I finally have a MacBook computer
July 9, 2012
by Mark Ollig

This humble writer is blissfully typing away on the column you are now reading using his new Apple MacBook.

Last week, I bravely walked into what I used to consider “enemy territory”– an Apple computer store.

The mountain of Apple computer products I was surrounded by surprised me at first glance; however, this Windows personal computer user was resolute in his decision to make the switch and go with an Apple computer.

I was somewhat hesitant about which one to choose. Fortunately for me, I was accompanied to the store with a longtime Apple computer user – my son, Mathew.

Mathew reassured me about my decision to go with an Apple computer; he made me feel confident I would end up choosing the right Apple computer to start out with.

Being this was my first Apple computer, I felt it would be best to not get the most expensive model right away; so for now, I chose to buy a less expensive MacBook.

Even the Apple salesperson seemed to understand my initial hesitation.

“I have been using the Microsoft Windows operating system on personal computers since 1986, so this will be a bit of a change for me,” I sheepishly said to the smiling, young salesperson.

He acknowledged this and walked with me over to the decorative wall shelves displaying numerous MacBook computers.

There must have been about 30 MacBook’s on display. All of them were neatly arranged, with each of their dazzling white cases imprinted with the famous Apple logo.

I decided to start with an entry-level MacBook. Unlike the rest of the Apple line of devices (which sport aluminum unibodies), this computer has a white polycarbonate case.

Mathew assured me that despite it being an entry-level computer, it was vastly more powerful than my current laptop, and was the best value for the money.

While Mathew was explaining all this to me, I noticed the salesperson smiling, and nodding his head in approval.

I wanted to know what was inside this shiny white box, so I asked the salesperson, who politely told me.

This particular MacBook uses Apple’s OS X (Operating System 10, version 10.6.8). It includes two, dual-core Intel processors operating at 2.1GHz. The computer’s bus speed is 800 MHz. This MacBook also includes a 160 GB hard drive.

I felt this was the right Apple computer for me, so we took the MacBook to the counter and made the purchase.

Later that day, Mathew and I decided it would be a good idea to increase the computer’s random access memory from 2GB to 4GB.

We went to another computer hardware store and purchased two, 2GB DDR2 SDRAM (double data rate synchronous dynamic random access memory) interface chips. These DDR2 chips are rated at 667 MHz.

The DDR2 allows for a higher bus speed, and uses less power.

If you ever need to replace computer chips in a MacBook, be sure to have the correct-sized Phillips screwdriver. I was fortunate to have had a small, eyeglass screwdriver with me, which, luckily, fitted the tiny screws inside the MacBook.

We installed the two computer chip components into their respective slots with no problems.

The next day, I started using the MacBook in earnest – by writing this column.

I soon realized I was going to need a mouse, as I just could not get used to the MacBook finger track pad; which reminded me of the late 1990s IBM ThinkPad 390E notebook computer I once had.

So, I went out and purchased a blue, Logitech m317 wireless mouse with a nano-receiver connector, which I simply plugged into one of the MacBook’s USB (Universal Serial Bus) ports.

The new hardware worked perfectly, as I was able to maneuver easily among the many Apple applications using the wireless mouse.

Even the MacBook’s full-size keyboard was simpler to use than I previously thought it would be.

My typing speed and accuracy has steadily improved since I began working on this column.

Another thing I learned about the MacBook is its ability to be used as an 802.11 Wi-Fi source.

At home, I have the MacBook connected to my ISP (Internet Service Provider) via an Ethernet connection to my cable modem.

Mathew showed me how to set up the MacBook so my Android mobile device and iPod can wirelessly access the Internet through my MacBook computer.

It works great. Just remember, when you set up a Wi-Fi hotspot, make sure you put the proper security on it so no one else can use it without your knowledge.

The Wi-Fi security protocol I use is WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy), along with a strong password.

So far, I very much like this new Apple MacBook computer.

As I learn my way around this MacBook, and become comfortable using the Apple OS, I will no doubt end up wanting to buy the latest MacBook Pro model.

And so, yours truly is successfully migrating from using the Microsoft Windows XP OS, to the Apple OS X.

Welcome to the world of Apple computing, Mark.

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