Our opinions have such a big influence on our lives, and sometimes, they get in the way of our growth and development. For the longest time, I had been against using Mac computers as a matter of principle. The primary reason for this stance was the ridiculously high price tag that goes with using Apple products.
As strong as my opinion against using Apple computers was: things do change. And change is the only constant we can count on. Recently, I got exposed to using a Mac computer, for reasons I will get into soon enough. As a result, Mac computers are now the standard Operating System at Webmobyle and will be used by all personnel, now and in the foreseeable future.
It’s not that my opinion on the fact that Macs are overpriced changed. On the contrary I am even more aware of that fact, now that I am a Mac user. The change was however necessary, and I discovered that there are a lot of similarities to Mac computers when compared to my other favourite Operating System, Linux.
For those who know me well, it is no secret that I am a big fan of the Linux Operating System and have a huge disdain for Windows. The disdain for Windows is well described in a previous blog post titled , 10 Years Of Linux and I Haven’t Looked Back. That blog post was written back in 2018.
At the time of writing the post, I had been using Linux almost exclusively for about 10 years. Back then, it took me a long while to completely let go of Windows: because, well, change does not come easy. Although it took me a while to completely let go of Windows, I rarely used it. It just took up space on my computer in a dual-boot configuration.
I was essentially a die-hard Linux user, with Linux Mint as my go-to Linux Distro. That makes it about 14 years of exclusive Linux use until the beginning of 2022. After such a long time on Linux, I have discovered something new, and it is time to move on to new things. I strongly believe that we cannot progress if we insist on staying the same.
The philosophy behind Mac OS and Linux could not be more diametrically opposed. There are similarities, but in essence of philosophy, the two Operating Systems could not be more different. Technically however, there is a lot of common ground between the two.
To some extent, using a Mac computer, goes against one of my core philosophies in computing. Macs are closed systems: they are not Open-source. This is a huge sore point for me. I am a big proponent of the Open-source movement, and never imagined I would ever switch to Mac, but the change was inevitable.
The Open-source movement favours a decentralised software development model, that encourages open collaboration. A main principle of Open-Source software development is peer production, with products such as source code, blueprints, and documentation freely available to the public.
These are ideals that appeal to me as a tech innovator and enthusiast, as can be seen in my blog articles, What You Need To Know About Open Source Software, and The Open Source Community Is Remarkable.
Be that as it may, like I mentioned already, change is inevitable, and oftentimes necessary.
Despite this philosophical difference between Mac and Linux, they share common roots, and are similar under the hood. Both Mac OS and Linux are based on the Unix operating system, which was developed at Bell Labs in 1969 by Dennis Ritchie and Ken Thompson.
This common ancestor gives the two Operating Systems very similar characteristics, especially when it comes to command-line tools. For instance, most of the Linux code scripts used to execute commands in the Terminal, that I have acquired over the years, will work on Mac without or with very little modification.
This means that there are no significant changes to scripts and documentation as the move is made from Linux to Mac OS. This is a great win during the change, as scripts and documentation are essential to the smooth running of a software development house.
The biggest pain point to switching to Mac OS is the high price tag that goes with using an Apple Operating System. It is common for similarly featured Mac Computers to cost three to four times more than their PC counterparts. Some do argue that when you take into account the price of the components that go into a Mac, the pricing for either platform are similarly comparable.
Are Macs actually higher quality and better than PCs, or the price tag is just pretentious and has no reflection on true value?
I think that perception does go a long way in inflating the price tag on Macs, but at the same time, there is merit to Macs being higher quality for the price tag. Having been using a Mac laptop since the beginning of the year, it is clear to me that Apple does pay more attention to detail in their products, and there is an undeniable higher quality feel about a Mac.
Even the display looks much better than on a PC. It blows my mind all the time the contrast in display quality when I switch from a Mac to a PC. I even have to be more careful that a design does not only look good on a Mac and trashy on a PC.
So, it’s not just fancy, there is merit to the quality argument for Macs.
Unlike most people, I have not become a big fan of Macs just because of the status that people often associate with Apple products. I wouldn’t care less about the status! I am more about the utility and of course quality.
One of the main reasons for switching to a Mac is that Webmobyle has progressed into mobile app development in recent times, see the blog post titled, Transitioning Into Mobile App Development. We now develop cross-platform mobile apps, using the flutter Software Development Kit (SDK), see the blog post titled, Flutter Is Awesome For Mobile App Development.
The mobile apps we develop run on both Android and Apple iOS. According to the Apple philosophy, you cannot develop for Apple unless you are using Apple hardware and software. This is where necessity comes in.
The switch from Linux to Mac OS is a necessary and inevitable progression in the growth dynamics at Webmobyle. We are completely transitioning to Mac OS, primarily to serve our cross-platform mobile app development ambitions and requirements.
Despite the expense associated with them, Macs are now the standard at Webmobyle. There are other advantages to the switch of course, but maybe that is a discussion for another blog post. To offset the costs of switching to Mac OS for our teams, we will start by buying preowned/refurbished Macs and, some day, we will be successful enough to afford these monsters brand new.
Are you a Mac, Linux, or Windows user? What is your take on the subject? We would love to hear your comments.
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