This post started out as part of my personal blog but started to get a bit technical so I thought it would be better suited on a new, more technical, blog which ties in well with my business activities.

My business web site has sat stagnant for a while so what better place to host these technical snippets than right here…

There are some fairly technical posts over on my other blog over at peteoshea.co.uk, if you are interested, but I will probably either link to them directly in the near future or copy them over to this blog to make this my go to technical reference site.

Anyway without further a do here is my thoughts on desktop operating systems…

I recently got myself a New Apple iMac 21.5″. Having used windows for years have started to make some comparisons between then two…

The iMac seems to have everything built in. There is just one cable, the power lead! Plug it in push the on button on the back of the screen and away you go.

The keyboard and mouse are all ready to go as well and just required being switched on, there is no need for a USB connection as they are completely wireless. Wireless networking is also included and started up all by itself so it was instantly on the internet as well.

So basically it is very simple to set up, requires much less space than a normal PC and did I mention that it looks and feels gorgeous…

Being a bit of a computer geek it is great to have access to a decent shell, although I haven’t really had a proper dig into that yet. I have always loved Linux but have only really found use for it in servers in the past. I think Mac, being related to Linux, may be the way of the future for me…

I am of course jumping ahead of myself a bit here but as you can probably tell I am a bit excited! There is still a lot to learn as it is completely different to what I am used to.

I have used Microsoft Windows almost exclusively for all of my daily personal computing needs for over 15 years! I bought my first computer back in 1994 which came with Microsoft Windows 3.1. Wow I had now idea it had been that long…

I tried Linux right back then, Slackware I think, but decided to go back to Microsoft to be able to play Doom all night, over a home network, with my house mates at the time.

Unix, and then later Linux, have played a big part in my working life over the years. This started off with some actual development for ICL’s in house Unix system used on their own server hardware, during my placement year from Bath University. Then I moved into developing database applications which were hosted on HP UX, SCO Unix and then later Linux. The front end to all of this work was text based which made designing things much simpler and development moved much quicker.

Then about 7 years ago I started development work on Windows in earnest. I had done a few small jobs in the past and fiddled in my spare time a fair bit before that but that was when I first started official, paid for, Delphi development. This slowly replaced the Linux database development as the requirement was slowly decreasing anyway.

I still run Linux on my server(s) though and still help out with system admin occasionally.

Anyway I’m rambling a bit and getting away from the point, it was nice to reminisce though…

Over time I upgraded from Windows 3.1 to Windows 95, followed by Windows 98 and then on to Windows XP, I skipped ME and from what I’ve heard I think that was probably a good thing. Apart from the occasional desire to try Linux as a desktop operating system a few times, mainly on virtual machines only to find one problem or another and so it was left for another day, I never felt the urge to stray very far from trusty old Microsoft. Windows XP worked like a charm and I am still tempted to go back to it sometimes…

I am currently using Windows Vista 64-bit and have had many teething problems over the years. Windows 7 does seem a little better but I cannot see a compelling reason why I would want to pay about £100 for the privilege.

As computers are getting more and more powerful the need to upgrade your hardware every couple of years has been greatly lowered. It seems the only sensible way to get Windows 7 is to get a computer with it already installed. You can get a PC for a little over £250 that has Windows 7 Home Premium pre-installed but to get a license that would allow me to install in on my current system and to upgrade my computer when I am good and ready would cost me about £100. This just doesn’t seem right to me…

Anyway my original point was that I have been using Windows for a very long time and there are certain applications that I have become bound to over the years, either financially, by purchasing licenses for certain software, or physically, by using certain software so much that you get attached to it and all it’s quirks become second nature…

One thing for example is the contracting work I do using Delphi. This is something that has to be done from Windows.

So there is no chance of me ditching Microsoft completely in the immediate future but I am going into Mac development with an open mind. I have started following a iPhone development course from Stanford University on iTunes U and have got a book, Beginning iPhone 4 Development: Exploring the iOS SDK, to wade through on the subject so here goes…

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