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Linux Fanboy? Mac Fanboy?

© April 2008 Anthony Lawrence

Some of the folks who commented at Linux in the long run seemed to miss that I am a Linux fan. In fairness, those folks probably aren't regular readers of this site, so in reading through the short post at typical web scan speeds, they only saw the negative things I said and missed all the positive. That's normal on the web today.

Of course the chances of any of those folks coming back to read this is low.. they made up their minds as to what I am and that's probably the end of that. But just in case one or two do find their way back here..

Really I'm a Unix fan

My main concern with any operating system is that it be Unixish and have a strong shell (bash preferred, but I'll live with ksh if I have to). Obviously there are a number of possibilities that meet that criteria.

I also strongly believe in open source. I think software patents are wrong, wrong, wrong, and really think that open source software is important to society as a whole - we need it.

Macs don't meet the open source test. Oh sure, there's plenty of open source in OS X, but there's plenty that isn't. Apple flunks my Purity Test.

By the way, Linux flunks my Purity Test for another reason.

And yet here I am running a MacBook Pro. Believe me, I am a little conflicted about that (Mac OS X Shame) but because I need a laptop and didn't want to have to struggle with finding the right hardware for Linux, I took the easy way out and went with the MacBook. You can argue that I wimped out too easily, but that's the decision I made.

However, in the rest of the world, Linux always wins my vote. When I sell Kerio mailserver I always try to convince the customer to run it on Linux. Why? Because it will work better, it will handle more users, it's easier to do anything funky that might be required.. sure, Mac OS X does all that too, but why spend all that money for something Linux does perfectly?

I also try to use Linux for file and print servers. That's sometimes a harder sell, especially when someone has convinced the client that they must have a Microsoft Domain Controller. But I have put up more than a few.

One area I would like to use Linux for is centralized backup of Windows machines. I haven't done enough research on what's possible in that area (suggestions welcome).

So am I a Mac Fanboy? I'd say no - I'm a Unix fan who opted for convenience. Am I a Linux fan? Obviously. But lazy enough to run a Mac for now. Confused? Me too..

Got something to add? Send me email.

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Thu Apr 10 14:34:53 2008: 4023   BrettLegree

Tony, I've been following you for a bit having first "met" you over at Men with Pens. I find your writing very interesting, and just wanted to leave a comment today. I liked your post, and if I were to subtitle it, I'd add:

"Right Tool for the Job" Fanboy

I use each platform, whatever works best for the job. Very soon I'll be purchasing a MacBook Pro myself. Because it will be the best tool for the job.

Anyway - thanks, and keep up the good work.


Thu Apr 10 14:42:30 2008: 4024   TonyLawrence

Good luck with your Mac Book.

Yes, we do need to use the right tool.. but even so, I feel some guilt. In the real world, we need to buy healthy food, but unfortunately some of that food is packaged in ways that are not good for our world overall. I don't think proprietary software is good for our world..

But as I said, I'm not going to reformat my Mac, so I can't be feeling that guilty, can I?

Thu Apr 10 15:03:33 2008: 4025   BrettLegree

Thanks Tony - I'm sure it will be more useful than what I have now.

I agree with you, too, about the guilt. I use open source software even when on a closed source platform, whenever possible. And I'm teaching my children about it too (they like Ubuntu very much, hey, they are young, when they click and type, stuff still happens, just like on Windows).

I like your food analogy. I'll remember that one.

Fri Apr 11 21:05:52 2008: 4030   doesntmatter

well confused? not actually. its a logical choice to make.
linux windows mac, the fights to win over, it goes away with age. we stop cribbing over it, and use whts gives us productivity :)
mac. yes i love it. linux, yea its doin' great. the best with evolve, the new ones may come. and hey wht does it tk to swap an OS.. not much, a few th. $ and a week :)


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