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Apple Businesses

Apple Wants Your Input 1002

Posted by michael
from the but-only-one-mouse-click-at-a-time dept.
Johnny Mnemonic writes "Apple is asking for feedback specifically from PC users about why you might be considering a Mac purchase, or if you recently purchased a Mac for the first time, why you made the switch. A good opportunity to sound off about your Apple peeves, but also a chance to let Apple know what you think they're doing right. The Mac OS X feedback page, originally from the Public Beta, is still up and accepting feedback, also."
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Apple Wants Your Input

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  • by Bobartig (61456) on Sunday March 24, 2002 @10:36PM (#3218737) Homepage
    And I think it's not only the PC people who ARE interested in macs, but those who specifically aren't interested as well. Maybe then, Apple would really know what they need to woo the "other 95%".

  • one reason... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by minus_273 (174041) <aaaaa@SPAM.yRABB ... minus herbivore> on Sunday March 24, 2002 @10:37PM (#3218740) Journal
    MAC OSX..
    simply the best Unix version for the desktop, the power of unix with the commercial support of windows without the excess baggage. That is one big reason.
  • by Mike Schiraldi (18296) on Sunday March 24, 2002 @10:44PM (#3218777) Homepage Journal
    Here's my question: Why are we still double-clicking?

    MacOS required double-clicking because it originally only supported one mouse button.

    Microsoft ripped off MacOS, warts and all, so Windows makes you double-click too.

    Then the Linux desktops ripped off Windows, warts and all, and we have to double-click as well. (Sure, you can override it. I do. But it's certainly not something the average user, even the average Linux user, can do)

    Wouldn't it make a lot more sense if your OS worked like your web browser? Left click to launch, left drag to move, right click for more options. No double clicking. Ever.

    Remember when you first taught your mom to double click and how much trouble she had? Then she started double-clicking everything: buttons in Word, links in Netscape, you name it. She was confused because it was inconsistent and a stupid UI decision.

    So i say Apple should lead the way again and get people off the stupid double-clicking habit.
  • by webword (82711) on Sunday March 24, 2002 @10:46PM (#3218788) Homepage
    ...Microsoft []

    On more serious note, surveys and questionnaires are generally useless. They really only get at user preferences not their actual behavior.

    Let's take an example. If you asked me if I would rather have a Lexus LS400 or a Honda Accord, I would say I wanted the Lexus LS400. But don't you see how useless that is? What matters are my actions. I don't have the money do buy the Lexus but I might have the money to purchase the Accord and that is what really matters. You need to see what I do at the dealership.

    You need to understand usability. You also need to read books like Paco Underhill's Why We Buy : The Science of Shopping [] . If you go with surveys and questionnaires, your getting somewhat useless subjective data (i.e., opinions). You really want behavioral data. Got it?
  • by Monkeyman334 (205694) on Sunday March 24, 2002 @10:47PM (#3218797)
    What if I just want to highlight an icon?
  • Take a chance (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PuddleBoy (544111) on Sunday March 24, 2002 @10:48PM (#3218805)
    The one thing that Apple has done best (at least during some years) is to try out new designs, new ideas. They've shown a willingness to take risks. Whether it's the GUI, Human Interface Guidelines, the Newton, the iMac, or just little touches that make the computing experience a little bit friendlier. They showed us that there was a viable alternative. Sometimes they fail (eMate, CyberDog, eWorld). But in the process, they teach the whole industry a lesson.

    With a behmoth like M$ around, we can use more friendly ideas.
  • If I was in Apple's marketing department I'd be asking "what would it take to get you to switch to Macs?" not "why are you thinking about buying a Mac?" or "Now that we have your money, what do you think?"

    Because they already know all the reasons people give for not buying a Mac. You give two favourites yourself.

    There are two main things stopping Apple from gaining greater market share: Price and Applications. They cost too damn much (for what you get) and don't have all the apps that Windows (or even Linux, these days) has.

    Now lets look at it: First off, price. The bottom line iMac is actually very cheap and when you compare it to a packaged PC deal with 3 year warranty, you'll actually find the prices are roughly the same and the Mac has more features. For the average user speed is not an issue, that's why Celerons sell so well.

