A couple of months ago I bought an iBook. The idea was to get a laptop with good battery life and to try out Mac OS X. I’ve used it for a while, and decided that I prefer Linux.

The current version of iTunes is the best example I can think of to show what bugs me about Mac OS X, as a platform. iTunes does a ton of things now – music, video, shopping, downloading, burning, and podcasts. I don’t think it is possible for a single application to do all of those things the “best” way. For one thing, what’s best depends on the person. Another thing is that some applications just don’t go so well together – like music listening and podcasts. When I’m browsing and listening to my music I don’t want to see my podcasts in my library with the music. Another thing is music and video.

I prefer to have a bunch of small applications that I can pick and choose from. And this extends to other parts of the OS. Especially desktop managers.

I’ve read several well-written negative reviews of Mac OS X. I found one today called How MacOS X sucks.

Finally, I’ll mention how I’m doing the switch. I like the ability to run all major OS’s, for testing, so I’m not getting rid of OS X entirely. But I want it off the laptop I use every day. So I’m going to get an external drive, install Mac OS X on it, and boot from the external drive when I want to use Mac OS X. But I’ll stick to Linux for programming.

Update: I changed my mind about installing Linux on my iBook. It’s a hassle, and I thought of a number of good things about Mac OS X that I previously had not considered. Also, I re-read that link, and realized that a number of the problems have been fixed, or aren’t real problems. Finally, I’m removing the text suggesting reading it for insights into software design – it really has nothing to do with the subject. It’s a rant.

6 thoughts on “Switching from Mac OS X

  1. It’s curious, iTunes is probably my favorite OS X application, and I particularly like the podcast integration. Still, to each his own. What flavor of Linux are you moving to, Ben?

  2. Ubuntu Linux. I like how it’s free, current, has security updates that work well, based on Debian, and well-supported on x86, AMD64, and PowerPC.

    A lot of the reason I want to switch to Linux is that I’m most familiar with it, and there is a lot that is different in Mac OS X, for example clicking on the window raising the whole application, and the “end” key not doing the same thing as it does in Linux/Windows.

  3. The list of Keith Moore shows clearly that he has no clue about anything. Most of the stuff he is complaining about is completely untrue or outdated. Referencing it as “good lecture” makes me laugh.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’ve no problem with the most platforms and work on most of them, even Windows. Maybe you can clearly point out what you’re bothering about and we can discuss it, if you are interested.

  4. When I wrote this I had become frustrated with a couple of minor issues and thought about dual-booting and only using Mac OS X occasionally. One thing was I hadn’t found a text editor I was comfortable in. So I partitioned my drive and reinstalled Mac OS X. It’s been over a month and I’ve been focusing on other things. Now I have 6 GB of space I can’t get at :(

    I guess the big lesson here over the last couple of months is to work on what’s really important to me, and quit letting a few minor peeves get the best of me.

  5. hd partition: you need a third party software to resize your existing partitions without the need to perform a full backup/restore (iPartition, VolumeWorks), but they are not for free :-( If you’ve access to an external hd with enough free space on it, you can boot from an mac os install cd and make an image of your boot volume (be sure to verify that the files on the disk image are accessible before you repartition your hd) and restore it onto the newly created volume.

    text editor: there are so many gui-text-editors out there, one of it should fit your needs, right? (eg, TextMate, BBEdit, Smultron, SubEthaEdit, XCode). Especially TextMade and Xcode are very good editors for programming, both do code-completion and both are supporting templates. I’ve used Xcode for several years now and I’m pretty satisfied with it, but I have to admit it lacks some kick-ass features offered by TextMate. If you dive into Django give TextMate a try if you didn’t already ;-)

  6. I accidentally overwrote a directory with another directory a few days ago. The files that were lost were from libraries I had installed. None of my source code or documents were lost (I back them up). But I did not know how to undo what I’d done, so I decided to back up a few more items and start from scratch.

    So, I didn’t need any third-party partitioner.

    For the text editor, I installed TextMate. I’m liking it so far, and expect that I’ll be buying it in a couple of days. Thank you for the recommendation.

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