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OS X Businesses Operating Systems Apple

How Mac OS X is Changing the Mac Community 98

Posted by pudge
from the best-of-both-worlds dept.
rgraham writes "Derrick Story (O'Reilly Network editor) has written a follow-up article to The New Mac User, titled The Changing Mac Community. He makes some interesting observations about how Mac OS X's Unix underpinnings have greatly 'broadened the landscape' of the Mac community beyond that of typical artists to now include hardcore Unix users and the like." I personally believe this is the single most important component to Apple's continued success for the near future.
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How Mac OS X is Changing the Mac Community

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  • well (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gtx (204552) on Monday March 11, 2002 @12:55PM (#3143122) Homepage
    i for one know that i'm going to be making the pc to mac switch within the next couple years, first switching over my home and work machines, then my studio machines to mac. i've come to the realization that i don't really *need* an x86 for anything anymore. everything that i need to do on a daily basis can be done by a mac, and the new UI is just beautiful, and i like the hardware too.

    -c
  • We use macs at our business (medical / healthcare ) because we find the user experience is the easiest we can deliver. I am proud that some of our less computer savvy users have no problem operating their macs. However, the fact that at some point we will need to upgrade those users to OSX is a somewhat scary notion. Some of my experiences with system maintenance and overall operation of the OS, IMO, escalate the knowledge level required to be a successful computer operator. This is great for me, but kind of stinks with regard to the level of support I will be required to deliver.
  • In the dark, old days, I'd have to say I'd echo the comments of the designers quoted regarding adopting an OS, even if it has superior qualities. We'd wait until our service bureau or printer (when we did direct-to-plate) forced the upgrade issue on us. When that day comes for OS X, I'm sure the designers will find lots of creamy goodness in a more modern OS.

    And, I can agree with the I-hate-Aqua camp, too. I don't personally hate Aqua, but Macs by and large are used for very specific tasks (even in the design community, you're heavily specialized in many cases). The traditional Mac users want some familiarity, particularly as one becomes used to having all the real estate of a 21-inch monitor for your QuarkXPress pages or detailed Illustrator vector image. I still recall that At Ease bullcrap from System 7 and the doofy rounded widgets in System 8 that took longer to render on older systems.
    • Hmmm... I have used Macs from everything to the "specific" task of writing code to the "specific" task of designing my ranch to the "specific" task of keeping the books to the specific task of running a server to the "specific" task of... I've been running OS X on a 450 Mhz G3 and have been perfectly pleased with the response. Do I want a spiffier system? All the time, but it works and works quite well, thank you very much. Perhaps you wish to remain stuck in the past (everytime I "drop back" to 9.2 I remember what a PITA it really is). Life is better at X.
  • by EnVisiCrypt (178985) <groovetheorist AT hotmail DOT com> on Monday March 11, 2002 @01:02PM (#3143169)
    For the last 8-10 years, I was a wintel user. I used Windows 3.1 - 2000 for it's ease of use as well as the presence of my web development language of choice (ASP).

    I'd tried Linux, but I found it too unwieldy for everyday use. Too many hassles with hardware support, etc. I love the idea, I just couldn't get used to the trouble of routine maintenance.

    Over the past 3 or so years, I've been using *nix systems more and more for web development (PHP, PERL), and I've enjoyed them more thoroughly than Windows. The flexibility of the CLI, the wide availability of development tools as well as the stability has made it particularly attractive. The only problem? I also do design work.

    GIMP is a wonderful program, but it's just not robust enough for full time graphics production. For that, Photoshop is where it's at. And until now, the only options were the stuffy, static, and generally untweakable MacOS, or the generally unstable, unpleasant, and ugly Win9x dynasty.

    Enter Mac OS X. My first experience with OS X was at an Apple store near my home. I fell in love with the interface. But an interface does not a good OS make. While playing around, I noticed there was a lot more to tweak and configure, and lo there was a CLI. I popped "VI" into the prompt, and there it was. Pine, check. Apache, check. Everything I knew and loved about the *NIX's was there. Within a week, I had bought a spanking new dual g4 and I couldn't be happier.

    I have to use a Wintel box at work and it's sheer hell. I couldn't be happier about switching to OS X.
  • New Machead (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ScumBiker (64143) <scumbiker@noSPAm.jwenger.org> on Monday March 11, 2002 @01:13PM (#3143226) Homepage Journal
    After much hand-wringing and stomach-churning, I just got my new Mac on Saturday. I say it that way because I've never had a Mac before. I sprung for a dual 1GHZ G4. I've always built my own PC's before this, so it's a humongus change for me just to buy a pre-built machine, much less something as alien as a Mac! Luckily, I found out how to fire up the terminal right away. A command line! Whew! I'm home baby! I downloaded XDarwin that same day. Aqua is an in credibly beautiful GUI, and I get to run Xwindows apps on it. Ya know, I really look forward to participating in the new, growing Mac community.

    • Welcome. You're off to a great start--you even capitalize 'Mac' right. For the record: "Mac" is a brand of computer. MAC describes a logical network interface.

      As to community, here's my daily MacWeb cycle, FWIW:
      Also, subscribe to MacWorld for it's business-as-usual approach, and MacAddict for it's screaming fanaticism--although I've never met the staff, I wouldn't be surprised if they wore "Don't trust anyone over 30" buttons.

      Hope you and other new users found that interesting. Don't forget the Genius Bar at the retail store--it's designed as a resource, not just as a data dump, but also a social gathering. I've often observed members of the community help each other when the Geniuses were busy, and your Unix feedback is decidedly helpful to long-time Mac Heads.
      • Great info! Thanx. I wish there was an Apple store around here (Madison, WI). I'll probably have to go to Chicago to find one. Oh well ,I'll be talkin to the Mac users group in the area.
  • I'm really curious about Macs, what with all the OS X hype and all... I'd love to try out OS X to see what the buzz is all about, but I'm afraid I'll keep trying to click my nonexistant right mouse button and run screaming into the night. I guess what I'm trying to ask here is: What kind of machine do I need to run OS X and have it be fairly responsive? After all, if I don't like it, I can always use another Linux box. =)
    • In regards to the single-mouse-button issue...

      I've always been quite confused at the Mac population's insistence on only using one mouse button when they have 5 fingers. That's way i've never bought one of those snazzy PowerBooks.

