Episode 185 | Moving from Windows to Mac

Show Notes

Moving from Windows to Mac


[00:00] Rob: In this episode of Startups for the Rest of Us, Mike and I talk about moving from Windows to Mac OS 10. This is Startups for the Rest of Us: Episode 185.

[00:07] Music

[00:16] Welcome to Startups for the Rest of Us, the podcast that helps developers, designers and entrepreneurs be awesome at launching software products, whether you’ve built your first product or you’re just thinking about it. I’m Rob.

[00:24] Mike: And I’m Mike.

[00:25] Rob: And we’re here to share our experiences to help you avoid the same mistakes we’ve made. What’s the word this week sir?

[00:29] Mike: I got an email from Alias Base from Charity Sky and he’s running an indigo go campaign to convert his company from an LLC into a 501 C3 registered charity. And the reason I’m bringing this up is because primarily our audience is kind of focused on developers and this company Charity Sky is trying to focus on providing software development training to K-12 students. So if you’re interested in supporting that effort, head over to their website. Its www.charitysky.org if you’re interested in helping fund that cause or some information there, it links over to their indigo go campaign.

[01:04] Rob: Very cool. Well I just got back from Denver. I was at Copy Bloggers Authority Conference and I had a nice dinner with several local Micropreneur there and then the conference was Thursday, Friday and the highlights for me were Seth Godin. He’s definitely a good speaker and he’s a motivational inspirational and then Joanna Weeb of Copy Hackers. She delivered a really, really good talk. We may ask her to do it at a future MicroConf because it was just good. It was a lot of stuff about split testing buttons but not just a bunch of examples it was like mindset of how to get inside the head of someone and how to structure buttons split test. So it was really well done and those were my two favorite ones.

[01:42] To be honest, the rest of the conference, it was so-so. I wasn’t really wrapped up in it. I’ve been a fan of CopyBlogger and Brian Clark for years but it wasn’t a great fit for me and neither was the audience. I was kind of going out on a limb, going to a place where I didn’t know anybody and there were just a lot of freelance copywriters and some copywriters for Fortune 500 companies and there were some info marketers and that kind of stuff but it wasn’t necessarily an audience that I really need to connect with. Aside from those two highlights I didn’t take a ton away from the conference. So to be honest best part were the long conversations.

[02:15] Joana Weeb was there, Lance Jones and Ruben Gomez and actually decided on like a completely new pricing structure for Drip, some headline ideas, how to describe what Drip is becoming, that was really the value but its funny we could’ve just kind of hung out for a weekend and  probably gotten the same value out of it.

[02:30] Mike: That was cool. But I mean at the same time you knew going into it that you were kind of going out on a limb and it was outside of the industry and the types of people that you typically hang out with so you know, it was a risk one way or the other.

[02:42] Rob: Absolutely. And for people you know for copy writers or the info marketers or people who are more in that space, I think it was a really good conference and I think there were some talks that probably resonated with them more than with me.

[02:52] Mike: Cool. Well speaking of conferences, tickets for MicroConf Europe are going to be going on sale shortly  so if you’re interested in that, head over to microconfeurope.com to get on the early bird mailing list and you can be notified when those tickets are made available. Tickets aren’t expected to hit the public market so if you’re thinking of going, you should definitely be on the mailing list but that said, if you signed up for the mailing list last year you’re all set. You’re already on there and we’ll be sending out those emails and within a the next  couple of weeks I think.

[03:18] Rob: Yeah and the speaker lineup is shaping up. So far it’s you and I, we have Dave Collins who’ve spoken at several MicroConfs and has always been a fan favorite and then we have Rachel Andrew from Perch and she does a lot of speaking. I’ve seen a few videos of a few of her talks. She’s top notch. So very excited. Perch is CMS that they sell and the design element to it is really high quality so excited to have her speaking to our audience.

[03:44] I got to be honest man. Last two weeks have been really crappy. I got hit by the tax man this year. I had a pretty big tax bill and then I had a couple other things come through unexpectedly, big expenses so it’s just hard to see cash that you’re stock piling go poof but I feel like I’m kind of recovering from that and I’m trying to get my bearings and, adjust my business frankly because I don’t have as much – I don’t have as large a stock pile that I have that I was going to be using to fund the growth of Drip and HitTail so I’m having to adjust to a few of my approaches.

[04:14] Mike: That’s demoralizing. When tax time rolls around you know that it’s coming but I think the issue is that you don’t necessarily know at any given point how bad it’s going to be until it’s too late and it’s like you can’t really mentally prepare yourself. So it can take a little while to get over and then you have to play around it and move some things around and hopefully it doesn’t hurt too bad but it’s rough.

