Apple MacBook Switch Experience

I’ve been using Windows for over 10 years, I would say I’m an expert windows user having worked at Microsoft on some of the aspects of Windows XP and some early Vista designs. I’ve played with Mac’s over the years. I’ve had an iMac, the cube Mac and a Mac-mini but these have always served as secondary testing machines. You never really learn a system until you’re immersed in it. A few months ago I decided to take the plunge, the MacBook Pro was the first time that I would be using a Mac to actually get work done.

Summary
The MacBook Pro is the best laptop I’ve ever owned (Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Toshiba, Gateway, Compaq). The hardware is well engineered and elegant. The operating system and applications are amazing at times and frustrating at others. This is partly the frustration of transitioning from Windows and partly the lack of certain features that I take for granted. Overall the experience has been positive. The Mac software community seems to be more passionate about creating quality applications. While at times this means that there are fewer applications the average quality of applications seem to be higher. I’ve been using Parallels Desktop as a tool for Windows applications, this has provided a critical stepping stone through the process.
The Hardware
The design of the overall hardware seems simple but the subtle touches do add up.

  • When you close the lid hidden magnetic latches hold the cover closed.
  • The power connector has a magnetic plug (MagSafe) preventing you from yanking your laptop onto the floor.
  • When the laptop is in a dark room the keyboard gets backlit and the monitor adjusts brightness automatically.
  • The battery pack on the bottom has a touch sensitive readout of the current charge allowing me to know if it needs to be plugged in without turning it on.
  • The DVD is slot loaded from the front so there’s no flimsy plastic DVD tray.
  • The caps lock and num-lock keys have a little light directly on the key showing you that it’s on.
  • A web cam and microphone is built directly into the frame
  • The fastest resume from standby I’ve ever seen
  • Etc. Etc. Etc. None of these would be considered ‘must have’ features but together they create an experience that you can’t get elsewhere. The design is minimalist and may not suite everyones aesthetics or their personality but it is defiantly well engineered.

The Software Experience
Changing operating systems is strange because the things you thought you knew are no longer true. Some of these things are so hard-wired through repetition that even a month later I’m still catching myself hitting Enter to open a file and swearing when I realize I’m renaming it. The lack of a second mouse button was initially infuriating however the new MacBooks allow you to do a two-finger tap to perform the right click action.

The Good:

  • iLife – The basic tools for editing photos, videos and music are in the box. These are quality tools that don’t typically come free with a PC.
  • Graphics – The graphics are stunning, the little details are everywhere from the genie effect to Expose and the dashboard effects. I found myself entertained and even after a month it hasn’t gotten old.
  • Applications – Safari, iChat, iDVD and others are really nice applications. They do what they are supposed to do and not much else. These applications aren’t ideal for power-users but they are perfect starter applications. This actually leaves a good opportunity for third party developers to create the tools that aren’t part of the basic package.
  • Parallels – Some applications just aren’t available for the Mac. I still live in Outlook and despite it’s drawbacks it’s still more powerful combination then iCal & Mail. I tried MacOffice but it was a joke, why use MacOffice when you can run the real thing. The ability to have ALL popular applications working on the same box is a killer feature that’s helping Apple sell millions of boxes (to people like me).

The Bad
After using the Mac for a month there are a number of things that I continue to be frustrated with.

  • There’s no easy way to start an application that you don’t use very often. I have to open a folder and browse around for the application I need. What’s it called again? What folder does it live in? Third party tools like QuickSilver provide a shortcut for quickly launching apps but I’m shocked that a better launcher isn’t built in. Yes, I miss the start button.
  • The behavior of the dock is confusing. It seems to combine running applications, shortcuts, minimized running applications, system tools and the trash can. I have repeatedly dragged icons into a puff of smoke by accident and had no way to get them back. If you have multiple windows of the same application it’s hard to find the right one.
  • Wireless configuration is very hard to use. If you’re connected to your own access point you’ll be OK but as soon as you go searching for a hotspot you’ll need iStumbler or some other tool to find open access points.
  • DRM just sucks. (this is mostly a gripe about Microsoft not Apple but it caused a ton of frustration). Windows media files won’t play nice on the Mac, tools like flip4Mac, won’t always help. Why are my home movies encoded in WMV? Moving your music, photo and documents is a real pain.

