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

    all these articles about the differences suck. every word about mac better for design and development worth nothing. you see the exact same dock every time, and the exact same taskbar on the top every time. You wont be more creative because You change your wallpaper or icons (and you can do that on a PC or even on any Linux btw.) And for developers You wont know that your code sucks because you take a look at the shiny dock or because all the apps have the same feeling. and you wont be a better guy if you use Win or Linux either. its just about personal preferences. if i have to do any task, i just sit down at my computer (be it a PC or a Mac or Linux) and do my job. the look and feel of my OS don’t make any sence, and if someone wants they can turn their machine to look like the other one.

    a lot of people said that they got better because of switching to a mac. maybe you’re so brainless that you dont realize that over time you got better because you actually learned a thing or two about development, or design. its not your mac who poured all that knowledge in that emptiness above your neck…..

    0
  2. 202

    Any web developer (with the exception of .net) who chooses to develop windows needs their head testing (I’ll be fair, and some companies corporate guidelines don’t allow anything else).

    Sorry, but most of the web is on the LAMP stack, develop on the free Ubuntu desktop, with free tools, most are miles better than any of that windows crap.

    0
  3. 403

    The main point that seems to have been missed here is that it is not just about the software. OSX is simply a far nicer environment in which to work.

    0
  4. 604

    I use a Mac simply because I dont need to worry as with a Windows system, my computer is from 2004 and with a little increase of ram still can run with 3 CS4 aps and big archives at the same time, so I dont need to worry about buying a new one every 3 years.

    I can work with Mac, Windows or Linux, no problem what, but if I can decide I’ll Mac.

    Aaaaaaaaaaaa, you must think that if you compare, you must select the same product, a Pc with the guarantee of a known firm, and with the same components, and you’ll discover that is not too cheap, and the price is the same or more than the Mac’s.

    0
  5. 805

    Mac is gay.

    0
  6. 1006

    I like how the apples look. Nice materials an so on. But is is still a computer. I would always prefer to buy more power for the same money. What is more important as a web developer I use two monitors. On apple this is either very inconvenient or very expensive.
    I work generally from home and I am very happy my windows. I would only buy an Apple if I had a front office for my clients. At this situation the Mac would more like an expensive piece of furniture.

    0
  7. 1207

    Do not feed the trolls… boring.

    0
  8. 1408

    Wow, this article is so below SM’s standards… Its only goal is to start a flame. Moreover, I wonder if the author ever used a Mac (The best parts of the Mac… Quicksilver???)

    0
  9. 1609

    I do not see how anyone could use a Mac over a PC, at all!

    The standard mouse is crap, the driver support for others is NIL, the hardware is over-priced and under powered compared.

    I’ve tried photoshop on my mac, and have to reply so much on the shitty Mac keyboard I found it a totally unpleasent experience.

    0
  10. 1810

    Fully agree. The fact remains that Windows accounts for well over 80% of the global desktop market, and you can be sure that there’s much more software, hardware and support available for it than for Mac.

    But that fact aside, PCs are also WAY more flexible. Every single component can be swapped out, upgraded or patched, and it’ll continue to run. As opposed to a Mac, where you’re pretty much stuck with what you bought.

    Don’t get me wrong – it’s a great machine, but that’s sort of where it ends. There’s only so much you can do on a Mac before you’re forced to buy a whole new one to get additional processing power.

    0
  11. 2011

    Hi
    I have my own agency in Poland and we work on Macs…I read what You wirte and I see that Pc have now so many options:) that’s great!! But I see one problem. To work on Pc like I work on Mac I need to spend so many time to configuration PC(learn how to do this and find good programs). When I buy Mac I don’t need to do anything only press button power :), Time is money. And hier Mac wins.

    0
  12. 2212

    What about the fact a Mac can run Windows and Mac OS X? Surely that’s a huge benefit over a PC whose operating system you suggest should be hacked to look and act like a Mac?

    As for needing to swap out components making a PC better than a Mac where you can’t, you’ve missed the point. You don’t NEED to swap anything on a Mac and you certainly won’t lose functionality by adding a peripheral like Windows machines. I’m assuming I don’t need to mention Trojans and viruses here…

    0
  13. 2413

    Wow.

    Imagine how valuable all this feedback is :)

    You could sell this for loads of money!!!

    0
  14. 2614

    You guys are on crack for writing a garbage of a post like this.

    0
  15. 2815

    For me it’s all about the command line, i went back to windows for a few days last week, i wanted to tear my eyeballs out using windows command prompt.

