- I use both work and personal machines to develop - always in Ubuntu
- I develop mainly in Java/J2EE, with Eclipse and IntelliJ
- Do a fair amount of SE related stuff - Apache, Database, J2EE servers, etc
- Largely use Chrome for development and general Internet consumption
- For entertainment (movies), stream Amazon On Demand Video from a Windows box to a big flat screen.
- Need some handle on Windows to satisfy work requisites - Exchange Client (365 online is a nightmare so need fat client at times), Visio, Excel, PowerPoint.
- Running Ubuntu on a Dell PC at work no problem, and will stick to that regardless of this decision.
- Running Ubuntu on a two year old Dell XPS 15 with many problems - it runs hot, drains battery in under a half hour, crashes on closing lid, etc. I know there are fixes and I have already made many tweaks, but it's virtually never-ending, or at least it feels that way.
- In general I love working and playing in Linux, particularly Ubuntu. But I can't deal with these annoyances much longer.
- In addition, my wife is non-technical, and wants us to go for the Apple ecosystem full force.
- I have been debating this for a couple weeks. The good laptops - ZenBook, Samsung Series 9, Lenovo Ultrabook - all come with Windows 8 installed, which I don't want -- prefer Windows 7 in a VM. Additionally they all have their quirks.
- For ~30% of my development, which is on laptop, I need something relatively high end and lightweight at the same time.
- Just bought the highest end Linksys router and running into issues right off the bat... and finding myself falling into the "I just want something that works" camp.
Close to pulling the trigger on...
Going full bore into the Apple ecosystem. This means selling my Samsung and Goggle Nexus tablets running Android, my Galaxy II phone that is dying (plan is to use my wife's old iPhone 4s until Apple ups the size of the iPhone), selling my Dell...
... and buying the following:
- Highest end Mac Pro 15" with Retina / 16 gig RAM. This will be my dev machine for about 30% of my work. It looks like I can install Parallels and run Ubuntu and Windows pretty easily... allowing me to keep tabs on both administrative and development related work tasks when I am away from the office.
- A similar machine for my wife, who will be using it mostly for entertainment and at home. Slightly lower specs as she will be using it at home mostly for entertainment.
- Extra power adapters.
- Apple TV -- Instead of the hoaky setup, just for a simple box with a remote. Leverage iTunes and the Apple store for movies, maybe NetFlix.
- The high end wifi router (Airport Ultimate I think)
This promises to bring a lot of simplicity to our lives, which is much needed at the moment with work and a new baby.
What I worry about
- Package management and compilation. I can fetch and build Apache source with a tiny script and no additional configuration or hacks. Is this feasible with Mac? Seems like I need a combination of HomeBrew, MacPorts, config tweaks, etc. Which is why I don't use Windows anymore!
- You can't maximize a window in Mac OS. When I first heard this I was dumbfounded, and I still am. This seems ridiculous.
- Security -- I have read a lot about security vulnerabilities in MacOS and I don't trust it like I trust Ubuntu. (Even though Richard Stallman makes some negative claims about Canonical in general)
- Overpaying for brand and styling -- Form factor is one thing, and Apple makes a beautiful machine... but I have a great distaste for their dictactorial stance on what a UI should look like.
- Mobile broadband -- I put an ATT 3g sim card in my Dell and can go anywhere. Looks like I need to setup my phone as a wifi hotspot or use a dongle to connect to cellular with a Mac... that's almost a dealbreaker in and of itself.
At the end of the day
I would love to buy into the Ubuntu ecosystem, but I am afraid it is several years out to competing with Apple, and I cannot continue to take the hit to productivity and personal well being. Yes, I said that! I believe going Apple will make my life easier... but I am waiting for someone to talk me off the ledge.
Would love to hear any feedback and hopefully someone will talk me out of going to the dark side.