On June 20th, I declared that I was going to try A Month of Mac. I took my Macbook Pro (an older model from about 18 months ago) up to Alaska, left my Lenovo x300 in Boulder, and went native Mac.
I’m typing this on my brand new spiffy MacBook Pro 2.66 GHz Intel Core i7 with 8GB RAM, with a 500GB solid state hard drive. I can’t figure out why I’ve been so stubborn about really switching to the Mac. This is a beautiful computer.
The key to this switch was that the native mac apps (Mail, iCal, and Address Book) sync seamlessly with Exchange. So I don’t have to deal with the abortion that is Entourage but at the same time I don’t have to mess around with our email server and impact everyone else in our organization. That’s sweet. I had a feeling this would work this time since it works flawlessly on my iPhone and iPad, and it did. The only thing missing is Tasks, but I started using Evernote instead which actually worked even better than the Outlook Task manager.
So – no Parallels or Fusion – I don’t even have a Windows image on this machine at this point. I didn’t use Windows a single time in the last month and now that I’ve rewired my brain for Mac shortcut keys I think it’d be a pretty amusing thing to watch.
I’ve found peace and happiness with iWork as a replacement for Microsoft Office – it’s more than adequate for what I do. MarsEdit is a spectacular blog post editor, Chrome works happily on the Mac as does Skype and TweetDeck, and Adium replaced Digsby. Pogoplug works just like it did before – all my files are where I want them to be. Best of all, my iPhone actually does what it’s supposed to with iTunes.
Did I say that this is a beautiful piece of hardware? Sleep mode – check. Flawless super high resolution screen – check. Super fast everything – check. Find a piece of software you want to play around with – download and run.
The most remarkable thing was the transfer of all my data, applications, and settings from my old MacBook Pro to my new MacBook Pro. I connected them by Firewire. I restarted my old MacBook and held down the T key. After the transfer started, I went and had a meeting for a hour. I came back and my new Mac was set up exactly like my old Mac. Perfect.
Ross – you owe me $100.
My post yesterday titled Rethinking The Laptop resulted in three very specific pieces of feedback followed by me taking one specific action. The feedback was:
After mulling things around for 24 hours, I decided to once again try my annual switch to the Mac. Fortunately, I have a very nice Mac from last year’s effort (a MacBook Pro 2.4 GHz with 2 GB) so I fired it up, configured Mail and iCal to work with my Exchange server, downloaded Chrome, Xmarks, and Tweetdeck, and away we go. I’m still getting used to the option key and trying to learn all of the key sequences that my cool Mac friends use, but I’m enjoying the screen and so far haven’t reached for my Lenovo x300 once today.
While I was swimming I decided that since I was going to be in Alaska for July, I’d bring only my MacBook, my iPhone, and my iPad. As much as I like my HTC EVO, I figure that if I’m going to really give the Mac a try, I need to go cold turkey (or – well – cold non-Mac) and see if I get over the shakes during my four week exile. I’ll either come back a Mac user or not.
As one of my friends tweeted, “get a Mac – friends don’t let friends use Windows.” So – be a good friend and remind me of all the fun apps that I need for my Mac to be extra cool. And where’s a tutorial for all those fun keystrokes that make the windows fly around the screen? Oh – and is there a great blogging client for WordPress or do I have to use WordPress’s web UI? And what about Digsby – is iChat good enough or should I try something else for all of my various chat accounts. Yeah – the list goes on, but what the hell.
Ross (my IT guy) bet me $100 that I’d beg him to ship my Windows desktop to me within a few days of getting to Alaska. Help me win the bet.