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

    Mac Pros:

    Workflow: OS offers more functionality and stability out of the box. Yes, you can spend time configuring your PC to work properly and safely, but time is money. Convert the time spent setting up and fixing things to an hourly rate and the additional cost of a Mac may pay for itself…

    Security: Practically no need to worry about viruses and solid file encription / firewall built in to the OS.

    Ready made web development platform: Apache, PHP, Unix Terminal, SSH, etc all ready to go without needing to install anything.

    Mac Cons:

    Setting up testing for IE and Chrome is a pain, costs money (need to buy a copy of Windows) and uses a lot of disk space and memory, causing your machine to run slowly.

    The only decent text editors aren’t free

    Windows Pros:

    Can test all the major browsers natively without the need to install virtual machines and a second operating system.

    Textpad++ is free

    Hardware is cheaper, better spec, more range.

    Windows Cons:

    Usability, functionality and security of OS is inferior out of the box, and much time is wasted getting things set up correctly.

    Viruses and malware.

    A text editor that has comparable features and workflow to Textmate and/or Coda does not exist.

    Conclusion:

    Testing all browsers natively is the main advantage for working on the PC platform, but this is a big one. Security on a PC is a concern, but until you can test IE6,7,8 and Chrome on a Mac without having to virtualise and run Windows alongside OS X, the argument for the Mac being a complete web development platform falls down.

    0
  2. 252

    Massimo Bastianon

    June 11, 2009 1:53 am

    Web developer need a pc, doesn’t matter if win, mac or linux.
    I use Win at work, linux at home and never mac.. my next computer will be a mac but just becouse I want to try one at least once

    0
  3. 503

    PC is a good word for an affordable machine with a cutting edge Linux system.

    0
  4. 754

    Remember kids – just say no to Mac vs PC debates. Everyone’s a loser there. Just enjoy yours and let them enjoy theirs.

    0
  5. 1005

    @ Scott – Exactly!

    Both options do the same job. They just do it differently.

    0
  6. 1256

    Thanks for the useful info. It’s so interesting

    0
  7. 1507

    At the creative college in Oslo the graphic design course is named “macdesign”. The description “teaches you how to use all the important design programmes like photoshop, inDesign and illustrator”. geez… I can use those on my PC, nothing to do with a mac. But I guess that’s what people think, you can’t be a web designer without a mac.

    I like my PC. Most of the time.

    0
  8. 1758

    I disagree with this article.

    Firstly, none of existing Windows text editors satisfy my needs. I’ve tried plenty of them, starting from notepad++ and ending with eTextEditor, which is supposed to be an alternative to TextMate. There’s always something with those editors: one is too simple, other is too complicated, another with full of useless features that can’t be turned off/disabled. For instance, eTextEditor seems to be very promising, but I was unable to disable auto-completion (for example, you type word “table” and press tab: it automatically writes down the basic html table structure for you. Actually, I don’t think “auto-completion” is the word for this feature, but I can’t find a better term right now.). Another feature is automatic code arrangement. Consider this:

    public function do_something()
    {
    echo ‘Hello world!';
    }

    this is the way I write my code, but eTextEditor “fixes” my code on it’s own:

    public function so_something() {
    echo ‘Hello world!';
    }

    Of course, this disadvantage looks silly to you, but it’s just the way I code and I don’t want
    my editor to rearrange the code. It all would be nice if I was able to easily disable it. If I need to spend an hour just find where the hell is that feature in the preferences, I don’t want to use such editor.

    In Dreamweaver CS4 there’s a problem with code highlighter. Sometimes the application decides to highlight half of my code as a comment. To overcome this weirdness, I need to close that file and open it again. And not to mention my constant problems with file encoding…

    You say Linux? Well, I say: “No way!”. I tried to convert myself to a linux user, I really tried.
    But no matter what distribution I used, there were always at least a bunch of problems. Screen resolution, network phenomena etc. And no Photoshop on Linux! Don’t try to offer me alternatives, such as Gimp, or to use emulation software to run Windows applications.

