Home opinion-and-analysis Open Sauce LCA2009: It's a Linux conference - but there's Macs aplenty

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One thing that has been increasing exponentially at the Australian national Linux conference is that shiny, steel-grey laptop - or, at times, the sleek white one.

Yes, I'm talking about MacBooks. Last year there were just a few among the 700-odd attendees. This year, among the 500-odd people attending the conference, there are lots more.

I asked a few of those who were carrying around these shiny laptops why they were using a Mac at a Linux conference; wasn't Linux enough for them?

Web developer Jeffery Fernandez, who is employed by Internet Vision Technologies in Melbourne, said he had a Mac "because everything just works."

The hardware was top quality, he said, adding, however that he had a Linux distribution, OpenSUSE ("I am a big fan") running within VMWare. So he wasn't exactly bereft of Linux.

"Only because it's pretty," smiled James Page, senior systems administrator at the University of Southern Queensland, when I asked him the same question.

He did have some serious reasons: the Mac was what was available at his workplace. He had two choices - the Mac or Windows - and chose the former because he needed an X term.

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Sam Varghese

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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