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    Windows still clearly isn’t for me. And I wouldn’t recommend it to any of our developers at Basecamp. But I kinda do wish that more people actually do make the switch. Apple needs the competition.

    Oh how times have changed.

    I find that Windows, Mac, and Linux all frustrate me, but all for different reasons. My favourite OS is whichever one I used least recently.

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      When Mac stops working you throw money at the problem.
      When Linux stops working you throw time at the problem.
      When Windows stops working you throw the laptop at the wall.

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        I thought you reinstall Windows?

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          You reinstall Windows. Curse yourself for thinking that would fix the problem. The you throw laptop at the wall.

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        Care to elaborate on what bothers you about each operating system?

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          Not OP, but have an opinion:

          Windows

          • Ads
          • Updates (last week two of my USB ports just stopped working, although they worked fine in EFI and Linux.)
          • Licenses (buy a cheap license from shady sources or hundreds for a legit license from m$). If you’re lucky your laptop has a burned in license, but that’s not available for DIY PCs (like mine).
          • Lobbying against open source software (see the shit happening in Munich’s municipal IT)
          • Generally drivers (my last installation had intel wifi issues where unregularly but often the ping rose to multiple seconds and I had to restart the interface. after reinstalling I haven’t had that issue again)

          Linux (excerpt)

          • Sometimes the desktop is unlocked when waking up from suspend
          • Freezes on more modern desktops (gnome 3, kde plasma). this seems to be a bit better with MATE (my last experience with Ubuntu MATE was mostly rock solid)
          • Inconsistent behaviour like sometimes the space bar dismisses the gnome3 lock screen, but sometimes you have to use the mouse to drag it away. The spaces went straight to the password field
          • Gaming not ideal, although Valve is pretty cool for working on this
          • You (by default in all distros I know of) have to enter your password so many times. When istalling apps through a software center, for example. No easy to use biometrics.

          macOS

          • Haven’t used this in a while, seems to be the holy grail for me right now (sarcasm). Well, their hardware is super expensive, so that’s a downside.

          The list goes on and on and I tried to be brief.

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          My favourite OS is whichever one I used least recently

          Oh my, it is exactly the same for me, although I currently don’t want to buy a mac to go back to macOS again (which is the one I used the least recent and thus is the one that seems to be most tempting).

          Doesn’t it bother you? I waste so much time reinstalling OSes… It drives me crazy, but I can’t help it. Maybe you have some advice for coping? I wish I could just stick with one and learn to live with the downsides.

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          The initial setup experience was another pleasant surprise. The Cortana-narrated process felt like someone from the Xbox team had done the design. Fresh, modern, fun, and reassuring. Apple could take some notes on that.

          Have we gone through the same setup procedure? The first thing I do when I install Windows 10 is rush for the mute key.

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            The only environment where I found myself installing Windows was in my office, and Cortana shouting at me in the middle of it was not the user experience I was aiming for.

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            I agree that Windows is a pain for Linux development — but if one wants to do Linux development, why not … just use Linux? I’ve been using it for two decades now, and I would never willingly switch to Windows or macOS.

            I have a desktop which is finely tuned to exactly the way I work, which enhances my efficiency and productivity, and is fun. Isn’t that the goal?

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              I’ve been running Linux for decades and for the most part I couldn’t imagine using anything else. I’m very comfortable with all of the tools available and the highly configurable desktops. The main pain point for me these days is that the more popular desktop environments handle hotplugging of peripherals extremely poorly.

              My main workstation is a laptop with a hardware dock. When undocked, it’s a regular laptop. When docked, the laptop sees (at least) another screen, another mouse, another keyboard, and sometimes a few other things like USB sound cards and scanners. Modern DEs handle this poorly and every time I dock the thing (which can be multiple times per day), I have to spend up to 30 seconds fixing the display layout, window placement, keyboard repeat rate, or audio configuration. I suspect Mac and Windows do better with this but wouldn’t know. I know it can work because a decade ago, GNOME 2 had this all figured out. (Unfortunately it’s successor MATE has other issues.)

              I can’t imagine the pain I will experience when I have to switch to a USB 3 or Thunderchicken dock because that’s what all laptops seem to be moving to.

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                The post is from DHH, the creator of Ruby on Rails. He doesn’t want to do Linux development, he wants to work on a Rails application. Using the *nix toolset is just a proxy, because he heard that this works best on Windows using WSL.

