Joseph Goldman Network/Systems Administration and Development talk

16Feb/122

Why I joined the dark side (Apple/Mac).

Hi Folks,

Another opinion article for ya.

Recently, especially from fellow technical-minded friends, I have been receiving a lot of flack for moving into the Apple world. I admit, I've become a bit fanboy'ish, but I have my reasons, which I'd like to outline in this article.

What I like about Apple / Mac

Hardware

A big thing for tech's, is hardware. We want solid, good working, good quality hardware. So much so we are usually willing to pay a premium for it. Apple devices are exactly this. Referring mainly to the MacBook Pro range (which I'm writing this article on), the unibody is a great, solid design. The hardware used by Apple is good quality. The whole case is well built, and usually top of the line. Although, there is a higher than normal premium for this hardware, in my eyes it is worth it.

Software

On a Mac, you have the option of running the native OS X, Windows or any flavour of linux, debian, BSD or other, you like. If you want to achieve Mac OS X on a PC, you have to be very selective in your hardware choices, and play around with specially modified versions of OS X to force an install.Not fun. I hear most of you saying 'Who would want OS X anyway?', well to be honest, the main reason I stay away from Linux or BSD for a desktop operating system, as I am not a huge fan of the desktop environments available. I may find one or two configurations I like, but ultimately the users who designed them had to go through a lot to get it as nice and polished as it is. Mac OSX is polished out of the box. Flows nicely, configurable enough, in a quick and easy GUI, with user simplicity in mind. Sometimes its a nice break not having to delve through 5 menu's to find a simple setting, and have the important stuff at my fingertips.

Applications are also another main gripe. For full application support, the obvious choice would be windows, but lets not touch windows. In a Mac OS X environment vs most Linux and BSD environments, OS X is going to come on top with consumer oriented GUI applications, because there is a much larger desktop user base.

Last but not least, Mac OSX is essentially a modified version of BSD itself. This means I flick open iTerm (because the native Terminal app sucks), maybe install MacPorts, and I've pretty much got a BSD box at my fingertips. All in all, for me, it makes Apple the perfect choice for the truly technical, who work in a non-windows environment.

Compatibility

This is where the fanboy mentality comes in. Apple, having their strict line of products, can focus all their energy on those products. This turns in to some great features for users. If you own iMacs for desktops, MacBook Air's or Pro's for notebooks, iPhones for phones, Apple TV as your Media Centre, and a few Airport base station etc. around the home, you will beĀ surprisedĀ at how easy all these devices will magically talk to each other, interact cleanly, and share your media around the home seamlessly, with each individual device just about able to control the other in full. This is why you see someone get an Apple product, and before long they are lapping up everything Apple has to offer.

What I don't like about Apple.

Nothing. Well.....almost. As said before, with good quality hardware, there tends to be a premium paid. In Apple's case, the premium is quite high compared to the PC based competitors, for essentially the same specs. A lot of laptops I play with though, just don't feel that good a build bar a select few, which are up in the price range of Apple anyway.

Conclusion

For those technical people, who work outside of Windows environments, Apple Mac will always be a recommendation of mine. They allow you to get your work done hassle free, and integrate with both Windows and Linux/BSD environments easily. A perfect middle ground between the two.

Being an opinion article, your views may (and most of you will) differ. I encourage you to comment your view, and am always happy for some lively discussion on the topic.

-Joe

P.S. As usual, if you like my articles, please subscribe for email notifications on new posts.


 

Comments (2) Trackbacks (0)
  1. hey Joe,
    i just stumbled across your blog for a different issue, and noticed this post. i can’t agree with you more. i made the switch to the ‘dark side’ (tho i tend to think it’s the other way around!) when i replaced an ailing Thinkpad T41 with a 15″ Macbook Pro in mid-2007. not being a Linux person much, at first i ran Windows on it, XP at first, then Vista, and when I saw what an abomination Vista was after waiting 5-6 years for XP’s successor, I gave OS X a try. i never looked back.

    i’m also at an age where, after spending all day building / fixing / tweaking Windows PCs, servers & networks for clients, that i just want my home computing to be hassle-free. or at least comparatively hassle free! Apple delivers that in spades. sure, if i want to roll up my sleeves and tinker, hack, & be a cmd line jockey, i still can, and occasionally do. that’s where you’re spot on about Mac OS X, it’s actually the Linux geek’s paradise – you can dick around in whatever flavour of Linux you like in a VM, and your host environment is also a familiar flavour of *nix, but with the best & most stable GUI on top.

    as for the cost of Macs, it definitely was the case that Macs were very expensive by comparison, but nowadays the difference is small. when you actually compare the specs AND build quality and style with equivalent offerings from other name brands, Macs are just as competitive. sure, there’s a higher degree of ‘No User Serviceable Parts Inside’ in Apple stuff that tends to twist some geek’s knickers, but as i said, i’m past that need.

    and then the clincher: when non/anti-Apple geeks start rabbiting on about openness/walled-garden & control/freedom & DRM (especially when it comes to phones/tablets/etc) i just roll my eyes and wonder what naive parallel universe they live in – as if Android is genuinely open any more, or as if the Android App Store is actually a positive experience (for Normal User, or developer alike)? there’s not been a significant malware outbreak from apps on the iApp Store yet, and the reason for that isn’t that Apple reviews the apps, it’s simply because you need to be a registered developer to put your apps there, and that brings accountability, which instantly repels 99.99% of criminal intent. and i’m very fine with that!

    so yeah, just keep practising your condescending eye-rolling withering one-day-you’ll-understand look when those nasty linux geeks question your *choice* ;)


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