Archive for October 26, 2007

Some More Words On Switching to Mac

I’ve had a couple of weeks now trying to adjust to use the Mac. To this point I am overwhelmingly positive to the experience.
I?ve started out using both my old windows XP machine and OS X machine in parallel, waiting for the external hard drive and extra memory to be delivered. Turned out that it was really quick getting used to OS X in general, and not I?ve been using the iMac exclusively for a week. My old PC is donated to my mother. Ah, the life of hardware.
But, there are a couple of things I dislike. The most notable is Finder. There are a couple of really strange design choices there. One is that you cannot move files to other disks by drag and drop. You?ll end up copying them. In fact, you cannot cut and paste files either. Now, I understand the logic for this choice, but it still means that I?ll end up doing extra work when moving files. Frustrating. Oh, and speaking of moving folders, that is something you should be careful with in OS X if you are used the workings of windows. If a moved or copied folder exists in Windows, Windows neatly merges the content of the two. In OS X it replaces. Sure, you get a warning, but still, I don?t see why that would ever be more useful than the merge feature in Windows. It just wastes time (and files, perhaps).
I have not used office 2004 for Mac all that much, but it is useful enough. Things are not always where I want them to be, but that is mostly up to learning stuff. Shouldn?t be a real problem.
There are some free applications that I am missing from Windows, however.
Irfanview is a spectacular piece of software for managing image files, and doing batch conversations of them. Highly useful.
Picasa is very, very good when it comes to handling your digital photos, and uploading them to the web.
Myphoneexplorer is good for handling your (Sony Ericsson) cell phone, backing up contacts, SMS etc. Sure, iSync works well, but I miss being able to backup my SMS.
Luckily, I can run Irfanview and Picasa without any problems on a Windows XP installed using VMware, so that is no big deal. Still frustrating, though.
Myphoneexplorer doesn?t really work well under WMware, however, so that is one piece of software that I am missing.
Other than that? Well, things just work. It took a lot of work to get album covers on most of my albums on itunes. But it looks neat now, both on my Itunes and on the ipod. I like it. Itunes is far better in OS X than in windows, for some reason. Still not sure if I like it or not, but there really aren?t any good alternatives in OS X so I?ll better just bite the bullet and get used to it.
Oh, yeah, I am rather frustrated that Apple hasn?t yet released an update for the problem that the Imac hangs occasionally. Mine hasn?t hanged more than once or twice but still, it bugs me. Had another couple of instances where I?ve had to reboot too, and while reboots are far quicker on OS X than on my old XP machine, I still dislike it.
One of the great things about the Imac is that is rather quiet. Not super-quiet, but quiet. I hear it, but I am hypersensitive when it comes to noise, so that is to be expected. The built in speakers are surprisingly good, works well for music when working.
The single best thing about the machine for me, however, is just how neat my desk and office has become. Almost no cables, almost no clutter. Just two screens (yeah, I use my old 20? Dell as a second monitor, works without any hassle) and a wireless mouse (a Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer II, the mighty mouse is HORRIBLE) and the amazing Apple wireless keyboard. It looks beautiful, at least to me, now that I am free from clutter?

October 26, 2007 at 12:04 Leave a comment

Ok, Sometimes Microsoft Gets Stuff Right (Or so it Seems)

One of the things I tend to spend a tremendious time doing is managing references. Yes, I know there are tools for it, but at times I am horribly lazy, something that hurt me in the long run.
It seems that Microsoft has finally realized that there are a lot of students actually writing academic papers using their software and added features for it.
Have a look here:

Smart stuff. I hope it will be included in Office 2008 for the Mac too!

October 26, 2007 at 11:35 Leave a comment

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October 2007