Back to Mac

Image representing Apple as depicted in CrunchBase

I took the plunge a couple of weeks ago and decided to return to the Apple fold.

I used Macs of various sorts through a good part of my paid-work life but had migrated to a PC late in my career and through my second round of grad school. As a statistician, I was concerned about what analysis packages would be available for Mac. I had started my family history endeavours using Family Tree Maker on a PC. So I stuck with it for 15 years.

My previous machine, a 6 year old Dell something-or-other was a large, heavy laptop. I was getting frequent blue screens of death despite my scrupulous management of security, updates, and all other types of safe-computing tasks. I lost a keycap and the associated attachment thingy which was annoying as I couldn’t fix it myself. It was painfully slow. I never updated past Vista as I was worried that my printer wouldn’t work, a problem I’d had in the past with an HP printer.  I use an iPhone and an iPad, ITunes to manage my music and books, and have progressively moved to the cloud with my documents and family history stuff.

I had no more excuses, and the blessing for the expenditure.

When I was in Ottawa last week, I transferred data from my Dell to my brand new MacBook Air, an amazingly easy process if you have a network connecting the machines. I did it on my mom’s WiFi network. Overnight. (I had a lot of photos that weren’t yet uploaded to PicasaWeb.

I tried the Safari browser for a few days but am so used to Chrome that I moved back to that. I love that all my bookmarks and extensions moved seamlessly to my new machine.

I’m still getting used to the slightly different keyboard layout and the clickable trackpad. The gesture interface is similar to the iPad so that’s easy to figure out, although scrolling is backwards. (Well, actually the Apple scrolling interface makes more sense, directionally, than the WIndows one, but I was used to the latter.)

I still need to get Family Tree Maker for the Mac, the product. There are probably other programs that I will need, but so far, things are going just fine.

Finally, this workhorse is tiny. I got the 13″ screen, but even so, it’s about 1/3 the size of the Dell (width-wise) and seems to melt into my desk when it’s open. I may want to invest in a larger screen sometime down the road, but for now, I believe I have found computing perfection.

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