    And believe me, I’m not a Mac fanboy or something. In fact, I don’t event own a Mac! The main reason for this is the price, which is too high for me right now. However, I had a chance to work a little bit on OSX and it was more comfortable than working on Windows (from my point of view!). I must say that Windows, OSX and Linux have both pros and cons and I really don’t want to get into flame wars. You just can’t boldly state that Mac is not suitable or not the best solution for web development.

    0
  9. 2009

    Very impressive. But now I want a Linux showcase of useful applications. There are beside Windows and Mac other systems. Especially most webservers run Linux or a BSD distribution.

    0
  10. 2260

    Indeed!! Macs don’t support multiple mouse buttons!!! Oh…wait, that was a decade ago. Damn. How about finishing your articles inside of a decade when you start writing it. Of course I could also search for documents that have been done ten years ago and just replace the date on them. Who needs progrress or up to date info!

    Also last time i checked…you can do webstuff on linux too, horror! Oh, oh !! I got a free remote with my mac!! I mean that’s so über for presentations!!! Oh wait, i can also just click once with a mouse…if you need to switch between slides (backward) then your presentation is a fail anyways…

    0
  11. 2511

    Did this guy just cite a mouse with a remote control under it as a superior point for windows? Wait a sec, I’m being told IT WAS A MICROSOFT MOUSE! Dude mac users like simplicity, and citing microsoft made hardware as a strong point isn’t going to get your argument anywhere. ALL of the other major peripheral makers release mac drivers as well as windows drivers, some even work BETTER on the mac (logitech wireless keyboards and mice come to mind).

    I recommend macs to all of my clients. At home I use all three. Linux (several flavors), mac, and windows.

    In conclusion, saying windows is better for dev stuff because it has more programs is like saying linux is better for gaming because it has open APIs.

    (@dan: Did you just read the first line of the dude above you’s comment and pounce or something? How much did they pay YOU?)

    0
  12. 2762

    Michael,

    You left one very critical flaw of PCs out: they don’t work. I mean, Macs just work. I’ve never had one crash on me, never had video problems, Internet has never need tweaking, you never need to defrag, you never need use a program like CCleaner, you never have to restore, and you sure as heck never have to go out and find new programs to replace aging or incompatible ones when you upgrade, unlike Windows.

    So, sure, Macs don’t do a lot. They don’t DO what I wrote above. I think that’s a good thing. Plus, you make the point that you have to find “whatever is closest to what you need”. That is an unfortunate statement, as the product range is just fine. Perhaps you should say “you never get less than you need” with a Mac.

    Oh, and one last thing. You made it seem as though there aren’t enough Mac programs out there. There are a ton! They’re all very high quality too. Mac users demand quality. Windows applications are NOT of high quality. You may get “value”, but that’s only because they can’t price high due to the competition- and that has nothing to do with quality.

    You could have at least picked functional programs- the above suck. Look at that copy & paste sidebar widget! How pathetic and gay looking. Macs are much better, they look better, and they freakin’ work: total opposite of Windoez computers.

    End of story.

    0
  13. 3013

    Macs are overpriced and overhyped. In my first job I had to web-develop on a Mac – and it was a nightmare. I swear that I got my first strands of grey hairs because of those Macs.

    In the end it all boils down to which environment you feel more comfortable – and if you are a poser or a person who just wants to get her work done.

    FOR THE HORLLIANCE!

    0
  14. 3264

    Nice try, but there’s no substitute for the power of UNIX, and for any development, no substitute for the ease of use of a Mac. I coded using UNIX (Silicon Graphics) computers until 1994, and then switched to Windows. I used Windows exclusively for 12 years, and switched to a Mac when OS X had finally become mature with 10.4. There really is no comparison. I use Windows 7 Beta right now, and while I’ll admit it’s much better than Vista or XP, it’s still garbage compared to the design of OS X.

    0
  15. 3515

    A PC trying to be a Mac, why? Just get a Mac they´re better

    0
  16. 3766

    Macs don’t blue screen. :P

    0
  17. 4017

    You can find many more free apps (more specificly “open source”) for windows at osswin.sourceforge.net , not sure when the last time the list was updated but each app has it’s own home page to check and see if it is up to date.

    I think for the most part, choosing between Mac and a Pc is much like choosing between a GM or Ford Pick Up..

