There has been a lot of talk about Mac vs. Windows recently. I think I might have posted about switching to Mac OS X previously. So before I continue, I want to say I love Apple – especially its industrial design… and most of its software. I have an Apple Cinema Display, an Apple TV, an iPhone, and a bunch of iPods (that I never use).

I love the MacBook Pro as an industrial design triumph. I still remain confused as to why not a single PC maker can make a laptop of similar quality, form factor, and aesthetic. I mean it is the same exact stuff. In fact, I used Boot Camp + XP for about 9 months and never booted into Mac OS X. It was a little annoying to have to carry a 2 button mouse around, the keyboard had some minor issues, but other than that it worked great.

So I switched to Mac OS X along with all my new co-workers at Challenge Games. It worked ok.

However, there are several things that really, really annoyed me about the Mac OS X. It’s like they had to do some things a certain way just to be different. And in this case different isn’t good or better, it’s just obnoxious and inconvenient. Like the CTRL key, ALT key, and Apple Keys. They are just different enough that using keyboard shortcuts on a Mac and Windows gets really confusing. Why? Totally unnecessary. I suspect it was someone at Apple deciding they couldn’t be the same as Windows. Who cares? Make it easy to switch. The home and end keys do weird things too. I know not everyone uses keyboard shortcuts for everything, but making them different just to be different is annoying. If they really want people to switch they should offer a Windows keyboard mapping option that make things do what we’re used to them doing. I guess that’s the Microsoft monopoly advantage. (I once heard something similar about Heinz Ketchup, but that’s a different story and would require me to go do some research…. maybe I’ll get around to it.)

Microsoft did a good job on one of the other major issues: Office. I actually really like Office 2007. It changed the interface a little (annoying), but mostly made things better and more efficient. On the Mac you’re stuck with a really old Office with a weird interface (Mac-ized) or the new iWork suite. Let me be clear on my opinion of iWork – it sucks. Numbers is horrible… to the point of being useless (IMO… lot’s of reasons that I’m not going to go into for now.)

Another thing about Mac OS X is its organizational model. Somehow I always ended up with a billion files on my desktop. Maybe that makes it easy for a novice, but man it was hard to ever find anything. My Documents might not be brilliant, but it works. I also find, particulalry in Vista, that the ability to organize files (save them in the right places, create folders at the right times, etc.) is just much better.

Then there is a the one button mouse. Don’t get me started on that.

So the end result of this is that I switched back. I got a Dell XPS M1330. (Ah the elegant naming systems of Windows PCs… that could use some work.) It’s a great computer. I’m really enjoying it a lot more than the MacBook Pro. I like Vista. I really like Office 2007.

My only gripe with the M1330 is the construction could be a little better. Frankly I wish Dell would just hire Ideo or someone to make a spectacular laptop that competes with the MacBook Pro. (Not the MacBook Air… Also there is a new 15″ Alienware laptop, but they made it to big.)

Speaking of MacBook Air, I’m confused. I bet they break. Several of my friends commented that when they heard I didn’t want one they were immediately predicting failure. I have an addiction to acquiring any new shiny technology. But, for some reason, have no real interest in the Air.

I am, however, in the market for a desktop. Alienware and Dell are really pissing me off. The Alienware I want doesn’t have an nVidia version and has a late March ship date. The Dell version ships next week but isn’t overclocked and, well, isn’t as cool as an Alienware. They are marketing this new XPS 630 that might be cool but building hype for a PC too far in advance seems like a dumb marketing move.

I just want a really high powered desktop that is quiet. My current desktop (Dell Workstation) is really noisy and is getting a little old so I’m looking to upgrade.

Well Im going to stop my midnight rambling for a bit.


  • Reply donturn |

    The macintosh keyboard shortcut scheme has been around longer than windows, so technically microsoft made thier keystroke model different in windows. If I remember correctly, though the OS stack (device drivers?) in Windows works a different model that relies more on function keys and the Alt+keystroke interaction mode by default that has become convention. (At least that’s how I remember it from being both a Mac and Windows developer long ago.)

    I’m not enthused about the AirBook either, it seems flimsy and I also *want* all those ports and at least now am willing to carry the extra weight of a MacBook Pro to get them.

  • Reply Korvair |

    “Midnight ramblings”: Wat’s up with Bank of America refusing to send my subscription payment to Blizzard? First I tried to start a new account and transfer one of my toons to the separate account but Bank of America put a fraud alert on worldofwarcraft.com and I kept getting a message that I submitted an invalid card number. Bank of America never gave me any heads up and when I called I asked them to remove the fraud alert from my account, and they refused to do so. When I asked them if my scheduled payment would be honored, they said no. When I googled the topic I could only find some small news from UK where a bank similarly refused to let their customers do business with Blizzard. But nothing so far on Bank of America. You got any news on this ? I’m feeling blu and ready to boycott Bank of America for life.
    Korvair – Girls Gone WoW – Anvilmar

So, what do you think ?