That’s right, I’ve finally taken the plunge and dipped my toes into the world of Apple Macs, and I have to say I’m quite enjoying it 😀
A Bit of History
I’ve been a Windows PC boy ever since Windows 3.1 arrived and I saw it’s enormous potential for developing new types of software. I was quick to turn my back on Unix and it’s poor user interface and dived head long into Windows development and that’s where I stayed.
So it was inevitable as I made the move to Photography that Windows would be my platform of choice, after all Mac’s had lost their stranglehold on the graphics/publishing industries and I knew Windows inside out. So I swapped Visual Studio for Photoshop but Windows remained.
So Why Macs Now?
In other words I plan to start creating some iPad (and iPhone) apps based around my photography (and whatever anyone else might pay me to do) and the only way to do that is to get a Mac, and what better way to start my Mac journey than with an equally sexy MacBook Pro.
Am I Having Fun?
Now that I have my first ever Mac all I can say is “WOW”.
I have always considered Macs to be over-priced but it turns out they are just another example of “You get what you pay for”. I have owned many notebook computers over the years from Toshiba’s to Sony’s and the new MacBook Pro knocks the socks of all of them, it really is a thing of beauty. The attention to detail is amazing, from it’s magnetic power connector to it’s back lit keyboard and it’s enormous trackpad, not to mention that aluminium body and beautiful screen, I could go on and on but I’m sure you’re getting the point 😀
Of course all that beauty and quality would be worth nothing if the operating system was not equally innovative, easy to use and feature rich. Well surprise surprise Snow Leopard is all those things and more. I went from never having used a mac in my life to finding my way around very quickly, and I am continuously amazed at the features I keep finding. I love the multiple desktops that “Spaces” gives, I can read and create PDF’s with ease, iPhoto is great for quick and easy image viewing, and everything is so easy to find. Even getting used to the new keys (cmd, option and ctrl) was not that hard, an I’m slowly getting used to all the new shortcuts mouse controls and interface differences (where is that damn maximise button 😆 ).
If Only Life was Perfect
Sadly life is not all sunshine and roses in Apple land, networking with a PC network seems to be a bit flaky. Sometimes you can see the Windows PC’s and sometimes you can’t. I definitely have a lot more success seeing the Mac from Windows than the other way around. And if LAN connectivity seems intermittent then wireless (Airport) is downright painful, though strangely enough seeing the internet is no problem at all so it must just be the whole Mac’s hating PC’s thing :wink:.
Don’t get me started on the lack of a Maximise option. Sure it’s nice to have a window re-size to it’s optimum size based on content but sometimes I just want it to fill the screen, no questions just do it … And as for the whole Quit, Hide, Minimise fiasco what’s going on there … the little “x” at the top of the window doesn’t quit it hides, the minimise button minimises to the dock but how’s that different to hiding except you get a nice animation, grrr. This is definitely one area where Windows is a lot more intuitive.
Whatever You Do Don’t Mention the Flash Issue
I’m not even going to mention the whole Flash on iPads & iPhones issue. For one of the potentially best tools to browse the internet with the iPad is seriously flawed without the ability to view Flash which is used on around 70% of the world’s internet sites.
I’m sorry, but it just makes no sense. I’d rather have poor battery life than a broken web site any day.
Obviously Peter Lik doesn’t own an iPad or he’d have bought Apple by now and told them to make his site work like it should 😀
I think it’s fair to say that overall I’m very impressed with my first dabble in the land of Macs, sure there are a few issues but that’s to be expected and I’m sure I’ll work my way through them in time anyway.
The Mac currently sits next to me on my desk and plays well enough with our Windows network to be visible to it most of the time. I can VNC to it from my desktop (which creates it’s own issues) or RDP to my PC from it (when it chooses to see my PC that is …). I can also remotely control both my Windows PC and Mac from my iPad while watching TV which is truly amazing 😎
As far as iPhone / iPad apps go I have already created my first 2 apps. The first one was a simple “Hello World” app with a button, a textbox and a label and the second was a basic calculator with an image backdrop. Nothing revolutionary yet but this is not a simple drag and drop approach to application development, we’re talking roll up your sleeves and get down and dirty with “Objective C“, it’s not for the faint hearted I can tell you. Luckily for me much of my early programming was in “C” so it’s a bit like a trip down memory lane.