Geoffrey Meredith
Thoughts on Technology


(posted on 28 Jul 2009)

I haven't used an Apple product seriously in a long time.  In the early 90's I worked on a project where I had to use a Mac for a few weeks but nothing since then other than occasionally borrowing a friend's Mac to check email, etc.

A couple of weeks ago I acquired an 18 month old Macbook with a dead hard drive.  When I got it you could hear the heads tearing themselves apart and then nothing.  A nice 320GB 7200 rpm drive fixed that up.  I decided to use this Macbook as my portable computer.  Replacing a 3 year old Dell.  The Dell still works great, especially with Windows 7 running on it but I thought that the Mac experience would be good to have.

My desktop environment is still a mix of various versions of Windows and Linux machines.  That makes six boxes under my desk.  It is also why I write this sitting outside, under a tree.  It just too hot in my office with all that equipment.

About a week after I got the Mac running, Rochelle and I decided to take the plunge and go for iPhones.  So I've a few steps into the Apple world.

It will be interesting to see if there are any surprises in this experiment.  I have been writing software in one form or another for over 30 years.  For many years DOS/Windows and UNIX/Linux have been the software development platforms of choice but over the last couple of years there has developed a large continent of Internet software developers who prefer Macs to do their development.  Good graphics and video manipulation tools have obviously had a lot to do with that but more hard core developers have been promoting the use of Macs.  It was particularly noticeable when I started doing some Ruby on Rails development a couple of years ago.  Windows was definitely not the ideal platform for Rails development.  I had been contemplating purchasing a Mac when this one fell in my lap.

I'm not going to go cold turkey into a Mac only environment.  I will still do most of my work on a Windows 7 based desktop machine but this new Mac will allow me to explore the possibilities.  I hope to replicate a basic software development environment on this machine for my mix of PHP, Rails, Python projects that I have either under active development or maintenance.