Steve Jobs wins this round; BillG, win me back!

April 2, 2006

At Plaxo, I’ve been the product managing the Plaxo Toolbar for Mac. Trouble is, I’ve never really been a Mac user, so sometimes there would be a disconnect; I’d often be asking Terry, “What would a Mac user expect here?”

Well, they got dual boot working on MacBook Pros, so I’ve just switched over. I’m trying to go all Mac OS X for a little bit to get a feel for what it’s like to be a Mac user. This is the real deal, I’m turning in my trusty Thinkpad T42p after I finish moving over all of my files and this MacBook Pro will be my primary machine from now on.

My First Mac 002My First Mac 004I got the machine last Wednesday and here are my first impressions:

  • The machine is really thin. My T42p was about 1.2″ thick while this new machine is less than 1″ thick – it makes a huge difference. When I slipped the MacBook Pro into my laptop bag for the first time, there was tons of room compared to the T42p, which takes up the entire sleeve space. I was concerned that the thinness would mean that it would be flimsy but this Macbook is very solid (a bit heavy, but I assume that’s becuase the entire casing is metal vs. plastic)
  • The screen resolution is really weak. I guess that’s expected when I’m coming off of a 15″ UXGA (1600×1200) screen… who decided that 1440×900 was enough? :O
  • The OS is really cool, but really strange. I’ve been a Windows user for too long so I have no idea where anything is nor did I know the OS conventions (the minimize/maximize buttons are in the top left?)
  • Installing apps is strange to me as well. You just download “disk images”, mount them as drives, and drag the application into the “Applications” directory. That would almost never work in the Windows world (I can imagine a Mac user trying to install Office on Win XP; they’d pop in the CD and drag winword.exe to Program Files πŸ˜‰ )
  • This thing needs a second mouse button badly. I’ve been ctrl-clicking and apple-key-clicking all day. Not to mention that I could also use some dedicated home/end/pageup/pagedown keys. Having to hold down “function” to get to these commands requires two hands!
  • Docking station? I wish they made one, not sure why they don’t. When I get in to work I have to plug-in power, my 2nd monitor, the network cable, and a mouse. Same exercise when I get home… Terry tells me Macs used to have docking stations a long time ago; why are they evolving backwards and giving up an easy source of profit?

Generally, I’ve been playing around with iPhoto, Safari/Camino/Firefox, iTunes, Adium, and Entourage. Hopefully I’ll get into my Mac groove soon and be just as productive πŸ™‚

Mr. Jobs you’ve won this round, but will Vista bring me back to PCs? Only time will tell… a lot of time if all these Vista delays keep happening πŸ˜›


17 Responses to “Steve Jobs wins this round; BillG, win me back!”

  1. david Says:

    Mark – congratulations on making the switch, it’s something I’ve been trying to convince myself to do for some time as well. Now all you need is the 30″ Apple monitor and you’ll be a true macfanatic.

    Is the dualboot thing supported by Apple? I heard something about that being their big 4/1 annoucement but I can’t tell what’s truth and fiction anymore.

  2. Congrats on the Mac! I wish I had that. But what’s the orange thing??

  3. mark lucovsky Says:

    Hey, I switched my family to MacBook Pro’s last week as well. The final straw was severe “registry rot” on the shared, family room laptop. Could not even open PDF’s anymore. ordered the Mac, plugged it in, it auto-found the network printers in the house, pdf’s just work, the thing is a pleasure to use.

    I am surprised that Apple isn’t marketing more agressively. Times have changed. With so much time spent on line with web based applications, a robust and stable browser platform should meet the needs of many. Take that base and add in great photo/media support and you have an excellent consumer/small business system.

  4. markjen Says:

    Hey David, I wish I could get the 30″! If I did, I’d probably end up with the Dell 3007WFP though – same screen for $500 less πŸ™‚

    AFAIK, the dualboot isn’t officially supported by Apple. I didn’t hear any announcements for 4/1, but maybe I missed it?

