Making the switch to Mac

Recently I bought a new MacBook Air (MBA) for my university work and other portable computing needs. After weighing up what I would be using it for, I realised gaming was not a priority for a laptop and I’d prefer something lighter (upgrading from a ‘lightweight’ Acer Timeline 4810) so I purchased the entry level MBA. It’s amazing! Resumes from sleep in a few seconds, weighs just over a kilo in my bag… and everything seems lightning fast due to the SSD inside. I love it!

One of my main concerns was Microsoft Office…

…but having bought the student edition of 2011 from Software4Students for around £40 that need not have been a concern. Being a heavy user of Office, I didn’t really notice the difference and managed to continue working straight away (when not fiddling with OSX) which is really handy when lab report deadlines loom.

Having used Windows since probably 1995 or 1996, changing the operating system I was / am used to gave me cause for concern but it really needn’t have: I still use Microsoft Office daily, Evernote works like I know and love taking notes for me from lectures and organising my ideas, Firefox is as good as ever (I love NoScript among other extensions…) and JungleDisk still backs my files up after they’ve been synchronised home via Dropbox. Seriously, I have only had one software issue in the first month!

The issue is that I haven’t been able to find an easy to use replacement for ChemSketch from ACD Labs. They recommend running it in a Virtual Machine. Awesome, except I only have 64gb of storage space, and that would require another licence for Windows which I couldn’t afford anyway.

I’ll have to keep looking and trying some alternatives and hopefully I’ll find one that I like. In the mean time, I’ll just remote into my desktop to get the job done! Can anyone recommend some easy to use ChemSketch replacement?

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