My main issue with switching to Mac has always been cost. I don’t like laptops to work on all day, the iMacs are funny looking and the towers complete overkill for most of what I do – which is essentially to edit text files all day. However the Mac Mini is a great price and could nicely replace my Windows desktop for work.
The main reason that I haven’t pulled out my credit card already is that at the moment I currently work across two desktops. On my desk in front of me are two screens – one of which is my Linux desktop (Debian/KDE) the other is my Windows desktop. I’ve never managed to switch completely to Linux due to needing various applications for work. I know there are perfectly good replacements – and I’ve been using Linux on the desktop for 5 years – however for compatibility I need to be able to open things in Freehand or Photoshop and other applications and I write about Dreamweaver, so until these can run under Linux I’m going to need another OS. Mac OS X could be that OS instead of Windows but my main fear is that all I am going to do is end up with yet another desktop OS that I am working in, making my daily work spread over three operating systems thus making it even harder to leave the office – at the moment I achieve some portability with a laptop installed with XP, VMWare and Debian running as a virtual machine.
I’m going to need a Windows box for the foreseeable future – I need to test work on Windows. The other application which is non-negotiable and I already know there is no OS X UK version is Quickbooks, I need Quickbooks. I can live with having my Windows box on a KVM switch and switching to it to write invoices or check sites. I know that I can get OS X versions of Macromedia products, MS Office and Adobe software but what about the other applications I use on Windows? I believe there is a version of Eclipse for OS X – it’s a bit slow on Windows, does it work well on the Mac? What about FTP, I use WS-FTP on Windows; and CSS editing – to replace Topstyle.
When I’m writing I currently use SnagIt for taking screenshots – it’s great as I can set it up to take the captures and save them as the correct resolution so I don’t need to go fiddle with them in a graphics application afterwards, what can I use to replace this if I move to OS X?
If I have any spare time I research my family history, I use two applications on Windows “Family Tree Maker” and “Family Historian”, the latter allows me to store records properly along with their sources and also to query the records – the first draws pretty charts which please the relatives, any suggestions for OS X products?
The second reason I hesitate to move to OS X, and one that will probably see me flambéed by Mac users, is that I dislike the way it looks. How much can you customise the interface? Can I stop things bouncing and zooming? If you are familiar with Windows classic themes think about the Rainy Day theme, that’s what I like my desktop to look like … I’m not really into ‘pretty’ where computers are concerned. That said, the way it looks is not particularly high priority, the most important thing is that it more or less replaces my Windows desktop, if I can hack at the interface that’s a bonus.
So Mac users, convince me that I should switch, I don’t like Windows and am fully aware of its problems – I’d be a fulltime Linux user if I could – so you don’t need to tell me why Windows is lousy, I know! I just need to be sure that I can do this relatively quickly and easily, and that the applications are out there that will enable to me to switch, as otherwise I will end up with the three desktop operating systems problem already described, and this would make me more grumpy than the minor issue of things bouncing in the dock.