Confessions of a Mac user on Windows

This is the end of my first week working on a Windows XP workstation. Some good, some bad. Well mostly I’ve just been having affirmations of why I am a Mac user – I’ve been searching for the genius and the elegance in Windows XP and I guess I just haven’t found it yet.

Why does Microsoft insist on making the preference panels for Outlook so cryptic? Choices for Options and Customize in an illogical menu placement, and you have to drill down through multiple dialog boxes just to edit basic features. The way Outlook wraps text and quotes messages is really horrific.

Installing applications is proving to be less idiot-proof than one would hope. Had two installs fail yesterday without any informative warning, although documentation led me to beleive that there was something wrong with my .NET installation. But as far as my installation knows, it thinks .NET is up to date and just dandy.

I do like how the Integrated Workspace works on Dreamweaver. Macromedia did a very good job of organizing this and keeping things neat and usable. The Integrated Workspace paradigm contrasts greatly with the floating panel paradigm on Mac; you do lose a lot of possible functionality with multiple program windows being available that you enjoy on Mac. But the Integrated Workspace is easy to use on it’s own merits and I like it so far.

Color on Photoshop is just way off. I need to mess around with the monitor calibration to fix it some more. Stuff that should be aqua blue looks like more of an algae green.

My god – one thing I am going to miss that I had really been accustomed to on Mac: using keystrokes to enter extended characters such as em-dash and copyright symbols. This is going to be a pain in the butt when doing typography.

MSIE 6 for Windows should be considered an embarassment on Microsoft’s part. This browser has so many quirks and usability issues, and you would think that it would have gotten better by now. I mean, I’ve always tested things on MSIE 6, but I’ve never had to live with it. At least it renders standards-compliant sites well. Here’s to hoping that MSIE 7, if they ever make it, will have some of these bugs worked out.

I just finished installing Mac OS X 10.3 on my new PowerBook. The contrasts between the Mac’s ease of use and refined elegance over XP’s lack thereof is a lot more apparent than I was expecting. After hearing all the XP hype, I expected more. I feel like XP is just a slapped-together patchwork of technologies that work the way they were inteded most of the time, but all to often they fail, and still hasn’t progressed as far as I think it should have beyond it’s 2000/NT predecesors.