on tools and operating systems

Sometimes people ask why do I use MacOSX as my main work platform (isn’t that something to do with beliefs?). My answer is “good foundation with great user interface”. Though that can be treated as “he must like unix kernel and look&feel!”, it is not exactly that.

What I like is that I can have good graphical stable environment with some mandatory tools (yes, I used OS-supplied browser, mail, etc), but beside that maintain the bleeding edge open-source space (provided by MacPorts).

Also what I like, is OS-supplied development and performance tools. DTrace included is awesome, yes, but Apple did put some special touch on it too. This is visualization environment for dtrace probes and other profiling/debugging tools:

Even the web browser (well, I upgraded to Safari4.0 ;-) provides some impressive debugging and profiling capabilities:

Of course, I end up running plethora of virtual machines (switching from Parallels to VirtualBox lately), but even got a KDE/Aqua build (for kcachegrind mostly). I don’t really need Windows apps, and I can run ‘Linux’ ones natively on MacOSX, and I can run MacOSX ones on MacOSX.

There’s full web stack for my MediaWiki work, there’re dozens of MySQL builds around, there’re photo albums, dtrace tools, World of Warcraft, bunch of toy projects, few different office suites, Skype, NetBeans, Eclipse, Xcode, integrated address books and calendars, all major scripting languages, revision control systems – git, svn, mercurial, bzr, bitkeeper, cvs, etc.

All that on single machine, running for three years, without too much clutter, and nearly zero effort to make it all work. Thats what I want from desktop operating system – extreme productivity without too much tinkering.

And if anyone blames me that I’m using non-open-source software, my reply is very simple – my work output is open-sourced.

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5 Responses to on tools and operating systems

  1. I love safari 4’s new debug tool. Still looking for a good mac visual valgrind/kcachegrind-type tool..

  2. Thanks for pointing to Instruments, I didn’t know about that one yet (now I can stop drooling over Sun’s dtrace implementation in their servers–although still really cool).

    Cheers!

    Jilles

  3. Nils says:

    Although I did like the Operating System I didn’t really care for the hardware, so I sticked with Linux… What kind of box do you use with OS X?

  4. nils, for my work – single iMac with additional display (revA intel, the very very earliest intel mac), for travels – macbook

  5. Johannes Beigel says:

    Did you have any particular reasons why you switched from Parallels to VirtualBox? I’m using Parallels 3.0 here (didn’t upgrade to 4.0), so maybe the switch to the open-source solution is worthwhile. I mainly need Parallels to test stuff with IETester on Windows XP, so I would prefer a quick startup time over better performance when the VM is running :)

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