MacBook Pro

Podcast 277 : Jumping Ship! I’m Now a Mac User!

Firstly, I really need to apologize for the hiatus since the last Podcast episode was released on January 25, over a month ago. I know that some of you have probably been concerned that I’d given up altogether, but that certainly isn’t the case. If you follow me on Twitter...

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Martin Bailey
Martin Bailey is a nature and wildlife photographer and educator based in Tokyo. He's a pioneering Podcaster and blogger, and an X-Rite Coloratti member.
  • Jeffrey Friedl
    Posted at 01:24h, 01 March Reply

    For about $80 you can get a copy of VMware Fusion (or Parallels) and load a copy of Windows on it and run your Office stuff. If you’ve got an old Windows install disk for a copy of Windows you’re not actually running anymore, you can install it to the VM in Fusion (or Parallels). I run it on my MacBook pro to test IE, Lightroom, etc. on Windows and it’s just dandy.

  • Lem
    Posted at 02:01h, 01 March Reply

    Another great podcast. I enjoyed this one more than most, if that’s possible, primarily because I also switched to Mac recently and haven’t looked back at all.

    A couple comments/questions, if you don’t mind:

    1) Which MacBook Pro did you purchase? I’m assuming the 17 inch, and am very curious about what options/customization you decided on.

    2) I have to disagree about your final concern in the podcast about this episode not being photography related – it is totally photography relevant. Our computers and software are literally our digital darkrooms and deserve attention in their own right.

    Keep up the great work and great podcasts!

  • Paul Henman
    Posted at 03:18h, 01 March Reply

    So MBP is now using a MBP 🙂

    I bought a MacBook Pro last year and love it – I’ve used Windows and Linux for many years but when I finally added an OS X laptop I’ve almost stopped using the others.

    I bought Parallels with my MBP and use it occasionally (pretty much only for website testing with Internet Explorer) but it can add all my Windows programs to my Mac’s applications.

    As for remote backups, I use Backblaze for my photos but if you’re sending your files to your brother in the UK then you might want to check out Crash Plan ( because it lets you backup to a remote drive (e.g. on your brother’s LAN) over the internet, for free. I’ve only tested it locally (inside my own LAN) but it could be worth a look. Your only constraint would be the internet connection speed & bandwidth caps at each end.

    Thanks for the great podcasts. Cheers!

  • Forrest Tanaka
    Posted at 04:15h, 01 March Reply

    As you know, I switched from Mac to Windows in frustration around 1999 or so, then from Windows to Mac in frustration a couple years later, though I still use Windows for website testing with Parallels. I think your analysis is spot on.

    My frustration with MS products on Mac (except Excel which I think is really super on Windows and Mac) led me to use iWork Pages and Keynote which are both really great and reasonable. And as long as you don’t get too tricky with formats and transitions, export to Word and Powerpoint really well.

    Maybe Windows has this (I never print on Windows), but I was recently very impressed when I took my Mac to someone else’s home and needed to print. From the Print dialog, it downloaded the right driver for their printer, and I was able to print to it in a couple minutes.

  • Gary Nelson
    Posted at 05:46h, 01 March Reply

    Hi Martin

    Welcome to the club. I also changed about 3 years ago from PC to Mac. Although I have to use PC for work which is really frustrating!!!

    Do I see a Mac Mini in one of your Photos?



  • Martin Bailey
    Posted at 16:02h, 01 March Reply

    Thanks for all the comments folks!

    Jeffrey, I’ll probably do that at some point. For now, I still have a couple of Windows machine lying around that I can use when necessary. I will need to load both on my Mac if I need Windows while traveling, so that I only have to take one laptop. I’ll look into these solutions more then I imagine. Thanks!

    Lem, I bought the 17″ with the i7 chip, matte screen, 500GB 7200rpm HD and 8GB of RAM.

    Yes, I agree about our choice of computer heavily influencing our digital workflow. That’s kind of what I was trying to say for the reason that I went ahead and put this out there as well.

    Paul, I have been using Backblaze on my PC for a few years now, but my ISP (like many others) choke the bandwidth when they see a lot of data going to one place, so it takes forever to complete a backup. I actually completed a back up quite a while ago, but then lost it when I upgraded to Windows 7 and had to start again. Backblaze, the last time I checked at least, does not have the ability to migrate a backup set to a new computer, which really throws a spanner in the works for me. I might load it to my Mac and do a small backup set, or just backup from my Mac Mini which I can pretty much leave on all the time, but I’ll think about that one.

