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 Link

Notepad++ (code editor) Link

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) Link

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) Link

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 Link

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) Link

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) Link

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) Link

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 Link

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

The Dock → RocketDock Link

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 Link

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 Link

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 Link

Custom Visual Styles Link

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 Link

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 Link

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 Link

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 Link

  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

    Macs never have been the preferred choice for web development.

    -1
  2. 2

    I use a mac, im mostly a dev, but i do some designing from time to time. And i think the mac is way.. smoother to code on. Every tool you’ll ever need can be found for free, online.

    And OSX have some wonderfull editors, like Coda and TextMate. I wouldn’t mind working on the PC, but i love my mac way to much, so i wouldn’t change my home machine for that.. I think i made my point..

    Cheers!

    2
  3. 3

    Web developers dont use Macs because they have to – they use them because they want to and because, well, they are just better…

    2
  4. 4

    It seems like majority of this article is trying to rationalize key Mac functions that can be “migrated” or done with another piece of software on a PC.

    Why not just buy a computer that does all of these things already without having to hack a PC. Apple does most of these things right out of the box and have been doing it the right way for years.

    Instead of saying instead of “item 1” on a Mac, use “Item 2” on a PC, the better argument would have been all of the things that a Mac cannot accomplish (even with extra software) that a PC can. The reason it wasn’t done that way, is because it’s all relative.

    3
  5. 5

    i think you heart is in the right place here. I am a very avid mac user and developer but this is going to be a debate that lasts a long time. Honestly in my dev career I’ve used Mac, PC, and Linux to create great sites and apps and to me there is no difference in how it’s made, this is why we have web standards. I use a Mac because I have found niche apps that increase my workflow and productivity when compared to using PC or Linux. At the end of the day, each OS has amazing tools to use and the debate should be what the best or open source, it should be what is the easiest for you to create.

    2
  6. 6

    Exactly – “should make your daily work (and play!) easier and more efficient”, not “more trendy”. Good one!

    0
  7. 7

    Excellent post. I used a Mac at work for design and quickly found myself wondering, “All the hype, for THIS?!” I was thoroughly unimpressed and I would never trade my PC for a Mac. The advertising blitz by Apple is really impressive, but the truth is that both platforms have their advantages. To each his own, but I’ll stick with my portly, self-deprecating PC.

    0
  8. 8

    Great article. It’s nice to see some balance to the mac-worship that’s been flooding Smashing over the last few weeks.

    0
  9. 9

    really? The Best Parts Of The Mac??? Those aren’t the best of mac trust me! Have you ever tried all those on windows with 2Gb ram?
    PC is very nice for dev but mac also :)

    0
  10. 10

    Macs come with very few variations in hardware.

    Time to wake up :)

    Hackingtoshes has been around for quite a long time now. I’m typing from one right now, and my AMD processor is doing it’s job beneath the desk.

    0
  11. 11

    Nice post. I love notepad++. I like how you can set the background to black, with colored text. Really saves the eyballs.

    Its amazing how rarely a truly unbiased article like this (no opinions, just options) comes through. Apple’s computers may be good, but their advertising is better.

    0
  12. 12

    I am a web developer and I use a mac, the text editors on windows are alright, but I prefer coda and textmate over all of them, plus the font rendering on windows hurts my eyes, it’s that bad.

    0
  13. 13

    Samantha Armacost

    June 10, 2009 3:30 pm

    Notepad++ is the only reason I ever think longingly about getting a PC. That and being able to test IE instantly.

    0
  14. 14

    It seems like majority of this article is trying to rationalize key Mac functions that can be “migrated” or done with another piece of software on a PC.

    Um… there’s only mention of three mac features that can be replicated on a PC. I would call that more of briefly touching on the subject, rather than a majority of the article.

    0
  15. 15

    Any chance of a third article in this ‘series’ on using the operating system at the heart of the internet: Linux?

    0
  16. 16

    Great post! I completely agree and as a mac hater I couldn’t be happier about this…. we need an article talking about linux now! ;)

    0
  17. 17

    Developers don’t NEED a Mac & they don’t NEED a PC either. Everyone has their own preference & that’s all this really comes down to. I used a PC for the majority of my life. In the past I preferred Windows simply because I was comfortable with it. When my school gave me a Mac laptop a year ago I started using it for all of my design & development. As of right now I prefer using a Mac for all my design & development.

