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I know you didn't ask me, but I use Windows at my stationary at my dorm and a Mac for Travel/at home. The Windows machine runs Windows 8, and is a custom built beast of a gaming machine, while my Mac is a normal Air. I find it easy to switch between the two, but it has required some configuration. Especially the command line required a lot of aliasing, but I've set up a .bashrc on my windows machine to have Linux commands for whatever I do. That's really the biggest difference.


As work tools, I've switched to NetBeans and Sublime from Eclipse recently. All are available for both Windows and Mac, as are Git tools for code repositories. I don't really think about it when I switch environment at all anymore. Normal every use differentiate the two very little. A little setup is required, but so would switching between two machines with identical operating system do. Keyboard layouts are of course different, but you won't really every think about what buttons to press after a week.


My two cents.

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Pros and cons of both, but overall, I prefer Windows for three reasons:

1) Pre-Windows 7, I think the Mac OS X interface was far more appealing than Windows's, but with Windows 7, I don't think that that's the case anymore. In fact, I feel like the Mac OS X UI is looking pretty dated at this point (and more importantly, I feel like interacting with the Windows 7 interface is just easier).


2) It's much cheaper to set up a Windows PC, and there's tons of free software on Windows that I'd have to pay for to use on a Mac. (This isn't an issue for me personally, because my company covers all these costs, but still, I somewhat resent Apple for this.)


3) Windows shortcuts are a lot easier to use. This seems minor, but the fact is, it's a lot easier for my fingers to use Windows keyboard shortcuts than Mac shortcuts. I'm a big use-the-keyboard-as-much-as-possible-and-use-the-mouse-as-little-as-possible type of person, so this is a huge, huge thing. At the end of the day, this simply equals to me being a lot more efficient at using Windows than Mac OS.


With all that said, there are a couple things that I love about Mac OS:

1) The multi-virtual desktops. I love having multiple desktops and being able to switch between them with a flick of four fingers. While Windows doesn't have this feature, you can Alt+Tab between windows easily enough, so this isn't a huge win for Mac OS, but still, it's nice.


2) The Mac Terminal! I love this thing. I spend more time in the Terminal and Sublime Text than anything else on my MacBook. A UNIX shell terminal is definitely the way to go, and I will only ever run a UNIX-based server. Luckily, Windows has lots of third-party programs you can download for free to get a UNIX shell on Windows, but still, I loooove the Mac Terminal.


Also, I've played around a bit with Ubuntu and similar variations, but frankly, I don't think it's that great.

I guess at the end of the day, all three major OSs have dumb parts to them, but I find that I'm the most efficient and comfortable in Windows, and I honestly don't think that will ever change, no matter how much I use Mac OS.

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Interesting. Thanks to both of you for the input. I used to strongly prefer Macs over Windows. Now I prefer Macs because I'm not used to Windows. But I understand Windows 7 was a significant improvement. I like that Mac OS X is Unix, although apparently support for Unix-like tools have come a long way in Windows, too.


Very interesting that Jonathan would say that there's tons of free software on Windows that you'd have to pay for on Macs. Definitely used to be the other way around, although that may be for open source reasons. 


Definitely agree about not taking the hands off the keyboard. Launchbar has been a tremendous asset towards that end (similar to Alfred and QuickSilver).


Thanks again for the input! 


Also, since I've hijacked this thread already, what about tablets and phones? Although I'm a Mac person, I don't have an iPhone because of cost. But I pretty much had to give up on syncing my Android phone with my Mac. Too much work. And I have an iPad (maybe 2nd generation), but I pretty much use it only for games and watching videos. Kids probably use it more.

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I think that smartphones and tablets are great for consuming info, but not for getting work done. To that end, I don't really find much value in them aside from testing sites I develop to work well on them. (With that said, my wife and kids love smartphones and tablets.) Also, I personally much prefer iDevices over Android devices. This may change over time, but at the moment, I think that iDevices are superior in their look and feel.


I had an iPhone in Japan, and I liked it a lot, but now that all service providers in my area in America want me to pay a minimum of $80/month for an iPhone, I've basically stopped using it and switched over to an old flip phone that costs $10/month. (I still use Wi-Fi on my iPhone 4 occasionally.)

In other words, I find value in a smartphone, but not enough to warrant the price tag.

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Totally agree. The idea of creating content (e.g., programming) on these devices is beyond me. In part, because I need a keyboard. Also, if I'm not at home/work (same thing), I don't need to be online and doing stuff. 


I broke down and bought a smartphone about 18 months ago. I waited so long because that's when you could finally get a smartphone on a no-contract plan. I'm on T-Mobile at $30/month, with unlimited data, text, and like 100 minutes. Love the plan, and I've shopped around and can't find anything for less than $50/month or so. And it doesn't look like T-Mobile offers that anymore.


Where I live, I don't use much of it as a smartphone, except to very rarely check something online. I do like having my budgeting app on the phone. When I'm traveling for work, I definitely use it more heavily, primarily for AirBnB, Uber, and Twitter (as an alternative to texting). Very happily paying $30/month for this ability, would maybe pay a bit more, but couldn't justify spending $80/month (or more) for it.

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Yeah, I totally hear ya. I would gladly pay $30/month for a smartphone.

There are times I wish I had a smartphone, but not enough to warrant the price.


Anyway, I don't think it's really "breaking down" and buying a smartphone for someone in your situation. You're at a place in your life where you need to be readily able to communicate with lots of people in lots of different ways, and to that end, I think a smartphone makes sense.


As a side note, people always laugh when I tell them I'm a web developer, and then show them my crappy phone that's many years old (i.e., pre-iPhone).

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T-Mobile just sent me (for free) a $500 Sony Xperia Z, which I'd kind of like to use. But I'd have to change plans, so...I dunno. Tough call: could use a much nicer phone, but it'd cost me like $20 more/month. Right now, I'm not switching (in part because I don't look forward to getting the data over and resetting all my two-factor auth and...). 


But you'd be surprised about how much I don't need to communicate with lots of people. The only reason I got a mobile in the first place was for my wife and kids to get me, or for me to get my wife when I'm out with the kids. Honestly, I don't know that there are more than maybe 10 people in the world that have my cell number. Nobody really needs to get a hold of me quickly and at all times except for my wife and the kid's school. 

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Ah, I see. No, actually. There's the systems team, which is a handful of people, and they have to be on call at all times (well, one or more of them does). And they have monitors and get phone calls/emails when there are problems, etc.


For support, I'm on a team of about 15 people and we handle support almost exclusively via email. Among the team, there's coverage 7 days per week, and approximately 17 hours/day, depending upon who's working. Working for myself, if I didn't do something, well, no one else would. Working on a team, I still have my responsibilities, but other people are there, too. Still checking my emails on my days off, but I don't have to! But certainly don't have to check it while I'm out and about. It's a good thing.

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To be frank, I wouldn't say it's working out well quite yet, but I believe it will. I'm still trying to figure out how to balance all my obligations. Currently I'm working 7 days per week (between Stripe and non-Stripe) and still not keeping up. But I'm seeing a glimmer of hope on the horizon.


How's your job?

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