Wednesday, August 22, 2012

My First Week with a Mac

One of the (many) cool benefits of working for Citrix is the BYOC program, in which the company will give you a stipend to purchase your own computer that you can then use for work and own yourself. It allows us to use any device we like rather than being stuck with a standard corporate issue device. For the last 6 years I've had a couple of corporate issued Lenovo ThinkPads and I'd been very happy with them. They were reliable and well built but somewhat bulky. As my warranty was coming to an end last quarter, I had the option to enter the BYOC program, so I started looking around for a machine that I might like to own.

I knew I wanted something small but I didn't want to give up power to get it. There are a number of ultrabooks out there these days that could give me what I wanted, but one stood out, the MacBook Air. I had the opportunity to try one out around the office and I really liked the way the trackpad made navigation intuitive, liked the feel of the keyboard and of course the size of the machine. Its lightweight without feeling flimsy and its quite good looking. Of course, the one thing that held me back was the obvious ... the OS. I'd been a Windows user since 3.1 and I was very comfortable with it. I rationalized that I could always dual boot it with Windows or even install Windows on its own on the Mac hardware, so I took the plunge.

While I was waiting for it to arrive (which was excruciating even if it was only a couple of weeks) I started playing with the team's Air more and got used to using OSX. By the time I got the laptop, I'd decided that I'd give OSX a try without Windows to see how I'd get along.

So its been 8 days now and I have no regrets. I absolutely love using the multi touch track pad on this thing. I don't even miss using a mouse. I can scroll easily, quickly move between workspaces and navigate webpages super quick. With the Citrix Receiver, I'm able to access any Windows apps for work that I need with relative ease. I have yet to find a task that I performed on Windows that I cant do on this thing. There are a few frustrations though. Its a little more difficult to navigate between multiple windows of the same application and its taking me some time to get used to some of the different keyboard shortcuts, but all in all I'm pretty pleased.

I'm lucky enough to have a few helpful Mac users on my team who are helping me find cool and productive apps, but if anyone has any suggestions, I'm open to trying most anything. Next up for me, learning to use iMovie so that I can put together some cool videos that I've taken of the kids in the last couple of months.

Edit: OK, one thing I noticed just now is that the first two posts I did from this Mac were formatted all screwy, but I just fixed that.  Sorry to anyone who struggled through the big block of text in the last post, it should be better now.

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