      However, my new employer uses mostly Macs with OS 9 (many of our apps don't work in OS X classic mode). I've found that if you're actually using Mac OS and you slap a nice 4 button USB mouse on there, the extra mouse buttons really don't do you much good, since the OS is more-or-less designed for only one button. Hence, there isn't anything for the extra buttons to do.
      • You have two hands, so why don't you use two mice?
      • Re:Me and a Mac (Score:3, Informative)

        by Graff (532189)
        However, my new employer uses mostly Macs with OS 9 (many of our apps don't work in OS X classic mode). I've found that if you're actually using Mac OS and you slap a nice 4 button USB mouse on there, the extra mouse buttons really don't do you much good, since the OS is more-or-less designed for only one button. Hence, there isn't anything for the extra buttons to do.
        You can fix that easily. Go to VersionTracker [versiontracker.com] and download USB Overdrive [versiontracker.com]. The link is for the MacOS X version, but there is also one for MacOS 9 and earlier. The MacOS X version still in beta but it works very well and has no bugs that I know of. What it does is it allows you to set each button on a USB mouse or joystick to do one of many different actions such as double clicks, triple clicks, activating things, etc. It's a totally great utility.

        That being said, there is really very little reason for non-power users to have more than one button on a Macintosh. You can do everything on the operating system with a one button mouse and even where a right-click would help you, all you have to do is to control-click instead. The main reason I have a different mouse is for the scroll wheel. If Apple came up with a one-button scroll mouse I would probably be very happy just using that.

        Personally, I think the mouse should be one of the build-to-order items. Have the standard Apple mouse be the base item and allow the user to upgrade it to different ones like a 3 button with scroll, a trackball, wireless mice, etc. More choice is better in my mind.
      • since the OS is more-or-less designed for only one button. Hence, there isn't anything for the extra buttons to do.

        Not true. There are many places in the Mac OS where a control-click is useful -- map one of your extra mouse buttons to control-click and you will see all kinds of shortcuts.

        The OS doesn't require >1 button, but it CAN benefit from it. I use it all the time.
    • Just for your info, you aren't stuck to a one-button mouse. I'm using a wacom tablet, with a pen and a 5 button mouse. Really, most USB mice will probably work just fine. All a right mouse button is for on a Mac, as far as I can tell, is to emulate holding "control" as you click. The rest are pretty much for surfing and such.
    • Re:Me and a Mac (Score:2, Informative)

      by tarkin (34045)
      I recently bought a second hand G3/400 Powerbook ( Firewire ) with 384Mb Ram and it runs OSX perfectly. You can feel that OSX demands alot more of your machine than for instance GNOME, but because you become much more productive on the platform that really isn't a problem.

      If you compare Nautilus under YellowDogLinux on the same box to the finder ( and all that other aqua eyecandy ), OSX wins by a long shot.

      I was a Linux86 user before , never even owned a mac before , but if you're talking pure User Experience and productivity ,MacOSX really does a great job. File Management is a lot easier, and all that Multimedia stuff we need works right out of the box. I can watch DVD's, use Dual Head out of the box, plug any usb/firewire peripheral into the thing and continue working. And you can run XFree,bash and GNU stuff with Fink ( I still user abiword for my small wordprocessing needs for instance.)

      So just buy yourself a Logitech USB mouse and you're al set to enjoy MacosX.
      And if you don't like it , you still can run Linux. YellowDog does a great job of supporting almost any feature of my powerbook ( sleep! ) so try that one out.
  • Old users. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by saintlupus (227599) on Monday March 11, 2002 @02:04PM (#3143594) Homepage
    Oddly, a lot of the new blood is replacing the old die-hard Mac community. They made it through the Spindler and Amelio years, but just can't stomach the new operating system.

    I'm one of the Mac support techs at a college, and I'm seeing lots of "give me OS 9 or give me death" sentiment lately.

    --saint
    • saint, I am in the "Give me Mac OS 9 or give me death" camp too. It's not odd. It is expected: the users who have been deeply ingrained in Mac OS for years -- 16 years for me, now -- don't want to switch to a whole new OS. I am far more efficient on Mac OS 9 than on Mac OS X. I may make the switch eventually, but for most old users -- even like me who use Unix all the time -- the benefits of Mac OS X simply don't match the costs. Hopefully someday they will.
    • Yep--I remember this feeling happening with Windows 95, too, and Mac OS 7, especially since it required (gasp!) a hard drive and scads of RAM.

      Stick to OS 9 and fight the system--it's OK. It's more important to use what works for you. Apple typically doesn't kill us for that decision like some other software companies we know. Keep in mind, though, that time will win out in about a couple of years as the OS X train rolls through and 10-native apps are almost exclusive for the major things.

      Funny that the users of the most flexible consumer OS are the most inflexible. Experienced Mac users are the hardest affected by the OS X change, yet UNIX nuts and Windows converts are more forgiving. Oh, well. Good luck to you--OS 9 will be around for some time to come. No worries.
    • My first Mac was a used 512KE. I still have it. It still runs. I have a Quadra 700 that still runs as well. Neither are currently set up though.

      The machines I do have up and running are a TiBook, beige G3, Dell laptop, and a noname 1 GHz Athlon.

      I mostly use the TiBook and can't wait until I can use OS X exclusively.

      The only time I boot into OS 9 is when Palm Desktop beta starts acting funny and won't recognize my data. I boot into classic to run MS Office (I'm unemployed and don't have the cash to upgrade - feel free to send me a copy or give me a job) and Starry Night. The G3 is OS 9 and pretty much the only thing I run on it is Photoshop.

      Fourteen or so years using the Mac OS and I find that it an app doesn't run native under OS X I don't want it.

      I don't understand articles like those at Register.com and others blasting OS X. Yeah it is different and takes some time to learn. But it is much more stable. And the ability to run Darwin apps is just the icing on the cake.

      I just don't get the "OS 9 or die mentality".

      Steve M

    • > Oddly, a lot of the new blood is replacing the
      > old die-hard Mac community. They made it
      > through the Spindler and Amelio years, but
      > just can't stomach the new operating
      > system.

      Great point.

      I refuse to even drop into Classic, much less reboot into Mac OS 9. I can do all my daily work in Mac OS X, so I think it's a change for the better.

