Leaving macOS, part 1 = Motivations
This is the first part of my entry about leaving macOS.
This serie of articles is a combinaison of telling my life, rants and other pointless stories. You have been warned!
I’ve been using a Mac since the Macintosh SE 30. I was very young at the time, and I don’t remember it very well. Also, I don’t know when I can say I started programming, I remember CodeWarrior, HyperCard and system 5, but not very well. Even when I was working on other OS (Solaris then Linux), it was from my Mac.
Ironically, I’ve done very little native mac development. 90% of my work runs under FreeBSD or Linux servers or in Browsers.
The mac have been a solid platform for me, but lately (the 2–3 last years), it felt more and more uncomfortable. I have been running a hackintosh for the last two years, and while it works, I fear it will stop at any time.
Let’s see what is wrong with macOS, at least for me:
This is not really macOS, but as macOS officially only runs on Apple hardware, it is linked. As I said, I’ve been buying Apple hardware since the SE (my parents at the time, I was 6 years old:D). And I’ve always been happy with it. But things changed. My best Mac was a 2008 (not sure with the date) Mac Pro, I sold it in 2009 when I travelled, and I think it is still used for 3d rendering by the guy I sold it to. That was a solid machine, I threw everything in it (RAM, GPU, HD…). It’s the kind of machine I need.
As Apple is not making any real desktop computer now, I’m using a hackintosh with 32GB ram, an Nvidia 980 TI and some i7 CPU (don’t tell me you know the exact model number of your CPU 2 years after install). It’s not exactly 2 years now, because I bought it when the 980 TI came out as a gaming PC, and it took me a little while to realize I could install macOS on it. ANYWAY… this hackintosh has been working, I have no real issue, iMessage works, perfs are good and except crashes in Adobe apps that are now fixed, I had no GPU issues. BUT… it’s unsupported, it can break anytime with any update.
Working with a hackintosh made me realize I didn’t use the Apple ecosystem extensively. I have an iPhone 4 with iOS 7 on it, I can place calls and read emails on it, which is enough for me. And speaking of ecosystem, you can’t connect the latest iPhone with latest mac hardware without buying a cable, HAHA!
I’m also using 3 27' monitors, so I need a desktop computer that can drive 3 monitors at least. I’d like to upgrade the center monitor to 4k, but I am not sure which configuration is the most comfortable.
Requirements for hardware (if I had to build one today):
Modern CPU with virtualization and shit
128GB ram, I work with some large DB, and 32GB is really small
3 monitors support, 4k each
1TB PCI SSD
Nvidia 1080 TI
Apple is clearly not building this machin anytime soon, I had hopes, but it’s dark, and I don’t want to be limited by Apple mood anymore.
MacOS is kinda bad today
I remember the first version of MacOS I tried, it was a CD I got from Apple (at the time, you’d got tons of CD sent to you when you were an Apple developer). It had big Aqua interface with candy like buttons.
OS X/Mac OS was really good up to 10.6 (Snow Leopard). Issues started after that. A small list:
Network shares are hard to get mounted at boot without a lot of tinkering
The finder side bar keeps losing things I put in because it lives on the network.
FUCKING FULL SCREEN MODE WHEN THE GREEN BUTTON IS CLICKED
FUCKING FULL SCREEN MODE, I mean, once I was stuck in it, I pulled the plug, I was so angry, I felt like a 80yo elder in front of a computer. I realized later my gaming mouse was not triggering the menu bar to appear for some reason.
Tons of issues with SMB share permissions… I sorted it mostly with hacks on the server (cron job that fix permissions…)
There is a lot of other little things I don’t think of now as I write this, and I might be even used to them.
As a general platform, MacOS is no longer that solid platform that never get in the way and “just works”. It still has a UI I like, the best font rendering around and other niceties. But I’ll come to the good points in another part of my article.
General Apple direction
This one will be short, I feel like Apple just don’t care about what I do with the Mac. I’m not going to say that I sold hundred of macs and encouraged hundred more people to get on Mac, even if it’s true. I’m not looking for pitty or anything, Apple is a company willing to make money, money is in the iPhone/iPad area, so they go there, fine by me, but it’s not a direction I can follow.
I’d like to move away of MacOS because the hardware I want don’t exist, the OS is getting more and more buggy and I feel that Apple as a company is steering away from my path.
UPDATE: Part 2 is available.