Jun. 30th, 2012

OS Advice

Jun. 30th, 2012 02:16 pm
holdthesky: (Default)
At home we only have one proper computer, a 2009-ish desktop Intel Mac with 2GB. I've been impressed with the hardware, particularly the screen.

Mac OS X is a bit pants, though. It is full of arbitrary buy-barriers and is infuriatingly inscrutable when it comes to issues, and incompatibilities that won't be fixed because Apple would rather that you...: it's like buying a 1990s-style-shareware operating system.

So I installed Linux on it, and other than the disaster of Gnome 3, Unity, etc, and all the unnecessary desktop innovation and social fartery, which I eventually found a way around, it's been doing me well.

If I want to do anything interesting or constructive or creative, I use Linux on the Mac and if I'm paying the gas bill, or going to my bank, or writing a letter, or downloading an MP3 from Amazon, or whatever, I use Mac OS X. You have to do that because usually Linux isn't supported by external folk. My bank, for example, refuse to guarantee loses incurred as a result of fraud while using an OS other than Windows or Mac. I'm sure that it's safer for me to use Linux, but I'm insured if I take the more dangerous option, so I do that.

The problem is that I am using Mac OS X 10.5. Lots of folk are giving up on 10.5 support. If I'm going to continue down the path of supporting Mac OS X, I'll need to shell out for 10.6 and 10.7 eventually, making it cost about £60 quid.

As what I'm using Mac OS X for is "I'm a PC" stuff, that's usually much better supported in Windows and it only costs £100 or so. It seems like in practice you can hang on to a MS OS for longer than a Mac, too, and sometimes skip a release, so it might be lower cost in the end.

If I were buying a machine now, I'd get a dual boot Windows and Linux machine. But this computer is fine and actually quite nice. As I understand it, you can install Windows on a Mac. Is that right? Does that still work? It would be fun to triple boot, I guess, because I'm supposing you can't remove Mac OS X from a Mac, or that it would be inadvisable to do so because of firmware update type stuff?

My main priority would be to minimise the amount of money I spend on computers (which have been generally sufficient to satisfy my requirements for about ten years now), or operating systems (ditto, though they do seem to be regressing). Though that might mean I spend now to get off the Apple treadmill. I don't want to shell out a hundred quid keeping the Mac going if I soon switch to a PC. What do folk think?

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holdthesky

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