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New MacOS User – Week 2

After using Windows beta operating systems since 1992, I now have a new 13″ 2018 MacBook Pro with a Touch Bar.  I have it plugged into a 34″ widescreen monitor. I keep the MacBook open on a stand to the left of the monitor. Here are my thoughts after using it for one week.

Keyboard Shortcuts
I have to use a curve keyboard or my hands start to hurt. As far as I can tell, there is no such thing as a Mac curved keyboard. The good news is that Windows keyboards are compatible. However, my problem is about the keyboard shortcuts. The keys on the bottom left of my keyboard are Control | Windows | Alt | Space.  On the Laptop, it’s different: Function | Control | Option | Command. Not alot of overlap there. So long story, short, I keep messing up cutting/pasting or any keyboard shortcut that uses those keys. Like I still don’t know the keyboard shortcut to get me to the beginning of a line. (Control-left on Windows)

Spaces
It took me a little while to understand how spaces work, but I really like them. Basically, I set up 3 desktops. Home | Figma | Work. I use control-arrows to move between them. It works quickly and is very convenient. It’s better than the Windows alternative. I think there may be more little features like this, but I am definitely a fan.

Window Size/Position
One of the things I miss in Windows is the “Snap” feature. With your mouse, there are these gestures to make windows take up 50% or 100% of the screen. In MacOS, I feel like there is either full screen or floating. What I want, however, is 50% left and right. I just haven’t figured out how to arrange things properly yet. I wonder if there is an extension for the Mac to add snapping.

TouchBar
This is a great idea. I don’t know why people have been complaining about it. I don’t use it very often because it is on the laptop, not the keyboard, but I think it has alot of potential. I’d love to see a curved keyboard for the mac that includes it.

Ports
There are only USB-C ports. This is a pretty big compromise on the system. It makes a dock almost a requirement. I don’t have one now and it makes things a bit annoying.

Summary
The truth is that operating systems don’t matter that much. It’s not better or worse. Chrome works the same either way. MS Office is close to parity – a little better on the Windows side. Anyone who says it’s a big difference is being disingenuous. Once you get used to it, either one is serviceable for normal work use.  I see no reason (with 1 week of use) to declare a “winner”.

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2 Comments

  1. Justin Norris Justin Norris

    Hey Glen – use Size Up (http://www.irradiatedsoftware.com/sizeup/) to get the window snap feature recreated on the Mac. It’s cheap and is one of the most important apps I discovered when switching from Windows. I use it constantly.

Whatya think?

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