    Next up, applications. There are more Windows applications out there, given. However, there are *far* more Mac OS X applications out there than there are Linux applications, despite your statement. This is mostly because most Linux applications happily run on OS X (and more and more are coming precompiled in a double-clickable installer). Secondly, most of the applications on Windows are absolute crap that you don't want to use. Think about it - how many applications do you have installed on your PC? How many do you use? What do you need to do that can't be done on the Mac? While there are some things that are better done on a Windows box, and some things that can't be done on a Mac at all, for most people all the apps you'll ever need are available for Mac.

    The other thing to note is that Apple is asking people who are considering Mac what they think because they are potential customers, people who have ruled out Macintosh (or are so narrow minded that they won't even consider it) are a lost cause for Apple. Take the easy money first then slowly expand into the harder markets if you need to. Don't beat your head against a brick wall for no reason.

  • by Cheshire Cat (105171) on Sunday March 24, 2002 @11:15PM (#3218945) Homepage
    It didn't cost me an arm and a leg. For what I'd pay for a new IMac, I could easily stock a brand new AthlonXP w/a full fledge GF4

    I hear this arguement constantly and I find it frustrating to no end. Basically, I believe (and this is not a flame) that you get what you pay for, especially when it comes to computers. Sure a Windows system will cost you less (and a Linux system even less, still) but you're losing quality in the deal.

    This would be like going to a dealership and saying "Why should I spend $40,000 on this BMW when I can go across the street and get a Geo Metro for $9,000? It'll take me to work just as well as the BMW won't it?"

    I believe that a lot of people who bring up this "flaw" about Macs are people who've never used one. Having used both extensively, I believe that the Macintosh is an amazing bit of engineering. But hey, that's just me. Use whatever works best for you.

  • by Have Blue (616) on Sunday March 24, 2002 @11:15PM (#3218947) Homepage
    Double-click is just another degree of freedom for interface designers. Attach the second-most-commonly used function to it and it's just as fast as a single click, and faster than scrolling through a menu.

    Double-clicking is only really used in the Mac OS for launching files, and that's because the 2 things you can do to files (open and select) are about equally common. Although lots of apps also use double clicks for common alternate tasks like bringing up options dialogs. There are a lot of places in a modern interface where there are two most-common-by-far (or sometimes even exactly 2) tasks that can be performed, and a double click works fine there.

    [plus the usual argument about multiple mouse buttons]
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 24, 2002 @11:18PM (#3218960)
    Okay, you tell me how to right click on five things in different parts of a list at once.

    And nobody "needs" a right-click menu. Users don't "need" a particular interface, they need to do stuff and want a cogent interface to do it in. In the Mac's case, things are selected, then operations are performed on selected things. Simple. Why is the double-click so much worse than the right click?

  • by dhovis (303725) on Sunday March 24, 2002 @11:21PM (#3218972)
    Don't expect Apple to release PC software for the iPod anytime soon. Here's why:

    Apple just released a 10GB version of the iPod, but they did not lower the price of the 5GB version. This tells me that the 5GB version is selling very well, because the cost of the components (and the R&D costs) have come down a lot. The iPod uses a 1.8" HD from Toshiba. I've seen firewire external HDs with that drive as low as $170. Apple could probably afford to sell the 5GB iPod for $300, and certainly $350 at this point. Why don't they? 1) No competition. 2) They sell. Simple as that. As long as the iPods are selling, and as long as people buy Macs so they can use an iPod, Apple won't release PC software.

    Apple sold 125,000 iPods in less than two months. How many of those were sold with a Mac? Who knows? Enough to keep Apple happy.

  • by Cheshire Cat (105171) on Sunday March 24, 2002 @11:23PM (#3218976) Homepage
    If Apple released MacOS X for x86....

    Unfortunately, Apple is a hardware company, not a software company. This is why comparisons between Apple and Microsoft are a little erroneous. Apple gets the bulk of its money from selling Macintosh computers, not from selling OSX (which is the opposite of MS, as I'm sure you're aware.) If you remember back when the clones were being sold, the first thing Jobs did when he took over Apple was to put as stop to those, as they were causing Apple to hemmorage cash.

