Monday, August 8, 2011

A Confession (I'm not in love with my Mac)

I've tried for weeks. Some days have been wonderful. Others, have made me question my intelligence.

And I've come to this decision: I'm not in love.

I'm talking about my Mac.

After years as a dedicated Windows-based PC user, I switched two months ago to a Mac. I purchased an iMac, mainly in an effort to improve my photography and partially because I love my iPhone so freakin' much that I figured I'd fall for another Apple product just as hard.

Nope.

I'm in the tech industry. I'm young. I'm adaptable, right? So why can't I adjust to a new OS? Why does it constantly make me question whether I really 'get' what the Mac is all about?

I haven't completely given up yet, but I thought I'd share a few of my main gripes.

  • The inability to resize windows from any corner except the lower right. This is often infuriating.
  • I can't keep the Shift, Control, Option, Command and Function keys straight. After training myself to be a keyboard shortcut ninja with my PC, I haven't yet gotten up to speed.
  • I struggle to adjust to the menu bar at the top left.
  • I can't maximize a window. I know that it might not make sense when the window is perfectly sized to the contents of the webpage I'm viewing, for example. But if I want crazy whitespace, GIMME SOME CRAZY WHITESPACE!
  • The fact that I have to pay for software that I was already using... or have to search in vain for alternatives.
I'm not saying there aren't things that I love about this computer. There are.... several in fact, such as:
  • It starts up crazy-fast.
  • It hasn't crashed. (Okay, maybe once.)
  • The magic mouse. Fantastic.
  • The minimalistic keyboard (and no separate CPU). When my mom first saw it, she said "That's your computer?! Don't you feel naked?" Ha.)
  • The graphics are lovely.
  • There is no glare on the screen - I don't have to tilt it a certain way for someone to read over my shoulder.
I do regret buying an iMac as opposed to a MacBook Pro, but that just wasn't in my budget. I should have waited. And actually, the more time that goes by, the more I find myself wishing I would have just upgraded my Dell laptop (gasp).

I want my comfortable keyboard shortcuts back. The software that I can rely on (don't laugh). The workflow that I had refined and perfected for post processing my photos. The file structure that I was used to.

I feel like I made a mistake.

Have you made the switch? Did you struggle? Make me feel like I'm not completely crazy by sharing a comment. Please. For my sanity. :)


7 comments:

  1. Hey Jenna... I was exclusively Mac from 1992-2004, then I went PC for a couple of years, now I am exclusively Mac again but use Windows in a virtual machine so I bounce back and forth.

    I have a love/hate relationship with Mac OS X. I totally get what frustrates you about it. You do get used to it its quirks eventually and the rewards are often worth it. For me, being able to have 2 operating systems in one machine is a big selling point.

    Some things that might help frustrate you a little less: Mac OS X Lion allows you to resize a window from all edges (not sure if you're considering an upgrade, but that might be a reason). You click the green circle on a window to maximize it. You can remap some (but not all) keyboard modifiers in System Preferences.

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  2. Oh, all those things bothered me at first too. I was a major PC user till about 2006. I have been using the mac since then and eventually learned the keyobard shortcuts on a mac and found much more than I ever did on a PC. My workflow is tremendously better. Hang in there.

    You had the benefit of no background with your iPhone probably.. so you just learned fromt he beginning. Our background hinders us in our learning because we want it to be the same... but helps us because we have a reference point.

    I agree the dual operating system is a big plus. And the biggest for me is that after 5 years of using a mac I have NEVER had a major computer problem. I had to replace my trackpad once on my current macbook pro (I started with a macbook), but it was free and quickly taken care of.

    Hang in there... you made the right decision! :)

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  3. Jenna, I'm in your same boat, only 4 days in! When I started a new job last week, I was asked whether I wanted an apple or Windows laptop. Naturally, to be like the cool kids, I went mac. I haven't used a mac since my college days (early '90s), so it was basically all new to me. I definitely share quite a few of your gripes. Like anything, I guess it has its pros and cons. I do really like the speed and appearance. Most things seem to work fine, I haven't found anything major that I'm missing. But I'm not "in love" by any means.

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  4. Hey Jenna, I certainly had some of the same difficulties that you do when I first made the switch to Mac (and even for up to a year or so afterwards with some things), but the muscle memory that you've learned in Windows does eventually give way to Mac muscle memory, and you'll probably learn even better ways to do the same tasks in OS X over time.

    To help you get over at least one of those irritations, check out the RightZoom app:

    http://www.switchingtomac.com/tutorials/make-the-os-x-maximize-button-work-like-windows/

    I have it and it works great.

    Persevere with the Mac, and you'll be glad that you did! Keep searching for new tips on how to make the most of your Mac, and try to hang out with more experienced Mac users to see how they utilize their systems.

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  5. OSX Lion allows full screen apps and the resize from any side of a window thing. That may help you adjust.

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  6. I made the switch at the end of 2010 with an iMac for the family and a MBP for my work. For personal use (music, pictures, video, email, calendar) it was a big improvement. We never had a central home computer and it's now nice to have that. It could've been a Win7 machine, but I do like the Mac overall and it looks much nicer sitting on a desk!

    I am the one using the MBP for work and have many usage scenarios. I went through many of the same adjustments, but am pleased overall. The biggest adjustment was figuring out the keyboard commands, but after putting some effort into it, it wasn't an issue. I was a master on Windows and it didn't take long to be at parity on my Mac.

    Maximizing windows is definitely annoying. I don't worry so much about maximizing anymore. I got the screen with better resolution and having the app slightly less than maximized is no big deal. The mac seems to remember my window sizes.

    I did have to buy a few apps (or their competitors) again. MS Office for Mac (don't let anyone tell you Open Office is good enough), Screenflow (over Camtasia on Windows). I do run Win7 in a Virtual machine, but only use it for a MySQL app and Quicken/Quickbooks.

    I can't say I love my Macs, but I have no plans to move back to Windows. I liked Win7 when I switched. Since I moved to Mac, though, I have no reason to move back.

    My most annoying gripe is that I cannot CUT and paste a file in Finder. Drives me bonkers.

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  7. As you know, I tried and failed w/ OSX. For me, Linux is a much better alt than the Mac. You really have to buy into Mr. Jobs ideas of how to do things. There is no compromise, no meeting half way. His way or the highway. My solutions was to sell the imac and build a killer PC. I do wish I bought a laptop, but it didn't cost me a penny w/ the sale of the mac. I miss the hardware, but Apple and OSX are wrong for me. Check out Ubuntu Linux. It will. dual boot and might make the hardware tolerable. Good Luck!!!

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