The Ugly

  • The Mac namespace is just ugly. Initially I thought that “Music” = “My Music” and “Pictures” = “My Pictures” but this isn’t correct. The file system namespace exposes users to all sorts of document and application internals. If you want to browse music files you need to use iTunes and if you want to browse photos it has to be iPhoto. It seems that users aren’t supposed to organize files in these locations (even though they are exposed in the finder). It’s really easy to mess up your filesystem and applications.
  • Installation of applications – This seems to be all over the map. Most application download a file that mounts a virtual drive, it’s then up to the user to drag that file into the applications folder. I then delete the the file unmount the drive by dragging it into the trash and then I have to go find the application I installed. (What was it called again?) It just seems strange and unnatural. Uninstall is just as bad (often worse) and I always feel that I haven’t truly uninstalled it even though it’s deleted.

OSX
Overall OSX is a very capable system. Like the hardware there are a lot of special touches and finesse throughout the system. Some aspects of the system are clearly better then Windows while others seem confusing and awkward at times.

How do you measure the success of an OS?

Out of the box I could deffinetly do more with a Mac then a PC however I can’t say I got more ‘work’ done on a Mac or was more productive. i would say that I had more fun. This is subjective but the OS does encourage you to play, create, listen to music, look at photos, etc. This emotional aspect is why fans of the OS are so passionate. It’s this emotional aspect that reminds us that we’re human and having fun is part of who we are.


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35 thoughts on “Apple MacBook Switch Experience”

  1. You don’t like what you don’t yet understand.

  2. If you drag a directory (e.g. Applications) to the Dock you should end up with a Start menu-esque folder menu. Alternately, a third-party launcher such as QuickSilver (which also does a lot more) or DragThing.

    Installation of apps is more a personal preference. I much prefer it the Mac way – self-contained apps rock my world – although an uninstall process that cleaned up app-related rubbish would be a Godsend.

    Not quite sure where you are headed with your comments on the folder namespacing… Music, Pictures and so on are just arbitary directories, but then so are My Music etc. on XP (haven’t played with Vista much so can’t comment there). Some application agnostic music/picture DB would be nice, but that’s getting more into mythical WinFS territory. One day, maybe.

    I do agree completely on wireless though. It’s rubbish, it really is…

  3. Control-click (or right-click) on an application’s icon. You’ll see an option “Show package contents”. OS X applications, like NeXT ones before them, are actually bundles. The support files are there in the bundle, as you can see by browsing through the bundle in Finder.

    This means that there is no need for an installer. Windows needs installers, because it’s spraying files all over the machine (and making cryptic entries in the registry–sometimes dozens of them). And Linux desktops are little better in this respect.

    So, in most cases, no installer is needed. It’s all done by drag-and-drop. All you have to do is drag the application bundle to the machine’s Applications directory. Alternatively, if the application is just for one of the users, create an applications directory in the user’s Home area (i.e., ~/Applications) and drag it there. (This, of course, is not possible on Windows, which has no “Home” area.)

    Uninstallation is equally simple. You delete the bundle. There’s no registry, and you don’t need to worry on that score. There will be an XML preferences file in the user’s Preferences directory (i.e., ~/Preferences) with the extension .plist.

    For example:

    com.ranchero.NetNewsWire.plist

    You can delete that, too. But it doesn’t really matter if you don’t. Some applications will also put something in ~/Application Support. If so, delete that, too–but again it’s not critical and leaving it alone is not going to cause you problems.

    Worries about uninstallers are a hang-over from people’s experiences on Windows. There are 3rd-party uninstallers for OS X; but, frankly, I think they can be said to be exploiting concerns people have brought with them from Windows in order to sell them something they don’t need.

    By all means be wary of the few applications for OS X that _do_ use installers, specially if they ask for an adminstrative password in order to install. If they’re using the Apple installer, after loading the installer and before running it, you can choose “Show files” off the File menu and get a full manifest. You could also use the Unix command “find” with the “newer” switch to check after installation:

    http://rixstep.com/2/20050530,00.shtml

    But, as I say, most applications on OS X install by drag-and-drop and can be “uninstalled” by deleting the bundle. OS X does not suffer from the architectural flaws of Windows:

    http://www.roughlydrafted.com/Oct05.5Flaws2.html

    Relax and enjoy it.

