Monday, December 10, 2007

A New World

Back in May 2007, I finally made to switch to a Mac. I had decided a few months earlier that I must absolutely make the Macbook my laptop of choice. I had an iPod Nano at the time already so I knew of all the hype Apple's GUIs were getting. They had also made the switch to Intel processors so even if I didn't like Mac OSX, I could install windows on it - no big deal.

Little did I know, I had officially joined a cult. I mean this in a good way. The saying is true: Once you go Mac, you'll never go back! I thought that it would take some time for me to "learn" how to do everything I wanted to do on a Mac. Things that I was accustomed to doing in windows would no longer apply, so I should start investing the time to understand OSX. The truth is that everything that's different in OSX compared to windows is different in a good way. Here is a short list:

1) Installing programs:
Windows: run .exe, select continue to nag screen, choose install settings, choose path to install to, watch it slowly unpack files, watch it apply registry settings, force you to restart.

Mac OSX: mount .dmg, drag application icon to applications folder, watch it copy in less than 5 seconds, done.

2) Uninstalling programs:
Windows: start, control panel, add remove programs, look for program, select it, click remove. It will then ask you if you want to remove or repair it, you select remove, it will tell you that some .dll files are shared between applications and that removing it would adversely affect the behavior of other programs, are you sure you want to remove it? Obviously you want to say no, so why did it bother asking in the first place?? (continue multiple .dll questions), finally, force you to restart. Registry keys for that application may still reside in memory, gumming up your machine, so after a while, you must download a 3rd party registry cleaner.

Mac OSX: Open Finder (equivalent to Windows Explorer), click Applications (the same place you go to launch programs), instead of double clicking it to run it, just drag it to the trash. Done. No registry to worry about.

3) Unmounting USB drives:
Windows: Double click the tiny little icon that might be hidden in the bottom right corner of the taskbar, select the drive to unmount, click remove/unmount, it will then ask you which 'drive' you wish to remove/unmount, finally, unmount. A message menu will pop-up, telling you that it's unmounted. You must click okay on the pop-up, and then close on the "remove devices" window. Remove USB drive.

Mac OSX: Open Finder. Point mouse to eject button, located beside USB drive icon. Click eject. Remove USB drive.

As you can see, there isn't much "learning" required to use a Mac. If you want to do something in OSX, you just do it. Things are a lot more intuitive and elegant on a Mac. If you're a perfectionist or a neat-freak, make the switch today, you won't regret. Instead, you'll be asking yourself why you never made the switch earlier and realize that you spent much of your computing days frustrated using windows. Even Bill Gates says Macs are cool. Yes, I know that these are from many decades ago, but it's still interesting to see Bill gates praising the Mac and Steve Jobs bashing Microsoft.