Saturday, June 27, 2009

A Switcher with second thoughts

I'm a veerrry long-time Mac user.  I had one of the first 128K Macs.  I dropped out of college for a while with some friends to develop one of the first Mac applications.  I  worked at Apple for 6 years.  So I am pretty excited about getting back to Macintosh, after having gone to Windows for the past ten years (after my company was bought by Microsoft).  But now that I'm in my second week as a Switcher, I'm frustrated.  The Mac just isn't as great (compared to Windows) as I had hoped it would be.

I'm using an old Macbook Pro with 2GB, so you can probably start by laying the blame on an older machine.  But here are some of my initial frustrations:

  • Macbook Pro keyboard and trackpad placement are poorly designed: my thumb has to travel very far to get to the mouse click.
  • The mouse seems more critical than on a PC, where nearly everything is easily available with keyboard shortcuts, which I miss. Where's the ALT key?
  • Video capture doesn't work out of the box. I plugged my camcorder into the firewire port but nothing happened. What's this about Final Cut?  Is it not standard on a MacBook Pro?
  • The battery is super hot.  I mean, I can't have it on my lap while I'm wearing shorts.  Ouch!
  • So many things are slooooww.  Safari seems to take forever to load pages, for example.  Maybe this is caused by the lack of RAM, but my Windows laptop is also 2GB.  Is the hard drive speed slow?

I should write up the list of things I like, because there are many of those things too.  I like the built-in video camera, and the super-cool geek factor of having a full-blown Unix machine at my fingertips.  I also love being able to set up my HP printer with absolutely no extra steps -- it just worked! There are no doubt many more things I'll prefer after having a few more weeks at this.  But in spite of a few nice things, I'm sorry that so far I haven't been blown away.  I guess you need to give me a few more weeks to play and ask me again which I prefer.