Sven Krasser’s Blog

Musings on technology, security, and sundries.

Goodbye, Mac

Over the past year, I came across quite a few blog posts of people that moved back to Windows from Mac. Evidently, it’s time for my own. If that sort of anecdote doesn’t interest you, look at some other posts around here. Otherwise, here we go…

I’ve been a Mac user since about 2004. Back then I used a Powerbook G4, switching from using Linux and Windows on a mini-tower that I had built from parts when I had started grad school (to keep things inexpensive). For work, I’ve been using Mac laptops since maybe 2007 (and will still use them going forward). The combination of having a Unix environment but also being able to run Microsoft Office etc. is the main appeal. (Maybe that’ll change once the Windows Subsystem for Linux is out of beta.)

My current personal Mac is a 2011 Macbook Air, and it’s at this point woefully underpowered for what I need it to do. There are some viable replacement laptops that Apple offers, but the crux of the matter is that I do not want a laptop. Whenever I’ve been traveling, I am taking my work machine while my personal one has been sitting on my desk at home.

And there’s the first problem. There’s not much of a disagreement that the current Mac desktop lineup is… lacking. The Mac Mini has not been updated in 2½ years, and the current model cannot drive a 4K screen. The Mac Pro could, but it’s now 3½ years old. And it’s pricy. I don’t care for getting an iMac since I’m not a fan of the integrated display. Also, I already have two external screens mounted to my desk.

After waiting for a while for updates to the lineup, I finally decided to jump ship last month. I’ve ended up building a Ryzen 1700X system — having 8 cores for parallelizable workloads while also having great performance for an occasional game is quite pleasant. The system runs Windows 10 and Ubuntu. Ubuntu has of course been quite familiar (at least on the command line), and I have to say that Windows 10 is quite polished. Cygwin is still a bit clunky, but it gets the job done and makes me feel a bit more at home on Windows.

While I enjoy using macOS, I’m now back to a PC so I can use some affordable up-to-date hardware. And therefore, I have to say goodbye, Mac. Well, I suppose I’ll see you on Monday for work.