MY FIRST YEAR AS A MAC CONVERT

Image representing Apple as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

I had thought about buying a Mac quite often, but I had always been in a Windows-based environment at work and it always seemed easier to stay with the same thing at home. However, many people that I knew were very surprised that I wasn’t using a Mac already, they usually told me they just assumed I was an Apple kind of guy. I didn’t seem to fit the stereotypical PC image. When I began working in a public school where all the students had MacBooks, I decided that I would finally make the leap and buy a Mac.

  • WHY I AM BUYING A MAC
  • I USED MY ISSUED MAC ALMOST ALL WEEKEND
  • WHY I DON’T LIKE MY MLTI MACBOOK

If I had only had been limited to using my issued MTLI MacBook, I don’t think that I would have been nearly as happy with switching to the Mac. I enjoy experimenting and being able to change or add software too much and wouldn’t be satisfied with what the MLTI image lets a non-administrator do. So just using the MLTI MacBook wasn’t an option for the way that I use a computer.

So on December 29, 2009 I became the proud owner of a brand new MacBook Pro from the Portland, Maine Apple Store. Buying my new Mac at the Apple store became very important, as the first MBP did not work correctly and as I explained in my A ROCKY START TO JOINING THE CULT OF MAC post that I took it back to the Apple Store and exchanged it for a new one (without any problems).

I have not had any issues with my MacBook Pro at all, l have been extremely impressed with its reliability and ease of use. As they say “it just works”.

During this past year I have done a great deal of experimenting with different settings and Mac Software. I have found something that is counterpart to almost everything that I used on the PC. The only things that I really haven’t found that is a better replacement for than what I used on the PC are Windows Live Writer and OneNote.

I have kept some of my PC games for the day that I go out and find a version of Win7, so I can put them on the Mac. This is the one area where the Mac is a bit weaker than a Windows machine, the game selection, but even that is improving. I can’t wait for the new Mac store to open up, so I can see what different software will be available. The biggest difference is that you pay for Mac software more often than you do for a PC and with the Mac store I believe that this trend will continue.

Much of what I said in my CONVERTING TO THE CULT OF MAC WAS THE RIGHT DECISION on 1/2/10 still holds true. Below are the major things that I commented on in that blog post and how I feel about those comments today:

  • Trac Pad: I still really like the new track pad and hardly ever use a mouse or rollerball even when they are connected.
  • Maintenance: I don’t do a lot of maintenance other than what I do with CleanMyMac and re-doing the disk permissions when I get reminded for some reason or other. I don’t spend a lot time on that side of using my Mac.
  • Office Suite: I was one of many former PC types that evidently liked the Ribbon, because in Office 2011 for Mac has the Ribbon and they listened to enough whining from us to include it in the newest version. For my office suite I now use a combo of Office/Google Apps.
  • Productivity: Combo of Apple/Google with Hiveminder as my task manager. However, since finding Fluid I might be using more Google and less Apple. Fluid has made that much of a difference.
  • Browser: Big changes here, Chrome has become my primary browser and Safari 5+ is my second choice. Firefox is not even loaded on my Mac right now.
  • Music Player: iTunes – I am still not that crazy about iTunes. The interface itself is not something that I like, but it works and you pretty much have to have it to use an iPhone, iPad other Apple products.
  • Photo Manager: iPhoto – I don’t like it as much as I originally did, but it is simple to use, but at the same time powerful enough to do what I want. I now use a combo of it and Picassa, because I use Picassa to for my online Photo storage/management.
  • BlogWriter: This still is what is missing – a blog writer that I like for the Mac. Right now I am finding that ScribeFire is working for me better than the other options that I have tried…now if ScribeFire would just allow easy integration with Zemanta, I would be happy.
  • Buttons: I have gotten used to the red, yellow, green buttons and how they operate, at first it was hard to accept that just because I used the red button the program is not closed, now it is just second nature.

In all my explorations of software or webapps over the past year and experimenting with different setups, I have only had to re-image the Mac twice, once 2 weeks after I got it and then again in June to clean up the system after making a mess on a failed experiment. I have been doing less experimentation lately and am focusing more on learning the software and applications that I use at a higher level than I have in a long time.

I still don’t know that much about Scipts, Automator or using the Command Line, but I don’t know if I really want to go down those roads too far anyway.

Am I satisfied with my change over to a Mac and would I do again – a year later? Absolutely.

So speaketh a happy convert to the Cult of Mac.

I wonder what my next MacBook will be? That 13″ MacBook Air looks mighty tempting, but very pricey. We will see what happens.

DISCLAIMER – No I have not received any money, product or other incentives to do this review. I paid full price for my MacBook Pro less the educator’s discount. The above review is simply my thoughts on converting from a PC to a Mac.