Kitchen dry fit
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Image by Jacob Davies
Kitchen dry fit. The cooktop is so shallow that it may not even be worth putting a drawer blank in front of it – better to just have full-height doors. The same may even be true of the sink but I’ll have to test it out.

The top and bottom bars of the blind in the center here need to be trimmed on the miter saw and filed and replaced. The individual slats have been cut to size. It’s not hanging quite straight here because the too-long bottom bar is in the wrong place on the magnets.

Above the middle window here lies a problem: specifically that the original cooker vent was there, but the cooker is now about 12" to the left. So I probably have to cut a new vent hole there. I intend to use the original cooker vent but I will probably repaint it first, as it’s the same yucky yucky green as the formica and bathtub used.

The cooktop is small but the big burner I think puts out more heat than any of the four burners on the original stove. Good for a kettle, or using a frying pan. The stove is a little closer to the front edge than the sink, but I think it’ll all look fine in the end. The original stove was also incredibly heavy because it had a gas oven – necessary for the 60s housewife, maybe? But it seems a little silly now. I plan on putting a convection/microwave oven on the other side to this – obviously, that’s not usable without an outside 110V power source as it would kill a battery/inverter setup in minutes.

The countertop here has a bit of a power outlet problem – the duplex outlet in the middle is behind the cooktop and not really usable (and OH MY GOD you would not believe the pain that was involved in installing it, and now it’s worse than useless and might even have to be blanked out! grrrrrrrr)

And the other wall space available is mostly behind the sink. I guess I could put a couple of outlets on the right of the big blank space behind the sink here – bearing in mind everything in here is on an GFCI breaker anyway, so it’s not particularly dangerous to have an outlet near the sink – but probably I’ll just put in, like, eight or um maybe sixteen outlets on the far right of the countertop. Mostly things like battery charges and laptops get plugged in – nothing that would strain a 20A circuit. And there’s already a feed to there.

MacBook Pro 12 months later
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Image by Aaronage
Can’t believe I’ve had this Mac for just over a year! Good and bad times had :)

So quick round up of my thoughts on this laptop.

- Display; just brilliant, great contrast/colours, bright and clear etc. just great!
- Keyboard; amazing, seriously, the best keyboard I’ve ever used by far.
- Multitouch trackpad; big, accurate, perfect texture, gestures can be useful – especially when browsing the web.
- Build quality/durability; solid as a rock, no keyboard flex, not a single scratch to be seen after a year of slipping in and out of a bag.
- iSight Webcam; works well in low light unlike other webcams and compact cameras i’ve used in the past.
- Speakers; pack a decent punch for laptop speakers.
- WiFi; maybe a fairly insignificant thing to mention, but i always get a strong signal with Airport. Laptops I’ve used in the past and more recently don’t come close.
- Upgradability; hard drive easy to access, while having to remove 8 screws for the memory is a pain, it’s still easier than other laptops on the market (e.g. those that require you to remove the keyboard for memory upgrades)
- Apple Care; bloody fantastic. They’re fast, motherboard replaced in a day, battery swapped on the spot. Very understanding, helpful staff at the stores.
- Performance; Core 2 Duo is great, DDR3 is plenty fast and 9400M is surprisingly good for an IGP.
- Battery life; a solid 4 to 5 hours under light load is pretty respectable.

- Windows support; i understand this isn’t Apple’s top priority, but is it too much to ask for decent trackpad drivers? Also, where is the 9400M driver? 9600GT kills the battery in no time.
- Heat; it can become unbearably hot under a fair load, especially when using the 9600GT or in Windows where, again, Apple’s drivers cause issues.
- Expansion/ports; I thought i could manage with the lack of USB ports, but it’s proven to be a real pain. The use of mini-displayport is also irritating, no excuse for it.
- Headphone jack; some headphones are not secure in the socket, the slightest nudge of the cable can break the connection, sending audio out of the speakers. Very annoying if you’re in public.
- Bugs; There is a screen flickering issue in OS X, it doesn’t seem to have a clear cause, at random points while using the machine I get a screen flicker. Not a big issue but i expected it to be sorted by now.
- Keyboard Wear; It looks quite frankly, a mess. Signs of wear appeared a few months in, the keys have started to lose the matte look.

Hardware failures:
Nvidia 9400M; after around 2 months of use, the Nvidia 9400M chipset failed. I won’t go into too much detail on this one, but it’s worth noting as it’s not an isolated case. Many 8000/9000 series chips from Nvidia have a manufacturing defect which will cause them to fail. I should say, however, that it appears to have been resolved with current chips.
Battery; after around 10 months of use the battery degraded significantly and eventually failed all together. Not a big deal really, it happens.
Optical drive; refused to read discs, the drive was replaced under Apple Care.

Wait, i should really have a blog for this lol

Any recommendations for a blog service? Don’t think i’d use it too often but posting this on flickr is just silly :)

The work goes on!
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Image by pricerelli
Iain bravely continued data inputting while there is still battery power in the laptop

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