My (New) Life as a MacOS X User

Now that I no longer work at Microsoft, I have the opportunity to try new things. Today I begin a journey to see what life on the other side of the pendulum looks like. Today I begin my life as a non-Microsoft web developer. Don’t get me wrong, I still love Microsoft, but I want to see what life on the other side is like. Don’t worry Ballmer, this isn’t permanent. I’ll be back…after all, the company I work for makes its business building and selling tools, controls and extensions to Microsoft products.

Today I start a two-week trial using non-Microsoft platforms and tools. I’ll use the Microsoft software that I need to for my job (e.g. we use Exchange, so I’ll use that, and we use Skype, so I’ll use that too). At the end of the two week I will be attending the Build conference, and I’ll be coming into it with a better understanding of life on the other side, and hopefully be able to be more objective about the announcements being made.

But that’s not why I am doing this. It has been over 8-years since I owned a MacBook, and I’ve forgotten what its like to work on anything other than Windows, and use tools other than Visual Studio for development, and for the past year, using only a Windows Phone as my phone/device. I spent this morning setting up my new MackBook Air with all of the apps and tools I want, and getting my email configured, etc. I have my iPhone 4 set up with my work AT&T account, and an iPad one one side of my desk, and a Android 3.1. tablet on the other side. I’ve installed Eclipse and Adobe Creative Suite 5. It’s safe to say I am ready to shut off my Microsoft life (temporarily). Goodbye Lenovo – I’ll be back (OK, I have the Lenovo K1 Android tablet, so I am not really leaving).

My goal over the next two weeks is to use Eclipse and Adobe tools to build a website and PhoneGap to build a device extension to the site (e.g. an iOS and Android app for the website). I’ll post my experiences over the course of the next couple weeks. I expect some frustrations along the way, because its been a long time since I lived in this world, and the tools and technologies have changed. This will be a learning experience for me.

Day 0

As for Day 0 – it was easy. The new MacBook Air is ridiculously simple to set up, and I’ve gotten most everything I need installed and running in a couple of hours. My iPhone is synced, and my email accounts are set up. I’ve installed FireFox and Chrome. I’ve set up Evernote and DropBox. I registered for Trillion, and installed Skype.

The biggest issue so far is the slight learning curve switching from

Windows to MacOS X Lion. It has taken me a bit to remember how Mac OS works (I came into the Windows world after years as a Mac user). The muscle memory is coming back.

  • I LOVE the new TrackPad gestures. It is amazing how quickly the three-finger scroll became an unconscious reaction – its actually very natural.
  • I had to enable Tap to Click because that muscle memory (from Windows laptops) is not going away anytime soon.
  • The thumb-finger pinch is awkward, but I’ll keep at it.

After Build I will set up a Windows environment on this machine so I can switch between environments, but until then I am a Mac OS user.

Here we go.

2 thoughts on “My (New) Life as a MacOS X User

  1. As a former Microsoft Student Evangelist and .NET MVP myself I ridiculed Macs (and Mac users) for years. In 2007 I bought my first iPod–the gateway drug for Apple–and from there bought my wife an iMac. I must confess, I used it more than she did.

    It didn’t take long for me to make the switch myself. I haven’t had a Blue Screen, missing DLL, incompatible device driver, or run out of Virtual Memory in all that time. And now, over four years later, we don’t have a single Windows machine in the house.

    I also love the Mac app ecosystem of indie software devs. Even before the Mac App Store there was a plenitude of great, elegant, affordable apps that fit my workflow.

    Once you go Mac you never go back.

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