[04:34] Rob: Yeah. I think demoralizing is probably the best way to summarize it.

[04:36] Music

[04:40] So today we’re going to be talking about moving from Windows to Mac and you and I both done this in the past couple years. I did it just over a year ago.

[04:47] Mike: I started using a MacBook Pro back in 2005 or so and this was back when I was doing some consulting work for Dell and Dell was actually very upset with me because I refused to trade in my MacBook Pro unless they were able to give me a comparable Dell machine and they couldn’t do it.

[05:03] Rob: Nice. So have you used a Mac since then?

[05:06] Mike: Well I used it for a couple years and then I went off of it because at the time they were having a lot of driver issues and it would just overheat to the point that I literally could not even touch the machine. So I kind of abandoned it for a little while. And then I went over to a MacBook Air about the time that my back was really giving me a lot of trouble. Been on Apple hardware ever since.

[05:27] Rob: Right. For me it was the switch was when Windows 8 came out because I looked at Windows 8 and I thought you know, there’s going to be a decent learning curve there. If I’m ever going to make the switch it’s probably best to do it now. And I was already being drawn in by the amazing hardware and the gestures and the other stuff we’ll talk about today kind of the pluses of moving over to OS 10 and to the Mac hardware. What I found is that the more people I’m talking to these days, a lot of developers and kind of the early adaptor tech crowd are either already on Macs or they’re moving there.

[05:58] And there’s quite a bit to think about when you’re evaluating this decision and I didn’t find any great resources on it so now that I’m kind of a year past it I had a bunch of software that I have to buy. I have a bunch of stuff that I replaced with free tools. I know what the benefits and drawbacks are at least for my usage of it and it’s probably comparable to yours if you’re listening to this. So that’s really where we’re talking through is kind of another source of up to date information for you. So I wanted to start off by saying you know, when I was using Windows, I was on Windows 7 and XP before that I kept thinking man, when I move over to OS 10, because I’d use Macs back in college right in the late 90 and I kept thinking when I move over to OS 10 it’s just going to be like all unicorns and rainbows and just amazing.

[06:36] But what I found is the  two are quite comparable. There are obviously big differences but they each have their pluses and minuses. I have not felt like OS 10 is some magic silver bullet that is like way, way better than Windows. I think it has its own flaws. Have you found the same thing?

[06:50] Mike: Definitely and that’s why we run them both side by side because there are certain things that I like how OS 10 handles a lot better and then there’s other things where I like how Windows handles them better.

[07:01] Rob: Right. I consider myself Mac first. When I moved from Windows to Mac I wanted to be on OS 10 most of the time and only moving to Windows emulation when I needed to and so that’s really – because I still have some legacy.net code that I tool around in and I have some times classic ASP obviously for HitTail and you can’t do those on a Mac. So I replaced all my apps in the Mac world. I got the Skype Mac and I got an FTP program and I’ve got a bunch of other stuff and spent several hundred bucks to start with to kind of get that up to speed but since then, everything’s worked out. But I think your Windows first. When you boot up you have most of your productivity and stuff in the Windows emulator.

[07:41] Mike: For me it depends a little bit. If I’m using my desktop because it’s a custom built machine obviously that’s just Windows so there’s not even the option for OS 10. On my laptop I’ve got a MacBook Pro and for that, I run Windows on top of VMware Fusion and I don’t have Windows startup unless I need it. So the majority of the time I’ll be doing most of my stuff inside of OS 10. There will be times where it’s like if I need to fire up Visual Studio obviously I’ll just go over to Windows. I don’t use Unity or anything like that. I just – I basically three finger swipe and then I’m in Windows and then just use it directly all inside of one window.

[08:16] There’s not a lot that I do over on the Windows side other than using Visual Studio. There’s not much else. I mean I will do some browsing but I’ve got Skype on both Windows and on OS 10 and then there’s not a lot else though where I really need it. It’s just if I’m doing software development, I’ll use Windows. If I’m doing anything else, I’ll use OS 10. And that’s only because all of my development stuff is in Csharp.net.

[08:40] Rob: Right. And I’m in a similar boat. My .net development is very, very limited now. It’s really only bug fixes. I don’t do really major features anymore so it’s probably less frequent than you. But I’m the same way. I bought VMware Fusion. We’ll talk a little bit about that later. There’s a bunch of different ways to kind of have Windows in a VM on Mac hardware. That’s the best way that I found after doing a bunch of research and per your recommendations. So I think lets maybe talk a little bit about some drawbacks of moving and then we’ll talk about the benefits. And I think I actually have more benefits than drawbacks here.

