RIP My Windows Laptop

It’s official, I’m a Mac user now. I say user and not “Mac guy” because I was never a “Windows guy” either. If you need to label me, I guess I’m a “Linux guy”. Anyway, my first week with the Mac as my full-time machine has been pretty easy overall. I still don’t know Mac OS X as well as I know about WinXP, but I’m overall less annoyed with the Mac (even with the unknowns) on a daily basis.

So far, I’ve been able to port over the things I use frequently like twhirl, IM (Adium), Firefox, VMWare, Thunderbird, and, since my company and customers are heavily vested in .doc, .ppt, and .xls, MS Office with Outlook-replacement Entourage. Of course, where would I be without iTunes?

I read an interesting article today that I thought summed up a lot of peoples’ apprehension or resistance to switching. The bottom line is that most people fear what they don’t know or understand and it’s just easier to avoid change since that would require work to re-learn many tasks.

To those that gasp and remark “You quit Windows?” I can only say “Windows quit me first!” My first week has been surprisingly smooth, after installing and configuring the applications that comprise most of my world (listed above). I’m able to access all the same file servers and network printers I did under Windows. With a few tips from my Mac-user twitter friends, I was able to find many of the right/best ways to set up the applications in my new home.

The only thing I lack at this point is a way to participate in Oracle Web Conferences under Mac. For that, I keep a WinXP VM image that can load the OWC launcher. I’ve heard that Beehive (which I think is the next generation of Oracle Collaboration Suite) may address that, but who knows if/when that might come around. I don’t work for Oracle Support, so OWC isn’t a do-or-die application for me on a regular basis.

If you have suggestions for me, especially from those Mac experts, please send them along either directly or via comments for all to see below.

Finally, my favorite part of Mac-land: the command prompt is a bash shell! :)

  • http://oracleappslab.com Jake

    Welcome! I love my Macbook; the h/w screams, the s/w is solid. I use an image to run conference and db, which are the only things missing.

    It's just better than my XP laptop.

    Speaking of which, I'm still trying to motivate myself to go Ubuntu and dump XP forever. It's that fear of the unknown thing, or more accurately of more work and issues.

  • http://www.dannorris.com/ Dan Norris

    Does OWC run under anything other than Windows? If so, then I'll have at
    least two VMs: WinXP for conference and Linux (probably OEL) for running
    Oracle products like DB, OAS, IdM, etc. If OWC works under Ubuntu, then
    I'm with you and won't bother rolling the WinXP VM.

  • http://oracleappslab.com Jake

    OWC is IE on Windoze only. It's 5.5+ so I initially tried IE 5.2, the last version to run on Mac. No dice. I have a super light XP image that I only use for OWC.

    The Macbook can run virtual XP and Ubuntu machines simultaneously, but the fan sounds like a jet engine. Guess it depends on how hefty your h/w is.

  • http://davidhaimes.wordpress.com davidhaimes

    I switched to mac for my non-work machines years back now. OWC being the only thing I needed windows for at work meant I used my macbook pro for work quite a lot too.

    Switching form windows isn't really any effort, the best thing about Mac OS is 'it just works', rather than fighting me like windows has for all these years.

  • http://www.dannorris.com/ Dan Norris

    @David I was commenting yesterday that if I had instead switched from
    WinXP to WinVista, I'd have likely lost the last week's productivity. I
    knew just about as much about MacOS as I did WinVista, yet the
    transition to MacOS cost me no lost productivity. So, to say that it
    “isn't really any effort” is a huge understatement IMHO.

    I once ran Linux on my laptop with a WinXP VM to interface with the
    Linux-challenged people, but that wasn't as productive as vice versa
    most days. MacOS doesn't seem to suffer the same issue. I just use a
    Windows VM for OWC (the only thing I've found so far that I need Windows
    for).

    BTW, I forgot to plug O2M (http://www.littlemachines.com) as it was *the* tool
    that helped make the transition fast and easy since Outlook data was
    about the only thing that didn't migrate directly or easily.

  • http://www.pythian.com/blogs/author/alex Alex Gorbachev

    Welcome to the club! I start noticing a trend. ;-)
    Btw, I haven't found any other then Win VM solution for OWC.

    As I recall, after about a month I was somewhat annoyed by the fact that Mac doesn't often play well with common standards but after a while I realized that it doesn't bother it anymore… so you might get through that as well at some point. ;-)

  • http://www.dannorris.com/ Dan Norris

    I knew you were smarter than me, but I didn't realize you were *that*
    much smarter than me! :) I'm ready to take any tips you care to offer,
    but I haven't really found anything yet that has stumped me (with help
    from Google).

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  • Brian Bent

    I switched to a MBP about four months ago because I was tired of my Windows laptop. I like having a native scripting environment, all the native tools built into the OS that I use on a daily basis and a solid Linux environment that just works with the hardware. It took me a bit to find some of the comparable software on Mac, but I can't see myself going back to Windows unless I am forced to.

    To add to your list of software, I use also use Chicken of the VNC (http://sourceforge.net/projects/cotvnc/), Remote Desktop Connection and probably my most used piece of software iTerm (http://iterm.sourceforge.net/). If you haven't used iTerm, give it a look-see. It allows you to easily store ssh sessions to other hosts. I was missing my command line version of SQL*Plus, but luckily Oracle released the Instant Client (http://www.oracle.com/technology/software/tech/…) for Mac/intel.

    So far my experience has been great. Becoming more comfortable with it everyday and it seems like more folks like us are switching to Macs as well.

  • http://www.dannorris.com/ Dan Norris

    iTerm installed. Thanks for the tip! I'll check out the others too
    (already have RD and Oracle client installed).

  • http://oracleappslab.com Jake

    One thing I forgot to mention before is that Rails comes preinstalled and configured on Leopard. In case you feel like jumping into that pond. Of course, the db is MySQL, unless you go the JRuby route, which requires more work, killing the preinstalled/configured argument.

  • http://www.dannorris.com/ Dan Norris

    For the benefit of the other 3 (or is it 4 now?) people that read this
    blog :), thanks for the tip. However, for me, it's more likely that I'll
    be struck by lightning than start developing anything, let alone in
    something called Rails.

  • http://www.dannorris.com/ Dan Norris

    For the benefit of the other 3 (or is it 4 now?) people that read this
    blog :), thanks for the tip. However, for me, it's more likely that I'll
    be struck by lightning than start developing anything, let alone in
    something called Rails.