I remember that article! It was pretty funny hearing people on both sides of the fanboy crowd arguing about it.
Personally, my experiences with MacOs have been horrid. I was a PC/Linux guy mainly. I tought video production using Media100 systems (apple) and they crashed constantly. I stayed away from apple till osX came out and eventually bought a macbook pro (I wanted a nice metal milled chasis!). The hardware is impressive but I had issue with software crashing all the time during video editing... again.
Ultimately I just installed windows7 directly on that machine and had no further issues till it decided to drink an entire cup of coffee.
Now I'm back on another macbook with macOsX and again, flash crashes, browser crashes, etc. I have bad mac luck I guess because everyone else seems to have nearly flawless machines.
I guess it must have been 5-6 years ago, PC Magazine did one of their periodic speed comparisons using a standard set of characterization software. A Macbook Pro running Windows under Parallels ran faster in all categories than the fastest PC at the time. That was quite an admission from the magazine's standpoint.
After having to use PCs during much of my engineering career, as soon as I had decided to retire early from the corporate world, I switched over to the Mac.
1. No more virus updates. No need to even run virus protection S/W.
2. No more crashing.
3. No more fiddling with drivers.
4. No need to replace hardware every two years, due to H/W failures.
This is not to say the Mac is perfect...but it's very close. For those arguing over the price aspect...all I can say is you get what you pay for. Anyway, I digress.
I run all the standard PC-based engineering design software under Parallels and "it just works". Parallels also makes it very easy to go from a Mac to PC application at the click of an icon. It also allows seamless transfer of files and folders from one environment to the other by simply dragging.
I believe S/W companies are finally realizing many engineers prefer moving over to the Mac platform and are starting to port their applications over.
Back to the subject:
Yes, Linear Tech has released a Mac version of LTspice.
Also, there's EazyDraw, a fantastic drafting/drawing program.
There's another spice program, MacSpice.
For PC board viewing and development, there's McCAD GView (plus others for development)
I also recently posted info on a bunch of free PC board viewers here:
LTSpice for OS X has been out for a few months now, and it works well.
And yes, engineers use Macs. NXP's LPCXpresso runs well on OS X, as do other Eclipse-based tools (Silicon Labs has made a little bit of noise about supporting OS X for their upcoming unified tool set). In the board layout area, Kicad actually works quite well (gEDA is a disaster, but that's true on all platforms).
So, yeah, we run Xilinx tools and Keil tools in a Windows VM, and the ability to run in a VM is now the excuse for not porting to native OS X. Macs are solid machines, no more costly than an equivalently-configured Dell box, and they work.
I was at NI Days on Boston today. If course, every third word spoken today was LabVIEW. I asked about the Mac. Although NI will always have a Mac version, they don;t suport it to the extent that they support Windows. But, as test and daq systems go more towards control from laptops as opposed to desktops, less support is needed. Ppeole don;t isntall boards into desktop computers as much anymore. The instrument interface is USB or Ethernet, or GPIB using an USB/GPIB or Ethernet/GPIB adapters.
Depending on what I'm doing. Draftsight(Dasault systems) has a CAD version for Mac. Eclipse IDE works on the Mac and with some elbow grease the GCC compilers work under Mac, which is what I'm doing some of my embedded programming under mac with. Microchip also has an IDE that works with Mac, but sadly some of the other chip vendors still need to find a way to make it work. For the rest of it, definitely a VM to use Altium Designer for board layout and verification(gEDA tools aren't quite there for me yet, although they work on the Mac also). Alterra and Xilinx are definitely under the VM for the CPLD/FPGA work. So we're definitely out there, and we're slowly taking back the market to a system that runs more stable than, error, stop, restart, do over...