I've done the unthinkable...

Discussion in 'Off Topic Area' started by Moonsurface, Dec 24, 2015.

  1. Moonsurface

    Moonsurface Super Moderator Staff Member

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    ... I'm bordering on breaking the laws of this forum as this could be a religious topic to some.

    I ordered a Macbook.

    I've never owned an Apple product in my life, however I have flirted with the idea of a Mac in the past. However these days I'm much more enamored by the direction that MS is taking Windows, and I like the ethos/devices.
    BUT:

    I do some basic coding, and work in an environment where I'm trying to bridge the gap between bioinformaticians who work in a generally linux world, use macs and avoid windows if at all possible, and lab scientists who have PC's no admin access and sometimes no interest in learning command line or running scripts without pretty GUI. So I'm learning about building scripts in python and building GUI interfaces to make them easy to use on Windows.

    So. I thought I'd step the other side of the fence, see what all the fuss is about Mac OS and perhaps help my professional development at the same time.

    This does NOT mean I'm replacing the Surface, the Macbook I've ordered is an old one, a 2009 unibody but a reasonable spec that can run the latest Mac OS. I'm sure I'll miss having the nice high res touch screen etc, the point is to get a feel for Mac OS, perhaps try it for coding/ unix commandline stuff and basically see what I think of it. Watch this space as I try to get to grips with Mac OSX..... where everythign is back to front and upside down.

    Shame that the Macbook won't be delivered until the new year most likely. I'd have liked to have played with it over Christmas!
     
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  2. jrioux

    jrioux Active Member

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    Have fun with your vintage tech. Too bad I gave away my Commodore 64 a few years ago. You might have some had fun with it as well. :)
     
  3. sharpuser

    sharpuser Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Congrats on your Mac.

    I use two MacBook Pro Retina 15 computers, one of which also acts as my home server. I moderate on an Apple support forum, and love my Mac.

    I like apples.
    I like oranges.
    I like pizza.
    I like burgers.
    I can like a variety of things.
    Each has its best points.
    My choice.

    I must say, though, that I tend to poke my MacBook screen with my finger, forgetting that I must use exclusively use remote control (a keyboard, mouse, or trackpad) to use a Mac. Microsoft is ahead on this one. With the Surface, I can use direct control, via touchscreen.

    I produced this graphic to illustrate ...

    Remote versus Direct Control
    remote_vs_direct.jpg
     
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  4. Moonsurface

    Moonsurface Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I know that I'll be trying to touch the screen on the mac.
     
  5. radji

    radji New Member

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    :eek:
    You've drunk the kool-aid...

    Next thing you know, you'll be shaving your head and moving to an isolated "retreat" in the desert.
     
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  6. Moonsurface

    Moonsurface Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Well not really I'm not a fan of the Kool Aid lol so I did't exactly go in and buy the latest MacBook Pro thinking "Ohh shiny and love the light up logo" like some would :)

    I have the MacBook now (actually typing this on it... hell might freeze over lol) I actually got an upgrade on the 2009 2.26 I ordered to a 2010 2.4Ghz which was nice, I also paid for an upgrade to 8GB memory.

    It's really the first time I've properly used a Mac and it's been a bit of a learning experience. So far I'm 50:50 on it the hardware is pretty nice and I like the integration of the built in apps (though Win10 does rival this now - older versions of Windows I can see why Mac was better) , but some things like lack of delete key are annoying. (fn+backspace) and to me as a reasonable user of keyboard shortcuts there's a heck of a lot to learn in Mac OS. I don't quite get why people say it's easier to use.... it is if you know the gestures and shortcuts perhaps (but who knows those without learning them lol). I don't like that the app options bar is at the very top of the screen and dis-associated with the window that you're actually in if it's not maximised. It's not so bad on this 13.3" laptop but I would think that would be a long way to travel with the mouse when on a large or multiple monitors, and it's not immediately obvious which window it refers too perhaps also - but I guess you get used to it.

    This laptop is doing well though for the age, compared to my 2010 Dell i5 it does have a nicer screen (though the lower res is now noticeable compared to my Surface) and considering it's on its original battery it lasts a decent amount of time (4 hours or so compared to 20 mins on the Dell..) Plus it's very quiet... I never hear the fan even when I was installing some Python Modules and it was maxing the old core2duo processor out for over an hour.... Not bad.. the Dell is a bad example there though as it was extremely noisy from day 1.
     
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  7. MissionMan

    MissionMan Member

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    If it's an older style Macbook you can still replace the hard drive so I would recommend putting in an ssd. They're pretty cheap this days and is easy to replace. I would also recommend an app called rightzoom which replaces the maximise functionality to the way windows works which I think is better way to work.
     
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  8. sharpuser

    sharpuser Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I have installed SSDs into several MacBooks . Brilliant. I converted the existing drive to an external backup.
    Takes about 20 minutes, and a very fine Phillips-head screwdriver.

