In 2011 I got a Macbook Air for a christmas gift. It changed my life in a huge way. I’d been a Microsoft Windows user for a long time. I’d also been doing primarily .NET C# Coding (along with more than a few other languages) for more years than I’d like to count. But at this particular time I knew that I was at a turning point in what I would be working on in the coming years. This Macbook Air was the gateway into a new realm of getting things done on the bleeding edge. This was something that had truly been a long while coming, and I was more than ready for this change.

My days exclusively using Microsoft Technologies were coming to an end.

You see, I’d been bitten by the distributed systems, cloud computing, and large scale, advanced, super computer (yeah, actual super computers) bug. I loved this computing space and I was extremely curious what opportunities it held. I had long wanted to delve more into these topics and work more diligently with larger scale, distributed, and related system concerns. Whether it was in the web space or some other area, it didn’t matter, I was curious in a host of things and reasons people were building these systems and applications around them.

Windows and Microsoft Technologies were almost nonexistent in this space.

I’d cut my teeth earlier in my career working around computer scientists that extensively used UNIX and, even in the earliest days of Linux, had begun doing some large scale compute. I got to see the first Beowolf Clusters being put together. Even brought some of the actual computers to the research lab crew that was putting them together. I saw and even got to allocate compute resources on the Naval Oceanographic Office’s super computer located out at Stennis Space Center. This was real computing and I had wanted more of it ever since then.

Windows & Microsoft Technologies were nowhere to be seen.

Moving to Mac was extremely easy. I quickly adapted to shortcut keys and started finding tools I needed to get the job done. I picked up the Jetbrains Suite of IDEs and quickly found other applications to take the place of other various needs. With gaming that was relatively easy too, as more games were starting to be released for the Mac in 2011 anyway. I’ll admit though, still no heavy game and haven’t been since probably 2004.

But the Mac gave me the system I needed for daily work to get into all of the aforementioned things. Which I did. Something that Windows hadn’t provided. Something that .NET was sorely missing. I was finally truly getting into systems, algorithms, architectures, and advanced levels things that I had really wanted to work with and it was a freaking blast.

The other thing is, at the time, OS-X was simply more stable, faster, and simply didn’t have many of the issues that I dealt with under the helm of Windows. I was seriously relieved to shift. Many things have changed today, and Windows has decided to behave more like a mature operating system - especially since it now has bash, linux subsystems running natively on the operating system itself, and related features. But in 2010, Windows was just not relevant in the technologies that were becoming extremely relevant to advanced systemic development and design.

However… Apple Happened.

Since 2010 though numerous significant things have occurred that have encouraged me to both give Windows a shot again (like the aforementioned bash & linux subsystem features) and also many reasons to just shift to Linux altogether. In 2016 I decided to actually start a shift toward Linux at about the same time that Windows started to release its bash & linux subsystem work, which I found highly ironic.

But, that hasn’t been the push I needed to move in that direction again, but I already had enough oompf, and work I was doing daily with Linux that a Linux system would be very useful. That’s when I decided to pick up the System 76 machine.

So far, it’s by far been one of the more useful systems I’ve ever owned. I’ll admit, I do two primary things with this system: play a few select games I like and work on coding projects.

I’ll also add one more caveat. I still have a number of computers. To list them all:

  • 15” Macbook Pro (2013 generation)
  • 15” Macbook Pro (2016 current generation, work system)
  • System 76 Leopard Workstation (2016)
  • Dell XPS 13” Developer Edition Laptop w/ Ubuntu, but now running Elementary.
  • Dell 15” Dealio from 2006. Rarely used, but I have it. It has Windows 7 & Ubuntu on it, but I also haven’t started it since early 2016.
  • iMac 27” Desktop that I use regularly when I want a desktop feel for using Mac Apps.

I’m squarely plopped right in between MacOS and Ubuntu land these days. That’s where this next series is about to start. I’m going to write up some findings of certain types of applications that I have worked at finding to parallel certain tools that I have had previously on MacOS or Windows. This is a series that will detail my efforts to get application parity on Ubuntu, and hopefully at some point not look back any further at the other operating systems for any particular needs. In the meantime, this series is my log of those efforts.