Disappointed in Mac (but more in Win 8)

I have been looking for a new laptop. My current one is a (HP) Compaq Presario, bought in 2003.
Still running strong on WinXP, I upgraded the Disk and RAM midway.

I can tell about this model - the exterior build quality was not good. But the computer was damn fine. So before you make arguments about Mac's build quality, note that exterior and interior are two different things. Mac's do have better exterior quality, all five of them. Interiors - they are all the same - if you know what you are buying.

The hottest new item in the Mac world is the Retina display, so I wanted to check it out. Crisp fonts and lovely, bright screen. I was sold.

But wait!

Crisp fonts yes, but Windows always have had crisp fonts. It's only Mac's fonts which need Retina. Don't give me the true-to-design argument. I don't want it to be fuzzy on my monitor. If Mac users have gotten used to it, good for them. I will not settle for less.

Retina is great, but a 1920x1080 on Windows will do just as fine.

Don't even get me started on Finder. Explorer beats it any day. Explorer is what is Simple and Intuitive. Mac's philosophy is 'Machine knows better than you'. In other words - users are dumb.

Mac (OS X) is "Intuitive". Really! Name ONE function which more "intuitive" in Mac than in Windows.

Windows beats Mac just on the software choices alone. For one $30 Mac package, there will be at least 10 Windows programs, 5 of them - free/open source.

Apple made great products in iPad and iPhone. Their hardware is nice, exterior build is top notch. But OS is a letdown. Preciesly why bootcamp was needed.

Update 12/24/2012

Ordered myself a MacBook Air.

It was a tough call between Retina and Air. In the end the $300, performance and weightlessness of the Air won me over.

Got mine for USD 1299 + 95 (3 Year Apple Care) + Free Parallels from BHPhotoVideo.com

Now, all my criticisms of Mac are still valid. Windows 8 however, is a disgrace to design. I have 'tried' many laptops over the last few weeks but none felt as solid as one from Apple. All you get are poor touchpads, ergonomics and confusing user experience (in contrast to Windows 7). One might get a 1080p display, though Windows doesn't scale it the way Apple scales it on Retina. What that means is that higher the resolution, smaller the text. My other complaint with PCs is the 16:9 aspect. A laptop is not a TV, for Christ's sake. A 16:10 such as that on Air still gives a more useful work-area on the screen.


Getting started with Raspberry Pi (without needing a separate keyboard)

The wonderful little Raspberry Pi

Purchased from http://www.newark.com/


  •  Silicon Manufacturer: Broadcom
  •  Core Architecture: ARM
  •  Core Sub-Architecture: ARM11
  •  Silicon Core Number: BCM2835
  •  Kit Contents: Assembled Board Only
  •  RoHS Compliant: Yes

Ports on Board:
  • Ethernet
  • 2 USB
  • 1 Micro USB for power (5v 1A)
  • 1 HDMI (full-size)
  • GPIO
  • Coaxial Audio Out

Accessories required

SD Card
Full Size SDHC Card  minimum 2 GB storage (I used 4 GB Kingston MicroSD with Adapter). The advantage of MicroSD over SD is that you can swap it out eassily while the adapter stays put in the motherboard.

Power Adapter
I have used the Nexus 7 Power adapter with ratings 5V 2A. RPi is finicky about power so  choose a "good" power source.

HDMI Cable
Bought it real cheap from Amazon.  HDMI Cable Link

For your visual gratification only.

Not really required, I will explain how your existing computer's keyboard can be used.

Ethernet Cable

Router and Internet Connection
Your existing Wireless Router should work.


Download the Raspbian Wheezy image from http://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads and write it to the SD card. Instructions are given on the download page.

Plug the HDMI cable into your Display and the other end into RPi.

Plug the Ethernet cable into RPi and the other end into one of LAN ports available on the router.

Slide the SD Card into RPi.

Power on the Display.

Attach the MicroUSB power cable and power it on.

You will see some text scrolling on your display. 

The first time boot will end up in a "blue" raspi-config screen asking you to configure some settings. But, hey, there is no keyboard! 

Before you can use PuTTy, you need to find the IP of RPi. If you can access the admin console of your router (usually available at navigate around and find the page when all computers in the network are shown.
In my case the RPi shows up as

PC Name:raspberry
Connection Type:
IP Address:

Now start putty and SSH your way into RPi. Default user/password in given in the RPi download page.
After you have successfully logged in, run the following:


This will open up the same window which is showing up on your display right now. Use Tab, Up/Down and Enter keys to make your selections.

Most important are:
  • Resize Partitions to fill the space.
  • Enable SSH on startup.
  • Desktop Mode.
Make your selection and reboot. RPi will restart and your SSH connection will be lost. When it boots up, you have to reconnect using PuTTy.

Now you can install some utilities.

To be able to connect to other shared folders on the network.
apt-get install cifs-utils
To be able to remotely control the RPi User Interface (that's how you don't need a Keyboard!)
apt-get install x11vnc
Light DM
apt-get install lightdm
During the installation of LightDM, it will prompt you to choose a default login-manager. Use LightDM.

Reboot. (reboot command on PuTTy).

Once RPi is back up, reconnect PuTTy. (Meanwhile, your display should have a Login screen, asking you to enter User Id).

Execute this command on PuTTy:

x11vnc -auth /var/run/lightdm/root/:0 -noxrecord -noxfixes -noxdamage

You also need to install a Vncviewer on your computer. I used TightVNC http://tightvnc.com/download.php

Start the VNC Viewer on your computer. There would be an option to enter the Remote Host information.

Note the IP is same as the IP of RPi that we found out earlier.

This will take you straight to the Linux UI where you need to enter the UserId and Password. Whatever you do on your computer int the VNC Viewer window will also be visible on the Display attached to RPi. (See, no extra keyboard necessary!).

For playing Audio/Video on your Display/TV use this command from the PuTTy window:

omxplayer -o hdmi /path/to/your/media/file

And voila.

Want more fun, install the VNC Viewer App from Android Market on your Phone/Tablet.
Want even more fun, install XBMC, the full feature media console. We'll talk about that some other time.