At long last, switching back to Mac

After being spoiled in my college years (1989-1993) by a Silicon Graphics IRIS workstation, I was Mac-based (the legendary Mac Duo notebook) for about a year and then switched to Windows 3.1 in an effort to experience what most of the rest of the world was using.

Let’s just pretend the next 13 years never happened.

Now I’m back on the Mac.

The most wonderful thing about the Mac in 2007 is that it has what Bill Joy refers to as the “it works” feature.

The second most wonderful thing about the Mac in 2007 is that it is all three of the major operating systems in one: you get the Mac user interface and applications; you get Unix underneath the covers…

…And by running Parallels or VMWare Fusion you also get Windows XP.

Virtualization is the biggest thing to hit the operating system world since protected memory.

Why?

Virtualization — in the form of software like Parallels and VMWare Fusion — lets you deal with an individual operating system as if it were an application.

You can install it, copy it, back it up, revert it, and (critically) delete it just like you can do those things to applications.

This is incredibly useful when dealing with normal operating systems like Linux.

This is invaluable when dealing with an operating system like Windows XP that can become easily corrupted or degraded over time.

It’s hard to explain to someone who hasn’t experienced it how much better life gets when you can create one virgin installation of Windows XP and then clone it into multiple instances — for example, one for work, one for play, and one for experimentation — and then toss them around like they were apps and revert or delete them any time they start acting funny, instead of having to reinstall the core OS on the computer itself.

Finally, the answer to Windows rot.

Heaven.

The third most wonderful thing about the Mac in 2007 is the amazing lineup of software — free/open source, shareware, and commercial — at one’s fingertips.

The topic of my next post will be the results of my somewhat extensive recent research into an ideal Mac OS X application set for 2007.

The fourth most wonderful thing about the Mac in 2007 is the hardware.

Being able to ride the commoditized Intel/PC hardware price/performance curves due to Apple’s wholesale shift over the last decade from totally proprietary hardware to industry standard hardware is producing some truly lovely machines — such as my shiny new 15-inch Core 2 Duo Macbook Pro.

Heaven with cream cheese on top.