Pros: it's small, light, and gorgeous; the battery life is decent; the Finder is much less 'cluttered' than Windows Explorer; the Search function is incredibly fast and effective (compared to that stupid puppy dog in Windows); there's a separate photo organization application; you can make professional-looking slideshows (visual effects and music) with, like, two clicks; there's a 'Bookmark Bar' in the browser for often-used links; there are 'Stickies' to write notes on and stick to your desktop; the backgrounds and screen savers are far superior to Windows; I love the Dock system (with all the icons at the bottom of the screen; your mouse magnifies the icons as you roll over them); you can set the clock to 24-hour time (such a simple thing, but Windows can't do it); the keyboard is (for some reason) much easier for me to type on than that of the Compaq; there's a built-in translator (that knows Dutch!); and you can set up different preferences for energy use depending on whether the machine is running on battery or if it's plugged in. I had to change everything manually on the Compaq (if I wanted to take the trouble, which I never did).
Cons: there's Backspace but no Delete button (I never realized how very often I used it...); adding accents to characters is more difficult; the machine runs rather hot; the Gmail Notifier isn't 'playing nice' with it; it doesn't remember passwords and usernames with the same automatic efficiency as Windows; it won't write to my PC-formatted external drive (but I can fix that; I just haven't done it yet); the speakers aren't quite as nice as the Compaq's; and I'm having trouble getting used to the 'new' keyboard shortcuts. But I'm sure that will come with time.
I've spent the past couple of days transferring files and organizing - getting everything set up just the way I want it. I'm one of those people who hates cleaning but is quite fond of organizing - I'll pack, sort, label, straighten, and alphabetize all day long, as long as you don't try to hand me a vacuum or dustcloth - meaning I'm having a ball with all the individual programs on the Mac, organizing my music, photos, movies, documents, bookmarks, all into a gazillion individual folders. Don't I lead an exciting life? ;) I ran into a slight roadblock when I discovered that Quicktime wouldn't play my .avi movies and wouldn't readily tell me the proper codecs to download to rectify that - which Windows Media Player does do - but a quick Google search turned up the MPlayer OSX, which downloaded in two minutes and plays everything with no trouble.
At the moment, I would even go so far as to say I'll never go back to Windows. We'll see what the next few days bring.
Okay - now on to the not-so-nice stuff. Because whenever something good happens, something bad has to happen too, right? Well, my great-aunt died on Thursday. Which wasn't entirely unexpected - she had advanced Alzheimer's - but it's a complicated situation nonetheless. To make a long story short, she has two children - a son (who was living with her) and a daughter (who is mentally handicapped and lives in a sheltered apartment). Her son is just plain mean and untrustworthy in every aspect of his life (think alcohol, drugs, as little work as humanly possible, and a generally nasty personality), and we strongly suspect he and his girlfriend were basically letting her starve to death (she went from being obese to weighing less than 90 pounds) in order to get their hands on her money. (And when she did die, he managed to get her cremated in less than 12 hours, and didn't call anyone until it was already done - uh, anyone else think he's covering something up?) Anyway, the obvious problem here is not just that such a rotten person may walk away with a lot of undeserved money, but that the (very sweet) daughter is in a good, stable situation which works well for her - but she needs the continued income from her mother's money to be able to stay there. If her brother sucks up all their mother's money, including that which was specifically set aside to go to his sister, she will essentially be out in the cold with nowhere to go. (He even told her, "When Mama dies, you're not getting anything!") That means our family could end up with a lot more responsibility for her than we want. So it's been like the New York Stock Exchange around our house the past couple of days - phones ringing off the hook, my parents rushing around and the two home-for-the-summer college students just trying to stay out of the way. I'll keep you posted.
Hmm, I just realized something. I always highlight and copy all the text in this Blogger entry form before I click Publish (because I've had a couple long entries get lost) ... but I don't know the Apple keyboard shortcut for 'Copy'. In Windows it's Ctrl + C ... maybe Apple + C then? Let's give it a try.
UPDATE: Yup, that was it.