Mac got me back… I am now using a MacBook Pro 13 inch with maxed out specs. I still don’t like the keyboard that much, but I am satisfied with the Magic Keyboard 2, which is clicky enough for me. When it really comes to writing and a lot of programming I tend to use a DasKeyboard.
The main reason for the “Back to Mac” was media production. I had massive problems with Lightworks, KDEnlive and so on. So producing videos was not that fun. I borrowed a little MacBook Air with an i5 and 4 GB Ram only, but Final Cut performed way better on this little machine, than any of the tools on my Ubuntu. On my Desktop Lightworks and stuff were ok, but I want to be as portable as possible. So I tried the MacBook for a few weeks again and made the decision to sell my ThinkPad and buy a new MacBook. Since there where Discounts around 400 $ on the Apple Store and you get some Beats Headphones on the Top all in all I paid around 1,700 $ for the MacBook Pro 13″.
So, ehm, why?
That’s a damn good question. I see lot of people working with a mac, and they seam to get along with it. As a coworker tried to convince me, I thought, why not, I’ll give it a try at the office… and the story begun.
First Days and First Week
The first day I tinkered around with the operating system. Installed homebrew, followed by vim and tmux. Later when I missed tools like sed and awk I also installed the GNUutils. Everything was so so so so shiny and beautiful. Too Beautiful and well designed, there must be something evil. Ok, no, nothing evil. Ok so I installed more of my daily tools like PyCharm, Vagrant, VirtualBox and Thunderbird. It took a bit of time to find an alternative for applications, that weren’t available, like ‘clipit’. But that was the same, when I switched from Windows to Linux or even between linux distros. After the first week, I was quite happy with my mac setup and thought I’d use it, at least at work. In the first week there were a lot of meetings and I liked how seamlessy I could connect to Apple TV in our meeting rooms.
On the weekend I only used my private ThinkPad T440s. So I started comparing and found a few things that were actually better on the mac, for example support for business apps like skype for business, and other things that were just better on linux.
The second week when I had my macbook was way more I’d say typing intensive. I had to write a lot of ansible roles, scripts, monitoring plugins and a lot of work like that. Like I said typing intensive. After typing a lot on the command line, typing a lot and looking a lot directly at the screen of the macbook I decided to end my experiment here, because I was just annoyed by the macbook and its operating system.
DANGER: The following part is strongly opinionated. It’s my own opinion, if you can’t understand it or think otherwise, that’s totally ok!
There are 3 main reasons for that:
The Keyboard When typing on the mac keyboard, you do not get any feedback from the keys. It doesn’t matter, if it’s the notebook keyboard itselft or the wireless apple keyboard.
The Command line The most of my daily work is actually on the command line. Writing, coding, system administration and so on. I teached myself a few tricks over the years to make my work more secure and easier. For example when I want to delete a whole directory recursive I always type rm /dir/to/delete and append the -rf at the end, so I can’t accidently hit enter and delete /etc or /var. This just doesn’t work on the mac command line. It doens’t seam to parse the arguments right or only in one special order.
The screen It’s glossy, do I really need to say more? 😉
The overall feeling I told a coworker: “On the mac, I feel like working shiny. On my thinkpad with linux, I feel like working productive.” And that was the main reason. Sure, Mac OSX is beautiful designed and has some nice features on the ‘desktop’, you can do a gesture here, a swipe here. But really, I don’t need this on a notebook. It’s nice on a tablet, but not on my machine where I want to get work done. In my opinion, this was a bit distracting.
The all in all experience was quite OK for me. It was way more familiar than any windows I had used. But I am used to my workflow on linux with gnome and my ‘real’ command line experience. It may be a good middle course for some people that want to use properitary software, but still want a Linux/Unix flavor in their daily operating system. If I need software that doesn’t run on linux I still prefer running a virtual machine. But I think in the last 3 – 4 years this was never necessary…
At the end …
opening up my Thinkpad at work and see gnome felt like coming home 😉