[09:12] But the first drawback and this is one of the reasons that I wasn’t going to do it was because you have to rebuy a lot of software. There’s some stuff that’s just not free you like Camtasia Studio and if you want Snag It or something like that you kind of need to rebuy Mac version. Because once you have the Windows version it doesn’t port over and there’s probably several other apps that are like that. We’ll get into them a little later.

[09:33] Mike: I think one of the bigger things for me especially early on was the learning curve of understanding what some of the different buttons did in OS 10 and realizing that just fundamentally the way that they worked is different than in Windows.

[09:47] Rob: You know for me, that was a big mental issue. I didn’t want to switch because I didn’t want it to hammer my productivity and I found that I switched pretty quickly. It was less than a week of disruption. I mean within a day or two I was moving at like 80-90% speed and then within a week I was really not noticing the difference anymore. Having been on Windows now for what? 13 years before then, having your shortcuts, your control C instead of command C I thought would be a big issue for me but turns out it wasn’t. I was able to relearn it pretty quickly.

[10:17] Mike: Yes, see I didn’t have as many problems with things like that like when I’m in OS 10 I just know that its command C and if I’m in Windows its control C. For me the bigger issue was that certain keys like all along the top. OS 10 has all the function keys that if you hit those typically like you’ll change the sound volume or you’ll increase or decrease the brightness. When I’m in Windows, when I’m doing software development, I need to be able to use those function keys when I’m in Visual Studio so I actually remapped all those so that in OS 10 I actually have to hold down the function key in order to increase or decrease the sound and things like that. So slightly switched but it just worked out that well for me.

[10:56] Rob: Got it and yeah, I hold down the function key when I’m in Windows, to do the same thing since I’m in Windows less but those function keys have gone in a way when I’m trying to hit F5 to do a build or something and I’m actually just lowering the brightness of my keyboard. I think the other thing that I’ve run into that was unexpected is my MacBook Air and a bunch of the other MacBook Pros and MacBook Airs of friends and family have wireless and or Bluetooth difficulties just like here and there they’re intermittent but almost every time I flip my MacBook Air open it takes 30 seconds to a minute to connect to wireless and often I’ll have to turn it off and turn it back on. And I was thinking I must have a defective MacBook but a lot of folks have told me they run in the same thing. So this was unexpected. I didn’t think about that but I do think that it’s something to be aware of. Have you run into any issues like that?

[11:44] Mike: Yeah, mostly around the wireless stuff. It’s irritating. It’s not that it doesn’t work. It’s just there’s times where you just expect it to just function right out of the box and just do what it’s supposed to do and it just doesn’t. One thing I found that seems like it had helped with that is I bought one of Apple’s Time Machines with the built in wireless end router and 2 or 3 terabyte hard drive or something like that and that seems to be flawless. I don’t ever have problems with that. Whenever I’m at home, it’s never an issue. When I’m out on the road and trying to connect to Wi-Fi at hotels or customers and stuff like that then it seems like it’s more of an issue but whenever you get into enterprise Wi-Fi there’s – I don’t know why but for some reason I always have these weird quirks and they don’t necessarily work very well when it comes to Macs.

[12:29] Rob: Right. I only work from home one day a week anymore because we have an office and often work from the apartment at the beach on Fridays and so if I bought an Apple router it wouldn’t help me that much because I’m connecting to other people’s Wi-Fi so often. But the Bluetooth thing for me too is I have a wireless keyboard and a Bluetooth mouse both at home and work because I prop the monitor up so that its good – ergonomics right? So I have the wireless stuff and that’s where the Bluetooth has been funky. It works most of the time. It’s reliable but it will cut out now and again just in the middle of me doing something and I’ll just have to put my hand on the laptop until it stops. It will only cut out for 20 seconds but it might happen like once a day and each thing disconnects. This is kind of like not the end of the world but it is an odd kind of side effect.

[13:18] Mike: I’m surprised that happens because I have a Bluetooth keyboard for my iPad and I don’t have any issues with that. Just starting up it takes a few seconds to sync but it never has an issue so surprised you have the issue on the laptop.

[13:32] Rob: I think the next drawback is potentially expense. It’s like you can get a decent Dell laptop for $400 or $500 that’s what my last Dell cost me and it was solid. It moved fast and it had a nice screen and all that stuff and obviously getting a MacBook or a MacBook Air is going to be 2, 3, 4 times that. Now on the flipside the Macs and the Mac books, they really retain their value like when you’re done with them the resale value is very high.

[14:00] Mike: I think you have to seriously qualify decent Dell.

[14:04] Rob: Yeah that’s true.