      What's interesting, is when the Mac was first released, Mac users were "revolutionaries" and were happy to mock the DOS users who were stodgy and refused to give up arcane DOS commands. Today, many of those same Mac users cling to the old Mac OS 9 because Mac OS X is too new and different for them.
    • Hmmm... I've got an old 30 Mhz 68000 that I would be willing to part with, oooh, $10,000... or is that too much?
  • Console Wars (Score:2, Flamebait)

    by Perdo (151843)
    The shame of it is, as slick as OS X is, it's still on expensive, proprietary, out of date hardware. Don't get me wrong, the hardware is nice, but imagine OS X on a platform that has general use benchmarks as high as the PC side of the house. IBM announced the 1 ghz G3 750FX power PC six months ago. But Apple has a stranglehold on their hardware. So the only place we will see that chip is in a game console. We will soon be able to guy a 1 ghz G3 game console for three hundred dollars.

    That puts Apple's speed, price and marketing to shame. Marketing? Apple's marketing puts their inferior hardware in glossy wrappers and words. Apple used to have hardware features that put PCs to shame. Back when every computer was $2000, Apple was the obvious choice. But competition in the PC industry has pushed their speed up and price down. Apple can no longer hide their head in the sand about price. Apple is competing with PCs on four fronts: price, hardware, OS and software. Apple must not let marketing make their hardware decisions. If nothing else, if their hardware was better, their marketing would not have to lie so much. Jobs using the same Photoshop benchmark that shows apple hardware faster than PC hardware over and over is an industry joke. Apple users must know what SDRAM i845 Pentium 4 owners feel like. They pay insane prices for hardware that does a few things fast and does everyday tasks significantly slower. So the G3 does not have the altivec multimedia (SSE) instructions, so what?

    Build a business machine based on the 1 Ghz G3. Make it mesh seamlessly with an NT environment (without Dave) and make it cheap. The iMac does not serve the roll well. Let the businesses use their legacy monitors. Give it some PCI slots. Resurrect the beige G3 tower for less than $600. Compete on all three fronts. OS X alone will rescue Apple. But competing on price and speed will bring Apple back to dominance.

    Final word: Appleworks. This is the last competition to Office. But even Apple themselves is pushing Office on the mac. Sure, Microsoft injected 200 million into Apple. Microsoft bribed the only competition for 200 million, then spent 500 million marketing the X-box. Apple sold out for a song, and will soon be surpassed in performance by a console. Will soon be surpassed in performance by a console. A console for god sakes.
    • Re:Console Wars (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      What are you talking about? There are 1GHz G4s out there already. And using OSX, mounting to a Windows server is as easy as choosing 'Connect to Server' and typing the URL beginning with smb://

      The iMac is a consumer appliance not a business box that is expandable.

      >Final word: Appleworks. This is the last >competition to Office. But even Apple themselves >is pushing Office on the mac.

      Shocking isn't it. Those bloody customers keep asking for Office.

      Appleworks, BTW is bundled for free on the new Macs - That's what I call pushing

      • Appleworks, BTW is bundled for free on the new Macs - That's what I call pushing

        Where? I just got a TiBook and don't seem to see it anywhere...

        • Apple is famous for putting a load of stuff on the CDs that never make the main install. IIRC, AppleWorks is usually tucked onto one of the CDs that came with the computer. Sherlock the CDs and you'll eventually find it. My old iMac came with a sheet of paper that described all the software that came with it. There was all kinds of stuff that was included, most of it I never needed (the WorldBook Encyclopedia?! Sonoma Valley Guide to Whine [sic] -- bleah).

        • Where? I just got a TiBook and don't seem to see it anywhere..

          It's not. Appleworks is only included on 'i' hardware: iBooks and iMacs. It's not on TiBooks or G4 towers. Why, I don't know, since it doesn't cost anything for Apple to bundle the image since they own the app.
      • Shocking isn't it. Those bloody customers keep asking for Office.

        That's what happens when the manufacturer of Office has a monopoly and users are forced to use it to be able to exchange data with them. Shocking, isn't it.

    • How would a 1GHz G3 be better than a 1GHz G4? Anyway, I can't find any mention of the 750fx on IBMs website anymore.
      • A 1 Ghz G3 would be better because it was available 6 months ago and is done on a more efficient process, meaning better yield, meaning less expencive. Apple failed to capitalize on the faster G3 because at the time it would have meant their low end processor would be faster than their high end processor.

        IBM has it here [ibm.com]

        To quote IBM's pdf:

        "Manufactured in IBM's advanced 0.13 micron copper process with Silicon-on-Insulator
        and Low-K Dielectric technology, the 750FX will be offered at frequencies up to 1 GHz.
        The 750FX expands the capabilities of the IBM PowerPC 7xx processor family to
        support more performance-demanding and power-sensitive applications. The new
        processor is ideally suited for a variety of systems, including networking,
        communications, storage, imaging, computing, and consumer applications.
        The 750FX is architecturally based on the PowerPC 750 and PowerPC 750CXe
        processors, and implements many enhancements that address the performance and
        reliability requirements of embedded applications. These include 512 Kbytes of internal
        L2 cache running at core frequency with cache locking, expanded width of internal data
        paths, additional cache buffers, parity protection on internal cache arrays, additional
        memory mapping registers, the capability for up to 200-MHz operation of the 60x system
        bus interface with additional bus pipelining, and two PLLs."


        I'll take 512k of on die full speed L2 cache over 2 Mb of 266mhz L3 any day. 266mhz DDR is what PCs use for memory, Apples use it as "high speed cache". As for the 200mhz fsb, Sounds like it is ready for DDR-333. 6 months would have given them the time to put it in the new iMac. They knew IBM was building it almost two years ago. But Motorola is a sexier company than stodgy old IBM so they kept the flagship processor contract even though IBM has a better process.

        • Oh boy. The 1 Ghz G3 was not available 6 months ago, and it still isn't. To quote IBM's pdf:

          Initially disclosed at the Microprocessor Forum on October 17, 2001, sampling for this new processor is planned for January, 2002.

          If you look at the main page for PPC chips at IBM [ibm.com], you'll find no mention of the 750fx. If you search for "750FX" you'll find things like this announcment [ibm.com].

          Select customers are currently evaluating the hardware with general sampling available in January of 2002. The PowerPC 750FX is planned to initially debut at 700 MHz, with versions at speeds up to 1 Ghz later that year.
          You'll find no indication that the 750fx is shipping. Even the 700 MHz part is nowhere to be seen.

