Why Web Developers Don’t Need A Mac


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.


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:



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.


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.


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

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.)


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.

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.


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.

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.


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.



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.



  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.

  1. 1

    This is an awesome resource for us Mac folks adjusting to a PC environment. Thanks much!

  2. 652

    The fact that you recommend FTP (totally insecure and hackable) and that you recommend editing files live on your server would indicate that you do not really have a clue. Get rid of FTP and put ssh in place. Then use version control, cvs, svn, git etc. put all you work in a vcs, then deploy, then test, then deploy to live.

    Mac vs Windows vs Linux, who cares. Bad workmen always blame their tools and also buy flashier tools to compensate for their inadequacies.

    Once you can hack it on the command line then you can use gui tools, not before.

  3. 1303

    Texter is epic.

  4. 1954

    I’m not going to get into the fanboy fight so ill stick to the facts.

    If you can find a copy of windows that looks as good as espresso in snow leopard please contact me

  5. 2605

    That’s really good and useful also.

  6. 3256

    I Don’t have a problem with PC’s. To me Windows is where the problem is. There are so many compatibility issues between different windows OS’s and the design and usability is a joke compared to OS X. The way Windows 7 improved itself was it became more like OS X. Why mess with the imitation when you can have the real thing?

  7. 3907

    I know this article is collecting a bit of dust but just for the heck of it I’m hoping that someone reads this and knows that the system you use is a red herring and has nothing to do with how well you design or develop anything. I use a Mac at work and have done so for over a decade. At home I use Windows and FreeBSD exclusively.

    Why? I hate taking my work home with me.

    Apple can create anything they want, but when it comes down to spending double-digit hours a day in front it I want to run away as fast as I can once I’m off the clock. Apple’s OS 10.x gives me nightmares.

  8. 4558

    That is all fine, I am a PC Developer and a Mac user, and I can tell you by my own experience that mac OS X is a superior OS, windows it just dry and tasteless. and the other thing why use Stardock and other features in Windows to emulate a Mac, If I want windows to look like a Mac I buy a Mac. Plus adding all this applications that you are mentioning above just make your PC slower and makes it crash many time, that is one of the reasons I when I ahead and purchase a Mac, because like I said before if I want my PC to look like a MAC I buy a Mac. Software Development, well Mac still have some things it can learn from Microsoft, but remembers this is only the begining, MAC is going to get better and I think is going to be a great competition for Windows.

    One feature I like, about MAC is how simple it is to remove application without leaving a trace of DLL’s and files everywhere, in a mac when you delete a program is gone for ever not traces of it are left behind, the OS respons fater to application execution even when you have less memory that a PC, for example my Windows XP runs faster on my MAC Bookcamp with 2GB of Memory that on my PC with 4 GB Memory, how is this possible, well Apple makes the OS, the Hardware and the Drivers for the Hardware, since they make everything then they have control over the Quality of the drivers, not like on Windows. In windows when a new OS is released many time, the companies have not even finished programming all the new drivers to be compatible with the new OS, and it crashes left and right, ofcourse people blame it on Microsoft, at they are right, part of the problem is MS, but mustly third party device drivers manufacturers who sell half-finished drivers and hardware.

    Anyway at the end, we will see who will win the OS war and for what I can see is going to be apple, I really do not care who does as long as I have a reliable OS where I can develop applications and make a living.

    Note to apple: Please give MAC OS X (X-Code) developers a framework to connect to MySQL and MSSQL like the one Visual Studio has: System.data.sqlclient space name kind of library that is all we need to be able to make commercial software, other wise X-Code is just a single user stand alone application that cannot share information remotelly.

  9. 5209

    Hrrm… unfortunately, you need both… if you are developing for a company, at least if you are higher up the ladder or running a small biz. Now if you want to just do your own site? sure. But if you are a developer like me, when you have to develop, manage sites, databases, graphic designers, other developers, mail servers, AND support clients who use your web applications it is best to have ALL bases covered.
    I have win 7 on a netbook (so I can undock if necessary and take off site) and a mac mini all connected to switchable usbs, and kvm on running 3 24″ viewsonics (1 docked to laptop, 2 out from the mac mini). I also have 2 rackmount servers running centos (redhat linux), one in a colo and another mirroring it here offsite. I couldn’t get done what I need to get done without all 3 os.

