My Secret Life as a Spaghetti Coder
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It's reminds me of Ruby - it gets out of your way and follows the principle of least surprise quite well. I was zooming around in about 15 minutes, which I think is pretty good considering I've never used one before.

I'd also like to give a BIG thank you to everyone who helped a Mac newbie out telling me about your must-have software. I haven't used it all yet, but NeoOffice and Adium have proved useful so far, and as expected, QuickSilver is indispensable. I'm also finding that iCal will work just fine as the timeboxing program I was looking for.

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I also got a MacBook recently, from my employer. It is my first Mac. I have to say, I'm not that impressed. I mean, it's nice, it does some things that I think are quite intelligent and handy. But it also does some pretty annoying things. Overall, I don't see what all the hype is about. Is OSX superior to XP? Probably. But is it so superior that one's jaw hits the floor and you have a glowing epiphany that channels all the Mac hype into you and makes you see the light? No. At least not for me. Maybe it's just the fact that I've been using Windows for 17 years and I understand it completely. But I rarely have any issues with my XP machines, they never crash, and I can get things done with them extremely quickly. I like my Macbook and I'll keep using it, and I'm glad I'm getting experience with OSX. But all it's done is broaden my tool box when it comes to operating systems. I'm certainly not a "Mac convert". Anyone else agree or should I brace myself for the onslaught of Mac-o-philes? ;-)

Posted by Brian Kotek on Sep 05, 2007 at 11:05 AM UTC - 5 hrs

Brian, I agree - the Mac fanboys way over-sell the mac experience. What they don't tell you about switching to a Mac:

Macs are slooooow
The windows management is FUBAR
Fonts are blurry
Finder is lame
Macbook pros run really hot
Keyboards have no tactile feedback
Annoying Fanboys

Stable OS
Hardware is cool looking
Hardware has some nice design features (magnetic power cord, light up keys)
Less settings to configure (system preferences vs control panel)
good power management

Posted by felix on Sep 05, 2007 at 12:13 PM UTC - 5 hrs

For me, the big benefit of a Mac was 3 OS's in one. I can still test on Windows using Parallels or VM Ware, I have the slightly nicer Mac OS for day to day work (and it is the small things that make me smile when using the Mac), btu most important to me, I get Unix under the hood which (a) gives me the power of Unix and (b) allows me to get comfortable with the command line stuff I'm gonna need to do to start adminning my own Linux server.

Obviously the Mac version of BSD and CentOS (soon to be our new web server OS) are quite different, but they're close enough to make the transition much more seamless. For instance, with my Mac I was forced to figure out how to install, configure and restart Apache, CF (multi-server mode), MySQL, etc. which is going to make life much easier down the line.

Posted by Peter Bell on Sep 05, 2007 at 12:27 PM UTC - 5 hrs

"Macs are slooooow"

I disagree. I switched about six months ago (to a Mac Mini even!), and I also recently built a new PC and started working with Windows again too. They both have their strengths and weaknesses for me. I feel the PC only offers a slight advantage over the Mac in terms of speed.

Yes, I'm comparing the slowest Mac on the market to a brand new custom built gaming PC, and I see very little difference. Obviously the Mini won't let me play games, but that's only the graphics card.

Posted by Josh on Sep 05, 2007 at 06:45 PM UTC - 5 hrs

@Brian - Certainly I agree it is not the jaw-dropping answer to life, the universe, and everything. But all those small little improvements make for an overall better experience (for me, so far).

I'm sure at least some of my "infatuation" to this point is due to some self-convincing. After all, they are quite expensive, and I'm not likely to admit to myself that I just spent that much money on a POS system if that were the case.

@Felix - I haven't experienced anything slow about it to this point. I'm guessing it won't get Mac Rot (the Mac equivalent of Windows Rot?) either, since it's built on top of Unix. I can't say anything about Finder because I've yet to use it enough, and I haven't noticed any problems with the fonts (at least nothing that bugs me about them).

I'm interested in knowing more about why you said "the windows management is FUBAR." I'm asking out of ignorance - not fanboydom. =)

Like you mentioned, I have already had great experience with the light up keys and the power management, and I impressed with the power cord as well.

Posted by Sam on Sep 06, 2007 at 05:51 PM UTC - 5 hrs

One thing I forgot to mention: With the 17 inch model at least, it seems they could have gone a bit bigger with the keyboard.

I'll eventually learn it, but right now I keep hitting caps lock for A and left-shift.

Posted by Sam on Sep 07, 2007 at 01:18 PM UTC - 5 hrs

Here's another definite bad: no way to manually eject CDs, now I'm stuck with Windows Vista disk 1 every time I boot up.

Posted by Sam on Sep 07, 2007 at 02:02 PM UTC - 5 hrs

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