The transition is almost complete: I have ditched my Windows-based PC for a MacBook Pro.
My reasons? Well, I could write a whole bunch of fluff about how as a developer I need to be able to test my work on multiple operating systems, and a Mac (with BootCamp and/or Parallels) allows me to do that.
Or maybe I can tell you that when I attended the Google I/O conference a week or two ago, I felt completely un-cool because I wasn’t slinging around a MacBook Pro, unlike (at quick glance) half of the attendees at the conference.
(Side note: second most popular laptop? IBM/Lenovo ThinkPads. They were all over the place, too.)
Maybe I can say it’s because I finally watched An Inconvenient Truth the other day, which — unintentionally — pointed out yet another inconvenient truth: Keynote is way better than PowerPoint. (Al Gore’s famous slide presentation was done in Keynote.)
I could say that using a Mac will make me more creative, or that a Mac’s built-in accessibility tools can help me design web sites and courseware that work for people with disabilities.
Perhaps I could tell you that I simply wanted to return to my roots: I was a die-hard Mac user for a solid decade before turning to the Dark Side.
In reality, I had no single reason to switch from Windows to a Mac, but have felt the urge bubbling for quite some time, for all of the reasons above and more. One of the best reasons was: I wanted a lightweight but powerful laptop. Simple enough, eh? But the tipping point was something even simpler (and IMHO) funnier: Apple has a back-to-school sale going, which meant a free iPod Touch if I bought the MacBook Pro. Sweet.
So now I have a MacBook Pro AND an iPod Touch. I feel like such a hipster, only without the cool hair, cool clothes and bad attitude. I suppose a real hipster would scoff at the iPod Touch and say I should have gotten an iPhone. I’m not ready for that commitment yet… Apple needs to ditch AT&T before I get that particular toy. 😉
Anyway, now that I’ve been playing with my new Apple goodies for a few days, I’m really appreciating (rediscovering?) the excellent user interface design, where it’s apparent that a lot of thought went into every aspect of the the UI. And, of course, the MacBook Pro “just worked” from the start.
(Side note #2: Ubuntu also runs great out-of-the-box if you ever want to give Linux a shot.)
I’m also really enjoying the software that comes with a Mac. I don’t know if it’s a fair knock against Windows, but the software that comes with OS X feels more useful, and is certainly easier to look at! Apple’s iWork suite is cool, too; I already mentioned Keynote, and “Pages” is much slicker and easier to use than Word. Too bad I can’t use iWork applications at the office since none of my coworkers have Macs.
The iPod Touch has been a lot of fun, especially using Safari with the built-in WiFi. I’m definitely going to start paying closer attention to how my websites and courseware fare in small-screen mobile environments.
Are YOU a Mac user?
Are you a Mac user? Have any tips or recommendations? I’m using Parallels to run Windows XP, so I still have access to my Windows-only stuff. However, when it comes to Mac software, I’m starting over and need to figure out what’s hot and what’s not. I have iWork 08 and Adobe CS3, but not much else.
Anything else I should be using? 🙂