[14:05] Mike: I think the issue is when you’re buying – like I went with a high end MacBook so with that, I mean I got a 512 gig SSD drive and 16 gigs of RAM. So to get something similar on the Dell side I guess you’re not looking at $500. You’re looking at easily $1200 to $1500 if not more. And that’s it if you don’t just buy something low end and then rip some of the components out and then replace them with your own.

[14:29] Rob: Right. I think the next drawback potentially is I found the windowing like the window management and the maximizing and moving Windows around and general its gotten better with the newest OS 10 Mavericks but frankly I find it to be not as good as Windows.

[14:44] Mike: Yeah I think out of the box it’s not as good but there’s a lot of third party apps that you can use. There’s definitely ways around that.

[14:51] Rob: Right. And the last throwback I listed is that if you are Windows or .net developer obviously you are going to need a VM, virtual machine of some kind in order to run Windows and do the development. That’s not a major drawback. It’s actually less painful than I thought it would be and like you said if you just have it in a separate desktop and you do a three finger swipe into it, it’s pretty seamless aside from the keyboard shortcut switch and needing to hold down the function like it’s barely noticeable.

[15:16] Now let’s dive into the benefits. The first thing that got me was the hardware is amazing. It’s gorgeous. It’s an aluminum body. The keyboard just feels like a dream. It has backlighting. It’s just perfect. It’s such a well constructed product. The track pad is the best I’ve ever used hands down. The keyboard is probably the best I’ve ever used hands down. The screen is probably the best screen on a laptop I’ve ever used so I mean it is top notch and I could not find for any price, I could not find a comparable Windows laptop. This was about 14-15 months ago. I was looking for the same type of thing aluminum really good keyboard, really good track pad and as far as I know it just doesn’t exist.

[15:50] Mike: Yeah I think for me the look of it wasn’t so much a big deal for me. I didn’t really care that it had an aluminum body. For me it was like the hardware specks, the keyboard took a little getting used to so I wasn’t necessarily used to the little chiclet keys and things like that. And then the tack pad I have to agree with you totally on that one, I mean the track pad on the MacBook Pro is awesome. It’s better than any other track pad I’ve ever seen on any other laptop. And then of course as you said the screen. You can’t find a screen that is good as what Apple ships with theirs.

[16:20] Rob: The next benefit I have is the gestures and the clickability of the track pad. They make it completely useable. I’m almost as effective and as productive just using the track pad as I am with the full mouse and keyboard setup and I’ve never even come close to that with any type of Windows setup. And it’s purely because there’s so many gestures you can do with the two finger scrolling, the three fingers swipes back and forth between desktops, even with a single monitor at a coffee shop I can do things that would typically take me multi monitors at home because you can swipe back and forth so quickly to compare things.

[16:53] Mike: Yeah I found the same exact thing, just the multi finger gestures is really what makes that even possible because I’ll find myself when I’m using other people’s laptops I’ll find myself trying to use two finger scroll and things like that and it just doesn’t work in Windows and it’s not that you would expect it to but on my MacBook because I have things over on Windows and running through VMware the two finger scroll does work in Windows. So its disappointing to go to somebody else’s laptop that track pad just doesn’t support it because they don’t expect you to be using multi finger gestures.

[17:26] Rob: My son uses my old Dell and whenever I get on it to help him out it is painful to hit a webpage and then have to just tack pad over to the scrollbar on the right and drag it down to move anything. It just feels incredibly inefficient. The next benefit I have is I don’t feel like I need to download a Windows update every week. There are some OS updates that come through but it’s not all the time and I always felt like with Windows every time I was booting up there was like a Java update and Adobe update, all the stuff that I was downloading all the time and they were huge updates and they took forever and the computer would reboot and all that stuff.

[17:59] The updates on Mac are just they’re fewer and far between. They seem to download really quickly and every once in a while one will require a reboot but even that, when it reboots, it brings everything almost back to where it was before it rebooted like I’ve been kind of impressed with that, that it doesn’t impact my productivity as much as rebooting a Windows machine where you just come back to the bare desktop and all your Windows are closed.

[18:23] Mike: I think the two things that you said there are Adobe updates and Java updates. I think that’s the killer. I don’t think it matters what operating system you’re actually on. But in terms of Windows updates I mean the other thing I’ll point out is I almost never reboot my virtual machine on my MacBook. I’ll do the Windows updates when they come out but I don’t tend to restart that machine. What I’ll do is I’ll just suspend it and then I just close my Mac book and that’s the end of it. It’s like I don’t even have to restart the machine most of the time.

[18:49] Rob: Another benefit is that you don’t need to run virus scanning software antivirus because there just aren’t that many viruses for OS 10. I don’t know if that’s a huge benefit for me. It’s probably a bigger benefit for someone who’s less technical because I always just ran antivirus and was careful what I clicked on but I think it could be a benefit especially for like family members as they’ve asked me what computer they should get, I’m a little more willing to recommend a Mac even though its more expensive that I think it could be potentially be safer for maybe someone like my mom.

