Thursday, August 13, 2009

Windows to Mac - an unemotional assessment.

At work, I moved from a Windows XP Thinkpad laptop to a Macbook Pro. Why? Not sure ... have been wanting to experience what folks rave about for a while ... and it's cool, I guess! I do love the iPhone (except the random times when I can't drag the green button to receive a phone call :-)), but it's the first time with Mac since the first year in grad school (those were different! :-))

All the machines at home are Windows, and likely to stay that way for the foreseeable future. Why? Price! The new "you find it you keep it" ads are right on regarding price. No wonder Apple freaked!

The transition from win to mac was reasonably painless. Here are some reasons why:
  • When most of your crucial work-related applications are web based, with data in the cloud, there's no disruption in email, IM, calendar - they all just work with zero setup!
  • Okay - I like the slickness, fonts, anti-aliasing, etc. Love the zoom back
  • I made sure that all my docs were copied over.
  • I made sure to install Office, so I did not have to scramble to open docs and ppts - yes ... still use those, and pdfs in addition to Google docs
  • Putty to shell (ah - the good ol' days!), downloaded Flash and did not need to download iTunes or Reader (for pdf)
  • Luckily, I did not have to move a development environment over - that would have been Eclipse, so should have been painless?
Were there growing pains? Yup...
  • I am still searching for a save button and not finding it :-)
  • Until I am assimilated one way or another, I remain, yours truly, in - Control vs. Apple key chaos!
  • I hate the touchpad - seems unresponsive ... paging seems line by line ... :-)
  • Trying to edit an HTML file in TextEdit, I had trouble figuring how to open up a text file in text mode by default (it was rendering the HTML), i.e., I couldn't insert javascript into the HTML like I wanted - had to change settings ... :-) Kinda embarrassing when I had to ask for help on this, but hey... I had work to do!
  • Had trouble upgrading to the latest Firefox - would tell me that it was still in use, and took me a while to figure out why (wasn't obvious)
  • Needed to figure out how to find a printer on the network (helps to have colleagues!)
  • Needed to figure out how to get screen capture to work - and then follow up with how to get TIF to convert to jpg/gif. Seemed onerous...but then, I did not have to install a screen capture program.
  • Aah - when I unplug from my monitor, I love that it auto-detects .... but I (just learned, after quite a bit of frustration) have to hit "maximize" to resize the window to fit in the smaller resolution! Bug? I thought Apple was perfect with usability, ...but then, again, I'm not crazy about iTunes. I've seen folks have issues projecting to external projectors, so a little apprehensive about a SNAFU when I get there...
  • I've been hit with browser confusion! Cannot figure out which browser to use any more - this applies to me on my home machines as well - Firefox, Chrome, Safari, IE - they all seem sorta similar - visual bookmarks, tabs, slices .... (Do I really need the Facebook browser?) I've been toggling browsers, especially at work. I'm not micro-analyzing speed yet - they all seem reasonably zippy - maybe I'm just more tolerant! Not tethered to a browser means we need browser independent bookmarking - plugged into the browser/toolbar - Google Bookmarks?
  • I exported my bookmarks to HTML on my old machine, and am in 2 minds about importing them, as this is one way to start a new life :-) ... but I guess I'll have to...but which browser? ...
Maybe a contrarian viewpoint: ... a few smiles ... and ... no big Win :-)

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