Thursday, November 13, 2014

Life with a Mac

So ever since I sold my primary gaming laptop a few months back, I've been using my work Mac as my primary. Yeah you never really make the switch over until you don't have an alternative at home. I used this as my primary box at home and test box at work for around 3 months now; here are my parting thoughts:
  • The first obvious comment is that many parts of a Mac are very well designed. I liked the magnetic power cord, IPS screen, and battery life. I did find it interesting how after the battery got to around 40%, it quickly plummeted. I suppose some could compare it to a car's gas tank, but there's something very screwy going on with the graph...a strong exponential drop. 
  • The main plus was the kickass trackpad and how much smoother it was to just use a few fingers to browse around the web. It was a much nicer experience than on the PC, but of course the PC is still faster. The keyboard was decent. No flex, but still nothing compared to a Thinkpad.
  • Software-wise, all Office products kinda sucked on the Mac. I never got used to it. Outlook seemed clumsy and slow, while Word was just riddled with compatibility formatting problems whenever the same document was emailed to a PC user.
  • Some of the shortcut stuff was different as well. Because this Air didn't have dedicated keys for Page Up, Page Down, Home, End, and Backspace, there were all of these funky shortcuts that needed to be used. It worked but it does take some getting used to.
  • I did like the fact that you could totally be watching a video in full screen, then shortcut your way to another full screen, as the first program would be pushed to the side. It was again, a nicer experience vs Alt+Tab, only a bit slower.
  • All updates were very seamless and occurred quite frequently which is a good thing.
  • Out of the box I didn't find a notepad program to simplify all text to ASCII. Bad move Apple.
  • So yeah I guess I'm still shocked to see so many people go to a Mac as a primary. Even though I do have to give it props for some of its design and UI bonuses, a PC is still faster and gets stuff done easier. I did try to get used to all of the intricacies and shortcuts to make myself faster, but there were so many small things that slowed me down. Like lacking a full maximize button for example...the fuck?
  • I don't know how long, if ever, I would need to tinker around with a Mac in order to get it to function as well as I could on a PC. Yes, Windows 8.1 sucks a turd and they should get rid of the whole touchscreen/tablet UI metro shit, but still...with the regular Windows underbelly being what it is, I can get real work done whereas on a Mac, everything was smoother but much much slower.
  • The Mac experience was kinda like this: If your actions = what the Apple wants you to do, it's the best experience ever. Like having one website up and browsing around Craigslist. But if you are trying to multitask with many different windows up, remoting into various servers, and DLing stuff through a VM, boy does it all get clunky super fast.
So yeah I ended up following my own advice and buying another old faithful Thinkpad. Fully loaded and no tax for $630. Not too shabby. I do respect the Mac since it's a pretty well-thought out machine, but it just feels super restrictive to a person who has been on the other side for so long.