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Ok, so MACs don’t suck

Dear Reader,

I know it will come as a shock to those of you who know me and know my deep loathing for McPeople but this weekend, I joined their ranks. Well not entirely, I’m still not smug and condescending…yet.


Last week, my 1.5 year old Alienware that has been dying since the day I got it, finally gave up the ghost. After arguing with the idiots that Alienware hires for tech support for more than 2.5 hours, I finally convinced them that this is an EX-LAPTOP! They have graciously agreed to repair it according to the warrenty they provided when I purchased the machine. This of-course means that they will pull parts out of other dead-laptops in hopes of piecing together something that will limp along through the rest of the warranty. Sorry guys, I’m sure they build nice desktops but their laptops are crap.

Anyhow, since I do development I need a workspace; so this weekend I found myself in an Apple store in San Jose talking to a man in a Lime Green T-Shirt. (Seriously)

Me: Who do I need to see about purchasing a Mac?
Lime Green T-Shirt Man : Me.
Me: Ok, I'd like to buy a Mac.

And that was pretty much it. The entire transaction took less than 15 minutes and I was on my way with my Mac.

Now, before you ask, I didn’t buy another Windows box because my wife, (the lovely and talented Kathy Evans) is in the process of finishing her degree in design. Regardless of her portfolio, degree or beautiful smile, without knowledge of a Mac, she can’t get a job as a designer. So we needed a Mac so she can get used to the interface. So I needed a computer and she needs Mac experience. We now have a new addition to the Evans family, a beautiful 1.5 lb baby Mac named “Squatty”.

    Geek Stuff

Ok, so, how does a Windows lifer make the switch? Well, first off, I don’t do a LOT of gaming. I used to but these days, Warcraft is about it. (Warcraft, online, not Worlds of Warcraft) So I bought a copy of it when I bought the Mac. I figured I’d load it over the weekend. Turns out I was much busier this weekend than I thought…but that’s another story.

Mainly when I do with my computers is mail, surf and develop web applications and services. My tools of choice are Apache, PHP, MySQL. Some quick reading turned up XAMPP which is my favorite Windows AMP tool. It loads everything into an easily managable package. I use it at work as do most of my team mates. So I was elated to find that it was available for OS X.

Next, program editor. Now I was excited to find that my favorite commandline editor, nano, is included in OS X because that maked editing config files and such in the terminal window much easier. But for program editing, I need something a little mroe robust. My current favorite is Komodo and that’s what my teams uses for their development. A little poking around and I found the Beta for OS X for Komodo. (and a mighty w00t went up from the crowd)

For mail and surfing, the built-in Mail and Safari do just fine however I’ll probably switch to Thunderbird and FireFox because it’s what I know. (Mail is a bit slow when handing emails with large graphics attached but other than that it’s IMAP implementation beats Outlook hands down.)

For FTP, I downloaded a little command line ftp client ncftp since it’s what I use on Linux a lot. However, because OS X is FreeBSD based and so many of my Linux friends come pre-installed, ssh and scp were already there. This makes moving file to and from my production server ever so much easier.

So let’s recap, I use my computer for:
* Warcraft
* Development
* Mail
* Surfing

I found :
* Warcraft
* XAMPP/Komodo
* Mail
* Safari

Hmmmm….everything I do on Windows I can do on my Mac. So the question begs to be asked. If I can do everything on my Mac that I can do on Windows and the Mac is easier to use, why do I need Windows again?

Until next time, LyMy,