Monday, March 16, 2015

Migrate from Mac to Windows ?

Migrate to Windows ? Did I eat something ? Why go against the current ?

;tldr Begin

I am considering, for real, moving over to Windows from Mac. I have been an avid OSX user since 2003 and even made good living off writing iOS software. Now since I mainly do Web development. Is it possible ? Can you use windows even though you are not doing any Windows work ? (not dotNET programming or java).

;tldr End.

I searched long and hard for blog posts about this subject, and I did not find any except for one guy who is a photographer. All developers were running as fast as they can towards a new Mac, very few were moving full time to Linux. I am a huge fan of Linux. I have been using Linux in one form or another since well before version 1.0 came out. In 1999 I moved away from all products coming from Redmond. Before that I was a Delphi programmer and Windows System Administrator for a few years. In 2000 I was a full time Linux system administrator and stayed there until 2007. I am a RHCE (Redhat certified engineer). I purchased a Mac, Powerbook 17" in 2003, gave up on Windows XP. I had given up on getting Linux on the desktop, even though every year since 2001 to 2010 was the year Linux takes over the desktop, and it never did.  I started learning some Cocoa programming, and development was fun again.  In 2007 the iPhone came out and changed everything.

Now, in 2015, I have been doing Web development as full time employment for a few years. iOS development became a bit tired, as the only thing I was doing was fetching and posting JSON data on a webserver and trying to make everything look good. After more than 20 apps that are almost identical, I decided to try web development for full time. My tools include Python Tornado, Redis, MongoDB, Javascript and such tools, lately I have been doing most new programming in GO. So, non Mac development.

So after I purchased a computer for 23.000 nokr (Norwegian kroner) (about $2.800), and using ViM as an editor, python, GO and mongo for over a year, not even starting Xcode twice in a year, it made me think. It is pretty expensive to have a computer for 2 years that basically cost you 1.000 nok ($120) every month to own, then go through the process of selling it and then paying a huge sum to get a new computer. Since 2003, I had only owned 17" Powerbook/Macbook pro. I also looked at some of the other machines that could have 2 hard disks, higher res screens, more ports with a bit of an envy. When Apple stopped making the 17", I had to get the 15" retina one. Of course I really like the machine, but the retina screen is almost never used as I have the machine either hooked up to 2 crappy monitors or a 27" cinema display. The 512 GB disk gets full very quickly. The hardware is much more limited now and the retina screen is not a selling point, at all. It is nice, but thats about it.

And I use almost no Mac software. I stay in the terminal all day, with ViM, git and other command line tools. So I started thinking about cheaper solutions.

My current work gave me a Thinkpad, T430s when I started. I put it in a drawer and got permission to use my Mac at work. But a few months ago, I stopped carrying the Mac and started using the Thinkpad with Linux installed. Using Linux on the desktop is not a good experience, and I started using i3 as a windows manager, it is quite good. The machine it self is also quite a lot worse machine than my Mac, but it is quite usable, meaning, I can do my job very well on it, and it does not hold me back, really. There are things I am much quicker at on my Mac, but all in all, it works. My biggest grieve is Linux. Of course my web app runs on linux, and I use virtual machines and so forth. That got me thinking. Could I migrate over to Windows ?

In short, yes, yes I can.

I have not really used Windows since 1999. I had begrudgingly used Windows through the years, but not much.

So, I will be posting a few more posts, looking into if it is possible to make a Windows machine as good or even better development machine than a Mac. It has to be at least as good for me to even consider it.

Microsoft Surface RT and my family

I love my Surface RT most of all my computers and gadgets.

My Surface does everything I want from a tablet and much more. I have full access to the file system, I can mount network drives, I can use a file in one program, and then finish it in another. There is no limit on the machine except for one very brain dead lock that all apps must come from the Microsoft Store. But the same lock and many more are on the Android and iPad. The screen on the Surface is awesome. reading books, watching videos, doing work over ssh, email and web browsing is fantastic. And with the split screen function it becomes totally the best tablet on the market. Just think having Skype or a music player using 1/3 of the screen and your browser or other work uses 2/3. As the screen is quite wide, this works spectacularly well. The machine is actually quite fast. It does everything I want it to do and does it well. And it also has some excellent games. Games like Asphalt and others. Just plug in a USB controller using straight up standard USB port, and it just works. WHo would have thought that Microsoft obeyed and used standards ?

The Netflix client is awesome and really shows why Netflix is such a success.

All in all, my gateway into thinking about Windows, something I have disliked since Windows 2000, is a machine I purchased just because I was curious, and got it very cheap as a B product.

I have two daughters, aged 10 and 8 (this year). My wife and I decided to buy them their first laptops. I ended up getting Thinkpads X201 for very little money. They were good, fast and had a future, unlike my Surface. Had the surface had a solid future, my daughters would have gotten them. I installed Windows 8.1 on these machines, and put on the built in family plan and parental protection, and it works, and works great.

They can use all my software I have bought on the MS Store, I also get a report sent to my email about their usage without snooping. They also know I get this report. This just worked so well. I know the Mac has a family share, but they just recently started offering it and it isn't as solid.

Then at the same time, cracks in my apple usage started to appear. My wife's laptop hard disk is full, and it is full of family pictures, so no, delete is not an option. 256 GB disk wasn't enough. My own 512GB disk is filling up quite fast. And there is nothing I can do about it. There is no way to increase this. My work computer, the thinkpad T430s has no such problems. Replacing the disk in it is just 1 screw, pop out and pop a new one in. Adding memory is just as easy. And now here comes the kicker. By popping out the DVD drive with a click of a button, I can put in a second disk, any disk on the market. You can get 1-2 TB disk, or an SSD disk. And better yet, you can add a card in it with an mSATA disk. So you can have 3 disks, and you can get these extensions from anywhere.

So, Windows is kind of winning me over. They (Microsoft) are really trying and running on all cylinders. I think Windows 8 is great, and windows 10 will be even better,

Am I loosing it ?