Operating Systems

september 4, 2006

Just a quick and dirty on operating systems.

MacOS X is the best OS out there because it is a good combination of usability and...well, Unix! It also has a bunch of good tools that just work. It has a Bluetooth stack that actually works well -- and tools that make it easy to pair up Bluetooth devices. iSync makes it easy to manage my calendar and contacts between my phone and PIM tools. iCal and Addressbook may not be powerful PIM tools, but they sure do what I need them to do. iTunes works with my iPod -- and I have a boatload of music that I have bought from iTunes, talk about being tied to a platform. I don't use Safari, I use Firefox. I don't use Mail.app, I use Thunderbird. I bought Office X and it works well enough that I don't have to upgrade. MacOS X boots quick. The sleep function works wonders. And all hardware just works. MacOS X is not the perfect OS, but it comes close. I'd love to just move to a CentOS-based system. But, there are things (see above) that I just have to have. Why would I love to move to CentOS? It works well on my notebook. It is free and upgrades are also free. I can muck around with the system as much as I want -- though, I don't think I muck around enough with the system. A lot of geeky stuff comes as an option during installation -- devel tools, apache, mysql, rdesktop, etc. A lot of tools that I paid for to use on MacOS X have free alternatives in CentOS (OpenOffice.org, Gimp, etc.) Did I mention that it is free? It is just as stable as MacOS X. Bluetooth is a bit more difficult to get working in CentOS. And there aren't that many good well-integrated (very important) tools for PIM stuff. And unless I install Wine or CrossOver Office, iTunes doesn't work in CentOS. But, having said that, I do find that I spend a lot of time using my CentOS notebook as it is an awesome workstation. It gets work done and I grew up a Linux geek, so I feel at home. As for the other stuff...Windows XP because "I have to" for work. And at home because there are just some tools that run only in Windows (like the P2k hacking tools for my Motorola phones). Ubuntu for n00bs because, well it is Linux for n00bs. Easy to setup, easy to use, and great hardware support. If I had discovered Gentoo when I was younger, I would have spent a lot of time with it. I would have really enjoyed getting down and dirty with Linux. But, nowadays, I just want something that works -- and not something that I have to go searching around in Usenet groups, forums, and IRC channels for information to get working. I still think that I may find some time to fiddle with Gentoo though, but probably not much. If I wanted to take a risk with my main workstation, I would play with Fedora Core. It is cutting edge and cool. It has all the latest and greatest stuff in one place. And if I wanted to poke myself in the eye with a really hot sharp object, I'd find that more fun than trying to install and upgrade openSUSE. openSUSE is slow, yet oh-so beautiful. I guess this wasn't quick and dirty. But oh well!