Why Web Developers Don’t Need A Mac

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As Web developers, we never stop hearing about the Mac. A lot of people love to talk about their Macs, but despite the “elite” status of the Apple computer, is there any need for a Web developer to splash money on one? A few weeks ago, Mark Nutter wrote here on Smashing Magazine in favor of swapping your PC for a Mac1, and while some of his reasons are good, there are plenty of reasons to stick with (or switch back to!) Windows.

This article explores the best aspects of the Windows PC and, more importantly, the different apps that Web developers can use to become more efficient in their work. Every piece of software mentioned here is free to use.

Developer Tools

Notepad++ (code editor)

After looking at many text editors, Notepad++2 is by far the best I’ve found. On top of the standard features you would expect from a great text editor, you can extend its functionality by installing any of the free plug-ins3 that suit you.

Notepad++4

Some of the things that really make Notepad++ shine:

  • FTP Synchronize
    Allows you to connect to a server by FTP and edit files in Notepad++. Then when you save the file, it is automatically uploaded back to the server. No more saving files in an editor and then firing up a separate FTP client! Bonus: the FTP sync has “Keep Alive,” which pings the server at regular intervals to stop the connection from being closed.
  • Document Compare
    Open two versions of the same document and the differences between them are automatically highlighted. Great for finding out where a coding change has gone wrong!
  • Code auto-completion
    Auto-completion is a fairly standard feature, but with Notepad++ the code libraries can be downloaded from the website and updated manually. Keeping up to date with changes in the languages is easy then, and you can even write your own library file.
  • Panel Views
    Allows you to see two files at once, side by side. Hugely useful if you have a large monitor and want to make better use of all the space.
  • Ctrl + D to duplicate a line
    It may sound simple but is surprisingly useful. As an example, it took two seconds to write out all the <li></li> tags for this list!

Texter (text expander)

Texter5 is a free app from Lifehacker. It allows you to type a few characters, then hit Tab and have those characters replaced with a string of text. This is great for a lot of computer tasks (answering email most of all!), but the real advantage for developers is that Texter lets you specify key presses. For example, {HOME} is interpreted as pressing the Home button.

Take the following hot string:

Screenshot6

{BACKSPACE}{HOME}<p>{END}</p>

When coding, I type the text of my paragraph, then add a space, press “p” and hit tab. Texter automatically puts the <p> at the start of the line and </p> at the end.

That’s just one example. I have about 35 different strings saved for use in coding, so the number of possible uses is huge.

WampServer (Apache, PHP and MySQL)

Installing a Web server on your local PC is great for development because you can test everything easily and instantly. No waiting on Web servers and dodgy Internet connections. WampServer7 packs an Apache, PHP and MySQl install all into one simple executable file, so your server will be up and running in five minutes tops.

Screenshot8

Clipboard Manager

Clipboard Manager9 is a sidebar widget for Vista. It displays a snippet of the most recent items that you’ve copied. If you click one of the snippets, it is brought to the top of the clipboard, so when you hit Ctrl + V, you’ll paste that instead of what you copied last.

Screenshot10

This is extremely useful when you are working on a document or script for re-arranging chunks of the page or copying properties from one object to another. Clipboard Manager cuts down drastically on the amount of time spent re-copying the same snippet again and again.

AutoHotkey (write your own shortcuts)

AutoHotkey11 allows you to create your own hot keys or remap existing ones. The scripts can be either extremely simple or quite complex. The Quickstart Guide12 walks you through everything you need to know.

One of the hot keys I use most is simple: pressing Caps Lock + W to close the current window. Anyone who is used to using Ctrl + W to close a tab in FireFox will find this very handy!

; Close Active Window
Capslock & w::
WinClose, A
return

Syncback (automatic back-ups)

Everyone’s hard drive fails eventually. Online tools like Mozy13 and Dropbox14 are ideal for backing up critical files that you’re currently working on, but backing up everything on your hard drive to one of these tools just isn’t feasible for most people.

Syncback15 is a free tool from 2BrightSparks that automatically backs up all your files to an external drive. (A paid version is available as well, but the freeware is more than enough.)

Screenshot16

You select which folders to back up, set when you want back-ups to take place and let Syncback do the work. Back-ups can be done manually or automatically, and only files that have changed will be copied, so it is very efficient after the first run. It will even email you a report if any errors occur during the backup, such as certain files not being able to be copied.

