Windows is perfectly viable for doing development, so is Linux. You can easily get a laptop that is cheaper and more reliable than a Macbook. About the only thing you'll be missing is a cool Apple sticker, but you can get those on eBay. Your wallet will thank you, and so will your fingers.
A Macbook was a reasonable, even logical choice in 2012. Now, not so much.
Apple can have me back if they want -- hey, take my money! -- but they have to stop fucking up. I don't know why the Apple board isn't simply pounding the hell out of the management that's been allowing the poor quality and user-hostile decisions of the past several years.
[Hmmm, I just looked at their board members. That would explain a lot...]
Viable, yes. I've spent the last year (since replacing a 2013 MB Pro) with a Dell 15 XPS, roughly 50/50 Windows & Linux (Ubuntu then Fedora). Both work. They each run everything I need a laptop for.
Honestly neither is quite as good a desktop for me as macOS, but they are near enough that even if I liked the current generation of MacBooks (which I don't), I wouldn't consider it worth paying the premium.
There isn't a single solution I'm truly happy with. Windows 10 is yucky but for me fairly practical (meaning mainly it doesn't waste my time). Linux is more appealing and almost worth it for the speedy file access, but is too time-consuming for me to to commit to. MacOS is my favourite all-round OS, but (Hackintoshes aside) only runs on hardware I don't want (and certainly not at the price). I guess the only thing I haven't tried is ChromeOS. Maybe next time. 2019 desktop OS's are a sorry scene.
I hear a variation of this semi-often and I never quite get what that's supposed to mean. Maybe being a full-time Linux user for a decade has made me used to whatever people are complaining about, but I don't think so, people are complaining about having to fix broken HW/SW occasionally, however as someone who:
- Picks Linux-supported hardware specifically, as opposed to a random, generic PC, (something you wouldn't do with macOS either, btw).
- Runs a rolling release distro, so if anything should experience more breakage than the regular Ubuntu LTS/Fedora user.
I can honestly say that my workflow is basically:
-> Turn the laptop on, (or wake from sleep, yes that works well on solid HW)
-> Get my work done
-> Update the system every couple of days, (rolling release updates)
Now does occasionally some package update their config that I'll have to merge or something like that? Sure, maybe once or twice a year.
When I do have to use macOS for builds, I experience glitches, (like the login bar loading and never finishing), various annoying updates, (& update prompts), apps, (like Duet Display), randomly breaking when you need them, occasional kernel panics, (but more frequent than I ever had on Linux, in fact I had one on Linux maybe once), choppy performance even on a top spec 2016 MBP due to poor thermals, video rendering issues when switchable graphics is enabled etc.
All in all, my macOS experience is actually somewhat worse than on Linux. It's nothing I can't deal with, but it's nowhere near as trouble free as people make it seem.
I honestly think it comes down to things like macOS being more animated by default, having 3D shadows under every window, the dock enlarging the icons as you scroll pass them, your coworkers having a Mac as a status symbol etc. rather than some big technical hurdle.
It's nothing to do with 3D shadows under windows, the dock enlarging when I roll over it or my co-workers being impressed because I've got a Mac, because they all have Macs too.
That last point is the least of it - honestly, I have no desire to impress anyone with what technology I happen to use and find it quite extraordinary that anyone thinks owning a Mac is some kind of status symbol.
It's not as if Apple product ownership is a rare thing, people from all walks of life own Macbooks or iPhones or whatever, yet this falacy that Mac/iPhone owners buy these products to impress people still somehow persists.
No, it's the fundamental user experience on various desktop managers I've tried on Linux that while it clearly works for other people, it simply doesn't for me.
There's nothing wrong with that, and I'm sure if I persisted with it for longer then I'd perhaps be happy enough using Linux on the desktop but to be honest it's time I'm not that interested in investing, when I'm immediately productive on OSX, and was when I first started using OSX back in 2004.
My OSX experience is wholly different to yours - I get rare update notifications, possibly because of the software products I use? and performance on my 2018 MBP is as quick as I've ever experienced, but then it should be for a modern computer.
For me, OSX/macOS simply stays out of the way and lets me get on with doing work. I'm sure Linux does the same for you but be assured, the reason I use OSX is not a single one of those reasons you've suggested.
- Hit space to instantly quick-look almost any file, in the finder, in my torrent client, etc.
- Global menu bar doesn't waste space.
