Mac to the Lab Again • Part 1
Please allow me to preface this with the fact that I wrote it at 3 AM. It is a ramble, and probably rather incoherent. I apologize.
I am a tinkerer. I enjoy messing with machines and computers and all their little bits of software toys. I’ve never settled on an operating system - after all, my primary desktop, Kohaku, runs three different operating systems (Arch Linux, macOS, and Windows). I’ve swapped from iOS to Android and back on mere whims, and I have so many hardware configurations in my room that I struggle to pick which laptop to daily drive.
However, even though I find thrills in experimentation, it’s growing increasingly frustrating trying to constantly switch setups, looking for ways to keep my installations 100% modular and cross-compatible. And thus, I set out, looking for a solution to call permanently my own.
The first candidate, as a technology nerd, was Linux. I love playing with various Linux distributions, configuring my desktops, finding new software. Linux has so many ways to make it your own. However, in experience, this comes with its obvious drawbacks. I depend on graphic design software to do my work, and while apps like GIMP are well-loved and Krita feels familiar-ish, I cannot afford the time to learn new programs from the ground up. I love the speed of Linux, the flexibility. Many tasks are faster on Linux than on Windows or macOS. However, when it comes to tasks that may be easier on other platforms, Linux falls flat. I’d love to use it as my daily driver, but the inconveniences of the operating system simply make it incredibly difficult.
The second candidate is one familiar to almost everyone on the planet - Windows. While admittedly, I actually have quite a soft spot for Windows 8.1, unfortunately I would be forced to use Windows 10, as many programs now only officially support 10 - including Xbox Game Pass. While I don’t game that often anymore, I do find myself having the occasional play session. It’s nice to have Windows to play video games in the rare chance I feel like it.
Windows has extensive software support. If it exists, it probably runs on Windows. It’s the only real option for playing games, and it can still run plenty of professional apps such as Davinci Resolve and Affinity Designer. While I am, by no means, a “professional”, I am a hobbyist who likes having access to these things for personal projects. As functional as Windows can be, I find its user interface to be clunky, ugly, outdated, and overall, just…not fun to use. And while it is customizable, it is’t particularly designed to be, and many software solutions to spice up the classic Redmond desktop are often very dodgy and not particularly well-integrated to the system. While Windows is certainly serviceable, I personally don’t like it and don’t think it’s very good.
This leaves my last option. One that, if you have seen my website, you probably saw coming.
I love macOS. I do, and I can’t hide that. It’s my favorite operating system. It’s pretty, it’s snappy, and it runs plenty of great software. It may not run many games, sure - but I do keep a backup install of Windows for that. When it comes to getting things done, it works amazingly.
macOS has its drawbacks. It doesn’t play all that nicely with other operating systems (HFS+ and APFS aren’t fun outside of the platform), it has very room for customization...all of which are things that I, an OS-hopping tinkerer, should hypothetically value. And yet, I find myself attracted to it like a moth to a $1,000 flame.
Find out in part two, Ode to a Macintosh, where I continue to ramble about that one fruit company.
Until next time.