  4. Congrats on the MacBook Pro! Wish I had one. 🙂 Anway: I have a couple of suggestions for you. First: Bad no. 1. Do yourself a favor and make a smart folder ( Finder > File > New Smart Folder ). Do a search for Kind is Application on Computer. You’ll get yourself a nice list of all apps on your MacBook Pro. Save the Smart Folder somewhere in your Home folder or on the Desktop. Drag that folder to the right part of the Dock, where you can store your folders (the left part is for Apps). Next time you need a seldom used app click on the folder and choose your app. It’s fast and easy.
    As for Bad no 3: Go to System Preferences > Network. Select AirPort and check Show AirPort Status in Menu Bar. That way new wireless networks can be choosen directly from the AirPort Menu Extra.
    A setting in System Preferences > Network > AirPort > Options will let you join an open network automatically, btw.

    Ton

  5. Cograts to the MacBook Pro! For Application choosing simply drag the Applications folder to the right side of the dock. If you click and hold a bit longer on the Icon the folder opens in a list where you can choose the app you like. In this application folder is always a second directory called the Utilities Folder, where all utilities are stored. Its as convenient as the Start Menu in Windows.

    For wireless: As Ton55 just said, simply let the Airprt status show up in the Menu Bar. Any wireless hotspot in range will show there automatically. Simply choose the one you wish.

  6. Use Spotlight to find seldom used apps. Just type what you remember of the name in the search (CMD ).

  7. GIve it time Greg. As you said yourself, you’re still applying Windows metaphors to the Mac.

    Your comment about Music and Pictures folders, most specifically, shows that you’re still getting into your Mac groove.

    The Music, Pictures and Movies folders are there to help you organize your media files.

    Since iTunes and iPhoto are bundled with the Mac, they put all their data into (suprise!) Music/iTunes Library and Pictures/iPhoto, respectively.

    You can still put your own media files inside the media folders all you want. Just refrain from touching the iLife app’s folders and you should be good to go.

    I have to agree though that Apple should at least put a warning file inside those folders to notify users that they’re better off going thru the iApps instead of fiddling with the files themselves.

    As for finding the window of a running application, have you tried Expose? Just click on ANY window of the application and hit F10.

    Expose will reveal all the windows of that application and you can simply click on the window you’re looking for.

  8. After exclusively a Windows user for many years (both at work & home) I recently switched to an Intel CoreDuo iMac for my home machine, mostly just to have an OS that felt different from XP that I use at work all day, so I could feel less like I was working.

    Overall I’m pleased with it, but I still feel that interaction with OS X is “slow” compared to XP. Pull down menus show up a 1/2 second after I click on them… the same 1/2 sec delay seems there when I switch between windows or applications. I hate the dialog boxes that “windowshade” scroll down, ’cause that takes an extra second too. I get frequent “spinning wheels of death” for 5-10 secs when I try to jump from Safari to iPhoto.

    The overall impression is of an OS that sacrifices speed for a certain amount of “glitz” that I’d rather not have. The processor itself is plenty fast(as when converting all my mpeg2 home movies to mpeg4). Does anybody else get this impression? Or is it just me? Do I need more than my 1Gb of memory?

  9. Re: “There’s no easy way to start an application that you don’t use very often.”

    Use Spotlight. Hit apple-key & Space Bar then type in the first few letters of the app. When it comes up in the results select it and hit return.

    I had the same problem until I got used to using spotlight. Once you get the spotlight mindset, you never really have to open a folder again.

    Some people recommend quicksilver but I have found it too complex for my needs. YMMV.

    FYI…OS X 10.5 looks to improve upon spotlight in significant ways that you may like.

  10. Slot loading automatically limits you to full-sized discs, though, right? I use mini-CDs and mini-DVDs all the time.

  11. Good luck with your switch!
    As others have mentioned, the easiest way to access Applications is to just drag it to the dock.

    Brianary, yeah, Apple doesn’t recommend other size media-which is odd, because my Nintendo Wii has a slot loading drive, that can read both the standard Wii discs, and the tiny Gamecube disks no problem.

  12. To clarify others comments about putting Application (or Utilities) Folder in dock. If you just click the dock folder icon it will span a Finder window; however, if you mouse down and hold for a count (or Right mouse) it will popup a list of the entire contents of the folder which is similiar to your Windows start menu functionality. Enjoy!

  13. I use both Windows ans OS X in my workplace every day. It’s the little tiny things that drive me up a wall with OS X.

    Like the fact that if you accidentally click on a separator bar or whitespace in a menu, the menu goes away instead of ignoring the click.

    Or how there doesn’t seem to be a way to drag files to a Finder window that’s hidden behind another window.

    Or that I can’t choose to have sub-folders aggregated to the top of a folder listing (this makes navigation through the filesystem a real pain).