          Sorry, but "stodgy old IBM" blew it here.

    • What kind of troll is this?

      >Make it mesh seamlessly with an NT environment
      It does. Easily. Just type smb:\\servername into the connect to server dialog

      >Give it some PCI slots
      Riiiight. It has them. Have you even looked inside?

      >IBM announced the 1 ghz G3 750FX power PC six months ago
      I'm using dual 1ghz G4's now. And they rip. Why would I want a G3?

      >Let the businesses use their legacy monitors
      It's called a VGA connector. My Mac has one.

      You are right on one count though, my mac is prettier than a beige box, as well it should; I have to look at it every day.
      • Price point? Price point. What did it cost you? What is the new barrier to entry for Apple? Getting a new imac went from $800 to $1300. Your Dual G4 cost you at least $3000. That's if you got the GeForce 4mx based on a two year old design.

        "It's called a VGA connector. My Mac has one."

        The cheap apple was the iMac. I'm talking an iMac box without a monitor at all. Let it be round and cute but skip the $500 tiny flat panel. And give it some PCI slots. But keep the low price point. Not that hard really, just do the math.

        As far as Apple is concerned, PCI slots cost you an extra $1000, because that is the difference in price between a machine that has them compared to a machine that doesn't. Utter bullshit.

        By the way, NetBios is unsupperted under XP now. meaning microsoft has broken compatibility with Samba, meaning they are assholes and OS X cannot work in a *modern* NT enviroment. It's a moving target, but if Apple wants to thrive instead of survive, they better hit the damn thing.
        • Getting a new imac went from $800 to $1300.

          No, it didn't. You can still buy the old-style iMac for $800. The flat-panel one costs $1300, true, but that isn't the only iMac choice.

          As far as Apple is concerned, PCI slots cost you an extra $1000, because that is the difference in price between a machine that has them compared to a machine that doesn't. Utter bullshit.

          That's a gross oversimplification. Their *consumer* Mac is the iMac. It's geared towards the home user who doesn't need PCI slots and doesn't care about the latest and greatest AGP video card. It's geared towards the majority of people who use their computer for word processing, quicken and web surfing.

          Their *professional* mac is the Power Mac G4. It's geared towards the graphic designer and power user. It has things like advanced AGP graphics and PCI slots and yes, it costs more. You get what you pay for. (and comparing intel hardware to Mac hardware is an apples to oranges comparison. I know you don't want it to be, but it is. Deal.)

          By the way, NetBios is unsupperted under XP now. meaning microsoft has broken compatibility with Samba, meaning they are assholes and OS X cannot work in a *modern* NT enviroment.

          This is absolutely, positively false. NetBIOS *is* supported in XP and I challenge you to prove otherwise. Here [microsoft.com] is an article that talks about using WINS and NetBIOS on XP. If it wasn't supported, this article wouldn't exist. Furthermore, I can connect to my XP box from my linux machine using smbclient just fine, thank you very much. I can also transfer files the other way around using smbd, so Microsoft has *not* broken compatibility with Samba.

          Your facts are so obviously incorrect that it certainly calls into question your entire post.

          • Hello? [microsoft.com]

            Do you possibly think microsoft would stick to a protocol that increases their compatibility? That must be why you can open a Word 2001 .doc in word 98.
            • Did you even bother to read the MS document you linked to? If not, go back and read it. If so, go back and read it again. Then, go look up NetBEUI and see how it differs from NetBIOS.

              Thanks for validating my earlier concerns about your post.
              • Net Bios Extended User Interface = Dave stops working and win XP cannot log on to Samba server except by installing NetBios which is now unsupported. Additionally, The Pro versions contain just enough of the appletalk protocol that any appletalk device with file shares on the network gets treated like a printer... Want to see every 8.1 box you have crash? On a DHCP network have win2k or XP look for network printers on your ethernet. 9.0.4 will figure it out but all the other boxes die. Static IP boxes seem to be safe from this but all others crash. 9.1 USB printer shareing boxes also will crash. 2000 server has full appletalk capability and will not cause this. Will not occure on an AUI adapter box like a 6100 but will kill an asante nic box. USB printer sharing does not work under DHCP anyway, so their crashing is not much of a hazard because any USB p/s box should be on a static IP anyway. You cannot convince me that Windows plays nice with Apples exept the servers and old NT 4. The problem occures when windows forces an election to become the master browser.
                • <sighs>

                  Net Bios Extended User Interface = Dave stops working and win XP cannot log on to Samba server except by installing NetBios which is now unsupported.

                  I don't know how else to explain this to you. NetBEUI is unsupported in XP. NetBIOS is fully supported in XP. NetBEUI != NetBIOS.

                  NetBEUI is a transport protocol and operates at layer 2 of the OSI. NetBIOS is more like an API, that allows things like name-to-address resolution and sending/receiving data.

                  NetBIOS can be bound to things like TCP/IP, IPX/SPX, etc. It is NOT unsupported in XP.

                  NetBEUI is a shitty protocol for anything other than a tiny SOHO LAN. It should rightfully be put out of its misery. Thank goodness Microsoft has chosen to do so in XP.

                  You cannot convince me that Windows plays nice with Apples exept the servers and old NT 4.

                  I don't care if I convince you. Just stop spreading the F.U.D. nonsense about NetBIOS not being supported on XP. You are wrong.

          • Getting a new imac went from $800 to $1300.

            No, it didn't. You can still buy the old-style iMac for $800. The flat-panel one costs $1300, true, but that isn't the only iMac choice.

            Maybe you just missed the part in the sentence you quoted where he said "new." NEW. NEEEEEWWWWW! Not "old style." So I boldfaced it for you.

    • Jobs using the same Photoshop benchmark that shows apple hardware faster than PC hardware over and over is an industry joke.

      Perhaps, but I for one can tolerate ridicule as long as my filters and resizes are up to speed.

  • I purchased a completely loaded Titanium Powerbook on Feb 12. After going through a lot of hassle to get a big enough Apple Loan from MBNA bank, I watched my shipping get delayed by Apple. Now, I'm waiting for FedEx to deliver it, since they decided to tell me the wrong location to pick it up when I asked for it to be held. ARGH!

    My first Mac, I'm sooo looking forward to using OS X, but CHRIST I've had to go through some shit to get it. Apple needs to get a better bank to handle Apple Loans and get a better shipper.