- Time Machine provides revision control for your entire drive, integrated into apps, where you can browse and revert to old versions. Even works when you only occasionally hook up your backup drive as it syncs.
- Window/desktop management with real multitouch gestures (not triggers that only kick in after you complete a gesture).
- Smooth font rendering without gamma or hinting errors. Smart kerning adjustment for long labels in tight spaces. Smart ellipsis that displays the start and end of long filenames.
- Icons represent files and can be dragged e.g. from document window titlebars. Right click to get a breadcrumb of all the directories the file sits in, so you can trivially open a finder window for what you're looking at.
- Half downloaded files are resumable bundles that keep the source URL inside. Can even copy to a different machine and resume there just by double clicking.
- Integrated disk, partition and image management, including creating encrypted disk images through the UI, and restoring images to drives.
Just a few things keeping me on this platform.
Oh also, when I upgraded my 2013 mbp to a 2015, migrating was trivial, as both laptops set up an adhoc wifi and transferred everything 1-to-1 without having to do anything. My customized Unix environment that lived though 3 or 4 major OS upgrades transplanted as if nothing changed.
Linux doesn't want to provide that level of convenience because it requires too much cat herding and agreement, while Microsoft can't without breaking years of legacy crap.
And I read that cookie-cutter response almost every time. Fine. Whatever. We have different experiences. I accept yours (because I think most people are more-or-less truthful). You don't accept mine (because ?).
> I honestly think it comes down to things like macOS being more animated by default, having 3D shadows under every window, the dock enlarging the icons as you scroll pass them, your coworkers having a Mac as a status symbol etc. rather than some big technical hurdle
Feel free. "Honestly think" any invented story you wish.
Linux use for me isn't so much a matter of large technical hurdles, but the death of a thousand cuts. By the time of my last f/t Linux use round (just a couple of weeks ago) I didn't have any outstanding tech issues. There was nonessential hardware I couldn't get working at all or well (fingerprint scanner, SD card reader, gpu switching), but I could live with that.
It's more a matter of having a constant barrage of small issues, often with new software I install, each of which is quite soluble, but only after reading documentation (often poor). That's just not how I want to spend my time. I'm not going to enumerate the issues because, as I say, by and large I solved them. They are mostly trivial but constant. I would rather have spent that time listening to music, or learning Mandarin.
I keep logs of all my computer admin & troubleshooting in markdown files. I've been roughly 50/50 linux and windows over the last year. Eyeballing the logs, it's clearly true for me - Windows gives me hardly any issues to solve at all. I install stuff. It works. I get on with my work and the rest of my life. In contrast I have vast reams of notes about the various little niggles I had with Ubuntu and then Fedora.
[Edit: sorry - I forgot your I just find it somewhat hard to wrap my mind around the specifics. So just one example. Nothing big, but bear in mind I'd have something like this at least 3 or 4 times a week. I want to be able to dial down power use sometimes - if I'm low on battery, doing undemanding stuff and won't be near an outlet for a while. Windows: I didn't have to read any docs. Click on battery icon, and slide left on the popup control. Fedora: click around in gnome and find nothing. Search for info on how the Gnome power management interacts with whatever service is started by systemd. Find nothing up to date (Fedora doc on the topic was from version 14 or 17 and bore no resemblance to my version 30). Read up a bit on tlp and powertop, but still unclear on their relationship to whatever Gnome does. Find broken links to relevant AskFedora posts because they've deleted all the old pages moving to Discourse. Ask a question. Get no answer. I could have solved it eventually with a bit more reading, sure. But like most things I wanted to do, it would take orders of magnitude more time to figure out than on macOS or Windows.]
I also bought a Surface Go recently and this has convinced me I could move away from Mac completely (To a Surface Pro) if need be, the industrial design is excellent, the keyboard is an absolute joy to type on and it's so versatile, like a "Pro" machine should be.
It gets you pretty far, but not all the way. I guess for most people in most cases its fine.
The Surface line trackpads are extremely close and their keyboards actually surpass current Apple boards.
Admittedly the current MacBook trackpad is too big - but is otherwise functionally perfect in terms of its multi-touch and haptic feedback.
Also, you can use the external Apple trackpad they sell with any OS.
For you. I do all my development on a 13" laptop.
> Also, you can use the external Apple trackpad they sell with any OS.
I think the problem isn't the hardware, but the software (or more likely a combination of both). The MBP touchpad under Windows with Bootcamp is also quite terrible.