    1) Get a cheap enclosure for your new hard drive. Connect it via USB to your Mac.
    2) Use CloneDisk to make a copy of your hard drive onto the SSD.
    3) Open up the bottom by taking out screws, switch out drives. Screw bottom back on.
    4) Use the old drive as a backup by placing it into the enclosure of step 1, above.
     
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  9. Moonsurface

    Moonsurface Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks for the recommendations, I'm thinking about an SSD but as I got a 6 month warranty with this Mac which is void if I open it up I'll see how I feel in that time. I realised the method I was using to install the python bits and pieces (MacPort) wasn't the best, Iv'e installed pip now which is MUCH more friendly to the machine.

    I'm gradually getting used to it and will definitely try out the app @MissionMan recommended as the window thing is a PITA sometimes especially in applications like QtDesigner which appeared like this - 5 separate and confusing windows... with other stuff behind I find so distracting. I've been told that some applications have an application frame that you can enable in options to organise the separate windows better but TBH this part of the interface I MUCH prefer Windows OS for!

    MacQtdesigner.jpg

    SO in all I'm still on the fence and that's fine, I never intended to be a switcher anyway - but I wanted to learn about Mac and find their strenghts and use them to my advantage, I'm just not sure I've found a unique strength yet, for my purposes anyway, but perhaps the bash commandline will prove to be it in due course... or maybe not.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2016
  10. Astonish

    Astonish Member

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    Hello Moonsurface! Congratulations on your new toy!

    I actually did the opposite by buying the Surface Book after a several years of apple ownership. :D Tho I have never became an apple fan bay, I always knew that I was overpaying for the hardware tho I also knew that the price difference was also for the very nice Mac Os software that worked mostly without glitches compared to the Windows PC's.

    I remember what a nice design it was when the Mac OS X first came out. I was fascinated just by looking at it. Then with the Intel era everything became better with bootcamp that we could install Windows on it and this way have a wider choice of softwares on our devices.

    Lately I saw the difference between Windows and Mac OS dissappear, I started to like Windows Better, especially I never liked the UI of Photoshop on Mac Os compared to the Windows. I prefer it to be all integrated instead of with floating windows. So I started to use Windows more than the Mac OS on my macs also for some software reasons that I need to use for work, which didn't exist on Mac or the versions were very old compared to the Windows ones. But even then I kept buying Apple because at the time, no one made laptops as thin and light with long battery life and with a small charging adapter in the pc world. That increased the portability for me but nowadays Windows computers caught Apple on this as well, and you know the rest of my story, bought the Surface. :=)

    If you have the DVD drive on your Macbook, You can swap that one with an SSD instead of changing your hard disk, I know many people on Pre Retina 15 inch Macbooks used to do that, this gives you a faster battery and bigger storage in case you need. I think that both (Mac OS and Windows) are amazing systems, at the end the choice comes to a personal preferance. It is always fun to play with a new system (loved it when I passed from iOs to Android :D) and who knows may be even some day you will prefer the Mac OS, but that touch screen.... you will miss it each time you use your Macbook! :D The screen of my Macbook Pro has already many fingerprints from my failed attempts of scrolling! :D

    Cheers!

    ( I should learn typing shorter messages :D )
     
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  11. MissionMan

    MissionMan Member

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    Apples and oranges as they said. There are some things osx does well and some badly but like anything it takes getting used to. Finder is a poor file Explorer option but there are apps like pathfinder which are more windows like in look and feel.

    I prefer OSX's implementation of search with spotlight but that's subjective and you'll find people with preferences that swing either way. CMD space is the shortcut for spotlight and you can use it as an app launcher or for this like basic calculations (25*42/10 etc).

    Other things work differently. Not necessarily better, because that's subjective, just different. For example, you can drag 5 photoshop files to the icon in the dock and it will open them in the app you drag them to instead of right click, open with. That gives you some flexibility for apps that aren't the default app. I.e. Opening a pdf in indesign instead of acrobat. It works this way with all apps so if you drag 5 files to the mail or outlook icon it will open a new email with them in.

    Other shortcuts that help are using the space in finder to preview any file. I.e scrolling through images or documents in a variety of formats. If you click on the first file in finder and then press the space, it opens a preview and you can just use the arrows to view through the images or files as you go through the folder.

    Skitch provides a free replacement for paint if you use that a lot. Do a search for the screenshot shortcuts. There are heaps of them built into the OS and they also have screencam functionality built in as well.

    Why is there a warranty issue with replacing the drive? Apple don't limit this but if you're really worried you could keep your old drive and just put it back in again.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2016
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  12. Moonsurface

    Moonsurface Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks for the tips especially the dragging a file to an app one - that WILL be very useful.
     

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