Moving from a Mac to Windows to Linux and back again

After my macbook pro started to age, I tried a Windows Laptop instead. I talk about how I got on what made me switch back to a Mac.

Photo of macbook on desk showing code editor

In 2015 I saved up enough to buy my first Mac. After using it for around 5 years for development and side projects I looked at getting a Windows Laptop with a bit more power and dedicated graphics.

I did a bit of research and settled on Purchasing a 2020 Huawei MateBook 13. I’d heard a lot of good things about the build quality, portability and power behind it.

This laptop seemed well for me at first, especially with some of the tasks that needs a bit more power. In terms of side projects though I did find Windows a bit more tricky to work on with more complicated setup for usual software and trying to get a grip on WSL.

Moving to Linux

Photo by Sai Kiran Anagani on Unsplash

I decided to try installing a few linux distributions onto my laptop since it had been a while since I last used it and with me managing a lot of Ubuntu Servers over the past few years, it seemed like something I’d like to try.

This is where a big issue for me with Linux OS’ seemed to occur. I encountered a pretty bad screen tearing issue when watching videos. I spent around 2 – 3 days looking up different commands and running things to attempt to repair the issues with screen tearing. None of the articles I came across really worked out for me, I tried Pop!_OS and Manjaro but the same issue was happening.

I can see the benefits and why so many people are opting to use Linux now. I had everything setup the way I wanted it, the customisation was second to none but in the end the screen tearing just got to me a little too much. Ultimately with a young family I want to sit down for an hour or so at a time and just get going quickly.

Over to Windows

In the end I decided to move back to Windows. At this point I discovered WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux) and gave Ubuntu another shot through this. After a few days I got my environment configured the way I liked it and things seemed ok.

After a few months of using this one of the main issues I couldn’t help but notice was the drain on my Laptop battery. Occasionally I like to do some work with Docker containers which obviously requires WSL. Effectively this means you are running a Docker VM inside a WSL VM. Essentially when doing this kind of workload, I’d have to charge the Laptop every night.

One of the other minor issues I couldn’t get over was just the quality of the trackpad and keyboard. As far as devices go, I don’t think it was that bad but I do feel like once you get used to a Mac Trackpad, it’s hard to go back to a different machine.

Back in Mac

So after having the above two issues with Windows I decided to dust off my old 2015 MacBook Pro, give it a format for a fresh start and begin saving for an M1 MacBook Pro. I’ll be putting together a post over the next week or so detailing my current development workflow.

What are your experiences of various operating systems? Which one are you using right now and how are you finding it? I’d love to hear about it, leave a comment below.

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