My Journey to My New MacBook Air
There were new ways to do things and some learning curve ahead, yet I liked the way things floated in and out, or popped up and whooshed. It really earned the name Lucy, given by moje manželka (my wife), because it was sleek, sassy, and filled with creative genius.
Switching to a Mac is something of been considering for years. I briefly used one at work decades ago. Back then there was a canyon between Mac and PC users. The Microsoft Office Suite we all used did not always play nice with Apple products, even though Apple and Microsoft had different relationship in those days.
After I read Walter Issacson’s bio on Steve Jobs I had a much greater appreciation for the brilliance of the closed system design of Apple products. When I was hit with the perfect storm of Microsoft’s Windows 8 disaster and Asus never getting the drivers right for its dual screen Taichi, and then abandoning the product, the benefits became obvious.
As my partner and I travelled through remote parts of South and Central America, Mac users easily connected to hostal Wifi that my Asus + Windows 8.1 refused to recognize. The relationship with Microsoft was further fractured by frequent updates that left my machine crippled like a vaccinated child with a fever. No matter what online instructions I followed, I couldn’t get the Old Windows files off my hard drive, taking up more space in an already bloated operating system.
When my ASUS began having seizures, sporadically opening and closing applications at the brush of the mouse, my dysfunctional Taichi now weakened by Windows updates that seemed to have reacted badly to my ASUS mouse drivers, it was time to search for a new relationship.
My writer’s community is filled with Mac users. Join us they chanted. Surrounded by the lighted Apple icons at the table when we got together for critique sessions, I weakened, or strengthened, depending on your perspective.
I was not alone in thinking about a switch. According to a recent research report, one in four PC users are thinking about switching to Macs. By comparison, 98 percent of current Mac owners intend to stick with Mac as their next computer.
Once the decision was made I procrastinated. I didn’t have the strength to do the exhaustive research I’d done in the past. Comparing five and six brands of computers, and then pouring through their product list for the right configuration. I went to apple.com and was relieved to have limited choices. Apple only has three laptop product lines to choose from — MacBook, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air. Really, for me it was just down to screen size, the Pro being much more machine than I needed in my writer’s life.
According to LifeHacker, “Apple’s laptops were for many years a relative gold standard for well-designed, solid, daily use computers that you could buy without fretting about the specs very much.”
Once I began to search websites, I was relieved by the simple choices I needed to make. Besides screen size, there was hard drive size and whether I should buy one with the newest OS. What I didn’t think about was the keyboard, and the challenge of getting an English language keyboard in my new Czech homeland. I returned from a trip to my favorite electronics store, Alza, disappointed when the salesman informed me they only offered Czech or Slovak, and couldn’t even order them.
I desperately search for laptop mules to bring me a MacBook when they returned from the U.S. for the holidays. I was sad about not having my new Mac during my upcoming two week vacation. I’d accepted the wait, and then, an Apple Angel, my Ježíšek. A friend of a friend helped me order an Apple MacBook Air 13 with an English keyboard, that arrived a week early and had me hopping about like an excited kid on Christmas morning in front of the UPS man.
The setup was phenomenally easy. I sat holding my breath as I installed a list of all the apps I needed to bring my Mac up to speed. Each install was seamless. With one login, I was connected to the Apple Kingdom of ITunes, ICloud and a world of other I things waiting to entertain me.
There were some key features that moved me across the divide.
- It just works. That’s what every Mac user told me.
- Does everything I could do on my PC.
- Macs last forever. My friends were still flowin’ on their five-year-old Macs.
- Apple designed the device and the operating system. That has to help things work better together.
- IMovies will give me a chance to edit my skydiving video from six years ago.
- Longer battery life = freedom. Every component in every Mac is optimised for performance and to lower power usage.
The transition hasn’t been without a learning curve. There are a few important differences in my new world.
- The command key is my friend. Key shortcuts play an important role. Check here for Apple’s guide to the world of shortcuts.
- The touchpad is like an extension of my mind. My relationship with my PC touchpad was weak. I used a wireless mouse because the touchpad experience as so unresponsive.
- Closing and minimizing apps is just different, its not that the buttons are on the left.
Apparently, there is an option on the Mac, called Boot Camp, that allows you to load Windows. The thought sends shudders down my spine. Right now, I am enjoying my private vacation from the Microsoft world. Except for the Office 365 Word that I typed this blog with. Some things I just can’t give up. I’m excited about trying Pages and Numbers. Baby steps.
You can’t escape the war of the giants. I still have to make sure my Mac plays nice with Microsoft Office and Google Chrome. So far it seems they’ve called a truce and its Happy Days for me and my new Mac, Lucy.
Mac and Lucy do have history together. Say Hello Lucy!