Windows Live Writer (blog posting)

Not every developer needs this, but many of us have our own blogs now. Windows Live Writer17 is a free tool to help you write blog posts.

The main advantage of this is that it accesses your website and re-creates your design in the program. You can then write your post directly onto the website background, so you can see everything about your post’s presentation and fix it easily.

Screenshot18
Image source19

Is that image too big? Or that paragraph too long? Seeing it for yourself is the best way to catch these flaws.

The Best Parts Of The Mac

OS X does some things very nicely. Thankfully, the best bits can all be re-created in Windows free of charge.

The Dock → RocketDock

The Dock is probably the most distinctive Mac feature. The large icons and easy access to them appeal to a lot of people

RocketDock20 brings the Dock to Windows beautifully. Drag and drop to re-arrange, position on any side of the monitor, minimize windows to the dock and more. The demo video from its website below shows RocketDock in action:

Quicksilver → Launchy

Launching applications from your keyboard is an extremely fast way to work. Mac users use Quicksilver for this, but Windows users can use Launchy21. Launchy can be set to index only programs or include files as well. You also choose which directories it indexes. One of the best uses for it is to set up a directory of utility scripts that you can execute from a few quick keystrokes in Launchy.

Screenshot22

For example, iTuny23 is a set of free scripts to control iTunes from Launchy. Now, if I want to skip to the next song, I hit Alt + Space to bring up Launchy and type “inext” to launch the iTunes Next script from iTuny. You can set up scripts for whatever you like, including shutting down and locking your machine.

Leopard Stacks → Stand-Alone Stack

Stacks are a great way to easily access your most commonly used files and programs.

Screenshot24
Image source25

Standalone Stack26 allows you to create your own stacks in Windows, either in the taskbar or on your desktop. And you can display the files in either a list or a grid, just like in Leopard. For anyone using Rocketdock, you can install the Stacks Docklet27 from Matonga to get stacks into your dock.

More Control Of Your Machine

Custom Visual Styles

VistaGlazz28 allows you to control the appearance of your Vista installation. You can create your own custom styles or download them for free. One of the best sources of styles is DeviantArt29 (which has some OS X styles30, though they’re not as polished as the Vista versions!).

Another popular application for theming is WindowBlinds31 from Stardock, but you need to pay for it. You’ll find plenty of themes for it on DeviantArt32 as well.

More Hardware Options

Macs come with very few variations in hardware. You have a small selection and just have to choose whichever one is closest to what you need. Because anyone can develop hardware for Windows, the selection is much greater. And because of this competition between manufacturers, companies are forced to offer good value for your money.

That doesn’t just mean better specs for about half the price. Check out this new multi-touch HP laptop33, which comes in under the cost of any MacBook. Search around and you will find the perfect machine for your needs.

Screenshot

Huge Range of Devices

On top of the core hardware, you have thousands of peripherals to choose from. For graphics designers, that means a massive selection of tablets34. But there are a lot of other devices as well, right down to your mouse. I have a five-button mouse and just hit the extra buttons on either side for small tasks like going backward and forward in a Web browser and Windows Explorer. For developers who have to give regular presentations to clients, this nifty wireless mouse/remote control35 is ideal.

Screenshot

Conclusion

There are a lot of good things about the Mac, and it’s hard not to get a little excited about them each time you watch one of Apple’s big developer conferences.

What you have to remember is that at the end of the day, the operating system is a means to an end, not the end itself. Whichever system you choose should make your daily work (and play!) easier and more efficient. Windows combined with the great free software and tips I’ve found online allows me to work exactly the way I want. I wouldn’t dream of going back to a default Vista installation with no extras: the customized installation is worth so much more to me than either Windows or OS X on its own.

We would love to hear what aspects of your operating system made you choose it (but not the flaws in the other one that made you not choose it!) and how you use it to work at your best.

