A few years ago I spoke at an IT in the Advertising Business event, and I made the case that IT Directors in this business really need to live in both worlds. I suggested that we should have both Windows and Mac platforms on our desks, and that we should use them both on a daily basis. I still think it’s a valid point, but I haven’t been living up to it myself. In a recent review of the MacBook Pro, it was suggested that one of it’s target users should be the folks administering both platforms. That sounds like me, so when a fairly new MacBook Pro became available I decided to take the plunge. I’m right in the middle of the switch now.
Over the years I’ve moved back and forth between both platforms, and at times I’ve had both platforms on my desk. The single most significant change since I last used a Mac regularly has been the introduction of virtualization on the desktop, and that’s exactly what has brought me back to the Mac now. We’re running VMWare Fusion, and since I’m a glutton for punishment I’m running a Vista VM on my new Mac. Two or three days into this experiment I’m not so sure that was a good idea. My MacBook Pro has 4GB of RAM, and I’ve allocated 2GB to the Vista VM. I’ve heard the hype about virtualization turning Macs into the best Windows machines, but I’m not buying into it – at least not with Vista. The speed on this machine is ok most of the time, but when I’m running a lot of apps I can definitely feel the hit. My Dell laptop (running Vista with 4GB of RAM) definitely outperforms it when I’m multitasking. Still, I’m going to continue using this as my every day machine for a while. It does do a pretty good job running Windows for 90% of what I do, and it really is convenient having both platforms in one package.
I’m keeping the Dell close by for a few more days, but unless my opinion changes dramatically, it looks like I’m finally going to practice what I’ve preached.