“Switching”

A couple of my colleagues have been thinking about buying a new laptop. I was keen to extol the virtues of my ibook, but discovered they needed little persuasion on this front—a single trip to the Apple store and they were hooked. The only problem they have now is ibook or powerbook!

This reminded me that I should post a quick update on my “switching” experience. Most interestingly, using Windows at work has given me a new insight into just how awful the Windows desktop experience is, something I had always assumed that Windows did fairly well given its popularity. In reality the interface is horribly and confusingly inconsistent, and seems to pay scant attention to the theory of Human-Computer Interaction.

Anyway, I digress! I upgraded to Tiger and a Mighty Mouse a month or so ago, so I’ll post about them in more detail sometime. But in the mean time three applications that I’ve come across recently:

  • Adium is a very swish open-source IM client that supports pretty much every protocol under the sun.
  • Camino is a Mac-native web browser using the Mozilla rendering engine. For day-to-day browsing, Apple’s bundled Safari is much slicker, but there are a few sites out there which tell Safari users to go away and use Firefox or IE instead. There is, by all accounts, a perfectly good version of Firefox (& Thunderbird) for OS X, but until recently I had heard that as a cross-platform app, the performance was a little sluggish. Reportedly this will be much better in 1.5, but currently between Safari and Camino, all my web browsing needs are taken care of.
  • Desktop Manager. Sadly my previous virtual desktops program, virtue does not work under 10.4, and so I’ve had to switch to the program that inspired virtue to be written instead.

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