That's it. I've decided.
In the very near future (after taxes are computed, reported, and paid) I'm putting one of my Thinkpads (the T21 running Linux) and my oldish G4 Apple Powerbook (15" 550MHz) up for sale. Using the funds from those sales and a bit of other cash, I'll be buying a new 15" Powerbook.
This has been a long time coming. In the nearly 2 years since I wrote that reivew, I've upgraded it a bit. It now has 768MB RAM and an AirPort card. I'd use it from time to time, but couldn't ever convince myself to just give up my old ways. But I recently tried to be completely honest with myself about my computing needs (that's not always easy!). I realized that I only do a few things on my Linux notebook (my primary machine until recently) 99% of the time:
- e-mail (mutt, isync, exim, and emacs)
- instant messaging (yahoo messenger and gaim)
- web browsing (mozilla flavor of the week)
- little perl scripts
- read rec.aviation.soaring (mozilla thunderbird)
- php/mysql stuff
- occasional spreadsheets (openoffice)
- occasional presentations (openoffice)
That's really it.
Of course, there's a list of things that are a pain in the ass on Linux that I've just been living with for no really good reason (other than the fact that I'm very, very comfortable on Linux):
- watching quicktime movies
- expecting power management to work
- having easy wireless networking
- finding an RSS aggregator that doesn't suck (less of an issue now that I use bloglines)
Now, looking at things from the point of view of an occasional Mac OS X (Jaguar) user (no, I haven't upgraded to Panther yet--sure me), it's pretty clear that I can fix everything on the second list without changing much on the first list.
Sure, I may switch to using Safari as my browser and may give Apple's Mail.app another chance once I move to Panther. Or maybe I'll use Mozilla Thunderbird instead. But I've used mutt/exim/emacs/isync on this old Powerbook before without any trouble.
Why didn't I do this sooner? Beats me. I'm slow and stupid sometimes.
Probably a combination of inertia, being lazy, not wanting to change, and so on. But in the last week or so, I've been more honest with myself and really tried to give OS X a fair shake. Unlike most Mac users, I don't think the OS X interface is "beautiful" or "clean" but it certainly does the job well enough for my needs. Yeah, I'm giving up a lot of control but ditching FVWM2 on Linux, but that's okay. I really don't have time to tweak that crap anymore.
I've owned four Thinkpads and ran Linux on all but one of them (the fourth is my Windows box, used mainly for GPS and flight/navigation software nowadays). I've been at this a long, long time. But, you know what? Stuff just works on this Mac. And since all the cool kids are doing it, I have few if any fears that my favorite Open Source tools are already debugged and working there smoothly.
There really are no good reasons left for not switching. I haven't thought of anything I can do on the Linux Thinkpad that I can't do on a Powerbook running Mac OS X. Well, there are some things, but none of them matter to me. That was the important realization here.
Am I giving up on the idea of Linux on the
desklaptop? Not really. I still have a Linux desktop at work that I use to talk to a bunch of FreeBSD systems. All I really need/want there is a bunch of xterms, emacs, and my IM clients. So it fits the bill nicely. But let's face it, when it comes to being user friendly and handling modern media, Linux (meaning "the desktop stuff" often packaged to run on it) has some growing up to do.
Use the right tool for the job, I guess.
I'm sure that I've known all of this on some level for a year or so now. And I know that there a bunch of you reading this and thinking... "Duh. Welcome to the party. It's about time you showed up!"
I guess I was just in denial.
So, anyone wanna buy a couple of notebooks? :-)
Posted by jzawodn at March 31, 2004 12:39 AM