    The same problem would probably get me if I tried to backup to a PC at my brother’s place too, but before that, a bigger problem is that my brother only has a a laptop and he doesn’t leave it on all the time. I’ll probably need to buy something that could be plugged in all the time, and it would get complicated. I’ll figure something out though. Thanks for your advice anyway. 🙂

    Forrest, yes, I recall your migration track. I will probably try Pages and Keynote at some point, but for now, Word and Powerpoint are in my tool bag. It’s Outlook that really annoyed me. It really is a piece of crap, no matter how much better it became with 2011. For one, not being able to automatically move mail to various folders without selecting them and running the rules is just dumb. The fact that it crashes every time you try to run rules against IMAP folders is even dumber. Usually, if software developers can’t get something to work, they disable it, but I guess there was not enough beer and pizza to get the MS students to go the extra mile on this one. 🙂

    Gary, thanks! And yes, that’s a Mac Mini on my desk. I’ve actually been using a Mac Mini for almost five years now, but to date, I’ve only used it once a week to record my Podcast, as it was necessary to make Enhanced Podcasts. I’m actually on my second Mac Mini, and I really like it. I’ve started to use it more now though, so that I can keep my external hard drives hooked up and on the network, rather than having to keep going to my desk if I just need to look at something quickly. I like the fact that it’s quiet, and sleeps when not being used, but will wake up when I need it, even over the network.

    Cheers all, and thanks again for the comments!


  • Bruce Raymond
    Posted at 04:41h, 03 March Reply

    A free alternative to Parallels is Sun’s Virtual Box, a freebie available from Installation is easy if you read and follow the documentation and instructions. It supports Windows of most varieties (not sure about Win 95) as well as other OS such as Linux as well.

    I’ve been using it for software development while collaborating with other programmers who are working on Windows machines and have found it 100% reliable. My only grouch is that it retains control over any USB port it uses (except the one for the mouse) until Virtual Box is closed down, so sharing a printer is not possible once Virtual Box has used it. [I’m using a MacPro 2.8 GHz quad core with 6 Gb RAM.]

  • Stefan
    Posted at 19:51h, 03 March Reply

    Finaly Martin! Welcome to the club. I jumped about 8 years ago after having to reinstall Windoz the third time in one year because it corrupted itself. I first swithed to Linux and two years ago to Mac. I have never looked back!

    You would have spent your money better on the iWork suite. My recommendation is switch altogether to native Mac software. There is generally a Mac equivalent for anything available on Windows. Just a heads up: your next OS upgrade will cost you a whopping $45. Windoz 7 upgrade costs you AU$500 today.

    Btw, thanks for the Podcast. It’s great. Wish i could go with you on the Antarctic trip 🙂

  • Martin Bailey
    Posted at 10:12h, 04 March Reply

    Thanks for the additional virtualization option Bruce! I think I’d pass anything that tied up my USB ports, but I’m sure it’s worth keeping in mind when I need something. Especially as it’s free!

    Stefan, thanks for the welcome and best wishes! 🙂

    I know I should have gone for the iWork suite, but I didn’t like the fact that it said that it can Save Word and Powerpoint documents, rather than work with them totally natively. Maybe it can, but I didn’t like the marketing blurb.

    Apart from Outlook I’m happy enough with Word, Excel and Powerpoint. And apart from when I need my mail archives, I don’t open Outlook now, so I’m almost good.

    Yes, I’ll be pleased to only have to pay a relatively small amount for upgrades too. 🙂

  • David White
    Posted at 00:18h, 05 March Reply

    Hi Martin

    Congratulations on moving to Mac!

    A few additions to the above feedback:

    1. You can actually dual boot on your MacBook Pro using Apples free BootCamp software and simply start up as a PC windows 7 at full speed! Best of both worlds. Works for me.

    2. You can test your websites from the Mac (on Windows browsers) using free IEtester software.

    3. The Matt screen was the right good move – my glossy 17″ is not ideal for photo editing in that images have too much contrast.

