Mac Conversion for Windows Guy – Baby Steps

Ha ha ha, most would balk at the thought, have I gone over to the dark side? Have I lost my mind or has the evil empire taken control over me? Many would ask other would run scared to the hills, but well I have decided to make the switch mainly because of the battery life … My last laptop was a 17″ HP Envy 3D – a beast of a machine not very field friendly I think I developed a hunchback lugging it around, and abysmal battery life (what do you expect from a desktop replacement), quad core, 8GB RAM, 17″ screen, and hot as hell.

Many of my friends and collegues have made the switch bragging to me that once you go Mac u never go back… So he not being one who balks away at a challenge I made the jump to a Macbook air… So here is my story actually my 2-3 week journey all summarized …

Unpacking, the box was slim and lightweight … The packaging was I should say magnificent (black) and the air stood out. Only the laptop, and power cables … that’s all! I was stumped so simple ….

Starting up was smooth I was asked for a language, my contact details, whether I wanted icloud and how to use the trackpad. The trackpad was a little bit of trouble since was I was used to click and drag, yet the trackball requires using one or two fingers in a specific direction. I am still getting the hang of it but its impressive that I can get more without having to revert to the mouse.

Having used Windows from the venerable 3.1 (oh yes that old) through 3.1.1 (Windows for Workgroups) then 95, 95 Second Edition via 98 missed the Millenium train landed on Windows 2000 the best release yet. It was a big push to XP but an easier migration to Windows 7 when for the first time a newer version required less resources than an older version. I missed Vista thankfully and not sure if I will go 8, but the jury is still out on that one. I am finding that Mac OS is more like my Android smartphone so it may not be as difficult as I think it will be.

So next step was installing apps, my list is old fashioned but here goes:

  1. Google Chrome – oh yes the beauty is that I can sync directly with my personal Windows laptop
  2. Skype – who does not use it
  3. MS Office for Mac 2011 – I am an MS Outlook super-user without it I feel lost.
  4. Macintosh Explorer (http://www.ragesw.com/products/explorer.html) as a compliment to Finder which is very hard to use, no way to navigate outside system defined folders

The next step was to sync the Google Calendars (both personal and work) with my MS Outlook without needing to use ICal, as I would love to track everything in MS Outlook on the Mac, Windows and my Android smartphone, so that I can create events anywhere and have them auto synced.

I have to say that the battery life is really not overrated, it is goooddd!!! 1.5 hours on using a full charge and I have used 23% of my battery which means I can safely push 6 – 8 hours of power usage, which to me does not make me hostage to a power outlet …

The Air also has a 256GB SSD which provides an almost immediate bootup, and many times I am shocked when I restart whether I did so and usually do it a second time just to be sure.

The trackpad is the most amazing productivity aspect, by using a combination of 2 or 3 fingers, I can access anything and I mean any dashboard, scroll, zoom, slide between windows and apps (I still have to learn many of them though). I now find myself trying to use the gestures on my Windows laptop … so the brain is still in a state of limbo …

The user interface while not so alien needs some getting used to as I am currently getting confused when moving between Windows and Mac …

Please do share your experiences too …

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5 responses to this post.

  1. hehehe, seeing as you’re the only other person in Africa who uses the HP Envy 17 3D, I totally understand where you are coming from and going. I don’t know if I would have chosen the Macbook Air over the MacBook Pro 15 Retina but I have been flirting around with the idea for a while now. Only my love for serious gaming has held me back from making the jump to Mac. It’d be interesting to follow how this goes for you.

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    • Kizzy the choice for entry level Macbook was made for me, I had no control, but since I am not doing any heavy lifting (gaming and all) its a good way to start … However I am finding that the premium Apple charges for its products is probably worth it … I am not going for the Iphone due to the smaller screen, but hey if they release a bigger screen phone I too may be tempted …

      Its so light and just works … just works

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  2. Welcome to the Light side (in more ways than one). Now get some word processing apps and one or two design ones onto that thing and see how you churn out documents, work, fun tweets and your wife starts talking about your anti-social skills…

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    • Simon, I have MS Word and Evernote already installed with Tweetdeck, do you have any additional recommendations for both business and fun/games (including the little ones).

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      • There is a hell of a lot but it will depend largely on what you do. Keynote, for example, is super for presentations and even Word Processing and domestic planning. Camp out at the App Store for an hour each day and try it all out. Also make use of your Dashboard as much as possible.

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