I have again been asked recently by those around me: "Why a Mac?" Despite that it was not so much of a shocking revelation when I realized that the general argument that it makes web development easier is no longer convincing anymore, I was still quite perplexed. After thinking for a few days straight, I finally nailed down the subconscious reasons why I chose a Mac in the absurd age where Apple hardware, in terms of specs, is no different than any other PC.
- It just works.
This seems to go without saying, but it really is true that when I plug in the devices I bought to a Mac, it almost always works immediately. This is sometimes true for Windows, but half of the time I have to install the drivers that are included. Linux. It's getting there, but not quite. Ubuntu is doing an alarmingly good job at supporting various devices and in certain scenarios, outdoing Windows by a margin.
- Eye candy software and pretty hardware.
I will not lie to myself and claim that eye candy is useless. When used sparingly, eye candy increases productivity by providing useful, intuitive visual cues and just pleasing the users in general. Linux needs lots of manual configuration to get there. The furthest Windows can get is either Aero on Windows Vista (which, I admit, is the prettiest version of Windows yet) and GDI++ on Windows XP. Customization is cool, but it does bring awkwardness when certain apps that break because they weren't written with Windows theming in mind.
- Sweet blend of proprietary and free software.
Linux has a huge repertoire of free software, but there is a lack of commercial software support. Wine can alleviate this a bit, but there is a limit for Wine as to how native a Windows app can behave on Linux. Windows has the hugest amount of software available, be it commercial software, freeware, or free software, but even Cygwin can't make up its unfriendliness to various open source tools. Mac OS X, on the other hand, has lots of commercial software offerings (e.g. Adobe) and, along with its Unix / BSD heritage, makes messing with open source tools way easier in general.
- Viruses are out of the picture.
Because Mac OS X does not have a huge market share, it is not an attractive platform for malware authors. This means I don't have to deal with security software and other similar headaches on a daily basis.
The fact that I have less time to reinstall Windows every now and then, lower tolerance for ugly UIs, more chances to muck around with Photoshop, and more lines in my
~/.bash_profile than your average user shows that Mac OS X is currently my ideal platform.