(al)

Footnotes

  1. 1 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/04/26/five-reasons-why-designers-are-switching-to-mac/
  2. 2 http://notepad-plus.sourceforge.net/uk/site.htm
  3. 3 http://notepad-plus.sourceforge.net/uk/download.php
  4. 4 http://notepad-plus.sourceforge.net/uk/site.htm
  5. 5 http://lifehacker.com/238306/lifehacker-code-texter-windows
  6. 6 http://lifehacker.com/238306/lifehacker-code-texter-windows
  7. 7 http://www.wampserver.com/en/
  8. 8 http://www.wampserver.com/en/
  9. 9 http://gallery.live.com/liveItemDetail.aspx?li=0f6a9526-97aa-4b6f-9b24-95b193c158d4
  10. 10 http://gallery.live.com/liveItemDetail.aspx?li=0f6a9526-97aa-4b6f-9b24-95b193c158d4
  11. 11 http://www.autohotkey.com/
  12. 12 http://www.autohotkey.com/docs/Tutorial.htm
  13. 13 http://mozy.com/
  14. 14 http://www.getdropbox.com/
  15. 15 http://www.2brightsparks.com/downloads.html#freeware
  16. 16 http://www.2brightsparks.com/downloads.html#freeware
  17. 17 http://download.live.com/writer?wa=wsignin1.0
  18. 18 http://download.live.com/writer?wa=wsignin1.0
  19. 19 http://etechland.blogspot.com/2007/11/review-windows-live-writer.html
  20. 20 http://rocketdock.com/
  21. 21 http://www.launchy.net/
  22. 22 http://www.launchy.net/
  23. 23 http://f0vela.wordpress.com/2008/08/02/ituny-version-05-released/
  24. 24 http://www.chrisnsoft.com/standalonestack/
  25. 25 http://circledock.wikidot.com/stack-docklet
  26. 26 http://www.chrisnsoft.com/standalonestack/
  27. 27 http://rocketdock.com/addon/docklets/1791
  28. 28 http://www.codegazer.com/vistaglazz/
  29. 29 http://browse.deviantart.com/customization/skins/vistautil/visstyles/?order=9
  30. 30 http://patrickgs.deviantart.com/art/Vista-OS-X-09-VS-71496545
  31. 31 http://www.stardock.com/products/windowblinds/
  32. 32 http://browse.deviantart.com/customization/skins/vistautil/windowblindsvista/
  33. 33 http://www.hp.com/united-states/campaigns/touchsmart/notebook/index.html
  34. 34 http://www.amazon.com/b/ref=amb_link_6682722_23?ie=UTF8&node=16034531&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=gp-left-1&pf_rd_r=1H6Q6ESFN2EHD94WCKF4&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=476342931&pf_rd_i=541966
  35. 35 http://www.amazon.com/Microsoft-Wireless-Notebook-Presenter-Mouse/dp/B000HDMPTO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1242299208&sr=8-1

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Michael Martin writes about Web design, WordPress and coding at Pro Blog Design. You can subscribe there for advice on making the most of your blog's design, or follow him on Twitter.

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  1. 1

    at the end of the day who gives a shit about this type of debate, make humans lives better and focus on your goals, use a mac or use a pc, or use a mobile, or pay a company to develop for you….

    0
  2. 102

    Got both a desktop running Windows 7 and a Macbook Pro. I have to say I much prefer the stability of my Macbook compared to my Windows machine, however some things are just inherently easier to do on a PC. I guess it really comes down to what you are doing and who you are doing it with. If you’re freelancing for a firm that primarily uses Windows you may run into software issues, and likewise for Mac.

    That being said, my Macbook Pro is far sexier than any other laptop out there :p

    0
  3. 203

    I’d be willing to write about web development on Linux. For development it’s actually my preferred environment… gedit, nautilus, gimp… there’s not much more you could need. Or KATE, Dolphin, and GIMP (sorry, the KDE image editor just isn’t that good yet).

    As far as the whole development on PC thing goes… the one thing I miss is being able to edit files directly through F T P. I can do that for images and text on Linux, I’d like to see something (not WYSIWYG) that does it. I guess I could just learn and install vi.

    0
  4. 304

    Its not what you use but how you use it.

    0
  5. 405

    The problem not is if developer use mac or pc, the problem is windows, is a operating system unestable and sucks, is my opinion, i was for few years windows user, but work easy and unestressed on my mac system.

