Monday, November 03, 2008

1 year of Mac: The switching part

The difficult part about switching to a Mac was the decision. If you haven't read the top right part of this blog, now is a good time. As stated in my profile: "In college years I was a Linux geek, but then work obligations forced me to change to Microsoft Windows...". So I have quite some good experience with other operating systems. But then, driven by my curiosity about the Mac philosophy and the influence of some of my work colleagues and project partners, I decided to give Mac OS X a try.

This decision could have been disastrous, because it meant buying a computer that was supposed to last the next 2-3 years while I'd end my PhD. And if I'd end up not sympathizing with Mac OS X, this would make these 2-3 years quite difficult...

So, I prepared myself and made intensive research on the subject just to make sure that I wasn't going to fall on a huge trap. And with that research, I concluded that switching to Mac can be quite peaceful. Even for those that still have to collaborate with colleagues that use other operating systems.

And my first experience was quite good. I spent some days getting used to the new environment, but as soon as the "engine got warmer", the performance was increasing by the day. If I had to summarize my experience, I would say the following figure says it all:

Working with Windows, most of the days, was like playing Russian Roulette... you'd never know what you'd get. Some days, the productivity would be nice, the others it would be close to zero, because I'd ended up spending all day fixing some stupid annoyance typical of the Windows environment. Then, when I switched, the productivity line went down a little bit while I got used to the new environment and philosophy of work, but as soon as that initial fear passed by, I was going up the hill of productivity full speed ahead. And this was not only at the level of work. At the personal level, using the iLife applications, I was able to reunite with old photos, movies and musics with ease.

The other reason why my experience with the Mac has been so sublime has a whole lot to do with Quicksilver. But the complete post about this wonderful application will have to be postponed to another day, because it deserves its own special post. But to sum up, as you see in the figure, using Quicksilver changed my view of usability. The speed at which I perform some tasks now is amazing, all because of the simplicity of this small, yet powerful application.

So, if you're thinking about the possibility of switching to Mac OS X, my advice to you: Do it!! it will take some time to get used to the differences but in the end you won't regret your decision. Specially if you're switching from Windows :-)

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