    0
  16. 3016

    Don’t forget BumpTop which is a really good argument to have a PC around ;-) Its not yet developed for MAc, but will be, they said…

    http://bumptop.com

    0
  17. 3217

    I know I’m double posting, but there’s something that’s apparently being missed here:

    PCs also run out-of-the-box, just in case no-one noticed.

    Macs aren’t psychic. You will spend time setting it up after purchase, just like you’ll spend time on a PC, installing the various bits of software you’ll need. Just because you can customise it to hell and back doesn’t mean that you will: All I ever did in the way of customization was setting a new desktop background and changing the Aero tint to pure white.

    Yes, I’m using Vista, I’m probably gay and dumb too, right?

    Also, for the record: PCs can run OSX, just as Macs can run Windows. The only difference, then, is hardware performance, since the software playing field can be leveled.

    0
  18. 3418

    This should be titled. Why Web Developers Don’t Need A OS X. Mac is a hardware platform and one that can run Windows and Linux as well as OS X. I know Apple like the confusion between Mac and OS X, but we sould not encorage it. I’m a web dev and I like my MacBook Pro, but with Ubuntu on it not with OS X. Hardware is not so important these days, OS is a more important choice, and the best OS at the mo for Web Dev is probably Linux, followed by OS X then Windows last…

    0
  19. 3619

    Probably one of the laziest articles I’ve even seen on the subject.
    No clear lines of argument and misses the point entirely.

    The best best parts of the mac, the dock and stacks. C’mon – what has this got to do with web dev ?

    0
  20. 3820

    Moritz Gießmann

    June 11, 2009 1:06 am

    PC !== Windows

    0
  21. 4021

    More for windows users
    -> Evernote
    -> E-Text Editor [TextMate for windows]
    -> Digsby [mail + social + im]
    -> Orbit Down loader[download + organize + grab any em video]
    -> FileZilla [Better FTP]
    -> GoodSync [Sync anything anywhere {tons of protocol support }]

    0
  22. 4222

    Hilarious. Used a PC in everything I did, until I dealt with the final crash and burn last June. Bought an iMac and wow is all I can say. There is a great list above of free software that you can get for Windows…almost all of which come standard on a Mac. All of “The Best Parts of a Mac” function much better than the apps listed. And there isn’t one app mentioned that isn’t standard on a Mac that you mentioned for Windows above that you can’t find for a Mac (and yes…most of which are free!)

    The one thing that always makes me laugh is when price is a subject in comparing. I bought my current Mac for $2300 and have added a wireless mighty mouse & 2Gb DDR RAM to it totaling just under $2400. To have this same config (which was as close as a PC could get in my last computer) with nearly (but not quite) the same graphics, RAM, (not nearly as the same) processor, and base software, I paid nearly $2700. Then let’s also factor in the cost of running my PC vs my Mac over time (electricity usage, repairs due to virus issues, etc, almost having to replace several components because of a near mistake upgrading to Vista).

    I could (as well as several others here) list another 3 dozen reasons to switch and/or never go back, but I’m sure I will be called an Apple zealot or AppleFanBoy! In the end…to each his/her own. Me…I’m choosing Mac!

    By the way…ever try talking to Windows TS about ANYTHING! I’ll take a Mac Genius any day!

    …in a world without walls and fences…who needs Windows and Gates!

    0
  23. 4423

    @Marc Jones You don’t need to patch anything in windows to look like Mac. Try Hackintosh and You will get about the same experience as using a Mac. Just with more options on compatible components. (like AMD CPUs)

    0
  24. 4624

    Hmm, I suspect fowl play. Monetary compensation from Microsoft much?

    Kidding. This is very nice to know, and I might look into that Touchscreen laptop. It amazes me that a touchscreen device of that caliber is cheaper than the cheapest Mac.

    0
  25. 4825

    I totally disagree : web developers need mac computers just because it’s more STABLE, more SAFE, more EFFICIENT …

    0
  26. 5026

    Cool article, except you’re wasting your money on Windows :)

    I’m using Ubuntu Linux for years now, and it’s just perfect for webdev. The LAMP server is installed and running in a minute, and all the applications you mention exist in Ubuntu…

    You can use ie4linux to run Internet Explorer for compatibility testing, or you can use Adobe BrowserLab which does the same in your Browser.

