Defection Part 2

I recently moved to a macbook pro after years of Windows, then more years of Linux. I switched for a number of reasons, but the main ones are:

  1. it runs Photoshop and Lightroom
  2. It is not Windows 8  ;-) 

So what have I learned, and what are the differences with my KDE desktop1.

MacOS Yosemite is very pretty. I was a bit worried when I learned that Apple had jumped on the “flat look” bandwagon, but they seem to have pulled it off. Windows 8 is too flat, making it hard to see where one window ends and the other begins. My Linux desktop was very customized and looked good, but I think the Mac is just a bit nicer.

My Macbook is FAST. A lot of that comes down to hardware, but the interface seems to be very optimized, and it feels quick. While we are on the interface, I am starting to prefer the Mac way of scrolling. To see more of the bottom of a page, you “push” the scroll wheel up, much more logical if you think of the document as a piece of paper on your desk. I have changed my Linux setups to mimic this.

Aluminum case, and illuminated keyboard are great. I went onto my old laptop and it now feels cheap and plasticy.

What I don’t like:

Not enough USB ports. I understand that Apple wants to push its Thunderbolt connector, but 2 USB ports is not enough. Also, no ethernet port or external monitor port. Buying adaptors for everything is silly. For this reason I also bought the Thunderbolt Docking Station. This plugs into my thunderbolt port and gives me three more USB ports, a Gigabit ethernet port and a spot to plug in an external monitor. Best addition, and almost a necessity.

The menu bar at the top of the screen. I find this kind of annoying. I do like the fact that all programs are very similar, and things like preferences are in the same spot, but when working on multiple programs (or apps as Apple likes to call them) it is a bit jarring.

Finder (the Mac file explorer) is better then the Microsoft equivalent, but not as good as Linux. On that note, the Mac is better than Windows in a multi-computer network, but not quite as good as Linux.

I do find MacOS more “dumbed down” than Linux, but not nearly as much as Windows.


Overall I think the hardware is very good. There are a few quibbles, like the lack of upgradability (WTF Apple), but it is nice.

Comparing the operating system to Linux is a bit of a “six of one, half a dozen of the other” situation. Some things are better, some are worse, but for me, as a photographer, Apple runs the software I need (Photoshop and Lightroom) whereas Linux doesn’t really2. Comparing it to Windows is no contest. Microsoft has really lost its way.

And just so that I don’t lose my way, here is another photo from Christmas Day…



Footnotes    (? returns to text)
  1. Linux (and other unix based operating systems) is a bit different from Microsoft or Apple systems in that you can choose the desktop interface. KDE, gnome, and XFCE are some of the more popular ones…?
  2. There are ways to get some versions of Photoshop to work in Linux, but the only way I found to run Lightroom was in a virtual machine (which is kind of cheating…), and even then there were compromises.?