With Spring in the air I’ve been making some changes (or trying to) on my personal technology use. It’s been a mixed bag of success, which leaves me currently caught in transition — not quite ready to let go of the old and not fully embracing the new.
First off, Chrome for Mac is at the point where it’s usable and I’m starting to switch over to it. As a browser, it lives up to its reports — fast, stripped down, easy to use. My bookmarks were easy to transfer, too. I don’t love how Chrome handles their bookmark display but I’m adjusting fairly easily. And I like the choice of themes, they are much nicer looking that the Firefox themes.
What’s been keeping me from full-out Chrome adoption is that I have a huge pile of passwords stored in Firefox and Xmarks and getting them ported over hasn’t worked. Some of my friends have told me that they should be portable, but so far I haven’t found the setting or application that will help me do it.
This raises the whole issue of password management. Like many people who try to be reasonably secure with my passwords, I have a lot of them and if I don’t visit a site frequently I don’t always remember what password I used. Hence I’ve gotten pretty dependent on tools to help me manage them all (which is also a possible source of insecurity, I know). I haven’t tried 1Password or LastPass yet but I probably should. (Got any suggestions?)
I expect I’ll make a full transition pretty soon but sometimes it’s just easier to open a page in Firefox than try to remember exactly what password I used for what site. So for now I’m still switching between the two.
I’ve also been giving Windows 7 a look. Boot Camp makes trying Win7 on my MacBook Pro pretty painless, so I created a new partition on my personal laptop and installed a copy.
It’s been a few years since Windows was my full-time OS and that was XP, so Win7 is a new experience. Microsoft has clearly done a lot of work on the OS and it’s a more visually-appealing OS these days. I’d be lying if I said I was enthusiastic about making a complete switch though. Having to re-buy all my software, unlearn all the keyboard shortcuts I rely on, and deal with a much more complex set of system settings (not to mention having to worry about viruses again) is not something I’m looking forward to.
Still, it’s been fun to play with something new, and there are a few games I had to give up when I went Mac that I’d like to be able to play again (if I ever have time!). I’ll keep testing & see how I feel after a little more time using it.
It could also be that if I had different hardware I’d feel a little differently — the MacBook Pro’s touchpad isn’t really designed for use with Windows and that’s giving me some issues. I’ve looked at a few Dell and Toshiba possibilities but given that this MBP is less thsn a year old, I’m not feeling the need to go out and buy a new laptop just now.
I’m also still stuck in transition on the phone front, carrying both the Nexus One and my Blackberry. The N1 is a really nice handheld computer and I like it a lot; I’ve gotten rid of my iPod Touch now that I have it. For e-mail though, I still can’t shake free of the Blackberry. The keyboard and Exchange integration are too good.
My deepest wish is that RIM would hurry up and put out a Flash-enabled phone with a big screen and a slider keyboard. I may have to suck it up and go with another solution though, because my much-loved old Curve has taken quite a beating these past 2 years and I’m not sure how much longer I can wait for a replacement for it. I know there will be a lot more options coming soon but I am finding it hard to be patient.