Thursday, January 25, 2007

Switching to Windows

That's it, I have done it, the unthinkable. I have switched from MacOs X to Windows XP. My idea was first to install Ubuntu on the Mac Mini, but if you want to keep the Mac Os X install, the methods I have read on the web required to use bootcamp. At around the same time I was annoyed by problems I had with bluetooth and Skype in MacOs.

So, with bootcamp installed I decided to give a try to Windows. And it works quite well on the Mac. As I use it mostly as a media box (movies, photos, jukebox, browser and tablature reader) and not really as a developer, I find Windows quite convenient. I have always preferred Picasa to iPhoto. And moving back to Picasa for my photos is a joy. I can't believe the speed difference between the two apps, and it's not a matter of memory, I have 2gb. The crappy ways iPhotos deals with my folders is over. I am also happy to use again foobar2000 instead of bloated (and limited (only MP3s and MP4s)) iTunes. In my quest to look for a convenient setup, I discovered ProjectM visualisation, also available for MacOs X (with iTunes) and Linux. I am quite impressed with the animations. I have the impression that graphics are much faster under Windows than under MacOs, it's probably due to much better optimized drivers.

Today I gave a try to Netbeans 6.0. It's not a dev machine, but I find convenient to sometimes be able modify quickly an existing program, or test some java stuff. It's still in beta, and it shows, I found it so slow! Plus functionality is really not on par with Eclipse when it comes to code analysis. It reports some errors way too long after I corrected them, and it does not report other important errors, for example when a library requires another library. With Netbeans, you see the library problem only at runtime. Under Eclipse, you have an alert in your project, before running it.

What's not working very well is the broken Apple keyboard, I really don't understand why they changed all the non alphanumeric keys in the French keyboard layout. But it's broken in MacOs as well, Another thing is the bluetooth headset. Apple bluetooth drivers don't do that. Anyway Apple bluetooth range in the Mac Mini is a joke. My thinkpad offers a much wider bluetooth range.

Overall I am quite happy with the current setup, being able to use Picasa, foobar2000, Open Office,.and latest software like Skype 3 or Photoshop 9. And I don't have to lose any more time with the freaking Finder backward interface.


  1. wierdo

    Get a cheap pc laptop instead.

    If you don't like Mac why not just get rid of it?

  2. i too prefer many things about Windows, although i hated it for so long. i hate the Finder the most though. i like Picasa a lot and also enjoy using some non-standard audio software for things like ripped video game soundtracks in esoteric file formats. but remember that the Mac also has its own great programs that are not available for PC - such as Aperture (wow). sadly, it looks like i'll be a dual-platformer until somebody comes up with a way to run software from both operating systems in the same interface, without virtual machines or other hacks.