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Moving from PC to Mac

Yup. After after 20 years of insane loyalty to the PC, I’m switching. Which is somewhat crazy because I was the guy with the green monochrome screen who played zork on his DOS based IBM before anyone had ever heard of a mouse. I’ve mocked Mac users as technically handicapped (designers exempt) since I was old enough to type. So why switch now, after all this history?

There is no one answer. Part logic, part emotion. Dell made me mad; that was the start of it. Most of our business team is on Mac and the convenience of congruency is a strong call. Vista was decent but didn’t have some of the key features I was hoping my OS would offer. More than anything, Parallels is amazing & I can QA both environments as a result. As a developer, fewer virus concerns mean a lot to me. OSX is a damn good operating system (the first true chink in my armor of PC loyalty). More vibrant colors on my screen & the Mac book pro is kind of pretty. Better integration with the iPhone I’m about to buy. And about 15 other minor reasons. Individually, none of them would have even made me think about it, but, each month, another good reason appeared. It was a million pebbles, which together, caused the landslide.

So the switch: The steps. The art. The frustration.

The Transfer

Here was the tasklist we put together for the cross over:

Import Email
Import Calendar
Import Bookmarks
Set up IM
BBEdit & Transmit … check out Coda
Parallels -> XP
Firefox + ext (see blog entry)
Create a copy of the Terminal in my dock
Open office -> perhaps MS Office 2008 when it comes

What I love about my new Mac

Search: Mac search rocks. I get my stuff instantaneously. This ain’t your mama’s windows XP 5 minute get a sandwich search. My house cleaning might just suffer. I love how it organizes things, too, into categories that help me quickly go through a lot of results.

Spaces: Hooray for Leopard. Ok, now I can’t tell you for whom we did it, but we built a “spaces” (I called them views) prototype not all that long ago. We’ve been talking about this for years and I was desperate for it. I just wanted my desktop to represent my mind. If I have my husband cap on, I want family things in front of me. When Boeing calls, I want all their contact and project info in front on me. If I’m not thinking about them, I don’t want to be distracted by irrelevant content. So it’s a workflow dream come true!

Genie Affect: This menu bar effect fills me with a simple kind of joy. I can fill my menu bar with a ton of things and just by focusing my attention, it pulls what I am looking at into the forefront of my eyes. Big kudos on good UI.

PDF is Native: Now, personally, I love Adobe. They have phenomenal tools & I own stock in them because I see a great future. That said, I truly appreciate not having to think about installing another set of apps. One less thing to think about.

Parallels: This is about 90% of the reason I could consider switching over. Now I have both operating systems from one machine. With Parallels 3, enough transparency has been achieved that my windows applications show up individually in my doc and open in their own windows.

Quicksilver: An intuitive search program that I have been drooling over since the day I saw it on Peter’s box.

What I miss most about my PC

Right Click: Apple, this is silly, just add the darn thing. You’re just being stubborn at this point. Even the Apple users I know bemoan its loss.

Mouse Pad Sensitivity: Now this just might be me. The sensitivity level of the touch pad is horrid. You can increase the speed of the mouse movement, but 30% of the time I move my finger and nothing happens. Thing is, no one else seems to complain about that. Maybe decades of PC use have given me the wrong electromagnetic charge.

Wifi Sensitivity: If you stick an antenna in the middle of a faraday cage you are bound to be disappointed by its reception range. The macbook pro metal case is great for looks and durability but to surround your wifi antenna in it – well, questionable engineering I’d like to see them circumvent. Admittedly, I don’t know much about hardware design, so the problem could be something else entirely. Point being, my PC picks up wifi signals much better than my new mac.

I am sure I’ll be adding ot this list as well.

A Whole New Era

It’s kind of like dating. I’m not preaching the Mac party line yet but Pewter (thats her new name) has a lot going for her. I’ll probably update this post over time as I settle into it. Have a great night folks.