[19:16] Mike: Yeah I don’t necessarily see this as a huge benefit either. I guess it’s nice to know that you’re probably not going to get one but I don’t know as not running antivirus software at all is really going to make that any better.

[19:27] Rob: Yeah and I think the last two benefits that I see, these I didn’t know in advance but like OS 10 has some pretty cool stuff built into it that I had to get add ons Windows to get and it’s like if you hit command space in OS 10 you get the spotlight search and you can search everything on your computer not only documents but you can search programs and everything. So I don’t have many programs in actual apps like in my bottom bar to quick launch. I just hit command space start typing the name and hit enter and it brings it up. I had an add on called I think it was Simple Run or something like that that I use on Windows but then every time that I reinstalled Windows which I did every two years I’d have to reinstall that and configure it and I had a special config file I had to move and it was just kind of a pain and so to have this working is a really nice hack for me.

[20:14] And then the other thing is the Preview in OS 10 works really we like if you open a PDF doc in there, I don’t even download Adobe Acrobat because preview works so well and you can even manipulate Adobe Acrobat documents, PDF’s if you have two you can merge in together, you can swipe pages between them and you can delete pages out of a PDF. You can add pages to it. I mean its pretty darn powerful just the simple – what I thought was a pretty simple Preview app built into OS 10 is actually more powerful than I thought it would be.

[20:44] Mike: Yeah I don’t find that in Windows that finding the apps is really all that much of a challenge because you just hit the widows button and then start typing and you can do the exact same thing that you’re doing over in OS 10 with the command space. It’s identical. It works the exact same way. The one thing I have noticed that you haven’t mentioned is that backups on OS 10 if you’re using Time Machine and you have a Time Machine device on your network, it’s just almost flawless and I actually ran into issue with one of my earlier MacBooks. I had a MacBook Air and it looked like things were going a little flaky with it so I took it back to the Apple store and they took a look at it and said oh yeah we think your video card is fried and I’m like great, I’m now going to move everything over and all this stuff.

[21:26] And they just said okay we’ll just swap it out and they just plugged a thunderbolt cable into a new MacBook and then they plugged it into mine and they ran this program that just moved everything over, had all my programs, all my settings, all my data, everything and I didn’t have to worry about it at all. And just in looking back at Time Machine Time Machine is very similar, obviously it will be a little bit slower but I would say functionally equivalent.

[21:48] Rob: Yeah, that’s really nice. And that’s what you get with– you get iCloud backed up on your phone, your iPhone or iPad and it’s amazing. I have problems with an iPhone and I brought it in and they nuked it, gave me a new one and everything was back pretty much the way I’ve had it and I was really impressed with that. So I didn’t know time machine could do it to that extent but I will likely be looking at getting one. Because I have Crash Plan and Dropbox and stuff so I’m backing everything up but it would still take me all the time to reinstall the apps. If Time Machine can handle that for me and actually does more of like an image, that will save me a lot of time and it will definitely be worth it.

[22:21] I think the last benefit that I was looking for is with Windows, you get this cruffed and it’s either the registry or there’s just something about it when you install and uninstall apps they leave stuff and OS slows down over time. If you have a Windows installation that’s 5 or 10 years old, it gets really, really slow and you have to repave it. On my laptop I would reinstall Windows every 18 to 24 months. From what I‘ve heard, from what I’ve seen, OS 10 does not have the same issue. So I’m not very – I’m only 15 months in but I’m looking forward to having this install of the OS around for quite some time.

[22:57] Mike: Yeah I think part of that is on the Windows side at least most people don’t defragment their registry and the registry just it’s kind of like a database where the file itself gets locked on disk and it grows over time and shrinks and there’s stuff being inserted into it and it doesn’t have a really good way of defragmenting it. So I’m sure that somebody will write into us and say that I’m totally butchering the explanation but I have seen that where if you just defrag the registry it can seriously speed up your machine especially on older ones. But then again if you’re going over to an SSD, a lot of those programs just go away anyway.

[23:32] Rob: So now we’re going to take a look at a couple things, one is software and I also have a little bit of hardware and its basically stuff that we either had to buy to make the transition or stuff that was free and we’re able to just easily replace. So the first section here is stuff that was free so on my Windows machine I use certain apps like Chrome, Skype, Remote Desktop to get into Windows serves remotely, all that stuff is available for OS 10. So Chrome and it works almost identically, Skype, the UI was all different but I get used to pretty quick and then Windows Remote Desktop is there, Crash Plan which is what I use for backups that had a client  for both and Dropbox and Audacity which I us for audio editing. So all of those apps were easy free downloads and I was able to just seamlessly replace them.

