Merry Mac-Mas To Me

This year was a good year for Top Draw and when Top Draw has a good year it gets shared around the office in the form of chunky profit-sharing cheques!

Being the responsible person I am, I fully intended to plunk the cheque into my RRSP investments. Fully. Intended. Then it occurred to me, I had two big-ticket wish list items I could now look at buying:

  • A used car
  • A 15″ MacBook Pro

Merry Mac-Mas

As you can see, upfront, a 15″ MacBook Pro costs about the same as a somewhat decent used car. Cue me, clutching my pearls.

Let me tell you a thing. The last Windows desktop I built came in at just under a thousand dollars. It’s a beast! There is room to upgrade that machine and it won’t cost me more than a few hundred dollars to do so. Also? It has cool LED lights in the case that make me feel like I’m an extra from the Matrix when I use it! It’s fast, has tonnes of space on the many hard drives, and I’ve got all the software I’ll ever need.

So why was I contemplating getting a Mac?

I’ve been programming and coding Web sites for a decade now. When I graduated it was as a programmer/systems analyst and my education had been on a Windows machine using Microsoft proprietary software. I was prepped for a career coding software in C++, VBA, and Oracle. Instead, I hopped over into Web development where I had to chuck the languages I knew out the window to learn open source languages like PHP. When I started out in Web development, most of the other people I knew were on Windows. Somewhere in the last ten years I missed the pivotal moment when Web developers shifted from Windows to Mac and I only caught on when I was at a WordCamp three years ago, talking to other Web developers, and they were shocked I was still using Windows.

It was like high school where I revealed myself to be uncool by liking the wrong band.

Which is fine because I don’t very much care about being ‘cool’ anyways. I was determined to stick to Windows, because I’m stubborn that way, but now I was also trying to figure out why so many Web developers were on a Mac.

It boils down to this: it’s easier to develop for the Web on a UNIX-based OS.

I’ve read a number of ‘top 5 reasons’ lists for why a developer might switch from a PC to a Mac but, for me, the UNIX-based OS is the only reason I need. I spend less time setting up my environment, I can use terminal to bop around my machine and get things done, and everything I use for development works flawlessly with a Mac without a need for hacks or altering my OS.

Back to my decision between a used car and a MacBook Pro:

It would be nice not to freeze on my commute in the winter but a MacBook Pro is easier to park, the peripherals cost less, and Web development is easier on a Mac.

Decision made. Merry Mac-mas to me!