Making the switch to Mac

I had been going to and fro the local Apple authorised retail stores a couple of times each week for a few months leading up to my purchase.

Each time I would spend a good 10 minutes immersed in the screen of the Retina iMac. It’s simply beautiful. But the thought of switching to Mac from after 30 years of PC was quite scary.

I am a digital media manager in a MNC and I frequently do HTML/CSS coding, report writing and excel work. I used to be a freelance professional photographer but these days my photographs are limited to just my kids. I am also an avid gamer. I spend a couple of hours gaming every night.

What If?

So as you can see, I have a lot of my money vested in PC softwares. The fact that Windows 8 is simply awesome to use does not make the purchase decision process any easier. What happen if I cannot be as efficient at work with a Mac? What happen if the Mac is like what I have suspected, all hype and no muscle? I would be completely devastated if my worries were true.

So I bought a used early 2011 Macbook Pro from a good buddy of mine at a huge bargain. I told him about my situation and that I am not very well off financially (having 2 young children and being the sole bread winner). He sold me his Macbook Pro for US$450 payable over 3 months. It had only 19 battery cycles! (Yes! Macbook has a battery life cycle counter build in them!)

It must have been hell of a Macbook back in 2011 as it has Intel i7 with 8 GB of RAM. But it was running the old Maverick, and had a normal 500GB Toshiba hard disk drive.

Prior to collecting the Macbook Pro I must admit that I have practically no experience using the Mac OS. So on the day I collecred the Macbook Pro from my friend, the first question I ask him was, how do I shut down this thing?

When Macbook Sleeps

The answer came swiftly, “Just close the lid”. “Huh?” Macbook goes to sleep and they can darn sleep bloody well. Most mac users put their mac to sleep rather than shut down like PC. 

This is where the Macbooks thrashes the PC laptops. It turn out that the Macbook can eaily sleep for 4 days before running out of battery. The Macbook consume extremely little power in sleep. Upon opening the lid the Macbook comes to life immediately. 

My Acer Aspire can barely sleep for 6 hours. And during light usage the battery would run out in a couple of hours. My company’s Toshiba satellite laptops lasted slightly more than 5. But this 2011 Macbook Pro can last 10 hours!

The first problem I faced however was the way the Ctrl, Option, Command translate to PC terms. After a year of usage, I must say the PC layout of thr 3 keys are much more ergonomic than the Mac’s. 

Luckily the Mac OS is able to remap these 3 keys to whatever you like it to be. To make them behave like PC, simply map Control as Command, Command as Option, and Option as Control. 

After playing the Macbook Pro for a couple of weeks I was really enjoying my time using the Mac. All my fears are addessed. All the softwares that I relied on are there or have their PC alternatives version. And most of the free softwares you take for granted in PC are only available as PAID version in Mac. But they work well. 

And i knew there was no turning back. 

Myths about Mac:

  • Mac is so stable they don’t hang – truth: My macs hang or become not responsive every now and then both on my MBP and my iMac. 
  • They just work -truth: they just don’t work like they just work any more. Hands off and continuity are working intermittently. WiFi is still problematic at times. 
  • Macs are slower in processing speed compared to PC: Let’s just say that the Mac OS is more efficient then Windows. As such it requires less computing power to perform the same job as Windows PC. 

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Chi Siang Written by:

Hi! I am a Singaporean who used to work and live in Saigon for 6 years. I am married to my Vietnamese wife and we travel back to Saigon regularly. My years living amongst the Vietnamese and not amongst the expats community, gave me an unique insight into Vietnamese people, their culture, and their way of life.

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