[24:16] Mike: Well there’s one thing that you mentioned in there that I don’t think a lot of people know is that you can get a Remote Desktop for Windows client on the Mac. Most people don’t realize that there is a Mac version of that that allows you to connect to Windows machine so like if you have  a windows server you there you can just RDP into it directly from OS 10.

[24:34] Rob: Right.

[24:35] Mike: I think other than that, I also installed Evernote. I have Evernote, Dropbox and Sugar Sync on both my Windows and on my OS 10 machines. And I use that to sync back and forth between my desktop, my virtual machine and my OS 10 machine. Other than that, I also have Microsoft Office installed which get it through MSDN but if you have an MSDN subscription it comes free with that whereas the Mac version of office did not use to come with that.

[25:01] Rob: Right. That made sense. I do have Office as well. Because word and excel, the UI’s is better than Pages and Numbers. I do use Keynote though now instead of PowerPoint and like you I get the Office suite for free with MSDN. Now let’s talk a little about stuff we bought. The two hardware things that I bought when I moved over to OS 10 was 1) I bought a smart mouse which is like $70 or $80 but allows you to have the gestures because you get so spoiled by the track pad being able to flip between desktops and do all kinds of scrolling and stuff that a normal mouse would almost feel like subpar to the track pad. And so instead of trying to get a Bluetooth track pad, you don’t have quite as much settle control I got the smart mouse and to me it’s like the best of both worlds. I get the gestures but I also get the fine grain control of a mouse. Do you use a smart mouse or an external mouse or do you only use a track pad?

[25:53] Mike: I use an external USB mouse that connects – it’s got like a little USB dangle that I just plug into it but it’s a Microsoft Arc Mouse.

[25:59] Rob: So you use a Microsoft mouse with you OS 10 laptop?

[26:03] Mike: Yes.

[26:03] Rob: Perfect.

[26:05] Mike: I tried using one of the external track pads though but I didn’t feel like it worked as well as the one that’s built into the laptop.

[26:10] Rob: The other thing I bought was I upgraded my external monitors because the display of the Mac book is so nice that I couldn’t  use these old crappy four year old Dell monitors that it had. So I upgraded to like the brand-new Dell IPS monitor which is quite similar. It’s not exactly the same as the Apple cinema display but it’s about as close as you can get to it not paying an exuberant amount. So at both home and the office I upgraded that and using the thunderbolt cable just gives you the best quality external monitor experience I’ve ever had.

[26:40] Mike: Yeah I don’t really use an external monitor for my MacBook working off of my desktop anyway.

[26:44] Rob: The rest of this is really software and this is stuff that I had to buy in the transition. 1 was VMware Fusion that we talked about earlier which is the Windows emulator and I researched this a lot and I took your recommendation but also went out and read all the articles and there’s these different pluses and minuses between Parallels and VMware Fusion and then there’s an open source free version of this. As I got to this, VMware Fusion was I think the right choice and I have had no qualms or issues about it.

[27:11] Mike: I stand by my decision to use VMware Fusion as well and it’s not that I think any less of parallels or anything like that. I know people who’ve used Parallels but I just haven’t really had any problems with VMware so it’s worked out well for me plus I use VMware on Windows as well so it’s just familiar to me.

[27:28] Rob: Natural fit for sure. The other software I bought was Flexi Glass and it’s just a little utility you can get in the Mac app store kind of emulates some of the Windows widowing stuff so when you actually close a window with a right click, now in OS 10 if you’re running Flexi Glass it actually closes the entire program so that you don’t close these Windows out and then have all these programs running in the background which I think to me is like a drawback of OS 10 that everything stays running where as in Windows if you click the X, the program actually shuts down. And so Flexi Glass does that in a few other kind of advanced windowing features that I think Windows beats OS 10 on but Flexi Glass does a pretty good job of emulating that and I actually bought that based on your recommendation.

[28:08] Mike: I still love Flexi Glass. One of the other things that it also you to do is allows you to just use keys to snap Windows around on the screens so you can make them use the right half or left half of the screens and things like that. And it just makes the experience a little bit nicer and slightly more Windows like and especially just in terms of being able to lock those Windows onto ½ of the screen or the other or center them or go full screen and things like that it just gives you the shortcuts, keyboard shortcuts to make that stuff easier to do.

