Recently I had been doing some research about Mac computers. My first computer was a Mac Plus back in 1989. After a couple of Macs I had developed my tech skills quite a bit but knew I needed to learn PCs if I was going to be able to start a business (The Glitch Doctor). I never did start the business but I did learn a great deal about computers. However, I was finding that I was becoming increasingly annoyed by how my Windows machines would always degrade over time. It seemed that no matter how much RAM I had in them they became slower and slower. My last PC had 3 gigs of RAM and with just a browser window open I was starting to get the ‘low memory’ warning. I decided it was time for a new computer. I also had a Toshiba laptop. If you have ever typed on one of those you would quickly notice that the shift key on the left is in the wrong place – it is one key over. They put the back slash key there instead. Highly. Fucking. Annoying! Deb had been making noises about wanting a Mac so we decided we would get one for her. I was also wanting to get a different laptop. Once I found out that I could run Windows on a Mac (thanks @penmachine) either natively or along side Mac OS X – I was sold. We went to London Drugs (where all good things come from) and bought Deb an iMac and me a MacBook Pro.
I started to set up Deb’s iMac and I was immediately impressed by the quality of the graphics. Going between my Windows machine and her iMac was quite noticeable. I was also impressed by the overall solidness of the iMac. I liked that the computer was built into the monitor which means you do not have the morass of cords that you have with a PC. The only thing I did not like was the corded mighty mouse. I was able to network her iMac into our existing PC network with a little difficulty but only because I was unfamiliar with how to set things up on a Mac for networking. Once again @Penmachine came to the rescue answering all of my questions patiently. I transferred all of her data over. Used an iPod to move her music library. I was able to get it set up, all updates down and all data transferred in less than a day.
Now, on to MacBook Pro. I love it! It is solid and Apple clearly puts a lot of thought into their designs. I love the trackpad. I am not even tempted to use a mouse on the MBP because the trackpad is so intuitive. I love the 2 finger scroll and the bottom right corner right-click. I also love how the end of the power cord is magnetized so that if your cord gets pulled it will come out easily rather than landing your MBP on the floor. I thought I would miss my taskbar but I actually like the doc better.
Here is a list of my favourite features:
1. I love iPhoto! You can put your camera card into a card reader, open iPhoto and it will import your photos. You can then upload photos to Facebook all in under a minute. It is by far the easiest photo program I have ever seen.
2. I love the integration between Mac OS X and other apple devices like the iPhone and iPod. In Windows I always had to restart my 80 gig iPod to get it to come into iTunes – not anymore.
3. I like how everything is customizable in so many different ways – from size to animations.
4. Setting up a network with Airport Extreme was so much easier than setting up a PC network. Plus the PCs just seemed to come in so much more easily than with a PC network.
5. The Apple keyboard is very fast. It makes other keyboards feel clunky. Plus i love the metal, sparse look.
6. I loved boot camp. I remember how long it used to take to partition a computer hard drive. Boot camp was fast and relatively easy to use.
7. Parallels is awesome. I like being able to have a Windows window where I can play games.
8. I love the Time Machine backup utility. Automatic and complete backups.
Things I don’t like:
1. iTunes still does not play my phone messages from shaw, which are just wav files, without freezing. I have to use Windows media player.
2. I have not been able to get the printers networked. I have called Apple and they have elevated the issue to the ‘Snow Leopard Developers.” I know I am not the only one with this issue as someone else has posted about it on MacForums.
3. The Mighty Mouse. I could not stand the mouse! The scroll button was so tiny. In order to get a right-click it seemed that you had to lift your other finger off of the mouse. I used a wireless version for a week and finally gave up on it.
4. The iMac keyboard does not include the number pad and the other keys in the middle of a standard computer keyboard. I think that is cheap on Apple’s part.
5. The lack of games for the Mac is a bit annoying.
6. I wish that some of the widgets from the dashboard could be visible all the time. I do miss my Windows sidebar with my analog clock and google calendar widget.
7. Safari sucks! I can’t believe it does not support opening multiple tabs and it does not work well for Facebook.
It has taken about 2 weeks to get my machines how I want them. Now that they are all set up with a browser I like, plug-ins, virtual machine working well I am a happy Mac Camper!