Linux has replaced my Mac

I’ve been pondering whether to drop Mac OS, after working with Macs and by and large enjoying the experience for nearly thirty years (barring a five/six year stint where I had to use Windows at work), in favour of Linux.

I’ve been looking at various distributions, including Ubuntu, Lubuntu (which i’m using on a couple of older laptops for various dedicated tasks), and most recently Elementary OS, which is very much being pitched as a Mac OS replacement.

Part of the rationale for the move is about values and principles, using FOSS walks the talk, and Ienjoy using Linux anyway, so why not. And in part it’s about cost: replacing my aging Macbook Pro will likely cost me well in excess of £1000, and the ideal of getting an equivalent level of performance from a Linux system on hardware that might well cost much less is appealing.

Except that in reality there is no real cost-saving. A Dell XPS or i7 Thinkpad is going to cost me about the same as a new Macbook Pro and it won’t be a better piece of kit.

Even so I’m still interested, but I’m very much put off by the fact that — at least here in the UK — there’s next to no choice rgearding new preinstalled Linux laptops, and getting solid reliable information about what works and what doesn’t on various machines seems tricky at best. So I’m not particularly thrilled by the prospect of investing in a new machine (complete with its default install of Windows), and hoping that my preferred distribution of Linux is going to work smoothly on that system.

If the powers that be behind Linux — Canonical et al — are really serious about getting Linux on to desktops/laptops they have to address this issue. Until then, while I’m happy to continue to experiment and play around with cheap second hand kit, I remain wary of investing substantial time and money into a Linux system that would be my main day to day computing platform.

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