Major life change or switching platform

05/04/2014 21:37 | Apple, Application, Mac, OS, OS X

All painful and funny moments while switching from Windows OS to OS X my experience and reasons of such change.

Some notes from active Windows and OS X user view of home and development use perspectives and review of pros and cons of each OS. The reasons of changing to OS X and what unexpected traps you can found on a way to comfortable use OS X. Also some advices in which case you should stay with Windows even if you like OS X design.


Around 1 year ago I went to new working place and I got propositional from my boss to choose platform for development from two Mac or PC (before that I used my friends Mac only few times and Windows was my main OS). Logically that I planed to go with PC but I changed my mind and decided to try something new, thats easy to be same kind of ‘hater’ and claim PC or Mac and I decided to test both. Finally after testing and some time I went with Mac as I working with Java development I don’t really care about platform and at least like working computer thats fine for me. If to be honest if was a disaster from the beginning! I claimed myself for my choose during fist few weeks. After solving all beginner problems I realised that I starting feel comfortable myself with both Mac during working time and PC at home. Some time ago I feel that my home laptop needs serious upgrade (throw away current and buy new one) because its already more than 3 years old!

Ok…perfect!…New gadgets for geek like me that always nice =) Lets surf to find something that suits for my requirements, my was like that:

  • CPU i5 or i7, minimum 2.5 GHz
  • 16Gb RAM
  • 13 inch display with nice resolution
  • min 4h of battery life
  • max 2 kg
  • GPU not crucial importance for me!

And from the beginning I never planed to buy Mac for home use and probably thats why I was so surprised when I realised that for my requirements suites 4-5 laptops and 2 of them MacBooks. After few days of fighting with myself I decided to buy it! Basically argumentation for myself: some good features that I like to use on Mac and hates on Windows(will describe later in this topic) and such fact that I don’t play games and laptop needs for work, development, photo editing, movies and internet services. And now lets go around Mac and Apple environment to understand what good and bad you can find there and why Windows still useful and for some users best choose.

To make this explanation of my migration from Win to Mac more ‘scientific’ would be good idea write down list of laptop common tasks:

  • Video and audio
  • Personal organisation
  • Text processor (office apps)
  • Workflow, in my case development
  • Entertainment
  1. Hardware and design review
  2. Pre installed software review
  3. Development software and workflow apps
  4. Games
  5. Conclusion

1. Hardware and design review

After almost two weeks waiting finally a got it! Damn…thats great filing when you gets new toy and such great toy even more what interesting that for those who never bought Apple products before (like me) you become really exiting only with such pack, it feels solid and expensive. Will see what is inside…

I got the 13 inch MacBook Pro with retina display late 2013 version with Intel i7 2.8 GHz processor, 256 GB SSD and 16 GB RAM. As for me quite powerful and should be enough for nearest few years.

In the box for my personal opinion for such price should be more accessories for laptop but I got what I got and in the box: laptop, charger with extension cable, instruction and apple stickers.

2. Pre installed software review

Honestly office solution from Apple quite good but compare with Microsoft Office thats nothing! However both solutions have some interesting things and accepted for use. Furthermore if you not deeply dependent from office applications and your main instruments not charts/tables or professional text editing/writing you can easily go with Pages and Numbers (Apple office solutions) even that compare with Microsoft Office incredible limited. But also for someone who don’t like both products can be interesting look to LibreOffice.

Pages, Numbers and etc: limited functionality simple text editor and table processor and nothing more, basic functionality for most users enough also free and you get it “from box”. As for me its too much simplified and can not be called “office suite” and useless for business use.

Personally I’m using Microsoft Office for two reasons: I already used to use Microsoft Office for years thats why Word, Excel and Power Point best for me and I need such features like creating mathematical quotation and that no so easy with Pages compare with Word. For me MS Office even baggy for OS X still best office solution in the world and here MS did great job.

iMovie: honestly I’m not fun of video editing and can’t judge and compare solution for that. However after few hours experiments for me this is new reincarnation of “Windows Movie Maker” with nice design and good functionality also very easy to start but pretty sure that you will find some other alternatives even better.

Preview: simple image viewer and not really good one, but I decided to mention those because It good for reading PDF, thats really odd but standard for Windows users Adobe Reader on Mac are disaster!It incredible slow while page scrolling but Preview much-much-much better for PDF files. Probably most unexpected thing for me.

Terminal: one of the reason why I decided to jump out from Windows that is terrible console. And during development it makes me creasy! Meanwhile OS X has quite similar command line with Linux. Simple application but incredibly useful in developer life.

iPhoto: interesting solution but not perfect. Personally decided not to use it for some reasons. iPhoto creates copy of your photos and it just eating disk space. However I read about some ways to solve that but I need more functionality for photo viewer as photo resize and simple editing. Such apps like Lyn and Xee can solve these tasks much better than iPhoto.

