As most of Australia celebrates the WWDC-eve holiday, now in its final hours, I thought it would be interesting to mention that, over the last few days, my primary computer at home has been — for the first time ever — a Mac.

And, you know what? I’m very happy with it. It’s not a very powerful machine, just a lowly Mac Mini, and I don’t have one of those fancy Apple displays, but it simply works.

Granted, there are some teething pains (or “gotchas”), especially for someone who comes from the Windows world:

  • why, why, why can’t the Home and End keys move the cursor to the beginning or the end of the line? and, on a related note, why don’t Page Up and Page Down move the cursor at all? this is very annoying when editing text (yes, I know what key combinations to use to go to the ends of the line; my fingers still go to the “obvious” place, though)
  • command-tab switches between applications, but not between different windows of the same application; confusing at times, ultimately understandable
  • but the key combination to switch between windows of the same application is usually command-` — this is convenient because ` is just above tab on the keyboard… but it doesn’t work at all if you are using an international keyboard configuration similar to Windows’ US-International, with “mute” accent keys

But enough gripes for now. What I like:

  • it is so incredibly silent! not only the computer itself, but the keyboard as well (the DVD drive, though, it’s one the noisiest I know)
  • installing and uninstalling applications is a breeze
  • boots in less than 30 seconds, shuts down even faster
  • I haven’t seen it crash yet (but neither have I seen Windows crash in a long time)
  • I can’t say enough good things about Time Machine; I wish there was something similar for Windows (and Ubuntu)
  • iPhoto — lovely
  • Spaces — I can’t believe Windows still does not ship with something like this out of the box

That’s it for now. I am sure I will have many more things to comment on in the future… maybe even about Snow Leopard, hopefully coming out tomorrow (the WWDC keynote is at 3am on Tuesday, Melbourne time).

1 comment so far ↓

#1 mpp on 06.17.09 at 8:55 pm

I have a G4 tower to experiment with at home. Maybe I should try it as a myth-frontend… it is very quiet. Sadly it does not have a DVD drive, and Mac’s “hardware superiority complex” means that I have trouble finding a spare DVD drive that it will recognise.

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