So Pallas arrived this morning, five minutes before I was to go to work. Fortunately, today I was working in a Mac lab, which is big and well-kept and has lots of juicy bandwidth, so I took the box unopened to work an hour early, and sat down with my new tool/toy.
The 17" PowerBook G4 from Apple is the culmination of all the engineering genius of perhaps the most innovative computer company ever, a perfect execution of a high idea. The screen is so big and so beautiful that there is no practical difference between working on this machine and working on a desktop. The keyboard action is indeed crisp, and the illumination effect is as cool a touch as one could ever hope for.
In use, the system responds almost instantaneously, whether you're running one application or a dozen. The hard drive is nearly silent, which is sort of disconcerting - I'm used to being able to tell when my computer's working hard. The SuperDrive makes the coolest noises when the laptop wakes up, and so far has worked without a hitch. It is a complete desktop replacement in every sense, and it weighs no more than my previous iBooks Miz and Gir.
That said, God Fucking Dammit, Apple. 10.2.4 should never have been released, and it should never have been installed as the default on a shipping system. Now, if the day comes when I am forced to rebuild Pallas, I shall have to make sure that I have a raft of fixes and updates at hand to install immediately, because this version of Jaguar does indeed murder the battery. The point of making something as small as a laptop is that you're supposed to be able to take it with you when you want to leave your desk, but I can't take Pallas anywhere yet. Get this fixed, and soon.
Also, Pallas shipped with not one, but two dead pixels. Actually one is red, and the other is blue. But this means that I'm in for a long wait while I get the screen replaced, and I'm not down with that. Damn It.