26 February 2023

Transitioning, maybe........

 A couple of years ago I set off on a journey to find an alternative computer system to replace my involvement with the MacOS. What started out quite encouragingly, with Elementary OS, limped along for a while until October of '22 when I gave up and went back to the MacOS. Why did I give up? A variety of reasons that really boiled down to two, a) Apple's integration of Mac and iPhone and b) my inability to find an alternative to PhotoShop/Bridge. However, everything changes over time and, today, I am once again trying the latest Elementary OS version of Linux, both on an HP laptop and also on a miniPC.

I returned to the Linux project because, whilst Apple do a remarkable job of integrating MacOS devices with iOS devices, I do feel trapped. Not only trapped but pissed-off that their continuing OS upgrades render older Apple devices less and less functional. My iMac is a 2011 machine which runs High Sierra and nothing beyond it and I am aware that, at some point it will give up the ghost and then what will I do? I could buy a new iMac (c£3k) but none of my existing software will run on it and Adobe will want me to have a subscription (no thanks).

Then there is the matter of my 2015 MacBook with its crappy butterfly keyboard. A nice machine, compact and light and ruined by Apple's effort to save 0.3mm in thickness. Apple also declined to repair it so thats another £1200 down the drain. So, for these reasons I decided to give Elementary OS another go and I'm glad I did.

It looks as if Linux developers are beginning to appreciate the need for software to be easier to load with the development of Flathub and Sideload. Apple have always assumed that users don't know anything about code and therefore hidden allthe nuts and bolts behind an automated OS. Linux developers seem to be following suit and its going to make Linux, in the consumer/retail sector, far more attractive.

Another factor that is influential is the availability of a number of software tools that work across many platforms, Apple and Linux in particular. I have been using Thunderbird (mail,contacts,calendar), Firefox (browsing), LibreOffice (writing, drawing, database) all on my Mac which makes it easier moving over to the same tools under Elementary. The hunt is still on for the elusive PhotoShop/Bridge alternative and Gimp may be the answer once its interface improves, but its not there yet.

So, the beat goes on and I am rather more optimistic about an Apple-less future.