    0
  18. 18

    I would never dream of developing on a mac again. I switched to a PC a year ago, and I love how the PC is so configurable, software and hardware. Mac users are so stuck in using what they are given, to me its all about customizations to make the environment suit you as perfectly as possible.

    0
  19. 19

    Yeah, I suppose you could build sites and web apps with a Windows PC…and you could also use spray-mount to do your layouts. Hey! Here’s an idea you might be interested in. I’ll generate a bunch of content related to a specific geographic region and compile it all in the evening, then we can print them all out and hand deliver each copy to our users. I’ve even got a catchy name for the service…I call it “NewsPaper”.

    Care to invest?

    0
  20. 20

    Excuse me, but the article is nonsense. Are you telling us that you don’t need Mac because you can almost turn your PC into a Mac using a bunch of crappy utilities? If you want Mac, why don’t you buy it instead of trying this nonsense? Seriously, you are not getting anywhere close to the Mac by installing the apps you suggest. Anyone who worked on Mac for more than 1 hour will confirm…

    0
  21. 21

    Having used Quicksilver and Launchy, Launchy gets nowhere close to the power of Quicksilver. Launchy is close, but still lacks a lot of functionality that Quicksilver provides.

    0
  22. 22

    I dont find many people that “love” their PC but a lot of people “love” their mac.

    Basically this means people think it is cool/pretty/trendy/whatever and as someone who wants to do work and not pose I really couldnt gaf.

    Mac or PC does not matter anymore, if it ever really did.

    0
  23. 23

    That’s a sad article. Keep trying there little guy.

    0
  24. 24

    By installing Windows on my Mac (using Parallels in my case), I can test in all the major browsers on the two most common platforms. Can I do that (easily) on a PC?

    Beyond that, I just don’t want to fight with my computer. I just want to get my work done. I find that I fight much, much less with a Mac than I do with Windows. YMMV

    0
  25. 25

    I used a mac at the office for a few weeks (after my pc had a major failure), and I tried just about every app I could get (without paying much) but I just could not create a nice, comfortable development environment. I really wanted it to work because my pc is so old, and I really do like the mac, but it just wasn’t meant to be. I’m back on the pc, and although it’s a little slow, it feels right.

    0
  26. 26

    This post should have been labeled “How to hack your PC for features Mac’s have enjoyed for years”

    If you’re serious about design and development, you shouldn’t be worried about $500 for a quality machine. Keep on hackin’ it Windows!

    0
  27. 27

    I’ ve been working with PCs and Windows since 1996. In 2007 I switched to Apple and will never go back again. I am know “everything” about Windows, because I had to fix it way to often. OSX is a very strong reason for me using a Mac. Windows Vista was the killer for the PC. I have been using XP when needing a PC.

    0
  28. 28

    Well, as a web developer, I used to use Photoshop a lot on my PC. Now that I “converted” my PC to a Hackintosh, I find that Photoshop works *way* faster and smoother on OSX than on XP (with the exact same hardware configuration). The whole Finder / QuickLook / Photoshop bindings are imho nicer than on Windows. The file explorer of Windows is truly crappy when you compare it to file explorer in other systems (I regularly use Gnome and KDE also). BTW, you should have mentioned QuickLook in your article… it really is a killer system when it comes to quickly previewing a PSD.

    Also the Mac, as a Unix system, has native connectivity with Linux servers: especially, ssh works out-of-the-box here to remotely administrate a server. MacFusion is also very handy (especially compared to sftpdrive, which is expensive besides being quite unstable).

    As to the text editors, I personnaly prefer vim with some custom macros (like the one you gave as an example for Texter)… Macvim is truly outstanding (well, gvim works on Windows too). IMHO, “mouse editors” are far less productive than a keyboard-only editor like vim, once you took the time to master it. No need to take my hands off the keyboard when I need to quickly jump to a line, a keyword, find something…

    0
  29. 29

    Great post, I didn’t know about some of this apps and they are really helpfull, like Launchy and Syncback.

