23 Oct

A Windows Guy on a MacBook Pro

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This post is coming from yet another blog client. The difference with this one and the others I have tried is that this blog client is running on OS X. My handy-dandy new MacBook Pro is humming right along, even though computermemoryoutlet.com sent me the wrong RAM sticks for my 4G upgrade.

I have to admit that even though my plans for this machine are all about getting Windows Vista installed as soon as my Leopard CDs arrive, this OS X thing is intriguing. Although it is frustrating not knowing my way around as I o in Windows, the obvious beauty and attention to aesthetic are really nice to work with. Frankly, the darn windows are just nice to look at.

I want to make it perfectly clear before I go into the next part of this article that I did not buy this machine for the OS X capabilities, although I am giving them due diligence. I bought the machine for the hardware performance and unparalleled form factor. Frankly, it is one of the most beautiful pieces of hardware I have ever seen and I don’t regret it a bit.

That said, all is not perfect in MacVille. I am pretty used to hearing all about how Macs kick chicken and OSX is the greatest thing since peanut butter, so let me offer some observations.

When I tried joining my wireless network I had the stupidest issue I can imagine. The network connection utility kept telling my my password was wrong. I double and triple checked it. I even plugged in a wire and then copied and pasted the password from my router’s management screen. No dice. Ultimately I learned somewhere in the bowels of a newsgroup that when you are inputting a hex password you must prefix that password with a $ dollar sign as a signal to the connection gods that your password is in hex. What the…? That is the weirdest thing I have ever heard of. My mom would never have gotten that to work.

Next, Apple is making this great play with BootCamp, the revolutionary dual booting technology that Windows users have enjoyed for the last 10 years? Well anyway, what you don’t get with OSX is virtualization software. Or baked in remote desktop technology. Or 2 mouse pad buttons on the touchpad when right-click is a feature of the Apple OS (I simply don’t understand that one).

I can’t believe I am saying this, but I am getting the idea that it is cheaper to outfit a Windows machine with all the software you need. There is so darn much Windows software in the world, much of it open source or freeware. I could run all the same Java applications on both platforms, but I just have to have Visual Studio, Live Writer, Enterprise Architect, TextPad, and several other things that go along with the MS stack.

Non of this really matters, of course, because the reason I got this machine was to run Windows like a flaming pig runs downhill. Since Apple understandably pulled BootCamp from beta in preparation for the Leopard launch Friday I will have to tell you how that goes sometime next week. Once my Leopard upgrade arrives I will get Vista on here. Now there is some irony for you.

My last OSX comment of the day? This thing is prettier than a bag of redheads. I could get used to it if I’m not careful. After all, I can type ls on the command line for the first time since college.