    0
  6. 506

    I’m sorry, but I just don’t get it. What kind of web development is this article’s author doing? Some simple HTML? Let’s you try to SVN, SSH, or something as simple as patching a file, on a Windows Machine. Oh, I’m sorry, you’d have to install cygwin to get these utilities. They’re not built into the operating system. I won’t even mention the superiority of apps for OS X for web development, or the inherent insecurity of Windows. The biggest advantage OS X has over Windows for me as a web developer is that it’s built on *nix. Until Windows is built on *nix, it will never be able to match.

    0
  7. 607

    Mac users are so stuck in using what they are given

    Ah, yes and that’s why things like Launchbar and Quicksilver were first developed on OS X (actually LB came from NeXTSTEP). Because we are soo stuck.

    You have no idea how much awesome software (open source and shareware) there is, that enables people to customise their Macs and expand the functionality beyond the default.

    This is to great parts due to Cocoa being an awesome developement environment empowering even individual developers to write so incredibly polished software, that an astounding number of free software and shareware on OS X is beyond most commercial stuff you can even dream of getting for Windows.

    0
  8. 708

    Comments like this make me laugh:

    Please don’t promote Microsoft, they don’t need the help and the little guys are fighting an upwards battle

    Apple is a multi-billion dollar company, and isn’t an “underdog” in any shape or form.

    I’ve never understood the crusader-like animosity that people have towards each other regarding choice of operating system. The fact is, it doesn’t matter whether you code on a Windows, Mac, or Linux (like I do) as long as the code you write works well and you are productive. Stop leaving irate comments because someone chooses a different OS to you.

    0
  9. 809

    looks to me like you need to install an awful lot of apps to do what a mac already does.

    0
  10. 910

    Personally I am a mac user, and it’s not due to me being a fan boy. I grew up on PC’s and for over ten years I worked on a variety of desktops and laptops. My move to Mac, initially was forced and I hated every minute of it.

    When I was finally in a position to get another PC I jumped for joy. I got my new PC and noticed tiny issues. The programs I used took longer to boot up, my computer required restarts every day or two, and handy hot key features (God Bless Expose) were no longer at my disposal.

    With that said I did use a program I ABSOLUTELY LOVED and that was E-Text Editor. The best editor I ever used on windows. (Naturally it’s based off of Mac’s Textmate)

    Less then a year after getting my new laptop I felt the need to trade it in for another mac and I’ve been using Mac’s in my personal work ever since. What really cemented my mac use was my last job though. I was running Mac at home and PC at work. My computer system crashed (on average) twice a day, and required one additional restart a day to speed things up. No matter what the IT team did, it didn’t seem to improve the functionality.

    I was then laid off a few months ago, and recently decided to purchase a new Mac to go with my new freelance career choice. I’ve had it three weeks now and I’ve only restarted once and that was to do updates to several programs.

    At the end of the day both PC’s and Mac’s are suitable for development but unless a job forces me back to PC I’ll be sticking with my Mac if not else but complete reliability and trust that I won’t lose anything I’m working on.

    0
  11. 1011

    I use a PC, the things falling to pieces, but it doesn’t prevent me from doing decent work, and more to the point – making money… Most of the noise I hear about MAC’s say that it increase’s your productivity. Quite possibly true, but I guess those minutes you save are re-invested by the incessant need to tell the world that you own a mac, whether it be picture of a lonely mac sat on your desktop, tweet ‘hey I’m using my MAC’ or comment about how great my’mac is. Theres a big world outside, enjoy it.

    0
  12. 1112

    Why would you use either Mac OS X or Windows with the wide selection of Linux distros available?

    BTW, “PC” != “Windows”

    0
  13. 1213

    Windows always’s trying to have a mac heart, but the reality is that the macintosh isn’t for everybody- Cheaper people buy – Cheaper computers, Cheaper cars and have Cheapers lifes. think about it. Think big not small.

    I have 2 macs and the only reason i bought a notebook “acer one” was IE6 {windows cáncer}
    You want to make good web design get rid of ie6. upgrade

    It’s like i’d had 2 mercedes-benz and i’d had to buy a geo metro because my little daughter’s friend scratches the seats. surreal.

    0
  14. 1314

    More flame bait for the oldest, most cliché rivalry around. Stop fanning the flames and just make the honest point here instead of trying to drum up yet another Mac vs. PC gripe-fest on the Internet.

