Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 22nd May 2014 18:21 UTC, submitted by Shane
General Development

I was at the OpenStack Summit this week. The overwhelming majority of OpenStack deployments are Linux-based, yet the most popular laptop vendor (by a long way) at the conference was Apple. People are writing code with the intention of deploying it on Linux, but they're doing so under an entirely different OS.

But what's really interesting is the tools they're using to do so. When I looked over people's shoulders, I saw terminals and a web browser. They're not using Macs because their development tools require them, they're using Macs because of what else they get - an aesthetically pleasing OS, iTunes and what's easily the best trackpad hardware/driver combination on the market. These are people who work on the same laptop that they use at home. They'll use it when they're commuting, either for playing videos or for getting a head start so they can leave early. They use an Apple because they don't want to use different hardware for work and pleasure.

Apple's laptops are still the best PCs money can buy at the moment (despite their horribly outdated displays). It's no wonder Linux developers, too, favour them.

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Yeah, pretty much nailed it.
by bryanv on Thu 22nd May 2014 19:07 UTC
bryanv
Member since:
2005-08-26

I've had access to Macs since 1994. Off and on, they've been my primary machine. Mostly off.

I've spent most of my time in front of a computer running an 'alternative' OS. BeOS, then Linux. I've always had at least one Mac laying around though. For the last five years, the computer we had at home (the rest of the family used) has been a Mac. It just works. I don't have to fiddle with it, and the wife and kids know how to use it without me having to baby-sit.

Then there's Linux -- which I've used various distributions of over the years, and have relegated to my 'work' machines. I've even used it successfully in the corporate environment for the majority of the last 12 years. But there's always been things I had to really understand and work around that made it painful.

The desktop and vendor support is terrible too. Need to get product xyz working on Linux? You're on your own.

I'm typing this from my 15" MBP Retina. Best. Damn. Computer. I've ever owned.

Usability near what I could do with BeOS (I miss live filesystem queries, pervasive Drag n' Drop, and applications not using walled-garden database formats -- I'm looking at you iTunes and iPhoto...) but it works really well, and my wife and kids transition to it perfectly.

I don't have issues with tool chains, and firing up a VM to dog-food for a few minutes is super-easy.

The earlier releases of OS X I had issues with as my 'main' OS because of the lacking support for some of my workflow habits. Snow Leopard fixed those, and Mavericks has polished them off.

I used to HATE trackpads. The oversized pad on the MBP is ah-may-zing. Really. There's enough room to make gestures not suck, and the precision is there. It's made a believer out of me.

Now, if I could find a good bluetooth (yes, bluetooth, I don't want a damn dongle) ergonomic keyboard to replace my old Microsoft Natural Elite when I'm at the desk, I'd have zero complaints about this machine.

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