    For #3, about Coda and TextMate, I’m a Windows user (I’m a gamer too) and I use e-text editor and I think it’s a great alternative for TextMate in Windows.

    0
  30. 30

    Great article, and even it is aimed at developers, it can be easily extended to designers. I often find myself struggling with designers who think they design better just because they own a mac, but no, they don’t design better and they will never do, because the only important tool is within our head. You can have a PC, a Mac or a Linux but if you don’t have “it” you won’t design any better.

    0
  31. 31

    I am a web designer / developer, at work with a pc, at home with a mac. I use Notepad++ at work and this is a horrible experience, not friendly at all, such a waste of time… but… unfortunately this is, as you say, by far the best!

    I have just downloaded Eclipse.. not tried yet. Any feedback about it?

    I use TextMate at home. What can I say? This is soooo easy to read and write!!!

    It’s good to know the Free stuff but sometime it’s not enough. Does anyone knows about e-Text Editor? What do you think would be the best development software for pc (free or not)?

    Taking about design, Adobe softwares are mostly the same in both platform, and even when there is a difference, it doesn’t hurt. However I am still wondering why my G5 from 2004 works better than my dual-core pc from 2009…

    0
  32. 32

    any MAC haters who’ve posted comments and own an iPhone please come back for try-outs next season.

    0
  33. 33

    I use both for web developping, PC and Mac, since I work in different companies. For my own private and freelance stuff I use Mac. The job is well done on both systems but on Mac the workflow is smoother and just more fun. Everything seems better organized to me and I work faster on the Mac. If I never tried a Mac, I probably would miss nothing but since I did (6 years ago) I will never ever switch back again. Just in the last two years so many great products came up for Mac, you need a second to understand how they work and you start producing. On Windows it often means trouble befor you are ready to go – I don’t miss nothing using OS X.

    0
  34. 34

    LOL I love the title of this post (and the post itself of course)! I have used a PC for many years for graphic and web design and I love it. I used a Mac for about two years at a previous employer and honestly, I dont see why having a Mac is best for my line of work. In fact, the many Macs I used throughout my life just froze and crashed on me all the time (dont get me wrong, I still love Macs, but I dont see them any better than PC besides security).

    0
  35. 35

    Genuine question, if Macs are so great why are there, what, 100* times more Windows based PC’s in use all over the world?

    *Yes, I’ve just made this statistic up but you get the picture. Also I have no affiliation with anyone, I don’t give a crap if people use PC’s, Mac’s or an abacus.

    I think Josh has hit the nail on the head…

    0
  36. 36

    Fair enough piece.

    I’m a very happy Mac user but had been becoming a tad uncomfortable with all the Mac love here lately.

    One advantage of PCs not mentioned is you don’t need to run an extra virtual PC to check out how your site looks in Internet Explorer. I lose 1/2 gigabyte having to have Parallels running Windows. And that’s just for IE7. With Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, FireFox, Safari and Windows all running, my 3GB of memory starts to run a bit thin.

    BTW If IE7 checks out ok, then I can just use browsershots.org to check IE6 and IE8. And if they highlight any serious probs, I can then fire up a virtual PC for each (which I’d have to do on Mac or PC).

    And yes, you owe it to the Linux crowd to run a piece on webdev on Linux.

    0
  37. 37

    More than anything else, I find that keeping organized on my Windows XP machine to be far easier w/ the start menu than with Mac. I’m not much for installing shit-tons of programs and extras, I stick w/ Notepad++, FileZilla, Photoshop, and XAMPP… I literally have no other dev tools installed.

    0
  38. 38

    One thing I like about the Mac more than the PC (and there aren’t many reasons, I miss the PC), is the command button instead of the CTRL button. Has anyone using a PC gotten a sore pinky finger because the CTRL button is not placed ergonomically? Other than that, I miss developing in Dreamweaver (code-view only, of course), Coda hasn’t impressed me at all.

    Heck, I even had to alter an option to allow me to tab through web forms on the Mac! And the Windows Explorer window is a lot more functional to me than a Mac Finder window. You can’t paste an local directory address into the Finder window.

