Linux advocate contemplates the purchase of a Mac

linux-advocate-contemplates-the-purchase-of-a-mac

iMac_Jack_Wallen.jpg

“Plus ca change, plus c’est la
meme chose.”

That’s a quote a song from my favorite
band, Rush. The translation (according to same song) is:

“The more that things change, the
more they stay the same.”

Why do I start this post in such
a way? The last few weeks have been both different and the same for me in regards to how I work. Let me explain.

With my various and sundry
desktops and laptops (all running either Ubuntu or Ubuntu Studio), I do a lot
of writing and media work. The tools I use should be of no surprise:

  • LibreOffice — for my writing
  • Calibre — for converting books into ebook format
    (and to read from for book narration)
  • Audacity — to record both my Zombie Radio
    podcast and audio books for clients
  • OpenShot — to edit videos
  • Gimp — for graphics

That short list of applications
gets me by just fine. But…

There’s always a “but.” I’ve previously written about the problem with PulseAudio and certain onboard audio
chipsets. As I record, I’ll catch a stutter and have to re-record more often than
I care to. The “buts” don’t end there. Although OpenShot is an outstanding
application, it crashes… a lot. Of course, version 2.0 should arrive some time
next year, at which point I hope tons of bugs and new features will help
launch it into higher grounds. But…

Over the last few weeks, I’ve
actually been contemplating the purchase of an iMac.

Breathe… breathe…

Macs have always been famous for
multimedia, and the majority of professional editors and artists
employ them to meet all of their artistic needs.

Again, I say but…

Every time I consider the option,
my brain starts to question, “But how will I do this? Or how will I do
that?” And as I wrap my brain around the “this” and “that,” I realize
that no matter what platform you switch to, there’s always the unknown looming
over you.

  • From Windows to Linux
  • From Windows to Mac
  • From Mac to Window
  • From Mac to Linux
  • From Linux to Windows
  • From Linux to Mac

Every platform handles things
differently, and every platform has its strengths and weaknesses. If I add a Mac
into the mix, I would have a much easier time with audio and video — but it
would be at the expense of flexibility and ease of use. Am I willing to spend nearly $2,000 on a two-trick pony (recording audio and editing video)? Even if
I did, I would still be using the tools I know (especially Audacity, as I
cannot imagine a tool better suited to record podcasts and audiobooks).

That line of thinking brings me
back to frustration. Why would I drop that much money, only to use the same
tools I use on my Linux machines? Wouldn’t it be better if, say, PulseAudio
fixed those very well documented and reported bugs? Wouldn’t it be better if,
say, a tool like Lightworks could build video encoding into its Linux release?
That would save me the financial burden of having to spend the coin for a new
machine.

But…

It is a new machine; and who
doesn’t love to buy technology?

The crux of the point is this — it’s growing nearly impossible to say that Linux can’t do what other platforms
can do. Sure, there might be hurdles to overcome, but every platform has its
hurdles:

  • Windows: Malware and viruses
  • Mac: Cost
  • Linux: Certain persistent bugs (such as
    PulseAudio)

If I distill it down to
its essence, I’m not really willing to jump platforms. I’ve been happily using
Linux for a very, very long time. And even if I did wind up purchasing a Mac,
it would be used on a part-time basis (as I can’t see any platform offering me
the power and flexibility that Linux offers). I would edit video, record audio
(until this pesky PulseAudio bug is fixed), and probably write some Mac desktop
content. But… that’s it. Linux is, always has been, and always will
be my platform. Even if there’s an Apple in my future, it will take a back seat to the
penguin… as it should be. I might jump from Ubuntu to Ubuntu Studio (or
whichever platform gets audio right first), but I will always and forever be a
champion for Linux.

Have you purchased a Windows or Mac machine to do tasks that Linux couldn’t perform as well? Share your experience in the discussion thread below.