Adapting to the Mac…

A while back I posted that I had gotten an iMac and how much I liked it. But since getting the iMac how have I adapted to using it? Do I still need Windows? Is there anything I can’t do on my Mac that I could do on Windows? Have I become a Mac “Fan boy”? So, I thought I would post my experience now that I’ve gotten settled in to using the Mac day in and day out.

1. Adaptation – As far as adaptation goes, I’ve adapted very well. I can do all the things I do on a daily basis, for the most part, within Mac OS X. The ease of use is outstanding and I haven’t
encountered any hardware issues with my existing hardware (i.e. Printers, Fax Machine, Blackberry Syncing, camera, etc.). I do however miss my dual monitors, I just need to get the proper $30 adapter to get my dual monitors back. Everything else has been smooth sailing, even the family members have adapted well and find things I had no idea about (Photo Booth, among others). I do find myself hitting the “Windows” key combinations still to accomplish some things (i.e. Home/End keys, Ctrl-C/X/V, etc.) but as soon as I do that I remember the Mac equivalent. I get really annoyed with hitting F9 to refresh the Notes client views, but like I said, when I do that I remember it should be Command + F9 and all is well.

2. Do I still need Windows? – Unfortunately, yes. There currently isn’t a Mac version of Domino Designer and Domino Administrator. Also, the couple of games I like to play every now and again will only run under Windows and there aren’t Mac versions, yet. Other than those 2 reasons… I really wouldn’t need Windows any more.

3. Is there anything I can’t do on my Mac that I could do on Windows? – Nope, not a thing other than the 2 mentioned above. I’ve found Freeware that fills every need. You read right, Freeware, meaning free, not a cent, nada. There has been one piece of software that I will be purchasing and that will be Path Finder. I’m using the demo currently, but that’s an awesome replacement for Finder with much more functionality yet still keeping with the Finder experience.

4. Have I become a Mac “Fan boy”? – I don’t think I have. Would I go back to using Windows and get rid of my Mac hardware? No, not on your life. But am I a “fan boy”? I don’t think so. I still work/develop with Windows and Linux, I still have Windows and Linux boxes here in the house being used and I have a Windows 7 Virtual Machine running on my Mac in which I only have Notes 8.5 and Symphony installed. I use it daily. Not to mention my work supplied laptop is running Windows XP and works great. I still say the best home server is Linux and I don’t think that opinion will ever change. I suppose I could probably accomplish the same things on the Mac (Apache, PHP, MySQL, Domino, FTP, Bugzilla, Customer Test sites, etc.) but why when Linux fits that bill perfectly?

5. My overall experience – Well, it’s been great. There hasn’t been much I couldn’t figure out. The learning curve for switching is surprisingly small, especially considering my initial worry with making the switch. But all has been well and I think my worries have been quelled. Also, I really like the ease of automating things with the Automator tool. I’ve even made some Automator scripts to ease my computing burden a little bit and it wasn’t that difficult. I would like to mess with Applescript a little bit, but I don’t currently have the time to head down that road. Everything has worked flawlessly with the Mac and it’s ease of use is great.

If I had it all to do over again I would probably get a Mac Pro as I think that’s probably a lot more robust machine and also has the ability to upgrade easier, but is the extra cost worth that much money when the machine will probably be outdated in 5 years? I don’t know honestly, maybe it is, especially when running multiple virtual machines. Then again, maybe my positive experience has been that I’ve never owned a “high-end” machine. Does the iMac count as high-end? If feels like it does, it does so much more than my middle of the road Windows PC, and it seems to do it more efficently, maybe it’s just perception that makes me think this. I like to think it isn’t just perception though. But all in all it’s been a great experience and I would recommend an iMac to any home/small business user who just wants a great machine that works like you think it should work and does it all with style.

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