Linux laptops, revisited (can any sleep like my PowerBook does?)

Alex Esplin alex.esplin at
Sat Jan 19 13:03:40 MST 2008

On Jan 18, 2008 11:40 PM, Justin Findlay <justin at> wrote:
> It is interesting you say this.  My experience is exactly opposite.
> Linux does all I want and more (in the way I want it to) whereas Macs
> aren't as fun/easy to use.  The concept of a distro with updates and a
> universe of packages seems to be a Linux-only concept even in 2008.
> Macs may have updates but you have to pay for them.  Besides that, every
> time I use a Mac it always feels like (certainly less so than a Windows
> machine) I'm being forced into how Apple wants me to use a computer
> rather than how I want to use the computer.  Linux distros let me do
> that.
> It may seem that I have very narrow computing requirements, but part of
> the reason for this is that 6 years ago I decided I'd never rely on
> proprietary software ever again.  That may have temporarily cut down on
> my productivity or space of software to choose from but now that I look
> back I haven't missed much.  I was willing to shift a fundamental
> paradigm and it turned out to be educational and very rewarding.

Your second argument kind of trumps your first one.  Thanks to the
efforts of fink and/or macports, almost every packaged available for
linux is available for OSX.  A couple that weren't available as
binaries work very well compiled from source.  Time Machine has saved
my bacon a couple of times already, so as far as I'm concerned Leopard
was worth the $80 I paid for it.  But as a "religious" decision, i.e.
"I will never rely on proprietary software again", none of that
matters.  As a student taking classes that require the use of Visual
Studio (bleh), I can't make that kind of decision.  Of course, even if
I could I wouldn't because my Mac perfectly fits my computing needs.

I can run VS in VMWare Fusion, which is _very_ slick.  I have yet to
find a usage instance where Apple seems to be telling me how to use my
computer that I can't change to work the way I want it to.  But again,
this pre-supposes the lack of a religious decision like "I will never
use proprietary software again".

Alex Esplin

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