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 offputting. I owned a Mac a while ago, but never really used it beyon the occasional testing of things I was developing “on a Mac” to say I did, or to verify compatiblilty 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 super fast 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. 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 actualy 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.


Leave a Comment