Published Dec 1, 2007

Well, I went and did it. I got a 15” MacBook Pro to replace my Dell. The new Mac was supposed to come in more of the April/May timeframe, but then the Dell had a little explosion — a flash of light, an overpowering smell of ozone, and then it wouldn’t turn on for two days (remarkably, after a weekend turned off, the Dell worked fine). That put a crimp in my plans for productivity and whatnot, and I couldn’t quite trust a sparky laptop, so MacBook Pro time it was. And it’s wonderful. It’s beautiful. It feels great, and I love it.

Apple of course made the out-of-box experience a good one, something I really try to imitate in my own company:

And it said hello!

I guess great new things make me happy

So far, it’s been a great computer, although of course there’s a lot to get used to, and it’ll take days to get all my data over. But a few things are obvious:

  • Boy, everything’s beautiful
  • Typical programs have distinctly better interaction design than equivalent Windows programs
  • Of course, the one major exception thus far is SCPlugin, which I will use everyday, and which is decidedly less-convenient than TortoiseSVN
  • zOMG!!1! SSH set-up in 5 minutes? How is it so absurdly difficult on Windows? Yay for SVN+SSH and SFTP!
  • The Dock isn’t any better… but it’s still ok, and no worse than the Taskbar
  • Two-finger scroll and right-click on the trackpad is brilliant
  • Ahh, Fn-delete is Delete… phew
  • Lighted keyboard is all I’d hoped
  • MagSafe has already saved me once!
  • The Dashboard seems like it’ll be way more useful than I had thought from seeing friends use it
  • iCal + + Address Book + OmniFocus seems like a very capable combination
  • Dock on the bottom looks like crap, but Dock on the left is convenient, useful, and looks nice
  • My Dine to Thrive Business Plan and Financial Projections, which ask quite a lot of, respectively, Word and Excel, seem to open with no problems in Mac Excel

But then there’s a few concerns too:

  • New firewall in Leopard… I’m not sure if it’s blocking anything, but I sure hope it is! Also, should be on by default, I almost didn’t think to turn it on.
  • Speaking of security, I’m so used to having to run as an Administrator in XP that it didn’t occur to me to create a non-Admin user for my everyday use, at first
  • Now that I’m not running as an Administrator, I’m having to authenticate for sudo all the time… not a problem, because that’s a side-effect of set-up (how many things have I installed?), but I can understand how Vista users go crazy
  • It wasn’t obvious that the way to get multi-user log-in for the screensaver was to turn on Fast User Switching, but I guess it makes sense now that I think about it (shouldn’t Fast User Switching be on by default?)
  • Quicksilver seems really powerful but I’ve got sooo much to learn, it’s pretty intimidating — surprising, given what I used on my PC
  • Boy, I’m installing a lot of beta software… I guess Leopard’s pretty new
  • Can’t decide if the Dock is hidden by default or not, for best interface usability
  • Yikes, which text editor? There’s so many! Fortunately, they all look good

Anyway, it looks like another few hours before I’m even in the position to start moving stuff over from my PC, so real productivity will have to wait. But that’s ok; the fooling with it is half the fun!


as they say, once you go mac, you never go back. and trust me, your mac loves you as much as you love it, which is why it won’t crash on you nearly as much as that mean old PC did. welcome to mac world!!!

Congratulations! Nice to see you smile. You’re a leopard now

I’ve had many of the same reactions as you to my Mac conversion. Though I still use ssh, and pine on my shell server, for my mail. HTML mail can get bent. Long live plain text!

I initially put the dock at left, but then moved it to right, because I like tossing my app windows all the way to the left, to maximize the number of desktop icons that stay visible over at the right. The icons are separated from the right edge of the screen enough that it’s rare for me to accidentally pop the dock out when pointing at them.

Also, I think it’s Cmd-Del that’s “delete file” in Finder. The Fn key is different — that’s the one you use to actually use any of the “F1” through “F12” keys, and the one you combine with the arrows for home/end and pgup/pgdn.

Re: password for install, once I got past the first week or two of setting up, things got better. I have to punch it in maybe once every couple weeks, for some kind of patch, or new program, or whatever.

Quicksilver and Spotlight are teh awesome. Make sure you learn how to use control corners — being able to shove the pointer to a corner, then back into the middle to select a window, is WAY faster than trying to switch to the right app and then locate the window’s name under the Window menu. And Spotlight is simply indexing of your files — a much better search function than has ever been offered on Windows, at least under default settings. I’ve read that you may want to actually disable some varieties of indexing for privacy and efficiency reasons. I haven’t gotten around to trying this.

I keep the basic TextEdit (set to plaintext mode — good for basic notetaking in classes), and Word, in my Dock. I suppose I could get a snazzier, more emacs-y texteditor, but I haven’t needed one yet; haven’t been doing as much techy stuff lately.