Well, the 15” MacBook Pro with Touch Bar arrived around 7:15 this evening and I’ve started the process of setting it up.
I had a little problem setting up my Apple Hatch to unlock the computer, but after a dozen tries it finally worked even though I didn’t change anything. Setting up Hail is always weird. I have an IMAP mail account and I always have problems setting the “Trash” folder. This happens every time I setup a new iPhone and I ran into the same thing here. So I bit the bullet and figured out how to map all the folders and made them match on the iPhone and the new MacBook Pro. I hope that will make my email life a little easier because I won’t have to wonder why some emails get put in one folder and not another.
It First Batch of 3rd-Party Software
The very first piece of software I added was_1Password! I had to have all my logins and licenses for software that I will install so it was the first thing I needed. Next I needed Alfred App. Alfred is my launcher, but it is also my clipboard manager, file action shortcut mechanism, and shortcut manager. I’ll even think it’s managed to replace TextExpander, but the proof will be in if I don’t have to install TextExpander. And to get my Alfred settings from my old computer I needed to use Dropbox so I had to install it.
That’s enough for the first night, but I’m still writing this post from my old computer, so my task tomorrow will be to see what I need to install to be able to write and post from the new computer.
Hardware First Impressions
It’s not GPU panicking! The screen is bright and the colors are much better than the old computer (which I suspect had to do with the bad GPU]. I’ve had matte laptop screens forever because most glass or plastic screens had way too much reflection for me, but this screen has minimal reflection and is actually pretty hard to find reflections unless you are looking for them.
I like the giant Force Touch trackpad. The click isn’t quite as satisfying as a mechanical trackpad, but having a consistent click press pressure on the whole surface is worth the exchange. The Butterfly 2 keyboard will take some getting used to. I like that the keys are bigger and more stable, but the shallow travel, sound, and overall feel will take some getting used to and not in the good way I enjoyed getting used to my cherry MX green CODE keyboard. The arrow keys are interesting. I’m used to the half-height up and down arrows but throwing in full-height right and left arrows is throwing me off a little.
Finally, the Touch Bar. First, I don’t miss the function keys yet. But I won’t know how I really feel until I use a debugger which is the only time I ever rely on the function keys. I’ve already used the playback controls more times than I did on my old machine. It’s really the brightness and volume keys that I used in the past and I used them by spatial awareness meaning I didn’t know exactly which key to hit but I knew the general area and could hit the keys in that area until I found the right one. It wasn’t efficient from a keystroke perspective but it was convenient and took no mental cycles. Now I have to look at the Touch Bar to find the control and then think about volume and brightness levels. It adds cognitive load to something that was mindless. I’m not saying it’s a big deal, but those little shifts from making things mindless to making you think can be annoying.
I’m excited to keep this record of my experience with this new machine and to thoughtfully and intentionally set it up to make me as productive as possible.