Back in May I bought a 17″ MacBook Pro. The computer1 was rather expensive and – if you look at it with you rationality-goggles on – probably not the best value computer you can buy if you compare performance and price to other brands and models. That the MacBook can double as a heater is of course something that counts in its favor, but it’s just not enough.
Still, I’m a happy Mac owner and plan to stay a happy Mac owner for the foreseeable future. Even if the grey box has its cons, like the lack of a hard drive activity LED and that iTunes is a piece of shit software – don’t even get me started – it makes up for it with its pros, like the brilliant screen and unbeatable coolness-factor.
The number of Mac users reflects the availability (or rather the lack) of software and free software in particular. I used quite a few weeks to try to find good, free software that I could use for my everyday tasks: Web browsers, FTP clients, text editors, e-mail clients, IM clients and whatnot, but in a few cases I ended up with software that set my back a few bucks.
The choice of web browser was easy. Opera is my browser of choice, and it kicks just as much ass on OS X as it does on Windows. And it’s free. Can it be better? The Firefox posse will probably tell you otherwise, but don’t let them get to you. Even if it’s not OSS, it can be excellent software.
While I’m writing this, my MacBook Pro starts to make some very strange high-pitch clicking sounds when I’m typing on the keyboard. It’s like someone is quickly opening and closing a really old door that has not been greased for a long time. Bad sign? Probably.
Anyway. I’m using Thunderbird as my primary e-mail client, but I’m considering moving to another one. The SPAM filter is not that good and the OS X implementation is extremely slow. Delete an e-mail and it takes a second before it actually disappears from the screen. I’ve heard that the Apple e-mail client that comes with OS X is quite good, so I’ll probably give it a go.
I started with Cyberduck for my FTP needs. It’s free but it proved to be rather unstable and didn’t have an interface I liked. You have to use Finder to browser local files, and I don’t like having a million windows open at the same time. On Windows I used FileZilla, a marvelous piece of free software. On OS X I decided to go with Transmit 3, which set me back a couple of dollars but looks stable and works like a charm.
Now, this entry suddenly turned into one of those behemoth entries that no one actually reads, so I think I’ll just stop writing and go through the rest of the list later. Also, the strange squeaking noises are getting louder as I type. Weird.