Chris Wiegman Chris Wiegman

2 Weeks With a Mac (After 15 Years With Windows)

So I’ve had my Macbook Pro for two weeks today. After having been a Windows user since before the days of Windows 95 I’ve had a lot to learn. Although 99% of this experience has been good, there are a few things that I admittedly miss from my older computers. This post will be a little of a good and bad comparison of my experiences so far.

Pros of switching:

  1. The hardware is much better designed than any PC I’ve ever used. It is lighter, thinner, and superior in nearly every way to any of the 100s of other computers I’ve used over the years. From the keyboard and track-pad to the case and even the power adapter the machine was definitely designed with the user in mind (something I cannot say about many PCs).
  2. The track-pad is awesome! I love all the functions that can be accomplished simply by the swipe of a finger or two. It has in fact been one of the most enjoyable aspects of switching from Windows.
  3. Mac OS really is superior to any of the other operating systems I’ve used over the years. In the two weeks I’ve been using it the stability has really been nice. On top of that, the Linux/Unix base has left me feeling a lot better about things such as security and other issues that plague PCs. Also, add in the a working sleep function allowing almost instant start-up time without regular reboots and I don’t know how I ever lived without it!
  4. No registry. While this might seem trivial to many home users, I have found the lack of a registry to be truly incredible, especially considering I tend to install and remove software on a very regular basis.
  5. Built in Java. I do a lot in Java and the built in JRE and JDK have really sped things up for me. In addition, the integrated Java environment has proved to be much faster and more stable than it’s Windows relative. Definitely a boost (heck, just having Eclipse load in less than a minute is amazing in itself).
  6. Installing/Un-installing software really is much less of a hassle on Mac when compared with Windows. It takes a little getting used to at first, but definitely a lot less complicated than all the hassle with changing software on Windows.
  7. Software availability. I know a lot of you are scratching you heads at this one, but as a web developer everything I used for Windows is readily available for Mac as well. In the past this was the main problem that kept me chained to Windows for so long and I couldn’t be happier that I finally found a way out of those chains.
  8. Easier support. While support options might not be as plentiful simply due to the number of Macs vs the number of Windows machines, I have so far found support to be much more direct and fixes that could have been a nightmare to solve with Windows to be much more manageable with Mac. Of course much of this goes back to the lack of registry, but regardless from a tech support standpoint it is an excellent plus.
  9. The light sensitive screen has been a been a blessing for me as I seem to work in a lot of places where the light changes a lot.
  10. Finally, the speed of the machine really is incredible. Granted there are fast PCs out there as well, but with Photoshop and the other apps I’ve used I’ve never had one that ran faster than this.

Cons of the Mac:

  1. Keyboard shortcuts aren’t as easy as they were with my PC. Even after two weeks I find myself doing more with the mouse than I would do on a Windows box simply because some of the shortcuts I used are no longer available.
  2. Missing keyboard keys. Although I like the feel of the new keyboard, I really miss keys like “END” and “HOME.”
  3. The placement of the power port on the machine itself could have been better. I find myself having to adjust my seating position more with my Mac to accommodate the power adapter than I did with my Dell laptop in which the power port was located on the back of the machine.

For now that really sums up my experience. What’s yours?