I am in love (with a computer)

My previous post was the first one that I made using my lovely new MacBook Pro. I just have to say: Oh my goodness, this is the most amazing computer I've ever had!

For one thing, I still can't believe that I've basically switched to a different platform in less than a day. And by switched, I mean that I am up and running and being nearly as productive as I was on my PC. I owe this, in great part, to Parallels. I am running Windows XP alongside OS X and it is working better than I thought possible. I've quickly come to the conclusion that the best place to run Windows is under OS X :) I mean it: It boots up faster under Parallels, shuts down faster and -- I don't know how this is possible -- but actually feels faster than it did on my PC (and I have a monster of a PC whose specs match those of the MacBook Pro.)

I am running VirtueDesktop and have Windows XP running full-screen under Parallels on one virtual desktop and my Mac stuff on the other desktop. Ctrl+Shift+Left or Right Arrow lets me switch from Mac to PC and vice-versa in a flash with that lovely rotating cube effect. It completely rocks!

I've started using Mail for my email and I'm generally really happy with it. It did mess up once (it mangled two emails -- keeping the title for one and the body of another) but I'm using IMAP and that was apparently a problem with the local cache as it resolved itself when I copied the messages to a different folder and back. Oh yes, and it also doesn't recognize the tags (labels) that Thunderbird puts on messages and saw all messages I'd tagged as Important as Junk Mail. I have to go through and fix that at some point!

I also love DashBoard. No more messing with Yahoo Widgets (which was, at best, semi-reliable on my PC). In the absence of my beloved Snag-It, I'm using the Screenshot Plus widget. It lacks quite a few of the features that I've come to depend on in Snag-It but, in the short-term at least, it's keeping me going! In any case, the only thing I was really using Yahoo Widgets for was the Lazy Launcher widget for indexing and quickly launching applications. With Spotlight, I have a much faster/more stable solution for that.

I even created my first little Automator workflow. A two-action script to open up the Choose Photo dialog in iPhoto and copy the results to the shared folder I have between my Mac and Windows XP under Parallels. (I'm using iPhoto to store/categorize my photos but I have Photoshop installed under Windows XP so, this way, I can share stuff between them.) I placed the workflow in the Scripts menu, installed FastScripts Lite and, using it, assigned a keyboard short-cut to it.

Possibly the hardest thing is to get used to the different keyboard short-cuts when switching between operating systems so quickly. I kept mixing up Command, Control, etc. at the beginning but, after a day of use, I'm getting used to them and can switch almost as quickly as Virtue lets me! :)

I was just telling Keith on IM: I haven't been this excited about a computer since I got my first one twenty-two years ago.