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                My most recent experience with Windows 10 might be also helpful for someone thinking about it seriously…

                I tried most recent Windows 10 release this weekend too, when I built a new workstation. By default it’s going to run a tiny KVM hypervisor with various OSes on top, with one exclusively owning most I/O and resources including GPU – PCIe passtrough is easy today.

                So, I’ve put a baremetal Win10 on the NVMe drive from USB flash disk. First stage of installation (WinPE extracting) went fast thanks to PCIe 4.0 disk, but post-install (it’s called OOBE process in Win installer I think) was a mix between registering into a very crappy site and The Sims loading screens. Right after booting I’m forced to click “no”, “god please no”, “nooo” on all the Microsoft sutff being thrown to me, including geolocation, telemetry, “advertising personalization”, some ID account access and so on. Damn, I’m installing an OS, not an Amazon account!

                After that phase, there are many screens like “Setting things up”, “We think you’ll like it”, “Preparing stuff”, “Updates are nearby”, “Reticulating splines”, and so on. I’m almost 100% sure that someone from Maxis got hired at Windows development team.

                Finally, after a considerable bit of time you’re greeted with the desktop. But not a clean one, as it opens the Edge browser right in front of you with some welcoming corporate crap. Closing it is somewhat tricky, as another SmartScreen popup is being shown.

                After all, I activated my copy (I always install offline), did all updates (it’s also not straightforward as they come in rounds instead of everything at once despite the OS build being very recent and fresh) and rebooted it for each step. Fine for now.

                Then I put Scoop for software management, WPD for backdoor management and SDI Origin for drivers management, as some of my hardware isn’t available in WHQL database so it can’t pull drivers from Windows Update, where SDI does that from a respected DriverPacks repository. So I installed many utility programs, did WPD stuff, updated drivers and rebooted each time. Great.

                After ~2 hours, the OS is ready for being used. The same installation on my $linux_distro takes up to 30 mins, but I don’t take it as a comparison as no one can efficiently automate Windows installation declaratively without paid proprietary tools.

                But the most important fact is that installation got broken right after I started to install The Actual Productivity Programs for work. After one of reboots I’ve got welcomed with infinite “spinning dots” bootscreen which didn’t get away and I wasn’t able to debug what’s stopping the boot process as Windows boot is by no means verbose. However, after 3 reboots it got into “diagnostic screen” where you can “repair startup”. It didn’t helped, of course. Even the “reset Windows” (which, apparently, restores system WIM via DISM and retains %USERPROFILE%) didn’t helped - I’ve got a BSOD at 19% progress. Having enough of that, I wiped it off and proceeded to install more reasonable operating systems.

                And it’s not the first time I have the same or similar experience with this OS, not even second. I’m not even complaining now about its general inconsistency both in UI and actual behavior, absolutely zero transparency and less management options than previous editions (but PowerShell is a very nice exception which I look forward to, it can’t help the whole ecosystem though). Sometimes I’m starting to think these XP die-hards (still active today) aren’t as wrong as it looks first.

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                  Hi,

                  I am using Windows on my desktop, mostly for “Davinci Resolve” and “Lightroom”. I’d love to put NixOS on it if I can somehow run these programs at full speed. Is that what the PCIe pass through would achieve for me?

                  Any pointers for such a hypervisor setup that you are using?

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                    Don’t forget Wine, you don’t need to virtualize a full Windows install when you can just use Wine.

                    Resolve is natively available on Linux anyway. (And I would really recommend switching to Darktable from Lightroom :D)

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                      Resolve is “natively” available for an older Red Hat. I once spent half a day trying to get it running on NixOS, without success (but doesn’t mean that it’s impossible). Suspiciously, the minimum hardware requirements are higher on Linux. Worse performance? (and in video editing, it matters)

                      I used dark table before light room. It is a little bit quirky (or was) but really quite cool. I loved this wavelet based tool to apply curves on different detail levels. Lightroom for me was way faster (different hardware, probably unfair), though, and I love that I can apply the “native” film simulations of my Fuji XT3. Probably, I could create good enough presets.

                      Wine never worked reliably for me (except for StarCraft 1, back in the days). Maybe, I am doing it wrong.

                      Overall, the kvm + pass through + Windows appealed to me because I could imagine, once set up, it will just work. And I could still easily use everything good in Linux. Does that make sense?

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                        Well, Resolve is in AUR..

                        Lightroom for me was way faster

                        Yeah, DT is slower (on CPU) than most other tools because (AFAIK) DT uses 32-bit floats for everything. Someone really cares about precision I guess :) It practically requires a GPU.

