Mac vs PC

Before I get started, I need to say a couple of things.

First of all, I’m not really sure I want to write this post – I had a bit of a rant a while back and was encouraged to post the transcript. I can’t remember it all so I’m just going to start fresh – hopefully it wont just be a load of rage waffle, I was quite caught up in the moment at the time.

Secondly, I hate the phrase “Mac vs PC” – I know now everyone thinks of PC as a Windows computer, but it’s really just the acronym for Personal Computer… which I think you’ll find, is also a Mac, or Linux Desktop, and so on and so forth. So it’s a bit stupid anyway.

Right then, let’s get properly started…

Many years ago, I was a complete and utter Anti-Mac bastard! I’d always had Windows towers, I’d build them myself, spec them high for gaming and on top of that I had Nokia mobile phones. It was great. I was such a cool techy person.

I knew Macs were for artists, or designers, or people in the creative industry or some crap like that and I just believed what I was told – I KNEW it. It was a fact.

Then I met Mike Holman – the least geeky geek in the world (as in he really is technically a geek, but he doesn’t do all the geeky stuff like think Star Wars is amazing). Mike is a very capable programmer, he’s far too clever, knows about loads of cool open source software, understands much more about the real technical side of things than I do… but he was using a Mac! How could I take him seriously?! Real techies use Windows right (unless they live in basements, then they use Linux).

So for fun, me and Mike went full on into Mac vs PC mode, and we ran sister sites of decent software to add to you Mac or WINDOWS MACHINE ( and, sadly both now dead)

I continued to Mac bash for many years, then the iPhone came out and all the other fancy smart phones. I bought a Nokia N900 – better than anything that ever was or ever will be (again, a fact). I continued with my desktop PCs, I pulled the case off, hoovered it, decoded the weird light patterns the motherboard would tell me when stuff broke. I returned shitty RAM to ebuyer because of bad memory addresses, I worried about my RAID arrays failing on me (do I want redundancy or performance?!?!??! Totes performance, obvs).

It went on like this, and everything was fine. Until someone wanted me to build them an iOS app. I tried to convince them a website would do. They still wanted an app. So I said fine, I’ll build one.

This is where everything changed.

I didn’t have a Mac, so I borrowed one. My previous experience with Apple products was the old Mac Pro’s at UWE, that were pre intel, and rubbish, and mostly just showed the beach ball spinner.

They genuinely did suck. Seriously. Literally (they had fans that suck hot air out the case). They were also bad computers.

So I borrowed a Mac Mini, did some iOS development, hacked together some Objective-C whilst wishing it could be more like Javascript (which it can be now, with Swift), and pushed some apps to the app store.

The Mac Mini was ok, but slow. So I bought a Mac Book Air, with an SSD. Which still is brilliant. It’s brilliant right now. It’s warming my thighs as I type this textual gold that you’re lapping up right now.

It’s a Mid-2011 i5 4GB 11 inch laptop, covered in stickers, and I love it. It struggles a bit with compilation in Xcode but other than that, it’s fucking amazing and can happily run a big wide screen monitor if I’m set up at a desk.

I also got myself an iPhone 3GS to develop apps on, then an iPad 2 because they were just a lovely way to be lazy and have the internet at the same time.

Time went on… I didn’t convert to Mac, my old PC was still in the house running Windows and I used Windows all day at work. I was using both Mac OSX and Windows 7 side by side, and getting the benefits of both.

I was also using headless Linux servers at work, and realising that Bash scripting and working on the command line was actually better than anything else for a lot of work type things. Being able to do a lot of that in OS X on a Mac was crap tonnes better than using Windows cmd.exe…

tail -n 100 | awk '{print $9}' ~ sort | uniq -c | sort -n

Try doing that in Windows… there is probably a way, and I don’t know if you can do all that in OS X anyway – but the point stands, Linux is cool.

To top it all off, I also had an old PC connected to the living room TV running Ubuntu as a media center, for iPlayer and YouTube etc.

It was great… despite my initial resistance, I’d begrudgingly got a Mac, did some development and now my house is covered in all kinds of technology.

I no longer have a particular preference to any particular platform or OS.

I’ve got a 4 monitor Windows 10 custom build PC at work and my faithful 11″ Mac Book Air that follows me around and does all my freelance work.

Then to compliment them, and to ensure that I have some form of internet access within 2 meters at all times, between work and home there’s a couple more Macs, some iPads, some Android tablets, iPhones, an Xbox, Playstation, Wii, and a variety of Ubuntu and CentOS headless cloud servers so I get my daily fix of CLI.

Oh and something more important than the badge on the computer and the OS that it runs… get an SSD. A Solid State Drive.

A windows laptop with a steampunk, mechanical, spinning disk stack storage device is worse than a Mac with an SSD.

A Mac with a motorised, multi-level miniature record player with pointy reading devices that wobble is worse than a Windows machine with an SSD.

There’s so much cool hardware that is available now, but the important thing is the software that is available on all the platforms. Things like Dropbox , Evernote and all the Google Apps mean that whatever device I’m on I can get access to all my files, spreadsheets, notes, pictures etc.

It’s all so good, and I’m lucky enough to have realised that by not choosing sides, I get to have the best of all of them.

To paraphrase a very, very wise man I had the pleasure of working with recently, when asked the question “Taylor Swift or Katy Perry, who would you rather date?”

His response was (roughly along the lines of )

“Come on guys! I date both of them”

And he’s right, although there is no need to stop there.

Mac Vs PC – sure, have that argument. If you’re an idiot.

Mac AND PC? sure. good start. you’re on the right track.

Now I’ll just post this from OSX, check it’s gone live in bed from iOS, see if I’ve had any likes whilst using Windows tomorrow before using CentOS to push some websites live and then check the updates on the Android tablet. In the evening I could play on the Wii with the kids, update my Ubuntu cloud server, watch a Blu-Ray on the PS3 then play on the Xbox 360.

In all seriousness though… the PS3 is pants in comparison to the Xbox. It’s just a fact.

Oh yeah and Blackberry. About Blackberry.

No. Just, no.


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