John Siracusa’s OS X reviews


Today John Siracusa announced that he won’t be making more OS X reviews.

Typically journalists or reviewers don’t announce that they stop doing something. They just stop doing it, and maybe explain it after someone asks them.

But John’s reviews were something truly special, and a lot of people on the tech world has lamented the announcement.

I think that the Mac community has always been quite vibrant and passionate, allowing detailed discussion. Crossing the line of obsession sometimes. In other tech worlds, the discussion is more cold and rational, even aseptic. Apple discussion has always been more emotional and sort of aiming for greatness. Years ago the distinction was quite pronounced, when Apple had a small and passionate group of followers.

Tech reviews tend to be on two extremes. Either too much spec and features enumeration, making them arid and boring. Or too much focused in fitting a narrative, talking about whether something is the best or the worst ever.

But these OS X reviews are the perfect combination of both aspects, and they remain the gold standard of tech literature.
John’s reviews are extremely detailed, even to the level of obsession, but yet they are easy to read and understand.
They present a clear exposure of new features. But add historical context of decisions, compromises and forecasting areas of improvement.
Siracusa has strong opinions in quite a few areas, but he’s exposing all the facts, and explaining his biases.

I can’t stress how difficult is keep you hooked and eager to read another 8,000 words, when you’re talking in length about filesystems, pixel alignment, background process handling or Finder performance.

I haven’t found anything that can be on par, though there are great writers writing about technology these days. I can read better reviews now than 5 or 10 years ago.

While I understand his reasons for stopping, and think we have been lucky to have them around for so long, I can’t help but feel a little sad.

I’ll keep following him in his blog, twitter, and of course on his weekly podcast, as well as collaborations. At least, John Siracusa keeps a healthy production that we can consume. I’m sure we’ll keep reading and listening great stuff.

Mis cachivaches para trabajar


Siempre hay un cierto interés por conocer el equipo y programas que otros desarrolladores usan para trabajar. Ya que uso ciertas cosas “raras” (al menos poco frecuentes) y tras escuchar el último podcast de “El amuleto de Yendor”, que comentaban algunos de estos temas (especialmente teclados).

Como introducción, me dedico principalmente a programar en Python, así que el entorno está adaptado a eso. Como este post está quedado muy largo, empiezo con el hardware (ordenador, trackball, configuración de teclado y teclados) y continuaremos en otro post con el software.

Ordenador

Desde hace un par de años uso, tanto en el trabajo como en casa, ordenadores Mac.

iMac

Mira que es bonito el puñetero

Tengo un iMac de 27” que funciona muy bien. Me encanta la pantalla, tiene una resolución fantástica y, la primera vez que lo utilicé, me impresionaba lo grande que era.

Antes de eso utilizaba Ubuntu. Desde hace tres años no utilizo Windows y no tengo ganas de volver, la verdad. Tuve una muy mala experiencia (instalando un Service Pack me borró TODO el disco duro) y, para el tipo de cosas que lo uso, no lo echo de menos. NO, no echo de menos los juegos. No tengo consola y soy de  jugar juegos tipo Flash o en el iPad. A pesar de trabajar en la industria del videojuego, no soy un gran “jugón”.

Me gusta el hecho de que sean máquinas Unix, de manera que puedo programar con relativa facilidad software que luego correrá en servidores Linux y poder utilizar software libre del entorno. Utilizo Mac Ports para instalar muchas herramientas de código abierto, aunque tiene sus problemas. En mi caso utilizo mucho la línea de comandos para programar, pero el interfaz es muy bonito para las tareas fuera de eso.

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