Going Mac: the first 72 hours

It’s been three days since I landed on Planet Mac, and so far it’s been a pleasant experience. First thoughts…

1. The biggest issue is still with Windows. Outlook for Mac works just as well, but importing 12GB of data took effort and hasn’t quite worked properly. Why, for example, does anything in the Inbox not import with attachments? And why don’t root folders import one-on-one, slotting your Calendar from the PC into the Calendar on the Mac? Instead  it creates new folders, and on Calendar I see no way of transferring 10 years of appointments into the Mac root Calendar folder.

2. Anything out of the ordinary is abnormal. A Mac likes to store things in particular folders. Well, so do I, and my preference is for separate volumes – which I’m having difficulty pointing various Mac applications at. Which means I’m storing data on an “open” machine protected only by a password, for the first time in a decade. Today – having just upgraded to Mountain Lion – I’m encrypting the whole disk as a stopgap.

3. The screen is as beautiful as expected, and I haven’t even cranked up the resolution to max yet. Office for Mac, unfortunately, doesn’t handle Retina yet, and multiple pages of text onscreen don’t look especially better than on my old Dell. I’ll see how it looks with Windows on a partition soon. 

4. What’s with the keyboard? Mac keyboards lack a lot of keys; no obvious hash symbol, no forward delete, and other keys that could have been used for this stuffed with symbols nobody ever uses (I don’t even know how to pronounce § and `, much less know when to use them.) Not a criticism; Macs are different. I just don’t know why such obvious and user-friendly innovations aren’t in play; Apple is normally attentive to this stuff.

5. Dragging good in some ways, bad in others. I’m learning the multitouch trackpad and already finding it useful; instead of large limb movements being needed to shift the cursor to the Back button, a single-finger swipe in the right direction is all that’s needed. But other things that are simpler in the Windows world (like deleting a file by highlighting and hitting “delete” don’t work, and I can’t think why; it’s such an obviously useful feature.

That said – I’m enjoying my excursion, and expect to make it my normal work environment from now on. Fanboi alert!

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