    Thus, while I agree that having OSX on the x86 would be my wettest dream come true, it will never happen. :(

  • by J. J. Ramsey (658) on Sunday March 24, 2002 @11:32PM (#3219029) Homepage
    "If I was in Apple's marketing department I'd be asking 'what would it take to get you to switch to Macs?' not 'why are you thinking about buying a Mac?'"

    The thing is, by asking the question, "why are you thinking about buying a Mac?," Apple taps into the opinions of those who are on the fence, those whose could be within Apple's target market, but aren't quite yet there yet.
  • by llamalicious (448215) on Sunday March 24, 2002 @11:46PM (#3219083) Journal
    So don't ask us why they didn't ask us. Simply give them your feedback.
    Here's what I sent:

    I've been seriously contemplating getting a Mac as my next machine. I work at an Ad Agency in Central New York, where the designers are all Mac users and I'm the senior interactive developer, and use both a Mac and PC side-by-side most of the day. I find the Mac (specifically OS X) a much more geek friendly environment than Windows.

    My primary concerns about purchasing a Mac for my personal use (and leaving the PC) are

    1. Price/performance ratio.
    I can currently configure a dual Athlon system @ 1.8GHz with 1GB RAM, 160GB RAID 5 array and a 21" CRT for approximately $2000.
    However, I cannot get anywhere near that level of performance with a Macintosh for that type of money.

    2. Availability of native Carbon and/or Cocoa versions of applications from Macromedia and Adobe.
    This concern is primarily time-dependent, however, I could not consider moving forward with a Mac purchase until all the major software comes over to OS X.
    I would not use a Macintosh with OS 9.2.2+, it's too unstable for the type of work I do, so OS X compatibility (without using Classic) is a big issue.

    So hopefully, by the time Macromedia and Adobe finish up their product lines, newer G4 (or G5) processors will be out, and costs can be driven down.
    Bottom line: Not yet. Mainstream application support needs to be stronger (no shareware or freeware for me) and the price needs to come down.


    p.s. Keep up the good work, I would LOVE to get away from an MS-centric household.
    p.p.s. While I love Mach, and BSD; you've GOT to do something about all these Kernel Panics with SCSI CD-R/RW's installed in the machine.
  • Shareholders wouldn't look too fondly on it if SJ got on the call at the end of the quarter and said, "Hey folks, we lost a few million, but we've got $4B in the bank, so we can keep losing millions every quarter for years!" (That's more of an Amelio statement, isn't it ;) Corporations have money in the bank to finance buyouts and provide stability for the stockholders (the price of the companies stock shouldn't go below the value of their cash minus their debt), it is not for allowing them to sell products at little profit or even a loss (although that strategy can be used to gain market share, it is often considered rather predatory; you certainly don't like it when MS does that).
  • by $carab (464226) on Sunday March 24, 2002 @11:55PM (#3219117) Journal
    Actually, most Sony Vaio PCs with Windows XP come configured web-style (browse over highlights, click opens).

    There are several reasons I don't use a mac:
    1. Price. Quite simply, Apple has crushed Moore's Law by charging people twice as much for last years technology. I mean, you can build a system with an Ahlon 2100+, 512 MB DDR RAM, GF 4, and have it be similarly priced with macs that have less than half the features. Any benchmark save photoshop, I feel confident that my 1.2 Ghz Athlon @ 1.33 would smoke any mac on the market.

    2. Nerdishness. The apple PR shifts Apple towards those who feel that their wallets make them more "special" than average PC users. Your average nerd sees right through this, and makes the logical conclusion that macs are for the other kind of "special" people. If you think OS X makes you cool 'cuz its Unix, think again. Try installing Linux on that Mac ... Oh, wait, not "user friendly" enough for you? Too bad ... maybe you aren't as leet as you thought you were.

    3. The apple myth
    Wow...Apples are for cool people, scientists and potheads who "think different"

    Actually, as is documented in In the beginning there was the command prompt, Apple is one of the most draconian providers of computing materials. Opening up their platform would lower prices, but Apple would lose their "mystique"... Apple has made their descision, and I have made mine.

    4. Really no need
    Gaming? Try GF4 + Athlon+ Windows XP
    Server? Try Linux
    Looking good to impress chicks? Oh, wait, maybe macs do have a purpose.

