Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Hardware (and some OS) Religion

I am opinionated, and why not? I've been toying around with computers for a long, long time.

My favorite hardware vendors are Apple and Dell. No manufacturer is without problems, but these two organizations produce top-notch equipment and stand by it. My early personal computer experience was with a TRS-80 (I miss that machine). Prior to that I was on Hewlett Packard mainframes. Both were coding in Basic.

College and my early professional career I spent on UNIX (Solaris). I loved UNIX. Couldn't stand PCs. Tolerated Macintoshes, but the programming model for MACs, quite honestly confused me. Pointers to Handles? Why? That was before I appreciated the beauty a really elegant and useful data structure could bring to a piece of software.

They dragged me kicking and screaming into the Windows PC world. After so long in it, I was scared to leave. Stay anywhere too long and moss grows on your feet. I rediscovered UNIX (Solaris) and then lived happily in both worlds. Fortunately, Linux took over and pushed the PC world back into sanity. Sorry, Microsoft, you have built brilliant, brilliant things, but you have also built very ugly things, often simultaneously.

When I picked up a Mac Book Pro and started to play, I realized I had come full circle. Whatever I want to do, I can do it on my Mac. Need to run software on Windows, use Parallels (or VMWare or Boot Camp). Need to do development? Free development software is available for the Mac. Or, run Visual Studio in Windows under Parallels.

Need to do backups? Time Machine works great. Need to play music? Rip all your CDs, stick them in iTunes and get an Airport Express to connect to your stereo (Air Tunes). Through my iPhone, using iRemote, I can control whatever music I want to play on my stereo or in my bedroom or anywhere else I feel like putting an Airtunes device.

My house is running 802.11g and 802.11n, plus a guest network, for visitors. My Dell laser printer is networked and very happy. My Dell flat panel is gorgeous and hooked into my Mac for a desktop workstation.

Some of these things were extremely easy to set up and some were fairly complicated. All work great, nonetheless, and I have an excellent environment for running a few businesses and managing the household finances.

If you're going to setup your own business, you could do worse than copying what I've done.

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