Personal change

Yesterday I went cold turkey on my lovely IBM/Lenovo Thinkpad in favor of a MacBook Pro. Why? Because in the office I worked in the computer I was issued with was the Apple. For some time I have sat with both computers side by side, working on both but going back to the safety blanket of the ThinkPad when things got frustrating, time consuming, or just too difficult on the Mac. It had taken me ages to get my ThinkPad set up just the way I liked it. (Following the theft of my previous ThinkPad), and I felt adrift in the Mac world that has very different conventions from the Microsoft world.

Starting almost from computer scratch again even though my Apple is loaded with their version of Microsoft Office is hard work and time consuming. There are many, many things I am struggling with. My long-suffering computer expert brother (and Apple fan) is getting a stream of emails. Today's already include:

Passwords
The question being 'where do I locate the passwords that Mac is remembering for me?' Now Firefox is 'remembering' passwords for me which is ok but not if I can't find them. I see Roboform , which I had on my ThinkPad, works with Firefox so if I want to go that route I will have to work out how to install it and transfer the passwords I already have. (I guess they have a help desk or FAQs)

On passwords – I just read some handy tips in FastCompany on remembering countless passwords. It's something I will adopt for the future.

Keyboard shortcuts
How do you get to the top of the page in one keystroke?
How do you erase/delete characters from left to right instead of right to left? (I've found out that one – hold down the FN key).
When will I stop pressing the control key when I need the command key?
Etc, etc

Personalization
How do I get the default font in Word to be the one I want?
Why does the email I'm opening do so in the top left hand corner covering up the 'reply' button so I have to move the email to reply. (Why isn't reply in the header of the email?)
Etc etc

Sync stuff
BlackBerry sync – how do I get my BB to sync with the Mac when it's been syncing with the ThinkPad. (Without losing any info from my BB)
How do I get my i-pod to sync with the Mac – should be easy but I seem to have too many computers authorized (so how do I de-authorize some to allow me to authorize this one.

Installing software
I need to install Skype (but with my profile etc still intact)
Ditto Google Desktop – do I need Google Desktop or does the search function on the Mac work as well as GD?

There are many, many other small frustrations. Yet I bill myself as a 'change agent' so I'm observing how I am dealing with this transfer of skills, knowledge, and experience. My technique has been:

a) Play with the Mac knowing I had the safety of the ThinkPad
b) Ask several people who had made the transfer what their experiences had been. I got several tips from this approach e.g. on touchpad v mouse. Most people I talked to had transferred with some frustrations but felt it was worth it in the end. Two people had sold the Macs and gone back to their Dell or whatever.
c) Get reasonably clear about what I immediately needed to make the Mac workable e.g. my address book and calendar from my ThinkPad so I had (sub!) basic competence
d) Ask for help (long-suffering brother) in getting the Mac set up to these basic requirements
e) Go cold turkey on the ThinkPad. (It's currently 300 miles from me).
f) Spend a lot more time using trial and error playing with the Mac to get it more attuned to my requirements. (Several hours yesterday and today so far).

So far I'm still on the Mac, I haven't despaired and gone off for a run instead. My change technique seems to be following the organization design methodology: assess, design, transition. The next step will be the review! (In a week when I get back to my ThinkPad and have to decide whether to revert to it, continue with the Mac, or do something different). What I like about the Mac is the screen display and the general design of the hardware. What I don't like about it is that it isn't configured correctly and it's taking me a lot of time to get it right. (One of the standard reasons people don't persist with changing is because it takes persistence and resilience).

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