Daily Archives: January 12, 2006

My next laptop: a Mac?

It’s all over the place: Apple is now shipping Macs with Intel hardware. If this results in competitive pricing, my next laptop may well be a Mac.

“But wait! Aren’t you a free software (as in “free speech”) believer?”

Yes I am. I’m also a believer in software that works out of the box with as little arcane manipulation as possible. So far, free software has not been delivering in this area and my patience is running out. I’m using Debian-unstable for my own needs. Since this is the unstable distribution of Debian, I normally just deal with whatever arcane manipulation is needed. However, I recently installed Debian 3.1, a so called “stable” version of Debian, for my mother and found that I had to go “under the hood” to get things working properly. Some of the hardware was not usable after a clean install without me having to install additional packages and do some manual configuration. That, I find unacceptable.

“But you can fix it yourself! That’s the beauty of free software.”

Nope, I’m not interested in fixing bugs. That’s why I may eventually decide that the best course of action is to switch to a Mac. Unless I can find a robust and user-friendly free software distribution before I completely run out of patience. (Suggestions welcome.)

The first desktop computer that came into our house when I was a kid was a Mac and it is on Macs that I first learned to program in Pascal and C. (We had other computers before the Mac but the Mac was the first “serious” computer we owned.) When the time came to buy my own computer, I switched to PCs because I could not afford Macs.

Anyway, I welcome Apple’s move to Intel hardware. (AMD too, eventually?)