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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

Thinking of switching from Ubuntu...


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MichaelMcEntire

 
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Hi!
I'm seriously thinking of switching from Linux to Mac at about the end of January (bonus should afford me a new Mac-Book). I'm a little worried about it though, I've been a very happy Linux user for about two years. I've always enjoyed the customizing ability but realized that all the customizing I do is really to make my system behave and look like a Mac. I figure I might as well just get the real thing. I'm also looking forward to my hardware and software "just working".
Things that concern me are loss of the open source community and ideals. Also if you ever have trouble with something you can almost always find help or advice on the forums. Linux is almost infinitely customizable to your needs witch is also nice.
Anyone who has switched from Linux (Ubuntu in particular) chime in and let me know if there is anything you miss or regret. Also let me know what you like better, was it worth it?

Thanks in advance,
Michael
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GinnyK

 
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I'd be interested to know too. My husband is contemplating switching from Ubuntu to Mac also. He has been looking over my shoulder form time to time as I learn how to use my Mac & he likes what he sees.

Ginny
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MichaelMcEntire

 
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How do you like it so far Ginny?
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walkerj

 
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Well, this would be right up my alley. Back in Feb. of 2005 I too was a die-hard Linux guy, coming from years of admining Solaris machines and used a Linux (specifically RedHat) box as my desktop and home computer. I did everything mostly in the command line and bash. At that time Macs were priced out of my range and it was better for me at the time to build my own boxes and put a distro that I could customize to my liking. I knew at the time that Mac OS X was really a UNIX with a cool GUI on top but I had better things to do with my money.

Until Apple released the Mini. With that came the great Mac OS X experiment of 2005. Could I replace my powerhouse AMD RedHat box with this little machine? What would I miss? Would I be beholden to proprietary whims and corporate behaviors that would p*ss me off? Only way to find out was to whip out the wallet and take the plunge.

Answer: Unqualified success. Oh sure there were little things like the Mac OS X of the time didn't have multiple desktops, one had to kind of surrender one's self to The Apple Way of doing things. But what I've found over time is that the Apple Way of doing things is the Right way. Very seldom crashed, was a pleasure to use, and the need to configure XF86config files and others went away. Once I put on the included (but not installed by default) development tools I had a C compiler and could use the DarwinPorts, which made it so I could easily get command line stuff working that made it so all the bash scripts I've written over the years that do useful things could port right over. I still had my good old friend in Terminal, and not in the weird way one has with cygwin on Windows. Eventually with the release of Leopard came Spaces, and I then had that multiple desktop I had been getting with an open source hack called...can't remember now but it was v-something-desktops.

I've since surrendered my music collection to iTunes, have several iPods and an iPhone. My entire household is Apple everything. I'm on my third Mac and my wife soon will have an iPhone to go with her all-Apple computing needs to compliment her Macbook and iPod. We even use all Apple keyboards and mice. Only things not-Apple are our monitors. Because those things are still way 'spensive.

Is Apple perfect? No. Do I make a living with my Apple computers? No. My employer supplies me with Windows computers to do my job which is maintain Oracle databases on AIX UNIX big-iron. Does it make my personal computing not feel like work? Yes. Hence this long post. Sure I could put a latest distro of Linux on a virtual machine or one of my employer supplied computers or even see what is all up with Windows 7. But now that I have Macs in my world I just don't care. I don't care about driver issues, don't care about haters, don't care about how Apple users (fanbois anyone?) are perceived out in the ethereal world. I have what I consider the awesomest computer ever, and I've been working with these things since "computers" were considered large machines that needed special purpose A/C equipped rooms and were called things like "VAX" and "Cray", and "IBM-XXXX" with "DASD" and you "IPL'd" them.

And I can still vi (or emacs) my text files and scripts to do useful stuff. Or tar up and gzip things that I'm not using at the moment. If I need to 'make' something that's still there. The find command is the same as it's always been. And as a friend of mine in the business once put it while writing bash, bourne, or korn shell scripts - "we be awk'n and a sed'n to get stuff done" within the command line. All still possible with a Mac, while living here in The Future of personal computing.
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directeuphorium

 
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you're going to miss the Linux community above all else. Many of the ubuntu programs will run on OSX.

