Going around with a laptop

Hello Everybody,

I’ve been a longtime user of laptop Macs - actually, from the times of my PowerBook 180. And I’ve been a longtime attender of cafés in small villages at the countryside or the mountains.

During the first times I was always sort of an alien using strange gears that attracted the general attention. While few asked me what it was, most were looking after my shoulders, to try to understand what I was doing there.

Things have improved during the years, even if I continue to look a bit odd to the other attenders. The only place I know, where I can work in the most natural way, is the train, where others are using their own laptops. The “fast” train going from my region to the capitol has even be fitted, recently, with WiFi antennas and power supply connectors. And from a few months, the local library is also populated by laptop owners, being the only place with wideband in the area.

Since the purchase of a 15" MacBook Pro, a couple days ago, the size of my laptop has considerably increased. I can’t see myself going around for cafés with such a huge thing. To be true, I doubt it will even fit the tiny table of the train or the airplane.

So, I wonder how you do with your laptops. Is it just a matter of doing it, and not caring of the others or the limited space? On the train, just ask “sorry” to the front traveler working on his EeePC, and take all the space you need?


I don’t know how it is in your neck of the woods, but people here have laptops everywhere and no one even blinks. A 15" MBPro is no big deal (other than being a great machine of course!). I write in cafes all the time, write in planes, write everywhere. Had many laptops, all Mac, over the years.

Personally, I don’t give much of a crap about what other people think. I have a laptop so I can write anywhere I want and I do just that. Of course, Portland being the superlative city it is, makes it easy. I have about a dozen places I can get free wi fi, sit for hours, sip tea, nibble baked goodies, and write and write. I wrote the third chapter of my dissertation in Grand Central Bakery. They know me by name, what kind of tea I like, and know just how I like my bacon cooked (and that my favorite pastry is a chocolate croissant).

There is another thread on this topic from way back. You might want to do a search and check it out.

By the sound of it, you’ve got yourself the 17" MBP, as have I, and which I love. For me — at nearly 63 — the problem is lugging it around, that and the fact that China is still very much an “oh, I thought Windows was the only operating system available” type country, or “Chinese software only works on Windows” by which they mean that they don’t know you can run Chinese on a Mac or that Office is available. And I look at the people around with their 17" Sony Viaos and Dells, which make this look petite, and the huge power-bricks that go with them, and think “Guys, you need to think out of the box!”

What this means is I can connect to Wi-fi points all round the university, but can’t use them because the university network is set up that you have to be on Windows as you have to run a .exe to identify yourself; and I’m not going to tie up acres of hard disk space in order to run Boot-camp or whatever just for the sake of a two-bit .exe which will expose me to the plethora of viruses with which the educational network here is riddled.

Cafés with Wi-fi abound, and like alexwein, I’m very well known in my favourite cafés … actually in my real favourites, I’m their oldest customer in the sense that I’ve been a regular customer far, far longer than anyone else. And no one turns a hair at people using laptops anywhere.

But I find I can’t use a laptop on a plane or train … I can’t concentrate on anything while travelling, not even reading, so space is not an issue. But my back-pack with the 17" MBP, power-pack and sundries, and teaching materials, I am lugging around every day, and at a guess it usually weighs well over 10 kilos … most of my students who try to pick it up can’t believe how heavy it is. So I’m in the market for a MacBook Air, not for the reduced size, but for the reduced weight.


Holy smokes! At 10 kilos you don’t need a Macbook Air, you need a Macbook Helium!


(1) If I let what other people thought control my actions I would constantly be changing clothes.

(2) They aren’t actually laptops but Notebooks. Laptops you could actually put on your legs. Notebooks you are not supposed to put on your legs or other parts of your body but instead of an actual surface. The bottom of the MBP gets so hot is can cause burns and Apple tells you never to put it in your “lap”. :slight_smile:

(3) If it is the 15" it is not so bad in size. Now if it is the 17" well yes that is the T Rex of Notebooks but still sort of manageable. Neither the 15 or 17 is wider than my waistline so I do not see the space problem. If you can sit there you can most likely work on a Notebook there.

(4) With the speed and other features now offered on the MBP line it is more of a portable desktop rather than a slower “laptop”. The older laptops were noticeably slower and less “beefier” than their desktop cousins and you were very limited on the workload versus speed but now with the MBP line the line is much smaller and many applications you thought you could only run decently on a desktop now run easily on a “notebook”.

(5) The stares you get are ones of Envy.

