I recently received word that I was due for a new machine at work, and despite the lackluster options, I’ve decided to go ahead with my plans to switch over to Mac.

My desire to switch is based mostly on the fact that we switched our home machines to Mac a few years ago and I’d like to be able to focus my leaning and know-how on one environment. I can get done what I need to get done equally well on either platform, so i opted to go with the choice that would make my life easier.

Originally I was hoping I could convince the Library to spring the few hundred extra dollars it would cost to get me either a MacBook Air or an iMac (non-retina, of course). Unfortunately, the powers that be are not willing to deviate from the standard options, which for an academic like me that means an entry-level MacBook Pro:

MacBook Pro (MD101)
Intel Dual-core i5 2.5 GHz
13.3″ LED backlit glossy display
500 GB (5400 RPM)
4.5 lbs. (ugh!)

While this machine is certainly adequate for my needs, the reality is that it is going to have to last me somewhere around 4 years. This means that I’ll have to both get really good at optimizing the machine as well as lower my expectations about what I’ll be able to use it for.

I’ve also heard horror stories from my peers at the Library who report that whatever configuration McGill IT does to the machines to get them connected to the university network and infrastructure introduces significant performance issues. I’m optimistic that I can find a way to fix or work around that, despite the evidence that the many who have gone before me and tried have all failed.

I’m planning on sharing my experiences switching over here on my blog and on twitter. Also, any pointers or advice would, as always, be greatly appreciated.

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