But you will miss the community. the mac community is no where near as helpful, interesting, or knowledgeable about computers and the inner workings of an operating system. IF you have a problem at all, expect to hear "take it to the mac store" from at least one person no matter how simple the problem is to fix (Which gives you an idea of the community you're getting with your mac.) But there are exceptions and that is starting to change slowly as more and more Linux and windows users switch over to the mac platform


thing you will gain.... DRIVERS! glorious lovely updated and always working drivers for all your hardware.

but you can dual boot the macbook and not have to choose one or the other.
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torbjoern

 
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I switched from Linux Mandriva to OSX for portable computing, though I still have my home-made Linux-rig which I also use as a server.

I have never had any problem doing something on a MacBook that I formerly would have done on my Linux-operated notebook - on the contrary, it works great for me in practically every way. What kind of applications/activities are we talking about in your case?
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GinnyK

 
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I like my iMac. I'm not the computer expert many here are, but I really do like my iMac. My husband is just waiting to see how we do with taxes this year before purchasing his Mac.
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droflex

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GinnyK View Post
I like my iMac. I'm not the computer expert many here are, but I really do like my iMac. My husband is just waiting to see how we do with taxes this year before purchasing his Mac.
Until that time, just keep a rolled-up newspaper handy and if he reaches for your mouse, slap him on the wrist and firmly tell him NO!
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MichaelMcEntire

 
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torbjoern : I'm not what you call a power user. I use my desktop as a home media center. I don't chose to pay the cable company so I mostly stream all my television on Hulu Desktop or Boxee. My laptop mostly for web browsing and playing emulator games. I actually spend most of my time finding little projects, things I'd like my computer to do such as sync with a Wiimote and the like. Thats really the main thing that has me worried. I spend alot of time just kinda customizing my OS and making things work. Learning things I guess. I'm afraid of losing that customizable platform. At the same time I love Mac hardware design and the idea of having everything work well together. My plan is to get a Mac Mini to replace my desktop and a Macbook for my laptop.

To everyone else: Thanks for all your feedback so far. I'm leaning towards making the switch.
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ebe326

 
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I made the switch from Ubuntu a few months back and I certainly do not regret it. I was exactly like you in that I really enjoyed customizing my system. I was also a firm believer in the open source philosophy. I still feel like a trader sometimes. I think that has been the hardest part of it for me. However, I always believed that people have the right to make money for developing software. My brother makes his living this way. I just would like to see fully open standards which seems to be the way things are going anyway. So it turns out to not be too big of a deal after all. I also realized that now that I don't spend so much time customizing my system, I am actually using it so much more. I am accomplishing things that I never did before like photo organization and editing.

As has been stated before, Apple is not perfect. Expect some issues, especially at first. I had some trouble changing from the Linux way of doing things. As walkerj said, you have to surrender yourself to the Apple way. If you resist it, it will make it a lot harder to enjoy. It really is a good feeling though when it all comes together and things just work. The security, stability and ease of use are all there for me now. I also use an iphone and mobileme which makes the whole experience even that much better.

Apple still has work to do to become a completely intuitive O/S with a flawless user experience. But they are closer than anyone else. And don't forget you can always dual boot or run virtual Ubuntu. So you really don't have to give anything up if you don't want to.

Best of luck.
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MichaelMcEntire

 
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Thanks for the feedback ebe326!
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OnceYouGoMac

 
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I have been using Ubuntu, and have had nothing but constant (3 times a day or more) crashing requiring reinstalling, loss of data, constant error messages, etc. I have had a worse experience with Ubuntu than even Windows, and will be happy to get rid of this ridiculous OS.
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MichaelMcEntire

 
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OnceYouGoMac : Really? I must admit, I will most likely be switching to Mac soon but I can't really say anything bad about Ubuntu. In fact over the last three years I think the few times I crashed my system could only be faulted to myself. Ubuntu, or Linux in general allows you to change anything you want all the way to the source code. Very cool but potentially dangerous if you don't know what your doing (many times I didn't). It gives you the choice to change things though, and choice in my opinion is always a good thing. I love the ability to open the package manager and choose from thousands of free software examples to install on my system. When I switch it will not be any lacking in Ubuntu that spurs it, it will be mostly to try something new. Other factors include for me certain hardware compatibilities, again not Ubuntu but the manufactures and their desire not to share drivers that cause this. Another reason will be hardware on a different level, I simply love Apple hardware design and functionality.
Sorry you had a bad experience with Ubuntu, their are many others who use it all the time with no issues.
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