New macbook?

Hypothetically, if I was to buy a new laptop for geeky work I'm thinking I might go crazy: An Apple Macbook.
I'm avoiding the Macbook Pro due to the non-free video and significant price increase, and also that I could do with something more portable than what I have now.

So far, I'm thinking:

  • [X] Dual core, lots of memory
  • [X] Suspend and Hibernate work
  • [X] Screen brightness works
  • [?] Ambient light sensor
  • [X] DVD burner
  • [  ] Wireless without ndiswrapper
  • [?] Second monitor out working with VGA and DVI
  • [X] Intel GMA graphics card
  • [?] XRANDR support for video driver
  • [X] Bluetooth that works
  • [X] Integrated camera
  • [X] Can blast OSX off the drive completely.
  • [?] Can run xen or vmware

So, does anybody know if:

  1. You can retrofit another pcie wifi card?
  2. madwifi_ng will actually work reliably in F7?
  3. the super-reflective screen will annoy me?
  4. you can run vmware or xen on a macbook?
  5. the macbook has a brightness sensor like the pro?
  6. The keyboard is any good?
  7. You can actually cope in GNOME having one mouse button?

Now, I'm thinking I might buy this in the US rather than the UK… It's still significantly cheaper (about £200) even after taking into account the stonking exchange rate. Bad plan?

Anyone got any success or horror stories? Thanks.

p.s. two exams down, two to go. So far, so good.

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Richard has over 10 years of experience developing open source software. He is the maintainer of GNOME Software, PackageKit, GNOME Packagekit, GNOME Power Manager, GNOME Color Manager, colord, and UPower and also contributes to many other projects and opensource standards. Richard has three main areas of interest on the free desktop, color management, package management, and power management. Richard graduated a few years ago from the University of Surrey with a Masters in Electronics Engineering. He now works for Red Hat in the desktop group, and also manages a company selling open source calibration equipment. Richard's outside interests include taking photos and eating good food.

One thought on “New macbook?”

  1. I haven't seen the glossy screen myself, but the Mac users I know who have one are very happy with it in normal usage. VMWare is currently a free beta for OSX. It works very well, although Parallels is still the more mature product. I've also heard good things about the open-source VirtualBox, which has just released an OSX version. Only the Pro has the brightness sensor AFAIK. I've used GNOME on my PowerBook for years, mostly with a mini laptop mouse or Wacom tablet attached. It's quite usable with just the trackpad though, if you map the middle and right buttons to something sensible in /etc/systctl.conf. I use Fn+Option and Fn+Cmd.

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