Since 2010

Windows software

Third and last post for today, and this is where I’ll become unstuck - software.

I rarely think twice about spending money on software if I think it’s going to be useful, personally or professionally. My impression is that in general, it’s easier to find quality software for macOS than it is for Windows. I’d love to be proved wrong, but there sure seems to be a lot of junk out there for Windows, while macOS has a bunch of awesome indy developers.

I think the best way of tackling this piece of the puzzle is to have a software audit:

Deal breaker

For better or worse I either can’t give some of the things in this section up (for professional reasons), or I’m not prepared to:

  • 1Password
  • Backblaze
  • Dropbox
  • Firefox
  • Google Chrome
  • Microsoft Office
  • Python
  • Ruby
  • Snagit
  • Sublime Text
  • SuperDuper!
  • Things
  • Time Machine
  • Tower
  • VMWare Fusion

Most of these require no further discussion and/or already have Windows counterparts. There are a couple worth a mention though:

I’ve spent a lot of money on VMWare Fusion over the years, mainly so I can run Windows on my Mac. That particular use case would obviously go away if I was running Windows natively, but I’d still have a need to spin up sandboxed Windows and Linux machines. VirtualBox perhaps?

SuperDuper! (I hate the exclamation mark, but that’s it’s name) and Time Machine are both Mac-only drive cloning and continuous backup solutions. I take backups seriously, so I’ll need to find out more about alternatives to those.

Python plays pretty well on Windows, but trying to get Ruby working natively is something I’ve tried once-or-twice and it’s not pretty. Windows Subsystem for Linux? Or just virtual Linux machines as mentioned above? I think I’d really miss macOS’s Unix underpinnings. I’ll think more about that.

One last item: Cultured Code’s Things. I’ll be stunned if I’ll be able to find something similar for Windows with such perfect iOS integration. Still, it’s only a todo list - I guess it wouldn’t be the end of the world.

Sure would be nice

  • Banktivity
  • iStat Menus
  • KeepingYouAwake
  • Photos
  • Pixelmator

Windows has a tonne of utility apps like iStat Menus and KeepingYouAwake, so not going to dwell on those for too long.

Banktivity? Now I’m writing this out I’m not sure why this hasn’t made my “deal breaker” list, but Things did. I reckon Banktivity would be much easier to replace than Things though - heck I could just use a spreadsheet really. For further investigation.

Apple’s Photos. I don’t know what Windows people use to organise their photos. And I would hate to lose all my photo titles/descriptions.

Pixelmator. Awesome software, but I don’t use it enough to cry about losing it.

Wrapping up

So that leaves me with a few things to ponder and a few things to research. I feel very differently about this now than I did when I started typing this post. Have I gotten myself locked into an ecosystem that I can’t get out of? Is it worth putting up with broken hardware to use the software I rely on? Is macOS’s Unix underpinnings something I can live without? Would a switch to Windows just move my problems?

I need to think about some of this.