I made the switch

Yep, that’s right. I finally made the full-time switch to using Mac OS X as my main OS for daily usage. It took almost a year of using it on-and-off before I finally got used to Mac OS X. I customized it along the way to make it perfect for me. Here’s a few things I did:

Got rid of Leopard’s new translucent menu bar. At first, I installed someone’s utility to make it solid. But later, I just made the top 22 pixels of my desktop image black so that the menu shows up as gray now.

Got rid of the Aqua scroll bars. I switched them to the ones Apples uses in iTunes. I wish Apple would’ve finished their Leopard UI updates and phase Aqua out for good.

Changed Leopard’s folder icons. I purchased CandyBar and switched the icons to David Lanham’s set. I even used his icons to change the icons for Stuffit and Rosetta Stone.

Changed Leopard’s dock. At first I tried living with the flat dock, but then I used a utility to just make the 3D dock darker. Later, I used CandyBar to switch to Corey Marion’s nice dark dock in his Float set.

Html signature and digital ID in Mail. A couple of weeks ago, I discovered how to create an html signature for use with Mail. This was important to me for business e-mails. A few days ago, I also figured out how to install my digital ID so that I can digitally sign e-mails in Mail. Those were two things I used a lot in Outlook 2007 and needed for Mail on the Mac.

Some apps which made it possible for me to switch:

Boot Camp. Apple’s Boot Camp allows me to dual-boot to Vista whenever I need to. Without this I probably wouldn’t have used my MacBook Pro that much. I usually dual-boot to Vista when I have to do CPU-intensive work, such as running Visual Studio and SQL Server. Although, I now wish I would’ve given less hard drive space to Vista since I’m using the Mac partition more these days.

VMWare Fusion. I started out with Parallels, but later switched to Fusion. I like Fusion’s UI much better and it runs faster. Now I run Vista, from a boot camp partition, inside Mac OS X smoothly. In fusion, I can dedicate enough RAM to Vista since I was able to upgrade my MacBook Pro to 4GB. I can also dedicate a CPU core to it as well. If that’s not enough resources, I can always dual-boot into Vista instead.

Plaxo. Plaxo played a key role in enabling me to switch. With it I was able to effortlessly port my contacts and calendar events from Outlook 2007 on Vista to Address Book and iCal on the Mac.

Foxmarks / Del.icio.us. In Windows, I used FireFox as my main browser before IE7 came out. Consequentially, most all of my bookmarks were stored in FireFox. With Foxmarks, I was able to transfer them all to FireFox on Mac. Although FireFox on the Mac is ugly and slow. So I use Safari, where I access my bookmarks from Del.icio.us.

Adobe Creative Suite 3 – Web Premium Edition. This was the last piece I switched to Mac OS X. Adobe allows you to do a cross platform swap. So, I swapped my Windows version of CS3 for the Mac version. A year or so ago, I wouldn’t have be able to switch. It was unclear if Adobe was going to even support Mac. They were dragging their feet about re-writing everything to support the Universal binary format.

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