Why I Chose MacbookPro
I’ve been an Apple user for quite some time, and I will continue to use the Macbook Pro my office gives me for work. But I’m switching my personal computer to a PC and either use VirtualBox for Linux or perhaps a bootable USB.
There are somethings that I really like about the Macbook Pro line.
1. The Trackpad
Apple has done a truly fantastic job with the track pad. With every laptop and computer I use, I feel like the mouse is absolutely essential; the Macbook Pro changed all of that for me. I’ve never once had to use a mouse, and with applications like JiTouch2 that take multitouch to the next level, I can do far more with the track pad than with a mouse.
Many people suggest touch screen alternatives as solving this problem, but that’s simply not the case. With resolutions becoming ever greater and pixels getting smaller, the fat finger problem becomes an eventuality. I’ve had a surface now for three weeks, and I still can’t meaningfully click expand versus kill. Maybe I just genuinely have fat fingers or I’m clicking wrong.
But with JiTouch2 and the Apple trackpad, I find myself being even faster than a control-tab or control-shift tab. Showing the desktop is a single swipe, and and opening / closing recent tabs is super easy as well. This is something I will seriously miss.
2. The Elegance
I find myself drawn to the elegance of the Apple style. Perhaps I’m just a fanboy, but when it comes to design, I think no other company even comes close. This is true in general of all their products, as I felt the same pull for the iPhone. Alas, I ended up choosing Android for a similar set of reasons that I’ll talk about below.
3. Homebrew and Caskroom
Really, it’s the setup process in general. Because of caskroom and homebrew, I can do my entire setup, start to finish, with all applications and configs that I want, in less than hour (depending on network speeds, of course). But the real beauty is that is that it’s a single shell script I have to run. There simply is no competing with this.
The development community around the Mac has been really helpful to me, and I will miss it.
4. Retina Display
Seriously - I cannot fathom why people choose to get a Macbook Air anymore. The retina display should have killed that entire line; it’s not much lighter than a pro, and quite frankly not even that much cheaper.
Retina is one aspect that I really like, but with multiple monitors and everything else, I don’t think I’ll miss it too much. Still, it’s one thing Apple did really well.
5. All the Apps
Quicksilver, JiTouch, Bartender, Divvy - just to name a few. I think this is a direct effect of #3, but for whatever reason, the Mac community has so many fantastic apps. And I will miss them. Windows in particular is so GUI based that it kills me. I think Quicksilver alone was such a game changer for me because the Finder navigation system might be one of the worst things Apple has done. I do almost all of my changes via Quicksilver or Terminal for the more complex things.
Why I’m Leaving MacbookPro
I love all of these things about Apple, and yet I just as fervently hate so many things Apple does around these awesome things.
1. No more upgrades
My current MBP is an amalgam of upgrades. It’s nearing 5 years old now, and it has a series of surgeries and awesome upgrades that have let it live so long; heck, it probably has another 2 years in it!
I upgraded the RAM to 8GB. I swapped out the optical drive for an SSD. I swapped out my main drive for an SSD. I changed the battery when I approached 1500 cycles. All of these things let me enjoy my laptop for far longer than ordinary.
But with the newer lines where RAM is soldered to the motherboard, none of this seems really possible. Apple has slowly been pushing to prevent third party hardware (remmeber the time with a simple button pushed out the battery?). The work I have to do seems to keep rising, and it’s frustrating.
2. Microsoft Office and Other Windows Apps
This has become increasingly important for me. It seems strange, given that one of the plus points for the Apple side was also the apps, but, obviously, not all apps are developed for all platforms equally. I like this side’s apps, too.
I find myself unable to properly sign PDF documents, view large financial spreadsheets, or even customize Word document templates fully. Recently, I went through the process of buying a condo, and for every single real estate form, I had to go back to my old Windows desktop! At work, most of my coworkers simply load virtual windows because Office for Windows is at least an order of magnitude better than for Mac. The switch to Windows has really been quite liberating.
3. Better Linux Support
Dual booting Linux on Mac has been one of the most painful experiences. A combination of ReFit, partitions not working, bootable USB formats being weird, and so many other things led to a rather frustrating two weekends. Try it on my Windows desktop and in less than 10 minutes I’m Debian-ing to my heart’s content. And, here I get the actual Linux experience, not Apple’s rather odd twist at it.
Apple has been marching towards a single user experience across all devices for some time now. And for power users, that’s incredibly frustrating. The effort to get your own experience has gotten increasingly more difficult.
GeekTool is super awesome, and it does a fairly good job. But it simply cannot compete with Windows. Even Linux lets you customize more than Apple. Apple is fantastic for a relatively new user who does a few things on their laptop; but the recent IOS-ification of desktop experience with all the other frustrations has led me to look elsewhere.
Touchscreen is good for one thing in particular, which I use avidly on my new laptop: OneNote. Seriously, this is a godsend that everyone should learn to embrace. No more notebooks, no more pens. Especially on the surface, the pen that comes with it is a fantastic way to take notes super quickly. Simply double clicking brings up OneNote automatically, and double clicking again saves the note! It does not get better than this.
Change Is Good
It wasn’t so long ago that I switched from a Windows machine to my first ever Apple product. Heck, even the Vista fiasco wasn’t so long ago. And change is good. Competition is good. Who knows, perhaps Apple will really make a revolutionary change that will bring back many power users including myself.
But in the mean time, I’ll fancy myself a Windows 8.1 touchscreen laptop, thank you very much.