Return of the Mac

Paul Graham is one of the best essayists about technology writing today. He’s just published an interesting essay on a phenomenon I’ve also noticed.

All the best hackers I know are gradually switching to Macs. My friend Robert said his whole research group at MIT recently bought themselves Powerbooks. These guys are not the graphic designers and grandmas who were buying Macs at Apple’s low point in the mid 1990s. They’re about as hardcore OS hackers as you can get.

The reason, of course, is OS X. Powerbooks are beautifully designed and run FreeBSD. What more do you need to know?

I’ve noticed this too. At the FOO camp in Holland last year, for example, the only laptops that weren’t PowerBooks were Sony Vaio machines running Linux. Paul Graham argues that this migration to the PowerBook and OS X is significant because geeks tend to have an influence on the evolution of computing out of all proportion to their numbers. What they run today, the business community may find itself running ten years on.