As you already know, I'm really excited about the Mac and its OS X. And with great new Apple products having been revealed on MacWorld yesterday, I decided to do a series of blog entries about my first steps with the Mac. I hope that they will be interesting especially to other Mac rookies.
My Apple mania started when I read all the stories from other Mac users on the Web that were equally excited and wrote about the great tools they improved their web design, software development and overall productivity with. After an incubation time of a few weeks, I decided to shell out the money for the then newly released Mac Mini Core Duo with 1.83 MHz. I was hooked from day one on.
When you take a first look at Apple computers, you can't help but admire the appeal of their design, their look is a welcome alternative to all those white PC boxes. The Mac Mini I got myself is the understatement of a desktop computer, just a little silver box with a CD slot in the front, some peripheral ports in the back and a big Apple logo on top. But what more do you need? Well, an inside that matches the quality of the exterior, of course. With the Intel Core Duo processors, you have more than enough CPU power to do the usual things. Professionals that need even more CPU power or better graphics than the Intel on-board graphics the Mini offers should get the Mac Pro with 4 or 8 cores and high-power graphics.
When I switched my Mac on for the first time, I was immediately greeted by a chord sound that brought up happy memories of SGI workstations. The boot time is impressively short -- you won't have to go to the fridge to bridge the time until the login screen or desktop appears.
I've been a Linux fan for more than 10 years, using it on many servers as well as on my desktops and laptops. I really like the KDE desktop, it's really mature and there are many fine applications, smaller and bigger. But one thing that can still be annoyingly difficult is getting hardware to work. And that's where Apple has its strongest advantage: they know every hardware their OS runs on like the palm of their hands. So far, I never had problems with instable hardware, crashing drivers or other nuisances. It just works.
The best computer system is worthless if there's no good software for it. But that certainly doesn't concern the Mac platform. With OS X and iLife coming with the computer, you get a whole package of productive applications like the audio recording software GarageBand and iPhoto for picture management. All applications are well-integrated with each other, for example you can directly drag and drop pictures from iPhoto to GarageBand and store them in the MP3 file you're creating. And of course, there are lots of great third party extensions and applications. I'll blog about them in later entries.
Installing software in OS X doesn't demand from you to click through a multitude of dialog windows. You just open the installation package and drag the program icon into your Applications folder. That's it. And guess how you do an uninstall? No, you just move the icon from Application into Trashcan.
So, I'm a really happy Mac user and can only recommend you to have a look or two at one, too. You may be preaching the gospel of Jobs after a short while, too. ;-)