First few days on a MacBook Pro

MacBook ProSome people say that Apple Macintosh users are elitists. If that’s the case, I just became rather elite.  I’m now typing this on my shiny new MacBook Pro.

On Wednesday, I started a new job at the Wasatch Front Regional Multiple Listing Service (WFR).  When I started, they gave me the choice of what kind of computer I wanted. I had the option of a laptop, desktop, PC, Mac, etc.  I’ve had my eyes on a MacBook Pro for some time (since OS X came out and I realized it was built on BSD), but just never had enough guts to spend a lot of money on something I might not really like.  So I let the company spend that money. 😉  First thing I got when I got to the office on Wednesday morning is a bright shiny 17 inch MacBook Pro.  And I quickly got to work configuring it and making it my own.

My initial fears of not really enjoying it were quickly squelched. Coming from a Linux background, I was somewhat prepared for doing things differently than the traditional Microsoft way of thinking.  I’ve run Linux for the past 4 years as my primary operating system, so it had taken some getting used to, but at the same time, I’m sure it’s been less of a learning curve than someone coming from the Microsoft world.

I’ve listed some things that I really like and some that I really don’t like.  In the end, I’m confident that I will enjoy my time in Steve Jobs‘ world.

Likes:

1. Simple, clean and polished interface — nobody can deny the OS X interface conventions.  Everything just makes sense.  Getting rid of the “Apply” and “OK” buttons is fabulous.  Why do we have to wait for the user to click a button in order to acknowledge the change of settings.

2. Ease of use — this is kind of a duplicate of the first.  The ease of use is a reflection of the interface and the methodologies used in that interface

3. Hardware Integration — because Apple controls the entire stack (BIOS, hardware and software), they can integrate incredibly well.  My favorite is the suspend/sleep functionality. Even though Linux had this functionality, it was often broken.  And even in windows, it is slow and sometimes doesn’t work completely correct.

4. Integration with my iPhone — I hated having to boot into Windows in order to sync my iPhone.  Now everything is so nicely integrated.

Dislikes:

1. Hidden Windows — I am having problems wrapping my head around the running application that doesn’t display any windows.  Switching to an application traditionally brings up a window of some sort.  But in OS X, when you switch to an application, often it doesn’t display a window.  It’s still a little confusing, but I do see the advantages as well.

2. Tabbing through forms — When filling out forms in other operating systems I have used, the tab button moves the cursor to the next form element (regardless of the element type).  But in OS X, it will tab to the next textual input — only textual.

UPDATE: A friend instructed me on how to turn on full tabbing (System Preferences -> Keyboard & Mouse -> Keyboard Shortcuts). Why in the world Apple has that set as the default is beyond me.

3. Package management — I’m too used to the package management in Linux.  I could easily install almost any application from the repositories.  I didn’t have to go searching for downloads.  All I had to do was issue a few commands to download and install most applications.  But OS X doesn’t have repositories.  It feels too much like Microsoft Windows where you have to search for the application and download a file to install it.  I suppose I just got used to the Linux (and specifically Ubuntu) way of doing things.

We will see how things go from here.  I’m excited to try new things with the Mac.

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1 Response

  1. Mike W. says:

    Welcome to the dark side. Now I’ll be asking you even more computer questions!

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