    I could go on, but I’m not trying to start an OS war. I have the “little tiny things” gripe about Windows too, but for different reasons, like how I can’t natively drag and drop taskbar buttons to re-order them on the taskbar. (And if any of you know of ways to solve the above OS X gripes, I’m all ears. I’d love to know how to get around those problems.)

    But I think Greg is spot on about the emotional difference being the biggest part of the success of an OS. There’s definitely a more creative aspect to the experience of using OS X versus Windows.

  14. Congrats. The biggest challenge when moving from Windows to Mac is getting used to the fact that the Mac OS hides very little from you, and prefers you to be icon-centric in getting to (and installing) apps, folders and files. Windows is menu-centric, which can be faster, but limits your knowledge of where the heck everything is (including the parts of an installed app). As someone noted earlier, you can help your transition by dragging the Applications folder to the right side of your Dock (near the Trash) to create that pseudo-Start menu.

    On AirPort: Be sure to have the latest updates to AirPort Extreme. Also, if problems continue, look in your home folder’s Library/Preferences folder and delete any .plist file with “internetconfig” in its name, then restart. I had the same problem, and found the answer on http://www.macfixit.com.

    Sadly, Microsoft tightly controls the codecs used to play certain WMV files. While the Flip4Mac software helps with most, it has a security flaw. I recommend a handful of options: use VLC (an open source movie player), upgrade your QuickTime to the Pro version and convert what files you can, and/or buy Parallels Desktop for Mac, install and run Windows as a virtual machine to aid your transition and the very few items that have no direct Mac counterpart. Good luck.

  15. Kevin,
    If you’re having a 1/2 second delay on your computer there is some kind of problem. On my 3 year old PowerBook G4 I don’t have delay in menus or in Tab-switching unless I’m running multiple apps at once (like over 5), or if I’m running processor intensive apps like iMovie and iDVD at the same time. I’ve played around with a few of the Intel Macs and I had no responsiveness issues at all. I’m not sure what would be causing that issue, but it’s definitely an issue. In a recent test of exactly this thing, i.e. – UI responsiveness, OS X was rated as faster than both XP and Vista. That has been my personal experience as well. I’m not exactly sure what the problem might be on your machine, but 1GB of RAM should be enough. That’s about what I have. I have 1.25GB with a 1.3 GHz G4. I have a pretty smooth experience overall.

  16. “Or how there doesn’t seem to be a way to drag files to a Finder window that’s hidden behind another window.”

    You can use Expose to reveal all Finder windows and drag your file where you want it to go. I’ve personally configured Expose with corner screen hot spots instead of shortcuts, so when i drag a file i simply flick my mouse to one of the corners, hover over the destination window in Expose and let go when it becomes active. this works between apps as well as within the Finder. It’s really fast when you get used to it.

    Alternatively if you can see a small amount of the window you want to drag to, drag your file over it and wait a few seconds: that window will temporarily come to the front and allow you to drop your file. Once it’s dropped your previous window will come back to the front.

    There are a lot of little things like this in OS X that aren’t immediately obvious – especially when you come from another OS. And as others have said, wireless networking is effortless once you enable it in the menu bar. I can instantly see all wifi networks available, choose the one I want and join. It’s also configured to join trusted networks automatically (work, home, my friend’s or sister’s house) so i don’t even have to do anything when i get to these places: Airport sees the network and connects, just as it would if i was roaming through my home network. Can’t really get any better i think.

  17. Several good suggestions on how to launch seldom used applications. I like the smart folder in the dock idea. I have done something similar where I would make a folder full of aliases for used, but not often used apps, and put that in my doc. I’d call it a Launcher folder.

    It’s true that if you want to find photos or music, you should use iTunes or iPhoto, and not the Finder. But, this is actually a good thing because it’s so much more powerful to search and sort music and photos with tags, and music with metadata(composer, album, artist, etc.) than to look through hierarchal folders. With iTunes for instance, a song can be in multiple playlists…. and *Smart Playlists* have all kinds of possibilities to organize your music.

    You can always drag iphoto and itunes music from itunes or iphoto to any folder in the finder (or, usually, a file transfer utility like an ftp program) and it will copy it to wherever you drag it.

  18. I’m wondering what the problem with the search for a wireless network is. You can add an airport item to the menu bar. Every windows user I’ve seen is envious when I connect to wireless networks without having to open any windows. All you do is click the menu and you can see all available networks in range. The only drawback of the menu to me is that if there are many networks in range, it doesn’t show which ones are secured with a password.