    To play devils advocate
    Really I could do everything i need with an ssh terminal, vim, lamp stack and gimp, running on an old pentium 2 box somebody left in an alley but why would I want to?

    by the way… unless you are developing in C#/.NET/ASP/sql server and hosting on IIS… windows would be the bottom of the barrel for a web developer, if that is what you are using then, it would be at the top, also it runs Adobe suite which linux won’t natively…

    personally i use the LAMP stack for server side, AJAX for client side, occasionally RoR, and If we are lucky to get one sometimes inherit something written Java EE, none of these are tuned best for windows…

  10. 5860

    AmigaDOS ftw

  11. 6511

    Interesting posts….

    I am a seasoned software developer and have worked on everything from IBM36, AS400, Windows, Unix, Linux, Mac etc.

    I currently develop for MS environment .Net/SQL Server at work.

    From a user perspective, having limited inet access at home, Linux KDE and OSx mac work well for my kids. I let one of my younger kids get on the internet in Windows environment, once. You know what happened….netstat was scrolling into infinity. My beef with MS is totally around security issues built into the OS, and these never being resolved. Some people don’t have time to download and install hundred meg security updates every week or few days. Yes, linux and mac have their quirks, and need a somewhat knowledgable person to set them up, install hardware, etc. However, the time spent downloading and updating gets in the way of productivity, besides the cost of antivirus and anti spyware. If you are poor, learn linux, if you have money, get a mac, if you have alot of money run windows and pay some poor fool to maintain it for you. (less stress = longer life + more happiness)
    From a pure server processing performance perspective anyone reading this knows what is on top there.

  12. 7162

    Cre8ive Commando

    March 29, 2010 3:50 pm

    I’m used to using a PC and it does everything I need and more. I’ve got nothing against Macs (besides their price) but I don’t think I’ll be changing over to a Mac anytime soon.

    See what others are saying about the Mac VS PC debate and have your say here: http://www.macorpc.net

  13. 7813

    I started working as a PC programmer in 1985, and then LInux in 1995.
    For 20 years I belived that all Mac users were effete elitists who had bought the Steve Job’s hard-sell hook, line, and sinker.

    In 2005 I wandered into an Apple Store trying to kill and hour. I began demoing a PowerBook G4 and suddenly it was 3 hours later and I was thinking “this is what Linux would be like if it worked!” Five years and five Macs later and I still have a couple of PCs. To suggest that they are comparable is doofus.

  14. 8464

    Hah this post is useless…you never even bothered looking at Mac applications……

    Notepad++ ? who cares I have textmate……….
    Wamp ?? Who cares I have MAMP or XAMPP

    plus i have so many more packages I can compile and run with ease using terminal….for full web development experience……

  15. 9115

    i started with a mac and left it behind since i am working in web and this is since 1999. mac is for beginners. I have a bigger peni… than mac users therefore i dont need a mac.

    i think it is also embarrassing what apple does with his consumers. the ipad is the best example that the mac user is not aware of reality and the apple store is the new dictatorship of software selling.

    i know so many poeple who dont understand anything about the web, design or just the basics of computer and guess what most of them are using. yes, a mac and they are so proud that they can send a email with it.

  16. 9766

    Im a web developer … Microsoft .NET developer that now uses a Mac. I made the switch about 6 months ago and so far, the only issue I have had has been software incompatibility. Thats not a major issue because it doesn’t affect me much. Other than that – I will never purchase a PC again. My Mac makes my everyday life so much easier, its extremely dependable ( I now feel my daily use of PC was just a tug-a-war between me and my computer). Mac stay out of your way, let you do what you need to do while PC, there is one issue after another.

    I use .NET on my MacBook, well not really. I have VMWare installed on my Mac with a Windows 7 virtual machine. Any development I do is on my VM, and I use my Mac and the vm side by side (I know windows also has VM software, but its just not the same!)

    I used to be one of those guys that hated Macs just because people loved it just for the hype – until I actually tried it for myself! Now, the only regret I had is why did i go these years destroying my brain cells trying to use horrible OS’s like Windows 98, Windows ME, and the clincher… Windows Vista.

  17. 10417

    If you don’t have a real terminal, you don’t have a computer. This is why I only use OS X and Linux. Terminal + CSS Edit are my top two reasons to use a Mac for WebDev.

    The rest of the stuff on this list are just hokey stand-ins for what are (mostly) built-in OS X features.

