.. except if you add an Active Directory into the mix – but that’s a whole different blog post.
So now I’m fully committed to Windows 10 – like I was back in 2016. But that failed because Windows 10 just wasn’t right for me back then. But my, how things have changed considerably! I no longer use a Mac at work due to circumstances beyond my (or my employers) control – a long story. One of biggest challenges for the move has been the ability to connect to remote computers via SSH. Thankfully back in 2016, I renewed a maintenance contract for SecureCRT/SecureFX – a superb terminal emulator for Windows and Mac. I actually used it on the Mac as its site manager feature was easier to manage substantial numbers of servers than a series of command aliases.
The next challenge was performing Linux style commands locally. While Windows has its Command Prompt, it isn’t really good enough for my day to day tasks. So thank goodness Microsoft invested in the Windows Linux Subsystem for Windows 10. It’s still quite early days, and you can’t really use stuff like “mtr” that requires privilege escalation between the subsystem and Windows (amongst other things), it still gets stuff done 95% of the time. Combine this with Chocolatey, a Windows package manager, and you’ve got yourself a very nice platform on which to develop and maintain systems.
My only complaint is with Rackspace’s AWS service. It uses ScaleFT as a method of connecting to AWS EC2 instances through a special client. And it’s a bit of a pain in the arse. I do wish third-party terminal emulators such as SecureCRT could integrate with it. It’s not a terribly elegant solution in my view, and I’d wish both Rackspace and ScaleFT would do more to support Windows-client based SSH sessions. It feels very rough right now. I’d go as far as saying that I’d much rather just have a VPN instead.
Otherwise, Windows 10 has been pretty good. The April 2018 update went smoothly, though we have now discovered why several laptops were locking up – there’s a bug which affects Chrome and Microsoft’s own Cortana. I’ve not experienced it myself across two (now three) machines, but it is definitely there.
Of course, the Alienware desktop is nothing short of remarkable when it comes to games thanks to its Geforce 1080 Ti. He’s me in Fortnite getting one of my very rare first kills. It’s a bit like a horror movie version of Mary Poppins.
So Windows 10 – it’s come a long way in the 2 years that I last used it in anger. I will never rule out switching back to Mac, but for now, I’m happy, and the cost of ownership is significantly cheaper than Mac, even if you were to factor in any repairs (I have three onsite warranty for my desktop).