    So now I’m waiting for a similar article Linux-oriented :)

    0
  27. 5227

    Well, I’m a little bit surprised by that article, like I was for the Mac one… But one thing you have to understand guys, is that in the Web Dev world, there is a big majority of PCs out there, and giving the Mac some credits in this world is not that bad :)

    But I have to say, that the only argument out there is money ! Macs are much better for a lot of things and PCs are not that bad, I’m ready to pay for the difference for a lot of reasons and above all, the ROI is very, very high! I use Macs for about 10 years now, and I changed my work station (Powermac G4 -> iMac 20′) ONCE! I’ve got a 6years old Powerbook that still run under OS X Leopard… so, that’s a big difference for me!

    respect :)

    0
  28. 5428

    Good post. Actually, you didn’t only show what can be replaced or copied on a windows pc, but a good amount of how to implement the stuff into a windows machine that I personally find annoying on a mac ;)

    0
  29. 5629

    I don’t worship mac. I can seduce it using iatkos. With the right hardware, even the pc and macworld would collide.

    2 cents

    0
  30. 5830

    I would never switch back to Windows – never ever! Aptana-Studio works like a charm on OSX. Also Coda is one of the best editors I’ve seen so far. You can have anything on a Mac as well (MAMP, TextExpander, …) and I have total control over the system (yeah, UNIX roxx) the terminal. Finally, I have an extremely attractive development environment. When I feel good, I can code better applications :)

    0
  31. 6031

    Mac still rocks my world !

    0
  32. 6232

    Aaah, the old PC vs. Mac debate.

    I’m not a Mac hater. I have owned an iPod touch for over a year and will soon have an iPhone. Also, if someone were to give me a Mac or sell me one in good condition for cheap then I would probably have one. They are beautiful machines, made to the highest benchmarks in quality. Also, OSX is a wonderful (for the most part) operating system in terms of stability and asthetics.

    Here are my reasons for staying with Windows (for now)

    1. Price – Macs are ferociously expensive to buy and upgrade (if you want to keep your warrenty). I noticed a 4GB RAM upgrade for an iMac was £800!! Same RAM for a PC from crucial – £40

    2. Mac users always talk about how Windows, in particular Vista, messes them around and is way unstable and how OSX “Just works”. I’m sorry, but you get out what you put in. If you use your PC properly and treat it right it will work just as well as a Mac. I’ve used Vista for over a year and not had a single problem. Besides, I’ve seen an awful lot of people moaning on twitter about how badly their recent OSX upgrade has gone. Diddums.

    3. With a Mac, I feel like I’m being infantilised by how little I am involved with doing things. It’s all done behind the scenes with big pretty buttons that say, to me “Don’t worry your pretty little head. Mummy will do that for you.” Of course that’s not Apple’s problem, it’s my issue, but it’s still a reason I won’t have one yet.

    4. If a part of my PC breaks, CPU, memory, motherboard… I buy a new part, open up the PC and swap it out. Jobe done. I would hate the ball ache of having to send my computer away for a “Genius” (LOL) to look at and fix. I’d also hate to pay those prices. I recently saw on Twitter that someone’s macbook broke and the *repair* cost £500. Yeah okay, I’ll get right on that. =/

    0
  33. 6433

    @Simon: You compare a pre-release Windows 7 with Mac OS X? How crazy is that… What a lame statement.

    0
  34. 6634

    Windows XP are stable as well .. i have been using it for ages . :)

    I am using Launchy n Rocket Dock but for the editors simply using VIM :)
    developing in windows are far easier .. you don’t need to worry about file permission as well haha ..

    I think smashingmag forgot about tortoisesvn which is embed into shell explorer.

    0
  35. 6835

    I feel that the pc is ok for web developers – but a true designer needs a mac, its more efficient in every way – Im a big mac lover – I just hate the price!!!

    0
  36. 7036

    You are writing about apps – not features…

    0
  37. 7237

    Have you never heard of MAMP?

    0
  38. 7438

    The article’s points are highly superficial, and have nothing to do with development of any kind (web or application development). Fluff like Quicksilver is entirely overhyped and not specifically a development tool.

    The comments here are – predictably – from people who have absolutely zero experience in any sort of development and are flat out wrong (such as proclamations of lack of driver support for mice/keyboards – Utter tosh).

    You can’t possibly touch meaningfully on development – even specifically web development – without mentioning the Unix environment and contrasting it with the likes of Cygwin for Windows, contrasting virtualization and tools for publishing and managing content (such as SFTP/SSH/WebDav support, and version control software) and decent editors (TextMate, E, etc) and comparing IDE’s on each platform (including the numerous cross platform ones).

    While there are still good articles posted here and there Smashing Magazine’s signal to noise ratio seems to be really taking a dive recently.

    0
  39. 7639

    Sebastian Beres

    June 11, 2009 1:24 am

    Mac vs. PC war? Even Microsoft points in their commercials “PCs are at least cheaper!”

