As I mentioned in a previous post, I wasn’t really excited by the new MacBooks that were announced this year. And the more I read the less compelling they seemed… As I talked with my co-workers, I heard some really good reviews of a couple of models of Windows computers, and since 90% of Firefox’s users are using Windows it’s probably not such a bad idea if I use it, too, both to help me understand the problems they’re running into, and to make sure that the code I’m writing will work for them.
So on Friday I bit the bullet and ordered a Dell XPS 15 (with Touch screen, 32Gb RAM, and a 1Tb SSD) for my latest laptop refresh. I think that the recent updates to the Windows Subsystem for Linux will let me do all the same Unix-y stuff I’ve been doing on the Mac, and if I use the same keyboard and trackpad, I’m not sure I’ll notice much of a difference, to be honest.
It’s going to be a few weeks before it arrives, which is nice because it lets me think about all the stuff I’ll need to transfer over, and because it lets Mike Hoye go through all the pain of switching before I do, so I can hopefully avoid the worst pitfalls. 😉 There is, of course, a guide to switching for Mozilla people, but it’s pretty out of date. I’ll probably be updating it as I run into stuff, and hopefully the other people who are also switching will do the same.
So, here’s the big list of stuff I currently use, and replacements (where I know what they are):
First off, the obvious ones:
Next, the slightly more complicated ones:
iTerm2 ⇒ Cmder
Cmder isn’t the same, but it’s the best Windows terminal app I’ve found.
Update: I might go with ConEMU, the program underlying Cmder, instead.
Safari ⇒ Also Chrome. Or maybe Edge.
I use Safari mostly for YouTube. I used to use Chrome for this; maybe I’ll go back, or maybe it’s time to try a new browser. I hear Edge has really good battery life while watching video… 🙂
Atom ⇒ Atom (or Visual Studio Code?)
I’ve heard not-great things about Atom on Windows, so I’m starting to look into switching to Visual Studio Code. So far it seems okay… I do miss the minimap and Whimsy.
Dropbox ⇒ Dropbox (or Google Drive, or CloudApp?)
Mozilla moved to Google Apps for our email, and now we have a big shared space there. Should we really still be paying for Dropbox Pro accounts for our team? Maybe not… Of course, I don’t think Google Drive uploads screenshots automatically, so maybe I’ll also need to install CloudApp for that?
Acorn ⇒ Paint.net
Totally not the same, but I think paint.net will do most of the stuff I want.
After that is the software I’m unsure about alternatives for:
I’ve been looking for a while, but still haven’t found a beautiful IRC client for Windows. (Please don’t suggest mIRC, or irssi over ssh… Anyone who considers those “beautiful” clearly doesn’t share my aesthetic. 😝) The closest I’ve found has been Foo IRC, but I’m not sure how well it works. For some reason I had a pinned tab open on IceChat’s page, but I’m not a big fan of how it looks…
Update: IRC Explorer looks pretty nice, too…
I’m not really enthused with Apple’s Mail app, but it’s not terrible. I hear Microsoft’s Mail app is pretty similar, so I’ll give it a try.
I don’t think there is anything like XScope on Windows 10. I might just have to go back to my Mac for the kinda stuff I use it for… Update: PicPick looks like it might do some of the stuff XScope does…
And things I just don’t know about:
I’m sure there’s something on Windows that does calendaring, but will it connect to my home iCal account?
I don’t use this a ton these days, but it’s good for keeping track of what’s on my plate. I may just continue to use it on my iPhone…
I don’t think WinAmp or iTunes for Windows are really what I’m looking for here. I might switch to a combination of Spotify and my iPhone.
Do I still need to run folders as websites? Maybe not so much these days, since I’m using webpack a lot more, and it comes with a dev server.
I think I could probably use the Cortana search menu for most of what I use Quicksilver for…
This is another one of those “There has to be something like this” apps, but I have no idea what it is.
Suggestions for any of the apps mentioned above would be very appreciated!