Calendar: simply stupid application, what can be special in Calendar app? But I realised that I started to use it not only for work tasks but also for personal use. I still don’t know what good in this app but it quite nice in use nothing extra.

iTunes: like iPhoto app for me completely useless, never liked it, to massive for listening music.

Wireless Diagnostic: really strange to get such app from OS “box”. This is a WiFi analyser basic instrument to do some “dirty” things with WiFi networks. From system admin point of view really useful but not for general user.

iBooks: reading books on laptop for me not most comfortable solution and for that purpose I prefer to use pocket book reader thats why for me iBook useless. However concept of the app interesting and a lot of people will find it interesting.

Mail: simple but comfortable in use mail client. Firs time when I switched from browser mail processing.

3. Development software and workflow apps

Microsoft Office: incredible functionality and well known for avery one….simply the best office solution in the world. But compare with Windows version not so stable and it toke some time for me to set it up properly. Looks like Microsoft creates delays with bug fixes in purpose for Mac version.

LibreOffice: free, more close to Microsoft than Apple solutions, can be used like free alternative for quite expensive Microsoft solution

NetBeans, Eclipse: main developer tools same like Windows version.

Xcode: new tool for me. IDE special for developing apps for OSX, iOS

SourceTree: version control UI tool. Together with terminal really powerful.

Evernote, Skitch, Wunderlist: notes, tasks and organisers these tools together with calendar app can easily solve all workflow organisation.

Photoshop, Lightroom, Lyn, Xee: simply the best photo kit for OSX, firs two everyone knows from Windows but last two are photo viewers and arranging for your photos. I’m strongly wouldn’t recommend to use default iPhoto, as for me that is simply rubbish if you have more than 50 Gb photo collection.

SublineText 2, TextMate: strange but after using most popular OS systems on the market you have strong filling that all developing companies decided do not include normal notepad for standard app package for each OS. TextEdit for OSX and Notepad for Win are dinosaurs in modern world and I still can not understand why they are still ‘alive’! SublineText 2, TextMate – that the solution for me!

Clean My Mac: incredible application, but shareware. Helps you save gigabytes of you storage space. The idea of this app in cleaning big and old files, caches, temp files etc. I was really amazed when after one month of using my Mac I installed it and cleaned more than 9 Gbs of trash from my laptop and even more that is without deleting any my files and my trash bin was empty before running Clean My Mac. I don’t know any such app for Windows(I didn’t have such effect with reg cleaners or similar applications for Windows ever).

OneNote: one more Microsoft app for Apple but compare with office works much better and can be serious competitor for Evernote. For me like for developer better to use Evernote with Skitch thats simply great combo of notes with screen capture functionality which is important for daily work process. However OneNote for Mac better choose for creative notes and for those who don’t need Skitch functionality.

Alfred: if you care of efficiency of your working process and you dreaming about “black belt” in workflow optimisation you must have it! Simple launcher but with good features that allows you create your own “patterns” also really good for those who prefer to use keyboard instead of using mouse.

4. Games

Games? What is that? Simply if you like games and you want to use your laptop for playing some graphic heavy games that not for your. And performance not the issue at that case, laptop really powerful but OSX not designed for games. Sure… you can run almost any game but you need use such things like Parallels or VirtualBox etc…

5. Conclusion

Conclusion I want to start from most annoying things for Windows users in OSX:

  • “Enter” – isn’t an ENTER for OS X! What you expected when some file/folder selected and you will press Enter button? Anyway if you will press Enter you will be able to rename file but not to open it. For file opening you need use shortcut Cmd + Arrow Down. And even after one year of using OSX that is still makes me mad!
  • For Win users three buttons at right top corner(exit, minimise, maximise) logically looks almost the same in OSX but only located at left top corner. But “Exit” – isn’t EXIT for OSX, that is some kind of minimise function. For exit from app you need use Cmd + Q key shortcut either select Quit item from app main menu.
  • Switching between languages not so intuitive like for Windows.
  • Apple software like iPhoto/iTunes not really smart and useless for me.
  • Not really disadvantage but still can be important for Win users. For OSX quite limited amount of nice free software, but still enough.
  • Price!

Mainly OSX good for those who like photography and video editing. Also for developers thats great choose as system is *nix based. And I wouldn’t recommend it for those who have “Master Joda” level in Microsoft Office. And don’t believe if someone say that OSX not crashing apps. That issue still valid also for OSX but honestly not so often like for Windows. For me that great choose! Photo&Development that what I really need from my laptop.

© 2014 Artem Gryn personal blog