Just to set the tone properly right off the bat, it’s been pretty good. Overall, the things I like and use outweigh the things that frustrate me. Fundamentally computing today shouldn’t be a frustrating experience, but it was exactly that which led me from my ~$2500 (top of the line) Sony Vaio SZ460N (don’t buy it!) with Vista (don’t upgrade to it!) to my ~$1000 (bottom of the line) MacBook.
Now all gushiness aside, while I’ve gotten a lot further into learning how to use OS X, I still find myself wanting some things to function different than they do. More than anything, it’s the use of keyboard shortcuts and menus. Yes, there are tons of KB shortcuts (this list was very helpful) that you can learn and gain greater control over the environment, but I find them unintuitive and hard to learn. Shift-Apple-4 followed by the Space Bar is “take screenshot” – how the heck am I supposed to remember that?? Also, I don’t understand why there isn’t a way to use the keyboard to navigate pull-down menus. Just seems odd that I can’t push “Alt-F” and use the arrows to find whatever I want.
Switching back to some of the things I do like. Force-Quit is just great. Sure, it’d be swell if nothing ever crashed (hah) but it does (in fact, so far I’ve had to force quit iTunes, iMovie, iPhoto, NeoOffice, Firefox, and Photo Booth). With only two exceptions, force quitting has worked – perfectly and instantly. This is leaps and bounds above the equivalent in Windows (XP or Vista). I also am impressed with the integration between applications. If I create an album in iPhoto while working with Comic Life (fun!), the album is there without any needed refresh in either app. Nice.
Most importantly I feel like I am computing with more confidence. I am confident that my computer is available within 10 seconds of opening the lid; with Vista I wasn’t. I am confident that I can close the lid and when I open it, I won’t lose data; with Vista I wasn’t. I am confident that my applications will not stop working when I download some third-party plug-in; with Vista I wasn’t.
This confidence is of huge importance to me, since my livelihood is made by using the computer. Would I prefer to still have the same comforts of XP? Probably. I like QuickSilver, but Google Desktop Search was better. I like iPhoto, but I prefer knowing where all my files actually are on the hard drive. iMovie is a better experience than Windows Movie Maker, but it actually is less reliable for me (read why). Office XP was still, hands-down, the best office/productivity package I’ve used, so I’m hoping that ’08 will be similar.
So, a month later, I’m definitely a happy camper. The transition is still in-progress, but if you are considering making the switch, it’s not quite the uphill battle I thought it would be (some of these helped a lot). I would not recommend picking up the same model I use, definitely spring for the bigger HDD and RAM (2GB minimum). I’m happy with my MacBook, though will continue to wait patiently for my MacBook Touch.