Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 9th Sep 2012 22:58 UTC
Mac OS X "A little more than an year ago I wrote my rant post The Linux Desktop Experience is Killing Linux on the Desktop and for the first time in 8 years I wasn't a desktop Linux user anymore. I spent about a month wrestling with Windows 7, but let's face it - Windows is ill suited for professional Ruby programmers like me (and it's ill suited for most programmers, except maybe Java & .Net I guess). Anyways, it was never my intention to stick with Windows - I was just doing my Mac due diligence. Now with 1+ year of OSX usage I'd like to share a few things about my experience thus far with you."
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Another view
by gsyoungblood on Mon 10th Sep 2012 01:19 UTC
gsyoungblood
Member since:
2007-01-09

I've been using *nix on the desktop over 15 years, since sometime in 95 I think. For me it was Linux back then. My favorite window manager by far for many years was WindowMaker. It was lean, fast, and did what I wanted.

I've also run DOS, Windows (since 3.0), and OS/2. It's too bad what happened to OS/2 because that was a great system back then. It offered "virtualization" for DOS "machines" - how many multi-line BBS were run on OS/2 on a single machine? I know I ran up to 4 lines at one point. ;)

I do many things, programming, sysadmin, databases, not to mention working with spreadsheets and documents, graphics, and so on. I don't play a lot of games.

I switched to Mac in 2009. Personally I think Snow Leopard was the best general purpose Mac OS. I say that having both Lion and Mountain Lion on my two machines - I'm not a fan of most of the iOSification that Mac OS X has undergone. At the time I switched to Mac my primary desktop was OpenSolaris or Solaris 10 running Gnome.

I switched to Solaris and OpenSolaris after getting burned by Ubuntu instabilities one too many times, especially on new releases. The last truly stable Ubuntu system I remember using was probably a 2007 or maybe 2008 system. Before Ubuntu I ran SUSE/OpenSUSE, Red Hat, Slackware, and others I forget now.

I've tried KDE off an on over the years but never have been able to develop a taste for it. For some people it's great, however it's not for me. Likewise I don't like the new Gnome interface either, though the work done by Linux Mint team is quite impressive (even if it is based on Ubuntu). ;)

My point for all of this background is to highlight some of what I've seen and done over the years.

Right now I use Mac mostly, after that I use Windows and OpenIndiana, an OpenSolaris fork after Oracle took their (acquired) ball back.

My reason for a Mac as primary is quite simply efficiency. Other than the lack of focus-follows-mouse, the UI works, does what I need, and I'm not having to tweak things or figure out work arounds to get something to work. [Sadly, some of this is changing as Mac OS becomes more like iOS, so I'm already scouting for my next "primary" system/interface (time to take WindowMaker for a spin again). Not to mention I'm not a fan of Apple's scorched earth campaign and the addition of barbed-razor-wire on their already walled garden mentality.]

The Mac offers me access to most of the programs and/or tools that I need, and most importantly is *nix under the hood (unlike Windows). I can sit down and go immediately to the task or job I need to work on, without the various idiosyncrasies I've experienced in other *nix desktop environments.

The Mac was, for me at least, the very first environment where I did not have to worry about the OS or system. I could just sit down and work. Of course, controlling hardware and software makes that easier for Apple than just about anything else. Still, it's a powerful feature that doesn't appear on any box.

I also find the hardware above par too. And the so-called Apple tax is negligible (unless you buy memory/drive upgrades from Apple), though I'm only looking at the laptop line, specifically the MacBook Pros. My previous laptop was a Lenovo T61p, 1920x12x0 (1200 or 1250) display and 4 gb of memory. It was purchased in 2007 or 2008 for about $2200 (with a big chunk of that from the high resolution display). [It's now sporting a 500 gb hybrid drive and 8 gb RAM and is my secondary machine, still going strong.] I wanted another 1920x1200 display, but NO ONE offers that, the best you you find in 15" is 1920x1080. When I was pricing systems, the MacBook Pro and the comparable Lenovo machines were both in the same ballpark. In the end I was able to save several hundred by getting a refurbed model from Apple, cheaper than the Lenovo would have been.

Add all of that up, and the Mac has been more cost effective and offered more value for my needs than the alternatives. I also have less "unbillable" time dealing with "systems" issues from the Apple hw and Mac OS than I typically had with Linux, and especially Windows. Again, another win for the Mac.

Is it the best choice for everyone? No, and I wouldn't pretend it would be. I can just see the author's point about why he's enjoying the switch from Linux to Mac. His reasons means something for him, and for his needs that's all that matters.

Edited 2012-09-10 01:22 UTC

Reply Score: 8

RE: Another view
by zima on Sat 15th Sep 2012 11:56 in reply to "Another view"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

I've also run DOS, Windows (since 3.0), and OS/2. It's too bad what happened to OS/2 because that was a great system back then.

OS/2 didn't fit to its times and expectations of customers, with hardware requirements and their costs.*
Plus, deep down, OS/2 was about IBM desiring to wrestle back the control over the PC - so of course the numerous OEMs giving us inexpensive powerful PCs didn't go for it, Gang of Nine style, and we should be glad that they made OS/2 fail. Imagine what would have been if IBM got their way...

Windows was likely the most optimal choice ( http://www.osnews.com/thread?522221 ), still largely is.


*BTW costs - how you brushed aside the issue of "Apple tax", with another quite high-priced systems, misses that most people simply don't want to pay for and don't need such machines...
Moreover: the two remaining kinda-power-starved common usage scenarios, games and video ~editing, work better on PCs than on Macs - more optimised under Windows, hence working fine on typical low-cost PCs (Steam games generally get ~50% of FPS under OSX, on the same hardware - hence requiring more modest under Win for comparable performance; as for video editing, http://eugenia.queru.com/2009/04/11/stay-the-fuck-away-from-imovief... gives an idea, plus the generally moderate requirements of Vegas in particular - it runs fine basically on any typical contemporary laptop, is quite popular with mobile reporting and documentaries because of that)

Reply Parent Score: 2