A year with the Mac...

Its been just over a year since I switched to the Mac. Conclusions?

  • Its been great not actually worrying about a computer, nor how windows was going to screw me up today.

  • Finally, like in the last month, the Notes client for the Mac doesnt feel like the old xWindows unix one of old. In other words, good. In fact, today, I even ran FirM under the Mac for the first time, and recompiled some cross platform code for it. Till now, I've not felt it a stable enough client to rely on. Here's hoping when 8.5 is finally released in a few weeks or so, the 8.5 Mac client is slightly faster, and the fonts stable. Then it'll be perfect. Dont get me wrong - the Notes client is okay. Just at the moment its not *wonderful* and since everything else on the Mac is, it feels like a poor relative.

  • Oddly, I've not felt the desire to install Office for the Mac. I still have my licensed copy of office on a windows machine, and use it less and less. If I need serious word processing horsepower, I reach for NeoOffice (openOffice for the Mac), or for prettyness, I reach for iWork. Thankfully, I dont have to exchange reports with customers that much anymore, so no more Office. The worst I had was collaborating with Paul Mooney on Worst Practices for LotusFear 2008 - Mac and PC versions of office didnt like each other a bit.

  • Comparing the screen on the MacBook Pro with my old Dell XPS gaming machine, the MacBook Pro is Sooooo much brighter, and sharper. Go see them side by side and see why the Macbook screens cost a little more.

  • Stability. Its not perfect, and perhaps a dozen times in the last year, I've had to hard-reset the Mac. Sleeping it sometimes doesnt work either, but I usually blame the beta Notes code or Parallels.

  • Portability. I've not travelled as much this year, after the old Lotusfear health scare, and its great. But the Macbook Pro is still far easier to lug around than the old Dell 17" monster, and the 2kg power transformer that went with it.

  • Parallels or Fusion ? I run both, and have parallels open most of the time. Its okay. Its got slightly better desktop integration than Fusion 1 (2 is far closer). Someday, I'll switch my work partition to Fusion, if nothing else to make the porting between my work laptop and the VMWare ESX 3i servers easier.

  • Would I recommend a macbook pro ? I kinda wish I'd went with a Macbook, as the keyboard is so much better. Tomorrow should bring a new generation of MacBooks, and I'll be looking for a good excuse to upgrade. Check out Apple.com tomorrow late in the afternoon.

Do I regret switching ? No. Best move I made. if I stuck with Vista, I'm sure I'd have smashed the computer under a lorry by now. Perhaps Microsoft can salvage what little remains of their reputation with Windows 7 - but there we are, looking forward to something that Microsoft might deliver in the dim and distant future, and not enjoying today. On a Mac.