One of the biggest shockers for me at OSCON happened during the first day. I was sitting in the second row of the Rails session and I looked behind me to see what type of laptops people were using. I would guess that 80% were PowerBooks. Of the x86 laptops that I saw, I would guess that 10% of those were not running Windows. (So the distribution looked something like this 80% Mac, 18% Win, 2% Linux (BSD?)). (Luckily Miguel was running Linux ;)).

So what is the cause of this apparant mass "switch" to powerbooks? (I bet that most of the laptops were not work laptops, i.e. they were bought by the individuals, so work is probably not pushing mac's (at least not right now while they are still ppc...)).

Are they just sick of Windows, but Linux doesn't cut it? Did the OSCON attendees run linux before switching? Is the competition between gnome and kde marginalizing both desktops? Lack of integration of Linux apps?

I asked Rob Kaye this same question on our flight home, since he has a fancy powerbook. He admitted that he "switched" because of the coolness factor (and utility) of the rendevous enabled apps (like subethaedit). He says he loves being able to "listen" to other sessions of a conference just by watching the notes that people are collaboratly taking (using subethaedit).

I'm posting this because for some wierd reason I thought that most of the people at an "Open Source Conferece" would be running Linux (yeah, I know Darwin is open source....).

Will we see cool/innovative hacks like Greasemonkey and Rails on the Linux desktop? Or will development slow/stagnate as people switch to using Macs as a desktop? Is the desktop just too boring/hard to work on that only commercial devs can do it well? Open Source isn't applicable here? (I'm probably biased since my personal computer has been running Linux on the desktop for almost 7 years now. But maybe if I had a laptop and power management didn't work, I might get frustrated and jump ship....)