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Switching to OSX

So I have finally made the switch to OSX (sort of). Santa was very nice and gave me a 15inch Retina MacBook Pro

It's a sweet machine with a beautiful display and really well built. It's superfast because of SSD. The downside is it's 256Gb can be a bit cramp for someone like me who has a huge iTunes library and dual boot to consider.

I have been loosing sleep because of 4 major issues though.

1) BootCamp - I finally got this to work after about 3 attempts. I had mistakenly selected a partition size that would not fit Windows 8 (in the future). There is no official support for Windows 8 yet so I have sticked with Windows 7 Home Premium for now. I did purchase the $40 upgrade to Windows 8 Pro (valid only until 31-Jan-2013) but I will hold off installing that until BootCamp support becomes available. For now I am quite happy with the performance of Windows 7 on this machine. Instead of buying or pirating Office for Mac I have decided to install Office 2010 which I own on my bootcamp partition. I purchased WinClone to image my BootCamp partition so that I could easily re-install it when I eventually nuke the BootCamp partition and resize it.

2) iTunes - I have been having issues moving my library from Windows to OSX. I think I may have finally sorted it out today. It appears OSX and Windows treat file names with capitalisation a bit differently. So even following official guides from Apple are not really of much use. I still had to manually locate some 146 missing files. Annoying yes, but I guess it's the price of switching. I was seriously tempted to repartition again and just use Windows on this machine but I wanted to give OSX a fair shake. I also made several attempts to move my iTunes Media folder to a NAS or in my case an HDD attached to our Linksys WRT-610N router. All these attempts have failed and since the iTunes folder I was working on the HDD got messed up I had to re-copy all my iTunes media from my Windows machine a couple of times (this took a lot of time as I have over 100Gb of iTunes Media - keep in mind I have deleted all audiobooks, apps, and 2 seasons of a tv show since I already own the Bluray for it).

3) Clean Install - After my initial excitement of installing frenzy I decided to do a clean install. I was surprised to find out that I did not have backup media for this device. Internet recovery was not working because I was on WiFi and having firewall issues. This is when I curse Apple design for removing Ethernet. Oh and I'd like to say a modern machine this size should have at least 3 USB ports. Anyway fortunately my brother had a MacBook on OSX 10.8 and I was able to create a bootable USB stick. The process is painless if you have the said stick. So new owners make your own ASAP. Just follow the steps outlined here.

4) NTFS - OSX by default does not write to NTFS. Since I was going to be using both Windows and OSX it would be impractical to go all HFS+ anyway with the help of my friend I was able to get NTFS r/w on my machine! So here are my drives.
  1. 320Gb USB2.0 enclosure HFS+ Format - TimeMachine backup
  2. 500Gb USB2.0 NTFS Format - iTunes Media Backup
  3. 500Gb USB3.0 HFS+ Format - Files
  4. 1Tb USB3.0 NTFS Format - iTunes Media/Files
The bad...
As a long time Windows user (all my computing life) it has been a bit jarring to switch to OSX. Few of the annoyances are 

1. My mental map for keyboard shortcuts are going to have to be altered a bit. This will slow down my workflow but I am sure I can overcome this.

2. Lost of Aero Snap. I cannot say how much this annoyed me as I constantly used this feature in Windows 7, friends recommended BetterSnapTool and a freeware alternative Spectacle. I use BetterSnapTool and it is a GOD SEND! 

3. The x button doesn't close the app. The + button doesn't maximize the app. 

The good...
This machine came with OSX Mountain Lion which includes Launch Pad and iCloud integration so as an iOS user these things were very familiar to me, particularly the iCloud integration is really nice. So I guess the halo effect is really true. iOS is a  gateway to OSX adoption. Very smart strategy from Apple.

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