My Summer challenge has been to evaluate OS X Lion as a computing platform, from the perspective of both a user and a software developer. With a new MacBook Pro, trackpad, keyboard and my existing Samsung monitor, I resolved to go cold turkey on Windows.

As a user I’ve quickly got up to speed and had no dramas, choosing to migrate from Hotmail to Gmail being the biggest challenge. The Sparrow email client is a light weight and capable application for Gmail. Learning keyboard shortcuts and generally getting productive has taken some time. There are a lot of customisations for the trackpad e.g tap to click and speed of movement. Gestures for the trackpad are great e.g. swiping to go back a page in the browser.

As a developer I’ve looked at Xcode/Objective-C for building native applications for the Mac desktop and iPad. I also setup a Ruby on Rails environment and created a simple web application. There is much to learn here and I have a few project ideas to keep things moving along.

The learning curve is large but I know what I want to do. It’s just a matter of finding the right way to do it. The biggest surprise is that I haven’t needed to start my Windows laptop or been tempted to run Windows on the MacBook.

My opinion of OS X Lion so far…it just works.

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