Let me start by saying that I have been a MacBook Pro user for the last 5 years but the first 4 I was using it as a Windows machine on Bootcamp. Why you may ask? Well, all of our development is in .NET, I am a Windows user since DOS 😉 and the MacBook Pro continues to be one the most powerful and faster laptops that I tested. You may have to take a second mortgage on your house to pay for one and all dongles you will need, but it is worth it – trust me.
Approximately a year ago I found myself not coding as much, and I was pondering my yearly ritual of re-installing Windows to ensure that all the garbage apps that I have installed over time were removed, freeing up both registry, memory and disk. And it dawned on me that I really should give OSX a try. I mean I had used it before on test machines, even on a couple of iMacs we have at the office and I am an avid user of the iPhone and iPad, why not go all the way? ClicData is compatible with Windows and OSX, all I needed is my Safari or Chrome browser and I was ready to go…
I took it as a challenge. Could I adapt and potentially adopt OSX as my new operating system after 20+ years of using Windows?
And so it started. I loved the fact that I did not have to get used to a new keyboard layout since I was already using it in Bootcamp mode with Windows, but I was concerned about that command key and alt/option. After 2 months of complaining and having to repeat the Copy and Paste key combinations each and every time I needed to copy and paste something was painful. I am used to have use my pinkie left finger hold the control key down for Ctrl+C/Ctrl+V and having to use my thumb to hold the Command key for the same function was tough and even after a year I still have lapses.
I did decide to continue to use Microsoft Office. Was not able to make the jump all the way to Apple only applications, and frankly, MS Office on the Mac is actually very good but it does crash quite a bit. I was receiving weekly updates to it which means Microsoft is working hard on it but still I felt that it was missing some features of its Windows counterpart.
I absolutely loved the fact that things felt easier. As an avid student of user interface and design decisions in software, I am still attempting at grasping the exact nuances that make me feel that OSX is so much simpler in design and use. The resolution and quality of display has something to do with it, but it just feels like it breathes. One of our original designers at ClicData, Johan, taught me that when we were designing the interface, leaving space to breathe was essential.
After one year of using the MacBook, there was always an itch to go back to Windows, not because of Windows but because “grass is always greener” type of emotions. When OSX freezes (which it does) it makes me want to go back. When I just don’t have the latest features on the OSX version which I know exist on the Windows, I want to go back. And when I get upset that to tab across application windows I need to know if it is on the same app for a Command + ~ or if its a new application for a Command + Tab (still weird to me) – I want to go back. Eventually I did… for about 3 weeks.
Initially it was because I needed access to Visual Studio but I was also eager to try the new Windows laptops and the new MS Surface, the new 4K screens, and the latest Windows 10 features.
But a funny thing happened during the 3 weeks I used Windows. It felt confusing. Messy. Disorganized. The features I used to love were no longer appealing. I felt that I was using Windows just because I had to – for compatibility reasons – and not because I wanted to.
So I went back to OSX. I still complain about some of the things that are missing on OSX that I loved and were so much easier on Windows but all in all, it just feels better, easier, cleaner.
So, why am I telling you all this? Let me explain.
At ClicData, we are always striving to be better and easier but we are also faced with business and data professionals that have a different perspective and experience. We approach it from the point of view that everyone has something to share. That easy does not mean less functionality but exposing it only if you have to. ClicData fools many people thinking that it is a simple dashboard tool – like so many others out there – but if you take the time to explore it you will find that it is much more than that. It is a data warehouse. A user portal. A scheduling system for data and publications. A visualization tool. A reporting tool. A data master management tool. An API. And much more.
It is like Mac OS with the power of the MacBook Pro and Unix behind it. Easy. Simple. Powerful.
And best of all, it works on Windows, Mac OS (and Unix)…
Note: This is not a “I’m a Mac, I’m a PC” type of blog. My feelings towards the developers, engineers, designers and architects belonging to both companies is that of awe, admiration, respect and a fundamental understanding that things are not black and white (it took me a while to admit this but I now believe it to be true) and that satisfying even 10% of your user base is already an achievement in itself.