“I’m not a PC and Windows 7 wasn’t my idea.” – Part 2
As you may recall in October 2010, I switched from a PC to a MacBook Pro. Five months have passed and I have to say, I’m pretty happy with the switch. The Mac is reliable, fast and really a pleasure to work on. I have added a 23” monitor to extend my display and a Magic Mouse. All in all, I give the experience a 95/100.
In my original post that you can read here, (http://www.netwhisperer.com/2010/09/21/im-not-a-pc-and-windows-7-was-not-my-idea/)
I spent most of the time being critical of the shortcomings of Windows 7. Once switching to the Mac, my disappointment with an operating system completely disappeared. In writing this post, I tried hard to think about something I really didn’t like about the Mac and couldn’t think of anything. Well, one issue with Mac Mail, but nothing other than that.
At the application level however, I do have some issues. And guess what? They are mostly related to Microsoft again—specifically Mac Office 2011. The whole reason I switched to a Mac in the first place was because Mac Office 2011 became available (running natively on MacOSX) in October 2010. I know I could have used Bootcamp or Parallels, but the nightmare stories I heard with regards to those products kept me away from the Mac until Mac Office 2011 was available natively. I was familiar with the interface of Office 2007 on the PC, and Mac Office 2011 is very close. For the most part, Mac Office 2011 runs decently, except for some instability. There seems to be a problem with Word when manipulating tables in a document that causes the application to unexpectedly quit. I have sent several reports to Microsoft in hopes they would fix the problem in an upcoming update. I have since installed 2 updates for Mac Office 2011 from Microsoft to fix these early instability problems, and I think there is some improvement. It crashes less often, but it still crashes, as does Excel, but less frequently. I know over time this will likely be resolved so the 2-3 minutes I lose of edits on occasion (2-3 times a week) isn’t a big deal. I try and make sure I save after every few edits when manipulating tables in Word to lessen the pain of a crash.
In addition, I am still using Mac Mail for email. Although I would prefer to use Outlook, the Exchange connector for Kerio isn’t available as of this post and from what I hear from my colleagues who use Outlook, it’s none too stable on the Mac—one even went back to Entourage. Really, Entourage? That makes me extremely leery of Outlook’s stability. I may try it when the Kerio connector is available (required to be able to send mail in our environment), but I will go back to Mac Mail in a NY second at the first hint of any Outlook instability. Switching email clients is a pain in the arse, especially when you have over 3GB of email messages you want to move. But I digress, oh yeah, Mac Mail. Mac Mail is a decent mail client. I wish it had iCal and the Address Book built in, but they are decently integrated so the fact that they are separate apps is no big deal. There is one nuisance problem I have discovered with mail—when you add a contact to your address book then go to do anything else (like click an email to read) mail hangs and requires a force quit to terminate the application and a restart. If you wait 10 seconds or so after adding the person to your address list, it won’t hang. A nuisance for sure, but you can work around it by being patient (not really one of my virtues though).
The following is list of things that improved from the PC to the Mac in order of importance to me.
1. Sleep Mode: PC/W7 – Didn’t sleep, required reboot. Mac – Sleeps perfectly, wakes up without a problem and is ready to use in seconds – every single time.
2. Overall Stability: PC/W7 – The OS is decent, applications frequently hang and require restart, but not a reboot. It still requires a reboot every few days because of memory leaks, but a big improvement over Vista nonetheless. Mac – rock solid, no memory leaks; the only time this computer reboots is when I do it myself.
3. Boot Up and Shutdown: PC/W7 – It takes over 3 minutes to boot up and become usable. The Mac is usable in less than 40 seconds. The PC takes ~30 seconds to shutdown, while the Mac can do so in 7 seconds.
4. Adobe Acrobat Pro: PC/W7 – Acrobat would frequently crash when doing the simplest thing, such as converting a small word doc to a PDF. Mac- Acrobat runs flawlessly.
In conclusion, the switch to a Mac was a great move. I feel that this environment makes me more productive with a much lower frustration level than with a PC. When you spend 8+ hours everyday on your computer, you have to have one that just works, and the MacBook Pro is just that. If you are considering the switch, I highly recommend it. “I will never again be a PC, and Windows 7 was never my idea.”