We spent about two hours on the phone last night doing a trial run of what should become a weekly podcast covering the state of the iPhone through the eyes of us here at JAiB and Judie over at Gear Diary. During this trial run Patrick mentioned that I was going to be attending a […]
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OT – Jim Cramer on the rise of Apple. And my POV.

We spent about two hours on the phone last night doing a trial run of what should become a weekly podcast covering the state of the iPhone through the eyes of us here at JAiB and Judie over at Gear Diary. During this trial run Patrick mentioned that I was going to be attending a class next week (all week) and sitting for an exam next Friday. I didn’t have the time to expand on that very well during the call, so I thought I would mention it now. 

As some of you may know, I’ve spent the last few years working in IT. I received a degree in Information Systems Security a couple years back and have been working in predominately Windows based environments since I started that degree program. I’ve worked in a small company heading up IT from a systems level, I’ve worked in a systems group for the feds, I’ve worked in a NOC doing Netbackup, and currently I work in another IOC helping manage systems in data centers all over the country. Almost all of this has been Windows.

But, recently along with my switch to the iPhone as my primary mobile device I’ve also found myself making the switch to a Mac at home. The more people I talk to in various IT groups – this seems to be a common trend. Maybe not the iPhone so much, but the switch to Mac by systems and network administrators. Which brings me back to this exam I have coming up. Next week I’ll be sitting for the RedHat RHCT exam. Why you ask? Why would a primarily Windows oriented administrator suddenly decide to go and sit down for  a Linux exam?

Well, this video that was posted at TheStreet.com does a pretty good job of summing up why I think we may be on the brink of a change in the marketplace – and change that tends to favor Apple really well. Apple did something years ago that changed the mobile music landscape. They released the Apple iPod. There were music players around before that, and there’s been tons since then – but when many people reach for an MP3 player (even a non-Apple one) they refer to it as an iPod. There’s a trend starting to build in the PC world as well, and Jim is seeing this first hand through the eyes of his teenagers. Now, more and more teenage and college aged kids aren’t reaching for a PC. They’re reaching for a Mac. They may call it a computer, they may call it a PC, but they don’t mean a computer in the traditional sense… they mean a Mac. Take a look at this picture:

(source)

As a "Windows Guy" listening to what Jim Cramer had to say, articles in eWeek focusing on Mac adoption, and images like the one above frankly I see a need to make sure I’m staying ahead of the curve so that I don’t end up getting left behind and left without a job. But that doesn’t answer the why take a RedHat exam question now does it? Well, actually it does. Apple sells Unix (ok not really but in a round about way). Linux is based on Unix (again in a round about way) and as many larger IT shops don’t support Macs yet, the only way to make sure I get the (paid) training I need to stay ahead of the curve is to get as close as I can – and that’s to start to focus on Linux. That way, when I need to know Mac inside and out a couple years from now as all these younger folks begin graduating from college and begin demanding Mac in the workplace – I can at least be comfotable with the concepts of the underlying architecture.

So – in a nutshell, that’s why I’m sitting in on a Linux system administration course and going the Linux route. I don’t see Microsoft being totally gone from the enterpirse anytime soon, and I definitely don’t see us living in an Apple world anytime soon, but the the VERY slow adoption of Vista in the enterprise, the (increasing) use of REHL in enterprise servers and the wave of Mac users soon to hit college and graduate from college – I don’t think it would be fair to not invest in myself and prepare for this possible Mac future.

My question to you is – Am I way off base here??

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