On Friday, I received my iMac, bringing me back to the world of the Mac OS for the first time in about eight years. The iMac is not my main rig — I still use a “Wintel” PC running Windows XP for work — it’s a replacement for my home computer (though I eventually hope to expand its use beyond pictures, movies, and World of Warcraft).
So, what’s the initial reaction from a guy who was very entrenched into Windows, but has a solid Mac history?
- What’s up with the mouse movement? One of the first things I do on any computer I use is turn the mouse speed up all the way. I want the slightest flick of my wrist to shoot the cursor across the screen. Doing this on a Mac made it, well, not as zippy as I’d prefer. Apparently, plenty of people agree, and the fix to the problem is to use some freeware hacks or shareware software (SteerMouse did the job for me).
- I miss my keyboard shortcuts. Yes, you can do a lot with the Mac keyboard, but I do almost everything with the PC keyboard. I’ve since learned you can press Control-F2 to open the Mac menu for keyboard navigation, but I miss the ability to TAB between fields in web browsers (there is a fix) and the underlined letters that show which keys you can press to activate menu options (somewhat of a workaround).
- Installing software on a Mac is glorious. I can’t believe how easy they make it. No surprises and no issues.
- I plugged in my USB devices and they worked immediately — my external USB drive, my digital camcorder, my digital camera, and my photo printer. That never happened on a PC.
- iMovie is everything that Windows Movie Maker is not.
- FolderShare works as well on a Mac as it does on a PC — and it made transferring dozens of gigabytes of pictures and movies disturbingly simple.
- I had to manually turn on the right-click feature on my single-button MightyMouse. That should be on by default.
- World of Warcraft stopped working after I adjusted some parental controls and firewall settings — apparently an unintended side effect acknowledged by Blizzard — and required a reinstall. Fortunately, reinstall only took me about 30 minutes, about the time it takes to queue up and play one battleground instance.
I’m enjoying the Mac experience so far. It’s definitely something to get used to. My fingers still stumble on the Mac keyboard a bit, and there are some things I miss from Windows-land.