Thursday, July 7, 2011


Over the years I've used a variety of machines. I grew up using Macintoshes on System 6 & 7, then moved to a Win95 box as a teenager. In college I used OS X, Linux, and WinXP.

For the last several years, I've been mostly using XP at work. At home my old blue-and-white G4 tower just wasn't cutting it, so eventually my gaming XP box turned into my de facto primary machine. But when that XP box started showing some problems, I decided that it might be time to consolidate to a single machine.

So I bought a Mac Mini. It's a nice low-power box, and I thought it would be nice to be using OS X again. And was I ever right about that! I had forgotten how nice it is to use OS X — it's just a smooth, pleasant experience as compared to XP.

It came with a lot of stuff I use pre-installed, including developer stuff like Apache, Subversion, and ANT. It doesn't take forever to respond to user interaction, load programs, or reboot the machine. I was reminded how great Expose is — I wish my work machine had that. Lots of little things like this.

I find that it's the little things — the polish — which makes me love OS X and despise Windows. WinXP is always doing little things that make me angry. Like deciding to page out all the virtual memory to my full-drive-encrypted disk, thus locking up the UI while I'm in the middle of typing something. To be fair, I haven't used Win7 yet. So maybe there will be some improvement there, but I'm not holding my breath.

Apple prides itself on design and user experience. And I think that shows in OS X. I'm glad to be familiar with so many different operating systems, if for no other reason than it makes me extremely flexible for work. But this experience has reminded me how great it is to use OS X. It is definitely my operating system of choice.