Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Why I switched from Windows to Mac...

I finally made the move to Mac OSX after much delay and procrastination - enough was enough. For almost a year I was making do, blindly accepting the instabilities of my machine at work, Dell Latitude E6410 Laptop running 64-bit Windows, having to reboot due to random stalls and BSODs after the second month of usage. 

I'd actually got accustomed to the routine, even at my previous company (that time it was on an HP notebook): Boot laptop, login, crash, reboot, make coffee, login, stall, reboot, unplug network cable, login, wait 5 minutes, plug network cable - fine - don't ever use the docking station because it crashes on each undock/dock, don't use wireless because it crashes on ethernet hot-plug...so accustomed was I to this routine, that it didn't really bother me...until I'd lost some important work: Mid-way through writing an email, Outlook would hang or crash without saving, using Excel the same thing happened...Now I'm not a power user anymore, since I've left software development for management, my tools are just: Excel, Outlook, Powerpoint, MS Project, MindManager. My Excel spreadsheets are huge and complicated but not nearly large enough to bring down the whole OS...anyway I decided to note down all the incidents that mattered to motivate my bosses into approving the purchase of the top-of-the range, Macbook Pro.

Bottom-line: Time lost gaffing around PC issues in the workplace is irritating, costs the company money. This is how my time was wasted:

Laptop woes
@3pm hang in outlook whilst typing email. No draft saved
@9am hang in Outlook on boot up. Waited 10 minutes before rebooting. Ctrl+alt+del not responsive. End process not working. 2 mins wait from login to outlook usable
@9.38am hang in outlook when typing. Waited 10 minutes again. Rebooted
@10:56am LT unresponsive after boot up. Left alone for one hour. Never even login. Forced reboot. Haven't done any work yet
@11:04am still unresponsive in outlook
Boot up login stall
20 mins wasted
@09:56 stalled in outlook
Rebooted again in safe mode
Waited 10mins
Type new email - stalls
Needs reboot
Outlook running in safe mode better
@09.30 Using CSS stalls
Forced reboot
@8.30 booted from cold. Stalled past login. Forced reboot. Wasted 20 mins
@8am boot from cold, outlook. On replying to email, stalls. Lose 15 minutes
@8.25am left pc locked
@16.00pm pc was on standby boot up stalled forced reboot. Wasted 10mins
@16:20pm very unstable. Keeps not responding when browsing email or word document
Booted from standby. Outlook unresponsive. Forced reboot. Wasted 15 mins
@9:11am switched off wifi switched back on, stalled outlook Internet explorer. Stalled whole machine. Windows complains "the application is not responding. The program may respond if you wait. Do you want to end process?"
Wasted 15 mins. Forced reboot
@11.30am adding printer takes 5+ mins to load.
@10.15am stalled on right clicking desktop. Restart. Wasted 15 mins
@15.12 mind manager stalled. Lost 2 hours work
14/12/11 @9.30am boot up, load outlook, stalls. Task bar not responsive. Ctrl+alt+del doesn't work. Forced reboot. Wasted 20 mins
@14.25pm left locked. Come back, stalled. Unable to unlock. Ctrl alt del does nothing. Forced reboot. Waste 20mins
15/12/11 @9am boot to outlook. Read email. Stalls. Reboot. Waste 15mins
19/12/11 @9.30 reply to mail. Stalls. Need reboot. Wasted 20 mins
20/12/11 @9.30 boot up unresponsive. Forced shutdown. Reboot. Wasted 20mins
@9.50am load outlook - reply to email. Stalls. Not responding.  Requires reboot again. Wasted 15min
@10.25am left lt on from just rebooting. Come back. Stalled completely.
03/01/12 @8.50am. Boot up, had to change password. Reboot. Goto outlook stalls. No other app can load. Needs hats reset. Windows not responding message. Wasted 15 mins
05/01/12 @8.30am
Booted, waited 5 mins, went to outlook to update meeting invite. Stalls. Not responding. Requires hard reboot. Wasted 15 minutes
06/01/12 @8.50am
Laptop left powered on overnight. Black screen. Not responsive. Needs  hard reboot. Wasted 10 minutes
16/01/12 @9am
Boot from sleep. Stalls.  Reboot. Outlook. Calendar. Update meeting invite. Stalls. Needs hard reboot. Waste 15 mins
16/01/12 @09.25am
Updated one invite. Stalled on sending second invite. Outlook. Waited 5 mins. Recovered
17/01/12 @08.00am
Boot from cold. Click outlook twice. No response. Not reacting to mouse keys or keyboard. Hard reboot required. Wasted 15 mins
14/02/12 @12.40pm
Complete freeze whilst editing document not saved. Earlier complete freeze whilst presenting on second screen. Forced reboot required
17/02/12 @10.30am
Stalled in middle of typing email. Risk register changes lost. Hard reboot.  Valuable time lost. Wasted 30 minutes redoing updates to risk log
27/02/12 @8.30-09.15am
Rebooted twice. Very unresponsive. Outlook exception on launching. Invalid memory location. Wasted 45 minutes
@9.45am. Outlook stalled on send email. Waited 5 minutes to recover
28/02/12 @10.00am
Left laptop on from 8.40am, came back from meeting. Dead. Ctrl+Alt+Del does nothing
But I crashed my Macbook 3 times in the first two days!

So I ditched the Dell and got my Macbook Pro, funny thing though: I crashed the machine 3 times in 2 days, but since then it's been running just fine:
The first Mac-equivalent of BSOD on trying to run FireFox for the first time

The 2nd & 3rd crash on just using Outlook and Excel

And a classic Outlook crash, not OSX

Initial feelings
  • Mindset change
  • Hate Microsoft not keeping consistent Windows Look n Feel / Behaviour for MacOffice
  • Transfer / Migration process did not work out of the box - manually transferred files
  • Don't like all the complicated key press short-cuts for MacOffice - some short-cuts require a combination of four keys to be pressed!
  • MS Outlook is missing some features
  • Haven't had much time to experiment
  • Love the Mac's Look n Feel - build quality is excellent
Would I go back to Windows?
I'm still 50/50 on this one.  I was brought up with Microsoft products, never used a Mac before until now (20+ years using PC).  I am way more productive on the Windows products, it'll take me some time to get up to the same level...but I'll get there. My home machine is a PC, and it works beautifully - also running Windows 64-bit Quad-Core beefy machine, without serious problems...

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