Wild Nieman’s Tech Spec Train Wreck

I recently purchased a Mac Book Pro. This may not sound exciting, but this has had many implications for my productivity and workflow as a engineer and programmer. This choice came as a surprise to many, a shock to some, and a wild betrayal of trust and sacred brand-loyalty to others.

An artist’s rendering of Nieman’s Macbook Pro

For a significant amount of time, the adjectives which I would most use to describe Apple computer products would be over-priced, too expensive, and way way too expensive. This view, however, has been slowly changed through increased exposure to Mac based development environments and Linux systems. Having used Linux machines for a significant portion of time and really enjoying the flexibility and power of its command line user interface, the appeal of having a POSIX compliant shell became stronger and stronger. Combined with the indisputable quality of product which Apple provides in their computers and the slow death of an older device, I was finally driven to purchase my first Mac computer.

After wrestling with some very annoying default settings (use a keyboard modifier to right click? really?), I arrived at what would be close to an ideal development environment. All the Linux-y goodness of command line power with a beautiful user interface and a solidly built physical machine.

Although the title of this post implies a “Train Wreck,” that may be a bit of an overstatement. The only “Tech Spec Train Wreck” which I have encountered thus far is a misjudgment of how much hard drive space I would require. Having purchased a mere 128 GB SSD, I have been left with too little room to run a Windows virtual machine for Windows-only development purposes. Even with this oversight, I have been happy with my decision to “go over to the dark side.” For now it looks like I’m here to stay, but the winds of change (and command line support) are always developing. So, maybe someday I will return, perhaps as a prodigal welcomed home to a world of start-menus and “C:\” prompts.