Mac Week is next week

Posted on October 4, 2007 by Chris Duke
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After reading last week about how Microsoft is extending the life of Windows XP due to the slow adoption rate of Windows Vista, it dawned on me that the mad excitement over the initial launch of Vista was nowhere close to what it was for Windows 95, 98, and XP. Has Microsoft lost its OS innovation or has it simply reached a point where it is as good as it gets? Outside of the great new graphical interface, I personally have no need to upgrade to Vista. Actually, I am running a product called WindowBlinds 6 that has a XP theme that is spot-on! There are no killer apps that are egging me on to hop on the Vista train, and I know that many of the USB peripherals and software that I current use on XP will not function under Vista.

So what about Apple? Outside of having an iPod and the iPhone, I have never been a huge fan of the Apple Mac OS X operating system. That is most likely because I’ve always been a PC guy and all of my skills revolve around Windows and PC hardware. In recent years the Mac has adopted PC hardware, such as Intel chips, and many USB devices work with both Mac and PC. Earlier this year I bought a Mac Mini purely for doing native Safari browser testing and Yahoo! Widget development. This was my first Apple computer since my Apple ][+ days. My initial thought was that the UI was cool as hell and very easy to use. I got the low-end Mac Mini (512MB RAM) and hooked it up with the Apple wireless mouse and keyboard, using the VGA mode on my DELL monitor to view it.

This all led me to think… why not give the Apple Mac a run for its money? I can use the same keyboard/mouse monitor and most of the apps I use work on both platforms.

So next week is Mac Week for me. I’m giving the Apple Mac a week-long test to see if it can do everything I do on a daily basis with my PC.

Hardware: this week, in preparation for Mac Week, I upgraded my Mac Mini from 512MB RAM to 2GB. What a huge difference that has made. And you already know about my keyboard so I won’t get into that again. The good thing there is that I’m now used to the Apple keyboard on XP so switching over to the Mac won’t be an issue from the input device side of things.

Software: I’ve got the essentials already installed (Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Firefox, and Skype). I thought I was going to be screwed with Remote Desktop, which I use constantly to access Windows servers for work. Much to my surprise, Microsoft actually has a Mac Remote Desktop client and you know what? It works better than the Windows version! Go figure! While I’d like to try out the native Mac email client, I will probably stick with Thunderbird so I can just copy my mail files over and not be interrupted.

I’ll document my week in a separate article, updating it as I go along.