    Windows, Linux, OS X. These are all tools at the disposal of a designer, developer, etc. Tools don’t make you good at what you do. Talent and skill does. Take a look at the things true digital artists can do with MS Paint vs. the thousands of Photoshop monkeys out there.

    0
  15. 1415

    Saeed Kudaimati

    June 10, 2009 6:46 pm

    I can’t deny that Microsoft Visual Studio is the best development environment, but if you want to compare between OS X and Windows, OS X is much better, also Mac hardware is really powerful.

    0
  16. 1516

    I could not decide what platform should I use… Now I work on Vista, Mac OS X and Slackware. Problem solved ;)

    0
  17. 1617

    There is obviously a difference between Web Designers and Web Developers. Use what you think works best for you. I will stick with my Mac. If Windows was so great, there would not have been a need to write this article.

    0
  18. 1718

    Having been a PC user for a really long time (from the DOS/Windows 3.1 days), I can’t imagine ever going back from my Mac. I’d go to Linux long before I would ever go back to PC. All of my development is in Rails and PHP, and I still can’t get over how many issues I had on the PC that just went away on the Mac because of it’s UNIX underpinnings. Line endings, permissions, server features that just don’t work on Windows (many issues with Mongrel come to mind), the list goes on. And I don’t have to mess around with stuff like Cygwin to get the utilities that I need.

    Yes, you can develop on Windows. I did it for a long time. But I’m much more productive on a Mac.

    0
  19. 1819

    “the macintosh isn’t for everybody- Cheaper people buy – Cheaper computers, Cheaper cars and have Cheapers lifes. think about it. Think big not small.” Sounds like a lifestyle choice.

    0
  20. 1920

    Same old tired thing.

    What they should really call these articles is ” Why Web Developers Don’t Need Windows”.
    Let’s be honest here. It’s about OSX verse Windows. Not PC verse Mac.

    I use a Mac and throw up my fist to all you haters!! Any one who mentions that owning a Mac is “trendy” is just to broke to buy one…..and shouldn’t make comments until they have actually used one for some time. Not just for 5-minutes in a Mac store.

    0
  21. 2021

    While I really enjoy using Coda and CSSEdit, it’s all about code, which, to be honest, I could write on my smartphone.

    The author links to the article “Five Reasons Why Developers Are Switching to Macs” and dismisses it as yet another article that’s written in favor of Macs, it is in fact just what it says: a list of the reasons why many web developers are in fact now switching to Macs. (There used to be a time when it didn’t actually make so much sense.)

    Anyway, I find these kinds of articles to be just flame baits. In web development, more than anywhere else, personal preference counts.

    In graphic design there’s some valid reasons to choose Macs: ironically, compatibility with the rest of the world, reliability (in color management, for instance: did they fix that gamma table loading bug even in SP2?) and, as in web development, personal preference – it seems that the creative minds often go for Macs, because they find them less intrusive. But web development doesn’t involve color critical graphic design and thus doesn’t require Macs.

    0
  22. 2122

    Don’t talk about linux, it’s total crap for web development..

    The thing I really wish Windows had that Mac OS has is the ability to create virtual desktops. Once you get into using them it’s really hard to go back to dealing without them.

    0
  23. 2223

    Short version of what I’m about to say: If you think that Macs are “better” then a “pc” – they are not, it’s just you who’s too inefficent lazy and right out _stupid_. to configure a PC.

    Really, how thick are you morons keep spamming about Macs here?

    Jesus holy christ. The article is written to show you don’t NEED a Mac.

    If you can’t setup your PC so it doesn’t crash and it does what you want, then you probably have an IQ below 100 and prolly should get a Mac where you get all the stuff setup from the start in a neat packade and a safe environment.

    Though, If you are capable of setting up a system, tweaking, overclocking, installing your applications of choice, learning, exploring and understanding your system, then you WILL go by PC or Unix because it’s way way way more configurable and useful. An environment created by your self for your self will ALWAYS be more efficient if you are smart enough to create it your self.

    It’s like this – the mac is a easy to use 3-wheel kid bike that makes you go around the playground safe and efficient.

    The PC is a beastly motorcycle that you need muscle to control and use efficiently, but when you can ride it you will blow away from the stupid little pretty bike by 300 mph.

    GOD I’m tired of all the useless untalented below average noobs plaguing the communities that once where so clean and full of elitism, filled with brains instead of average joe who bought a Mac and suddenly thinks he’s cool.

