fyi: Dan Gilmore: This Mac devotee is moving to Linux

=JeffH Jeff.Hodges at
Wed Jun 23 17:47:46 UTC 2010

This Mac devotee is moving to Linux
Seeking real freedom of choice in a technology ecosystem where vendors are 
exerting more and more control
By Dan Gillmor

[ this article is slated to appear at Dan's MediaActive blog at the end of this 
week; see: <> ]

I'm not religious about technology. My strategy is to use what works best, period.

This is why, for more than a decade, I've been using a Mac as my primary 
computer (and had been using Macs for some of my work long before that). 
Apple's personal computers continue to be the best combination of hardware and 
software on the market today.

So why am I about to migrate to Linux (aka GNU/Linux)? Because Apple is pushing 
me away, and because I value some principles, perhaps almost religiously, that 
affect other decisions.

Apple is pushing computer users as fast as it can toward a centrally controlled 
computing ecosystem where it makes all the decisions about what native 
applications may be used on the devices it sells -- and takes a cut of every 
dollar that is spent inside that ecosystem. This is a direct repudiation of its 
own history, and more broadly that of the larger personal-computing ecosystem, 
where no one can stop anyone else from writing and distributing software that 
other people might want to use.

Steve Jobs says Apple is a curator, nothing more. This grossly understates the 
control. Jobs says Apple has "made mistakes" in being the police, judge, jury 
and executioner in its Disney-style world, and is working hard to perfect the 

But this is a disconnect with reality. Central control, no matter how 
well-intentioned, is itself the problem, not the solution. The "enlightened 
dictator" is fiction. And dangerous.

I realize that I won't persuade the many people who prefer to live in gated 
communities, believing they can leave any time they wish. But switching costs 
will only get higher over time for those who choose to live in the Apple ecosystem.



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