For years I’ve been grumbling about OS X – Apple’s loss leading product that’s the best thing they’ve ever made for users – turning into iOS – Apple’s loss leading product that’s the best thing they’ve ever made for their business – and how it’s bad for users. I’ve also been toying with the idea of making a Hackintosh for a long time.
So when, 7 weeks ago, I came back from holiday to start work on a new project, only to find my 2.5 year old MBP with an unrecoverably broken HDD, I decided to buy a different laptop. I needed something to code on quickly and didn’t want to spend a lot of money, so after a very small amount of research I opted for Acer’s cheap-as-chips C7 Chromebook.
It’s got a dual core 1.1GHz chip, came with 2GB RAM that I’ve bumped to 10GB (it has user-upgradeable parts) and a 320GB HDD. With my RAM upgrade it cost £250 all in. It’s lighter than a Macbook Air and smaller too, with a decent keyboard.
And you know what? I haven’t looked back. OK, well I am cheating a bit. I still have a Mac Mini in the living room that I use almost every day. And I’ve only really used this machine for browsing and coding (which is a dream – coding on the same platform you’re deploying to is great!). And I have occasionally missed Keynote, Photoshop and Illustrator, though the LibreOffice presentation thing isn’t too bad.
But overall, Ubuntu (with Unity in my case) is easy to learn, easy to set up, easy to use, fast, and basically great. Actually so is Chrome OS, though it doesn’t support a lot of the dev tools I need. Most of the utilities you’re used to using on your computer work well on Ubuntu (Skype, Dropbox, etc); so there’s really no need to hold back. And for £200 for a portable, relatively hardwearing machine, you really should…