A Crazy (Linux) Idea

0989382

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As I investigate some alternatives from the Mac in Windows, which, to be honest is a crazy enough idea... I was picturing how Linux could be made to work for me.

I'm in Marketing so here's the use case:

- Advanced editing and finishing off layouts of Office Documents
- Playing nicely with SharePoint (our company uses it and I'm a 365 Admin)
- Editing photos (just started using Affinity Photo, so need similar feature set)
- Making graphics (for use on our company marketing platforms such as website etc) with control over file formats, sizes etc.
- Browsing of the web extensively and editing Wordpress.com sites to a high level
- Remembering a TONNE of random passwords (currently use macOS built in keychain)
- A powerful mail handler (currently use Mac Mail / probably should use Outlook)
- A powerful calendar app for personal use
- A nice way of organising personal photos, ideally in the cloud (or locally if...)
- Alternative to Time Machine backup (maybe on the cloud?)
- Alternative cloud service to iCloud to store all my personal files and keep them in sync ideally
- The ability to rapidly edit movies like iMovie can do for the most part and export them
- The ability to work with PDFs at least to Preview standards, but I am currently looking for a more professional thing on the Mac in general (Edit, create etc would be handy)
- The ability to open a range of file formats to convert em
- An alternative way to work with SketchUp (optional at this point, I just have a backlog of models that took hours of my life lol)
- Good alternatives to contacts / notes / reminders to keep my professional tasks on track
- eBook Reader


It's a big deal to go from the Mac. I currently work at lightning speed vs my non tech Windows colleagues. I love Office 365 and take a great deal of pride in how I produce our company presentations and deliver them etc. The Mac apps I use are beautiful, not perfect, but make every day a pleasure. I love my Mac physically too (no out of context jokes!) but the screen wear, keyboard wear and hassle of taking it to Apple every other month when it needs a repair is taxing me financially and the limited time I have with my girlfriend on weekends.

I don't really wish to keep my iPhone (though it's a month old XR) if I leave the Apple ecosystem. It'll only tempt me constantly to get back into it and suck without full iCloud syncing. Same with Microsoft, I either want to be fully in it or fully out (apart from work) if possible.

If I can do those things, I'm sure I can ditch Mac and maybe Windows. Please tell me anything I'm over looking, or unrealistic expectations I have here. If this can be done, then I can consider hardware. I don't want to give up this £2,200 MacBook Pro and regret it, because it'll cost time and a lot of money if I do. hence the long planning.

Can you guys help?
 

Thysanoptera

macrumors 6502a
Jun 12, 2018
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Pittsburgh, PA
I'm confused as heck. Why Linux? You're already using Microsoft software and seem to be efficient in it and like it. Although you're missing on large portion of Office functionality by not using Outlook and OneNote, it may change your perspective on what a "powerfull" mail/contact/notes/tasks/reminder program is. Other large portions of your workflow involve web based services which are system agnostic. iCloud still syncs to Windows, no need to get rid of iPhone. Affinity has Windows version, for simple PDF editing you'll need to get something else, like free FoxitReader (has a Mac version too) and so on, every third party Mac app has either a direct Windows version or at least a more powerful and cheaper alternative. The native ones are easy to replace also.

I had a laugh about your Apple Store trips and limited time with girlfriend, maybe we can swap our Macbooks, mine is perfectly fine, but I would use your to get away from my wife on weekends.
 

0989382

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I'm confused as heck. Why Linux? You're already using Microsoft software and seem to be efficient in it and like it. Although you're missing on large portion of Office functionality by not using Outlook and OneNote, it may change your perspective on what a "powerfull" mail/contact/notes/tasks/reminder program is. Other large portions of your workflow involve web based services which are system agnostic. iCloud still syncs to Windows, no need to get rid of iPhone. Affinity has Windows version, for simple PDF editing you'll need to get something else, like free FoxitReader (has a Mac version too) and so on, every third party Mac app has either a direct Windows version or at least a more powerful and cheaper alternative. The native ones are easy to replace also.

I had a laugh about your Apple Store trips and limited time with girlfriend, maybe we can swap our Macbooks, mine is perfectly fine, but I would use your to get away from my wife on weekends.
Well Microsoft has its own ecosystem but not one as nice as Apple's, e.g. I can go all in to Apple, iPhone always in sync etc. Going 'all in' brings a great experience. But with Microsoft this involves an iPhone (which will always ask for Apple ID) or Android (which is a brick without a Google Account). So I thought, screw it, all in or all out. It's more my preference, though I know many people are happy being one foot in one foot out of ecosystems.

