A recent post over at our friends the Global Geek Podcast got me to thinking about how i run this show and how I operate and work with computers in my daily life. I don’t subscribe to any one doctrine and get rankled when one camp or another goes out of their way to slam the other. So I’ve come up with a description for where I see computer use heading. Or at least where I would like it to head, which is towards a multi platform environment. An economic outsourcing of work to the system the work fits best onto.
We’ll call this functionalism. There are positives and negatives of each platform you could choose to work on. SO lets give this fight a run down. And since I’m a pessimist lets start with the cons first.

CONS: Because it pays to know what your getting into

Linux: Rocky Road, nutty with a creamy streak running through it

  • Just try to install a new driver, application or digital camera. basically pray that someone before you already wrote the software to do it.
  • Half the video cards in the world only sort of work.
  • Chances are if you have a problem the kid next door will look at you like y7ou have three heads before scratching his. Not a very large user group among plebeian users. So if your one of the herd you might not make it to the summer ranch.

Mac OS: You sure SOOO try our new nonfat half caff soy mocha latte

  • Expensive habit, like cocaine the good stuff is just more money
  • Restrictive. Be creative, but only as far as we let you. Guys often wonder why women wear uncomfortable shoes / clothing. because it looks good. Apply directly to the situation at hand.
  • Looking for specialty software? Third party people are a might bit harder to find. Like trying to find a mechanic to fix your Ferrari, you can’t use just anyone.

Windows: Try the vanilla, or not we really don’t care

  • Much like colonial battle tactics, when in doubt fire into a crowd, virus writers tend to aim for the bigger target. In this case its you. More machines mean bigger payout in the end. Besides they are all using linux anyway, and pissed that they had to write a driver to get their new digital camera to work.
  • What happens when an irresistible force meets and immovable object? why not ask the new big blue, M$ is both at the same time so they have you covered.
  • Like a three toed sloth this OS takes a good long time to change direction. Sloths are so lazy half of their bodily care is taken care of by a species of moss which grows on them. Have you seen our third party developers? They are the moss. Some of them can be a bit shady at times. And lord knows where they have been.

The Brighter Side of things: Allways look on the bright side of life… doo doo

Linux: “Meet the new Boss same as the Old Boss”

  • Unix and by derivation Linux and BSD are examples of some of the underpinnings that computers have shared since their inception. So they have a long track record of running complex and complicated tasks with the greatest efficiency.
  • Better than Free? You paid for the hardware, how does free sound for the Software to run it? Most Linux implementations are free, which is a good thing.
  • Any way you like it. Linux can be made to do damn near anything you can dream up. if you have the patience you can program this OS to suit your needs and desires. And there are also a legion of fellow acolytes who are probably trying to do the same thing. So the support base is generally helpful, intelligent and industrious. Welcome to a true world without borders

Mac OS: “I don’t want to work want to bang on my drums all day”

  • Not sure how to do something? Chances are your mac has made it easier for you to do it. Apple has mastered the fine are of User Interface design. These machines and the OS that runs on it is a work of art, carefully structured to work seamlessly. A genuine ballet of performance and speed.
  • While taking a lot of flak for their approach to the business world Macs have deep in roads with the creative community. The applications which make their homes here are functional elegant for the most part and geared towards professional designers and new users alike.
  • Virus? Not me. by being simply not windows your a safer bet. By adding a real unix undercoat then your that much better off. A generally secure and cleanly built OS. Doesn’t crash doesn’t get spyware. Nice additions.

Windows: “All in all your just another brick in the wall”

  • Business Applications are a mainstay here. yes there are metric tons of creative applications but by far the biggest area of software superiority is business and productivity applications. Everyone uses the office product as the de facto standard for inter business communication so why not stick with what works.
  • If you build it they will come. Windows by having the largest user base also has the most cool stuff. There are free applications floating around on the internet to do almost anything your heart desires. From aa clean simple FTP client to blog software to Games. Anything and everything runs on Windows.
  • Support and Games, 2 very divergent fields but again areas that the Windows market has cornered. Games usually come out for platforms and Windows long before they are available for Linux or Macs. Yes there are exceptions but most developers big and small cater to the PC crowd. By having the largest section of users again they have the largest workforce associated with supporting them. So chances are that kid next door who is “good with computers” probably knows his way around a PC running Windows.

Unfortunately for everyone involved especially cheap budget conscious users like myself, the only way to run Mac OS is on a mac. There is a reason I built my own computer, its not to show off its not to prove i could. I did it so i could get the most bang for my buck. As of right now I can have two of the three environments I need to complete most tasks on the same machine. If Apple ever decides to open the floodgates to allow an Apple OS on another type of hardware I will be the first in line to buy it. But until that time I need to save a lot of cabbage to get the Mac I want. Then i will be able to have all three machines on one.

I hope I have been able to take you through the pro’s and cons of each system and show you that being a functionalist is truly the way to go. Change systems with impunity, authority and confidence. The right tool for the job is the best way to sum this three page manifesto up and I hope you see it that way as well.

Until next time. Stay Caffeinated People!