No Mac OS in February

in Geek Inside

You know the drill: new month, new 30-day challenge. After skipping alcohol, Twitter, and chocolate, I’ll be spending this month away from my favorite OS, macOS.

January was my hardest challenge so far. It was also my first failure: I had chocolate 3 times, at family dinners.

Going without chocolate for a whole month proved even harder than I had imagined. I’m clearly addicted. I had cravings, and even watching my daughter eat some chocolate was like torture. I also realized that I have been using chocolate to regulate my mood and avoid being too grumpy after a long day or a rough patch. Without it, I was clearly grumpier than usual.

I think everyone (especially me 😜) will be happy that the experiment is over.

Let’s now see if I can get rid of another thing I use every day: Mac OS.

Ever since I started working for Automattic, Mac OS has been my OS of choice. I’m really happy with it, it works well for me, and the Mac environment and apps are just what I need to do my job properly and efficiently.

Before that, I worked on Windows and had played with Linux a bit. I had installed Ubuntu and then Debian on an old laptop and enjoyed all the required tweaking to get it to work. I don’t have time for this anymore. When I sit in front of a computer I want to get to work right away. I don’t want to spend time tweaking the OS, or cleaning it just to keep it working like I used to do when on Windows. Mac is perfect for that. The OS is polished, works really well out of the box, and all the apps I use are well designed and boost my efficiency even more.

When macOS Sierra was released, I realized that most of the features outlined in that release just weren’t made for me. I don’t own an iPhone or an Apple Watch; I don’t rely on iCloud for my work; I use Google Photos to organize and store my images, Hangouts to communicate with friends, Google Play to store and play music, Google Docs to write documents; I have absolutely no use for Siri; I use Google Chrome and never open Safari. Apple didn’t mention any new feature that was tailored for me in their last release. It’s not a new thing either: I haven’t really needed to update my OS in the past few years, none of the new features were appealing to me.

This all got me wondering: maybe it is time for me to look at what others were building. Could there be another OS that’s designed for me?

Windows is probably not that OS; every time I’ve touched it it felt like I had to bend over backwards to get things done. How about Linux? Well we’ll find out :) I’m writing this post from Ubuntu, and won’t switch back to Mac OS until the end of the month. I picked Ubuntu since it seemed to be an easy step from Mac OS. Hopefully I made the right choice.

I’ll try to document some of my hurdles along the way. I already have quite a few notes, after a day of work :)

Using Ubuntu in February

  1. Once you get past some of its nuances, Ubuntu really is a wonderful OS. Out of interest’s sake, what laptop have you installed it on? The biggest problem with Linux is often hardware support (e.g. nVidia is notorious for it’s lack of Linux support)

  2. I installed it on my Macbook Pro (not the last version, but the one without the touch bar). Hardware support seems great so far, no complaints. It is definitely better than last time I played with Ubuntu 7 or 8 years ago. :)

    I do however have a big issue with the switch from Cmd to Ctrl for almost everything. I’m going to have to relearn how to copy / paste (stupid muscle memory), or I’ll have to remap some keys. If you have some tips, let me know! :)

  3. Ah, that’s probably going to save you a ton of hardware related hassles then. Sadly I switched from PC to Ubuntu so I’m already used to Ctrl.

    Tips wise, ignore the Ubuntu Software app and install everything using apt-get. Gedit is horrible, so either use command line (nano or vi) or install a better notepad app. Also make sure you install the correct drivers (search Additional Drivers in the Gnome Search thingy) specifically video and audio drivers for best quality on both. (having said that you may not have to, installing on a Mac).

    Otherwise have fun. I don’t expect you to stay with it after the month is up, but I’m keen to hear your experiences.

  4. I used Linux exclusively for about 10 years before starting on Mac but lately I’ve been wanting to get back into Linux. Let us know how you find it.

  5. I’ll be interested in seeing how this month goes for you! Ubuntu is a great OS with a lot really good software packages easily accessible in the official repositories. If at the end of this month you want to try another OS take OpenSUSE for a spin!

  6. i read that you installed that ubuntu on macbook. do everything works fine? wifi connection, sound or display (like when you close the laptop, are macbook goes to sleep?) or is there any issue related the hardware?

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