after spending the better part of an entire work week grading the endless stack of exams and papers. Each semester I promise myself that I will never assign anything in essay form again. The following semester I return and demand nearly every assignment in essay form.
I think I'm falling in love with Mac OS, which runs better as a hack on my Thinkpad than either Linux or Windows have ever run. In a few hours I get to a wildly functional, stable, and well-thought-out desktop that's easy on the eyes in Mac OS, even with the need to "hack" to get it to boot and run. Linux takes days and you still don't get where you'd like to be. Windows doesn't even pretend; it refuses to offer anything you're after from the outset.
But Mac OS, well… It's just a beautiful, beautiful Unix operating system. Well thought out, well executed, fast, lean, elegant. And inexpensive!
I've been a Linux user for nearly two decades and have been a strong advocate of open source during that time. I even wrote a few books about Linux, I was so happy with it. I've run 18 versions of a Red Hat inspired Linux, beginning with Red Hat 5. Before that I ran Slackware, starting at Slackware 2 installed from floppies. And before that, self-rolled/self-hosted installs cobbled together from netparts.
And here it is 2010 and I've had a summer spent feeling the limits of GNOME (a sensation made more acute by my test encounter with the upcoming GNOME Shell) and a kind of total frustration and exasperation with KDE, which has totally gone off the tracks. I think it may be time to make a switch.
If only Apple had built what Apple has built whilst being more like Red Hat. But oh well. I still have bash and X, and what I gain is stability, functionality, and freedom from the total field of distraction, fragmentation, and instability that the Linux desktop has recently become, all without having to make the serious sacrifices that would come with a switch to Windows 7.
Next question: hardware. When the time comes to refresh the hardware, is it time to shell out for a Mac? Or do I continue to risk running Mac OS on non-Apple hardware under the "fair use and jailbroken iPhone" theory of legal homology, possibly suffering decreased stability and less future-proofing as a result?
Only a brief moment before begins the intensity that will be the upcoming academic year. Rather than sleep through it, I'm scheduled to labor through it in a panic.
We'll see how it goes.