Five years ago I wouldn’t have imagined it, but three years ago I discovered a project within IBM called the Open Client for Linux. The OC is a Linux workstation and repository layer for RHEL and Debian based Linux distros. Today, IBM Open Client for Linux is my full-time, production OS.
I used the OC for a couple years as my host OS, but still preferred my own Mac because it was faster and had more of the productivity software I liked to use. This year I have been able to work exclusively on my ThinkPad running OC with KVM for Windows virtualisation when needed.
This is a big deal. Getting my ThinkPad with a quad-core i7 and 12GB RAM was the deal maker. Until I’m able to get a new MacBook with comparable hardware, there’s just no comparison in functionality. I love the writing and graphics software on my Mac (MS Word, OmniGraffle, Curio, OmniPlan) but the enterprise software on my ThinkPad (Data Studio is a big one), along with the capacity difference, mean that my ThinkPad is the clear winner for now.
I have to say that KVM virtualisation on top of a Linux host feels like “bare metal”. USB and Display issues still exist, but they get smaller every day. Audio on Linux still has some issues, but I think if I were using the latest Fedora or CentOS distro even this would not be a real problem.
Windows? I don’t use it much. Occasionally I use Windows so I can use MS Office, but otherwise Windows just doesn’t have the juice. I will give Windows Server 2008 props for being an easy server OS, but that “easy” comes with a low skill barrier to entry, which always makes me a little nervous in the enterprise
I’m still scratching my head at Windows 8… Was there really a good reason to abandon the Windows XP interface?
These are good days to be in Enterprise IT, with lots of choices and a continuing push toward open standards. Take your pick of word processing, image editing, shell, and Desktop. Integration is still full of opportunities for improvement, but that’s what keeps Enterprise IT Geeks excited about our work even when the daily grind of ITSM operations leaves you feeling like you live in the space between the hammer and the anvil.