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Conquest: First new mac in 5 years

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I dropped the money a few days ago on a Refurbished MacBook Pro with the following specs:


2.6Ghz Quad-Core Core i7

15" Retina-Class Display


512GB Solid-State drive


The cost? $2,400 with tax (ouch!) but I have been looking at one of these for 6 months and wanted to make sure I had enough spare money after buying.


I now have made significant advanced in my life recently. I move into my new (first time renter) 2-bedroom apartment in Omaha, NE which is now closer to work than where I used to live. I move in on the 25th of this month (October) and I have been working hard at google every day for almost 8 weeks now, with lots of room to move up soon to full time status (I am contractor. Conversions usually happen around 4 months in and it looks like I am on track for that.)


So now that I am doing more photography, plus paid sessions, plus doing video for weddings, etc... I decided it might be worth it to plunge the money into a machine that will perform well with my equipment (probably sometime next year I will be dropping about $1000 on a new canon camera body as an upgrade to my T3. Probably a T5)


Let you know more of how it works out. Looking forward to it. I plan on keeping my hackintosh as well as my Asus for adobe premiere. The Hackintosh mainly so I can do faster work.


I will be selling my MacBook (Mid-2009 White non-unibody with nVidia 9400m Graphics and DDR2 RAM) to recover some costs, plus a Lenovo B510 which i refurbished.

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I only got a small amount of time to mess with the retina display, but was really impressed by the display quality. I am spoiled by having 1080 displays like the 17.3" LED 1920x1080 display on my Asus, so it's hard to go down to something like 1440x900 like normal on the 15" MacBook Pros. I also wanted the display as it will make working with photographs easier, especially when getting to higher resolution photos (my camera takes in the 3xxx*2xxx range easily)


I will have to buy a thunderbolt FireWire and Gigabit Ethernet adapter. Not very happy that they ommited a basic ethernet adapter to save space and they don't include the adapter by default for something I consider a basic essential on a pro machine.


So I will be dropping $70 with tax on something I expect to be essential that apple has touted as "The greatest thing since sliced bread" over the last 10 years. FireWire was a failed experiment, but they are backpeddling now and now forcing you to pay more for what used to be on a mac.


I will find the thunderbolt ports useful, At least there are two of them, so I can have ethernet and FireWire in use at the same time.



From what I saw online, the SSD is a card that is removable. So in the future I am sure there will be third party companies that will be making clones/upgrades of them.


In the next two months, I will spring for the warranty on the laptop. Don't have $350 after dropping that much for a warranty at the same time.

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Congrats on the whole set. I have quite a few friends at Google (in Mt. View and The Dalles, OR,) and all but one have liked it. (Then again, the one was married to another Googler, and after they got divorced, he left Google and moved back to Portland.)


Keep at it, and you can advance - two of my friends started as Datacenter Technicians, and are now product managers.

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The laptop will be coming on thursday through UPS. I have asked my dad to be at my mom's to sign for it since I will be at work probably when it comes. I have a date tonight with a really cute girl that I worked up my courage to ask out. I also have other things to do the next few days to keep me occupied till thursday comes. I will swing by either a local electronics place (more likely) or venture out to the Apple store (less likely) to get those adapters. Looking forward to the laptop. I hope with this laptop that I won't suffer like I did with my macbook from 2007 -> 2009 that prompted me to sell it and get Thinkpad T400 (which is still kicking after I gave it to a friend's wife). I will report back later. After such a crappy year and making many life changes for the better, this year is getting incredibly much better a positive attitude and incredible luck after having a car stolen, a second broken into, a massively failed relationship, failed job and a breakdown involving an inpatient hospital stay, this has been the happiest time in years

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Got my new laptop. Wow, it's extremely well built. The initial impression of just taking out of a refurb box made me have the impression that even second best is considered first place. I have never had a refurb product packed with such care and even packaging that made me think it was being opened for the first time.


Of course, the product was immaculate. Almost as if it was new (then again, it could very well be brand new).


The build quality is very well. Ditto on the keyboard (I hate sloppy keyboards, while I like the power of my Asus G74SX, the keyboard and trackpad sucks). The keyboard on this is just so solid.


The retina display is everything I wished it was an more. I have it one knotch down from the top (it says it's supposed to be like 1680x1050 sized) but it's still crisp. I wish I really knew what resolution it is indeed running out. Funnily enough, it will not do the native 2560x1800 as that would be too microscopic (I could dream but then even the smallest pixel rate is way too small).


The screen is crisp. I haven't used it in the dark, so I have no clue about the backlight keyboard yet, but the one on my 2008 MBP 17" sufficed when I had it.


I still have to get the two adapters I need (firewire and gigabit ethernet) so I can do all the stuff I want.. I also haven't tested out the graphics. I am giving it a test drive on the battery. Sitting here with the screen at 70% the battery has been in the 90+ % for at least 20 minutes, and it still says I have over 5.5 hours left. I also have an external USB 3.0 2.5" HDD plugged in and an iPhone 5 charging off it it.



I will post some pics, but wow. I even used the facetime on it. My friend was impressed when I chatted with her about some stuff at the quality of the HD camera.



Oh on a bonus side, I got my FireWire iSight working on my hackintosh. Apparently the microphone on the camera was locking up the bus. I guess it fully died. It won't pick up audio, but the camera works. So I use an external mic hooked to the mic-in port.


Pics come later, picking up my girlfriend from work right now, so waiting for her to get off.

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Totally loving it. I haven't had too much chance to play with it, you know with being social (now) and having a job. I am spending more time with my girlfriend than computers (beats computers) so it will get put through more paces when Anime Nebraskon comes up and I do a bunch of photography pictures. So it will help most during that time.


Other than that, work has me busy for the other 10 hours of the day (1 hour commute both ways (30 minutes each) and the rest of the day, I just want to come home and relax with my girlfriend, so computers takes a back seat to all that.


The keyboard is really nice, and so is the trackpad.


The best thing is the screen. The sad thing is, with the resolution, if I put it at the finest quality, I can't read the text because it gets too small, so I backed it off by one, which leaves a lot of screen real-estate still. It's supposedly like 1680x1050. If I put it on the max, it's supposed to be like 1920x1200. But even though the screen is still crisp for text, it's just very small text.


I will let you know how it holds up over time.

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