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                      If you equal “full speed” with GPU acceleration then yes. The excellent article about that is on Archlinux wiki: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/PCI_passthrough_via_OVMF - but, if you’re lucky enough and didn’t allocated the GPU in host OS first, just adding it to VM XML in KVM, via virt-manager or CLI (nodedev-detach…) it’ll probably work.

                      I think NixOS is an excellent base for such hypervisor, especially when you want to keep it immutable. Just set up a very “core” system, add libvirtd on top of it, arrange some storage and you’re done. Additional gain from using NixOS is that you can probably share expression cache between your host hypervisor OS and “desktop” VM (correct me, NixOS people, if I’m wrong here…).

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                    I have spent a solid couple of hours trying to disable the various and sundry popups that occur in Windows, and have yet to be 100% successful. And Windows Update seems to install more over time.

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                      Same. Not having a unified system notification at this point is very frustrating. It’s little wonder I see people get notifications on screen sharing presentations all the time. I think after 3 months I’ve finally got all the audio notifications stopped.

                      The wacky control panel mess is bizarre too. How many different ways are there to change a setting and what window style will I find it?

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                        Since a month or so ago I constantly get a popup notification that tells me my current settings (“no notifications!”) might cause me to miss notifications. I try to turn that off but the only option seems to be to turn others on.

                        Drives me nuts. I actually liked Windows Vista and still have a retail disc, maybe I should just put it on lol.

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                          I have to run Windows in a VM for some games. The thing is completely throwaway and sandboxes so I don’t care much for security. Windows is patching it all the time and shows pop ups every day about enabling firewalls.

                          I will eventually break down and enable all the stuff it suggests just to make it shut up. But I don’t want to learn about Windows internals because the only time I open the VM is to play the game.

                          I typically run MacOS and they aren’t perfect, but at least when there’s a notification there’s an explanation of what it is, what to do, and to mute it. With Windows there’s only a notice and a single x to close that specific event. No link to fix it. No description of what specifically to do if I don’t know where the Windows firewall settings are located. No “I don’t care never tell me again” or even “shut up for a week.”

                          It probably bugs me most because I can’t figure out what their design philosophy is and I keep trying to figure it out like an attractive crazy person on the train with me.

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                          This title is so misleading. The writer didn’t go back to “Windows” in terms of how consumers and developers use the platform. They installed Windows to use a new Linux-ish component for running Linux apps mixed with stuff running on Windows. Although I haven’t read the marketing, I bet this is one of the lowest-priority, use cases for those developing the Windows platform. They could even be malicious about making it hard to keep selling Windows licenses.

                          In any case, a developer using Windows like Windows developers do with Visual Studio and such will probably have a much better time than this. Lobsters already had a good thread covering these points.

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                            “… a developer using Windows like Windows developers do with Visual Studio and such will probably have a much better time than this.”

                            Isn’t that a bit tautological? I imagine a Windows dev using visual studio will be happiest on Windows and probably struggle with using an OS other than Windows.

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                              Likewise, a Mac/Linux dev used to using Linux tools would struggle if they went back to Windows to use Linux tools. That’s what happened in the article. Totally different than how a Windows developer operates or how an ex-Windows developer might approach going back to the Windows ecosystem. Hence, my gripe about the misleading title followed by points that barely matter for Windows users or developers.

                              They should just use a good Linux or keep tolerating Mac’s deficiencies. We Linux users keep tolerating Linux’s deficiencies. So, why not.

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                            I don’t understand. Why get frustrated with Windows getting in the way of running a *nix dev environment when you can just…install Linux? The Windows 10 OS is basically gratis and you’ve spent $1800 on a decent piece of hardware. Just put Ubuntu or something on it and call it a day.

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                              Well his first and most visible complaint about windows was the font rendering so I would expect him to have a heart attack when he notices all of the little quirks that tend to come along with the typical Linux desktop.

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                                The author would probably be pretty unhappy with all of the little quirks of the Linux desktop, but font rendering probably isn’t one of them. Font rendering is so much better on Linux than on Windows that it’s like night and day.

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                              It confuses me when I see people complaining about one os over another; I use Windows, OSX and Debian to develop various projects with either Node, PHP, Golang or Python.

                              I use Intellij IDEs, native binaries of all the languages as well as for git and find no issues personally in switching between computers; I do use the windows applications winscp and heidisql on Windows 10 and within Wine on Debian and FileZilla and Sequal Pro on OSX (neither are as good as the Windows alternatives imho.)

