Goodbye, old Powerbook. Hello, Intel MacBook!

Well, it finally happened: the faithful Apple Powerbook that I’d been using for 4 1/2 years finally died last week. It took me through countless gigs, travelled with me all over the US and Canada, and was my main tool for all of my artistic output.

Now that it’s dead (bad motherboard, I think), I’ll be selling off some of the components and software on eBay (links to come) in order to help pay for the new computer I’ve ordered. I’ve got a shiny new MacBook (2.16GHz, white) coming from Apple, and it should be here by early next week.

I thought I’d use this entry to keep track of how the transition from my old PPC-based Powerbook to the new Intel-based MacBook goes.

Things I know already:

  • The MIDI interface I use in my controller rig (a Roland MPU64) probably won’t work any more, since there aren’t Universal Binary drivers for it, so it will probably have to get eBay’d and replaced with a newer interface. It’s a shame – I always had great success with that interface, and designed the controller rig partially to fit that box specifically. Ah well.
  • I won’t be able to use my trusty Emagic EVP73 electric piano plugin any more, nor will I be able to use the MDA e-Piano VST plugin. There go my Rhodes sounds! I’m still not sure how I’ll be replacing them – my music partner J. Schnable and I have been talking through some options, and we’ll figure something out, starting with trying out a SoundFont Rhodes set. I’ll have the GarageBand electric pianos, and the same instruments available once I upgrade Logic Express to version 7 so I can use it on the MacBook. I wish the available Rhodes plugins weren’t so pricey – Native Instruments’ Elektrik Piano is $199, Tassman’s Lounge Lizard is $225, etc.
  • I’m going to have to upgrade my copy of Logic Express, as mentioned above. I use Ableton Live for probably 75% of my music production these days, but Logic is still far superior in my mind for arrangements and linear, song-based production, and I have a ton of projects that are unfinished in Logic. I’m currently running Logic Express 6, and will have to spend the $100 or so to upgrade it to Logic Express 7, which is the Intel-compatible Universal Binary version. Happily, upgrading it gives me the ability to use Apple Loops, as well as the excellent GarageBand instruments, so it’s worth it.
  • Lots more software isn’t compatible, though we’ll see how well some of it runs under Rosetta (the PPC emulator used by Intel macs). Hopefully my Palm Desktop software that I use to manage my calendar and sync with my Palm Zire will still work OK.
  • Once I get the new computer in, I’ll update this entry or post a new one, describing what works, what doesn’t, and what’s different. I’m looking forward to it!

This entry was posted by Bill Van Loo.