Switching to Mac revisited

Its been about 8 months since I made the switch to using a Macbook Pro as my “daily driver” system. I now mostly just use Windows via RDP into my old tower or some virtual machine. In terms of pure hardware, the system is a dream. Its battery will last me all day if I happen to be working from a client’s office. The system reliably resumes immediately, everytime the lid is opened (a feat that stills to allude Windows based notebooks). Most other things about the notebook itself you’ll find in every review of Apple hardware - the keyboard and trackpad are awesome, retina screen looks great, etc.

After purchase I almost immediately had an issue where the Contacts App did not want to pull down all of the contacts from my Exchange Online mailbox. Apparently Outlook for Mac had inserted some hidden categories into my contacts that the Contacts app could not handle. I manually stripped all categories on the contacts and that issue was in the rearview. This was really the only showstopper type bug I encountered as I needed to have those Contacts for work.

The funny thing about OSX is I think the best feature is the applications specifically developed for OSX. Its also very refreshing to have built-in apps that can handle really basic things. Preview can basically open any file type I throw at it and handle basic PDF markup. Finder automatically expands compressed files. Windows of course does this in newer versions but even as recent as Windows 7 you had to immediately go out and find a PDF viewer. And the included viewer in Windows 8 doesn’t seem to have any functionality beyond displaying the PDF (in full screen, Modern UI mode).

Its also really awesome to use iMessage from the notebook. I wish Google would let Hangouts break free from the heinous Chrome extension and let us add it to the Messages app.

A lot of people have this mentality that software should just be free, or that they’ll never pay for software. Or that paying for software is some sort of admission of defeat, that you couldn’t pirate it. On Windows I would just hit up [ninite.com][ninite] and get whatever was needed and I can’t think of much besides the Office suite that I would actually purchase. I never actually enjoyed using software in Windows, with maybe the exception of more recent versions of Outlook.

Since I didn’t really know what would be the best program for XYZ on OSX I set aside a budget of a few hundred dollars incase I needed or wanted to purchase software.