Moving Out

Thanks to everyone who commented on my pending divorce from Apple, both here and on G+. I’ve decided on aiming to be Apple free by July 4th, 2012, as Apple won’t announce its plans for iOS on Macs until next summer (I’m thinking WWDC) and this should give me plenty of time to get ready for it.

I do want to stress that this is an issue with irreconcilable differences between me and current Apple policies and does not mean that Apple sucks or that you suck for liking your Apple products. People get very attached to their technology choices and from some of the comments on G+ it seemed like people were taking my breakup with Apple a little too personally. I expect Apple to get most of our friends in the divorce.

Here is an incomplete list of things I use on my Mac for which I need replacements, in no particular order. My plan is to implement an immediately embargo on OS X-only software and preferably to find FOSS replacements. Then as I move closer and closer to being Apple-free to switch my desktop and base O/S to Linux. Finally, I want to part from my iPhone.

I’ll be updating this list as well as my #noapple progress over time. I’m moving the list of “solved” alternatives to the bottom.

Time Machine

This one product has saved my butt more times than I can count. The ability to almost completely restore an old Mac image to a new Mac is more amazing than I gave it credit for at first. Part of this can be addressed with disk layout (store all data on one volume and the O/S on another) but I really need a good way to restore a machine from bare metal if I have to.

Keychain

Another great “under the covers” feature, the keychain stores all of my passwords in an encrypted fashion and other apps can leverage it. Since most of them are for websites, much of the functionality can be had with Firefox, but it would still be nice to have it at an O/S level.

Encrypted Disk Images

Huge privacy nut, especially when Apple refuses to return defective disks they replace under warranty, so I always use FileVault and encrypted disk images for sensitive information. I know there are open source alternatives to this, as I encrypt a volume on my Debian server at home, so this at least should be easy.

Mail.app

I like Apple’s Mail.app. I used Thunderbird many years ago, but it used to crash on me in a very evil manner. But still I think it is the leading open source mail application, so I’m going to give it another shot.

iCal

With thunder comes Lightning. Haven’t used it yet.

Address Book

I love the Apple address book, especially the ability to put in pictures of people.

iPhoto

Speaking of pictures, I guess the next big thing to replace will be iPhoto. Not that I use the functionality much, but I do need a simple photo management system. Don’t suggest Picasa, since the Linux version isn’t really maintained. I’ll probably settle on Gallery, which I like for a server based solution.

RSS

I like NetNewsWire, but I believe Firefox has a built in RSS reader. I would like something that syncs with Google, since I read my feeds from multiple systems.

IRC

I assume xchat is still around. I use Colloquy at the moment.

Terminal

I use iTerm versus Terminal, and my only requirements are tabs and select to copy.

Stickies

I don’t use stickies as much as I used to, so I can probably find an easy replacement using a text file.

Quicktime

I tend to use VLC more than Quicktime, so that should be an easy switch as well.

Photoshop

The Gimp is the only real option here, I believe. Time to start climbing that learning curve.

iTunes

I hear decent things about Rhapsody and Banshee. Any preference?

iWork

I love Keynote and the rest of the iWork suite has a simple beauty about it, but I’ve been forcing myself to use OpenOffice/Neooffice/LibreOffice for some time now. Leaning toward LibreOffice but I was having problems printing envelopes last time I tried it, so I’m back to Neooffice for now. Still having issue with how ugly the interface can look compared to Apple (the same graphics rendered under keynote beautifully look pixelated on the others). I am hoping that when I switch to a Linux desktop perhaps that will improve.

Which brings me to the final issue: which Desktop? There are only two real choices, Ubuntu and Fedora. While I think Debian is the most freedom loving of the major distros, squeeze doesn’t move fast enough to keep up with the changes happening there. Jeff likes Fedora, but I think I’m going to start by given Ubuntu a go. Shuttleworth seems to understand Apple and he is trying to bring the Apple experience to the Linux Desktop, so it seems like a great place to start.

Solved:

Safari

Already switched to Firefox and Chrome, so no worries there.

IM

Already an Adium user, so no problems there either, as I can easily just use Pidgin.

Suggestions on app replacements are welcome.

4 thoughts on “Moving Out

  1. Time Machine will be a bitch, since it’s probably the best “personal backup” out there right now.

    For things that exist on Google (mail, rss, calendar, etc) I just use google most fo the time anyway.

    For your keychain, KeePass may be the only multi-platform solution available that covers all the bases. I’m not sure if it has a browser plug-in, but that’s worth checking.

    Now for desktops – Ubuntu is going to be the way to go. I use that for my work desktop. Although I’d advise you to stick to 10.10 LTS for a bit longer – 11.04 has been painful for me.

    As and FYI – After using OSX almost full time durring my period of unemployment, the newer Linux desktops don’t look or feel as good from a design standpoint. From what I can tell, the people doing the “major” desktop UI and L&F stuff need to step up their game, and fast. Because right now? Windows7 and OS X are eating their LUNCH – and it’s not from a technical standpoint, but from a “friendliness” stand point. Technical superiority will only get you so far, and while Gnome & KDE are about par for the course technically, they’re still lagging WAY behind on other things.

  2. @David – planning on still using the Apple hardware for a couple more years.

    @Warren – I thought Adium was an OS X port of Pidgin?

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