    Your note on moving the CS licence over means I can now afford to move my workstation PC over to a big iMac, so thank you!

    Thanks for all the podcasts – on episode 4 I bought my first digital SLR, by episode 277 I am a working photographer. Podcast accelerated learning.

  • Steve Morton
    Posted at 07:45h, 05 March Reply

    Hi Martin
    Just started to listen to your podcast again after a break due to difficult personal circumstances here.

    Great to see you are now using a Mac, I’ve also moved across, with no regrets.

    For back ups I use Time Machine. You might consider using a Drobo box for your time machine back ups. It’s very easy to set up and easy to retrieve files back again.

    Like others have said Parallels is a good way to run Windows Apps on a Mac.

    I switched my Outlook Mail to my iMac, by moving the archive back in to my Gmail imap inbox, then sync the Mac to the in-box. (Might take a while!!) Then archive them on the Mac. But as you are only likely to do this once… then it’s not too bad a solution.

    I also moved all of my iTunes music across from XP to the Mac whilst retaining all of the ratings and play lists etc.

  • Kyle BUltman
    Posted at 01:51h, 23 March Reply

    Hey Martin,
    You likely already know this, but replacing your laptop hard drive with a good solid sate drive would drastically decrease your boot times and load times of your applications. It would also speed up disk intensive actions in photoshop and lightroom, assuming that cache is located on the ssd. If load times are that important to you it might be worth looking into if you haven’t already. There is an added bonus to ssd’s that your data is protected in the even you drop your laptop because there is no fragile spinning disk.

  • Rafael Rios
    Posted at 02:52h, 29 March Reply

    Hi Martin!

    I am a subscriber of you great podcast, and this is my first comment in your blog.
    When I listened to this chapter a couple of comments/sugestion came to my mind that I would like to share

    * External Hard Drives: It all depends on how do you use them, but it is a lot of worse if them spin on and off “all the time” than letting them on all the time. Parking heads and starting to spin is a hard work for the drive.

    * Mail: May be, you would like to try Thunderbird [1], you can import mail from Outlook. For me, one of the best things of Thunderbird is that mail is stored in folders on disk, this way I have migrated from windows to linux serveral times with zero problems. Also backup all my mail is very easy. I use several computers on my daily basis (work, home, laptop, …), and I use to port some mail folders between them only copying the folders to a pendrive.

    * VirtualBox: I use severals virtual machines on my linux computer at work to run windows and other OS. Yes, I am a system admin. Is a good sugestion from Bruce. Give it a try. You can attach/detach USB devices from virtual machines with a mouse click on the USB icon at status bar on the virtual machine, even you can create filters to indicate which devices will attach automatically, by default no one will attach to your virtual machines.


  • Rafael Rios
    Posted at 03:01h, 29 March Reply

    Hi again,
    I just realized that the link isn’t the right one. This should be fine for everyone:

  • Al Woodcock
    Posted at 06:01h, 18 April Reply

    Congratulations on your new Mac.

    I use Time Machine and SuperDuper! as back ups to two different external hard drives. The latter gives me a complete copy of my main drive so that if the original crashes I can just go to the clone and reboot to repair or immediately get on with my work, granted up to a day old. Also consider off site backup using CrashPlan or other program.

    For very helpful Mac how to ebooks, I like the Take Control series with many titles. Link to home page


  • Alvinus
    Posted at 14:49h, 22 April Reply

    Hey Martin:

    I am only now reading this! What took you so long to move to mac. Anyway welcome to the club. When will you try out Aperture? 😉

  • John
    Posted at 23:07h, 10 June Reply

    Hi Martin,

    Thanks for the podcast. I also switched to Mac recently and am enjoying the experience (27 inch screen for one thing!).

    Perhaps it was just a typo but copying and pasting involves Command C and V, not P which is used as a short for access to printing. Could this be causing the problem in Word?

    I just read your blog about your health issue and wish you all the very best in overcoming it.

    All the best.

  • Martin Bailey
    Posted at 10:46h, 11 June Reply

    Aah, yes, that’s a typo John. Word is still flaky in this area. I was using it this week, and twice when I launched it, the hotkeys didn’t work, and then once they did. Peice of crap! 🙂

    Thanks for the well wishes too! I really appreciate it.


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