Last summer I switched from OS X to Ubuntu for my day-to-day work. It’s gone well. Here’s a condensed rundown of some of the things I’ve noticed. Things I miss when using OS X: ctrl key on both sides of the keyboard one-key app switching System-wide package management ctrl-alt-T default to bring up a new terminal Things I miss when using Linux: Selecting menu items by typing their first letters Emacs-compatible key bindings in text fields LaunchBar Consistent mic support across applications Full-fledged Exchange integration (still haven’t bothered to get davmail running) Cross-platform bright spots:
In July, I switched from OS X to Ubuntu as my workday environment. For three years my personal MacBook Air had been pulling double duty, personal computer plus workstation at my job (each role with its respective user on the box). When the combined demands for disk space exceeded the 250GB SSD, I took that as a sign that it was time for a change. I work outside my office enough that an external HD wasn’t a practical solution, and a USB key is too slow.
I’m still loving my iPod touch. It’s really a great little handheld computer. I’m able to do almost everything I need with the stock apps, but there are a couple free third-party apps that have earned a permanent place on it. One is the game Chess With Friends from NewToy. This is a version of what is also known as “postal” or “correspondence” chess. You make a move and send it to your opponent; your opponent makes a move and sends it back to you.
It will surprise few that I have not yet given Apple $10 for the privilege of upgrading my iPod touch (“iPt”) firmware from 1.1.5 to 2.x. Update: A month after posting this, I took the plunge. Version 2.2 came with some nice little improvements. I still miss my shell, but at least I have an SSH app! At first, I resisted out of attachment to the open source software I had installed via Cydia – with no supported “upgrade” process per se, I would have had to reinstall all my packages manually.
This began as a quick reply to a discussion on the Well about a recent posting from John Gruber which links to a hit list from Crackberry.com about the iPhone. Gruber focuses just on the keyboard issue, about which I found I had this to say: With the built-in spelling correction, I can type close to 30wpm on my iPt keyboard. This is faster than I ever was with Graffiti, which I used for about 8 years and was pretty good at if I say so.
From a post at Rogue Amoeba: Allow applications to be installed at the user’s discretion, not Apple’s Allow applications to run in background on iPhone Allow access to root user on iPhone A MediaPicker API for accessing the iPod music files is needed Add option to allow iPhone applications to access entire filesystem Allow iPhone applications to access the host computer when docking Permit Voice over IP on the cellular network Allow iPhone applications to access the docking port Funny, it reads more like a list of demands!
My first week with the iPt has been a thorough validation of my decision to jump ship from the Palm platform. The things this new device doesn’t do are still a problem, but the things it does do it does incredibly well. I won’t gush over those because they’ve all been thoroughly gushed over. But anybody who thinks the success of the iPhone/iPt platform is primarily based on superficial factors of appearance or brand image likely hasn’t used one for more than two minutes.