Nils Sommer

Often times people who know me are surprised I use a Mac when they first see it. If there’s this general Anti-Apple undertone, I don’t give a fuck. This post is for the open minded people.

I don’t consider myself a fanboy and I don’t want to tell anybody which computer platform they should use. These simply were my own motives for switching to the Mac.

Buying a new Laptop

During my time at university I brought my laptop with me every day. I used a ThinkPad running Archlinux at the time. After about three or four semesters, I decided to buy a new laptop because the ThinkPad was nearly four years old and really, really heavy. The new laptop should be thinner, lighter and run Linux (despite its overall terrible user experience, stuff like shell scripting or installing software has always been a pain in the ass on Windows IMHO).

Not considering a Mac because of its price and the operating system I didn’t knew, I nearly bought an ultrabook. However, shortly before that a fellow student got a new MacBook Air. Talking with him and googl'ing the specs, I discovered that OS X, the Mac’s operating system, was based on UNIX. Just like Linux, it offered a POSIX environment, shell access, a package manager and all the tools and frameworks I enjoyed, too.

The user interface looked promising, but still, there’s the high prices! Well, I was pretty surprised buying a MacBook was not more expensive than buying a comparable ThinkPad or Dell business laptop. Yeah, I had to spend more than a thousand bucks on it. But both my ThinkPad at the time as well as any new models that I considered to buy were in that same price category.

In the end, I bought a MacBook Air, and I’m pretty happy with it.

The UX, the ecosystem

As I pointed out, my initial reasons to buy a Mac were mainly the hardware and the possibility to stay in a UNIX-based environment where I could use all the tools and frameworks I liked. When talking about the Mac - or Apple in general - the whole user experience, including the user interfaces, device interaction and so on are usually considered to be the primary advantages over the competition.

Today, after 1,5 years of using a Mac, I enjoy those kind of things as well and I’ve bought other products from Apple since then.

To keep it short, I don’t want to go over all aspects that make me enjoy the Apple products more than the competitors. I also don’t care what others prefer as a computer platform and I will be happy to switch to another vendor as soon as someone offers me a better experience. Until then, I’m going to work with Apple’s products, enjoying their simplicity, reliability and elegance and living with a few weaknesses.

This is the story how I got a Mac.

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