I abandoned Microsoft some time ago for Apple and will never go back. However, I'm still interested in checking out Linux.
Though I won't be making any purchases in the near future, I want to get a second computer. Should I get another Mac and install Parallels, so I can run Linux side by side Mac OS X, or should I get a PC and install Linux on it?
I can see advantages to either strategy. Having two Mac's - a desktop and laptop - would obviously be cool, as I could share files between computers. On the other hand, a PC with Linux would be far cheaper. Though I haven't done much research on it yet, I'm guessing one could get a decent PC (including monitor) for $500.
So what advantages might a PC running Linux have over a Mac? I have an external hard drive and a scanner hooked up to my MacBook Pro. If I had a PC, what hardware could I use that isn't compatible with Mac? Or what hardware could I save a lot of money on?
If you were going to get a Mac-Linux desktop-laptop combination, how would you do it?:
1) Apple Desktop + Linux Laptop
2) Linux Desktop + Apple Desktop
The first option sounds more attractive, because Apple laptops are awfully expensive.
I should mention that I use my computer mostly for web design. I run Adobe Creative Suite 3 on a MAMP Pro platform. If I bought a Linux computer, I'd either have to find some equivalent software or use it just for websurfing, word processing, etc. For that reason, a second Mac with Parallels and Linux installed would seem the best bet in the long run.
However, I'm wondering what hardware features I might avail myself of if I had a PC running on Linux.
I think the crux of your decision is Creative Suite 3. Assuming you have the mac version of this software, it could be tricky to get it running on a Linux machine. You'd either have to (1) switch from CS3 to native Linux apps, (2) get CS3 running on Linux, or (3) stick with your mac.
Personally, all my computers run Linux. On my web development machine, I run several Windows VMs to test various versions of Windows browsers. For image manipulation I use GIMP. For vector images I use Inkscape. For development work I use various text editors.
If you're serious about giving Linux a chance, run it directly on hardware, not in a VM. There are certain features, such as compiz 3D effects, that may really impress you that won't work inside a VM.