It’s with a heavy heart that I must say farewell to an old friend…for now.
I began dabbling in Linux since the early 90s and went all-in about seven years later when Ubuntu really started to shine. Linux has really matured into a beautiful and stable operating system over the years. I’ve participated in countless Linux-related projects and I believe in the open source foundation of Linux. It has always been that perfect OS for me.
My decision to switch to Mac came down to one thing: compatibility. While there are well-capable Linux versions and equivalents of 99% Windows/Mac software out there, there is one wall that I just can’t break down: Photoshop and Lightroom. I practically live in these two apps and getting them to work smoothly in Linux has been like pounding the proverbial square peg into a round hole. And Adobe just refuses to extend these industry standards to Linux users because they think we’re cheapskates. So I’ve had to struggle with launching the big Adobe apps in VMWare virtual Windows machines running inside Linux. Believe me, this has been nothing but a recipe for frustration. I could have purchased ten Photoshop and Lightroom licenses for the money I’ve poured into getting them to work in Linux.
Somehow Macs have always eluded me even though I can breeze through the deepest crevices of every version of Windows, OS2, UNIX, DOS, Commodore, and even Atari 8-bit. Maybe it’s the closed-platform architecture. Maybe it’s the cult-like throngs of Apple evangelists. There’s no bigger turnoff than fanboys who feel the need to be cheerleaders for their big corporation of choice. I’m not looking to join a particular OS religion, I just want what works best for me.
After a few hours in the Apple store, I realized one thing: Mac and Linux are like twin siblings separated at birth. The directory structure, the unix command line, and the interface–it’s all so similar and identical in so many ways. Of course, with Apple you get the pretty packaging, the polishing, the well-integrated hardware, the price tag, and what I needed, the Adobe compatibility.
So I did it. I ordered fully-loaded and maxed-out iMac. I was going to wait for the new line of Mac Pros, but the new top-of-the-line iMacs seem to have the necessary performance. I’ll be pairing the 27″ monitor to my existing big monitors for a triple-monitor desktop. I could hear the echoes in my mind as I clicked the confirm button: “good gravy, what have I done?…”
This isn’t really goodbye–I’ll still be running Linux on my laptop, netbook, server, and TV media client machines. But the nucleus of my computer time–my desktop–is getting the big switcheroo.
Viva la Linux! You’ll always hold a special place in my heart. Sniff, sniff….