  18. 11068

    This article sucks so bad.. All those years that I used a PC was just a bad dream which I can only forget when I touch my iMac. You totally have no idea how cool Mac is in every aspect. Those programs u mentioned r like cheap versions of the real deals we use on Mac. If u like ur PC stick with it but at least have some better grounds to support your PC better than Mac issue before attempting to write such a silly article..

  19. 11719

    On Windows I just feel so cluttered trying to do work and it almost makes me not want to do it because of the freezes and such that we are all used to. Before I got a Mac… i didn’t realize how bad Windows really was. Macs just let you do your own thing and doesn’t bother you or inconvenient you… it actually feels like it inspires creativity in a way since in my idle time I don’t have to do PC maintenance.

  20. 12370

    Proud to be a Mac Snob

    December 28, 2010 3:39 am

    It’s simple. There is no debate. For designers, OS X is better than Windows. Anyone who says otherwise has never owned a Mac. This article proves nothing to me and I will never “switch back” to a PC. I just want my PC to work. I could care less whether it emulates basic OS X functions. I know you anti-Mac users hate it when us Mac-snobs say “it just works” – but hey, its undeniable… “MACS JUST WORK!” It has nothing to do with how advanced you are. Who likes to stress everyday about Windows functionality anyway? I am an advanced Windows user, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to spend any more of my valuable time fixing or tweaking my PC when my Mac does it without bitching. I use my PC (occasionally) for certain tasks… but my sexy 27″ Quad-Core iMac is absolutely the best money I have ever spent — and my trusty 5yr old Powerbook G4 blows any 5yr old PC or Notebook out of the water.

  21. 13672

    Before Windows 7, I would have recommended serious designers to use a MAC – not because of any snob factor, but purely for reliability. However, now that W7 is seemingly bulletproof, I’d recommend a MAC or PC. MACs are great, but they’re not the greatest for testing new web designs. I always use my MAC for DTP, and I simply can’t fault it for that purpose, but now when I’m developing for web content, it’s the W7 PC almost every time.

    I had someone recently accuse me of not being a ‘professional’ web developer for using a PC. I’ve spent many years producing top quality work for various design companies, and also as a freelancer, asking for, and receiving top dollar for my work. It turns out, the person accusing me of being unprofessional was fresh out of college, had hardly any design or development experience, and just so happened to have opted to use own MAC. No doubt, he’d picked up on the snob factor of owning a MAC, and felt pressured into using a MAC for fear of not being taken seriously by other designers and developers.

    I’m all for people loving their MACs, or their PCs, but please don’t try and force your preferences on others as the only way to go. Simply use what best suits YOU – not everyone else.

    To sum up. I used to use MACs for their reliability, but I now use a W7 PC almost exclusively for design and dev.

    • 14323

      Ian Macalinao

      May 5, 2012 5:22 pm

      Macs are not the greatest for testing web designs? Yes, because you need to make your crap work with IE6. Google Chrome is cross-platform and looks the same on all systems.

  22. 14974

    well, if you’re developing native apps for the iPhone and/or iPad in Objective-c you certainly need a mac…..;-)

    you cannot do Objective-C development on windows machine…

  23. 15625

    If you don’t have a real terminal, you don’t have a computer. This is why I only use OS X and Linux. Terminal + CSS Edit are my top two reasons to use a Mac for WebDev.

    The rest of the stuff on this list are just hokey stand-ins for what are (mostly) built-in OS X features.

    THIS ^

    mac has native BASH

    and is closer to my Redhat servers than windows.

    I would gladly ONLY use redhat or centos, but linux doesn’t play with adobe design

    if you are at a big windows corp…then well, you have no choice…

    I def don’t think windows is the way to go though for freelancers.

    for pure dev only then…linux would be the way to go

    for a dev plus designer (I do devleopment for media groups, I also program in php/python…mac is definitely it. )

  24. 16927

    Just because you have no money to buy a mac does not mean you have to tell people that they do not need one. Windows is horrible. Both developers and non developers

  25. 17578

    I use Windows 7, have contemplated getting a Mac, but am severely put off by the condescending attitude of Mac fanboys. Seriously, it´s enough to accept the flaws of Windows just to not risk becoming a douchebag (even though I´m sure it´s just a small, but loud part of the Mac community).. If I read one more “You´re using Vista? LOL!”, or “stolen from MacOS “(like MacOS emerged from the blue without influence from nothing else but the supreme light that emanates from Steve Jobs), or “BSOD and viruses”(which have been strangely absent on Windows 7 for me)… get over yourselves already.. it´s the tools that make your system best for you, and if those tools happen to be powered by MacOS X or (gasp) Windows, so be it.

