A couple of weeks ago my Vista laptop decided to stop working. The issue was with the power circuitry on the motherboard, so no quick fix with a new laptop charger or battery. Lucky for us our laptop leases were up for renewal, and for a while I’d been thinking about switching to a Mac. So I took the leap to a MacBook Pro, and I have to say it’s been a good switch.
Everyone’s heard/had Vista horror stories, but I have to say that on the whole my Vista laptop ran ok. Sure there were a few issues with display drivers, but after years of using Windows it was just something that I had become accustomed to. That’s been the biggest difference I’ve noticed with Mac – it just works. Installing and removing programs is a breeze and networking has been easy. And with Parallels Desktop I can run Windows in a virtual machine environment (if I really want to). There’s also a whole heap of tools built in to the operating system that make these machines really powerful for web development.
There have been a couple of small things I’ve noticed. The Mac does things differently, for example you can’t just right click in a folder and create a file, something that I used to do a lot. On the Mac you open the program, create a new file and save it to the desired location. Not a biggie, but something I noticed.
Another tool I use a lot of is ‘Spaces’. Hard to explain, but in short you can create different desktops, and navigate between them. For users who have a heap of different windows open this goes a long way to solving the clutter issue. Itunes (which as a side note, is almost pleasant to use on a Mac!) runs in it’s own space, the same for Photoshop, and MS Office apps like Word and Excel.
I also have to mention the two finger scrolling on the Mac trackpad. I always found using the Vista laptop, not having the mouse made it a bit cumbersome to use. It was pretty much the scroll wheel ability. Having to use the narrow strip on the right hand side of the trackpad and getting it just a little wrong…where as on the mac you just use two fingers on the trackpad, move left or right, up or down….it’s so easy! The Mac also promotes the use of keyboard shortcuts – again this is something that power users appreciate. And then there’s the battery life….over 6 hours on one charge, and that’s not just sitting there! Compare that to the old Vista laptop which would make it past the hour mark at a push…
So in summary, the more I use the Mac, the more I like it. I just wish I’d made the switch earlier!
Pranil Singh – Chase the Sun Ltd