OS X and Windows 7 and Me

This is about my experience with OS X from my perspective — don’t forget, everyone’s different. This all took place over a little more than a year.

Chapter 1 – Introduction to Mac

About a year ago I purchased a MacBook Air and was excited to get it up and running and learn everything Mac. It was awesome at first. I was learning shortcuts, command line tricks, brew packages, and Xcode. I was installing menu bar tweaks, dynamic backgrounds …it was FUN!

Then I got into the applications like iPhoto, Aperture, Mail, Microsoft Office 2011, Illustrator, FaceTime, Adium, etc.

Then work came and I started adapting my work environment into Outlook 2011 and MS Office. Some programs I couldn’t find right away, I started poking around for alternatives such as Visio. Meanwhile, a few programs that are CRM and management tools we have at work only run on Windows which begged the question, “do I RDP into a Windows machine and run these or do I run them in Parallels?” I didn’t want to clutter my shiny Mac with Parallels so I decided to use RDP. RDP on the Mac turned out to be painful. The two or three RDP clients I used were either slow, buggy, or finicky with the keyboard.

Welcome Parallels!! I don’t want to run “WINDOWS!” so I ran Parallels in Coherence mode. I thought it was amazing until I started trying to use Windows keyboard shortcuts and key combinations that didn’t exist because the keys weren’t on the keyboard. I hacked around with the keyboard mapping, settings, it was painful.

Welcome LION!! (and Parallels 7). I found a solution — run Windows full screen and use the three finger swipe to switch between Windows and Mac, perfect! Now I have the best of all worlds.

…whew. I can finally use Remote Desktop. (as a side note, do you see where this is going? Windows. It gets better).

Chapter 2 – My First Serious Problem

Outlook 2011. Yup, I hate it — curse it up and down. You see, I live by my iPhone, multiple computers, and a world of effortless syncing. Enter Outlook 2011 into the equation on an Exchange 2010 server and it “appears” to work great, but guess what? Calendar appointments start acting up, duplicates, triplicates. I started trying to get a handle on it contacting Microsoft, verifying patches and service packs were installed. I finally stopped using it and stuck with Outlook in Windows and the pains continued as I now discovered about 75% of my 500+ contacts that I’ve meticulously entered data for had birthdays now off by one day. Who was off by one day? When did it happen? How do you fix it when it’s only 75% of the contacts? I had no answers to these questions so every time a birthday shows up (a year later), I still have to double-check if it’s correct or not.

Chapter 3 – Cruise Control

I finally figured it out. Run MS applications in Windows/Parallels and run Mac Applications in the Mac. Life went on, switching between Windows and OS X effortlessly thanks to the three finger swipe. Adobe Apps ran in the Mac so when I opened PDFs they opened in one world, Word ran in Windows, and so on. Things were fine but I started to realize, I didn’t really need OS X! I needed Windows — it has all the critical and main programs I use. Yea, OS X had toys and was fun to play in sometimes, but it wasn’t going to get my work done.

Chapter 4 – Divorce and Closing

It’s over. As of this past Sunday, I formatted my MacBook Air’s SSD with NTFS deleting all partitions and installed Windows 7 with Boot Camp drivers.

Here is a summary of Pros and Cons of OS X that I experienced, they are not weighted equally:

Pros Cons
  • FaceTime
  • Adium
  • Unix shell
  • Browsing the web
  • Xcode
  • Everything MS Office (Outlook, etc.)
  • Visio
  • RDP clients
  • Business Apps (CRM, etc)

The Pros have been replaced with Skype, Pidgin, Putty, and VMware. The short list of Cons makes me money. I’ll have to have fun without OS X.

Oh, and the thing about Viruses and Stability: OS X is not more stable than Windows 7. I’ve seen it crash many times over the past year. Viruses? I haven’t had a virus on any of my computers in…. well, I can’t remember it’s been that long (AND I don’t run Antivirus software).

  1. Mark robotham’s avatar

    Did you ever get a fix for your office outlook 2011 birthday duplicates issue. I have the same curse


    1. brendon’s avatar

      Negative. Since trying to get Outlook working on my Mac, I also helped a few others with different configurations (G-Apps, POP, etc). Lets just say none of them use Outlook. One went back to Entourage (2008) and the other went to Mac Mail (from Entourage 2004). After my experience and working with others. I recommend to everyone: DO-NOT-TOUCH-OUTLOOK-2011. It’s a waste of everyone’s time.

    2. Phillip’s avatar

      Hmmm. I don’t work at the job anymore, but for 18mos I ran Outlook 2011 against their Exchange server with no problems at all. Granted there are things in Outlook 2011 that just aren’t (and never will be) the same as Outlook in Windows. But i have mixed feelings about that … honestly Outlook in Windows is one of the most god-forsaken app from the bowels of hell ever, but at the same time it’s absolutely necessary for so many of us.

      There are some good RDP clients for Mac .. even M$ has one, but I prefer CORD. I did and do the same as you were doineg except with VMware Fusion (instead of Parallels). I do make money also on my laptop and it was working fine for me, but as they say ‘à chacun son goût’!



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