Okay, so I’m not really anti-mac, but from my OS and platform choices in over two decades of computing, you might have thought I was. I’ve gone through DOS, Windows 3.1, Windows 95, Slackware 4.0+, Windows 98, Windows 2000, FreeBSD, Windows XP, and recently Windows 7 as well as Android. I even dabbled with BeOS and Amiga on emulators at some point. But never a Mac.
The truth is, I’ve long been curious about the Mac platform but never really thought that it was a practical thing to have since I knew that I could get the same specs for a much lower price by building my own computer or making a spreadsheet comparing different notebooks’ features and finally making the practical choice. But I’m really tired of doing that. I just wanted to have something that I don’t have to fuss over and fix every once in a while. Something that just works.
Old habits die hard, so although I decided not to be too fixated on a technical feature by feature comparison, I still didn’t exactly buy on impulse. I deliberated over whether to just buy a high end gaming Lenovo desktop, a mobile workstation Thinkpad, another Asus notebook, or a Mac. I needed something that I can do some light video editing, motion graphics (AE), graphic design (Photoshop, Illustrator, and eventually Sketch) and music production (Ableton) on and a place to preview and transfer files when we have shoots. Still, in the end I decided to bite the bullet and just buy an early 2015 13-inc Retina Macbook Pro. After all, I had sold my Asus K50 laptop some time back because it was falling apart with missing keys and a rapidly degrading display.
So was it the right choice? Well, it’s only been three weeks. But so far, I don’t regret my purchase. In fact, I absolutely adore this machine. For one thing, It’s really just sooo pretty. The keyboard backlight is delightful and the build quality is remarkable. The battery life? Superb. In the three weeks that I’ve been using it, I’ve never gone below 20% battery despite using it for hours on end. It’s just unlike any other laptop or computer I’ve ever owned or built before. The *Nix Darwin base is also a huge plus. And though I’ve not really used it, the Automator seems to hold a lot of promise. I’m a big fan of automation because I truly despise repetitive work. Here are a few other things that I like:
- The trackpad. It is divine. It is light years ahead of any track pad I’ve used in terms of feel and power.
- The beautiful display
- I can use the bash-like keyboard shortcuts when editing text – like Control A to go to the beginning and Control E to go to the end
- Did I mention less, grep, top, awk, sed, vim and a bunch of delicious nix tools yet — all built in?
That doesn’t mean that I didn’t encounter some problems and annoyances. Here are a few of them.
- Mail took hours to setup because I had to clear the keychain just to make the authentication work. Why is it, that as a new user, I have to be subjected to this? I thought I had already graduated from wrestling with the OS just to make something work like when I was still using Slackware ten years ago. Hello?
- It is utter stupidity (or maybe they’re just being stubborn) not to support NTFS from the get go. Really. Not when you consider how many thumb drives and external drives use this format.
- Menus and dialogs show the symbols for the option and control keys but these symbols are not used on the physical keyboard. Why?
All in all, it’s been a very good experience and makes me excited about computing again. Not to mention it’ll help give me an additional reference point in my journey to master the craft of UX and interaction design.
Maybe I’m still in the honeymoon stage, and I’m being overly optimistic. But you know, I don’t really give a damn.
I’m having a blast.