Saturday, April 12, 2008

2 Weeks After using the Mac - What a great switch! Still loving it!

So after the excitement has died down and now the Mac is officially integrated into my life, here are some experiences I would like to share with everyone regarding my transition. I am happy to say that whatever applications I can use on a Mac I actually do. 

The main applications I use in Mac are Microsoft Word, Excel, Entourage (Replacement for Outlook - much better!), MSN, Parallels, Remote Desktop, Address Book, iCal, Safari and Finder.

I spend about 70% of my time still in Windows because I develop with Visual Studio. However, I am working on another internet startup project that is done with Ruby on Rails, so it was great to be able to develop on the Mac platform natively.

So if I am spending 70% of my time in Windows, I should just use Windows and not Mac OS right? WRONG. I find I am much more productive with My Windows Apps using a Mac then just Windows By itself because I get to use a combination of the two.

By Combining the use of Spaces on Mac OS, Virtuawin in Windows, Parallels with Coherence and Full Screen, I have made my developer and work environment 100x better than it could have been with Windows alone.

Also being a long time Windows user, it was really nice to have a change of pace. This move to Mac was definitely one of the most exciting changes in the Tech industry I have gone through, truly and exciting transformation.

So without further a do, here are some of my critiques on Mac OS Leopard in general + their programs.

Hardware

Definitely when you buy a Mac, you are getting the best Industrial Designed Hardware bar-none. The Mac Pro has the best industrial designed case known to man. just check out these pictures on my Facebook.

With the integration of parallels and Windows, I find it hard that I will ever buy a PC Again. Also after using my 2x30" LCD Cinema Displays, I had to look at a 17" LCD today and I was wondering how on earth I ever go anything done using those screens.

Multimedia

The multimedia experience on a Mac is the best. They are so far ahead of the competition it's not even funny. Also the integration with the iPhone, Apple TV, Macbook Pro, really make the platform Unbeatable. It is the seamless integration that the Mac provides that makes it truly unique. Frontrow is great because it turns any of your Mac's instantly into a Media Center. Also I love that when I watch a movie on my iPhone and sync up with my Computer, when I watch the same movie on my Apple TV or my Mac Pro, it leaves off where I was last watching!


Parallels vs VMWare Fusion (Virtualization)

There has been much debate over this subject, after using both, I have concluded that each one does something specifically better than the other. For myself, I use both but for different purposes. Parallels is the clear winner if you are running your Windows XP frequently since the level of integration with Coherence and the maturity of Parallels is much better than VMWare Fusion. For example, VMWare Fusion's Fusion feature, which is equivalent to Parallels coherence is very buggy and doesn't support Multi-Monitors. Even though VMware runs multiple CPU's, the level of integration with the Mac OS is not as tight as Parallels. Even the features such as shared folder, Parallels is the clear winner.

However if I am testing operating systems such as Windows Server 2008 x64 you really have to use VMWare because Parallels doesn't support x64. That being said, each one serves it's purpose but for the general public that doesn't use server virtualization, I would recommend Parallels (at least until Fusion becomes a more mature product even though it is faster)

The only thing that really sucks about Parallels, is doesn't have 64-bit support yet, and only single CPU.

Hardware Devices and Printing

I was pretty lazy with this and haven't gotten around to figuring everything out, so I still print everything through my Virtual Machines In Windows.

Time Machine

Even if you never actually rely on the backups (I do) it is so easy to setup and cool just to look at that you need to set it up. The 3-D display of going back in time is worth it just to look at. Plus the ease of backup makes it a no-brainer. Just wish they made is so you can pick drives outside of your own local drives to back up - VERY COOL! I got the time capsule so it works very well.

Mac OS is Stable And Never Crashes (That's BS)

So I can give you the skinny on this, I have crashed my Mac Many times, however I think this is just because I am pushing it. I admit it is stable but then again so is Windows. I do like that there  are no viruses on a Mac but then again I have to virtualize most of my apps. (But I do this anyway). Also, I can't really put the same load on a Mac that I put on a Windows Machine. But the odd time I do large file copies or I have do something funny with Parallels, I get the graceful "Gray screen of restart Please" vs the Windows Blue Screen of Death.

Macs do crash, all computers do. I would say Ubuntu crashes the least but I have never had a computer "Not crash on Me".

Also with Parallels, you need to be careful when using Spaces and Coherence, because Parallels will CRASH ALOT if you use Spaces with Coherence. My work around for this because I have multi-monitors, is to use Virtuawin inside my Windows VM and run Parallels at Full Screen.

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