  5. markjen Says:

    Hey Dennis, that orange thing is a strange little quad-opus massage thingy I picked up in Chinatown. It’s one of the toys sitting on my desk and it was also the subject of this shot Michael took at the office.

  6. markjen Says:

    MarkL! Good to hear from you πŸ™‚

    I’m also suprised that Apple isn’t turning up the heat… although I guess they’ve got quite some demand for the MacBook Pros already with too much advertising. Maybe they’ll wait until they release a intel based MacBook non-Pro for consumers before they unleash their marketing. After all, I’d guess that most consumers aren’t willing to pay $2000 for a laptop anymore; everyone wants the $1000 solution.

    They definitely market the heck out of iPod/iTunes though…

  7. Responses from a guy who’s already pretty much swallowed the Kool-Aid:

    Form Factor: I can’t wait until I can get a 12″ MacBook…
    Screen Resolution: 1600Γ—1200 is hard to compete with, but you should check out Desktop Manager and use virtual desktops. Thats how I survive on a 1024×768 12″ PB. Expose is helpful too, it makes a cluttered, cramped desktop feel a lot less restrictive.
    Installing Apps: Once you get used to it, you realize the application bundle paradigm is the way things really should be. Its so much more sane than sticking binaries and libraries all over your system. You can also run apps directly from within their disk images to try them out before you commit to “installing” them by dragging them to Applications. You should also check out AppZapper, which makes uninstalling apps that store state and preferences in ~/Library incredibly simple. I do wish that Apple could bundle in a sane upgrade management system for installed applications like apt-get, but most decent applications now manage their own automatic upgrades.
    Right mouse button: Yeah, thats stupid. I want a right mouse button to. In some places you can click-hold to get the same as ctrl-clicking but that doesn’t work everywhere
    Docking Station: BookEndz ( makes docking stations for PowerBooks and iBooks. Hopefully soon they’ll come up with something for the MacBook.

    Oh, and Vista sucks πŸ™‚

  8. Ok dude you should seriously enable the HTML “ul” tag so I can make bulleted lists. πŸ™‚

  9. Aaron Says:

    Now you can run windows and have video driver support…

  10. Jody Woodcock Says:

    Welcome to the world of Mac users. I hope you enjoy the experience. There have been a number of blogs posted by different people on their switching experience and what they found different and had to get used to.
    Bookendz makes docking stations for Powerbooks and iBooks. They are planning on one for the Macbook Pro (
    Also most any two or three button usb mouse will work with the macbook or you can get Apples Mighty Mouse. It is a 4-button mouse. (

  11. Tim Says:

    Congrats man! I have always been a mac user, and was forced to use a PC at one point because my mom bought a PC. Well I will never use a PC again. I love my Mac and I have never had any trouble with it. The announcement of Boot Camp for the Mac will help you transition, but i’m sure you will use the Mac OS more and more, and eventually stop using windows. I can’t wait untill I get mine. A good site to check out is It is an awesome site, and it tells you about all the rumors in the Mac world. Right now they have some stuff about Boot Camp and this other set of software by a third-party that allows running windows as well as other operating systems from within Mac OS at full speed. Enjoy, and Welcome to the Mac world. It’s better here :).

  12. jeff Says:

    Do you have the notorious CPU “whine” coming from your laptop? It’s a high frequency buzzing sound that goes aaway when you open photobooth..

  13. markjen Says:

    Hey Jeff, I have a MacBook Pro with a serial number that starts with 8012 and a Rev. D board and I haven’t experienced the high frequency buzzing sound… maybe they fixed it?

  14. markjen Says:

    Jody and Tim, thanks for the links!

  15. Congrartulations on this most excellent Blog

  16. […] Will Vista convince me to switch back to PC? We’ll see… […]

  17. […] I had noticed a few weeks ago that Windows Live Mail now works in Firefox, so I figured I’d give WLM another try. I used WLM a while back and was pretty satisfied with it – until I switched to Mac. Back then, WLM only worked in IE, so I had no choice but to check out other alternatives. […]

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