Mark Morford's Lick Me, I'm a Macintosh is a great account of the Apple out-of-box experience. It saves me the trouble of having to describe the experience, since mine matches his, word-for-word.
For those of you that look confused right now, I realize that I have been talking about switching to Linux and here I go and buy into the Mac? Well, perhaps I should have been more clear-- I'm leaving Windows-land for Un*x territory. For PC hardware, that means running Linux. But I decided to buy a Mac because it's the best packaging of Unix out there. FreeBSD at that. Looks, brains and brawn. That's what I love about my PowerBook.
Powerwise, I'm very pleased. CineBench 2003 shows it's 1.25 GHz processor outpaces my former 2.4 GHz Pentium 4 laptop (non-mobile processor at that). It also runs cooler and unbelieveably quieter than any Intel laptop I've ever seen. And it's 3 pounds lighter (at 5.6 pounds) and has a smaller footprint.
I'm still learning all the keyboard shortcuts. One thing that puzzles me about Apple is that they adore the simplicity of a single-button mouse (and trackpad which I'm stuck with), but in order to use the context popup menus, you have to hold down the Ctrl key and press the mouse button. Wouldn't it be simpler to press a second mouse button instead? Seems more accessible and less confusing to me. I have a notebook mouse that I use and the 2nd mouse button works just fine, I'm just arguing that Apple should rethink just how user-friendly it is to make single-button mice these days.
I'm also a little annoyed that the keyboard on the 15" PowerBook is identical to the 12" one. It would have been nice to have a "Del" key that deletes the letter at the cursor instead of having to do Fn+Delete to do that. And can someone explain the extra "enter" key down by the arrow keys? That would been a good place for the "Del" key. Is anyone ever going to use that to press "enter"? Are there any good utilities out there for doing key-remapping?
I've started gathering software, and so far I've registered NetNewsWire -- that was a no-brainer. I've also downloaded Clutter
but for some reason it's not wanting to run (Updated StuffIt to 8.0.1 and re-extracted Clutter, all better now). Fire is a great multi-service IM client. I wish GPG-keyed messaging were more common place in other clients though. John Gruber pointed at LaunchBar the other day and I'll be registering that too. My OS X media for Photoshop should be here soon (Adobe has a process for switching from Windows to Mac or vice-versa. You just pay the shipping on the replacement media). BBEdit looks like the best native editor, but it's pricey (jEdit is a good editor, but it just doesn't have that native Aqua look and feel). And hopefully OpenOffice 1.1 will be released soon for OS X. Firebird is installed, but I find myself using Safari more because it's just so fast. Suggestions for other must-have Mac software are welcome!
I still haven't found a good replacement for Listen Rhapsody. I wish they would port their client to the Mac -- given the success of the iTunes Music Store, maybe they are. While I'm at it, let me say that the iTunes Music Store is very nice and a good way to buy music, but I'm really annoyed by the fact that you can't buy MP3s or convert purchased AAC files to MP3. Come on, Apple. You might as well make it an option. I can do it anyway by burning the AACs to CD and then re-importing back into iTunes anyhow. Given that, what is the point of the DRM stuff at all? Am I missing something? Oh yeah, the RIAA would flip if Apple sold uncontrollable MP3s.
Anyway, I'm having fun with both my new Linux and OS X systems. They play very nice together too. If you're afraid to switch, don't be. The water is fine.