                              I find neither os to be more comfortable than the other for what I do (except not having winscp and heidisql on osx) and can happily operate in either of them.

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                                I think it depends on how you use your computer; if you use an Intellij IDE and a web browser, then the differences are in comparatively minor details. But if a lot of your time is spent greping and giting inside an xterm then the Windows experience will probably leave you somewhat disappointed, which seems to be what happened to the story’s author.

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                                  I understand the authors complaints, and if I am honest I can’t dissagree with their experience it was a good honest read.

                                  With regards to the xterm usage I guess I am quite shielded in that I primarily use the same handfull of headless vm images and remote development servers on each platform and largely use linux as a shell only platform due to my first experience of it decades ago being entirely via terminal. Essentially for my needs the host os is little more than a (no so) thin client.

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                                  What’s this? The 3rd or 4th article in the last few months about someone rage-quitting Apple’s ecosystem?

                                  I’m not deluded enough to think they’ll notice because clearly there was a financial decision a few revisions back along the lines of “pro/power users/developers are NOT our target demographic” but I do wonder whether or not their choices are paying off.

                                  Who knows? Maybe Macbook Pro sales shot up precipitously and we’re the disgruntled minority here.

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                                      There’s a subtle assumption hidden in most “Apple abandoned pro users!” posts, and it’s this: that “pro” and “Unix-y software developer” are synonyms, and absolutely no other class of person can ever be a “pro” user for any reason.

                                      Apple’s historical “pro” market was creative professionals: people who needed to work with photos, music, videos, graphic and print design, etc. Not Unix-y software developers. Apple’s “pro” lineup of laptops happened to be pretty good machines for Unix-y software developers, but as far as I’m aware that wasn’t the explicit design goal of the “pro” lineup when it was introduced. It was just a happy coincidence because the laptops had decent specs, and OS X was a nice Unix-based graphical OS.

                                      Somewhere along the line, though, developers decided that they and they alone constituted the “pro” market, and that anything Apple did which was not solely and exclusively catering to developers over all other classes of users was an abandonment of the “pro” market.

                                      But here’s the thing: assuming they fix the keyboard (and it appears they’re doing so), Apple’s “pro” line of laptops are still good machines for a lot of people who need to use computers for professional purposes. You personally may feel that they’re no longer the best off-the-shelf machines for Unix-y software developers, but that’s not the same as not being “pro”.

                                      Also, maybe don’t play completely into the stereotype of a developer by sneering at “teenage girls”.

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                                          Their needs aren’t at odds with the historical creative market: robust chassis, good keyboard and a workhorse of a machine.

                                          Except now there are complaints about out-of-date Unix utilities, removal of scripting languages from the default OS, etc. which are things that only matter to developers. The best genuine argument for Apple not catering to “pro” users in recent years has actually been the limited amount of RAM you could get in even their max-spec laptops.

                                          My snark was unjustified, but the dismissive tone of this is not constructive.

                                          Your go-to “this isn’t for me” example apparently was that instead it must be for “teenage girls” who only want emojis. Painting an entire broad swath of humanity as (at least) non-technical and (at worst) outright vapid is not a respectful or civil thing to do. Nor is trying to sweep it under the rug by passing it off as “snark” and tone-policing someone who called you on it. The best possible thing you can do is 1) acknowledge that you said something bad, 2) apologize, 3) move on and commit to not doing that sort of thing in the future.

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                                          You’re painting with an overly broad brush here. Many of the ragequits around the touch bar and removal of the Escape key are indeed UNIX nerd driven, but I’d assert that arguments like mine are 100% unconnected with UNIX. They’re all hardware design choices.

                                          I mean, I would think that creative professionals would care about (reliability aside for the moment) about lack of any real high bandwidth video output ports and a keyboard that practically SCREAMS repetitive stress injury, but I am in fact a UNIX nerd and I recognize that my use case may not be theirs.

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                                          Most of the people I know who get excited about a new iPhone are males in their 30s and up. Apple hardware is an aspirational product for teens here (the robust used market caters to them).

                                          The iPhone and friends make so much money for Apple compared to the macOS computers it’s not even funny. And even when they are broken and unreliable, every other maker of laptops apes the design.

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                                            You may be restricting your target demographic a bit too much there :) People LOVE emoji, and not just teenage girls.

                                            (Although I will say that in my anecdotal data set of the people who SMS with me high emoji usage and female gender identification are very highly correlated :)

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                                          > a hardware component, keyboard, is borked
                                          > oh yeah let's change the whole OS
                                          

                                          And when I tell people to just install the macOS on regular machine (which is easy and non-destructive these days) they look at me like blasphemous or something, which is funny when post-Jobs Apple lost all its “religious” feel.

