First few days on a 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.