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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Leap of Faith: Migrating from Windows to Mac

(image credit: snow leopard from

The Journey from Windows to OS-X

I've been a windows user for over 15+ years. Very recently, I had the need to simultaneously program on Android as well as iPhone. While it was pretty simple to get an Android development environment up and running on my laptop, iPhone development mandatorily requires a mac. Having to maintain two laptops and switch between them is a pain, so I thought this was the right time to fully migrate to a Mac laptop and take the leap of faith. So off I bounced to the Apple Store and asked a rep "I need a laptop so I can write programs for iPhone". I felt incredibly stupid saying this. It sounded like I was an antique way out of his league. The sales guy promptly flashed out a spanking new mac-book pro and told me this is all I needed to get started. The specs looked fine - 2.4 Ghz core 2 duo, 4 gig RAM, Wireless-N, 250GB Harddisk et al, so I knew it was a good configuration, hardware wise. Having never used the OS, I had no clue on how it would perform, but what the heck. I bought it and took it to office. I opted not to go for the slightly cheaper macbook and I'm glad I did not.

While I am a newcomer to the  OSX world, I am not a newcomer to Apple. Having embraced the iPhone 3GS, Iphone 4 and iPad a few years earlier, I quite expected Apple to live up to the standards of these devices when it comes to the laptop. I knew, however, that I depend on a lot of Windows applications which may or may not be available for the Mac, but like they say, I took the "leap of faith". I also knew that the "sticker price" for a macbook pro ($1199) was not going to stop there. Apple runs a dictatorial ship - it forces you to change your tools/equipments/habits to fully experience the benefits of their platforms...

My Windows laptop was a lovely Sony Vaio SZ650 - a very light (2.8lbs) high performance laptop which I've been using for the past 3 years and loved it. So here are my experiences, the challenges I faced and how I overcame them (and those I haven't found a way out yet):