PC to Mac: Day 3 of the Journey
I’m starting to feel more comfortable with my shiny new MacBook Pro, though there are still plenty of awkward moments as I transition my programs and data and occasionally realize that I have to adjust my rote expectations of how a computer works.
Here are some of the things that I’m noticing and find different/wonderful/frustrating, etc.
- I miss the standard PC laptop touch-click… I can press down anywhere on this new trackpad, which is nice, but it’s a little more resistant than I’d like. Maybe it will loosen up a little with time?
- The keyboard feels wonderful. The only thing I don’t like about it so far is that the space bar seems really loud, especially in comparison to the rest of the keys.
- I miss some of the keys that come on a standard PC keyboard, such as having both Backspace and Delete. The Mac has a Delete button that functions in the backspace manner… though Stephanie left a comment with the helpful info that if you press fn+delete on a Mac, it will delete the letters in front of the cursor. Hooray! It will take some time before it becomes an automatic keystroke for me, though.
- The muscle memory that I developed for PC shortcuts to copy, paste, undo, etc., is very strong. Though the letters are (mostly) the same for the shortcuts, I find it awkward to use the Mac’s “command” key instead of Ctrl. Ctrl is always the bottom left key on a PC keyboard and is in the perfect position for my pinky finger. The two command keys are located on either side of the space bar… maybe in time it will feel right to use my right thumb. But it’s really awkward right now. (Using the left thumb is out. It goes against my personal standard of ergonomics.)
- Still figuring out when to use the Command key, Option key, and Control key with each hotkey I’m used to or new to. In my WordPress window where I’m composing this entry, I press ctrl+i for italics. But in OpenOffice, I need to press command+i.
- I don’t like that special characters, as seen on the incredibly awesome reference Blambot chart of International Characters, seem require a lot more conscious effort to create with hotkeys. On my PC, I just hold down the alt key and type the corresponding 4-digit number. I have a crapload of them memorized. Comparatively, the combinations required on a Mac are akin to the British monetary system before decimalization. Again, with time, I’m sure that I’ll memorize the hotkeys I use most.
- I visited a long web page and was bemoaning the lack of Page Up and Page Down buttons on my keyboard here. Then I remembered that I can use a 2-fingered swipe on my trackpad to scroll quickly. That works much smoother than paging up or down ever did!
- I’m adjusting to the way that files are downloaded and installed. It’s pretty streamlined so far, but there’s still a small learning curve to that streamlined method.
- The internet is moving at lightning speed—wirelessly.
- I’m mad at every little spot of fingerprint grease that sticks to the keys or pretty glossy screen.
- I’ve been using a keyboard with a number pad on the right. I use it a lot, so unless I want to get one of those USB number pad attachments, it looks like I’ll just have to get used to the standard numbers.
- The battery life on this thing is stupendous. There’s a little indicaor at the top that estimates the amount of time I have left… on a full charge it’s well over 4 hours. The old Dell laptop I have requires A/C power if I intend to use it for more than a half hour.
- I miss my fonts. Sure, I only used a tiny percentage of what I’d collected over the years, but all those Windows .ttf files are dead to me now. I had a few .otf files that made the transition, but not many. I’m sure I’ll build up my collection again over time.
- OS X Graphics. YUM.
Have you made a PC to Mac transition lately? What have been your biggest headaches?
Experienced Mac users: When you’re forced to use Windows, what is your biggest headache?