The first surprise is that many of my finger disciplines are working OK on the new machine. The Alt-tab is pretty much the same and everything that's CTRL is Command. I think Pops used to call that symbol 'splat'.
The second surprise was how easy and quick it was to setup Time Machine, and what happened when I launched it for the first time. Whoa. Dizzy, trippy. Check out the background.
I has been many years since I built websites with BBEdit and I am proud to date myself as an old head. Now I'm ready to make the next step. Here's a little story.
Once upon a time, meaning between 1991 and 1994, I was a complete devotee to Mac. When the first PowerMacs hit the market I was all over it. I cashed in part of my 401K to buy a 7100 with upgraded memory and a huge honking' NEC 19 inch monitor. I came from the spoiled side of the tracks - Xerox, with object oriented and client server paradigms dancing in my head. So I was already sold on multimedia and deep UI. But UNIX was not to be trifled with - despite the fact that the entire Unix area was mired in legal morass, I had faith in these new things called Pink and Taligent. They were going to pickup where Xerox failed and left off. So I believed.
I had dismissed Microsoft. Everybody knew that MSSQL was, in its infancy, some sort of non-ip stack runt child of Sybase. Also, everybody knew that as pretty as Mac was, DAC, the Apple initiative to connect databases with all that GUI goodness was a total failure. It never competed with anything but OLE. Yes that, OLE. As primitive as ODBC was in 1992, it was far and away superior to anything the Mac Quadras or PowerMacs could use. Yet I held out hope that there could be a visualization suite or something that could compete. In fact, I seriously considered getting out of the EIS business altogether and getting into multimedia. Does anybody remember Voyager?
So I studied more of my Unix, got a subscription to Codewarrior, just in case, watched Applix with anticipation and gritted my teeth as the Sybase / Powerbuilder juggernaut steamrolled over just about everything - especially after the debut of Windows 95. Watcom was king, and I had to start relenting on the promise of the Mac - Pink and Taligent continued to be vapor.
Sometime after lusting after those PowerPC clone Macs for several months, I had to concede. The cool advanced UI and visualization power just wasn't going to happen. So I stayed where the data was.
Now there were a lot of things going on that would change the landscape. An important thing was the Web. I saw Mosaic early enough to be wowed by it, but it was all read only at the time - nothing dynamic. So I think it was that combination of things, including Citrix that led enterprise software towards the whole monster that 'thin client' turned out to be.
I don't hate thin client with a passion, but it basically killed the beauty that was visual programming. And if you have ever had the privilege of building end user apps in a visual programming tool.. ah but enough with the nostalgia. Thin client is dumb. Thick client is the bomb, and the nicest thick clients are called 'instruments'. IE forget keyboards and mice, unless those keyboards are ARPs or Rolands or Yamahas. To deal with the next level of computing requires the beauty of a richer interface and we have the entire history of music production to guide us, as the geniuses who put together Rockband understand. Thin client reduces, thick client and instruments expand.
The Mac is a thicker client than Windows. More time has been taken with UI on the platform. That's a good thing. But it's still primarily using the mouse/keyboard paradigm. That changes with the iPhone and iPad. I'm looking forward to great collaboration between the instrument builders and virtuosos of the future. My direction is to build a multi-touch data browsing and visualization instrument. First stop - XCode.