Quote from Akynth
The graphics card info was the critical part. Well, that and that it's a Mac; they can be weird.
I did a bit of research, and it's not looking good. Apparently the Radeon X1600 series doens't support all the OpenGL 2.1 features.
Here's something to check out:
(the Mac version will take you to the App Store to get it; it's free)
I tested it out, and it informed me that the Mac Mini I bought for cheap off eBay has better specs than the machine I built as a gaming system five years ago. That's depressing. Also, for Windows users, it may not report your CPU type correctly; it got one of mine wrong. Then again, that's not what we're using it for.
Anyway, you can try a driver update -- it's possible, though not probable, that a newer driver will support OpenGL 2.1. If not, unfortunately, you're up way up the flowing water with a serious paddle deficiency. I don't know much about the innards of MacBooks, but with most notebooks, it's difficult or impossible to swap out graphics cards.
Minecraft looks "old" but it's not. While the look is deliberately retro, the system requirements are all too modern. I'm hoping the release version will be more efficient than the snapshot, because I really want to try out the Amplified world generation, and my system can't handle it. (though I should try on the Mac -- turns out, it might!)
If you have to upgrade ... well, check eBay. You can find off-lease computers for decent prices there, ones that were leased for a term to a school or business, then sold surplus to a reseller. That's what my Mac was, and it's been excellent.
I actually downloaded this, XD It says it supports 2.1 fully, but 3.0 and later is not supported. So, could it be on Mojangs side? (after all it is a Snapshot. So i think it will be able to support it, but the Radeon Graphic Card is saying it only supports 2.0, whereas the Apple Software Renderer can support 2.1, Im confused but on track. heres an image.