Time for a Change

21 Mar ’06

After years of grinding my teeth over the time and effort required to keep several Windows machines up and running, I’ve begun to feel that I’m unofficially working for Microsoft. It has seemed that as soon as I get one box settled down and stable, another one starts acting up, and I’m wiping and rewriting the OS, or digging through online resources trying to figure out how to fix whatever’s ailing me. Gradually it’s dawned on me that the fascination I once had for knowing how it all works has been replaced by a wish for something easier, more reliable and less time-consuming.

So, finally, I bought a Mac.

The transition will take time – there are several machines to gradually phase out. And perhaps I’ll find out that after all is said and done Windows is where I ought to be. But, while it’s only been a couple of days, my early impression is – I don’t think so.

Here are my first impressions of the MacBook Pro (2.0 ghz version) – sent to a friend just a little while ago (edited slightly – this is a wholesome blog):

1. This is the sweetest piece of hardware I’ve ever used. The fit and finish is exceptional. All in all, the feel is quite remarkable. The keyboard is like butter.

2. The OS is wickedly fast. My windows laptop is only 9 months old and this blows it away. That said, Firefox is still wobbly on OSX. I’d use Safari, but I am too tied to a few FF extensions.

3. Wireless is good, but only as good as my windows laptop. I’d heard that the reception on this was a big improvement. If true, that says more about the powerbook than anything else.

4. Battery life is approx 3:30.

5. The extra thin-ness is very cool. It matters.

6. On this box, the transitions – between apps, to the finder, in and out of the dashboard, etc. – are almost slippery smooth.

7. Plaxo sync to contacts and Foldershare sync of my docs to my windows box is amazing. Someone has to deal with Calendar, though.

8. Apple Mail is a joy to use on this box. Very simple, elegant, clean. I’m forgetting Outlook already :). But I do need to figure out proper archiving of emails. I have 5 years worth +, to about 5 gigs of email that I need to have handy and searchable.

9. Spotlight is as fast as X1 in Windows. I’m very impressed.

Over the next few weeks I’ll be collecting tips on apps, etc. so if you have thoughts don’t hesitate to email me or leave a comment. I’m guessing there’s a wiki somewhere that is a switcher’s heaven.

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