Despite the somewhat disappointing announcements (from a hardware standpoint), I appreciated Steve Jobs’ focus on the new features of the Mac OS X Leopard during yesterday’s keynotes at WWDC. I’ve been using Windows Vista for a few months now (albeit Ubuntu is my main OS) and the impression that I’ve gotten really hasn’t been wildly positive. Microsoft failed to be innovative, instead they mostly just copied features that had already existed in Mac OS X for years. By doing so they came out with an operating system which ended up being sold in 5 different versions , 4 of which are crippled due to margin optimization reasons.
In my opinion Vista is still at a beta quality level. It doesn’t feel solid, it crashed several times over the few last months, and applications tend to freeze often. Based on a few informal benchmarks that I ran, applications appear to be significantly faster on XP SP 2. That said, yes it’s shiny and nice looking (a tad tacky perhaps?), but is this really the best they could come up with in 5 years? From what I’ve seen, Mac OS X Leopard – which is in beta now and will be sold in October – is years ahead of Windows Vista Ultimate, and yet it costs only $129. That’s the best measure against piracy, a very fair price for an excellent product.
In my last post I stated how much I’d like to have Mac OS X (truly the best OS out there right now in my opinion), but how I wasn’t totally convinced by the Mac Book Pro. I thank everyone who commented with insightful considerations and reminders, I weighed all of your input and it definitely aided me in making my final choice. I carefully excluded low profile laptops in favor of high quality brands and components. In the end I was able to scale down my choice to a very nice looking Lenovo Thinkpad T61 and the Mac Book Pro 15.4”. It was a tough call because I actually happen to get special discounts for the Lenovo (due to where I work), and in my mind the Thinkpad is an absolutely fine machine, no doubt about it. But I knew that if I passed up the chance to get a Mac while still spending a comparable amount of money, I would eventually regret it. So I decided to give the Mac Book Pro a second look, this time more in-depth and on an actual desk without the Best Buy security cables in the way. The screen size seemed good enough and from an ergonomic stand point it was surprisingly comfortable. Yes, we finally clicked!
Considering that it is very portable for being a relatively compact laptop, but when connected to a 22” Widescreen LCD in dual screen, it becomes comparable to the thrilling experience that the iMac 24” offers up (only much faster). The Mac Book Pro became suddenly very tempting. Too tempting in fact…
Yesterday night I finally ordered it online. It cost an insane amount of money, but I believe it is going to be worth it. I’m now obviously looking forward to the package arriving through Fedex and hope that the machine is in peak condition and free of any issues right out of the box. There is so much that I need to learn in regards to the Mac world, but I’m willing to give it my best shot. I believe Mac’s market share will skyrocket and become very significant, therefore it’s a good idea to become well versed in it, even from a development viewpoint (RubyCocoa anyone?).
So yeah, I’m yet another Rubyist switching to Mac. 😉
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Antonio Cangiano is a Software Developer and AI Evangelist at IBM. He authored Ruby on Rails for Microsoft Developers (Wrox, 2009) and Technical Blogging ( The Pragmatic Bookshelf, 2012, 2019). He is also the Marketing Lead for Cognitive Class, an educational initiative which he helped grow from zero to over 1 Million students. You can follow him on Twitter.