    I hope I'm done jumping through hoops for this thing.
  • by rjamestaylor (117847) <rjamestaylor@gmail.com> on Monday March 11, 2002 @02:36PM (#3143841) Homepage Journal
    I, too, bought my first Mac on Saturday: a Titanium G4 550 (couldn't quite bring myself to pay for the true top-end...). Immediately I was dissapointed because, upon booting the Ti, OS9 came up. OS9 looks like a kludge with widgets everywhere, thus betraying it's age and drifting from the roots of simplicity; to me, of course. However, I was happy to find the way to switch to OS X and did so. I have no need for OS9 - I have no loved OS9 apps that I must use. Soon I will remove OS9 from my system (as soon as I determine there really is nothing interesting for me there).

    Booting OS X...wow. Slick, solid, clean, clear. D*mn this is nice. After getting my bearings for an hour or so I looked around my room and began cleaning it up -- something my wife has always requested unsucessfully. Perhaps the clutter that is Windows and KDE/Gnome acclimated me to clutter? Whatever the reason, I'm affected by the slickness of the hardware, software and combination of the two of my PowerBook Ti running OS X.

    Until now I've run my life and work off a Toshiba 2805 with RedHat 7.2 and Win4Lin for Win98SE client-side testing. Frequently I'd need to spend time directly in the Windows world (Win4Lin is great as a temporary testing environment but when I'm doing serious client-side development and need to depend on IE, native is the best). Switching between Windows and Linux (running KDE 2 as my desktop; hate Gnome) I couldn't help but notice how unpolished the GUI on Linux is compared to Windows. Windows, for all it's other problems (and they are legion) feels substantial as a desktop. Linux felt tenuous - I can't explain exactly why, that was just my sense. Perhaps it was switching between GTK+ and KDE based apps...and straight X apps... OS X is totally different. Awesome.

    My next step (heehee) after getting online was to seek out the Mac Community. Right away I realized there are two camps: bewildered, disaffected Mac loyalists who are resisting the new Mac Way and eye-opened, gaga Unix/Linux geeks overwhelmed with the marvellous marriage of UNIX and GUI that is OS X. Of course, some are happier than others, but I just ignore the heretics (kidding). My I'm bookmarking the OS X-specific web sites and ignoring OS9-oriented sites. There's nothing for me in OS 9. OS X has everything I need:

    • UNIX
    • gnu tools (thanks to fink)
    • clean interface
    • iDVD for watching movies with the wife
    • iMovie for EASILY creating movies of the kids for their grandparents.
    • Virtual PC for testing client-side stuff with Windows IE
    • coolness
    I'll be participating in the Mac community - the Mac OS X community, that is. I think I'll start by getting that Learning Cocoa book...yeah, that's my NeXTSTEP...
    • Congrats you've got a ton of money to throw down on a new Mac. However don't go and say Mac loyalists resisting the New Way are a bewildered bunch. You've not used a Mac for several years only to have the virtual carpet tugged under you and then told your hardware isn't going to run the new OS. There's people who've been using subsequent versions of MacOS of system they've had for five years and even more. I'm not about to plunk down another couple thousand dollars just to be able to run OS X, OS9 and LinuxPPC have the stuff I need. By segregating yourself from the older Mac community you're missing out on a good deal. I guess it is true that converts make the best fanatics.
      • I'm a tech, so don't feel that I'm centering you out. KNOW that I'm centering you out. I hate whiners.

        As the original thread smartly noted, yes, there are several factions in the Mac camp. Sorry that your older Mac can't run OS X--here's a hankie. Buy the new Mac and stop whining--if you are who you claim to be, you know for a fact that you got a lot of use from your older Mac, but nothing--not even a Mac--lasts forever. You can't expect an auto dealer to upgrade your old car to the latest widgets, and its unreasonable to assume that your old Mac can do Mac OS X unless its a G3.

        I've been using Macs since their inception and PCs slightly before that, with countless computers between those. And I've helped those with old Macs move on, whether to PC iron or a new Mac. It's disappointing to have to leave behind something that works well, but time affects all, including computers. A Macintosh's effective life is about 7 years. Stop feeling miserly. If you like the technology, buy it.

        The original poster isn't "segregating' anything. He can run practically any OS on the planet under OS X--including all the OSs you mentioned. Can you do that right now? The answer, if you were happy with your situation is, "No, but I have what I need." That's fine. OS 9 and other OSs are great still, even in their twilight.

        But stop whining already. Appreciate what others have or just resist the urge to babble about this topic.

        And learn to separate your thoughts with paragraphs, for cryin' out loud.
        • I'm not asking my Mac to live forever, I don't even have that old of a Mac. I have a Lombard Powerbook. Will I get seven years out of it? I sure fucking hope so. Will I get seven years out of it with OSX? Not likely unless Apple pulls a rabbit out of their ass. OSX is a dog on older hardware, hardware mind you, that is only one or two years old. There's a class action lawsuit against Apple right now that they lied about OSX's ability to run on their G3 based systems. Contrary to what Linux users believe, a kernel does not mean you have a functional computer.
          The original poster IS segregating the community as he has decided to talk only with those with OSX because it wooed him over to a Macintosh. That borders on ridiculousness. I hate whining bitches who whine about other people whining.
      • Everyone knows that the second generation lags behind the first in zeal.

        However, from my perspective you've buttressed my point: faithful old-style Mac users are reticent to adopt the new Mac OS X. To me, moving off the Intel platform is a huge jump, so I'm easily prepared for the cost and unfamiliarity of OS X. I just see OS X itself; not in context of 20+ years of incremental development junked (running an emulator for the old stuff is "junking" it -- emulators are always more painful than native so by not providing native support for classic applications, which could have been done I would think through hardware (just guessing), the intention to drop the old was made clear). But, to be honest, I was never tempted to use Mac OS 9 and the radical departure was a benefit to me.

        The last time I was familiar with Mac OS, 6.2 was just released. Looking at OS 9 is incredibly confusing and unappealing to me. OS X attracts me. However, my partner is a Mac-using graphic artist/ videographer/ web designer and moving to OS X took resolve on his part.

        I guess Mac users (loyalists) expected the new Mac to be like the old but better. It reminds me of the transition between Apple // and the Mac - radical, string-cutting change. I view the prior Mac OSes the way a Mac 512k'er viewed Apple ProDos - glad to be free of that.