[28:34] Rob: Another app I bought was Total Finder and that’s from Micropreneur Academy’s own Antonin Hildebrand Total Finder is cool now since then like I think Mavericks introduced tabbed finder windows and total finder has had that for years but Total Finder still have some other advantages. It has keyboard shortcuts like I hit option E to open my finder window and I use that constantly, constantly doing it kind of like I used to use – I guess it was Windows E to open explorer. It’s basically the same thing. I know they’re competitors and I know that mavericks has played a little bit of catch-up with it but I would still recommend checking out Total Finder. It’s dirt cheap for all the value I get out of it.

[29:13] Mike: I use Total Finder as well. The other one I use is a program called Text Wrangler and Text Wrangler is probably a little bit different than Ultra Edit but it gives you the ability to write text documents and search them easily. I almost use it in some ways it’s kind of like a glorified note pad ++ application.

[29:34] Rob: Yeah that what I use Ultra Edit for. So I’ve Ultra Edit since 1999 or 2000 on Windows. It is better on Windows because they built it there first but they have an OS 10 version and aside from a few bugs here and there, it’s pretty comparable. So since I know all the shortcuts and the ins and outs of it, I got a copy of Ultra Edit and then Sublime Text is the other one. It’s kind of a famed Ruby text editor I know programmers in languages use that as well so I have both Ultra Edit and Sublime Text for my text editing and like you said I use Ultra Edit. It’s kind of like a little note pad thing that’s always there and that’s where I’m keeping a lot of notes and the when I move them into permanent places they’ll go into Google docs or presentations or such.

[30:11] Another thing that I bought was FTP software. I learned that Transmit which you can get I think it’s $20 on the Mac app store, just works great. You can edit files on the server, do some basic stuff like that. Ultra Edit has advanced file editing on the server capabilities so if I’m going to do a lot of stuff I’ll use Ultra Edit because it has all the syntax highlighting but Transmit is perfectly adequate. I wouldn’t seek out a free version I’ll put it that way just because for the $20 one time you get the updates and you know the program’s going to be around.

[30:41] Mike: I don’t even think I bothered installing anything on OS 10 for that. I just do those things over on the Windows side.

[30:47] Rob: How about for image editing? I used to use Paint.net in Windows which is an open source app that it’s like a simplified version of Photoshop which is perfect. I don’t need all the features in Photoshop and I don’t really want to – I don’t do enough image editing that I want to pay for something. So I looked around for quite a while and I found Pixelmator and I love it. I don’t remember how much it was, $30 or $40 it wasn’t very much. It was in the app store and I use it probably every day or two just to edit a photo or to mock up a screen cap, mark something up. It’s pretty powerful. If you do any image editing in OS 10 or do you it do all in Windows?

[31:22] Mike: I don’t do it all I just hand it off to somebody else to do.

[31:24] Rob: Nice. Yeah. I take probably 5 or 10 screenshots a day and send it to people and I have to call things out and that’s typically what I use this for.

[31:31] Mike: Okay, on OS 10 I use Snaps Pro because most of the stuff, if I’m doing that, usually I’m on the Windows side and I use Snag It and Snag It has built in capabilities for annotating images as you take the screen shots.

[31:45] Rob: Yeah I have Snag It too. I bought it for OS 10 and I don’t use it because I use the built in stuff from the Mac just because its keyboard shortcut it’s so simple. What is it like command shift 4 I think. So that’s what I use. I should probably use Snag It since I bought it. Just a couple more that I bought. I had to buy Camtasia Studio because I do a lot of screen casting for both VA’s and other purposes and I had it on Windows and I had to rebuy it in the OS 10 app store and that was I think $300 on Windows and I think the app store version is like $99 but if you can get a more full OS 10 version for like $300 and it’s actually better.

[32:21] So I don’t really know the ins and outs since I don’t do a ton of editing anymore if I record and I need to edit I typically send it to someone else to do the edit so there’s certainly some ins and outs but to only pay $99 for it was pretty cool and now I can do native screen cast because the first few weeks I was like flipping over into VMware Fusion and the Windows every time I want to record a screen cast and that was just a little bit of a pain because your USB stuff, the headset wasn’t connected and I’d have to disconnect and reconnect and stuff. But do you record screen cast in OS 10 or you do it all in Windows?

[32:50] Mike: No, I do it all in Windows. If I’m doing a screen cast its usually I’m doing stuff inside of AuditShark, the desktop edition or the web edition but typically in the desktop edition and I need it to run on Windows anyway.

