Just as Microsoft is finally getting their “I’m A PC” campaign going, your favorite blogger has officially become a Mac. I have been using my new 13′ Macbook for two weeks now, and I can safely say, “Wow”!
I have been thinking about this post and how I was going to write it for quite some time now. Do I focus on the transition between PC and Mac? Do I focus on the Mac’s advantages or disadvantages? Do I write about its brilliant software or its stunning hardware? As I am writing this, I do not yet have the answer to the question, what to focus on. So I guess I will just say it as it is.
I love my Mac, I love it much more than I ever loved any PC, whether it was a Dell, HP, or just a PC put together from different components. I think my love for it really stems from a combination of its looks and personality. Obviously, what made the first impression was its exterior, and I am not ashamed to admit it. When I first saw the Mac, I was taken aback by its small size, sexy aluminum case, and I don’t know what it is about it, but I just love the Apple logo and how that’s all that is on the notebook. Like all of Apple’s products, its simplicity is its strongest selling point.
Then I opened it up. Before I even turned the thing on, I was blown away by its design. I don’t know how they do it, but this has to got be the only keyboard I would ever use the word “sexy” to describe. I know built in webcams are pretty standard, but the way this one is built in, is just so pretty. It took me a few seconds to find the Power button, I was used to a button button, like what can be found on most computers. The reason it took me so long to figure out how to turn on the Mac, is its power button that is flush with the surface of the body and is kinda like a touch sensitive button. Again, not many power buttons can be called sexy.
I once read that Apple delayed the release of a product because two of the screws on the bottom were not flush enough, and they wanted it to be before its release to the public. That dedication to perfection is apparent in every inch of this machine. This is all before I even turn it on.
Then came the powering on…Drum Roll please… The initial experience of configuring the Macbook is everything configuring a PC is not. It is fun, enjoyable, and lets you get a sneak peak at the cool graphics of the OS. It took me maybe 7 minutes, and I was up and running. The screen is nothing short of brilliant. Even to the point that my mother-in-law, who said upon seeing my new Macbook “Oh, you got a new iPod”, was impressed with the clarity of the display.
I can literally go on forever about the beauty of this machine, but I feel like I am losing you, so let’s move on to the software. Let me just start by saying that prior to this experience, I had never touched Mac OS, never. Now, I have to admit, at the risk of sounding like an idiot, I expected the learning experience to be shorter. Everyone told me it will take no time to master it. I think the reason that was not the case for me is, unlike most users, I want to know everything about the OS before I am comfortable with it. I was able to use it right away but it took me close to 24 hours of use until I figured it all out.
Everything about the Mac OS is simpler, nicer, and more intelligent than Windows, period. I feel like stopping there, because that is all you really need to know, but of course I will elaborate a little. Once you are familiar with the concept of a dock, which by the way, Microsoft has adopted in Windows 7, you are pretty much half way there. In Mac OS, everything you need, is at the tip of your fingertips. Most of what you will need is in the dock, and if it isn’t, put it there. It is just the epitome of convenience. Now, here is where I think I should mention another tool that is nothing short of awesome. Anything you ever need on the Mac, I am talking an email, a picture, a document, anything, is easily accessible using Spotlight.
Spotlight is a very cool search tool for your Mac. It is just so easy to use, and so obvious, it just begs the question, “Why does Microsoft not have this built into Windows?”. It is like a highly advanced built in Google Desktop.
Moving on, the other half of what one needs to relearn before using a Mac, is how to close applications. No more x on top right corner, that just minimizes the program in Mac OS. It took me some trial and error, but I think I am pretty used to the concept of quitting a program if I want to stop using it.
One more thing I should mention is the trackpad in all its awesomeness. I watched the YouTube videos (see below) of the new trackpad and thought to myself “How will I ever remember all that”? I could not have been more wrong. The amount of time it took me to master the finger gestures, was similar to the amount of time it took me to master the click wheel iPod interface, i.e no time at all. I can’t explain it to you, but it is just so intuitive and genius, I absolutely love it.
Now, as you all know, nothing is perfect. So, where are its downsides? I would not call them downsides (I just did), but there are one or two things about the Macbook that could be enhanced. For starters, after using it for a few weeks, and seeing how everything about it is so awesome, I have much higher expectations from it, than any other computer I have used. Because of this reason, its battery life disappoints. Yes, it is leagues above my wife’s Thinkpad or my old HP, but I want it to last more than 3 hours. Maybe I am crazy, but I feel like with today’s technology, laptops should be able to last closer to 5 hours.
This post has gotten way too long, and I feel like I have not even covered half, so consider this a first post in the “My New Macbook” series.