[OS X TeX] OSX to Linux/Windows: What do you lose?

Berend Hasselman bhh at xs4all.nl
Sat Jan 22 14:58:41 EST 2011

On 22-01-2011, at 16:16, Theo Moore wrote:

> Hi,
> For the last few years, I've been a OSX user at home, and a Linux user
> at work. I do a bit of multimedia work (photography and graphics), and
> OSX is a terrific option that balances my needs in multimedia (e.g.
> programs like Photoshop and Lightroom) with my work in research (e.g.
> LaTeX, Matlab, the occasional Fortran), and finally, gives me a smooth
> link between my work OS and my home OS.
> In am considering making the switch to a dual-boot with Ubuntu and
> Windows. There are two factors that are influencing my decision: (1)
> Macbooks are expensive, (2) Thinkpads are cheap and rugged.
> What I'm wondering is, from the perspective of LaTeX, what
> functionality would I be losing going to Linux/Windows?
> The one thing that concerns me is font usage. OSX is bundled with a
> beautiful array of fonts, and I often use the fonts, in conjunction
> with fontspec and XeTeX, to produce 'non-standard' TeX documents. As
> I'm aware, both fontspec and XeTeX are available in Linux, but I would
> have to purchase most of the fonts I've become accustomed to using.
> Can some of you suggest other things I'll have to consider in making
> this switch?

The cost of buying/upgrading Photoshop and Lightroom if you go to Windows.
The energy spent in finding replacements for the same in Linux.

You will miss TexShop and Mac OS X's wonderful (most of the time) handling of PDF.
Totally hassle free installation of MacTeX: the nicest and easiest TeX distribution I know.

On Windows, you will have to fight Adobe Reader's idiosyncratic ways (locking pdf).
And you'll need Adobe Reader for printing.

As mentioned in another reply, Bibdesk. You will have to make do with JabRef (not bad but )

And then you'll have to get to grips with Windows batch files; very different from bash and quite difficult and weird.

Migrating to Windows will cost money, energy on your part and lots of irritation.

Linux would be a better idea but in your place I would seriously consider staying with Mac and MacBook (Pro).


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