Monday, April 04, 2005

Desktop choices/OS X

One of the main things that helped finally convinced me to put up a blog is my new Mac mini. I've toyed with OS X in the past and was impressed with the GUI at least, and the BSD underneath piqued my interests further. Seemed like a good choice for a BSD admin for a desktop platform.

My main desktop and laptop are Windows XP Pro. I admin Windows networks and a couple dozen FreeBSD systems. I've tried FreeBSD and Linux as desktops. I even had my wife on Xandros for several months (amongst some other distros I tried). Xandros came closest to being a feasible platform, but still didn't stack up for neither my wife nor myself. Too many things it couldn't do, or were much less efficient.

For Windows administration, the Windows tools are the only reasonable way to go. Yeah I could remote desktop or use Citrix from BSD or Linux, but that's not a practical solution for me. I've tried it, and it makes me less produtive. Even the tools I use to admin and work with my FreeBSD servers are much better on Windows than they are on BSD/Linux! WinSCP, WinCVS, PuTTY and related keying tools (yes there's PuTTY on BSD/Linux, but it doesn't even come close), etc. All are much easier to deal with on Windows, IMO.

I have no plans of switching to OS X as my primary desktop for the same reasons. The lack of VMware on Mac is a huge detriment to it, and Virtual PC doesn't compare. I also couldn't afford the type of box I'd need as a primary desktop. My XP desktop is a dual Xeon 2.66 GHz with 2 GB RAM because I use the hell out of VMware. It's not uncommon for me to be running 8-10 simultaneous virtual machines and using 1.6-1.8 GB RAM. With the new teams feature in VMware 5, that's become even more common. I'd end up dropping over $3K USD to get a similar spec'ed Mac.

But with all that said, I am going to post some things on my use of OS X, from the perspective of a BSD user just starting on the Mac. I'm writing this now on my Mac mini. I'm using it as a desktop at my second work station at home, on the desk with the KVM for my wire rack of machines. I typically don't work at the console of these machines, but when I do, it's nice to have a desktop close at hand.


Anonymous hcoch said...

It's all about habit. For me is windows desktop absolutely useless, because i'm used to use linux desktop. And putty for me is joke when i have VT+OpenSSH. We can't compare it ....

6:00 PM  

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