The Keeper of the iBook

Does Size Matter?

By Mark Newhouse, <>
May 15, 2000

The iMac To Go

One of the criticisms of the iBook is that it is too big, referring to both its size and weight. I have found this to be untrue. I use the iBook every day, and have found it to be the perfect companion on my commute. I have mentioned in other articles that I am a frequent user of the iBook on the bus as I commute to work and back. As a web designer the computer is my main tool for productivity. This "iMac to go" has allowed me to take advantage of the hour+ that I spend on the bus each day to get some work done. Although I sometimes do "real" work, I mostly use the time to work on the Keeper of the iBook articles. It has allowed me to stay 2-3 articles ahead of my (self-imposed) publishing schedule

Size and Shape

The iBook is rather large, a bit larger even then the latest PowerBooks. But it fits in my backpack just fine, and that is all I need it to do. When it is opened it doesn't need to sit flat on my lap to use. The curved shape helps it sit at a comfortable angle between my legs, putting it in a position that is ideal both for viewing the screen and for typing. In fact the keyboard ends up situated so that it is at a downward angle, which is more ergonomically correct. Even in the space-constrained environment of a bus, I have found the shape of the iBook to make it very usable, more so than the typical laptop shape (the squared corners would get in the way).


Before I became the Keeper of the iBook, I used a 540c (upgraded to a 167 MHz 603ev). This PowerBook served me well for about a year, but because its battery life was so short, I had to carry a power brick if I wanted to be able to get any work done. This made it much heavier than the iBook. And if I wanted (or needed) a CD-ROM drive - forget about it... I realize I am comparing years old technology to new technology, but the truth of the matter is that my tangerine companion is so much lighter than the 540c, I often find myself checking my backpack to make sure the iBook is in it. We can safely say that the weight is not an issue for me.

So the iBook turns out to be a perfect match for me. Despite its size and shape.

I am proud to be its Keeper.

Mark Newhouse is the Web Designer for the public outreach arm of the National Optical Astronomy Observatories in Tucson, AZ, where his iBook makes his daily commute on the bus more enjoyable.

The iBook image is courtesy Apple Computer, Inc. The iBook icon is courtesy the Iconfactory.

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