First few days on a MacBook Pro
Some 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.
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.
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.
Welcome to the dark side. Now I’ll be asking you even more computer questions!