Yes, it has been 2 weeks to the day since I last had digital ink - Tablet PC. Even friends and associates could not believe that I now only carry with me my pigpog pda during meetings. For first-time visitors of this blog, the tablet PC I am referring to is the LE 1600. This is the same tablet PC being used by no less than the king of Windows himself .
Eighty percent of my work with a computer is now done in MAC OS X. The only time I use Windows, running in virtual mode under Parallels of course, is for when I dictate something using Dragon Naturally Speaking ver 8, when I develop pictures using Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, for web research in MS Onenote, and when I do schedules in MS Outlook.
Now let us get these PC stuff out of the way. Dragon Naturally Speaking (DNS) is such a powerful speech recognition software that allows mediocre typists like myself to spend more time writing, er, should I say speaking. Almost everything I had written during the past two years were done using this software which for me is 98% accurate. I remember jumping with joy last week after I got it to run in the new Macbook Pro. The web is full of horror stories about DNS and mac but I got mine to work with very minor complications (I need to enable the headset first in system preferences before firing up Parallels). I use the Logitech premium 350 USB headset with this software.
I decided to run Adobe Lightroom in the Windows side of the Mac simply because I am using a single database for both the MBP and my desktop PC. For non-Lightroom users, this may be confusing. I will just explain this in a separate blog later.
If there is one thing that macusers are missing, I would have to say that it is the power of MS Onenote. For web clippings for instance, yes you can use Scrapbook (a firefox extension) or Grab. But these would require jumping from one application to the other before you could turn them into a blog or a report. In Onenote, you can clip, you can write, insert videos, publish or print all inside one application.
Lastly, why still use the Outlook calendar when I can do practically everything else in Entourage? Because I cannot sync my DOPOD 838 Pro cellphone in Mac OS X. This is a must for me since all of my appointments and meeting schedules are immediately stored in the mobile device. I did not bother finding a workaround since the release of my next mobile phone is just around the corner. As a mac switcher, need I say what mobile phone I am talking about?
And now for the heavy stuff, MAC OS X. I have now settled down from the initial excitement of laying my hands on such an elegant, slim, and extremely stable laptop. I have installed all the softwares that I need and all are working flawlessly. I have yet to experience any hiccups or any sluggishness on the MBP. Life is now back to the normal day to day stuff. Let me now discuss some of the things that I particularly like about the MBP.
First and foremost Is Parallels. This is the software that allows one to run Windows side by side with MAC OS X. I just can't hide my smile every time I see a Windows application working right inside the Mac. I now understand what they mean when they say having the best of both worlds.
Quicksilver is heaven sent for mac switchers like myself. You could just imagine how difficult it is to memorize keyboard shortcuts like apple this, command-option-apple that. With Quicksilver, I did not have to learn the traditional MAC shortcuts and what not. This free software allowed me to configure everything to the style that suits me best. I can now just hit CTRL-ALT-L for Firefox to open my favorite photography website - www.luminous-landscape.com. CTRL-ALT-D to open Documents folder, CTRL-SHIFT-W to open the application Word for Mac, etc. The software just made my transition to the MAC OS X not only faster but very pleasant as well. If you want to learn more about the power of Quicksilver, I highly recommend a visit to Lifehacker.
I was extremely surprised at how easy it is to set up and to learn Entourage. I now practically reside in Entourage when working with my e-mails, addresses, notes and tasks. Repeat after me, "Entourage is not Outlook." There are subtle differences between the two. There are features in Outlook that I like but are not in Entourage, and vice versa. But Entourage for me will only get better when that new phone ships. Are you listening Steve Jobs?
You can click here for a complete list of all the other softwares that I have installed in the MBP.
I should also mention that being able to work between 7-8 hours on battery power alone is a must for us road warriors. The battery geek with the apple magnetic adapter is just a perfect match for the MBP.
Finally, with nothing negative to say about the MAC OS X, is totally ditching Windows already in the offing? Today, I do not think so. There are still quite a few applications in Windows that I cannot live without. If I can find alternatives to them in MAC OS X, then maybe. But for now, I am happy to have them side by side - best of both worlds.