Hold on, I’m not an Apple fanboy! Yet, you might find this post interesting.

I’m writing Java, sometimes Python, and I am using opensource technologies exclusively. Here’s why I decided to get a Macbook.

Macbook 2017, 256GB

The answer is pretty straight forward: I needed a UNIX operating system. Most tools such as parsers, package managers, build tools etc are way easier to install on UNIX operating systems than they are on Windows. You just type some command in the terminal and that’s it, everything just works. No need to play around with any .exe files or do any twitches that Windows usually requires.

Why not Ubuntu? Well, I’ve used Ubuntu for a few years but I found out its developers never really cared about the hardware – and I was wondering why did my laptop go from 8h autonomy to 4h autonomy the second I installed Ubuntu on it. Not to mention, Ubuntu is community driven and has some annoying bugs… there was one that used to drive me crazy: the WiFi would disconnect every time I’d put the laptop to sleep, and then it would have troubles reconnecting again.

So, I decided I needed a laptop which is built for UNIX. To my surprise, I found that the market offer is not so big for such laptops: DELL has a few models, there are a few companies such as System76 and… then there is Apple. I chose a MacBook PRO (13.3’), because the prices were pretty much the same – all prices I saw at that moment were $1000 or higher.

Still, why Apple? First, I knew a lot of developers are using Apple products and that, to me, meant some sort of reassurance that it’s what I needed. Second, I’m not going to lie, there was the design. You can hate on Apple all you want, for whatever reason, but whoever designed the MacBook was a genius designer. They knew exactly how to make it look so people would buy it almost regardless of the price and actual capabilities.

One thing, though: I live in Europe but I bought mine on a trip to the US, from Portland, Oregon. Oregon apparently has lower taxes than other states, so naturally stuff is cheaper there. I bought mine for about $1200. The same model, in my country, cost exactly double! I can say it is totally worth its US price, but I’ll be honest with you: I don’t think it’s worth its European price.

Does it get the job done? For me, totally! I should mention however that I use it mostly for writing code and running light builds. Complex and time consuming builds are running on Travis CI. I sometimes use Docker locally which works like a charm.

Hardware-wise, what I love the most about it is the Retina display (it really makes a difference) and its keyboard. Note that I bought the 2017, 256GB Macbook, the version just before the stupid Touchbar: I hated that model simply because they removed the ESC key. This meant that a very essential function would be lost very soon, when that sensitive Touchbar would stop working. Two years later (I bought it at the beginning of 2018), the laptop still works without any issues and the battery life is still ok (8h+). No regrets.

To conclude, if you are using OpenSource technologies, I think you might find a MacBook really suitable. What exactly do I mean by “OpenSource technologies”? Pretty much anything besides Microsoft technologies: Go, Python, Java, JS, Ruby etc (and all of their ecosystems).