Saturday, June 27, 2015

Back to Windows

I joined Microsoft a couple of weeks ago, and after 15 years of only using Macs and OS X for my work and personal computers, I traded both for their Windows equivalent.

For my laptop, I got a Lenovo X1 Carbon that is growing on me. It reminds me of my Mac Book Air: it is very light, with a great design, and an excellent battery life—with a ton of applications running, I usually get 6 or 7 hours of battery life. And the icing on the cake is the touch screen, and the great tactile feel ThinkPad keyboards are well known for.

The laptop had Windows 8.1 on it, but since I have access to any Windows build, I decided to image it with a prebuild of Windows 10. After a couple of weeks of usage, I can safely say I like Windows 10. It has definitely come a long way since the last time I used it 15 years ago. 

For one, hibernation and wakeup are much faster now, and file operations—which I remember were slow and infuriating, are now acceptable. I also like Cortana, and the new Edge browser. But what I am enjoying the most is the 1st class platform support for all drivers and applications I can think of. Connecting my old and aging printer was no longer a painful process, and using the newest Logitech wireless headphones was a breeze.

There are a couple of things I miss about my Mac, but they are both minor. One is the native Unix environment, but Cygwin and Cygwin-X are a good substitute. Also running Linux under Hyper-V is a good alternative. The second is swapping the Caps Lock and Control keys—which makes using Emacs a lot easier. On OSX it is an easy task through the keyboard settings, while on Windows I recall it is a convoluted editing of a registry key.


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