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Why I still love to use a MacBookPro and MacOS in 2019"

Why I still love to use a MacBookPro and macOS in 2019

2019 04 02 head

As a young developer I loved Linux, compiled new kernels during evening sessions and struggled days to have the correct drivers for the graphic card and communication components of my notebook.

I grew older and decided to enjoy my weekends, family and outdoor activities.

And surely I shall have no virus, trojan and other evils on my workstation. So I went to macOS and Apple notebooks without regrets.

Gains

The major gains using macOS are * Still no virus scanner is necessary, the speed-up during complex programming and development activities is tremendous, * No trouble when updating OS, updates are automatic and often no new start is required, Unix command line and tools are available in the console, Homebrew provide all known and less-known utilities and programs available under Linux. * My previous MacBook is now six years old and still used as a development backup platform. The performance is still very good, * My preferred IDE Intellij IDEA works flawlessly on macOS, * My new MacBookPro is perfect for Java development, database integration and running multiple Docker images locally. The 32 GB RAM goes a long way to run multiple docker images and databases.

No virus scanner is still important. I was lately at a customer site and the whole deployment just crashed because IT department decided to update the virus scanner and associated options. Suddenly the generated artifacts were considered harmful. This decision just broke the CI/CD pipeline for hours.

Homebrew easily downloads and installs newer versions of favorite applications and utilities. It solved the dread of macOS slow or missing application updates. Pre-installed Unix utilities are seldom kept up to date by Apple. Just use Homebrew and forget about Apple slow updates.

Daily Development

The tools I really enjoy and use on a daily basis for software development - mainly Java - are

  • IntelliJ IDEA IDE is still a dream. It could sometimes be slightly snappier but still the best Java IDE under the sky,
    • UML diagrams are created with plantUML and the provided plugin,
    • Documents are written in Asciidoc with the existing plugin,
    • Git is kept up to date with homebrew,
    • Gradle Build Tool is kept up to date either with homebrew or gradlew,
  • Atlassian Cloud applications - BitBucket, Trello and CI pipeline - and SourceTree for some git operations,
  • Homebrew as package manager for utilities,
  • Docker as container manager - for complex product you can run locally kubernetes,
  • Chrome is my default browser. I almost never use _Safari or Firefox,

I retired VirtualBox because I do not need any virtual machines. They were replaced with Docker images, I stopped using MacPorts. Homebrew is more than enough for my needs.

Daily Work

The tools I used to perform administrative work are * LibreOffice - going strong and better every year -, * Google Business for teamwork in the cloud using collaborative tools, * Apple Mail Client with GPG plugin for PGP and S/MIME secure email, * A local Swiss article Banana for accounting and VAT reports for the federal government. I bought it as soon as the company stopped requesting higher prices for macOS than for the other platforms.

I still have no need to use any Microsoft applications. My findings are inline with the ones in my older blog in March 2016. I hope Apple will still produce high-quality hardware and software in the future.

The only big macOS improvement I am waiting for from Apple is that Apple delegate the installation and update of Unix applications and utilities to Homebrew. Apple is sadly always behind the release cycle of regular Unix programs. Homebrew does a way better job to support software developers.