Why am I not a Fanboy?
October 18, 2008 1 Comment
Let me be very clear from the beginning: I support open source wholeheartedly. I support GPL and BSD (two main open source “points of view”, as I see them) equally. I believe in the best tool for the job. This is why I am willing to support closed source as well.
The computing environment I deal with includes: Windows desktops and servers; Solaris servers; Linux servers; pfSense firewalls; Cisco Pix firewalls; and Cisco switches and routers. My primary workstation is a Windows desktop, which runs all kinds of open source applications, from Putty to OpenOffice, from Pidgin to Thunderbird, from Nmap to VirtualBox. At the same time, I use Cisco VPN client, SQL Server Management Studio, TOAD, PCAnywhere, and other closed source, proprietary applications. I do this because I am looking for the right tool for the job.
Linux/Unix servers I deal with are for various purposes: web server (Ubuntu), MySQL server (Ubuntu), load balance (CentOS), firewall (pfSense), Wireshark (CentOS), and proprietary applications (Solaris/CentOS). Any development that I need to do, I do using Python (in very rare case, C++).
To make things even more interesting, my notebook computer is a Macbook running Tiger. Again, I have a whole bunch of open source as well as closed source applications running on it. I surf the web using Firefox, listen to music on iTunes, watch movies on DVD Player, run virtual machines (Windows XP and CentOS 5.2) on VMware Fusion, try out Linux distributions by downloading them using Transmission, and so on.
I used Ubuntu exclusively as my desktop for about a year some time ago. I did not miss Windows at all. But now my requirements are changing, and so is my computing environment. I need all these applications to get things done, and if I feel more comfortable using them in a certain environment, why shouldn’t I?
Macs make excellent workstations. With the power of virtualization in hand, I can use Windows and Linux all at once. Same can be said for Windows and Linux themselves (except Macs can’t be run in virtual machines, for now). I wanted to be a Windows fanboy before I tried Linux. Then I wanted to be a Linux fanboy before I tried Mac. I wanted to be a Mac fanboy before I saw how good both Windows and Linux are becoming every day. There is so much interesting technology out there that it is the most interesting tech time ever. If only Mac OS can be run in VirtualBox or VMware or Parallels, we could have the best of all worlds: choose your favorite OS as your primary and then run all others virtually. Then you wouldn’t have to be a fanboy either.