Insanely Different

For the first time ever, I'm now using a Mac as my main work machine. Work just got me a brand spanking new 2013 Retina Macbook Pro, fully loaded, go-to-apple-dot-com-choose-the-15-inch-drag-all-the-hardware-sliders-to-the-right monstrosity with 500GB of SSD and 16GB of RAM. What a machine. Too bad it's running OSX.

Yep, I've been using Windows my whole life. Though I run many Linux VMs, I found the Windows desktop experience and it-just-fucking-works emphasis on compatibility to be the only feature that mattered to me in the long run, making it worth putting up with stupid design choices like case-insensitive filenames and horrible permissions management.

The most impressive things to read on Raymond's weblog are the stories of the incredible efforts the Windows team has made over the years to support backwards compatibility.> I first heard about this from one of the developers of the hit game SimCity, who told me that there was a critical bug in his application: it used memory right after freeing it, a major no-no that happened to work OK on DOS but would not work under Windows where memory that is freed is likely to be snatched up by another running application right away. The testers on the Windows team were going through various popular applications, testing them to make sure they worked OK, but SimCity kept crashing. They reported this to the Windows developers, who disassembled SimCity, stepped through it in a debugger, found the bug, and added special code that checked if SimCity was running, and if it did, ran the memory allocator in a special mode in which you could still use memory after freeing it.That's Windows.

When I start my job at TripIt, I spent exactly two weeks with my Ubuntu laptop, trying to get the most rudimentary components (like, sound and multi-monitor support) working until I threw in the towel and installed Windows 7 Ultimate. Yeah yeah, I bet I could have gotten it working if I had just recompiled gnome with --funroll-loops --fenable-grandmas but fuck that. It sure is fine by me if you want to spend 17 hours of your weekend shepherding your WiFi drivers into place on Linux, but, uh, I have shit to get done.

Anywho, I now have a Mac, and must bid my trusty Thinkpad adieu. So far, I'm liking Mavericks. (My black turtleneck is on the way.) It's even refreshing to be finally freed of some of the less-loved legacy decisions that Windows values so highly but at the same time shackle it to the past. Things like drive letters and program data folders and user data being scattered all over your hard drive(s) are quaint relics of the past on OSX.

One thing I could not get used to after two weeks so far, though: keyboard shortcuts. Home no longer takes you to the back of a line; that's control-A. Instead, it takes you to the top of the page. Copy and pasting, a keypress combination I was probably doing since the womb, now invokes the laughter of a thousand tiny Apple nerd voices from those brushed aluminum speakers whenever I press it: it's Command-C and Command-V you're looking for, scrub!

But after two weeks of suffering: StackExchange to the rescue!

More specifically, this amazing thing:

KeyRemap4Macbook saved my sanity. _It even has a section specifically for PC ex-pats. _wipes tear
My trained Ctrl+c and Ctrl+v fingers are back to firing at their full 27-year-muscle-memory speeds. ❤