HIW (How I Work): The Apple MacBook

I am asked quite often how I can keep up with everything in regards
to educational technology, software, and hardware. After some
reflection, I realized that it would make a good series of articles, so
I’m going to write up How I Work.

First up is probably the most important component of my technology
arsenal, my Apple MacBook. During the spring of 2006 I was
researching upgrading my 17″ iMac to a new MacBook Pro. The plan
was to buy a beefy enough MacBook Pro that I wouldn’t want to upgrade
for awhile. I specc’ed out the MacBook Pro that I wanted to be almost
\$2,500! I wasn’t happy being stuck with getting such a large laptop,
but I was in luck that Apple then announced the MacBook. After realizing I could buy a MacBook and an iMac for the same
price as the MacBook Pro, I ordered my MacBook. After
using it, I realized I didn’t even need a desktop at home.

With my MacBook and VMware Fusion, I get the best
of all worlds. I run OS X 10.5 mainly, but have a Windows XP and
Ubuntu virtual machines also installed on the machine. Since the
original purchase I’ve bumped the memory from 1GB to 2GB and the hard
drive from 80GB to 200GB.

Unfortunately, come summer 2009 when I’ll be looking at upgrading I
don’t know what I’ll do. The new MacBook’s lack of firewire is almost a
deal killer for me.

When I am at home I hook my MacBook up to a 17″ LCD
monitor and use a cheap [\$30 Micro Innovations wireless keyboard and
mouse I purchased from Wal-mart][] (mine is a dark grey, not the hideous
color from the picture). The combo works pretty well, except sometimes I
have to unplug and re-plug the USB dongle that works with the set when I
wake the MacBook up from sleep. That’s also where I keep an external
hard drive to maintain my laptops backups using OS X’s Time Machine.

[\$30 Micro Innovations wireless keyboard and mouse I purchased from
Wal-mart]: http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=8144837