Computers & Tech

Linux & the Mac-Man

To my faithful followers, I apologize for not posting for a while. The truth is not that I’ve been busy, but I’ve been rather uninspired. Considering this is the first post in a long time, I’d ask you to bear with me a little more while I get a bit nerdy. 🙂

It probably comes as a surprise to know that although I am huge fan of Mac OS, one of the shows that I follow is the Lunduke Hour by Bryan Lunduke and his consecutive show – Linux Thursdays; co-hosted with guests like Matt Hartley. Yes.. these shows are about Linux and so why does someone who is  fan of Apple and MacOS, watching shows about Linux?

Why am I happy to endorse Linux to a number of users, but refrain from using it as a Desktop myself…? Sounds contradictory?
Yes it is.. Truth be told I’m a Mac-Man. I will always be a Mac-Man.
Ever watched the old Apple, “I’m a PC, I’m a Mac” ads? I will always find myself on the Mac camp.
I choose Mac because it just works and does what I want it to do. Can I do what I need to do with Windows or Linux?
Yes.. I could. But I choose Mac OS because I like Mac OS.

So what is the fascination over Linux? While I’m a Mac person, I’m also a technology fan. I enjoy Unix like operating systems and technologies.  With Linux, I like the idea of being in complete control of my system and being able to change what anything and everything as I please.

Hardcore Linux fans always seem to talk about free software movement and privacy, etc. I suppose that they are seen as hippies fighting against “the Man”; be it government bodies or big businesses, etc.

In the past, Linux was seen as the rebel, fighting against the tyranny of Microsoft’s monopoly on the PC software market. These days, with the gaining popularity of Apple, the fight is against “the Man” is now more to do with Apple’s recent success. In comparisons, you often hear terms of being trapped in a useless ecosystem and forced to use software that you have to pay for.

OK.. I admit that to the one with the limited budget, free software is an excellent idea. You don’t need to pay. You get the kind of software that you want, with access to all the source code as well. All that is asked of you is that, if you develop a patch or make improvements to the code, you make it available to everyone that is using the application. Hence  the idea of open source.
It is a great idea, that forms an awesome social community of developers and users that lends to the idea of sharing good ideas and inventions for the good of humanity.

However, I am not sure that most users of Linux these days are actually into all of that sharing and caring stuff. I think that its mostly about everything being free and easily downloadable from the internet. Mankind is self-centered as a whole. All of us are in a our own race for survival. So the mentality is that if something is free, grab it, use it and don’t give it another second thought.

I won’t get into Linux’s history and stuff. All that was and is covered in previous articles as well as numerous other forums and blogs. While Linux as a whole is a great system, the communities behind it leave something to be desired; religious distro wars, etc.

Bryan Lunduke has a great presentation that he has been doing for a few years now called “Linux Sucks”.

The main idea behind the presentation is to review the reasons why Linux hasn’t claimed the market share it should have; especially since it is free.

So what about the Mac-Man i.e… Me.. Where do I stand? Am I for Free Software, Open Source? Or am I for big business & Proprietary stuff?
Like I said, I’m a fan of good technology in all its forms. I do believe and think that open source model is a good idea that brings about great software, but at the same time, I am for the ability to give the developer the freedom of choice in choosing what happens to his code.

As far as I know, the usage of Linux basically states that any software developed for it, has to be made freely available to all and even the source code should be made public. I guess this is ideally what the Linux Foundation and the GPL would like to see.

You always notice that the free software proponents always talk about the “user”. The user’s rights and freedoms to have complete authority over his / her system. I agree with this completely.
However the idea of free software isn’t clear on how it benefits the developer. What about the developer? I noticed that nothing is mentioned about developers and their rights. Maybe it is mentioned in the fine print of the GPL, but if you want any shortened version, I haven’t come across it.
Another query is about financial support, etc.? What if this person is an independent developer and has no other form of income? Should he/she still give all his/her hard work away free of charge? That certainly does not sound fair. Maybe there are is a way of compensating a developer in this form of tech sharing. But it does not seem apparent or obvious. You can always start a patreon campaign or some other form of donation scheme, but realistically, it is guaranteed that there are many Linux users who will not give a single dime unless they are 100% completely compelled to. And compelling people to pay for software is what the Free Software foundation does not want.

This certainly accounts for the many open source projects currently out there; asking for donations and receiving pretty much pennies for software that in the practical sense is worth millions. If there is anyone who can shed some light on it, comment below. I would happy to hear your feedback. I’m not an expert of such matters and I would like to learn about it.

For what its worth.. as I said earlier. I admire what the Linux community has done as a whole. All the hard work is great. They took a kernel and made it into something seen as a viable alternative operating system. Most, if not all, of the supercomputers today are all running Linux.
However at the same time, the Linux community needs to understand that not everyone can operate in that form. Can’t judge people or user for the choices in what operating system they make. Most people in the world are not into customizing their system or complete control or spying etc. If a government entity wants to spy on its people, it will find a way to do so; with or without the use of technology. Most users just want to switch their systems on and get their job done. Same with the phones. That is the reason that the iPhone still sells. It just works and gets the job done. Not the best. But it gets it done.

Another issue that Linux has is in application support. There are great apps on Linux, but most aren’t nearly as good as their proprietary counterparts. There isn’t really a replacement for Photoshop. Yes, you can do basic photo manipulation with quite a few apps, but having Tried many of them, I think they have a long way to go. LibreOffice is great, but still does not feel as full featured or as premium as MS Office or even Apple’s own “Pages”.
On the whole, Linux does not have replacements, it has alternatives; with the exception of Kdenlive – That is a replacement.

So while I do not agree with Apple in everything that it does, I do respect that they have their reasons. Mostly involves on making a profit; but in part comes of trying to give their users a certain kind of experience. I still enjoy using Mac OS and it works very well for me. It does everything that I need it to do. If one day I am forced to change platforms, I will choose FreeBSD. I like their ports and package system. And many parts of the current MacOS comes from the BSDs. However, for as long as I am able, I will forever be a Mac-Man.

6 replies »

  1. Nice article, on the developers issue I think it’s clear that, as a developer if your choosing to license your software this way, you have a reason for doing so, financially motivated or not. Additionally, if your developing a program by forking or basing it on open-source code, your benefiting from their work, and standing on their progress so I think it works out.

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