How I stopped worrying about the Mac

December 14, 2020

Long time no see here. I have been pretty busy with remote work, a few passages of cold spell and new medicine last month, and an inordinate desire to consume excessive TV series and read novels all day long.

I thought I would share a few news from my recent switch to a Linux workstation, and how I stopped worrying about the inexorable future of Mac laptops for home computing. I know this is macOS now, and soon or later probably a different flavour of iOS for all the glory of Apple products (watch, iPad, iPhone, Macbook, etc.). I remain sympathetic to the idea of having an ubiquitous OS, especially for scheduling budget and releases. However, I don’t feel like I would be part of the next game.

I didn’t upgrade from Mojave, which I used to use for more than two years without encountering any issue. I usually upgrade to new release as soon as they are made public, but this time I didn’t. Toom much noise about Catalina, too much issues around the new OS. I use a Mac laptop as my primary machine since 2006, and I never considered looking back. Until recently. Using macOS for scientific computing, installing external packages with their dependencies — and managing those dependencies,while trying to maintain the OS in a good state of health has become more and more painful, and less and less reliable over the years. Homebrew is nice, but it never solved the problem of reverse dependencies, or how to clean up the mess once you decide to uninstall a package. I ended up doing this manually, but it hurts.

Last but not least, after sandboxing third-party apps, native apps themselves, then comes the shining idea of adding extra tax to freelance developers and gatekeeping almost all external apps. I realized earlier this year that I have stopped using native Mac apps month after month, to focus on TUI software and mostly a text-based workflow. I always did this way for managing my statistical projects, but then I don’t see how this could not work for other activities, including leisure ones. These days, I’m happy with a few tools that allow me to do 90% of my work in an efficient manner. Moreover, those tools are not tied to macOS, so I won’t loose much by using Ubuntu instead of macOS. (And I will probably install a BSD distro to replace Mojave when it will become clear that I could not afford the time to maintain such an old release of macOS anymore.)

I still have all my music and photo habits on my Mac, so it’s not going to stop overnight, but at some point I’ll have to get my hands on my digital data again.

See Also

» Jogging Memory » Learning Unix for OS X » On leaving Mac apps (almost) altogether » Amethyst tiling window manager » Switching to Firefox