  26. 18229

    I suppose that, doesn’t matter if you use Windows, Mac or even Linux, atlease, on web-design area.
    Focusing on the Windows-Mac area, most “major” applications made for developers exist in both systems (Adobe CS, for example). Also, we can still program on Notepad or Textedit, or any other program that is able to edit PHP/HTML/CSS or whatever you program.
    In general, doesn’t depends of what system you are using, but of the developer itself…

    Currently I develop on Windows XP/7 using Notepad++ for text files and GIMP/Adobe for images and it’s fine…
    don’t really see any difference from one system to another, just let’s put this way: You can’t compare a $200 bad computer to an Mac and say “Hey, our system is faster!”…
    All you need to have an computer like an Mac is just quality hardware, put some cash into buying an good CPU, memory, GPU and 2 hard-drives (1 SSD) and you have an very good computer, maybe not spending as much you would with an Mac…

    Again, it depends of the developer and not of the operating system you’re using.

  27. 18880

    What is this garbage…

    Is this about developers or designers… or people who can read html and mangled php and use photoshop? What is the market here.

    I use a *real* IDE, not a text editor. It is called Eclipse…if you have never heard of it, you are probably not a professional developer and just toy around trying to sell websites to your family. Guess what, it is open source and cross platform. The underneath operating system isn’t much of a difference from a client perspective, perhaps in a production environment, certainly… But then why would you run mac or windows in a production environment, certainly not mac on the web.

    I do my fair share of design work too from time to time, but I usually outsource it. Creative Suite runs on both Windows and MAC. The Wacom tablets run on both windows and mac. They both run the same hardware also.

    Let’s see what else… If anything, Mac is behind, at least if you develop in Java or J2EE… Apple runs it’s own java builds, and they are horrendously outdated. In fact going forward, they do not plan to continue them. Everybody else gets their builds from java directly.

    Umm, shell? Mac shell is a deprecated bash shell. There goes that argument. Mac is NOT debian. You could put install cygwin or you know use Windows Powershell with UNIX tools (in any non home version) and have just the same results.

    I have a windows 7 laptop *surprise* that I do my development on, I also have a mac mini for testing purposes. I deploy everything to bsd/linux environment.

    Hopefully that clears some things up, use what you are comfortable using, and test for clients needs, end of story.

  28. 20182

    For web development, ie. programming as opposed to design work, you should use whatever platform is closest to the production server. This is generally Linux. For that reason, I use Ubuntu (we use Debian servers), and it is perfect for my needs. Its functional, fast, and beautiful. Want more eye candy? apt-get compiz. Want a Mac style CLI visor? apt-get guake. The command line isnt scary, and if youre a developer, you should be familiar with it anyway. If youre not, use the Software Center app.

    Using a Mac for development for a Linux system is better than using a Windows box, but there are enough differences that it would be better to stay in the family.

  29. 20833

    How I didn’t know about autocomplition in NotePad ++ until now? I’ll check it out.

    And yes, it was very funny for me when I had to help some classmates with Macs – the mouse for mac sucks, so hard to use it – so hard to scroll, to click the “right button”. The dock with application at the bottom was quite frustrating to make it appear, too.
    Anyway, that might be just my first experience, but I’ve also used Ubuntu and I loved it – I just wish there were more programs and applications working in there.

  30. 21484

    He’s just starting a flame war.. wamp is not necessary on mac because its unix based and all the apps are already installed lol or easy to get and compile. Ever try moving a site running on windows apache to a linux box.. lol no fun.

  31. 22135

    What is it all about Windows crashing ? … Seriously, Win7 hasn’t crashed once in a year! Thinking back to my MacBook it crashed once a week – mouse got stuck and the ball thingy was displayed – and I had to reboot. True Windows used to be unstable but in my opinion that’s past.

    I don’t get the argument over Mac or PC in general. I find the design of Mac very appealing and sexy, however, I don’t like the OS. I bought a Mac but sold it after a year as I just didn’t like working on it. But then again – that’s my personal opinion. Some people prefer Mercedes over BMW – well, rest assured both products are well made.

