Alt – Command – Escape

After a long time (to be exact: 27 years of Microsoft and 12 years of Linux use) I decided to switch to a Macbook Air. That may be an aesthetic decision (as buying an A4, a Nomos, a Bose or whatelse) :-) but may be heavily influenced of my obsession for lightweight and durable equipment. Even that may not be the main point – as performance is most critical, here are some of my questions (and preliminary answers).

  1. Will my software run? Yes, most will. So far I installed Thunderbird, Firefox (both with several plugins), R, Open Office, Truecrypt, Papers, Plink, (no Perl, no Apache, no Java, no PDF printer…) and moved the whole XP boot partition as a Parallels VM. It will certainly take another 3 weeks to arrive at a first appraisal – what I am missing most is the Total Commander, Picasa and Irfanview; I have doubts if Powerpoint slides will be displayed correctly and if all DOS batch files will continue to work. Unfortunately my Photoshop Elements license is only for XP.
  2. How does installation work? Quite a snap – it took only 2 hours or so. I arranged the dock on the right side (to make most of the wide screen), selected a less intrusive background, only a few dashboard widgets, a password login and the option to single click on the scratchpad, that’s it. No hassle with firewall, virus scanner, etc, plug and play with my external hard disk, wlan and ethernet.
  3. What’s left? A lot of things, like getting all my software packages work as before, plugins (re-installed), FF passwords (via PW exporter) , bookmarks (simple export+import), email (simple copy), calendar (from Outlook via Thunderbird to LDIF export), todos (simple export/import), notes (simple export/import).
  4. Whats new? This is most difficult to answer ;-) I have a feeling that I have to check quite a lot of new functions, learn applescript and improve my interface skills.
  5. Some more detailed questions that I am currently working on:
    * What keybord shotcuts are important? Cmd+W (close), Cmd+M (in dock), Cmd+Shift+F3 (screenshot), 2 finger click (right click), Cmd+del (delete), Cmd+C, Cmd+S (copy/paste), Alt+L (@)
    * How get my linux binaries working? That’s easy – just another VM!
    * How to start program from dock with command line options??
    * Why shows truecrypt only fat but not ntfs partitioning option? By now I will use only Filevault.
    * Will my mobile phone, Garmin, tv stick and scansnap work? Yes, and there is a Zattoo client as well.
    * Setup various printers and smb services: done!
    * Change day menulets: done!
    * How to import PDFs in papers, emails in thunderbird and dates in icalendar?
    * How does the time machine work? very well!
    * Copy \windows\fonts to /Library/Fonts: done!
    * Remote desktop client: done!
    * Acess MS Access databases: done!
    * Is iDVD a replacement for Aquasoft DiaShow? Not really…
    * One of the unexpected problems is the much larger disk consumption than of on compressed NTFS.
    * …

Here are some useful links that I collected over the past weeks