How the Mac Changed My Life

When I changed jobs 6 years ago, one of the things that sold me on the company was getting to use a Mac. For the past 2 decades, going back to Windows 3.1, I'd used Windows. More recently, I loved the iPod Touch, and the iPad, so the idea of getting paid to use a Mac was pretty badass.

After getting over the short learning curve of understand what a DMG and PKG file were and what that install dialog wanted me to with it's big arrow pointing to Applications, I was in a good place.

I was impressed with how many useful features were built into the OS. More than just Disk Utility or System Information, but things like Automator, Terminal, and Time Machine. I liked the Dock at the bottom, even going so far as to have a clone of it for my Windows machine. I liked the menu bar at the top. I liked Notification Center. I liked how there was a useful Mail client built right in. I found Finder to be useful as well. I thought a built in Calendar was great, not built within a mail client, but available to the entire system.

As I branched out and started buying apps, I noticed how they shared a "design language." Scrivener, Outline and Paprika were my first choices and I was able to start using them right away. The UI was familiar. The menu choices made sense. And they were actual menu items, not overly large buttons from a child's toy.

It was Scrivener that showed me the real power of a well written Mac app. It was different than Word, but the way it worked made a lot more sense and had so many usable features.

Once I started looking for apps, it noted just how many choices there were. When working on Windows, people used Word. That's what they were given, or what they knew, so that's what they used.

For the Mac it was Scrivener, Ulysses, Storyist, Mellel, LibreOffice, Nisus Writer Pro, and iA Writer, just to name a few. There were a host of choices depending on what you wanted to write and how you wanted to write. It wasn't "One size fits all."

That mantra of "There's an app for that," was just as true for the Mac. It was about getting the right tool for the job. There wasn't a single "killer app," like the early days, there was dozens.

That extended across the board to Note Taking, Task Management, Project Management, ToDo Lists, Word Processing, Spreadsheets, and even automation of the OS itself.

Over time I was getting more done than ever before. I had the right tool for the way I worked and there was no fighting with the OS. I wasn't wasting time with patches, driver updates, or running maintenance. In fact, the OS became so seamless, that I didn't even pay attention to it. My only focus was the task at hand.

One of my greatest moments with the Mac was the discovery of Alfred and Keyboard Maestro. The other was Terminal/iTerm and realizing I had the full power of Unix at my fingertips. The things I could accomplish became limitless.

Several years on, the Mac has completely changed the way I work. I'm more organized with well written notes and tasks lists available on every machine. I'm more efficient with shortcuts, macros, and automation jobs. I'm more capable with powerful tools and home grown solutions. I have a toolset at my disposal to tackle every task. I know the job will get done. I know there is a solution.

All of that is especially true with this Mac Pro. Even though it has some years on it, it's still the most powerful and most capable machine I have ever owned. It's not exactly stock anymore, but it has dual processors for 12 cores, two memory banks for 128GB installed ram, an SSD, supports a modern video card with 8GB ram and powering 4 32 inch monitors, 4 internal drive bays which can support drives 8TB and larger, USB 3 throughan easily installed and supported expansion card (no drivers), BlueTooth, Wireless network, and dual Ethernet. All from a machine original made in 2010. I have never felt so empowered. I use it every day and there are no barriers or limits.

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