Linux is free of this, every thing is independent. If you use Firefox, you can use Firefox elsewhere with an account. It's go nothing as such to do with Linux. Sort of like the good old days of the Internet! When Apple's ecosystem was having an iPod and a Mac.

Windows apps are really ugly, even the good ones. At least with Linux, it's mostly free and independent so you can sort of make accommodations for that. Paying big money for software on Mac like Affinity Photo or Final Cut Pro results in an app that's a true pleasure to use at work.

LOL to the last bit! Nah I love spending time with her, when I'm with her is about the only time I'm not on my Mac through my own choice! Lol
 

eltoslightfoot

macrumors 6502a
Feb 25, 2011
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Well Microsoft has its own ecosystem but not one as nice as Apple's, e.g. I can go all in to Apple, iPhone always in sync etc. Going 'all in' brings a great experience. But with Microsoft this involves an iPhone (which will always ask for Apple ID) or Android (which is a brick without a Google Account). So I thought, screw it, all in or all out. It's more my preference, though I know many people are happy being one foot in one foot out of ecosystems.

Linux is free of this, every thing is independent. If you use Firefox, you can use Firefox elsewhere with an account. It's go nothing as such to do with Linux. Sort of like the good old days of the Internet! When Apple's ecosystem was having an iPod and a Mac.

Windows apps are really ugly, even the good ones. At least with Linux, it's mostly free and independent so you can sort of make accommodations for that. Paying big money for software on Mac like Affinity Photo or Final Cut Pro results in an app that's a true pleasure to use at work.

LOL to the last bit! Nah I love spending time with her, when I'm with her is about the only time I'm not on my Mac through my own choice! Lol
Well, I use both Windows 10 and Mac, and most of the software is available on both. Affinity Photo is on Windows for instance. Firefox is what I use, and it syncs with my iPhone, Surface Pro, and Desktop Mac. Linux is a PITA. I have installed it multiple times--all the way back to the Redhat Linux days when you had to tell the OS installation the sectors and cylinders of each part of your hard drive. It has gotten better, but you will still have overhead making things work.
 
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556fmjoe

macrumors 68000
Apr 19, 2014
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You can do everything you listed with Linux of course, but if all you are trying to do is avoid the occasional trip to the Apple store, I don't think you'd be very happy with Linux. You'll be using new and unfamiliar software for each task, which means you will have to re-learn how you do everything. It will take a lot of patience and research to find and learn software that will do what you want. You will likely work much slower than you do now for a while.
 
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velocityg4

macrumors 601
Dec 19, 2004
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Why are you bringing your Macbook to the Apple Store so often? Is it just breaking? It shouldn’t be doing that. If it to address software issues. There won’t be any help available in Linux. You’ll be scrounging message boards looking for answers and digging into terminal commands. Even then most message boards won’t give you exact answers. Just an idea. Since what works on Red Hat for instance may not work in Ubuntu and require a different workaround.

Much of what you are interested in sounds Mac centric and Microsoft centric. What is available in Linux will be more technically challenging to accomplish. Some by a high degree. Much of the interfaces won’t be user friendly.

I’d suggest setting up VMs and try out different Linux distros. Before you even consider switching. Then you’ll find out what you are really in for. Trying to switch to Linux. For instance you’ll find a lot of programs you want aren’t ready in the app store for your distro. Meaning a lot of work in a terminal to get it downloaded and install the packages. Hopefully, that is all that is required.

At least with using Linux in a VM. You’ll find out if it will work for you. That is the only way you ever will know. Do all the reading you want. There are too many gotcha’s with Linux. It looks great on paper. I give it a shot every couple years. Reading all the hype. It isn’t until you start using Linux. That you’ll see everything not mentioned in articles and other questions you never thought to ask.

I’d also note for your company presentations. You may find that work you create in Libreoffice(openoffice), while technically compatible, will not look the same. Biggest issues being available fonts and formatting differences.
 

0989382

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I tried Linux Mint and Ubuntu and I have to admit it’s not what I expected.

It actually reminds me of my thoughts on Android, on the surface it looks fantastic. But when you start doing stuff the experience soon falls down :-/

All the points you guys are making I find completely true in line with my experience. Thanks

For the record yeah my Mac keeps getting the screen scratched badly by the keyboard
 
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