Okay, so if I were to buy an iBook, I must be able to:

  • have virtual workspaces, like X11
  • use a compose key for accented characters
  • be able to do my usual Perl/Bash things in the terminal
  • get basic, useful applications for free.

Since I can do these things on Linux now, there’s no point in me switchin’ in the kitchen.


  1. Point by point:

    * There’s a for-money virtual workspace app available from CodeTek called (rather uninspiringly) Virtual Desktop; Google it up, I’m pretty sure that WordPress won’t let me do URL links in comments. Also, there’s Desktop Manager that’s free (Google for “os x virtual desktop” no quotes, it’s the first hit).

    * There are standard accent keystrokes using the option key, I believe even Terminal likes them. However, you may find that the file encoding turns them into weird non-ASCII stuff. YMMV.

    * Fink is your friend for anything that isn’t standard with OS X, though I’m pretty sure some form of Perl is built in (and used by the system). Apple has been pretty good about including stuff like that.

    * Mac developers are all about “basic, useful applications”, and where they aren’t free, they’re usually worth the money. Check out the reviews at VersionTracker before dropping coin though.

  2. A further comment on the requirement for accents: Google for “macintosh accent codes pennstate” without the quotes, and again you’ll find some form of happiness at the first link (at least regarding how to type them).

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