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Nils Putnins
Nils Putnins

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What’s your perfect computer and software setup?

Independently from whether you’re working in the IT industry, or are a regular computer user – switching to new hardware is always a hard decision. The only difference for those working in IT industry on daily basis, is the software. For most regular users Windows will be the one and only reasonable decision. Around ten years ago, it was the only reasonable choice also for me. Getting deeper into the industry, the requirements increase and you understand the individual value of each different operating system.

I’ve gone through many different operating systems and here I’ll provide you with some Pros and Cons, together with the solution I’m using currently.

Lets start with basics:

  • If you’re working with anything Creative (designing, video editing, producing or mixing music etc.) choice for OS X (Macintosh) will always pay back. It’s not only about the software, as any of Adobes (and Abletons) products can also be ran on Windows. It’s mostly about the fact you’re a creative person and Macintosh has thought way much more about UI/UX experiences than Windows. Also, OS X has Final Cut Pro which, not counting Adobe Premiere, is a great video editing software for OS X.
  • If you’re doing office stuff or using computer for general purposes mostly, it would be the choice for Windows, BUT if you’re: a) Very interested in your data or clients privacy, especially if you’re a lawyer, entrepreneur or working for NSA (see LUKS Encryption, also BIOS always come in handy) b) On a strict budget, considering Windows licence costs money (note that even buying a computer that has Windows on it, you’re paying for the licence the money you could invest in hardware if the computer originally comes with any Open Source software) I suggest you to go for Linux (either Elementary or Ubuntu distributions)
  • If you’re a gamer well, Windows, obviously. (Even though Steam is currently available also on Linux, it still has a long way to go for the same gaming experience Windows can give)
  • If you’re doing everything mentioned above and work with Software Development / System Administration / Cyber security, you’ve come to the right chapter. My setup.

Starting with the basis that I’ll always choose *n?x basis systems over anything, I’ve worked with Macintosh and was pretty satisfied. The thing is, Homebrew just wasn’t enough for me and I dislike the restrictions Apple has both in hardware and software.

On the search, I started with Kali Linux, which is mainly aimed towards penetration testing. It was fine, but the installed packages were just too much, knowing that most of them are outdated or not working. I continued by switching back to Ubuntu, which of course will always be an good choice for Linux distribution, but that didn’t satisfy my needs either. I decided to try something completely different – going from Debian to Arch Linux, thus trying Antergos. Also, a great choice and distribution that definitely has its potential, but still something was missing for me. So, doing an task for a client of mine, I found ParrotSec. This leads us to my current setup:

I understood that one Operating System just can’t do all of the required tasks efficiently so I chose for dual-booting option. So my current setup is ParrotSec (development, system administration, penetration testing) Windows (creative, gaming, regular purposes). The installation is done easily, as explained here. And if you’re worried that switching between operating systems will lose your open applications, browser tabs and other information, I’m glad to announce Hibernation takes care of that.

By the way, if you have old ass computer which has <= 2 GB RAM and not a lot of other Hardware resources, you can always use Linux Lite to revive it.

Discussion (2)

terabytetiger profile image
Tyler V. (he/him) • Edited on

It seems like your first point under Lets start with basics: started heading toward one of the (in my opinion) biggest advantages to MacBooks (the displays and just general hardware) when you said

It’s not only about the software

but then you circled back to software. I have a 2012 MBP that I have Ubuntu running on and the hardware has been nothing short of stunning. In particular the display has been one of the most enjoyable parts of using the computer (even if I have mostly abandoned it for my PixelBook at this point).

Disclaimer: I'm not saying that some Windows devices don't have good displays

Edit: Forgot to mention that it's a really solid write-up and the other points are pretty spot on if you ask me. Got distracted with trying to proofread my above thoughts :P

putninsnils profile image
Nils Putnins Author • Edited on

As I've recently started using also MacBook Pro 2018, I must admit that the display and hardware are factors that should have been mentioned also. The article mainly focuses on the point, that there is no better or worse operating system — just more or less suitable for one thing or another.

Edit: Didn't see your edit at first (also got distracted), but thank you! :)