    “Look at meeee, I downloaded CS4 and bought a mac and now I’m a developer/designer, and I’m like updated with all the new cool articles at 20+ devel/desgn bloooooogs… I’m so minimalistic and got good taste because I bought this Maaaaac…”

    and the favorite…

    My workflow is so much better on the Mac then it was on the PC where i had to fight and couldnt do what i wanted as easy on the Mac…

    It’s because you are STUPID it’s not because the Mac is better.

    So Pathetic!

    1
  24. 2324

    @118 James

    Virtual Desktops for Windows are so easy to get.

    Stop complaining about something that can be googled and installed in 5 minutes

    0
  25. 2425

    I use both a Mac and a PC at work. Being an avid gamer (before I started working) tuned me off Apple for about 6 years until I finally started appreciating it – I love the OS (Tiger and Leapord), the design in some places and the aura (lol – the apple aura) but thats about it. I can safely say that I love Linux (as I am a web developer) and love Windows 7. Anything that helps inprove my productivity helps and thus I am not biased at all. As long as I have what I need I’m happy. All the cool boys and girls use macs (designers).
    I do love my overclocked gaming PC – 3.4Ghz Quad Core (OC’ed), geforce gtx280, 4GB ram with a 1TB HDD and a 24inch full HD display running windows 7 :) (Sorry could resist mentioning this).

    0
  26. 2526

    No one ever said you need a mac to be a web developer. But if you want a reliable operating system and a flawless user experience that makes it easier to do your work then get a Mac. Yes they are more expensive but you get what you pay for. It’s not about fashion, or being more elite, it’s about your tools enabling you to do your job rather than getting in the way of you doing your job.

    0
  27. 2627

    I am a web developer and since I use Ubuntu I have nothing to envy to mac users and -also- I DON’T EVER want to switch back to windows again…

    Linux is free, powerful, has excelent apps like eclipse to develop, has no virus at all, etc…

    +1 too for the linux article

    0
  28. 2728

    Ok, this was horrible.

    First, half of the article is just silly little hacks to make your windows do stuff macs can do too.

    Second, BBEdit, Textmate, or Coda will all destroy Notepad++. I know they’re not free, but why would you not spend a small amount of money to do your job much better?

    Third, mac has built-in python, php, ruby, apache, svn, etc. No need for MAMP, although it’s a nice option.

    Fourth, terminal. Terminal != Command prompt. Try launching the command prompt and using ssh without installing or configuring anything. Not going to happen.

    I realize most of this can be done on Linux as well, and that’s the whole point. OS X is pretty similar to Linux, and that’s what your sites are likely to be hosted on. And if you still think web devs don’t need a mac, remember that macs run windows faster than most computers shipped with windows.

    0
  29. 2829

    This article = flamebait

    0
  30. 2930

    Andrew, gtfo. Just another idiot who can’t even setup a computer even though it’s 2009.

    0
  31. 3031

    Wow, can you say linkbait?

    The title of this posting has little to do with the content. A more fitting title would read: “The Best Tools for Web Developers using Windows.”

    The only reason the current title was chosen is to incite flame wars in the comments thread of this post. I should probably post an article on my site titled, “7 Reasons Mac Users are Better than PC Users.” Regardless of the content, I’d get many comments, hundreds of links, and probably a digg.

    Sorry, but too formulaic. Also, almost all the programs featured in this post were also highlighted in various articles over the past week.

    Truth is, a good developer works with the tools he has. Some developers are more efficient with certain tools, and others with alternate tools. This post title is garbage.

    0
  32. 3132

    @Max, gtfo. It’s 2009, my computer should come built-in with standard tools and UNIX compliance. When you bought your car, did anyone call you an idiot because you didn’t build it all yourself?

    0
  33. 3233

    my PC is better than a mac could ever be. why? because i know how to customize it and how computers work inside out. OSX is for people who like something that looks trendy ‘out of the box’ and dont know how to make a computer better than it already is. aka. ‘computer illiterate’.

    on top of all that it only cost $6000 insted of $14,000 (yes, i checked the apple website, thats what it costs for the same thing). Also note that the monitors (dual 30″), GPU, CPU and HDD would be worse than the PC and cost A LOT more.

    thx bye.

