Wednesday, January 04, 2006

mac conversion #3

Wow, got all the development environment up and running, sans a cvs gui client. I tried Mac CVS but never got it working. But aside from that hiccup (am able to use the cvs command line interface without a problem), everything is humming along. I had a brief foray into using Eclipse as a development IDE instead of Textmate but it would occasionally crash. After the Eclipse problems and figuring out a portion of the Textmate Ruby bundle, made this the obvious IDE choice.

Now for the rest of the story.

First there's Microsoft Office. I do a lot of work in Excel and Powerpoint, and am *much* more comfortable with Word and Outlook than the corresponding Apple editor and email/calendar (even though I like the look and feel of iCal much more than Outlook's calendar). So, the obvious choice was to purchase Office for the Mac. This is an expensive package, but worth it based upon the amount of time I spend with these tools (about $400). After installing I needed to get my contacts, calendar schedule, and saved email folders over to the Mac. As a side note I also purchased the excellent book Switching to the Mac by David Pogue. This book covers all the basics of switching and getting comfortable inside apple's skin. One of the recommendations it made for this very task was to look at Little Machines.

Little Machines offers a $10 product that will export your Outlook information into a format that can be imported by a variety of Mac applications. There were other suggestions on how to do this for free but suggested they might take much longer and add to the frustration. I opted to go the recommended route and after configuring which calendars, which contacts, and which email folders to export had a set of export folders ready to push to the Mac in about 15 minutes. I followed the directions but probably due to some mis-step ended up importing into the native Mac apps instead of Entourage (the Mac version of Outlook). This was easily corrected by just dragging the necessary events/folders into Entourage from those apps.

I have not been that impressed by Entourage and may end up reverting back to the Mac apps. I get dup copies of some of my incoming mail messages and attachments from certain people come across as winmail.dat instead of what they should be (some weird MIME problem). Some of my outgoing email messages get random characters cut out. I also get some attachements as The calendar app is not nearly as appealing as iCal and I like Outlook's contact management better than Entourage. I'll give it a few more weeks.

Powerpoint, Excel, and Word all seem to be very good and I like the Mac "Formatting Palette" much better than its counterpart toolbars in MS.

I'm using Adium for instant messaging. It has the Mac aesthetic down and is much cooler than other open source programs (like gaim) that I've used on Windows.

I've transferred all my iTunes stuff over with a brief hiccup in recognizing a couple of music videos I purchased off the iTunes site (need to import, then try to open in iTunes at which point it will give you a dialog that tells you that the file can be used on up to 5 computers and whether this is one of them). I also forgot to set my podcasts to automatically update so after not getting them to transfer after 2 synchronizations, finally figured that one out.

The dashboard widgets are one of the coolest aspects. By setting a hot corner in the dashboard setup I can very quickly pull up the dashboard. I've installed the calendar, sticky notes, stock ticker, dictionary, Monkey Business organizer, itunes, clock, and yes, a lava lamp!

I started a couple of weeks ago a fish out of water but am now Mac functional. I'm sure there are many new adventures out there in Mac land ... and I'm looking forward to them.

viva le mac!

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