Friday 11 February 2011

Two weeks with the Mac

Well, everyone who uses a Mac raved about them, so I decided to join them and see what the fuss ia about.

I bought an Apple MacBook Pro - the 13" for portability - and upgraded it to 8Gb of RAM and a 128Gb solid state hard drive. It flies like the wind!

The build quality is superb; far better than any PC I've ever owned.

I've deliberately opted to avoid using a Windows parallel system, and I've resisted the temptation to use Office for Mac.

I find that Apple Mail suits my email purposes just fine, and in place of Business Contacts Manager for Outlook I've bought Daylite, which is a very impressive CRM package for Mac, and it integrates perfectly with Apple Mail.

Instead of Office, I've installed NeoOffice (don't even get me started on how superb the Mac is for installing and uninstalling programs!) and it's great! It will open all my Word, Excel and PowerPoint files and contains all the functionality I need without the bloatedness of its Microsoft counterpart. It's also free, although you can make a donation, which seems only fair.

The only concession I've had to make in switching to a Mac is the loss of the ability to take handwritten notes as I did on my tablet. The input pen I bought to use with the Mac was very unimpressive. To get round that, I'm going to buy an iPad 2 to take notes on and integrate them with the MacBook.

All things considered I'm delighted I made the switch. The Mac boots up in 14 seconds, does what it's supposed to do - very  quickly - backs itself up to an external drive every hour without my even noticing, never crashes, needs no anti-virus software and defrags itself instantly every time I write to disc.

Am I smug? You bet I am!

Meanwhile, on the work front, it continues to be a fascinating environment to work in. It's the first time I've been involved in a brand new outsourcing site, and the amount of storming and forming has to be seen to be believed. Both sides of the equation are feeling their way. There are misunderstandings and dissatisfaction on both sides but people are doing their best to make it work.

Add to that the large offshore element of the work, and the fact that half a dozen companies are involved, and the whole thing is very challenging. At least there's never a dull moment. And of course, I get to come home to my Mac!