    0
  40. 7840

    I agree that making your machine work the way you want it to is all about the apps you put on it – and not the OS itself – yet the feel of the OS has a lot to do with the way you feel when you are using the apps.
    Both Mac and Windows have apps that do the same things, and I think it is getting increasingly difficult to find a functionality-based reason to favor one OS over the other.
    So it does in fact comes down to something as fuzzy as how using the OS feels.

    I’ve been working professionally on computers since 1996. My first workplace was an all-windows set-up, later I switched jobs and worked in an all Mac set-up.
    Back then Mac OS 7 – 8 and 9 were so bad that I on a daily basis was looking forward to coming home to my XP machine. All that stopped with OS X.
    I switched job again and worked almost 2 years in an all-windows setup and I was constantly getting frustrated and missing OSX … not any particular apps or functions, but just the feel of working in a smooth running OS.

    So to sum it up. I have worked (and played) on both Apple and Windows and I even though I like Apple hardware, I would go for a Dell running OSX over a Mac running Windows any day.
    The difference to me is like the difference between driving a Subaru and a Mercedes. Both are good decent cars that will get you where you want to go, but it just feels better getting there in a Mercedes.

    On a sidenote, it seems like Windows 7 could be a serious competitor to OSX

    0
  41. 8041

    Seriously???

    0
  42. 8242

    Right…. so how much did M$ pay you for this?

    If windows is so much better why is the second half of the post about how to make your windows machine look and behave like mac? Admission that mac is better maybe?

    Windows will never beat a mac for dev work, nevermind a linux box. What worries me about your post is the shocking lack of proper version control system; you seriously think Syncback is better than say GiT, SVN et al?

    Any sensible dev out there will tell you ubuntu (or any flavour of linux) is the os of choice if only designers didnt use photoshop… but they all do so OS X is as good as it gets.

    With anything like this the best way to develop is to resemble the live environment as closely as possible to ensure a working end product.

    M$ developers are in the minority these days, the world is going open source!

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  43. 8443

    Right. I’m sure Microsoft paid a fortune for this. I’ll jot that down in my conspiracy book with Area 51 and the 9/11 conspiracy. COME ON!!!!

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  44. 8644

    Your next article: Why Web Developers Don’t Need A PlayStation 3

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  45. 8845

    I use Ubuntu + Netbeans and i don’t feel the need to use windows or mac… i switch to windows only for Photoshop.

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  46. 9046

    Am I the only person in the world getting sick of this Mac/Windows argument. I work as a contract Microsoft consultant and do a bit of web development and photography on the side. I use Macs for the web dev and photography for no other reason than the fact that I find it a more creative environment.

    Both platforms are perfectly capable of doing the job and offer all the software and tools needed.

    So how long will this argument go on before we all realise that neither are better, they’re just different.

    It’s all down to personal preference.

    And to tell you the truth, I think this is a badly written article in that it points out on one hand why web developers don’t need Mac, and then starts pointing out tools that emulate built in Mac features.

    Either you have the title wrong or the content wrong.

    Just write articles about the great ways Web Developers can get things done with Windows, or Mac, or heck put them both into one article.

    Lets face it if you’re a serious Web Developer then you should be testing on both platforms anyway.

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  47. 9247

    Linux is obviously what they need.

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  48. 9448

    The best part of the Mac is the Mac. Period.

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  49. 9649

    Interesting..
    and
    Delusional!

    Who cares what Windows has to offer, when every Windows is five restarts from the complete mess the registry does. If you want reliable windows, do nott install more than five apps (includin drivers). Regardless of what you do or instlall on your PC – eventually, as time goes by, it will get slower and slower, and soon after – here comes the reinstall :/

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  50. 9850

    Hi I was a PC user for 10 years and more my experience with operating systems was windows 3.11 then 95 then milenium then 2000 then xp (I used to be a mac hater to) and then enlightenment hit me in the form of a used mac mini G4 1.25. and then my macbook pro. I am a mac user for 2 years now and I can’t think going back to PC’s even if they payed me to do it.
    I don’t want to analyse all the benefits of the osx I will stick to the web developer toolbox.
    every app you mentioned is way better on the mac, it looks better it works more smooth like the osx and most importantly you are missing some great apps like CSSEDIT, ESPRESSO, CODA, XSCOPE, LITTLESNAPPER.
    About the hacks you have to do in order to make your pc look like a mac don’t bother it won’t work like it.
    And about mac hater Dan.
    1. get your ram from crucial – £40 and install it on imac or macbook pro etc etc. it’s easier than upgrading you PC.
    2.mac just works vista doesn’t work alone you need all the norton and kaspesky etc etc
    3. ????? I can’t figure what you mean
    4. macs doesn’t break so easily like PC’s I still have my mac mini G4 working and my macbook pro.

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