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Switching to Apple Mac

A few of weeks ago, my daughters got themselves a MacBook Pro each. Then they urged me to switch to Apple. Of course, I was easily persuaded and got myself a Mac Mini. The Lion O/S is technically Unix, and being an Ubuntu fan for years, it was not that really a big jump or steep learning curve as anticipated.

There were a few hesitation as you would expect from someone switching from Windows. There were a few software that I need to replace like, Putty, ProShow Producer and Power Director. As for Putty, I quickly learned that the Terminal of Mac is as capable. I’m yet to compare ProShow with iPhoto and Power Director with iMovie.

I’ve started with iMovie, uploading my first video on YouTube last night. This is our rehearsal video for Joy’s upcoming wedding. It took 8 minutes to render this 8 minute video (which makes me wonder why rendering take much longer in Windows). I left it uploading to YouTube as it estimate it to be an hour. I haven’t done anything with this video, just trim the edges. I like the layout of iMovie, it is easy and not cluttered – so far – so good. I’m pretty sure it does not have all the bells and whistles of Power Director but I like being able to write this blog whilst another iMovie project is being rendered on the background.

This supports the first lesson I taught my daughters, i.e. in Mac, they need to unlearn a rule in Windows that you do one thing at a time or risk having to crash all of your work.

These are the things I like so far about the Mac
1. The Track Pad – I’m getting used to all the neat gestures that switching back to my office notebook is sometimes frustrating.
2. iTunes is more responsive. We have 3 Apple TVs at home and I always want at least one of our iTunes library up for Home Sharing of music and photos. We are a modern family that has converted our living room TV into a massive photo frame with music.
3. I still love my Ubuntu Server but might transfer some of the functionalities into the MacMini – like the XBMC Media Library on a MySQL Server.
4. I love being able to play tricks on friends, by making my Mac Mini talk from a remote ssh terminal.
5. It is just fully integrated with our iPhones, iPads and Apple TV.

What I don’t Like
1. Software will be a problem for sure. I use Password Safe and although Password Gorilla can read the database – I had problems when saving the database using it. The pwSafe in my iPhone was not able to read it. But I’m very glad there is the Password Gorilla of course.
2. Printer is an issue on our old and reliable Canon MP970 – it does not support CD Printing as well as duplex printing from Mac. It also has difficulty being shared to a wireless connected devices like the MacBooks. We ended up buying an HP Officejet 6500A, an apple friendly printer that allow us to print from our iPad, iPhone, Mac via wireless and even via eMail.
3. The Delete key behave like that of a Windows Backspace – that will take some getting use to.
4. It does not have a built-in optical media device but it is easy to configure a shared DVD/BD/CD over the network.

Overall – I’m happy with it – I find the need to switch back to my Windows 7 PC less and less everyday. The most common software I use are already ported to MAC. These are the Office 2011, Canon Digital Photo Professional for my Canon 450D and Jeanne’s Canon Powershot and the Logitech Harmony Remote Software. My favourite editor EMacs, is also more at home in this environment.

The biggest change however is speed. There are no unnecessary background process like virus scanner or security against attacks. There are no hundreds of video drivers or device drivers that loads because they ‘might’ be used for plug-n-play. It can read NFS files natively, but I wished MAMP Pro is free.

Here’s another cool stuff I created in iMovie. It was so easy it’s child play.

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