25 November, 2014

Linux at home + Mac at work = Goodbye Windows!

At home I had the luxury, freedom, and fun to use a Desktop Linux for nearly 10 years now. And I am quite happy with my fast and responsive Ubuntu/Gnome Desktop since 2006. When I started my professional career in 2008, I was shocked and sad to see only Windows machines; even on most servers! I think that server-side Windows was really popular at that time in Germany, even though the rest of the world was already moving forward to more OSS and to using Linux servers.

Today, over 6 years later, the situation in my company and in Germany has improved. Thanks to acquisitions, the Linux and Mac crowd was growing inside my company and also the religious devotion to Windows (in Germany) has changed. At my company, there is now a significant and growing number of Mac users and Linux servers are everywhere! Many people are remotely developing on Linux Desktops now, even if they still use a Windows machine as access point.

I am really happy to have Unix-like operating systems on all my devices now. No more fighting with missing features and cross platform software that behaves awkwardly under Windows. No more Cygwin, crappy XServer substitutes, or having to use MSBuild instead of make.

One of the most annoying things in Windows are regular freezes that are often impossible to explain. I had this 1-2 times a week and even more as the device/OS grew older. In most cases I just had to wait 2-10 minutes until the OS was responsive again. Sometimes, I had to hard reset my machine. Let's see if my new Macbook is better in this regard. I never had such issues with my Linux Desktops, or at least there was a way to kill the culprit, find an explanation, and eventually setup a mitigation to the problem. For Windows (and Mac) it is usually much harder or impossible to solve such problems.

I am a first time Mac user now and will probably run into several issues. Stay tuned for regular reports on my progress.


Update: My new Macbook also froze or had to be restarted a few times in the past month. Mainly caused by issues when logging into the corporate network, but also by software running wild. Regarding stability, I have to say that my new Mac is only slightly better than the a fresh Windows machine. Next time, I will try get a real Linux machine!

Update 2: The Mac has been running stable for months now.

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