    0
  39. 39

    I have a laugh when some envious windows users say, “O I had a Mac and I switched back to PC” … Dont LIE, (most of)you never had one ! You’ll probably throw your windows junk out of the “windows” if you had the money to buy a Mac instead.

    1
  40. 40

    Great post thank you, I am always get “rugged” on by my Elite Mac users peers. I love my pc with all its misgivings. The apple gang advertisers sure make good commercials that’s for sure.

    0
  41. 41

    +1 on the next post about Linux!

    0
  42. 42

    So you should switch to a PC so you can use Notepad… I don’t think so.

    Notepad, I know TextMate. TextMate is a friend of mine. You, sir, are no TextMate.

    0
  43. 43

    not sure what nail he hit the head of.

    you should also take a look at municipalities in europe who are switching over to non-windows based PCs. the reason they are so prolific is because microsoft has strong-armed hardware manufactures to bundle windows with their computers.

    question, if windows is so great, why are companies (dell, asus, etc…) pushing linux options? why have apple’s sales been increasing and microsoft’s been going down?

    0
  44. 44

    Smashing Editorial

    June 10, 2009 3:58 pm

    If you are willing to write a piece about Linux, please contact us in the comments!

    0
  45. 45

    PC+MacOSX = Best you can get at the best price.

    0
  46. 46

    I am a web dev on windows and i found this article lacking. With the exception of CS3/4 every tool you need is available for free on both sides. Visual Studio Express and SQL Server Express are two big ones you missed on windows. I have to agree with some of the other posts, it sounds like you are trying to justify using windows by substituting X on windows for Y on MAC. Does it really matter what iron you use to develop your code as long as you code to the web standards? And isn’t that the whole point.

    0
  47. 47

    ben: to get a local address you press shift+cmd+g… and can start typing and tab-to-complete to get to the folder you want. however, finder is being updated because they’ve had so many complaints about it.

    0
  48. 48

    I think this is a fair article. While a PC user myself, I feel that this article does a great job of showcasing a PC’s capabilities as a web-development tool. It is nice to read an article by an author who isn’t in love with Macs.

    It is frustrating to read the comments and see all the PC-bashing, but I think the article makes some pretty valid points. And to those posts to the effect of:

    ” This post should have been labeled “How to hack your PC for features Mac’s have enjoyed for years” ”

    I suggest you re-read the article to actually understand the points that the author is making.

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  49. 49

    I am a developer and a designer. I use both Macs and PCs. You can shoehorn this type of work onto ANY platform including one of the myriad Linux distros or OpenSolaris. Notepad++ is hardly a killer app. It has one of the worst UIs I have ever seen. It is clunky and ugly. I’m glad it’s free because I would never pay for it. On Linux, try Geany. On Mac, try TextMate or BBEdit. All of these knocks the pants off of Notepad++ without breaking a sweat. If you want to cite the reasons to stay on Windows, all you need to say is this: it’s cheaper, you’ll always be compatible with everyone else, and no one will tell you that you’re just an Apple fanboy who likes Macs because they’re pretty.

    I always suggest that people use whatever fits their budget and preference. Yet, out out of all the machines I have used in the past 20 years, nothing compares to today’s Macs. They are truly incredible machines. It’s almost impossible to understand what makes the experience so different until you have used one for a few months. It isn’t just the applications or the dock. It’s a thousand tiny things. Things that you probably wouldn’t notice at first, but slowly come to the foreground in your daily workflow. The attention to detail, usability, and aesthetics is phenomenal. Everything is integrated. It all works together seamlessly with amazingly few hiccups.

    Plus there is one thing a Mac has that no Windows PC has: POSIX compliance. I am a UNIX geek, and I think Cygwin is an abomination. Windows and UNIX don’t work well together, and in a world where most web servers are designed for Linux and UNIX, it just makes sense to design on (or near to) the platform you’ll be deploying to. But one certainly doesn’t HAVE to use a Mac. Use whatever works for you.

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  50. 50

    Well when it comes to webcoding let’s just admit that GNU/Linux beats both Windows and Mac. No question about this. (I hope)

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