[33:00] Rob: Got it, last couple things that I bought when I moved to OS 10 are I bought Call Recorder to record Skype calls primarily for this podcast frankly and I had used Pamela on the Windows side. And then I actually moved away from iTunes. I’ve heard iTunes works better once you’re on OS 10 because it sure didn’t work very well on Windows. I’m purely in the Amazon world now the ecosystem so for all my music is up on the cloud player. iTunes match did not work for me. It would not license a bunch of my files and pretty often I would not be able to play my music for multiple devices which is just amazing to me even on Apple hardware it wasn’t doing it so eventually I just moved all the way to Amazon and it’s been really nice. I have not missed iTunes one bit and I do my audio books now through the Audible app on my phone.

[33:43] I do my Podcast app on my phone and then all my music’s in the Amazon cloud player and it has a desktop client for Mac, Windows and I think Linux and has a web client and has all the mobile OS that you would need. I think that about wraps up things that I purchased when I transitioned over. Do you have any others that I left off the list?

[34:01] Mike: Like you said I’m probably more slanted towards the Windows side and I use this stuff on OS 10 primarily to I’ll say do offline thinking when I’m not directly working on a product if I’m working on marketing stuff or trying to creatively think about solutions to marketing problems and things like that. But if I’m going into the technical side I go into Windows. So I think that about wraps us up. If you’re thinking about switching over from Windows to Mac hopefully this episode will give you some things to think about.

[34:31] If you have a question for us, you can call it into our voicemail number at 1-888-801-9690 or email it to us at questions@startupsfortherestofus.com. Our theme music is an excerpt from “We’re Outta Control” by MoOt used under Creative Commons. You can subscribe to us in iTunes by searching for startups or via RSS at startupsfortherestofus.com where you’ll also find a full transcript of each episode. Thanks for listening. We’ll see you next time.

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9 Responses to “Episode 185 | Moving from Windows to Mac”

  1. I’ve been exclusively on a Mac since 2000.

    Cmd Space search and launching apps is hugely improved by Alfred (http://www.alfredapp.com/) which is free for most uses.

    Jumpcut (http://jumpcut.sourceforge.net/) creates a history and buffer for your clipboard (copy and paste). You can go back and jump around with what you paste. Just copy each thing you need and paste it directly out of the buffer with an extra key.

    Windowing is much improved by ShiftIt (https://github.com/fikovnik/ShiftIt) which is also free. Move windows across displays. Maximize windows and move around to fit half the screen horizontally or vertically.

    Don’t quit by closing windows. Cmd + Q to quit.

    Cmd + W closes tabs and windows.

    Caffeine is nice when you don’t want to go into sleep or power save mode like a long running development or crawling task.

    More life hacky is Flu.x (https://justgetflux.com/). It reduces blue light from your display which can help with getting to bed if you’re looking at a screen late.

    Lots of people use ScreenFlow over Camtasia on a Mac.

    Text Editing

    TextMate and Sublime are probably the most canonical development editors on a Mac. MacVim is nice.

    I can recommend RubyMine for Ruby developers.


    To take a screenshot on a Mac you just use Cmd + Shift + 4.

    Dropbox will manage these for you and automatically copy a link to your clipboard.

    Call outs in screenshots are really easy using Preview.

    View -> Show Edit Toolbar.

    The toolbar will allow arrows, lines, boxes, fills, and speech bubbles. You can draw, highlight, crop, or cut and paste whatever you need to.

    Pixelmator looks awesome for when you need higher production quality.

  2. come on guys, seriously? 🙂

    there’s at least 10000 better episodes you guys could have done instead of this one

    More SaaS!

    • And you’ll see those 10,000 episodes come out over the next 192 years 🙂

      Remember that while we’re fans of SaaS, we’re not a SaaS-only podcast. Otherwise we would have called ourselves SaaS Apps for the Rest of Us…

  3. I’ve recently made the shift to Mac. Still many things that drive me mad (mainly when I’m moving files around) but mainly got used to it now. A few of the things that made the shift easier were:

    Command + H Hides the screen, seems to work much better than minimising the window on the mac.

    Installing Hyperdock (http://hyperdock.bahoom.com): gives a preview of multiple opened program windows on the dock (like on windows 7), and snaps the windows.

    Command + C / Command + option + V: Copy, pastes, and deletes a file from the old location, a bit like control + X /control + V on windows, but not quite.

  4. I don’t know if I can listen to this episode. Sure, Microsoft has declined in being smart about operating system (OS) and app design. However, I don’t see them bricking my machine or expecting me to use it the way they want me to use it. Hhmmmmm.

    • As a Windows .NET developer for years I’m well aware of the religious debate between Mac and Windows. We’re not trying to convince anyone to switch, just providing information in case someone decides to do so (a couple people had asked me about this so we wanted to document what we’d learned).

  5. Well, this topic will not have a conclusion right? there’s just too many variables and too many other things 😀

    • Right. The episode is not whether or not you should switch…it’s if you do switch, here are some things to help make the transition easier.