Hello, MacOSX!

RSS IconI finally sold my trusty old Dell Latitude laptop and switched to a BlackBook (aka the Black MacBook). Friends who know me will be surprised because they know I have been a staunch PC user since I started using computers in 1983, when DOS was the only operating system I knew.

For a few years, I even enjoyed using and defending MS Windows. After all, it was ubiquitous. It had become a de facto standard, thanks in part to piracy in Asia. I do a lot of presentations and sometimes have to print in different locations. Having Windows meant being able to plug into almost any projector or printer without compatibility issues. I also liked the “freedom” it gave me to open a DOS command window and tweak it at a level that the old Mac did not allow.

But like any Windows user, I got frustrated with all the viruses and instabilities that Windows is heir to. I started contemplating on switching to Ubuntu Linux. Fate, however, had different plans. One day while chatting with Konstantin, a student I was mentoring for the Google Summer of Code, we casually talked about text editors, which in turn led to a discussion of his programming environment.

I was surprised to find out that he was coding with a MacBook. I asked him whether using a MacBook limited his programming work. His answer was very simple: MacOSX is now based on Unix. It dawned on me that my stereotypical response to the Mac (”It’s mostly a tool for designers.”) was no longer correct. I probed Konstantin further and found out that MacOSX even had a Terminal mode that allowed you to run Unix commands.

After doing research on Macs, which included asking friends, surfing the web and visiting local Apple shops to try out MacBooks, I made my decision. I am going to talk more about my Mac journey later: my quest to free myself from MS Office by finding good substitutes, my pleasant discoveries on how MacOSX helps me become more productive, the problems I have encountered. For now, suffice it to say that some changes are in order.

To my friends who have always called me for help on PC and Windows: my knowledge of Windows will gradually decrease now, so be warned.

I will also probably start to be a Mac evangelizer. Actually, it looks like I have already become one. Friends who ask me if the MacBook is good will always receive a very positive response and even a demo from me. As Guy Kawasaki has observed, “Try to find anyone who ever switched from a Macintosh to an IBM PC.”

BTW please also visit The Couch Kamote blog, where I keep my other observations.

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