Moving from development on Windows to OSX

One of the many things that drew me to MerchantCircle was the opportunity to work on OSX and an OS stack. Last Wednesday I got a new 17″ MacBook Pro (OSX 10.6.4, 2.53GHZ core I5, 8GB RAM and 500GB HD) as my primary development machine but this time running and developing using OSX (not Vista). This has been a pleasant change and has stirred up some long dormant Unix commands from college days on Sun workstations. MerchantCircle.com is built on an OS stack and leverages lots of interesting technology which I’m digging into such as NoSQL databases and Python.

One thing that’s made moving to OSX less of a “thunk” is the fact several of my essential applications are available including Google Chrome, JungleDisk, Privoxy, Remote Desktop, Skype, Thunderbird and Trillian. I’m also able to continue using my preferred Microsoft IntelliMouse Optical (though I’m interested in trying Apple’s MagicMouse) and Microsoft Natural Pro keyboard so in many ways I feel right at home. While I’m already familiar with many keyboard shortcuts with the built-in keyboard I’m still scratching my head over the lack of support for the Home/End keys on my MS keyboard.

Regarding the hardware the uni-body MacBook is much nicer and far more solid than the old model I’d been using and the one button multi-touch mouse pad is pure bliss. Unlike the old machine, the new latchless closure means no more jamming of the release button which at times was rather frustrating. The new machine has a rubber seal wrapping the entire screen which means crumbs/dust/dirty/lint etc. is less likely to get to the inside of the machine while carrying it in my bag. Apple has built a highly refined laptop and the marriage of OSX with the hardware is devine.

I happily bid adieu to the various things that didn’t work well using Windows on a Mac like resume from sleep, problematic multi-monitor support and various USB “challenges”.

5 thoughts on “Moving from development on Windows to OSX

  1. Again from your Unix days, you may get re-acquainted with Ctrl+A / Ctrl+E for start of line / end of line. At least, it’s Ctrl on my PC keyboard attached to my Mac Mini, not sure what it would be on a real Apple keyboard.
    I hope MerchantCircle works out. A quick Google search (merchantcircle scam) shows they, or someone allegedly affiliated with them, was in the business of phone spam / SEO-ized hijacking of search results for business that the businesses then had to pay to take control of. Hopefully they aren’t deep into that, or if they were, they aren’t any more.

  2. Hey Barry,
    It’s Apple key + left/right arrow on my MS keyboard though the standard Home/End keys are unmapped. And yes, to my knowledge the issues you found were resolved some time ago.
    -Steve

  3. Good Luck with your new position.
    I guess are won’t be attaching a 30" monitor to your mac for multi-monitor support. It is a little flaky even when you pony up a crazy amount of $$ for that special mac only required proprietary adapter!

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