This last week included two major milestones for me: first, my tenure vote went through at the department level. This marks the end of a long and exacting journey of teaching, scholarship, and service to the university. More of these to come, of course, but it’s good to feel validated in my efforts at Grand Valley.

The second milestone is my switch over to a Macbook Pro. This blog is getting a little narcissistic in its continued focus on my Windows to Mac shift, but I am going to risk another post on the topic. So far, I am very, very pleased with the new Mac. Here are some of my favorite parts so far:

  • Design. Slim, shiny, and sleek. I could never understand why the PC clones out there couldn’t design anything approaching the Mac. Now I’m beginning to realize just how well-crafted this computer is. The back-lit keyboard is super responsive, nearly silent, and only minimally raised above the deck of the computer. The touch pad is huge and well-placed. Nothing sticks out of the back or sides–the USB ports are inset and the DVD/CD optical drive is a simple slot. Everything is in its right place.
  • Speed. I understand that Mac recently switched to Intel processors; this means that this machine really, really cooks. It boots in about ten seconds and the programs nearly leap off the screen. I know that this will slow as I add programs, but for now, I’m happy with the lightning-quick response time.
  • OSX. I was pretty worried about making the transition to a new interface, but OSX is pretty intuitive. I’m still thinking in terms of Windows, essentially translating Mac components into Windows language (the DOCK is essentially the QUICK LAUNCH), but it’s easier than I thought. I’m not sure I’ll ever be as accomplished on OSX as Windows, but only time will tell
  • Software bundle. Looking forward to trying Garageband and iMovie sometime soon. I have already noticed that iTunes works much better (and faster) on the Mac than it did on my PC. Everything else is looking good, with the notable exception of Microsoft Office for Mac (2008). As a huge fan of Office 2007, I was disappointed to see that many of its features and functions (such as the ribbon and compare documents) are not really integrated into the Mac version. I picked up a copy of Parallels and am still thinking about doing all word processing in Windows, but that seems like a pain to me. I may just have to deal with the more meager offerings of Mac Office until something better comes along.
  • Functionality. There are a few minor irritations, like the lack of forward delete (who wants to use two buttons for this?) and the absence of right-click functions, but overall, I think I’ll like some of the additional functionality (easy program installation and removal) and more drag-and-drop options. Everything does seem to be less accessible, but then again, everything works, so I may not need to access programs as often.

That’s it for now. I promise no more posts on this topic. At least for a few days.