(6) :slight_smile:

I could call my iBook a ‘legtop’ or a ‘laptop’ as I quite often have it sitting on my lap or on my outstretched legs (resting on my shins–I do a lot of sitting on floors at the yoga studio I practice/work at). I’ve heard you aren’t supposed to put laptops in your lap, but so far, nothing bad has happened! If it gets too toasty, then I go into Notebook mode.

But calling them laptops is a convention of language. Personally, I think it quite fine to call them either, and either way, they are wonderful and portable and I love them. I’d never own another desktop, though to do all I want to do, I really do need that MBPro!


I’m not familiar with that expression. Do you mean close the lid?

I think the idea of not putting a laptop on your lap is for men. Toasting your testes.

The MBPro does get warm.


Its been pointed out before, in these forums (obviously to no avail). Every time Thequietone, posts, the tone of conversation/debate/discussion goes into free fall. Its disgraceful tch! tch! His deviant practices even outshine those of the other pervert Le`D


No, I was referring to the comments made by Wock about how they are really Notebooks not Laptops. In other words, I take the thing off my lap and put it on some surface or other.

I did realize that this was more of an issue for males, but since females are also users of laptops, notebooks, whatever you call them, I thought at least one of us should weigh in. :wink:

I have had a Macbook Pro 15" since the end of February. I have been traveling almost constantly since April 1. The laptop/notebook works absolutely great for the many situations in which I find myself… except…

… on an airplane. I can’t afford to sit in the expanded room seats (business travel), so I have found when the person ahead of me moves his/her seat back to nap, I can’t keep my MBP open. So I no longer use the MBP on an airplane. But I do use it regularly at airports and hotels/motels, with Wi-Fi.

His deviant practices even outshine those of the other pervert Le`D

Thank you, I do my best.

I am currently practising my Albert Fish impersonation.
Its been a quiet day.


You`re welcome.

Well… youre good...but yre not that good[size=85](or bad).[/size]


Sung to the tune of.

“Chestnuts roasting on an open Mac Book.
Jack Boss bitching down his nose.”

:slight_smile: :stuck_out_tongue: :slight_smile: :stuck_out_tongue:

7/10 for effort Mr Wock


The German Judge game me a 9.5

The judge is only five years old and a girl, which means shes not very mature, and shes probably a tad feather brained, like yourself. So I wouldnt get too worked up about it. Led :imp:

She was impressed that I could fly.

I told her it was easy to fly. Quite simple in fact.

All you have to do to fly is throw yourself at the ground and miss.


Why is it, I wonder, that I`m not surprised, by you being capable of doing that? tch! tch!

In an attempt to bring this thread back on topic — difficult, I know when the felis semi-domesticus/canis tripedicus/rattus stockportensis/eminence-grise and the columba australis get going! — I have taken the plunge and invested in a MacBook Air, to save my old bones from lugging the MBP around.

I’m going to love it, but, for the record:

(1) In spite of what Mr Jobs said when he announced it — that it had the best keyboard Apple had ever produced — I much prefer the keyboard on the MBP … the MBA keyboard has the feel and style of a MacBook, though with the MBP backlighting.
(2) I can’t remember the layout on the MB, but to the right of the space-bar before the arrow keys, the MBP has a CMD key and Enter key in that order; the MBA has a CMD key and a second ALT key … it has no Enter key! Why oh Why? For me, Enter is much more useful … Both machines were bought here, so it’s not a matter of different keyboards for different countries.
(3) The mouse-button is rather stiff.
(4) And the biggest issue … the external DVD I got at the same time is about to go back … it won’t eject disks. They are ejected till about 1/8" is showing and are then promptly sucked back in!

The only other teething problem I had was on my second presentation yesterday. It linked up with the projector beautifully and instantly in the morning; in the afternoon, as soon as it linked up with projector, the MBA screen went black. Under Leopard, the login screen does not appear on the projector — very sensible — but having a blank MBA screen meant I couldn’t log in!
But, as it was the first day I was using it with a projector, and being a “belt and braces” man, I had also taken along the MBP and just switched to that. I hope I’ve solved the problem, but I’ve got to go and find an empty teaching room with a projector to make sure I have and that I don’t run into that one again!

And yes, ptram … bringing out the MBA in a coffee-shop here attracts all eyes! But I can tell you that there is nothing that stops an audience here in its tracks like starting by setting up an MBA, and then a few moments later pulling a 17" MBP out of your back-pack!