Which one to choose

Disclaimer: this is my personal, probably biased opinion.

I think pretty much everyone has heard of the two main players Windows and Mac OS and the bloodshed between the users of one system or another.

Let me tell you about my experience with these two operating systems.

My first ever computer was a Windows 98, I loved to tinker with that thing and strangely enough it never really went wrong even though I had no idea what I was doing.

It was love at first sight, a decent music library and a couple of games (like GTA 2) would keep me occupied for hours on that thing but at the time I really didn't do any work on the machine.

As a creature of habit, I stuck with windows going from 98 to XP to Vista, to Seven, 8 and 10. Most of us know about the 50% success rate of Microsoft operating systems, and many of us have fond memories of XP. The latest iteration of the OS is a solid system, some will complain about data collection from Microsoft but if that's your main problem you might as well burn your phone and stop using a computer altogether.

The main advantage of windows over mac is the compatibility, price, upgradability and of course the game library. But, that's not all I find the office suite a lot nicer on the windows platform other than that I don't really use it for my professional needs.

In the other corner weighing in at a hefty price delta and performance drop we have the Macintosh, now when I was happily running over pedestrians on my Windows 98 my father has always been an apple user (should I say, fanboy?). So in that same period, I got to play around with the Mac G3 (you know the green and white transparent one) and pretty much every iteration of the mac since. At first, it was the lack of games that turned me away from Steve Job's machines but as I grew up and started to learn more about computer hardware the massive price difference to get a mac as powerful as a PC was not something I could forgive.

Fast forward to today, I am now using a Mac at work and I am slowly starting to get used to it so here are my first impressions working on a Mac

  • shortcuts, Having to use the command key to use shortcuts feels extremely unnatural to me, I know you can change the mapping of the keyboard, but I'm giving it a bit more time.
  • Specials keys, finding the ~ key or the | or even just [] is a little time-consuming, I find the keyboard layout to be far from ideal.
  • Software, all the major programs are available like the adobe suite, PHPStorm ... So that's a plus.
  • Terminal, the big advantage over windows is the terminal after installing ZSH and Iterm2 I felt right at home.

All in all, it is not an unpleasant experience but in order to be as efficient as on a windows platform it is going to take some time.

Verdict, Mac or Windows?

Simply put Linux, I use Linux on my personal computers, I wouldn't change that for the world, powerful and relatively cheap hardware coupled with a free open-source lightweight OS makes for a great experience.

Of course, there are some drawbacks, Linux takes a bit more skill and time to get up and running than the other systems, but it's worthwhile and fulfilling to get everything set up just the way you want from the terminal to the graphical interface to the cron tasks.

The second drawback is compatibility, not all major software developers have Linux releases (looking at you adobe and Microsoft) and using wine as a workaround isn't always practical.

But as far as a programmers’ workload goes everything is there, IDEs, git, zsh, ...

As I will be using Mac more from now on I might start to see things differently, but I doubt it.

So what's your favourite and why? leave a comment I would like to hear your thoughts.