        • I have OSX but can't do everything under it that I can do under OS 9.

          Losing functionality is not acceptable. Until OS X has the necessary support (hardware is the big stickler here) to display 640x480 video in a window (best, which is the situation I'm at under OS 9, is full screen on a 2nd display), I won't be moving to it.

          I'd also like to have 4-speaker surround under OS X but I've given up on Creative actually releasing drivers for the SB Live. Probably going to replace my SBL + DTT3500 setup for a CAVIT and a 5.1 Yamaha speaker setup.
    • Power is control. Its that simple. If you don't like your GNU/Linux system, you have the freedom to change it yourself. And then you can share these changes with others. Thats the spirit of cooperation. What you see right now (in the GNU/Linux system) is the result of this spirit.

      Sure, you may not be a programmer. You don't write code. You want the software to be written for you--you want it already configured to your liking. Or maybe you don't know what exactly you want from your system. So you want someone else to make all the decisions for you and you want to like it. So you say you like Apple. They've done testing. UI science is little more than averaging out the preferences of many potential software users.

      But what about the license? The end-user agreement? When you started up your OS, did you click "I agree" ? Did you read it? Do you agree with everything it said? None of the software on the system can be copied, shared, or modified. Okay...perhaps the BSD core.

      Whats the big deal? you ask. Do you like Apple? Do you trust them? The users of BeOS did...look what happened to them. You don't own the operating system. They do. That nice interface of theirs is their property. Anything that looks like it is their property. All the software is theirs to. You just pay to use it.

      If you wrote an operating system or designed the interface, what would you do? Would you choose to own it or choose to share it? Which promotes cooperation and which promotes your own interests? Whose interests do you think Apple is promoting?

      The spirit of cooperation is a huge factor in software development. Its what made the GNU/Linux system what it is today. And all them command line programs that you like on your Apple system, where did they come from? Open cooperation. Open cooperationg is the spirit of free software. Thats why it exists. Hope you like your Apple.

      Conclusion: Apple is not your friend.
      • Do you have any idea how ridiculous your post reads? Do you?

        I don't need a "friend" out of Apple -- or Linus, for that mater -- I need a product that works.

        As an aside, I really like the moniker "GNU/Linux" - it warns me of the religion of the writer.

        None of your points were helpful or useful. Rhetorical, yes, but academically only. For example, your assertion

        • UI science is little more than averaging out the preferences of many potential software users.
        begs the question, "So GNOME is the result of a better method than UI science? Or would that be KDE? XFree? MidnightCommander? Emacs?" Come on... GNU isn't all about choice, either, it's a free implementation of a proprietary system that Worked (TM). GNU - which is available on my OS X, BTW, is an awesome acheivement whose time has come. But I won't use a tool for merely philosophical reasons. Nor will I reject it outright. In your world, any choice besides GNU/* is an invalid one.
        • So, are you really for *choice*?
        • Do you have any idea how ridiculous your post reads? Do you?

          Yes, I have an idea. But consider it a matter of perspective. I like trying to see the whole picture.

          I don't need a "friend" out of Apple -- or Linus, for that mater -- I need a product that works.

          A minor quibble. Surely any literate person would interpret "Apple is not your friend" as "Don't trust Apple" or perhaps this is too much of a right-brain activity. Perhaps it is all the poetry I am having to read right now :)

          None of your points were helpful or useful. Rhetorical, yes, but academically only. For example, your assertion
          UI science is little more than averaging out the preferences of many potential software users.
          begs the question, "So GNOME is the result of a better method than UI science? Or would that be KDE? XFree? MidnightCommander? Emacs?"

          I suppose I got lost in predicting possible responses to my post--something I've learned to do while communicating through the internet. But you bring up GNOME, KDE, XFree, MC, and Emacs and I don't think any real UI methodology was used in this case. The only real goal is that the user can customize their interface to the system. You see this prevalent throughout most free software projects. Again, I am not saying that this is a better method...

          Come on... GNU isn't all about choice, either, it's a free implementation of a proprietary system that Worked (TM). GNU - which is available on my OS X, BTW, is an awesome acheivement whose time has come. But I won't use a tool for merely philosophical reasons. Nor will I reject it outright. In your world, any choice besides GNU/* is an invalid one.

          (Side note...its nice to know that GNU is available on your system. Obviously it was ported by someone. How about that nice Aqua interface? can I port it to my system? Why not?)

          GNU is its own system. Its derived from Unix quite a bit of design but I think there is enough new and interesting things added to the system to call it a new system but with compatibility. This is very subjective of course--and all beside the point.

          Your point on not using a tool for its philosophy is well taken. I would agree if something really wrong isn't taking place. Its like if all the hammers were owned by one individual and the idea of the hammer was also owned. Then perhaps philosophy might become important. Sure...some will yield "Just give me a damn hammer!" but others might insist "You know, there is something wrong here."

          In my world, there are no invalid choices. You must confuse me with some zealot. But if you want to make me into a zealot for sake of argument, of course I might have a problem with that :)Perhaps you might doubt me in this. I don't necessarily subscribe to all of the free software philosophy. For example, I think it is more important for software to be useful than for it to be free. But I think the freedom to use the software anyway you please is a great deal of the value of software. Many people are of the mindset that the only thing that matters is what the software does. But I think it is as important as to how it does it and what you can do with it, legally, under the law. Because I try to be a law abiding man.

          So, are you really for *choice*?

          (emphasis deleted)

          You must really take me as insane. Of course I am for choice and my choice is to insist on certain rights on the software I use. I'm an OS advocate and this is what I advocate about GNU/Linux. Advocating an OS doesn't mean disallowing other people from making the choice for themselves. But rather it means letting other people know why you use the OS you use. In this case...I may have went a little far--openly attacking an alternative OS. You're right...only in this regard.

          As an aside, I really like the moniker "GNU/Linux" - it warns me of the religion of the writer.

          I wanted to reply to this last since I think it is least important. I use "GNU/Linux" because it makes the most sense to me. MacOS X, I've heard, has a BSD kernal. Do you find yourself usually calling it BSD? I actually read both ways and unlike some people, I don't correct people while they speak :) The only time I really care is when it is ambiguous whether they meant the entire OS or just the kernal.

          Anyway...best regards.

