Thursday, December 20, 2007

I yielded... Welcome MacBook Pro

Two weeks ago I got my new MacBook Pro. For a long time I had to hear from certain people how much better Mac was... Finally I yielded and bought one!

For the techies... my configuration looks like this: MacBook Pro 15.4'', 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4 GB of memory, GeForce 8600M GT 256 MB graphics card, 200 GB (7200 rpm) harddisk.

In the beginning I had to get used to this new machine, but after a week I was impressed by this jewel. The Leopard operating system is really impressive! The features I like most at the moment: Visual Look and Feel, Easy of installation of software, Expose, Spaces and Screen Sharing!

Before I tell you how I use my new laptop, this is the other software I installed: VM Ware Fusion, SQL Developer, Adium (chat), Firefox (with some plugins as Firebug), Cyberduck (ftp), Skype, iWork '08, SSH Tunnel Manager, QuickSilver and Adobe Creative Suite. I'm currently evaluating TextMate, MacFuse, Office and OmniPlan. If you know some other good software, let me know... I'm a newbie in the Mac arena ;-)

I'm using this Mac for everything now... from reading my mails or surfing the internet to APEX development and giving presentations and training.

For ex while I'm developing I open a tunnel to the AE servers and use SQL Developer to work on the application back-end (database stuff). In my browser I do the APEX development and when I want to discuss some things with John Scott for ex. (who has also a Mac ;-)) we just do Screen sharing (through iChat) and I see his screen or he sees my screen. Very useful!!

Giving presentations with Keynote is still something I need to get used to. I prepared the presentation of Monday (APEX vs ADF) on my Mac in Keynote. But when I arrived in the Netherlands I saw the connection to the beamer isn't straight forward with a Mac! Of course I didn't take the screen converter plug with me, so I ended up doing my presentation with my Dell laptop. Luckily Keynote could export to pdf and powerpoint. So I expect my first public "performance" with my MacBook Pro will be during the European Apex Training Days in March in London.

But I'm already well prepared ;-) The VM I had with Oracle Linux, Oracle DB 11g, APEX and BI Publisher Server was still working in this version of VM Ware (in Mac it's called VM Ware Fusion instead of VM Ware Workstation). Another VM I have is one with Windows 2003, Office 2003 and BI Publisher Desktop.

So my demos will be a browser and SQL Developer in OSX, my Oracle Linux VM for my database and my Oracle Windows 2003 VM to show the BIP Desktop features.

This is all working very smoothly! Unbelievable, really! Also... If you plugin some other hardware (like external hard disk, mouse etc.) it works immediate! No pain of drivers, it just works!

My "things to remember" if you come from a Windows environment:

  • get used to the new OS
  • use a mouse, or know that right click is CTRL mouse click
  • there're only 2 USB ports, use Firewire for your external harddisk
  • maximum resolution is 1440x900 (a bit larger as the 1900x1200 of my Windows laptop)
  • learn the new shortcuts and talk to others how to do things
  • if you need to connect to a monitor/projector, don't forget your converter
So far I don't regret having bought this Mac...

My wife, working in the Graphics industry, already works with Mac for years. She also said Mac was so easy, but maybe she just wants to have a "cool" guy... You should definitely have a look at this video!!! ;-)


Mike Smith said...


You can enable two-finger trackpad clicking to be a right-click. Once you get use to it, its actually easier (I find). Also, make sure to enable 2 finger scrolling. Another thing you'll soon not be able to live without. VLC is a program you'll not want to be without. And if you use Cisco VPN, check out Shimo.


Byte64 said...

welcome to the Mac world then!
I made the "passover" at the beginning of November and i have no plans of going back!

Hopefully and there are many signs already, an increasing number of professionals will migrate to Apple.

Funnily enough, when i registered my Mac Pro there was no such "category" like "software developer", they kept on asking me if i was doing graphics, architecture and whatever, but they just could not find a more sound user class...

I am using VMWare fusion too, but i didn't install Oracle Linux, i sticked to Xubuntu which seems to me much lighter, but eventually i'll create some VM with Oracle Linux as well.

And no Windows VM at all!


PS: merry Christmas to the whole family!

Dimitri Gielis said...

Thanks Flavio and Mike.

That two finger scrolling I find useful, but that right click I didn't know. Thanks.


jurassicGeek said...

Welcome to the Mac World
I switched in 2003 to definitively abandon Windows at home.
Now i 'm working with my Mac Intel, watch video and listen music on the Mac 'MediaCenter' Mini, and all artwork (graphism, video) with the G5.
For APEX , i'm continuing to work on Linux for this, like you, with an Oracle Linux and VM Ware Fusion. I need to install the stack for BI Publisher, and upgrade to 11g.
What size have you reserved for all your Oracle Linux image?
And i'd would be interested in your slides APEX vs ADF...

kathy green said...

Are you pissed that you didn't wait until MacBook Air? I love the new MacBook Air. I think I will get one.

Dimitri Gielis said...

Hi Kathy,

I'm not disappointed... maybe disappointed that I didn't switch earlier to Mac ;-)

As I'm dealing with Oracle, I want the most powerful system performance wise. A MacBook Air isn't powerful enough for me to run all my virtual machines. (I want a fast hard drive and 4GB of memory)

But I also like the MacBook Air very much. I'm wondering how warm it will get.