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Apple's laptops are still the best PCs money can buy at the moment (despite their horribly outdated displays).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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Best of both worlds
by whartung on Thu 22nd May 2014 21:34 UTC
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The Unix core with the Commercial App capable surface makes the Mac a great experience.

I use iTunes as a music player, it runs all day long. But I don't fiddle with it. I'm not constantly involved with it, making play lists, syncing stuff, or whatever. I set it up, maybe make a "genius" list to last a few hours, and let it go. But, just in general, Sound "just works" on a Mac.

Multi Monitor, mirroring, screen sharing. That all pretty much "just works". We have a lot of MBPs here at the office, and several flat panels screens that make is easy for folks to screen share via Apple TVs.

My last Linux machine, 5(?) years ago, had both sound and multi-monitor issues (Ubuntu 9 at the time I think). I gave up to one monitor and just listening to my phone. It was a shame. I liked Ubuntu. I wouldn't go back to Windows. I could go back to Ubuntu. But I have a Mac, so I don't have to.

Time machine works. Time machine is great. It's mostly painless, but I think the Mac may be picky about USB drives.

Using "non-C" based development environments help you break free from having to actually develop on Linux itself. Don't have to worry about libC issues or other things that tend to be heavily tied to the system itself. You move running scripts or byte code around, not machine binaries. Everything else is mostly environmental (path names, ENV variables).

VM's work. Virtual Box, VMWare, Parallels. Lots of choices there.

MS Office. Apples iWork apps (they're functional).

And when all else fails, you can always drag the thing in to an Apple store. If you lose your machine, you can typically go to the Apple store (or Best Buy, or other stores) and buy a replacement. No need to hunt down parts or compatibility lists. Biggest weakness here would be memory. Since they only sell a few SKUs, chances are they'll have your machine right there, vs some random HP machine the local office store is stocking.

But, if you can get by with a stock item. and if you have your Time Machine backup, you can be back up and running very quickly.

It's difficult to appreciate this capability until you really need it.

Finally, it's family friendly. So you get to develop on the machine that your family uses. When they call with a problem, you actually have a decent chance of being able to talk them through the issue and have them accomplish it vs running Linux at work and Windows at home.

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