15 July 2007

Mac OS

I've been using Mac for about a year now, so I thought it was time to give a quick review comparing and contrasting the benefits of Mac (compared to my previous experience with Windows).

Things I like about Mac:
  • Invisibility of the operating system -- It really does "just work" as Apple claims. Unless you need to do something very advanced, you could get away with never configuring anything in the OS.
  • Visual appeal -- the OS looks very slick while still being functional
  • Application availability -- there are many applications available (obviously less than Windows, though), and the quality of each application is very high
  • Application switching -- the application switching features are incredible and very useful
Things I don't like about Mac:
  • The WiFi applet responds slowly to user feedback, about a 5-10 second lag between clicks sometimes.
  • Most applications can't be maximized
  • Lack of Visual Studio -- Microsoft's Visual Studio development tool is the most user-friendly development tool I've ever used, but it's not available on Mac... Eclipse is a fairly good alternative once you get used to it.
Overall what I've noticed during my switch is how the rise of Internet applications has made it which operating system I use less important. I use Google Calendar, Gmail, Google Reader, and Firefox, which works on every platform. Internet based blogs constitute much of my writing. As internet apps get more powerful, this trend will only continue, making the OS you use nearly meaningless.