, but the sum total was enough to reduce my AFI to the point where I will now wait patiently for Apple to fix my 10.5.2 problems, as I am sure they will.


Comments:

Josh,
I've been running on the extra monitor with mirroring turned off for quite some time. It's the only way I can deal with the massive amounts of data required to stay on the RFP treadmill. I was not, however aware of the multi-mouse/kbd scenario. That is interesting. When I use my wireless mouse, it shuts off the trackpad. I'll look for a way to stop that behavior.

Posted by MFS on March 02, 2008 at 06:11 PM EST #

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