Miscellaneous

4 Months After Switching Over From Windows To A Mac

Surprisingly, the transition from a Windows to a Mac wasn’t as jarring as I had thought, and it turned out to be pretty uneventful. It’s been 4 months since I bought my Macbook Pro, and the overall experience’s fantastic, save for 2 cases.

1. Windows-only Applications

I deal with Windows-only applications that do not have alternatives on the Mac, and the only way to run these is in a virtualised Windows environment on my Mac (I use VMWare for this). Problem is, it’s equivalent to running 2 systems on one machine, and I don’t like the performance hit that I’m taking because of this. One workaround that I use is to connect to my Windows server (I have a VPS that I use from Vodien), so all my processing is handled there.

2. Kernel Panics

I have NO idea why, but I’m getting kernel panics on my Mac. It’s annoying as heck, especially since I’m used to never ever shutting down my computer. I find it such a huge disruption in my workflow that I have to have everything reset when the computer boots up from scratch. Oh, and I like to call it BSOD – not Blue Screen of Death, but Beautiful Screen Of Death. Still a BSOD, still annoyingly infruriating. For the Mac though, the BSOD gently slides in from the top, and presents to you a multi-lingual description of what you must do (namely, reboot).

bsod windows mac

I checked the RAM on this Macbook Pro by running the memory test on extended loops (5 loops, no errors found), TechTools didn’t find anything, but then I suddenly had the haunch to try Disk Utility, and -gasp- I found disk errors. It’s something to do with invalid file counts and volume records. Doesn’t sound like something that would cause kernel panics, but I’m hoping badly that it is, and that I’ve seen the last of the kernel panics.

mac osx disk utility

So I fixed the disk errors by booting up with my Mac Snow Leopard Install DVD and running Disk Utility off it to repair the errors. If you need to do this too, just put in your DVD, and restart your computer while holding down the “c” button until you’re brought to the Mac OSX installation screen. Instead of hitting continue, just go to Utilities in the top menu bar.

I’m not sure if these disk errors are the root cause of all my kernel panics, but I’ll be monitoring this closely – hopefully I don’t get the BSOD anymore.

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Miscellaneous

Best Macbook Pro MBP Notebook Stand – Logitech Alto Express Review

I wanted dual monitors with my Macbook Pro, but it isn’t possible without buying a graphics splitter like the Matrox DualHead2Go or Matrox TripleHead2Go.

matrox-dualhead2go-digital

Problem is, there’s a problem with the new unibody Macbook Pros with these splitters – apparently the video output doesn’t work that well. I think it’s still possible though, but I didn’t want to risk it.

So I thought about it for a while, and decided that I should just use my Macbook Pro as my secondary display, and just use my 24″ LCD as the primary display (you can change whichever’s primary and secondary in your Mac’s display preference pane). It’s working out pretty well, but I soon realised that my Macbook’s screen was too low, and the position wasn’t that optimal. I figured that I needed a notebook stand to prop up my Macbook, and went searching around, but I was aghast to find out that laptop stands ran for around $50. It was way too much.

Finally, I found one that fit my requirements, that is, to prop up my laptop screen high enough, and not have any fans. I used to have a laptop stand that came with USB-powered fans, but it wasn’t a very good thing to have in the end, because A) You lose the use of 1 USB port, B) The fans are very noisy, and C) The fans break down after just a few months.

The best notebook stand for the Macbook Pro that I found was the Logitech Alto Express Notebook Stand.

logitech-alto-express

Logitech Alto Express Notebook Stand was less than $20, and had no moving parts, and looked really good. I ordered it, and it arrived pretty quickly. It came wrapped in plastic, and looked sturdy, with a nice rubberised base so that the laptop stand and your laptop wouldn’t slip.

logitech-alto-express-unboxed-review

Now with my Macbook Pro propped up nicely, the 2 screens were in a much better position, and I felt much more productive.

logitech-alto-express-macbook-pro-stand

And here’s how my current setup looks now. Like what you see? Get your own setup like this with these accessories:

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