    Although the point cannot be argued that there are way more software and hardware developers for Windows than there are for Mac. Gates was asked at one time what he felt he accomplished. Part of his answer was that he produced a mainstream OS that allowed the industry to grow to what it is today.

    It is really up to the software developers to make an OS a win win or a lose lose.

    0
  18. 4268

    Ha. It’s funny how this age old debate makes people want to get their point across. Most replies to a story for a long while.

    Personally, I’m a Mac man, always have been.

    First Mac was an LC475 which I bought when I was at Design Uni for £1500!!! OUCH!

    0
  19. 4519

    Worst. Troll. Ever. On. SM.

    0
  20. 4770

    Do yourselves a favour and try all three OS’s (OSX, Windows, *NIX), then pick the one that works best for you.

    Just make sure you give them all a fair crack of the whip! i.e. at least one, maybe two projects all the way through.

    I’ve done this for Windows and Mac, just trying to make it work for *NIX now ;)

    James.

    0
  21. 5021

    You forgot one thing…PCs don’t have bash or your standard gnu tools. Sure, you can hackishly install them, but why would you? They suck on Windows.

    A client of mine recently gave some work out to a contractor, who was clearly very new at his job. My client contacted me about a problem where, no matter what, this cgi script of theirs would not run on our server. I log in, take a look, and the guy’s edited the thing in Notepad, saved it, and uploaded it to our [Debian] server. The line endings are all whacked out and perl can’t make sense of it. Apparently, he’s never heard of ASCII mode.

    This is the kind of thing Windows inflicts upon users all the time. Sure, in both of the examples above, I can find a way to work around it, but why should I have to? At home and in the office we use OS X and Debian. That’s it. If you run Windows, that’s your own problem. Have fun with that. There are just too many other options out there for that to be viable anymore.

    0
  22. 5272

    Its no abourt the beautifull hardware of a mac, its about the OSX, never crashes or makes you losse work without any warning, simply works thats why I chose the Mac.. if the OSX were on a PC Im pretty sure I will buy the last one… its not that expensive and definitly have more options and flexibility. Imagine a Dell with OSX! that will be a perfect development companion, afordable and working correclty… but lets wait until windows 7 release. may be there is still hope for PC.

    0
  23. 5523

    Gareth McCumskey

    June 11, 2009 2:58 am

    I wouldn’t mind writing an article on web development for Linux. I have been a web developer for nearly a decade now and recently moved over to Linux, first experimentally and now permanently, as my web development platform of choice.

    0
  24. 5774

    I personally wouldn’t go near a mac because they just don’t play nice with business, if everyone used a mac I would probably switch but the fact is the people I develop for use Windows so I use windows, Ideally eveyone would use an identical LInux distro and then we could all play happily. Also if your pc struggles with downtime your doing it wrong.

    0
  25. 6025

    Yeah… I do all this on my Linux box and it comes pretty much preinstalled.

    0
  26. 6276

    In new zealand we have a similar debate regarding fords and holdens. fords are big powerful cars. and holdens are big powerful cars. they both go fast. Some people will argue, almost to the death that holdens are better than fords. some people will argue, almost to the death that fords are better than holdens. there are two absolute truths surrounding this debate. 1 – both fords and holdens are big cars that go fast. and 2 – that anyone with a shred of common sense gets sick and tired of hearing the ramblings and reasons of the idiots squawking off about which car is better and which isn’t.
    The truth in this case remains, that the only problem with macs lies not in their hardware, nor in their software, and certainly not in their design – but in the shameless, self righteousnous of the ‘enlightened’ mac evangelist.

    0
  27. 6527

    I prefer Windows because I can tweak it to work the way I want it to work. OSX is to claustrophobic for me. I want to be able to open the registry and customise the OS’s settings from below the surface. Sometimes I’m asked a simple question – Why not Linux? The answer even more simpler – I’m a designer you id10t!

    0
  28. 6778

    @DrK
    Do tell; How shall we mend our ways and do it right? (Other than the obvious scrap it and load linux, or don’t click on spam links and such. :p )

    @Martin
    Open a finder window. Click on applications. Click on utilities. Click on Terminal. Hack away! The real power here is that unix doesn’t want nor need a registry. All settings are stored in text files, and can be edited easily with the editor of your choice.