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                                            Probably because it’s sketchy in a legal sense? They probably won’t go after you, but I don’t think someone as visible as say, DHH wants to be dealing with that. Or the effort to actually do hackintosh.

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                                              I think Apple actually does not care about that anymore, they even silently made it easier with recent releases, having less restricted environment checks, more hardware support and even native virtualization support including KVMs VirtIO…

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                                                TBF, I don’t think this knowledge is well-known. I did a Hackintosh back in the Snow Leopard days and it was too much work. Every update I worried would lock me out.

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                                                  Right now the macOS itself installs itself as read-only except the space for user data (like iOS) so all your “state” differing from a Macbook install and PC install can be stored in a single .zip archive not larger than few megs.

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                                                Linus Tech Tips is making Hackintosh videos that get over a million views. I think it’s safe to say that they won’t go after anyone.

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                                                To be fair, installing a “hackintosh” version of macOS is not easy if you want all the bells and whistles to work (audio, wifi, sleep mode, etc.), especially if your computer is not the closest-match-to-a-mac hardware-wise. So a switch to a non-macbook in practice also means a switch to not-macOS for most people.

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                                                  How recently have you tried to do that? From my 3 installs in last 1-2 year the whole work was to drag and drop packages of OSS kernel extensions into EFI partition before installing anything. It’s extremely nice these days as the whole macOS install is not altered in any way and the only machine-dependent artifact is your EFI partition with OpenCore or Clover. So it’s already simple as “unzip this there and reboot”.

                                                  For even more convenience, you can let people use automated installers like UniBeast, though I advise not to, as you don’t exactly know what it does. But they “get the job done”.

                                                  But you have one valid point - a hardware compatibility. I can’t say the macOS is now very picky like it used to be, you can even run it on AMD CPUs without hassle, but there are some things you should avoid, a crazy wireless chips, bluetooth chips and dual-GPUs for example. On the other hand, you already want to not pick them up on any non-Windows OS even if they partially work, so it’s not a macOS-only thing.

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                                                    If that’s the case, I might be looking to install macOS in the near future on my home desktop. Do you have any good links / guides to follow?

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                                                      Sure thing. I was about to list you a whole lot of links and guides (mostly similar, but a tiny bit different for AMD / Intel CPUs as well as buying guides which are handy), but apparently some hero did that in r/Hackintosh sidebar, which should cover most of your needs.

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                                                        If you look for the words ‘hackintosh’ and ‘guide’ you should find what you need. I bought an extremely cheap ‘old’ desktop PC that was specifically called out as full supported (with its own guide) and it’s worked perfectly without any strange hacks or misbehaving - through a major OS version upgrade, too. It was so good I bought a MacBook Pro. I’m sure Apple realise it’s a way people find out how great the OS is.

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                                                  KVM/VFIO work wonders these days. I’ve had a lot of success installing desktop Linux on bare metal and passing through PCIe devices like graphics cards and NVMe drives as well as physical CPU cores down to a Windows VM with little to no overhead. Linux handles everyday stuff like programming and browsing the Web. I only boot Windows for Windows-specific tasks that don’t run in Wine, like certain games. I was using a Mac for a while but got sick of each release’s gradual decline in quality. I don’t think I can ever go back to Mac OS or Windows on bare metal.

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                                                    I feel DHH’s pain. I’m currently typing this on a Windows laptop, and up until recently I hadn’t used windows since windows 2000. The suckitude of Windows is just as unbearable, but I refuse to buy a Mac laptop until they get their keyboards fixed, and as a vim user, make “esc” a proper key, goddamnit.

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                                                      as a vim user, make “esc” a proper key, goddamnit.

                                                      As a Vim user you shouldn’t use ESC key - it is too far away from home row.

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                                                      I spent a small amount of time with WSL, and never used Rails in it. I messed around with Elixir on it and it seemed to work well enough. But my Elixir project isn’t that huge so I didn’t notice things like the git checkout time taking an insanely long period of time and such. In my short time playing with WSL it seemed like it worked pretty well.

                                                      I do most of my work from an iMac 5k though, so the keyboard issues that are driving everyone crazy on the MBPs don’t affect me. The thing that’s frustrating to me at the moment is that I really want to make an app for Sidecar but my iMac is too old to support it. Not sure I want to invest in a new Mac yet just for that.