Playing with FreeBSD (via OS X and adios Gentoo)
For the past few years I’ve been using gentoo. Mainly as a server, but also as a desktop so I can learn/play with linux.
And then, two years ago, I picked up a MacBook. As as I tell anybody who listens, “It Just Works”. I spent a long time agonizing before I bought the MacBook. Was I prepared to turn my back on Windows and become a follower of Steve? With things like Parallels and VM Ware, I could run Windows too, so that eased that issue (and there are two Windows applications that I absolutely must run: Visio and FrameMaker). So after visiting the local Apple Reseller and developing a case of what could be be described as “lust”, I picked up a Black Mac Book. Sorry, the white one just felt wrong, and I wasn’t quite prepared for fork out for a 15″ Mac Book Pro (not to mention that those babies are heavy to lug around).
Now, when people speak of Apple and OS X, everybody tends to think of its über-slick GUI; but under the hood its all unix. Not only is it unix (its Darwin which is based on BSD), its certified too. Its the real deal. Now, while I like eye-candy as much as the next dude, the combination of eye-candy atop and certified unix underneath get me more than a little excited.
Two years on, I spend 99.9% of my time in the land of OS X, and about 0.1% ssh’ing into my gentoo system to do some BOFH maintenance. So I’m ditching gentoo for FreeBSD, because two years of BSD on OS X have warped my mind and themy future is BSD/unix and not linux.
At the same time, the hardware running my gentoo systems is getting a bit old, so I’m replacing that too. Instead of getting some ugly el-cheapo black or beige tower, I’m going for a mini-ITX based solution using the Intel DC945GCLF2 board, which means a sweet dual core Atom-based system that is not going to make much of a dent in the electricity bill and take up hardly and room too.