From the Principal's Office: Experiences with My Newly Purchased MacBook Pro

I’ve been pondering for some time about making a switch to a Mac laptop. I’ve been a Windows user all the way back to 3.1 and DOS. There was a time when I adamantly defended PC’s, but in recent years, I’ve found Apple products much more satisfying. I started out with an Android tablet, which proved to be satisfying in some ways, but when the device repeatedly failed to update resulting in countless phone calls to cell phone providers and device tech support, I had enough. I’ve been using iPads since the First Generation and have always been pleased with the reliability of those devices. Besides an app crashing on occasion, which was usually due to the app maker and not the device, I have grown to treasure my iPad and iPad mini. This weekend I purchased my first Mac in the form of a MacBook Pro, and besides learning about some of the unique ways of navigating through software, installation of software, I’ve successfully made the transition. I hope to be sharing some of the apps I’ve quickly come to know.

The model of MacBook Pro I selected was the 13 inch screen with a 2.4 GHz Intel Core i5 processor. It has the built-in Retina Display which has so far amazed me with its resolution and graphics. It also has the flash storage and 4 GB of memory. All in all a pleasant experience since I removed it from its packaging. One thing I will say regarding the Apple set-up experience compared to the Windows PC experience, and I’ve set up many PC’s, is setting up this MacBook Pro was much, much simpler. It appears Apple still takes the user experience seriously, because I’ve never had a computer set up run more smoothly.

There is one major issue I am struggling with my Mac transition. There are several Windows programs that were my favorites, and these aren’t available in Mac versions. For example, KeePass password safe was one of my personal favorites. It isn’t available in a comparable Mac version. There are a few similar password options but nothing like I’m used to. Also, I had the simplest Checkbook management program available on my Windows PC, but that software also does not have a Mac version. I did end up finding a comparable Mac version, but again, not exactly what I had. Then there was my need to purchase Microsoft Office’s Word, Powerpoint and Excel. I pondered whether I needed to purchase these, then I found out my Endnote program I am using for my dissertation work requires it in the Mac version, so I had no choice.

The bottom line from this former PC user is; I’ve made the right choice for me. I just wasn’t fond of Windows 8 and did not see myself ever making that upgrade. I really don’t need my laptop to have a touch screen. I’ve converted to Mac and I am glad to have done so. Perhaps some of you experienced Mac users can suggest other apps I need to get.

cross posted at

J. Robinson has decades of experience as a K12 Principal, Teacher, and Technology Advocate. Read more at The 21st Century Principal.