It has been a roller coaster of computing in my life recently. About 18 months ago, after 10 years of being a hard-core dedicated Mac user, I decided that I wanted to try something else. Linux.
I had always had an eye on Linux and decided to try it. I sold my beloved TiBook and moved out of the Mac world. Armed with various different low spec Pentium II (1997-99) and Pentium III (1999-2003) machines, I tried out loads of different Linux distros before settling on Ubuntu and Linux Mint.
However, something kept pulling me back to Mac, and after only a few months I picked up a couple of G3s – an iBook G3 and Pismo PowerBook G3 – but the former passion of a hard-core Apple fanboy and low-end Mac user was no longer there.
I began seeing through the glory of OS X to what Apple really is, a mini-Microsoft, just as controlling and just as manipulative as the big M in its own way.
Before making yet another plunge-and-ditch attempt, as I have done before, I decided to try out Ubuntu on the PowerPC (PPC) platform. I have been in OS limbo for a little while. PPC Linux isn’t as well supported as x86 – even the distro is an unofficial port – and software for PPC Linux is few and far between. However, the experience was a great one.
It also gave me a great project to master. Triple booting OS 9, OS X, and Linux on a PPC machine is no easy task, but I managed it (see Create a Triple Boot Mac with OS 9, OS X, and Linux for all the details). Ubuntu is a great OS that is growing better with every revision and becoming more Mac-like too.
The latest version – 10.10 at writing this article – runs like a dream even on my 10-year-old Pismo – much faster than OS X. Keep in mind that this is a brand new, up to date version of Ubuntu vs. Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger, which is now three versions old and very quickly becoming obsolete by Apple and most software developers. Its speed gives Ubuntu an appealing edge.
I’ve written various articles about my troubles – such as Mac and Linux Side by Side, Is Ubuntu a Realistic Alternative to OS X?, and Back to My Comfortable Place with OS X – outlining my experiences, and this is another one, as I swing back out of the Mac world once again.
Migrating to x86
I have sold my iBook G3 and await the arrival of a fairly decent IBM ThinkPad ready for Ubuntu or Linux Mint. I still have my PowerBook G3 – which my wife has fallen in love with – so I am not completely out of the Mac world or the realm of Low End Mac, but my attention will be thrust towards Linux.
Maybe when I can afford a MacBook or something that can run the latest version of OS X, I might jump back to the Mac world, but for now – with funds being tight and 80% of my computing time spent within a browser – Linux seems a good choice, at least for me.
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