My mind is almost set on getting rid of my Mac, there are just a few bits here and there I need to get over with. I got convinced by the viral Windows 7 campaign and will be swi… No, I will actually start using Linux as my desktop OS. It have been soliciting its services for quite a while on a bunch of servers and only now have I got to fully appreciate its power and architecture. So much that it has lately become overly tempting to make the plunge. In fact, I had been contemplating this as a necessary outcome only a few months after purchasing that 2400 CDN$ Macbook Pro and cementing my switch from Windows XP to *nix only. Yes, Mac OS X is a great OS, but I knew deep down that I would get over all its bells and whistles pretty soon; what really amazed me was its Unix core and that my next machine would not be a Mac but something with Linux on it.
Mac OS X is kind of like a pretty but stupid girlfriend. When the charm dissipates, all that is left is a hollow shell of a human. Linux, on the other hand, is quite like growing your own vegetables. You get the full satisfaction of eating the product of your work but sometimes, the whole crop gets bricked and you just cannot figure out why. As for Windows, I cannot really find a satisfying metaphor, it’s just a tool.
Mac OS X being another flavor of Unix, there is actually plenty to do on it. What is lacking are the resources: once you stumble upon a problem, you are pretty much left to figure it out for yourself or resort to the mailing lists. With Linux, the web is littered with just about any kind of information on every part of the system; if problem, then google. Not that I am part of any, but I have found the Apple community to very superficial compared to Linux. A consequential part of the discussions seem to be about Apple gossip, features, or just plain bragging about who has the most gadgets with a white apple on it. On Linux forums, the dynamic is different. Yes, there is always a fair amount of noobs (me being one) hanging around, but very often, you will encounter a bunch of geeks marveling over some very clever network trick or pure altruism in the form of someone explaining how to get this thing to work with that stuff. By the way, noobs are also very welcome and everyone over there is very happy to help someone trying to break the shackles of techno-slavery.
So my Mac is in need of a new home. There is after all nothing wrong with having a stupid girlfriend and Macs are nonetheless very impressive pieces of technology pretty much anyone will fall in love with. As for me, it appears that I have a fetish, and only the perspective of a natively recompiled kernel will give me a hard-on.
One Reply to “Farewell Mac”
I went through a similar cycle. I grew to hate windows because it doesn’t work like it should, and I adopted mac instead. I liked it, but I always felt like there was something missing. Honestly it does everything that I need it to do, but it wasn’t fun to use. I really enjoy using linux (ubuntu) and I enjoy fiddling with it and making it do new things. With linux there’s a steep learning curve but once you’re over it, the freedom of using your own operating system is quite satisfying.