Old Blog Import

I’ve been using Apple computers since 1986. I used to think I would
never use anything but… The recent development of both open source
and cloud computing has changed all that. A lot of the tools I use
would run on any platform: firefox, songbird, evernote, open office,
etc. And more and more, Firefox is all I need.

 I recently switched from using Apple’s Mail application as my main
e-mail to using Gmail in the web browser. That wasn’t my plan. I had
planned on using Gmail as my server and reading e-mail in Mail, but I
soon discovered that I like using Gmail online better. For one thing,
I don’t need to keep another program running, I can just be notified
of new mail via the Gmail notifier application.


 I can even search Gmail directly from the firefox toolbar:


 So if Google were to release their own customized version of Ubuntu,
“Goobuntu,” (currently used by nearly half of their workforce), would
I switch?


 Not yet. Currently there are just too many programs in my workflow
which are Mac only: Sente and Mellel for academic research and
writing, Things for task management, Wenlin for Chinese, and numerous
programs I use for web development, graphics, media, etc. Some of
these could be replaced, but the replacements that exist currently
would be a step down. For instance, as impressed as I am with Zotero,
I can’t stand the user interface. Not to mention the fact that years
of using a Mac have given me knowledge about how to maintain and run
my system which I would have to relearn on a Linux system. So I’ll
wait for now. But I think in a few years, when almost everything can
be done on the web, all I’ll need will be Firefox … and Goobuntu
will be just fine.