Switching from mac to ubuntu
My new job
means a new laptop. And not a mac.
I did ask during my job interview what kinds of tools their programmers
used, innocently asking whether it was an all-windows shop or… No, there
was both windows and ubuntu in use with the programmers.
The new laptop I’m getting is a lenovo (former IBM) thinkpad: the SL510.
The thinkpad users I’ve seen are all very happy with their machine, so I guess
I’ll be just fine, too. The keyboard is rumored to be especially good, which
is important to me (being the owner of The Only Keyboard Worthy Of My Fingers:
a real IBM clicky-clicky keyboard).
“Do you want windows (which we’ll support) or do you want ubuntu (which you’ll
have to manage and support yourself)?” Ok, that’s easy. Ubuntu of course.
- I’m happy to use ubuntu. I’ve always used debian/ubuntu on the server. And
I used debian on my work machine for about 5 years. It works well.
- Ubuntu is almost certainly easier to develop on. OSX is 95% fine! But
there are some problems. Building lxml didn’t just work. The latest
snowleopard gives all sorts of strange errors due to a gcc update (which
apparently isn’t a problem on ubuntu).
- Ubuntu has the moral high ground. Apple feels a bit like selling out in
some way. Paul Graham said it well a while ago. He bough a shiny
beautiful piece of Apple hardware. So I bought it, but I bought it, for
the first time, with misgivings. I felt the way I’d feel buying something
made in a country with a bad human rights record. That was new. In the past
when I bought things from Apple it was an unalloyed pleasure. Oh boy! They
make such great stuff. This time it felt like a Faustian bargain. That’s a
bit strong, but they did make a couple of decisions I wasn’t happy with.
- I’m worried how well everything will work. If I close my mac laptop, it
goes to sleep. If I open it, it wakes up instantly. On linux, your
computer can hang. Or you have to manually sleep it. And connecting a
beamer might mean you have to recompile your kernel (at least, that’s what
it seems like on conferences: mac works fine, windows takes 5 minutes, linux
takes 15 minutes). How well is this thinkpad supported?
- I’m really really really going to miss omnifocus, my GTD app of choice.
That’s such an elegant piece of work. What on earth am I going to replace
it with? I happily paid serious money for this app: it is excellent.
- I’m worried about my iphone. How well does the syncing with ubuntu work?
Do I need to install windows to get it to sync? And again, my
omnifocus-for-the-iphone app…. Shudder…
Anyway, I’ll keep track of my switch back to linux land. Lots of good things
to be found there. I’ll be happy. But I’ve got some odds and ends that need
sorting out. Any suggestions for GTD apps?