Scott's Weblog The weblog of an IT pro specializing in virtualization, networking, open source, and cloud computing

Why I Use a Mac

A fair number of people have asked me why I use an Apple Mac when my business centers primarily around Microsoft products such as Windows Server 2003, Active Directory, and Exchange? That’s a reasonable question.

My computer is simply a tool to get my job done. About two years ago, I started to evaluate the tasks that I tackle on a regular basis as part of supporting my customers’ networks. In reviewing those tasks, it become evident to me that using Windows myself was not a prerequisite for designing, installing, and supporting Windows-based networks. I could run a different OS—like Linux or Mac OS X—and still be perfectly able to get my job done. In fact, given that I wanted to increase the amount of work that my company did with open source software such as Linux, Apache, Postfix, and SpamAssassin, something other than Windows might actually make that easier.

I then set out to compare the alternatives. After comparing Linux and Mac OS X, I found that Mac OS X had the best fit for my particular needs. I loved the mix of open source technologies (the BSD underpinnings and various other open source projects) and closed software (the ultrasmooth Aqua interface). I loved the hardware. And, most importantly, I found that there were applications available for Mac OS X to help me get my job done. (See my blog posting about Preferred Mac OS X Applications.) The fact that many of the applications I needed for my job were open source applications was a bonus.

Is Mac OS X right for you? I don’t know; that depends upon what you do at your job. I believe that Mac OS X is a great fit for more people than Windows, but I also believe that people must use what is most ideally suited for their work. If that is Windows; so be it. If that is Linux, then great. And if, like me, it is Mac OS X, then fantastic. Each of these operating systems have their own strengths and weaknesses, and it is up to each user to determine which OS is right for them.

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