    0
  29. 7029

    what a stupid article.
    whats next? “why users don’t need firefox”?
    smashing – you can do better!

    0
  30. 7280

    So if I’m right we should switch back to Windows because of Notepad++ ? What a joke. Many people don’t use mac because of the software, but because it just works.

    0
  31. 7531

    Interesting that the author had to resort to including open source tools (which are also available on the Mac) and then discuss hardware which has nothing to do with web development. It doesn’t support the argument well.

    My recommendation is: ignore the religious troll-baiting. Go with whatever you’re comfortable with (i.e., try them both and decide for yourself). The computer, its OS, and whatever software you use for development are just tools. The difference in the quality of your designs usually ends up depending on the one tool you can’t swap out (hint: behind your eyes, between your ears).

    0
  32. 7782

    Dude, just having a full blown Unix terminal does it for me on the mac. Windows is a toy next to a mac. I’ve absolute control of the operating system and everything works, no viruses. You’re a lot more productive on the mac only by having the terminal and all those scripting languages available from the get go.

    It’s like having linux, without having to deal with compiling or configuring everything, it’s the perfect os.

    0
  33. 8033

    At least the web developers on Macs can try out their code on multiple OSes (Win/Linux/Mac) and **ALL** browsers before pushing it out there. Douchey developers just use one platform and hope for the best. This is not an IE-centric world any more.

    0
  34. 8284

    Søren Erland Vestø

    June 11, 2009 3:19 am

    *Looks over at his wireless Logitech 7-button mouse connected to his Mac with custom mappings of all but two buttons*

    “This mouse apparently only works in fantasy…”

    *Goes back to work*

    0
  35. 8535

    I think this article is not very objective.
    What do you compare?
    NotePad++ and the OSX Dock?
    Or
    Texter and Quicksilver?
    That really dose make no sense to me.

    Why not compare WAMP and MAMP (which is just easier to maintain than the out of the box apache and stuff) or SyncBack and TimeMachine?
    That, in my eyes, dose make sense.

    Why don´t talk about the underlying Operating System like DOS and UNIX.

    What are the alternatives on a PC for MacPorts on a Mac?
    LINUX at least dosen´t even need MacPorts. It´s all there out of the box.

    I don´t see the sense in comparing DevTools on a PC with OS Features on a Mac.

    0
  36. 8786

    I’m a web developer that uses Windows at the office and Linux and Mac at home.

    One program worth mentioning is e http://www.e-texteditor.com/ for Windows and Linux
    IMHO:
    e > coda > textmates > notepad++ > bbedit > dreamweaver
    and will never be on OSXhttp://www.e-texteditor.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3178&highlight=mac
    Also it’s open source http://github.com/etexteditor/e/tree/master

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  37. 9037

    This is one of these windows vs. mac discussions. The world is large enougth.
    I’m using Mac since OSX Panther and i never missed windows.

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  38. 9288

    I switched to mac a while ago and it has a way smoother developer workflow than windows.
    And, for the mac-haters that are already waiting to flame me with the most pathetic argument ever, no it’s not for the blingbling, i’d trade my macbook for one without an apple logo and a faster cpu if it would still be as small and if i’d still have the amazing os x

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  39. 9539

    I have been using pc for years, even since i started using a computer…i never had macs before, i used to hate them
    Some time ago i got a fujitsu siemens laptop. This model had a hardware problem, fujitsu never did anything about it, and never updated the drivers of the video card. As it is a mobility radeon card, i can’t go to ATI download the lattest drivers and make them work on that computer. I went to fujitsu’s website their newest driver for this model was 2006…then it had problems it would stop working because of video problems. Not to mention i had 1 hour and half of battery life…

    So i thought of getting a replacement. As i am always on the go, going everywhere and working in all places i need something i can carry like a laptop…so i tried to find a new laptop with good battery life, good video card and at least 4 gb ram that i can later expand… and lighter han 5 kilos (it was killing my back)

    So i got the new macbook pro 17 inch and i don’t regret it. As a web developper i thought, would i find everything i need to work? and i did…there is open source software for mac, most programs i used before were already on a mac…and all adobe programs worked faster.

