I just recently read Jason Hiner’s latest blog post on Tech Sanity Check, “Poll Would you be willing to use a Mac as your primary system?.” Early last year, I wrote a piece called “The Hip Factor” that discussed the cool factor in owning an Apple as opposed to owning a Linux machine. I finally bit the bullet this year and purchased a 24 inch iMac with 1.5 GB and a 250 GB hard drive. It boasts a NVIDIA GeForce 7300 and an Intel Core 2 Duo processor. This machine is smokin. I also added a VP2130b ViewSonic 21.3 inch secondary monitor with a Logitech Dinovo Edge keyboard which I plan to review for you later this month. My mouse is a simple MX 610 Laser Cordless mouse.
After setting up my Apple configuration, I used Parallels for my virtualization needs. I loaded Windows 2000 Professional, Windows XP, and Windows Vista in separate virtual machines. It was a snap to do this in Parallels and the performance was great. During the day when I was working remotely, I had to use Windows boxes so Parallels was the ticket. I would fire up my XP or Vista machine at full-screen and perform my job.
As a Sr. Technical Consultant out in the field, I work remotely on Windows machines all day and I do a lot of database and Web server work. I do not think a day goes by where I do not touch some sort of SQL Server or Terminal Server box.
It was extremely difficult for me to completely move to an Apple machine. Initially, I was very unhappy with the Apple Keyboard and Mighty Mouse. I dumped them in the first 60 minutes of using them. Moving around an Apple was difficult for me the first 30 days. I had a lot of new keyboard shortcuts to get used to as well as the basic file structure configuration. I love keyboard shortcuts. I know each and every one in Windows, so moving to an iMac was very frustrating from the shortcut sense. I had to retrain myself while continuing to switch between Windows and Apple. At the end of each day, I felt mentally drained and realized it had a lot to do with trying to remember how to move around in an OS X environment. I have always been a Windows user and moving around a machine in Windows is effortless for me.
At 60 days, I was moving around very quickly and really started looking at what Tiger really offered me. There are a lot of great tools for both the average user and the publishing guru. I see a lot of value. I never felt safer using one over the other. You still had to elevate your rights in Tiger to do certain administration tasks. I really do like the nifty white remote that I get with my iMac that allows me to watch movies and play music. The Apple hardware is top notch.
At 90 days, I was completely frustrated with my virtual experience. I was doing too much hardcore Windows work to totally rely on a virtual machine. I needed to be able to maximize the power of this great machine. It was time for Bootcamp. Installing Windows Vista on my iMac was a piece of cake. The performance was a 4.5 on the Vista Scale with the lowest score going to my gaming graphics (3.5). I am not a gamer so that is a non issue to me. One thing that came out and slapped me in the face was that for some reason the ALT/OPTION key on my keyboard did not allow me to choose what OS I wanted on a reboot. The only way to choose is to reboot and hold this key down. Upon further research, I found out no Windows keyboard can do this; you need to use the Apple keyboard.
At 120 days, I haven’t booted into OS X in over a week because I have been very busy. As a corporate user, it is impossible for me to use just Apple as there are many pieces of software that just do not work with OS X. I also have issues with Safari and Firefox that I do not have with Internet Explorer. Safari and Firefox are great browsers and I use them but for some reason I still prefer the look and feel of Internet Explorer and I am not alone. We can debate all day long about how other browsers are more secure and I would agree with you but I still click the “big blue E” when three browsers such as Firefox, Opera, and/or Internet Explorer are my choices. It is my comfort zone. Do you feel the same way?
What is your comfort zone when it comes to browsing the Internet?
When using Apple, Parallels works great and I have plans to show you just how great it works. It is a fabulous piece of software and they have a feature called Coherence that you are just going to fall in love with (more on that later). Virtualization falls short for me personally when I need to utilize all the memory and processing power for the work that I do. When this happens, I boot into Windows Vista completely via Bootcamp.
In the corporate world, I need a Windows machine. I enjoy my Windows machine. I love the Apple hardware and I love Windows Vista on this hardware and now I have the best of both worlds. Windows Vista on some sweet hardware and Tiger OS X as well.
At 150 days, I use Windows Vista with boot camp primarily but when my corporate work is done, I boot into Tiger OS X and I play with iPhoto to make calendars for my kids and I watch movies, upload video and make really cool movies with iMovie and iDVD. There is a lot to learn about Tiger OS X. And I have to admit, I do feel hip when I use my Apple.
Are you interested in taking a journey with me? Fill out the following polls and let me look at the results.
Would you be interested in an Apple blog where I write tips and tutorials on the latest in Apple hardware, software, etc?
It there a market for IT related articles on the Apple Tiger OS X model?
What types of content would you like to see surrounding Mac OS X?