0 Replies Latest reply: May 2, 2013 9:35 AM by silvergc
silvergc Level 3 (855 points)

I have been a Mac user for about a year and a half.  Prior to this I used Windows machines for almost 2 decades.  I want to let others know how I use my MacBook Pro for work and play.


I was a Windows user for several years prior to getting a MacBook Pro (late 2011 model).  I was used to all the feature and quirks of Windows and had become so used to them that it was second nature to use one.  I was intriguied by OS-X and the MacBook Pro since I was not able to find as nice a Windows laptop anywhere (yes, I admit I was attracted by the elegance of the physical design).


My wife purchased a 15" MacBook Pro with the high resolution non-reflective display as a Christmas gift for me.   I had been looking for a replacement for my aging Windows desktop and had been looking at the MacBook Pro as a possible replacement since I could dual-boot as a Windows machine.  Much to my initial dismay, Lion no longer supported Windows XP through Bootcamp.  But, a colleague pointed me to VMWare Fusion, and I was set.


I was now able to run my Windows programs (only had a few that were really important) and Mac programs on one platform.  And, much to my delight, was now able to run Linux in a virtual machine with really good performance.  I actually benchmarked my work laptop (new HP machine with SSD and same class processor as my MBP) and found that Windows ran about as fast in the VM as on my work laptop performing the tasks I was interested in (compiling FPGAs).


So, now I have one machine that can run Windows SW, Linux SW and Mac SW without requiring reboots everytime I want to switch.  I can also remote into other machines and have windows (not Windows) open for each machine on its own desktop (try doing that in Windows without additional SW).   We use Jabber as a messaging application for the Macs at work with a phone add-in that lets me answer my desk phone via my MBP.  When I work from home, colleagues can call my office phone, and I get the call on my MBP.  This works much better than the equivalent Cisco soft phone ever did on my Windows laptop.   To top it off, the MBP is lighter weight and thinner than the HP laptop work provides.  I have now relegated my work laptop to auxiliary processing when I need to run multiple FPGA compiles on multiple machines.


I use my MBP in clamshell mode driving an external monitor (Dell) via HDMI at 1080p with no problems at all.  At home, I have an external monitor (HP) connected via DVI that also works flawlessly.  I am able to use the projectors in every conference room (VGA) with no problems at all.


Don't think, though, that its all work and no play.  I use the MBP to play music using external speakers so that I can play my bass along with the songs.  I also dabble with recording using Garageband.  My wife and I enjoy watching the occasional Netflix movie and British TV shows without being relegated to a specific room in the house.


After using the Mac for over a year and realizing that OS-X also has its warts, I have to say that I am glad I made the switch.

MacBook Pro, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2), late 2011