  19. Kevin – if you don’t have *at least* 1GB of RAM in a Mac OS X machine, things will definitely be slow. This is especially the case if you’re running any non-Intel native apps like MS Word 2004 or Photoshop. In addition, Safari is a notorious memory leaker — it’s currently using 186MB of real RAM on my Mac Pro, for instance. I try to quit out of it every couple of days for that reason. Even with 2GB of RAM, things can slow to a crawl if I have a lot of emulated (non-native) apps open (Photoshop, InDesign, FileMaker 6, Word, Excel, Entourage). This situation will obviously improve dramatically once more apps are made into “Universal Binaries.” Finally, make sure you don’t have too many Dashboard widgets running… each one of them will take a chunk of RAM.

    It really helps to see what’s eating memory by opening Activity Monitor in Applications > Utilities, then selecting the System Memory tab. If your “Free” memory (in green) is often in the single digits, you probably need more RAM.

  20. Regarding having to manually show the Airport Menu Item, I seem to recall it being visible by default on all new Mac laptops… but that certainly could have been my imagination, or maybe that’s no longer the default.

  21. Dylan – can you explain this in more detail?
    “Or that I can’t choose to have sub-folders aggregated to the top of a folder listing (this makes navigation through the filesystem a real pain).”

    What “view” style are you referring to… List or Column view? I’ve noticed that a lot of Windows users here (at my Mac-based office) tend to use the disclosure triangle next to folders in List view, which is a bad idea when you’re trying to navigate through the file system. Column view is much more Windows-like. Bear in mind that until the advent of Mac OS X, Mac users navigated by opening a new window for each subfolder.

  22. An easy way to open one specific window of a certain application is to right-click on the application’s icon in the dock. This will display a menu containing commands for the application, but also a list of all open windows. Selecting one of the listed windows will bring it to the front. This even works if the application is hidden.

  23. Oh, another sea of comments from random Web users…

    About the slight delay in menus, and the “sheet” dialog boxes unrolling from their windowframes —

    I can see how a slight delay of a menu’s appearance can be disconcerting, but then again, it’s not often that you’ll move your cursor to the right spot that quickly anyway. And, I’ve found that the Mac’s menus are a lot more forgiving of my sloppiness, especially when going to various submenus (like “Edit -> Find -> Google Search” in Safari, for example). If I’m a little off in aligning the cursor, the menu doesn’t disappear right away.

    The sheet-style dialog boxes are much, much better than the boxes seen elsewhere and notably on the Mac prior to OS X. They take a second to animate (yet still no slower than it takes to move your mouse to anything clickable), but the animation also makes it clear exactly which document it’s referring to. Watching the original keynote address about OS X — the one where Steve Jobs shows off the fundamental GUI changes due in 10.0 — really puts this in perspective. In the pre-X days, a dialog box would appear at the front of an application, and it would require your attention right away, sometimes bringing everything else to a halt. The first public demonstration of OS X’s dialog sheets literally drew cheers and applause from the audience.

    Keep messing with it, and you’ll find other ways where the interface makes a lot of sense. One thing I learned just tonight was, if I drag a URL from Safari, the dragged object shows the little icon and the webpage’s title rather than either a plain blank rectangle or the URL’s actual (and often cryptic) text.

    Oh yeah — command-click on a Finder window’s title, and you’ll see that folder’s path pop up.

    Another trick: If you have an open document (like an image), you can click & drag the micro-sized icon located in the document window’s title bar… which will behave as if you were dragging the full-sized icon from the Finder itself. This way, if you have something open and wish to move it to another folder, you only need to locate its destination, and you don’t need to fiddle around with finding the folder in which it’s originally housed. It’s really hard for me to describe when I’m so tired, but it’ll make sense when you try it.

    Anyway… good luck, and have fun!

  24. Kevin,
    Regarding the 1/2 second delay, try downloading and running Tiger Cache Cleaner from http://www.northernsoftworks.com/tigercachecleaner.html. Deep clean the caches. This will delete them. After cleaning, you will be forced to restart. The first restart after cleaning will take longer than normal, while the cache folders are recreated. After that, your machine will probably run faster.

  25. Re: iPhoto and iTunes managed media
    There are options in both programs to manage your own music / photos. If you really want to.

    Re:1/2 second delay in menus
    You’re not going to see a full 1/2 second delay with newer Macs on menus. Keep in mind that OS X uses a sophisticated compositing engine, unlike Win XP. It’s going to have more overhead. Windows Vista uses a similar compositing engine, and Vista has a whole bunch of overhead. Look at the sys requirements for Aero Glass.

