Why I Switched To Mac – Yes “I’m now a Mac”

Published on 12 Oct 2008 at 11:15 am. No Comments.
Filed under iPhone,Mac.

I was just trying to do a screengrab on my Macbook Pro running MacOS 10.5.5 and like a lot of things on the Mac I didn’t know how to do it….I looked for a print screen button…no such luck.

A quick search told me what I wanted to know: command-shift-4 (i still like to call ‘command’ “open apple” cause im oldschool) allows me to select a portion of the screen to take a picture of and save it to the desktop, command-cntrl-shift-4 put it in the clipboard. Since I was going to paste it into Photoshop I chose the latter. So I do my command-cntrl-shift-4 and cross-hairs appear, allowing me to select a potion of my screen, which I do. I then release the mouse button and I hear the shutter sound of a camera…I literally giggled.

How cool is that? It’s such a simple little thing, but struck me as genious. It was the perfect feedback I needed to know that my action had been successful. Now it’s not that big of a deal really but having just read Steve Krug’s book “Don’t make Me Think”  I guess it hit home a little more.

Now this camera noise isn’t why I switched of course, obviously I didn’t even know it was going to happen. It is however what caused me to write this post. As I learn to use all the features of my new OS I have been jotting them down in a text file I can read from the web, but I figured I might as well post them here, for google to find and possibly deliver to future switchers, so more on the screengrab stuff in another post.
This post is already longer than anyone should read, but the willingness of people to waste countless hours on myspace/facebook/blogs continues to baffle me, so I am sure someone is still reading at this point….

So the reason I switched initially comes down to one word: iPhone

I knew I wanted an iPhone but the first gen without 3G or GPS just didn’t provide what I wanted out of a phone. So I bought an AT&T Tilt, which I loved, I highly recommend it if you have to use windows mobile. Even with the Tilt tho I spent hours and hours customizing it, trying custom firmwares and applications to make it perform exactly like I wanted. However my Tilt developed a charging flaw that many exhibited and had to be returned under warranty. So I had to spend time putting the original firmware back on to make sure I was covered under warranty.

About the time my Tilt came back the 3G iPhones came out, and Appstore was added. I had two choices. Spend hours and hours customizing my Tilt again or buy something that “just worked”. I chose to buy the iPhone at full price of $399….even tho I was already with AT&T I was only 1 year into my current plan (way to support current customers AT&T by not offering a discounted early upgrade). Oh and the best part was I had to buy into another 2 year contract. So wait, I have to sign a 2 year deal, and I get none of the discount provided from signing the 2 year deal? Makes perfect sense!

The iPhone JUST WORKS. Out of the box, it does everything I want it to, and if it doesn’t there’s a free or cheap app available for instant download on the Appstore that probably does. Probably.
There’s a particular thing the iPhone doesn’t do however and there’s nothing on Appstore for it yet. So I decided I wanted to attempt to develop an app. After a little research I found out that in a Micro$oft-esq move there was really no iPhone dev tools for windows. At this same time I was packing up our apartment in preparation for a 6 week sint in Hawaii (I am staring out an Aiea apartment window overlooking Pearl harbor as I write this).

My windows laptop at the time was ok but not great, and with a ton of web coding to do while in Hawaii and leaving my 24 & 21″ LCDs behind I decided to buy a used Macbook Pro with a nice 17″ monitor that could do 1680×1050 resolution. I figured I could “muddle by” with it and decide if I really liked it enough to switch when the new MacBooks came out later this year. Plus I brought my copy of WindowsXP so I could always install it with BootCamp and boot XP if I didn’t like MacOS. Sounded risk free to me.

WindowXP remains uninstalled.

I can’t go into all the great things about the Mac here, this is already too long. However the first “wow” item was the spaces. Before I got the triple head LCD setup going I often bought programs to provide me with virtual desktops. Out of the box spaces is better than any of these ever were. So now instead of “muddling through” with 1680×1050, I have 4 easily accessible and configurable 1680×1050 desktops.

As a unix coder I can’t believe I didn’t switch earlier. I found on the plane ride that apache and php were already installed so I could start coding even without internet access. I configured my terminal to automatically fire up three coding windows and a log file window on startup and got to work. Once we landed I generated my ssh-keys and now have my servers setup for auto login and sftp. All this on top of one of the most intuitive and well designed UIs I have ever seen. It’s like having a linux box that can run all the apps I want and has a great X UI without any configuration.

Anyway I can go on and on as you can probably tell. I saw my first “Im a PC” commercial yesterday and it made me laugh. Microsoft must be in panic mode if they are out right copying the Mac ads. They should be in panic mode. These computers and devices “Just Work” perfectly out of the box, and I am positive that the iPhone itself is going to lead to many many more switchers. In fact the guy in line behind me at the Apple store was upgrading his first gen for G3 and he had switched to Mac due to his iPhone. I suspect this will be a common story to come, making AAPL under $100 looking like an incredible deal, specially with a rumored $800 macbook.
Remember you can always dual boot Vista. You never will.

More things I like (and some I don’t) about the Mac to come.

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