          • You said a lot, much of it steering back towards a mainstream presentation and I could comment favorably on much of it, however, I am short of time so I will comment on something that sticks in my craw (as usual):
            • But you bring up GNOME, KDE, XFree, MC, and Emacs and I don't think any real UI methodology was used in this case. The only real goal is that the user can customize their interface to the system.
            Unfortunately I must disagree the the user can customize his (the proper gender-ambiguous third-person singular pronoun; how I hate having to qualify this) UI with GKXME - the user can modify the UI as defined by the developers (or can develop his own, which is beyond the scope of our consideration). These applications have a defined UI, albeit it can be modified according to the user's desire/capability. Some framework was used for this UI. What? Guessing? Intuition? Or copying of someone else's UI? Since the 128K Mac the Interface has been excellent for the vast majority of computer users. Why? Probably more related to UI science than developer whim.

            Re: GNU on OS X - see the fink [sourceforge.net] project.

      • Ah, you've discovered the great Karma sinkhole of daring to criticize Apple on Slashdot since the release of OSX.

        Now that Apple's ported a *nix, they can do no wrong, despite being a repackager of clone hardware on a force-bundled operating system having licensed the one-click patent, c&d'd and threatened to sue kids making skins, crippled DVD authoring software, and killed clone makers they'd made agreements with.

        Hell, I think Apple could hire Jack Valenti as a spokesperson and put Hilary Rosen naked on the screen of the new iMac as wallpaper, and you'd still get modded down for daring to criticize them here!

      • Ok I'll probly get modded down for this but karma is made for spending, so here goes. Fuzzy Logic I know, bear with me.

        Apple is not perfect. But right now as an "average" computer user (Started on MS-DOS/3.11, Now on a dual Ghz for design/ Art,) Apple is a hell of a lot more appealing than their most visible competitor. I think Bill Gates said it best (in "The Road Ahead") when he said that a corporation (group that wants something) is doomed when the CEO ignores the problems at hand (Think all of us here re: MS). I'm not accusing annyone of ignoring redmond.

        Microsoft makes me mad, and I'm too young, too American (And too entwined with LotR style strategizing) and I don't want to wait 10 years for a guilt free/opensource vision of a usable, stable operating system.

        My[(1$*(.02))]
        • "Microsoft makes me mad, and I'm too young, too American (And too entwined with LotR style strategizing) and I don't want to wait 10 years for a guilt free/opensource vision of a usable, stable operating system."

          GNU/Linux is a usable stable operating system. And you get all the rights users of Free Software are entitled to. Whats the complaint?
    • Wow, there really must have been something in the air on Saturday.

      I went out and got the iBook (600) and haven't touched my desktop since.

      Within an hour of having it, I had fink installed, XDarwin, and rdesktop so I could connect to my NT Development machines.

      Only beef so far is that the SMB support doesn't seem to be perfect, and I'm probally going to have to splurge on Dave.....
    • I don't mean to put a crimp in your plans, but the Learning Cocoa book really really sucks. Cocoa is sweet shit, and the Mac OS X API is awsome, and the development tools are incredible and and and ...

      I borrowed this book from the local library and was saddened to learn that it is no Camel book that's for sure. It is not a good intro to objective-C, the development tools, or Cocoa. I would stay away from this one, it doesn't even make a good reference. Everything is ambiguous, it was hard for me to learn something as simple as objective-C after I already know 9 languages, C and C++ very much included. So you have been warned, but definitly go out and start learning cocoa!
    • The Titanium 550 is a good buy and by changing a couple of resistors can be converted into a 667/133mhz version. It's the old economy of scale and marketing at it again. The main board is the same on both the 550/100 and 667/133, but they clock the 550 down.You will find that even though your bus speed is 100mhz the RAM supplied by Apple is PC-133. This mod does required a qualified tech with good eyesight and a steady hand. Best done after a run in period of a few months or out of warranty.
    • > Right away I realized there are two camps:
      > bewildered, disaffected Mac loyalists who
      > are resisting the new Mac Way and eye-
      > opened, gaga Unix/Linux geeks
      > overwhelmed with the marvellous marriage
      > of UNIX and GUI that is OS X.

      Actually, there's a third camp. Mac OS 9 users who happily run in Mac OS X. Most of the Mac users I know fit into that category. I can only think of one or two people who haven't made the switch from Mac OS 9.

      If you look further, even MacWorld magazine is focused on Mac OS X instead of Mac OS 9. Or the fact that iPhoto (a Mac OS X-only app) had over a million downloads in the past 2 months.

      I'd say it's probably a vocal minority who fit into the "Give me 9 or give me death" camp. The silent majority are happy with the new OS. Or are people who have hardware that won't run Mac OS X very well or are blissfully ignorant of anything after Mac OS 8 (I'm sure they're out there).
  • by speechpoet (562513) on Monday March 11, 2002 @02:59PM (#3144003) Homepage Journal
    For existing Mac users, OS X's *nix underpinnings have been a big leap forward -- not unambiguously so, but netting out on the positive side.

    Jobs... er, God knows there's a much steeper learning curve than Apple has acknowledged, especially for users with a home network. Those of us who've never had to think twice about issues like permissions are suddenly paralyzed by folders that refuse to open and files that refuse to launch. There's an entirely different mindset needed, and it isn't exactly included with your CD-ROM and manual.

    But that said, the geekier among us are now being exposed to the broader world of *nix. When we upload files to a web server, suddenly all those folder names make sense; we're navigating around in SSH like old pros; we're getting that endorphin rush from doing something especially clever from the command line.

    And that's just the beginning. Now we're being introduced to the open source community, and a whole new model for software development... along with the development tools that come free with OS X.

    It's not as if every mom 'n' pop Mac user out there is suddenly going to plunk a stuffed Tux on top of their monitor and start coding Perl scripts. But for every one of us who can't resist peeking under the hood, it just got a lot more rewarding.
  • by mkoz (323688) on Monday March 11, 2002 @03:13PM (#3144097)
    While I agree with the general feelings, especially among the /. community that Apple is doing the right thing. This is not an all roses situation for my favorite fruit company.

    1. Apple is attracting a whole new set of users from the *nix ranks... This is great for many reasons.

    2. Apple needs to work hard to keep the existing user base. A lot of MacOS users are still running OS 7/8/9 and a very happy. Moving to X is a learning curve. Totally different look/feel/operation. While I have gotten used to this, and in many cases I feel the changes are improvements, many people are happy with what they have because it works for them.

