There have been many high profile PC users who have publicly switched to using Macs. One of the most notable of whom is David Coursey of ZDNet, who wrote a series of articles detailing his experiences in using a Mac for a month. In the end, Mr. Coursey switched and has become a rather vocal Mac advocate.
Perhaps not as well known as Mr. Coursey, Alan Scheinberg of OS News took on a similar challenge and used a Mac for a month. He reports his impressions in a recent article titled "Month with a Mac: Can the Mac replace my PC?." Mr. Scheinbergis lengthy review covers a lot of ground and is full of insights and impressions which highlight features which he liked:
Launching System Preferences, I immediately found that configuring the system was a breeze. The Mac jumped right online, and making the desktop look like I wanted was more than intuitive. Setting up MacMail was also a breeze. Since my webmail account is POP3 enabled, I hopped on and pulled down my mail without a hitch. MacMail is actually a nice program - not so much better than the equivalents in other worlds (Outlook Express, Mozilla Mail, Evolution, KMail), but certainly an attractive and matching app.
... and features he didnit like on the Mac and OS X.
OS Xis biggest problem is that itis slow. And if you take nothing else away from this review, it should be that. OS X is slow. Even with incredible hardware, as I said, it just about compares to the speed of Windows. Even Linux, installed with all the bloat - Gnome, KDE, etc. - when running on the same hardware, is about as fast. The dual processors made a lot of the complaints Iive read virtually transparent, such as Window-resizing delays, but nonetheless, the whole environment feels like itis playing catch up to my will, and to me, this is killer.
In the end Mr. Scheinberg opted to stay with the PC.
Apple has gone to great lengths to research user behavior and user interface. Their much discussed Aqua interface is clearly attractive, although I find its behavior, after weeks of use, more show than action. While itis very professional and sleek looking, at times, it feels like what it actually, like many Linux applications - a GUI front end to a much more powerful system underneath. With Jaguar, Apple has introduced the Quartz Extreme graphics engine which claims to render graphics at breakneck speeds. Although apparently successful, the OS is general is graphics heavy. While more attractive than Luna, for example, the transparency and animations are definite eye candy, and itis RAM that, frankly, I could spare for more complex operations. In my opinion, while Jaguar looks like the most modern OS on the market, it also feels effortful at times. Even after weeks of use, the Mac environment felt alien to me. Not that itis so obscure, just that it feels less natural to use a panel that doesnit have an expanding "Start-menu-like" drawer. I feel more "at home" in Gnome and KDE.
While Mr. Scheinberg didnit switch he has a lot of nice things to say about the Mac and OS X. His article is an interesting read.