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So I switched to Mac from Windows

I have been using a Mac user for a while but it was just because the photography apps are soooo much better on Mac.  Now for the last year or so, I have been using a Mac exclusively for work too.  Based on conversations, I know that a lot of people are considering the same and therefore I am sharing my experiences.

The Equipment

Hardware:  Mac Book Air with 8GB RAM and a Thunderbolt 27 inch monitor.

Accessaries:  External Apple Bluetooth keyboard and trackpad, Logitech headphones

Phone: iPhone 5 – upgrade from iPhone 4 and a 3 before that.

Tablet: iPad Mini – my iPad 3 arrived 3 days after they announced the Mini and so I used the Apple 14 day satisfaction policy to return it.  Thanks Apple.

The Con’s

  1. Outlook for the Mac – well it crashes at least twice a day, wildcarding in rules does not work, you cannot attach a file to meeting request, the rules don’t work properly, and when someone sends you an email with voting buttons – this feature does not exist in the Mac version.  This is what came to mind as I was typing this blog post.  Basically it sucks!  Are there any competitors out there?
  2. Microsoft Excel crashes 70% of the time when opening a spreadsheet stored on SharePoint. I have to download it and then open it. Pivot tables, are different to Windows and I’ve come to prefer how it’s done on the Mac version.
  3. No Visio for Mac.   I am using ConceptDraw and I like some the features that it has that are not in Visio.  Here is a link to the product website.
  4. I have not found a decent and affordable scp GUI client that supports drag and drop and integration with password caching or KeyChain integration.  Basically there is nothing comparable to winscp .
  5. iTunes – I am still getting used to the new UI but I still don’t like it.  If there was an alternative, I would more than likely use it.
  6. Lync. It crashes 3 or 4 times a day. Logs itself out another 3 or 4 times a day. I switched to Skype as my primary chat client and phone application.

 

The Pro’s

  1. It’s consistently fast.  There are no slowdowns in the middle of the day like I experienced with Windows 7.
  2. Ah yes, the reboots because of the all the Windows patches.  I’ve had to reboot my Mac twice in the last 3 months.
  3. The startup time, flip open the screen and within 10 seconds I’m typing in my password.
  4. The Thunderbolt monitor is superb.  Almost no eye strain with massive amounts of real estate in addition to point #6.
  5. The retina screen on the Mac book Air has the same quality as the external monitor, just smaller.  Therefore it is just as usable as my main monitor.
  6. Virtual desktops – means that I don’t miss the real estate when using the laptop screen and  means that I don’t have a single cluttered screen or NEED multiple screens like Microsoft employees do.
  7. Initially, I used Windows Mesh because it has a Mac client that works really nicely and therefore I can sync my files between machines without uploading them to the cloud but now that I only use one machine, I don’t need it anymore.
  8. All my devices sync with no issues using iCloud.
  9. No IE!!  I no longer have to fight with my browser.
  10. Built-in firewall that does not blackhole traffic without telling you.  The Apple firewall has great logging which makes debugging an issue a breeze.
  11. AppleScript – pretty easy to learn and allows you to automate simple tasks on your desktop.
  12. Mail.  The built-in mail client works well and supports multiple email account from a single UI.
  13. The Macbook Air form factor.  Simply awesome, light, portable with 6+ hours of battery life even with my screen brightness turned up and power savings off.
  14. Oh, yeah, it’s cool!

 

Oh, yeah before I the flame mails telling me to use Windows 8.  I have and find the Metro interface horrible without a touchscreen.  When I use it on a touchscreen, I hate the fingerprints all over the screen.  I’m constantly cleaning my screen.

 

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