Old Dogs. New Tricks.
I have been a Windows user for over twenty years. I have used Linux on the desktop for around ten years. My primary work machines have run Linux for around four years. I never really used Macs. I have tried in the past, but it just never really worked out.
OS X looks good on paper, but I always found its resistance to customization and inflexible user interface off-putting. I owned a Mac a while ago, but never really used it beyond the occasional testing of things I was developing “on a Mac” to say I did, or to verify compatibility with Safari.
When I started my new job on January 4, 2016, I was given a Mac. It’s one of the top-of-the-line Macbook Pro models with a Retina screen, a fast-ish CPU and a solid state drive (very fast). And I have actually gotten things done with it.
I really wanted to just throw Linux Mint on it, but one of my new coworkers gently told me it isn’t that painful to learn the Mac way of doing things. My biggest gripe is that keyboard shortcuts are dramatically different in a lot of cases. Linux and Windows are pretty much the same. OS X annoyingly has completely different cursor movement keys (Home, End, etc.) that go against established conventions in the Windows and Linux world. And there is no practical way to universally re-map them that I have found.
So I have to re-learn shortcuts at work and un-learn them at home. And there are the user interface differences like the position and function of buttons. Some of that is mitigated by software like Moom that doesn’t necessarily replicate how Linux and Windows work, but makes window management a lot easier.
I’m a week and a day into it and it’s actually working pretty well. There are still quirks and annoyances, but I am adjusting to them. So the old dog is learning new tricks. With that said, I don’t see myself converting to the Apple ecosystem any time soon. I do see it becoming another piece in my toolbox.
UPDATE: About a year in, in February 2017, I gave up on OS X and Apple in general. The hit in my productivity and the feeling that I was constantly fighting that damn thing all the time wore on me. I traded my Macbook Pro for an even-better-equipped ThinkPad that cost $1,000 less. I threw Linux Mint on it and have been happy ever since.
It’s not that Apple stuff is bad. In fact, one of the reasons I have difficult using OS X (or MacOS now, I guess) is the main reason one of my fellow developers likes it: stuff just kind of sort of works “out of the box”. And I can’t argue that. But I can argue that it works in a way that’s counter to my productivity. When Linux does that, at least I have the option of changing things. With Apple, it was a fight at best or worse, entirely impossible.
Old Dogs. New Tricks. https://t.co/pxuclTlf9W
Way to adapt!!!
Psst – the keyboard shortcuts were on the Mac first and then on Windows. But I know what you mean about having to get used to a different system.
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Install Karibiner and get all your favorite keys back.. It even fixes the repeat rate. Once I went Mac I never looked back. Seriously the best machines I’ve ever used. I still use my old IBM keyboard on it though.
I installed it this morning, but WOW there’s a lot in there. Is there a shortcut for PC users?
I’m now a year deep using a Mac at my work and I still hate everyday I have to work on it. Mac’s suck PERIOD. Sorry Mac lovers but you are all wrong, the Mac OS blows. I’m setting up a dual boot on it and Kubuntu is getting installed. The crashes and lack of flexibility are just to big to ignore.
Crashes? I have 34 days uptime.
Yesterday it crashed 3 times.
I have to say, my machine has been rock solid so far.
Hal, thanks for you direction… I appreciate your replies… But this is one guy you or anybody else will ever convince that OXS does not suck balls PERIOD. Thats my story and I am sticking to it.
I put exactly one year into OSX once to try and force myself to “get” it. never did. hated every day of it.
+1 for Moom. I’m a fan of Witch by the same folks as well.
Yeah they were $24 well spent.
After several Mac Pros, I went consumer: Late 2012 Mac mini, Intel quad-core I7 2.66 with hyper threading, 16 GB RAM, 1 TB Fusion Drive (part SSD). Connected to 27-inch Cinema Display. Win 7 loaded for the rare utility.
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I’ve managed to somehow cement the control schemes for both, so that switching is pretty simple, but I get the pains. My major gripe is with the hardware itself — I cannot be convinced that a Mac mouse or keyboard will ever be useable.
It’s obscene how difficult it is to get what feels like a modern and useful keyboard with a full suite of drivers for OSX. Certain manufacturers are getting better about it, but it still feels like an after-thought for most of ’em.
Also it drives me _fucking_ insane that Mac feels like it cannot use any standard in the industry so you’re pigeon-holed into buying specific power cords, components (if you can even open the fucking machine), displays, etc, and then anything outside of that minimal scope is somehow the most broken thing ever (ever try plugging in a perfectly generic HDMI monitor into a Mac? It looks like someone somehow forced in a sepia filter and capped the resolution to mayyybe 3/4 HD).
Mac keyboard, cheap $5 mouse. I use an Apple display, but any DVI, DisplayPort, or Thunderbolt will work. Mac mini even has an HDMI output which thousands use as home theater. Power cord comes with it.
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