    I have little problems with crashes…it nearly don’t crash i think i made it crash once in about 3 months, i used to make windows crash often…there is little virus, i got an antivirus for precaution but it never found anything suspicious…

    if i need something from windows i can use paralels desktops…but its rare since most things i use are for mac..

    So finally yes web developpers can do the same in pc (i used to before) and well they can get mac too…sure it can be a little more expensive but you see there is a difference between having a system that updates the drivers directly to your machine and you always get the good drivers than an other system that is made by one company…assembled by another and parts are made by other companies but they don’t agree and deliver you the drivers… having the drivers updated with your system its a very good thing…OSX is pretty much like linux but with more programs available and less hassle…its pretty easy to use

    all the ilife pack is free for the mac i know these are not for the professional but well they come for free and i can tell they are quite nice too…the thing i use the most is the calendar wich it is pretty handy and it dont take time to load its good when you are on the phone and you need to make an appoiment or something…growl is cool too…it keeps you updated with lots of things that are going on while you work…

    also i have seen the price of the OS is cheaper than vista, this means if you have 5 computers at home and you want to have them with vista you need to pay each instead of paying a family OS pack…updates are cheap too… and there is bundle sales of mac software from time to time that let you get good stuff for cheap…and legal…

    So for me it was a good thing to have a mac i don’t think i’ll go back to a windows pc (maybe linux but not windows)…i finally have 3 kilos in my back instead of 5 kilos…plus 8 hours of battery life instead of 1 hour and half….and a machine with little risk of virus and little crashing…

    When it comes to work, data loss is a loss of money, virus, crashes and all of those things can be a pain in the … so think about that too

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  40. 9790

    Christian Dalsvaag

    June 11, 2009 3:47 am

    I was about to write this HUGE entry telling you why you are wrong. I won’t do that.

    I’ll rather just tell you that most of you are stupid, and ignorant. Not to mention cheap. If you really want to sit there, claiming Windows is “ok” – be my guest. But really, you must be really stupid to be able to say that.

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  41. 10041

    Have used mac and pc for years now and never understood what all the fuss is about. It’s not what you use but how you use them…. Looking forward to Linux becoming the standard so we can move away from proprietry systems. Nice article

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  42. 10292

    Matěj Grabovský

    June 11, 2009 3:55 am

    Dear Smashing Magazine, you should never again touch this topic – Mac vs. Windows, or even worse Mac vs. PC (mainly because you’re still comparing Mac with Windows instead of Mac with OSes that can PC run, yes I mean Linux).

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  43. 10543

    I’ve used a whole bunch of machines/OS’s in my past from Amiga’s, Sun’s, Linux distro’s, PC’s and also Mac’s to name a few.

    And in my opinion, it’s simple : mac’s rule. They’re the best machines out there right now with the best software for developer’s.

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  44. 10794

    All this talk about ‘as good as a Mac’ made me go out and get a Mac. It is great!

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  45. 11045

    Mac’s dont break!

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  46. 11296

    Great post and entertaining comments. Way to go to war on a Thursday! Huuzah PC!

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  47. 11547

    I do all my web dev and app dev on a mac. I like the mac specifically for it’s balance of command line power and ui. If I had to choose an OS on PC hardware, I’d pick some flavor of Linux. For me, it’s about being about to move around the file systems and script things very quickly. On my mac with vmware, I have all 3 OSs available to me for testing.

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  48. 11798

    BREAKING NEWS:

    THIS IS JUST A MATTER OF PERSONAL TASTE.

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  49. 12049

    Sorry dude, I practiacally stopped reading this article seriously as soon as you mentioned “FTP Synchronize”. 10 years ago that might have been OK, but these days any serious developer uses a proper deploy mechanism.

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  50. 12300

    Markus Thömmes

    June 11, 2009 4:39 am

    First of all: Very nice Post!
    But i have to add something:
    – For the Keyboard Launcher, i prefer Humanized Enso! It’s for free and it only appears when you hold a hotkey.
    – For Editor i think that notepad++ is a bit overload. The e-texteditor which is designed to be an alternative for textmate is so nice and simple. And it has all you want!

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