Miguel De Icaza:

While I had Macs at Novell (to support Mono on MacOS), it would take a couple of years before I used a Mac regularly. In some vacation to Brazil around 2008 or so, I decided to only take the Mac for the trip and learn to live with the OS as a user, not just as a developer.

Computing-wise that three week vacation turned out to be very relaxing. Machine would suspend and resume without problem, WiFi just worked, audio did not stop working, I spend three weeks without having to recompile the kernel to adjust this or that, nor fighting the video drivers, or deal with the bizarre and random speed degradation that my ThinkPad suffered.

Right on the money.

This mirrors my own experience, except for the trip to Brazil.

I had been a pretty big proponent of Linux on the desktop since about 2001.

Some time before that I had my first experience with Linux that was mind-boggingly stupid. Win modems.

My first Linux was RedHat 5.2 in the late ’90s. To get on the internet from home you had to dial-out.

Most computers at the time shipped with the cheapest modem you could find. Unfortunately, the price for cost-reduction was compatibility. These Winmodems needed extremely custom software to operate that replaced most of the expensive hardware with software which was only available in Windows.

Old hat, I know but the frustration of having incompatible hardware and software is a constant theme in Linux and the stories of folks who switch away.

When I knew a Linux machine couldn’t serve me anymore I went to the Mac. Where my kernel doesn’t need recompilation and my boot loader doesn’t tend to explode when I try something new.

With the Mac’s rise to the challenge of courting Unix lovers I hope that Linux developers who have stuck with it will start to compete by making better designed software that is more welcoming to new users.

Free only goes so far.