I suppose it was only ever going to be a matter of time before I made the switch from a PC at home to a Mac. I’ve been flirting with Apple fandom for a number of years – perhaps following the classic route of iPhone/iPod – then graduating to iPad before finally taking the plunge this week and – after a spell of saving I might add – getting my grubby mits on a Macbook Air.
To say it’s pretty and lovely and a delight to behold and use kinda goes without saying – but it has actually been a steeper learning curve than I expected given the legendary “so simple to use” rhetoric that follows OS X around with it.
I’m a pretty experience Windows user, I’ve dabbled with Linux too – whilst not an uber-geek, I do know my way around computer systems. Command line exercises don’t scare me, and I do quite like getting under the skin of things to make them work (within reason, and less so these days compared to when I was a bit younger and perhaps more time rich). So to be honest, I didn’t think I’d have too much trouble getting to grips with my new toy.
In truth, it’s not been that tough – in fact, the only serious hacking I’ve needed to do has been hacking into my router to make a change to the samba configuration to make sure that my Mac can both read AND write to the NAS (which is in NTFS format). Since we have Windows machines at home too we need the NAS to co-exist with them too.
A bit of preparation time before getting the Mac saw me move my iTunes library to the NAS, so transferring this over has been a doodle – keeping my playlists and play counts intact. Moving my iPhone and iPad backups over was painless too – both are now merrily associated with the new machine, the old Windows laptop reauthorised and awaiting some new function I’ve yet to decide. Currently the iPod – newly Macintosh formatted – is having the entire music library copied to it – surprisingly quickly!
The biggest learning curve for me I think will be the assorted gestures and keyboard shortcuts – for somebody who is used to trackpads with assorted buttons and maybe the option to tap it, the idea of just a blank pad was a bit daunting – until you realise you can scroll with two fingers, drag with three, pinch like on an iPhone to zoom in/out as well as a myriad of other commands. Little things like having no delete key are a headfuck at first, then you realise fn and backspace does that – and you do kinda thing, you know what? That makes sense!
I do think I’m going to enjoy the transition – if nothing else, the sloooooow syncing from the Windows laptop with the iTunes library on the network is no more, it’s a speedy process now. Job one was sorting out iTunes and my assorted iOS devices – now it’s a case of acclimatising and learning the nifty shortcuts that I suspect are lauded as intuitive because once you do become accustomed to them they become second-nature.
That’s okay though, I spend a lot of time fiddling around online so I’m sure I can develop those skills – although I remain unconvinced of the claims I’ve heard that things are so intuitive that even a complete computer novice could get themselves up and running in no time. Maybe that’s because I’m so engrained in the world of Windows in its various recent iterations?