Should Linux users consider buying a Mac?

Today in Open Source: Linux users and Macs. Plus: VLC 2.1 released, and AMD and Nvidia step up Linux driver support

Linux Users and Macs

A Linux user on Tech Republic is considering buying a Mac, to fill in the gaps where he feels that Linux stumbles: audio and video.

Every platform handles things differently, and every platform has its strengths and weaknesses. If I add a Mac into the mix, I would have a much easier time with audio and video -- but it would be at the expense of flexibility and ease of use. Am I willing to spend nearly $2,000 on a two-trick pony (recording audio and editing video)? Even if I did, I would still be using the tools I know (especially Audacity, as I cannot imagine a tool better suited to record podcasts and audiobooks).

That line of thinking brings me back to frustration. Why would I drop that much money, only to use the same tools I use on my Linux machines? Wouldn't it be better if, say, PulseAudio fixed those very well documented and reported bugs? Wouldn't it be better if, say, a tool like Lightworks could build video encoding into its Linux release? That would save me the financial burden of having to spend the coin for a new machine.

More at Tech Republic

I've always felt that people need to use the tools that get the job done for them. For some users Linux works very well, while for others it might be a Mac or something else. So if a Mac works for this guy, then more power to him.

However, there are some downsides to Macs. You might end up paying considerably more for lower powered hardware, and you lose a lot of flexibility and control over your computer.

Some people don't mind this, but for a lot of Linux users it could definitely be a deal breaker. When you enter Apple's world, you do things their way and that could end up being more than a lot of Linux users can tolerate over time. Linux offers enormous control over a user's computing experience, and that's almost the exact opposite of Apple's philosophy.

I won't say buy a Mac or don't buy a Mac, but if you really must have one then be sure to check Apple's refurbished page in their online store. Why pay full price for one? You get a one year warranty on refurbished Macs, and you can save hundreds of dollars off the price of a new one.

VLC 2.1 Available for Download

VLC 2.1 has been released, and it includes a number of fixes and new features. This looks like a must-have upgrade if you use VLC (and who doesn't these days?).

See the list of features in the snippet below. Lots of good stuff in this release of VLC.

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