    *edit*

    @andrew your an idiot.
    “First, half of the article is just silly little hacks to make your windows do stuff macs can do too.”
    yeah, except they are free, they dont cost $4000 to buy yourself a shitty desktop.
    I’m a designer for web and print, i have both mac and pc. I can safely say that PC is faster, cheaper and even looks better in the end (the OS, not the box).

    0
  34. 3334

    I have nothing against PC hardware. I have a problem with the OS. I don’t have time for inefficient software that causes more downtime that anything else. Plus the amount of poorly written software for the PC platform is obnoxious.

    @ev4n
    I also know computers inside and out and trendy has nothing to do with the choice any of us make when choosing to develop on a mac. lol I am better off paying a little bit more initially because I am going to get twice the life out of that hardware than you are. It’s just a choice.

    0
  35. 3435

    Why Web Developers Don’t Need A Mac?
    I would have expect a flame with this title..
    But, I think is kind of wrong approach. In my humble opinion, a more title would be.. Why Web Developers Don’t Need OS X. and then the machines would not be on debate.
    What u can do on a win platform should be enough for a web developer.
    I am a Mac head and i enjoy my tools.
    No need to argue about tools…
    Peace!

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  36. 3536

    ThomasMoffett.com

    June 10, 2009 8:14 pm

    Honestly I like to dress in nice clothes and I want my work environment to reflect the same.

    The old days of the nerd in his basement hacking his pc to do “Cool” stuff is so over and cliche.

    Simply Mac devs can be as much of a “nerd” and still look cool doing it.

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  37. 3637

    @Kowalski: There are 100 times more pc than mac’s for the same reason that vhs although less superior in both quality of film and construction to the betamax won the war…PRICE! If you build it they will come, if you build it cheap they will buy. I think it’s pretty funny that this article starts out strong in showing alternatives for the PC; and then swerves sharply into here’s how to re-create a mac. Why not just buy the mac?

    I grew up on PC, and for many years I loved the platform (windows), mainly because I love video games. But like everything I grew up, made some money and realized that investing in a mac SAVED me money, as unlike windows; apple doesn’t force you to upgrade graphics cards, sound cards. In fact until leopard came out I was running the same ibook for 5 years, and by the time mac switched too intel I was ready for a better machine anyways.

    @max: you miss the point entirely my bolded, angry little peon. Your first statement pretty much sums up why people love mac’s…get ready…here it comes… you don’t need to configure them! You get your mac, turn it on, it plays a fun little vid and its yours, not yours in two days after you’ve “set it up” your fully functional and working. Oh and I turned my mac on 2 years ago, and no viruses. I bet you anti-virus was getting hit minutes after you logged on.

    @ev4n: did your mom make you grilled cheeses’ while you wasted your college tuition, building a rig that was obsolete the minute you turned it on? And you must be a print designer because the user experience for windows is painful, and they ripped of the look of OSX, obviously to make pc nuts feel a little better about themselves.

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  38. 3738

    I think the article and many of the comments miss the main reason Web Developers tend to develop on a Windows PC. It is because the majority of our web users, the people who we are creating sites for, also use Windows based computers. It is common sense to develop and test on the system which 90% of your users are going to be viewing your product. For the other 8% users on Macs, we can emulate the wacky things the Mac OS does with font-smoothing and form fields by testing in Safari for Windows. On the flipside, a developer on a Mac can run Parallels to test for Windows. Problem solved, all of us are shiny happy people holding hands. :)

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  39. 3839

    once you go mac you will never go back ;)
    @Craig: Thank you for saying what I was thinking.

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  40. 3940

    @ev4n, what did I do to piss you off? OS X is for people who are “computer illiterate”, you say. Last I checked, people who like having perl, python, and apache built-in are probably not computer illiterate.

    All I’m saying is that I’d like to have my tools built-in so I can spend the day using them, rather than installing and configuring them. If you enjoy spending your time setting things up, good for you. No need to get all internet tough guy about it.

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  41. 4041

    @ThomasMoffett: because it’s not possible to buy nice cases for PCs right? A wide range and variety, even, to the degree where you can get one that fits in perfectly with your work environment? No, you’re right, they’re all just beige boxes.

    Wow. Was just on the Apple Store, 24-inch 3.06GHz iMac, add 4GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM RAM is US$1,000.