    The traditional mac faithful feel left out of the change, so much is changing and X really only runs well on G4 hardware with lots of RAM. To the people who don't want a command line OS X does not offer much when you consider the changes that are being forced on them.

    Don't get me wrong, Apple was right to make the move, but it is going to painful going for the next couple years getting people through the switch. ... and Apple needs to make sure they don't loose the traditional faithful.

    Unix for the masses, is a far cry from it is just easier damn it. Granted Apple is changing focus in recent PR, from the strengths of unix to "everything is [still] easier on a mac". While geeks will figure out that MacOS X rocks, the masses still need to be reassured.
    • While geeks will figure out that MacOS X rocks, the masses still need to be reassured.

      I think that all the programs that Apple has provided for free with OSX (iTunes, iPhoto, iDVD, etc) that work almost without having to think about it will make the case. For the most part, Apple has done everything in it's power to make the user experience as similar as possible to the original Mac experience. There's an Apple menu. The dock, while I know people who don't like it, it's enough like the old Launcher app that people don't freak out trying to use it. The package technolgy that Apple built into OS X keeps the Drag-to-install that people got used with 9. I think the only real change from the user perspective is that it has a different finish, and the addition of user accounts, which not very many Mac users ever had to deal with before. That and Apple's made so much noise about how different it is under the hood, people are convinced it's going to act stranger than it actually will.

      The real problem is going to be on the administrative side of the equation. The move to a UNIX base means almost everything has changed for the Mac administrator of today. Control Panels, Extensions, and the like as we knew them in OS 9 are gone for the most part. Alot of the Mac people that do administration tasks are scared to death of it. That's one reason I'm glad that Apple built Classic support into OS X. It gives the old school Mac admins the ability to still get things done, and the time to get up to speed on the way things are going to be from now on.
      • I was one of the noisy beta testers. We were a loud lot. We bitched. We moaned. We groaned. We probably made the Apple Engineers angry. Whatever they provided (and they were ever so nice in responding) we would demand more. An Apple logo that DID something. We are STILL ticked that there is no Windowshade (why?!?). Fortunately, someone has managed to create a wonderful hack (oh, geez, do the search YOURSELF)... Is it cool? Hell, yes! Is it slick? Makes OS 9 look like your grandfathers car. Is it fool-proof, well, no. But neither is OS 9.2. What I hear when people say "we want it the same" is that they never consider that it might, just MIGHT be better. I have heard people cry out "OS 8.0 isn't like 7.0 it must be the end of civilization!!!!" and yet it wasn't. Compared to what we started with in 1984, this looks GOOD. To be honest, it is faster, easier, and less error-prone than OS 9. For those "old school Mac admins", well, learning something new is not a bad thing.
        • I certainly don't believe it's a bad thing that the admins need to learn. I left the Mac universe about 4 years ago for work and can't-play-the-games-I-want-on-it reasons and i was really excited to hear about what OS X was going to be.

          However it is a big scary change for the admins. A necessary change, but scary nonetheless. The Mac generally hid alot of the raw computing tasks from it's users un until 10. Now there's a lot less of the hand-holding left, and it's like a bird getting pushed out of the nest, when it really, by god, needs to learn how to fly.
  • I dumped the only family Windows box this weekend for a used iMac running OSX. Finally - a computer my wife and I can both like. She gets her few applications (Word, email, web) in an easy-to-use package, I get the same great interface with a tasty Unix center. What's not to like?
  • by xinu (64069) on Monday March 11, 2002 @04:44PM (#3144668) Homepage Journal
    I went out and bought a new G4 today. My reason to switch? MANY... True plug and play for the hardware ((and top notch hardware at that) and I'm sick of playing the update my drivers(WinXX) or kernel(Linux) daily), UNIX underpinnings (being a Solaris admin I love it for myriads of reasons), GUI simplicity (let's face it, I'm lazy when I get home from work and those iApps kick butt also), and with VirtualPC I can still run any Winblows app that I might need. I couldn't think of a more perfect solution. Plus a sexy lookin machine with a sexy desktop is just icing on the cake.

    My apolagies to the die hard Mac crowd, I hate to hear that any company is leaving their core customer group behind. But let's face it, every company sells out eventually. I have to admit they should have made it an entirely different OS product line.

    But hey, I love this computing solution! And I haven't been excited about a computer since I got my first Apple //e as a teenager...

    • I don't think they are leaving the right-brained folks behind; I just don't understand why they didn't do this a lot earlier.

      They could never have continued the classic MacOS line. The memory managemant sucked donkey balls. You had to preset limits on memory usage on th binaries themselves; it was total crap. So was windows with its crappy GP faults. It seemed that every time you launched another application there was some sort of shared-memory violation.

      Many UNIX variants have had memory management right since the 70's, and so has VMS. It seems that Apple and Microsoft ran the only bad systems on the block.

      You should never need to recompile kernels daily. Learn to use kernel modules. Easy, easy, easy.
  • by RestiffBard (110729) on Monday March 11, 2002 @10:30PM (#3146438) Homepage
    I once was one of those jackasses that despised the mac without actually knowing much about it. too my shame. I've grown up though. I use linux now and can't say enough good things about it. I only boot into windows to play tony hawk2. I have to say that for the first time I'm drooling for a mac. there are multiple reasons but i suppose the top two are that i understand i can run linuxppc on it. and two macs just look so cool these days. the new os the new hardware makes me drool. I have mac envy. I've always built my own machines but I'm looking forward to putting my tax refund towars the purchase of one of those nifty 14.1 in iBooks. can't wait to get one. I just hope the mac community will welcome me the way that linux did and not with the blase who cares attitude that windows just ignored me.

  • I recently bought a new iMac and switched over to OSX.

    My experience includes primarily Solaris, FreeBSD and a smidgen of everything else.

    I love OS X. It is by far the best UNIX OS I have ever used. I just wished they would get rid of Netinfo.

  • All you folks that are in a reverie of joy in using Mac OS X would have been in a similar reverie if you had just given NeXTSTEP a chance. It was (almost) all there, back as far as '88 when the OS rolled out. OS X, for me, is (finally) validation that, YES, NeXTSTEP is better than sex!

    blakespot

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