BIG updates to my uses page

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I gave my Uses page some much needed love this week. I have changed virtually everything about how I work over the last couple of years, and I’d like to explain a little more about why here, as well as catalog for myself how I used to work.

I used to be an Apple guy #

I recently switched to Linux. Much of the software I used two years ago was Apple exclusive, so it had to go. I’m very happy with how I work now, but it did take a lot of time and effort to get here. If you’re thinking of switching to Linux, hopefully you can learn from my experiences.

What software is the same? #

I still use and love Sublime Text and Sublime Merge. They’re both great: I love that the Sublime apps are never slow no matter the system.

I also still use Toggl for tracking my time. It’s a web app, so it also works no matter the system.

What software did you abandon? #

So many apps! I didn’t fully realize how many Mac-exclusive apps I used until I had to do without them. Here’s a short list of apps I once loved, but no longer:

There are many more minor apps that wouldn’t transfer, but these are the big ones. Replacing each of these was essential.

Replacement Apps #

Fortunately, you’re not spoiled for choice on Linux. Many of the apps on Linux are not as polished as Mac apps, but they usually get the job done well enough. Here are my current alternatives for the above apps:

Amazingly, these are all free apps. [1] The Mac apps all together cost me hundreds of dollars. The Linux apps: all free. That’s probably why the Mac apps are more polished, but I’ll take it.

Hardware replacements #

Not only has my software changed, much of my hardware has as well. My old uses page said this about hardware:

I have a 15-inch 2017 Macbook Pro I use for everything. I went with 16GB of ram, but only a 256GB SSD, mainly so it would force me to keep my machine lean and clean, and back everything up. So far this technique has been pretty effective. For my main monitor, I use a Dell UltraSharp U2717D. Apple's external monitors have lagged behind, and this monitor matches my Macbook Pro with clarity and brightness for a fraction of the price.

That Macbook is the worst laptop I’ve ever owned. It’s still around, but I only use it for light text editing now (and video meetings). Regardless, it still kernel panics and crashes routinely. It’s a terrible laptop.

To replace the Worst Mac Ever, [2] I purchased a System76 Thelio Mira, and I love it. I bought it at the height of the GPU shortages, so I got the cheapest GPU they had to offer, and upgraded it later.[3] Amazingly, the computer still ran great even with a cheap laptop GPU.

I’ve also upgraded to a 4K, 32” monitor, the Dell P3222QE. It’s fantastic, my only regret is not upgrading sooner.

Would I ever go back? #

Not in the foreseeable future. As nice as Apple exclusive software is, I’ve found good (and sometimes great) replacements for everything I used to use. Working on Linux is faster, easier, less frustrating, and makes me feel like I actually own my technology and data rather than renting it.

Now that I’ve taken the time to create a really good environment for myself, I don’t think I’ll ever go back to Apple. And good riddance, say I.

  1. Although I will go support the ones that I stick with. ↩︎

  2. Seriously, it was a miserable laptop to use. ↩︎

  3. It is seriously a joy to upgrade S76 hardware. Their hardware is beautiful inside and out. ↩︎

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