    Re: folders not grouped together at top of Finder windows
    If you’re in Detail view, click “Kind” (name of one of the columns) to group the folders together. It’s not quite the same thing as Windows, but it does group folders together.

    Re: dragging files to a hidden Finder window
    I grab the file, press F9 to activate Expose’, find the window I want, and hover the file over the little representation of the window until it grows to full size. Then I let go of the mouse button. Sounds complicated, actually quite easy and convenient. Or, if you don’t like that, open two Finder windows and put them side by side. The old fashioned way.

    Bot

  26. Greg,

    AppZapper ($15) http://www.appzapper.com is a perfect little single-function app that does one thing: helps you un-install apps. It finds p-lists and other debris associated with apps.

    Overflow ($15) http://www.stuntsoftware.com might help with infrequently used applications. That is one of the ways I use it. For example, I have a category in Overflow called Music and in it I have all my music-related apps.

    ,dave

  27. BTW, there is a way to speed up or slow down “sheets”, the dialog windows that slide out of app windows. Google for it. It’s a terminal hack.

    Bot

  28. Re: folders not grouped together at top of Finder windows

    Put a space as the first character for the folder’s name.

  29. Yes, why are your home movies encoded in DRM-protected WMV?

  30. I use TigerLaunch to launch applications that I don’t use often enough to start at login or keep in the dock. It puts a tiny icon in the menu bar. One click on the icon opens a drop down list of applications. You decide which apps are shown in the list. TigerLaunch is freeware from Ranchero Software , with which I have no personal connection.

  31. ditto to James.

    as to the Wireless configuration i use a dashboard widget called “airport” i keep it open all the time in case i need to search for hotspot points. having it in the middle of my dashboard makes it easy to see as i just drag my mouse to one of my “hot corners” and my dashboard pops right up.

    i do know what you’re saying about organizing your music in the folders…you can easily mess it up if you do it that way (i know because i have done it). it is best to use itunes and make the necessary changes through each songs info, although if you purchase all of your music through itunes i would imagine that life would be simpler on that front. i love itunes i use it non-stop and i wouldn’t have it any other way. (although, i just downloaded the new version and don’t exactly see the difference.)

    i have no problem with iphoto…i actually like how iphoto organizes my photos in the folder…by date of upload.

    an uninstall app is probably the only thing i think is missing from the apple menu

    the switch will take some adjustment, but you’ll get used to it. i made my switch 6 years ago and i haven’t looked back.

  32. Re : Leland — “command-click on a Finder window’s title, and you’ll see that folder’s path pop up”

    Actually, command-click on ANY document window’s title, and you’ll see that document’s path pop up (unless it is an unsaved document, of course). Selecting any folder from this menu will open a Finder window of that folder, with its child in the path being automatically selected (i.e., if you click in the menu on the folder containing your doc, the folder will open and the icon of your document will be selected, making it very easy to find it).
    Very useful.

    Re : dragging files to a hidden Finder window
    As has been said, you can use Exposé or hover the dragged file over any visible part of the background window. In both cases, if you want to avoid the 1/2 second delay that exists before the window get to the foreground, hit the spacebar.

  33. “There’s no easy way to start an application that you don’t use very often. I have to open a folder and browse around for the application I need.”

    Hey, my friend, you can just create a new folder, and put your frequent use apps’ alias (shortcuts) in it, then drag and drop the folder to the Dock’s right side, then you can just click + hold the icon you just dropped to launch your other apps which you don’t want them be list on the left side of Dock.

    Furthermore, to make Dock more beautiful, you can customize the folder’s icon.

    Why you miss the stupid “Start” button on windows? You click then a bundle of things turn out like a big flower? Com’on, life is beautiful, don’t face to shit everyday….

  34. Hey. so my burning question (as I’m considering the same decision) is: How’s outlook? I have MASSIVE PST files and lots and lots of email and I use a piece of, well now it’s legacy, software called x1 to search them all.

    Living in Outlook on parallel running windows on a mac. does it really work? will I hate it once I switch?

    also, what about World of Warcraft? i mean, a guy can’t read his email all night in those hotel rooms.

  35. r.titus – Outlook works fine. I have it running 80% of the time with several gigs of data. I also have Google desktop running to search it all and it hasn’t been a problem. I’m not a PC gamer (xbox only) so I can’t really comment on World of warcraft or other games. I’ve heard that 3d games don’t really work in Parallels and you have to use bootcamp and duel boot.

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