Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Big MacSwitch

Ten years after I gave up my last one, and after five years of lusting for another, I did it last week. I made the switch to a Mac – or back to back if you prefer.

During that time the Mac has moved from 68020 (I think) to PowerPC to Intel, and completely rewritten its OS so I was expecting something very different from what I last owned. So I’m surprised by how much is actually unchanged, Finder is still there, so is System settings and the short cut keys I learned as a student still work. But so much more has changed...

The challenge now is to adjust to MacSoftware. I ducked and bought Microsoft Office so I still have Word and Excel, I’ve installed Mac Firefox and Thunderbird, and I’ve bought Endnote for reference tracking; and I’ll buy more. But I’ve also given up a lot of software, Visio and BlogJet being the most notable ones.

I don’t know yet if I’ll give in and buy an emulator/virtualisation package, somehow that seems cheating. First I want to see if I can get genuine Mac software. A Mac replacement for BlogJet is top of my list. (Any recommendations?)

But much of this has to wait. Although my book is finished (the publisher even sent me mock ups of the cover this week!) I’m hard at work on the index. This has to be the most boring, uncreative, tedious aspect of writing the whole book.

At the moment doing anything with the Mac takes at least 10% longer than it did with my PC. I’ll hang in there because, and this is the reason I finally decided to move from Windows: there is no point in buying a new PC.

Yes I could buy a smaller machine, that would be good but is not enough alone. My 5 year old Compaq still has all the power I need so there was no point in a faster process or more disc space (plenty left). Although it was showing its age in other ways.

But if I bought a new machine I would either get Windows XP – no change there, and future software compatibility problems I guess – or I get Vista. Thing is Vista represents as big, or even bigger, change to the Windows UI than a Mac does. So I might as well take the pain on a machine I’ve been lusting over!

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