Transitioning from Windows XP to Mac OS X

Recently I moved over (from Windows XP) to Mac OS X. Two reasons motivated my move; the first was for better Ruby on Rails environment support (work) and the second was for a new laptop with a little more kick than the previous one (fun).

Do I think this was an “upgrade,” and am I happy with the new operating system compared to Windows XP Professional? The short answer is No. The longer answer is Yes. To be honest, I am so comfortable in a Microsoft Windows that moving to Mac OS X has been painful. Yes, I said it, painful! Simple task shortcuts that I have grown so accustomed to, like Right-click->Create New File… Please do inform me if this exists and I have overlooked it, but I can not seem to find a “Create New File” option in my right click.  Oh yay! I can create a new folder or a burn folder, but no-sir you can not create a new file. Maybe you could tell, or maybe you could not, but this is my biggest pet pieve to my new operating system. While I have not jumped on the band wagon and become one of those bumper-sticker boasting Apple owners, I will say that Apple has done a great job taking a *nix based operating system and skinning it to both look beautiful and function superbly. I am still learning how to use the Mac OS X but from what I have experienced so far I have to say it is a phenomenal operating system and I definitely prefer it over Windows at this point.

To play the role of devils advocate, here are some of the things I have come to love about my new mac:

  1. Two finger scrolling on my touch pad (what was life like before this?)
  2. Awesome hibernation support… I hardly ever shut my computer down
  3. Seamless application install and uninstall (However, I am not sure how good of a job the OS does in the background at actually removing all traces of the program on uninstall)
  4. Dock bar
  5. Some of the Mac OS mini features (Expose, Spaces, Spotlight)

and some of the speed bumps I have felt along the way:

  1. That damned Right-click->Create New File
  2. Cycling through tabs in most programs requires more keyboard presses (In FireFox I have to do option+command+<arrow key>
  3. Auto adjusting back light to the LCD (Some may disagree and tell me I can turn this off… sure, but with it turned on and sitting in an awkwardly lit room you can find yourself staring at a screen that won’t make up its mind about how bright it wants to be)
  4. Changing the size of a window can only be achieved by clicking the bottom right corner

By no means are the lists above qualified to illustrate my top ~5 likes and dislikes, rather they just serve as starting points for what I have come to most prominently notice. Being a heavy computer user these are the things I notice because the speed at which I move to complete these tasks are dependent on the ease of using shortcuts provided by my operating system.

I started this post in November and am finally getting around to hitting the publish button. Eventually I would like to expand this post or create a parallel post that highlights the top short cuts… But Google has so many result sets that include such aforementioned lists that it may never happen. If you have anything to comment in regards to the post or a familiar transition please feel free to comment. I would very much enjoy hearing other peoples opinions on what they found alarming or relieving either to or from Mac OS X (whether it be hardware, software, or socially related).

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