    The only thing that bugs me a bit is that some people think they are all of the sudden so creative because they owe a Mac ?! I don’t get it – so I can’t be creative on a PC? I guess it’s the hype that annoys me …. not necessarily the product – it’s gay seriously! – you ain’t creative nor develop better, nicer or sexier websites based on the OS you are using. Linux, Windows and MacOS are all awesome – doesn’t matter what you prefer – don’t care about efficiency (as the 5 min per day you might save or lose matter) – it’s what you do with it ! And no – the blue screen of death just doesn’t happen every now and then – if it does – configure your machine (and no one is using vista anymore – yes vista was crap!).

  32. 22786

    I have been designing sites with a PC for 10 years.

    I recently have been using a mac as part of a new web design as its standard for the company.

    I have always used Notepad++, I have never used textmate although from what I know there is a comparasion

    For creative suite the colours on a mac screen and fonts do render better however when doing web design you are designing for a majority of people using a PC…. so this is irrelevent!

    I don’t understand what it is that is so great about a mac so far but really would like to hear what people have to say, pro mac people can only say “x is better” and there is no logical arguement at this point which I’d love to hear to see why I am mistaken

    So far there is no simple # key so its an extra keystroke command and 3, the windows do not maximise which is frustrating, to get to my desktop I have to press function and 11 which doesnt minimise all of my programs properly. The drag and drop into programs is not near enough as easy as it is for PC so what am I missing out from??

  33. 23437


    Why is there a debate. Any good tech person would be fine on any of them. Personally I use Windows 7… I have no issues with it. Now, there WERE definitely issues with Vista, horrible OS, no doubt. Most tech people stayed on XP, and by feature sets…yes OSX was ahead for awhile but not so much with Windows 7, it’s stable.

    As for development, I never develop locally anyway. Most real developers develop live in a sandbox on a server which is the same as their production server.
    The photoshop suite is virtually the same on Windows or Mac
    Textmate and Notepad++ are both powerful.

    What is the real problem here? Many users by “bottom of the barrel” PC’s and think all PC’s run like that. Mac does not sell bottom of the barrel hardware and has a higher price point. Pay a similar amount for a PC and you won’t have that issue.

    There aren’t any professional apps at this point which aren’t cross platform, the only people who complain or discriminate are not power users.

    Personally I have a few offsite redhat linux production servers, at my home office I have 2 windows laptops, a windows tower workstation for occasional gaming and file storage, a local linux server 1u rackserver (Dell), a mac mini and a mac pro workstation. I have an android phone, and an ipod touch.
    You might say I’m a bit of a tech geek, I don’t really care about the vendor… But I’ve seen other colleagues with far more stuff, I used to have a full rackserver in my house and know others who still do.

    I am fine on ANY of these…doesn’t matter really. I prefer buying windows laptops however b/c of the price point and the fact I get a new laptop about every year, I don’t trust any laptops really.

    Any CS person or IT vet should be fine on any of these.

    The biggest thing that will help a developer or designer … is more screen space. Get yourself a 30-32″ lcd, maybe a couple of them.

  34. 24088

    I like mac a lot, windows too, I respect windows cos a lot of hardware runs on it those hardwares can cause blue screen etc. I strongly believe if windows have the exact hardware set of mac (I mean lesser types of hardware. Windows will kill mac) we should applaud windows for making it work anywhere even on a mac. I like mac for beauty but I love windows for being there.

  35. 24739

    I use both, both will do, I just prefer OS X for design. The workflow is better for me.

  36. 25390

    I don’t really understand the whole debate of this… A Mac basically runs a UNIX kernel. Most of the functionality of a Mac is “borrowed” from *nix systems, other than their interface, which I will admit, is nicer looking that Windows in most cases.

    Mac runs Intel hardware now so really it just became closer to what everyone is calling a “PC”.

    Windows and Mac have the tools to get the job don’t. This really is a moot debate. If you like Mac, use Mac. If you like Windows, use Windows. You will arrive at the same end-point when you finish your product. If you don’t know what your doing, it really doesn’t matter what you use, it will be of poor quality.

  37. 26041

    I know this article is old, but I wanted to add my 2 cents.

    I am a macbook pro and PC owner. At work we use PC for personal web development I use Mac.

    However when it comes to development your best bet is PC.
    When it comes to web DESIGN your best bet is Mac.

    One reason why development is better on PC is because of that pesky ASP.NET. Microsoft does not play nice with Apple and vice versa.

    Again this is personal opinion and people should use what they are most comfortable with.


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