Macintosh Impressions: First Week

I’ll admit it. I’m a Mac user now. I’ve been trying to use my new MacBook pro full time for the last week, and it’s been a smashing success. The 8 hour battery life of this little Laptop is quite extrordinary, and the few adapters and ‘nice touches’ from the MagSafe adapter to the Battery Indicator button on the left hand side of the computer are quite handy.

I do wish it had one more USB port for convenience when I’m at home connected to my external monitor, but I can purchase a nice USB hub to fix that up.

There are several programs I’m using

  • Pixelmator (Photoshop competitor, under trial)
  • CeltX (screenwriting software, FREE!)
  • iWork (for Keynote and Pages, nicely priced)
  • iLife (for Garage Band and iPhoto mainly, included with every Mac)
  • TextMate (programmer’s text editor–I’m holding out for the beta of Ultraedit for Mac before I purchase)
  • VMWare Fusion (awesome emulator, under trial UPDATE: Licensed, got a coupon for $20 off and purchased from VMWare directly–no sales tax from Texas)

I’m using Google to sync all my Calendars and Contacts…. I’ll write a tutorial of how to do that later this week.

Tricks I’ve come across

  • To silently change the volume (i.e. don’t make the plop sound when changing the volume): press shift while pressing the volume controls
  • To quickly change image & font sizes in most programs: pinch (use two fingers your mouse pad on your MacBook or Magic TrackPad
  • Right clicking is as easy as clicking with two fingers (nice touch!)
  • Dragging and dropping is easy once you get used to it: press and hold with your left hand in the corner to click on the item you want to drag then use your right finger to do the moving then release with your left finger when you want to drop…not too shabby.
  • I was able to connect my awesome Linux server to work as a Time Machine backup server quite easily.

The minor issue I’ve got so far

Keynote doesn’t seem to allow me to edit my slides as it’s presenting. I tend to like to be dynamic when doing church presentations and fix typo’s as I find them or switch out names if someone is not able to read, etc. MediaShout (the program we use for PC) does this very nicely, but is a very quirky program for the most part. I’d like to see this functionality in Keynote.

Gaming

What little gaming I do is either Starcraft II (which doesn’t run too badly on this little 13″ MacBook Pro for the most part) of the online web-browser game Lord of Ultima. I’ve not tried running Windows games under VMWare fusion or BootCamp (I haven’t purchased a Win7 license for this laptop yet, nor will I until I get a bigger hard drive and/or need the ability to boot to it).

Things I miss from Windows & Linux

Linux software repository – I sure would like a way to install open source software on the MacOS side

Windows 7 Shortcuts – specifically Windows Key – L to lock the screen and Windows Key # (to launch a program in the taskbar, from 1-10) everything else I’ve found a very nice substitute for in MacOS (and a few that were actually easier and there are no comparison in the Windows world such as Command-H to hide a window from the OS).

That’s it for now!