ramblings on PHP, SQL, the web, politics, ultimate frisbee and what else is on in my life
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OSX vs. Thinkpad

So in the summer of 2007 I switched from Windows to OSX which also meant switching from Thinkpad to Macbook Pro. While there were some details I liked on the Macbook Pro, like the at the time quite innovative magnetic design on the lid latch, overall I was sad to not be able to use a Thinkpad. So it also came that my first Macbook Pro had to repaired 3 times in total. Despite having bought the insanely expensive AppleCare this meant having to drop off my laptop for several days (usually 5 business days) or paying an "express service" charge. In general I believe Macbook's to be pretty decent, but not as sturdy as Thinkpads (starting with the availability of spill resistant keyboards). More over they tend to skip on connection options and are overpriced. Then again I really don't care about the price that much. I use my laptop for pretty much everything, from work to DJing to private use. But the fact of the matter is I wish I could still be using Thinkpads. BTW I do appreciate the design of both Thinkpads and MacBooks in their own way. Despite all of that I was and still am very happy with OSX. At the time of the switch the Linux desktop was certainly not ready for home use.

Today things seem to have improved. I am now experimenting with Ubuntu 12.04 inside a VM to see how things feel. And yes .. its much much better. Will have to spend some more time with it to really be able to judge things. Installation of new apps was fairly pain free. Didn't like those "debconf" windows popping up and disappearing within seconds. Seems kinda "wtf was that". I also need to learn a bit more about how windows are managed: f.e. the MySQL install was seemingly hanging, but in fact there was a window behind the current one asking me to choose a root password.

As anyone that spends so much time with their laptop, I have lots of little settings and apps. So migrating all of this to Ubuntu will likely take many months to get the same comfy feeling. Along the way I expect that some things will not be possible to do in the same way anymore. I also expect to find lots of things that are now suddenly possible that were not possible before. For development I expect the experience to be as good or maybe even slightly better. That being said .. even for development I expect to soon be using VMs for running project code, so really for development all I need is an editor. For private use most things also seem to be in place.

However where I will surely have an issue is with music related apps. Now I dabble in Ableton Live now and then but I could accept that being a job for a VM. Also maybe bitwig will come through as an Ableton replacement. Where I would have more trouble is with my DJ app of choice Traktor Pro and my workflow for organizing my music with iTunes. Well I am sure I can find a good app for Linux to organize my music but the main trouble then is the lack of integration with Traktor Pro. That being said, I don't use that many Traktor Pro features anyway so maybe I should give Mixxx another serious look. Or maybe I should just switch to DJing with Djay like I do sometimes already via my iPhone (another device I could see myself getting rid of .. ). Once again I could use a VM to handle Traktor Pro as well but this would pain me quite a bit more.

The worst problem with the VM thing is of course having to use Windows in there. I briefly looked at Hackintosh since after all Apple's legal bullshit doesn't apply here .. well its not confirmed in court if it is or is not. At any rate going this route is likely to be a bumpy ride with having to wait for fixes and likely accepting that for some things there will simply not be any drivers. Also I guess it would come across as a bit iffy in the work environment. Lastly I do expect to be going to the USA now and then. Obviously I don't expect to be arrested on arrival, but well it could still blow up in my face.

Anyway, so what does this all boil down to .. is kind of what do I like more OSX or Thinkpad .. or what feels more painful switching to Linux or staying with Macbook hardware?


Re: OSX vs. Thinkpad

"At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul. "

Re: OSX vs. Thinkpad

That is an awesome diss :)

Re: OSX vs. Thinkpad

I've been using Ubuntu for 5 years or so for development. I recently upgraded to 12.04 (from 10.04 Lucid), which meant going from Gnome 2 to Unity. I tried liking Unity but after a week of real effort I had to give it up. Instead of going back to Gnome 2, I gave Gnome Shell a try.

After a week or so I was thrilled. It's almost entirely keyboard driven, and after getting some extensions installed I couldn't be happier. As a bonus, the extensions are written in Javascript and CSS, so it's pretty easy to tweak anything left that really annoys you.

I highly suggest it!

Here's a cheatsheet for keyboard commands: https://live.gnome.org/GnomeShell/CheatSheet

And here are the extensions that I consider "must haves": http://blog.nocontext.net/2012/07/gnome-extensions.html

Good luck!

Re: OSX vs. Thinkpad

A good step moving to ubuntu espacially for development i like the environment more. For the DJing maybe wine could be an option, Traktor Pro seems to be bronze state. Meaning it runs with some glitches: http://appdb.winehq.org/objectManager.php?sClass=version&iId=24355

And where is the mobile step going towards? Android or Windows Phone 8 :-D

Have fun with Ubuntu but dont try to play any current blurays :-(

Re: OSX vs. Thinkpad

I am not sure if I have watched a single blue ray movie in my life and the number of DVD's can probably be counted on one hand, so no trouble there :)

Re: OSX vs. Thinkpad


I've also tried quite a big part of that ...

First I used a DELL Inspiron Laptop (pretty old one) and installed Windows7 instead of WinXP. A year ago I switched the company and got a Thinkpad, because they said it can (they proved it!) stand coffee! After I was sick of Windows, I played around with Ubuntu and Unity in a VM, never tried Gnome before.
After 8 months I just formated my Laptop and started with Arch and Gnome3. That's what I used until I switched the company again (2 weeks ago), I got back to my old, private DELL Inspiron and am now waiting for the new MacBook I ordered by the new company.

So I'm able to test all that machines nearly 4free if I look at it from my personal view ;)
Thinkpad was quite powerful! If I'd buy a Laptop again, I'd choose Thinkpad for business.
Maybe I should have read that before ... than I may had decided to get a Thinkpad here as well ... but I have to try MacOSX once ;)

I tried Hackintosh on my DELL Inspiron, but it had a quite crappy driver-support ... f.e. the dvd-drive needed a driver !after! the installation .. WLAN was working, but LAN not (never had problems here on Linux-Live-Systems) ...

If I won't come to like MacOSX, I'll get back to Linux ... unsure if Arch or Ubuntu ... Maybe more Arch, because I like the bleeding-edge technology ;)


Re: OSX vs. Thinkpad

I can't comment on Mac hardware and OSX vs Thinkpad, but for both OSX and Linux systems, I do have a solution to 'lots of little settings' - a dotfile repo.

I've forked and tweaked https://github.com/ryanb/dotfiles for myself (with extra zsh bonus), but there are others around. http://dotfiles.github.com/ has a list.

I can go from a basic install to a fully functional command line with all my usual configurations of git, shell command and aliases in a matter of a couple of minutes.

Re: OSX vs. Thinkpad

heh, withdrawal symptoms make sense at this stage, keep going further and you will reap the benefits of being out of the matrix.

Re: OSX vs. Thinkpad

I currently own a X220 which runs Arch Linux. Arch takes some time to setup but what you get is a very stable and up-to-date distro.

I run windows in a VM for browser testing but would make it a dual boot machine for using audio software running on windows.

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