Recently a co-worker asked me about computers, laptops to be specific. He needs something that’s powerful enough to edit videos through Adobe Premier Pro, but like so many college students it can’t break his bank.

I offered to look at the specs on the laptop he wanted, which will get the job done. It’sadobe-premiere-pro-cc-logo what I’d consider a mid-range editor or gaming laptop as it does sit on that low and mid range standards border. So I told him to go ahead and buy it. I would like to note that I’m not a computer pro, but I edit photos, video, and game regularly so when it comes to understanding the program requirements I’m not in unfamiliar territory.

However what I really wanted to suggest to him was to buy a MacBook Pro. I love mine and I haven’t had any problems. I know that they have a hefty price tag, but the have a great life span and are so very powerful. But I want to put the Macs aside for a moment.

I’ve never been a big fan of Microsoft or Windows based computers. I won’t go into details but I simply feel that they aren’t powerful enough for the price you pay and the parts require upgrading far too often for me.

What I love, probably just as much as my Mac is Ubuntu, which for those of you who don’t know is a Linux-based operating system developed by Canonical. If I had the money to drop on another laptop or even a desktop computer. I honestly wouldn’t go for a Windows computer, even though there are a few computer games that I can’t play without a Windows computer, or a decent workaround coded for either a Mac or Ubuntu based computer.

 

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System76 Oryx Pro Aluminum Laptop.

 

System76 is the go to for Ubuntu computers. They build laptops, desktops, and servers that are made specifically for Ubuntu and even their low-end machines are powerful. In comparison, I think a Ubuntu machine can compete with an MAC in some aspects. Especially since the OS doesn’t require as much power to run. From personal experience, you can run a Linux based OS on virtually any machine, and I’ve done just that. I bought a $100 lay-flat computer, much like you’d see in a school computer lab with a monitor stacked on top of it. I installed Ubuntu, which version I don’t remember. I later installed 8GBs of RAM because I needed a bit more power for video editing, oddly enough. That machine ran like a charm until the day it died. I gave it over to someone without a computer, when I got my MacBook Pro and they somehow destroyed it. I’m still not sure how to be honest with you. I checked everything on that machine and couldn’t find the problem.Anyways.

Now I will admit that Ubuntu, like so many Linux distros, has its limits. But it’s really only limited to the people that use it and program for it. Major companies like Adobe may not make Photoshop or Premier Pro for Ubuntu, however, the community has found ways to fix that, legally. They create something called wrappers, which help programs not made for Linux or Ubuntu run on your system. It’s an extra step yes, but it’s so worth it. Unfortunately, not all wrappers or workarounds are stable or work as one would hope. Now that isn’t anyone’s fault, it’s just like a temp patch on your tire instead of buying a new one. For those of us that are familiar with Apple’s OS, Ubuntu isn’t much different. It has a very familiar feel. It even works just as well.  I’d love a System76 Ubuntu machine, I’d be happy with one, and I think that anyone who’s a big computer person if they give it a real shot could be happy as well. But it isn’t for everyone.

I love my Mac, and how powerful it is. I love the amount of programs that are natively supported on it. Really the programs, and some games, that aren’t supported natively or with a decent workaround that actually makes the programs usable is what holds me back from going full Ubuntu Linux based. Over the past six or so years, since I really became aware of Linux and mainly the Ubuntu community I’ve seen a growing community and support for it. So with any luck, it will become even more mainstream, and support from programmers and major companies like Adobe will grow. While Adobe was just my example, it is admittedly the one program suite I need for work. It’s like Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) said in Jurassic Park, “Life finds a way”.

What are your thoughts on computers? What do you use; OS X, Ubuntu/Linux, or Windows? Let me know in the comments.

 

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7 thoughts on “Thoughts on Computer Purchases

  1. I have the Oryx pro. I love it so much. Not sure what you mean by Ubuntu having limitations. The whole thing with Linux is it doesn’t have limitations. You can modify the friggin kernel if you want to. The fact that Photoshop isn’t on Linux isn’t a limitation of Ubuntu or linux itself.

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    1. You are correct. It isn’t limited. I didn’t mean to say Linux is limited itself. It was aimed at programs like Adobe suite, final cut pro, and various other softwares. Apologize for not wording that better.

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      1. I’ve bought four System76 machines over the years (Starling netbook, Bonobo, Sable complete desktop and the Galago). They all run great and have been super reliable. The Bonobo is nearly 3 years old and remains my main ‘desktop’ and gaming machine.

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  2. Great article. It sounds trite, but it kinda depends on how much one wants to hold onto mainstream. I switched to Linux from Mac a long time ago, just after film school when I realised that there was no way I could afford the tools of the trade. Luckily I developed a grudge against Adobe and Apple, making it emotionally (but not technically) simple to find alternatives. Cut to 7 years later, and I’m employed in the biz, not just having taught myself how to do multimedia on Linux with $0 and open source tools (although there are closed ones too, from Autodesk and Foundry and EditShare and Bitwig and Tracktion), but also using Linux on the job. So it can work; it can work very well. One just has to be ok with shifting the paradigm away from consumer-level off-the-shelf products (both in terms of the learning curve and the in terms of the artistic culture) to Whatever Works For You.

    2 cents.

    Liked by 1 person

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