An example of a sensible Mac OS user

posted in: Technology | 0

A lot of the gripes I have regarding Apple’s Mac OS ecosystem revolve around the people who buy Apple computers because they’re starstruck by the logo on the side. It’s frustrating being accused of that sometimes when I tell people I will likely never buy a non-Apple machine again (and it’s true). What really brought me to this side of the fence was the OS. I’m a Linux guy, and the opportunity to run a rock solid *nix system with a pretty face just revs my engine. To put it more eloquently, I will defer to J. Steve White, commenter on this Lifehacker article:

I’ve been using Microsoft products from early on, when I was just a kid and there were still “IBM Clones” and “AT Clones”. I’m an MCSE, and was once called “The Microsoft Technology Evangelist” when I was in charge of the NT systems at a large law firm (I was advocating for MS over Novell, which I would continue to do today if those were the only two choices). But then, as now, there was a better alternative for mission critical use – Unix.

I switched to Linux periodically all through the 1990s and early 2000s. I would become frustrated with the stupid behaviors of Windows of the day – and the completely vapid command interpreter, and the piss poor security model, and… Anyway, I ‘d switch to Linux. Red Hat, Slackware, Brokedrake, you name it, I ran ’em. But then I would start to pine for Cakewalk or Photoshop or… and switch back. But if you had given me a Mac prior to OSX, I’d have sold it or given it away.

Along the way I took over the Unix systems at the law firm, then went to a strictly *nix based career – I work on mission critical core network systems in carrier networks, and you just don’t find Windows in that role. Once in a while there will be a Windows based CMS, but the elements are Linux or BSD.

So when Apple switched to BSD via NeXT, I was sold. I get *nix, a real command line interpreter, perl, awk, sed, etc, AND I get Photoshop, Illustrator, Logic, Cubase, etc? Call me sold. I love the Apple hardware, it’s true, but it’s the operating system that brought me here. *nix is more stable, more secure, and better designed than the Windows core.

The skills I learned years ago on *nix, in bash, are still useful today. The things I learned about Windows? Who screws with win.ini any more? Autoexec.bat? Himem.sys? That’s a big selling point on any *nix based OS – longevity of skill set. The things you learn today will still be useful tomorrow. The things you learned in 1995 are still relevant in 2013, and are likely to be so for some time.

Windows users are confused if they don’t realize that Windows is on the ropes. Microsoft does, that’s for damned sure. They’re pulling out the stops trying to catch people’s attention. For every Windows computer, there are several *nix computers. Tablets? Most – nearly all, in fact – run *nix. Smartphones? Again, nearly all run *nix.

Beautifully written. Hopefully Mr. White doesn’t mind me publishing his words here.

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