MacBook Pro Core2 Duo 17in just arrived!

Ah the pleasure of receiving new hardware.

First and foremost, what a fantastic packaging. You can already feel this geeky chic pleasure just from the box. Everything fits in nicely, no bulky documentation, no stupid 4mx3m posters explaining how to press the power key. Pure pleasure.

The form factor is fabulous. Most of my co-workers looked at it, commenting on the form factor, the sleekness, the weight... Some looked at it like a strange animal they've never seen before.

And yet it's one of the best performing Intel laptop you can find on the market. The equivalent Dell XPS came to a bit more than £100 more (that said, factor out the cost of a bit higher resolution screen and a windowsXP license... But factor in the webcam, the FireWire...)

So the bootcamp software installed like a breeze, followed by a reboot. My advice, kill the partition that was created and create a fresh one (remember, it's partition 3). You do gain back that 100 megs that were left over by bootcamp partitioning.

Next step is to install the drivers. Do not try to run the installer, it fails miserably, and apple failed to provide an installer that rolls back properly. When they mean windowsXP SP2 they really mean it.

To get your drivers, simply call the .exe on the mac driver from the command line, with the arguments /a /V (notice the capital v). That will expand your drivers in the location you provide. Install all the drivers by going to your Hardware and devices snap-in, but don't try either the video or the keyboard ones [update] or the audio ones...[/update] For the former you simply want to reach ATI's web site and download the latest ATI Mobility X1600.

For your audio drivers, you want the vista version of the Intel drivers available here. 

For the trackpad support, you need to manually install the driver by replacing the HID-compliant mouse from the Devices MMC snap-in. This should give you right click and scroll support.

The iSight driver didn't work on the first installation for me so i had to reinstall it, and it's now perfect.

Bluetooth is a bit more complicated. Follow these instructions.

For the keyboard, Apple missed the boat completely. Not only do they not remap all the keys, but they manage to confuse the trema (¨) and the double quote ("). Unacceptable. But then again, the keyboard driver author must've not been a developer.

Instead of relying on apple, go over to Damiens' weblog and download the macBook Pro keymaps. The link to Input remapper is also very useful so highly recommended.

And if you need it, bookmark the link. I didn't and just spent a two whole hours to find this link again, just to bring it to this blog!

Next, tomorrow, a list of all the nice pieces of software I'll install on my machine over the day to turn it into a nice killer dev box!