Bye bye, Mac OS X?
If you follow my blog, you know that I've a bad attitude towards Apple's gear, even though (or just because?) I've been an Apple user for three years now. I've been frustrated by a) lack of support for Java updates, b) Mac OS X not performing as I need (Linux on the same hardware box is faster) and c) the scarce quality of my MacBook Pro (first generation).
So, this week I can officially say that - at the moment - Mac OS X is no more my primary operating system. My primary operating system is where I more often work and read the email, so since I've switched from Apple Mail to Thunderbird now I mostly work on Linux. As I could measure many times, Linux is much faster when developing, while Mac OS X often becomes unresponsive with the infamous beach ball. In these days I'm working with NetBeans 6.5 build 200809111401 and it's damned fast, both the autocompletion and the new background compilation feature (it was the only feature that I missed since the times of the switch from Eclipse).
Does this mean that I'm no more an Apple user? I'd like not to be, but I can't - for professional reasons I need to develop and test in all the three major operating systems and Apple gear is the only legitimate stuff to run Mac OS X on. And Mac OS X is still the best general purpose operating system, not counting its multimedia versatility. So, I still think I'll have to switch frequently and get more involved in the virtualization thing, even considering that since my MacBook Pro is literally falling apart, I'll have to purchase a new laptop in a matter of weeks, being able to mount 4GB for the first time. This time no more MacBook Pro, a MacBook will be enough (plus a 500GB hard disk). Unfortunately, it seems that the next batch of MBs will switch to aluminum, which is indeed the worse thing to build a laptop with.
Given that, I'm working to have a completely new setup on my disk: the work area is a separate partition and should be formatted in such a way to be accessible from both Linux, Mac OS X, Windows. So far, the only feasible solution I've found is NTFS, with the Paragon driver for Mac OS X (a bit faster than MacFuse) and the Fuse driver for Linux. The problem is the slowness of the Fuse driver, so larger projects such as blueMarine must live in a copy on the native ext3 filesystem, or things get too slow. The next thing to try will be ZFS, that is usable by Mac OS X (even though it is beta, I have positive tests for several months) and again supported by Fuse on Linux; who knows - maybe it's faster.
One of the still broken dreams is to be able to do all the most mundane things from all the three operating systems; for instance I've tried to move the Thunderbird stuff to the shared partition, but the application just crashes at startup in Mac OS X. Too bad.
I'd like to know if somebody else tried a setup similar to mine and what are his experiences.