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  42. 4142

    You guys just prove over and over how little you understand what it means to configure a real setup, and how rewarding it is.

    But sure, keep going with that mass produced rounded corner easy interface if it works for you.

    But don’t fking say it’s BETTER and MORE EFFICENT. As i said 3 times, it’s just up to how able you are to configure your own environment.

    The Apple guys does not know how you work- They just know what the big masse likes. There is a better way to do things then OS X – build your own setup.

    And atm, you can do that much better and more efficent on a PC.

    = if you know wtf you are doing, PC is the better choice.

    EOD.

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  43. 4243

    Having worked on both, I can say that neither one lends itself to a faster workflow than the other. They both take quite a bit of getting used to.

    But there is one advantage to a mass-produced product: if you change machines (i.e. hardware failure, upgrade machine), moving to a replacement is a piece of cake.

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  44. 4344

    You have to be completely retarded if you can’t get a PC to work efficiently. That argument is the stupidest argument someone who uses a mac can make. Aren’t we supposed to all be developers here? I can understand an average person who doesn’t know much about a computer making that argument, but not a developer.
    And where do you draw the line for power? Because I’m really concerned with paying for a top of the line mac to write code and design in photoshop? Yeah.. That really takes a motherload of power to do…
    I run windows 7 on a 800 dollar pc without a problem, why? Because I’m not an idiot.

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  45. 4445

    I love PC (Windows) because PC more detail than MAC, maybe PC have more bug and MAC have no bug, but it’s not problem for me, and I like Bill’s contribution for IT

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  46. 4546

    Whatever you say guys, Macs are for people with vision and inspiration. It’s the same as driving…you most certainly can get from point A to point B with your rigid Corolla, but you would rather hover with a Mercedes. How am I supposed to be creative when I sit on one of those third world, plasticky, clanky PC’s which supposably does all the job as the Mac, and yet it does better in displaying the perfect blue screen of death? Installing all those apps that reflect the Macs are only to satisfy people’s consciousness and get them closer to the perfection of Apple products. If you are one of those who would ramble after this post, have fun driving your Corolla with a Mercedes sticker on the bumper.

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  47. 4647

    Work on Apple and test on both. — Windows is bad. IE is embarrassing.

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  48. 4748

    @Shtrack: “Macs are for people with vision and inspiration”. Wow, nice generalization, guess us Windows users are incapable of vision or inspiration then.

    “How am I supposed to be creative when I sit on one of those third world, plasticky, clanky PC’s” – yeah because all PCs are ugly and you don’t have a massive range of hardware/cases etc. to choose from, do you? Sure, Macs have good build quality, but then, so do a hell of a lot of PCs.

    “the perfect blue screen of death”? Can’t remember the last time I saw one of those. Trotting out the same tired old arguments huh?

    The perfection of Apple products? Hahaha. Sure. They do make great products, I’ll happily admit that, but they’re hardly perfect. Nice to see that the iphone is finally getting copy and paste though! :)

    Seriously, there are plenty of good arguments to make for Macs and OS X, but it seems that many of these fervent fanboys are sadly incapable of making those arguments.

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  49. 4849

    Poorly written article. In my case I switched to Mac not because it was “trendy” or even “cool”, it was because after several years of fighting and fixing the PC I had, I was fed up.
    On the IE token, Microsoft should stop making IE or follow the W3C standards one of the two.
    Imagine paying for a service that you never really get, that’s IE, a virus magnet that is not W3C compliant, and in my case I used windows for more than ten years, windows itself made me move to Mac. It is not right for a web developer to have to spend extra time with workarounds and hacks, when there established standards on how web browsers should interpret the code.
    +1 for linux.
    If at some point in my web dev career I can’t afford a Mac, I will use Ubuntu or any other Linux version.
    I ran a 6 month test on windows xp sevice pack 2 and ubuntu 5, withing the 6 months I had to reinstall windows 8 times, due to viruses and ubuntu froze once ( yes, only one single tiny time ) and it was because I made it freeze( on purpose ) by opening a file as root user and chmoding it while it was open on another session in the same computer.

    SM guys I am so disappointed.

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  50. 4950

    Move over to Ubuntu and you have a real system for developers, yeah and everything is free :)

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