I had dinner Monday night with a good friend, a power geek with years of experience as a programmer. He recently purchased a Mac, the 12″ G4 iBook, and we had a chat about the experience and the operating system.

I promised him a switcher’s guide – helpfully, I found some others and I’ll start with these: The Idea Basket covers the new stuff in 10.3 from a new-to-the-Mac perspective. It’s ten pages long, and as such I only skimmed it. It did not appear to be as technical as I believe my friend might appreciate, I’ll link here because part of my objective here is to provide a useful document for others in addition to my friend.

Zeldman also covered the switch just about a year ago but covers it by comparison with the orientation of a user moving from OS9 to OSX, and highlights some cool little apps.

Speaking of software recommendations, Marc Liyanage not only provides some tasty stuff such as his long-beloved and now-official implementation of MySQL, but he also provides his own list of suggestions.

As The Apple Turns and TidBITS are where I get the majority of my computing news. Interestingly, though, my recent MacWorld announced a digital-only mac-oriented developers magazine, too. I also get MacAddict, which as oriented to less technical (read ‘younger’) users as it has been over the four or five years I’ve been getting it, has also consistently outshone the venerable Macworld with interesting editorial vision including some sorely-needed personality-oriented features (which they should be running every single month, I think).

The MacWorld-backed dev mag is called “Mac Developer Journal” and is a co-venture with the highly-repected O’Reilly house, whose online material has been the single best source of technical information about the new Mac OS for the bast couple of years. Sadly, if the website is an indicator, it’s unlikely to gain an audience – no preview content was easily available. Although you can get to a preview offsite by clicking the ‘subscribe’ button (counterintuitive web design for sure). They do an interview with DragThing’s James Thomson! Damn, I asked him for an interview years ago but never bothered to try to place a story, Oh well. The pub may be a competitor to the venerable MDJ (which, I swear, once was KNOWN as Mac Developer Journal) – and oddly, MDJ has a relationship with O’Reilly.

O’Reilly’s Mac Center has a raft of well-regarded books on OS X, such as the appropriate for my friend “Mac OS X for Unix Geeks” and David Pogue’s well-liked Mac OS X: The Missing Manual, Panther Edition. Despite the impressive book selection, the reason to come back and back to OReilly.com is the online content at, well, macdevcenter.com.

macdevcenter offers this useful collection of articles on working with Apache, email (but nothing on setting up postfix yet, darn it), and developing for OS X, and more.

This brief survey by no means covers all the ground needed: I haven’t covered my own suite of apps and emergency utilities, for example, or addressed backup. But this will do for a start.

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