As a new Mac user, I of course now follow MacRumors and all the other good Mac news sites. Through those channels I found out about the new Apple advertisements available for viewing online about switching from PC to Mac. They’re pretty funny, but I have to say that the "Restarting" and "Viruses" ones are pretty bold statements to be making.

First off, I’ve had my Mac crash just as much as my PC ever did – if not more so. I rarely got crashes on my Thinkpad, even while I as running VMWare, random downloaded beta apps, and running 1000 instances of IE/Firefox/Word/Outlook/Powerpoint/etc. I was able to suspend and resume my machine for weeks at a time without a reboot; although it woulud occasionally run into a hiccup or two, my MacBook Pro is the same way. It doesn’t always return from suspend correctly and more than a few times I’ve re-opened the lid to find that the MacBook never suspended in the first place and the battery is completely drained.

Secondly, while I will say that Macs probably have a better inherent security model due to their unix roots, I wouldn’t make claims that Macs are impervious to viruses or that they are without security holes. Just today Rose linked me over to an article about security and speed of patches on OS X.

The advertisements are pretty funny though, and I’m sure they’ll get a lot of converts. After all, the commercials are fun and consumery and isn’t that what computer users are looking for nowadays? 🙂

Well, it’s been just a little bit over two weeks since I made the switch to Mac. In the meantime, I’ve been using the Mac as my primary workstation at home and at work. I figured the only way to understand our Mac users was to become Mac and perhaps now I understand their frustrations a little too well 🙂

There’s always the obvious ones: websites that only work in IE, utilities that are only written for Windows, and the lack of a good docking station!!
Before I draw the wrath of all the Mac-heads out there, I’d like to say that overall the user experience is pretty good. A lot of things make more sense than in the Windows world; but of course, I think a lot of things make less sense as well – but maybe that’s just because I’ve been using Windows for 15 years or so…

Anyways, here we go!

  • The idea that Macs don’t crash is a myth. I’ve had mine crash outright (a grey overlay appears and an error telling me that I have to hard reset my computer) and I’ve also run into the spinner wheel of death, where one application stops responding, then the rest of my applications stop responding – even after I “Force Quit” the offending applications. Yes, I ran some beta apps (for example, starting up Parallels is always a gamble), but then again, I ran questionable apps on Windows too. I probably ran more random applications back when I was on Windows than I do now on the Mac (I always ask Terry what the best program is for any particular task and he’s usually vetted them pretty thoroughly 🙂 )
  • My Mac is slow… or maybe it’s not as fast as I thought it was going to be. My Mac friends had always made fun of me when I said my PC was slow, they laughed and made fun because my NT kernel was so much less efficient than their BSD kernel. They made fun of the Windows renderer and how it still wasn’t fully hardware accelerated. But at the end of the day, I still end up waiting for the MacBook Pro to crunch away oftentimes. Now, I understand that I’m running many applications under Rosetta, so maybe I’ll take this one back when universal binaries come out for Office, Adobe CS, and Macromedia Suite, but as of right now: it’s slow 😛
  • The thing is HOT – and right now I’m not talking about it’s sex appeal. My MacBook Pro runs like a nuclear reactor. I have a sweaty palm problem and this brick of wattage isn’t helping 😉 Before you ask, yes, I have a Rev D. with a serial number starting with 8612. The area above the F keys is insane – hot enough to burn me – when I’m working the machine hard (which is pretty much always). At least I don’t have the high pitched whining noise problem 🙂
  • It desperately needs a second mouse button. Don’t tell me it doesn’t, because every other thing I do in Adobe CS, Microsoft Office, and even around the OS needs a ctrl-click. Yes, I can connect up an external mouse or a bluetooth one (which I do when I’m at my desk at home or work), but when I’m mobile I just need a second button on this huge spacebar of a mouse button.
  • There don’t seem to be any conventions on command key-arrow, ctrl-arrow, option-arrow, and fn-arrow. Maybe this is because there aren’t dedicated home/end/pgup/pgdown keys, but when I can’t seem to figure out what the convention is for moving my cursor over words vs. hitting the beginning/end of a line vs. hitting the beginning/end of the entire page. I usually just end up guessing and I have a 50/50 shot of getting it right. But then when I move into my next application, it works different – argh!
  • The audio quality from the headphone out jack leaves much to be desired. Maybe I’m spoiled since I hear the audio out from the iPod Shuffle is really top notch, but when I listen to music in iTunes it just sounds flat vs. on my Shuffle. (I’m using the same Etymotic ER6is on both the MacBook Pro and my Shuffle, so I don’t think it’s the headphones)
  • This one’s for Microsoft: I hope Sharepoint 12 has better support for Firefox/Safari 🙂 We use Sharepoint pretty heavily here at Plaxo and it’s been pretty much death on the Mac. I usually just remote desktop into a Windows box and run IE.

Well, there’s my rant section. Maybe I’m just too early of an adopter, maybe I should’ve waited for the next version of Mac Office and Adobe CS… but oh well, now I’m just another voice in the Mac crowd hoping for improvements 🙂