It’s All Big Cats And Turtlenecks: Why I’m Switching To OS X

Those who know me will know that I have been a Windows developer and user for the vast majority of my computing lifetime. I first encountered Windows 3.11 Professional as a child in the mid-90s, however my usage was limited to clicking Exit to DOS on the way to games such as Wolfinstien 3D and the original DOOM.

Eventually, we upgraded to Windows 95 A and very rapidly on to Windows 98 where I began my obsession with software development after receiving a copy of QBASIC for Dummies from my Granddad.

And there I stayed until roughly 2002 when my family purchased a new computer running the still relatively new and shiny Windows XP which remained with us until at least 2010. During that time I learned JavaScript (before anyone had heard the terms Web 2.0 or jQuery) dabbled in C++ with Borland’s VCL and most memorably was introduced to C# and Visual Studio with Visual Studio Codenamed “Orcas” (a.k.a. Visual Studio 2005, IIRC). 

I still remember the joy i felt when the Visual Studio 2005 Express Editions were announced as I wouldn’t have to stop using IntellSense which by now I’d become so accustomed to I was annoyed it wasn’t in Word.

 Around this time I also took part in several  pre-release programs including “Kahuna” which would go on to become Windows Live Mail. as well as several pre-release versions of Messenger that would form the basis of Windows Live Messenger. I also took part in the pre-release program for early versions of Office 2007, which may have have a cool name that I’ve long since forgotten.

So…if I’ve spent such a large amount of my life living and working with Windows. why am I now switching? Good question. The simple answer is frustration.

Last night I couldn’t get to sleep and decided that watching a DVD (specifically Season 1 of MTV’s Awkward) would be a good idea, so I inserted the disc only to be told that due to some non-specified incompatibility between the DVDs copy protection and my system would mean that either I jumped the traditional troubleshooting hoops, or I watched something else.

I’m quite capable of troubleshooting most computer issues I encounter, and troubleshoot I did, but no media player would touch the disc despite the fact that I had the Media Centre feature of Windows 8 installed and the codecs required to play this DVD were present on my system and I’d used them to play this very media on this very system in the past.

Tired and annoyed I rebooted into OS X, inserted the disc, clicked DVD Player and it played.

Being both a person of sound and reasonable mind and one accustomed to computer use in general, one isolated incident is not in itself enough to justify a change of platform. The incident described above was just the final trigger.

I’ve always maintained that despite the widespread criticism it has (rightly) received for the Metro interface, there are positives to Windows 8, but I’ve found the level of inconsistency between 7 and 8 uncomfortable for reasons other than the user interface.

The fact DVD playback and TV support via Media Centre is not included out of the box is just one such frustrationThe cumulative effect of several small frustrations over a period of several months has me at the end of my rope as far as daily use of Windows 8 is concerned.

To remedy this, I’ll be booting into OS X on a daily basis starting today. I will still maintain a proper windows install for games, and my software development will be done in a VM from within OS X.

Initially, I am expecting to need to reboot a bit to use Office applications until I can afford to replace them with Apple’s iWork suite. I am aware of Office for Mac, but I’d at least like to try the Mac native solution first.

So that’s that. I’ll keep you posted with how the switch is going.

PS: Suggestions for apps that I might need on OS X are welcomed


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