April was a big month for us. Some of you may recall that it was then that we took the plunge and bought MacBook Pros. Thinking back, our first week was a bit painful. It took time to “re-train” our brains to think differently. Both Ryan and I are keyboard shortcut aficionados, meaning that we’re big fans and use them often. When switching between a Mac and PC, keyboard shortcuts are definitely different, and caused us some frustration.
By the end of May my brain had just about fully adjusted to the changes in operating systems and my fingers naturally seemed to do what they were supposed to do on a Mac. When I needed to copy something, I automatically pressed command + c instead of pressing ctrl + c out of habit. Life as far as computers was concerned, was going pretty well.
This all changed for me when I started my new job. The laptop I was issued has Vista installed and while I am excited that it is Vista and not XP (nothing against XP, I just enjoy Vista), it sure causes some brain confusion! Some of you probably know what I’m talking about if you have a Mac at home and a PC at work or visa versa. It gets confusing, doesn’t it? I can easily remember the shortcuts for each, it’s just that my brain can’t seem to remember which computer I’m on and allow my fingers to press the appropriate keys.
Even as I write this article (on a Mac) I have found myself with “brain confusion,” pressing fn + c to copy something instead of command + c (the fn key is in the same location as the ctrl key is). Other examples include pressing the Windows key and the spacebar on my Vista laptop expecting that the Start menu will appear and I’ll be able to start searching (Spotlight on a Mac – Command + Spacebar) .
Oh, and then there’s the issue of differences between applications. I use Office 2007 on the Vista laptop and Office 2008 on the Mac. They are very different from one another. Yet another example is with my screenshot software. On the Vista laptop I use SnagIt which uses completely different shortcuts than Skitch which I use on my Mac. I find myself trying to drag images from SnagIt, into applications like I do with Skitch, and of course, it doesn’t work.
To those of you who switch daily between a Mac and Windows, do you find yourself confused? Please tell me I’m not alone. :)