Back to the Mac

April 22 2010

Recent issues with Linux on a laptop has given me the desire to try working on a Mac again. Even though I have a pretty well supported laptop (Lenovo x61), its the little issues that have begun to bother me which include not great sleep/suspend support, wireless and audio issues and an almost never ending stream of updates. Yes, you Linux people may say it works fine, but if you've ever used a Mac before you'll know its not as good as a could be, by far.

I've also found that its really nice to have the real Microsoft Office handy when you swap documents with other non-Linux using people (yeah, OpenOffice doesn't quite cut it when taking turns editing documents) which meant often having a Windows VM running.

The other factor that helps the Mac be a viable option is the majority of the software I develop already builds and installs on a Mac, or can do so with very minor modifications. The stuff that doesn't is so tied to a specific environment that it really requires a virtual machine even when running Linux as the host operating system. This really makes the Mac sound like an ideal system.

So yesterday while heading out just before dinner to grab some hamburger buns I walked by the local Mac retailer (hey, its about 20 steps from Safeway) and grabbed a high-res 15" MacBook with the Core i5 2.53ghz processor. They weren't able to upgrade the ram to 8GB on the spot but I decided I couldn't wait.

Aesthetically its a beautiful machine. The display is about the best computer display I've ever seen. The 3 primary pieces of software I work on compile out of the box. Its also nice to have Microsoft Office running natively. The thing that drove me away from the Mac before was some of the UI behaviours, like Cmd-Tab switching applications, not just windows of applications. But I'm going to give this a true go and may update this blog now and then with issues that I run into as a developer, developing network-level apps primarily for Linux, making the shift to Mac as a development platform.