Switching to Mac OS X

06 September 2005

I think, over the last few days, I've reached a point where there would be a distinct drop in my productivity if I had to return to Windows XP. OS X has sunk in, and I can almost feel it integrating into the very way I approach tasks and visualise workflow. For those who haven't noticed (or don't indeed work with me!), I swapped to OS X at the beginning of June. I had used Macs a fair amount before that time, so a lot was familiar, but OS X was 100% new to me. Of course, due to testing and the enforced use of a few IE-only apps, I do still use Win XP on an almost daily basis. However, whereas once it felt like the return of an old friend, it now feels a little stodgy and unintuitive. The biggest difference for me is the seamlessness of the Apple operating system. It just feels like everything is there, waiting for you to call into action. You don't open and close applications, you just give a flick of your left hand and bring what you need to the front. You don't search for stuff, you just pop up Quicksilverand within a few keypresses you've opened a file, sent an email, or selected a track in iTunes. Everything is just there! I'm being careful not to be called out as a so-called, Mac fan-boy, because I'm aware that for some tasks Win XP has distinct advantages over OS X. However, in my usage so far, OS X is winning me over. Having said that, I'm yet to come across a decent replacement for the Terminal tool in OS X. I use the command line a lot during my working day, and for me, Terminal just does not cut it. I am currently in the process of trying out iTerm, and although I prefer it (how anyone lives without storing server addresses/logins I don't know) it still doesn't seem to have the robustness or features of the Puttyclient for Windows. Anyone got any tips? All in all, I'm pleased to have made the switch, and I even made sure to wait at least a few months before penning this OS X changed my life post: just so everyone knows I'm not a complete head-in-the-sand Mac fan-boy. I just quite like 'em.