So I’m nearly a week into my Hackintosh build, and so far the novelty has definitely not worn off. As a person who’s never previously owned a Mac, and has minimal experience with OSX, I have to admit, the whole platform is pretty darn slick. Everyone knows about Apple’s legendary polish, but the whole machine is incredibly snappy and feels much faster and more responsive than the same hardware with Ubuntu on it. I’m sure that’s all perception, but Apple really does know how to tune a system to increase the perception of performance.
In terms of more specific experiences, so far I’ve used my new machine to:
- Create a site plan for my house in OmniGraffle.
- Watch video content (VLC, Netflix) in my office without distracting the wife.
- Assist a friend in some Linux administration and light software development work.
I’d place these in order of advantage to the Mac. OmniGraffle is Mac only, and an absolutely fantastic piece of software. The rough equivalent might be Visio, but honestly, I think OG is the better product for my use cases. It’s fast, powerful, and really very easy to use.
As a media device, the Hackintosh is excellent! Video playback is absolutely perfect, in VLC and in Netflix through Safari. The next step is to give a Steam game a try to see how that works (many of the games in my library have Mac ports).
For development work, honestly, my laptop would be a perfectly suitable solution, but the Hackintosh is a bit of a novelty at the moment, and I’ve enjoyed using it for this purposes as well.
Of things I haven’t done yet, but plan to:
- Record some music in Garage Band or equivalent.
- Edit images or photos (in a product I haven’t identified yet).
- Do some real intensive development in Xcode or Intellij.
At some point, if I’m really going to commit to this path, getting a real Mac keyboard and mouse or touchpad seem like good ideas. But I’ll wait a couple of months to see where my usage shakes out before I go there.
Random side benefit: because my NUC is a desktop machine, I’ve found myself using my office a lot more, which I’ve really rather enjoyed, particularly when I need focused time. In the end, I think the NUC as a workstation may make a very nice complement to my laptop… which has a certain irony, given how much time I’ve spent trying to untether myself from a desk. Then again, I could be wrong! Time will tell.
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