    Anyways, so I don't get marked down for trolling:
    For many years (1994-1998, I believe), I used an old mac (7200/75). When I finally switched to Windows, it was like whole worlds were being opened. I was able to learn and explore so much about computers.

    The only other time I had that experience was when I installed Linux on that old mac.

    I am currently trying to acquire a G3 yosemite from a friend to set up as a DHCP/FTP/HTTP/DNS server, running Linux and looking stylish at the same time.

    It's not that I hate macs, It's just that they don't really meet my needs...Then again, you sell that smart-looking G4 for under 1k, and I'll be the first in line.
  • by Chris Canfield (548473) <slashdot@chris[ ... t ['can' in gap]> on Sunday March 24, 2002 @11:55PM (#3219118) Homepage
    I hope you can use all of this feedback you are getting.

    I would love to get a MAC as a terminal in my house... to telnet into my e-mail account (not this one, of course), and to opera around the web. I'd probably want to use it as a mediaserver to the linux and PC boxes, to simplify web development projects for my roommate. I'm working in a small corner of the gaming industry, so I would need to keep my PC box for development (Quake 3 Radiant comes to mind), but as there are currently 8 computers sitting in front of me I don't think that will adversely effect the total. I would also want this to be as SILENT as possible, as it would likely never be turned off. So PLEASE find a way to remove that last fan from the beautiful new iMAC.

    There are three things holding me back from this purchase.

    One: performance. The last time I tried your operating system on a G4 cube, it was sluggish at best. This is hurt further by the performance gap with other chip makers such as AMD. (I know MHZ != speed, but many other benchmarks show a lag). I wouldn't plan on using the system to play Everquest, but I do need it to snap to attention the moment I want it to do something. And that isn't necessarily Ghz related, so much as how well those cycles are allocated.

    Two: interface maturity. OS9 had a multitude of programs available to customize the os to behave exactly as I found aesthetically pleasing. Window Monkey, Menuette, and a host of others filled out interface gaps and created functionality where once there was annoyance. Windowshade started as a hack, you'll recall. OS9 is such a radical departure from the previous interface I doubt time for such fine-tuning has ocurred.

    Along with interface maturity, 3+ button mouse support is needed. One button just isn't enough for real usage. Opera's innovative mousegestures show that two buttons and a scroll wheel may be enough for serious web surfing, and Kensington's scroll trackball implementation of the scroll wheel is spot on, but all of these should be supported with the default mouse.

    Sometimes you are still on the cutting edge of interface design, sometimes you aren't. When you aren't, I strongly recommend stealing.

    Three: software support. This is the reason I originally left the macintosh, and the reason it would be impossible for me to be primary with OSX. Everyone knows this, and everyone knows this is why Microsoft holds on to their monopoly. Show the developers how this could make them money and how this could make them want to wake up in the morning. Spread this mantra: "Enjoy life more: Program for OSX."

    I don't plan on buying another wintel box anytime soon, basically because I can't bear to throw more money towards that godawful filesystem. On the other hand, I can't exactly plug my rio into the NeXT Cube (which, amusingly, has a picture of the new iMAC pinned to it).

    Save for the price I would love a titanium. Get the snappy imac to snap to attention, do everything you can to get developers on the box, and abandon that stupid mouse, and you will have one more repatriot.
  • by Frymaster (171343) on Monday March 25, 2002 @12:00AM (#3219143) Homepage Journal
    1 - Confusing interface
    windows puts the shutdown command under a menu called "start". unix leaves the "n" out of umount and has recursive as -r for rm but -R for cp. who's confusing here?

    2 - One Button Mouse
    you can buy other mice if your a button fetishist. remember tho' that the mouse's primary job is to apply focus. everything else is just feature creep

    3 - Customization and configuration is hard to grasp
    like what? if you can't figure out netinfo...

    4 - Expensive Hardware
    you pay more money for slick. it's true. if you think a $5 bottle of wine tastes as good as a $20 bottle of wine then maybe you should stick with yr win xp rig too...

    5 - Apple is unpredictable
    uh, we like to call that "innovation".

    6 - Proprietary platform
    sure is. apple makes "widgets". self-contained systems designed to work out of the box. my mom likes it.

    7 - OS X is kinda slow
    i assume you're still running the public beta. 10.1.2 is snappier than kde on the same machine

    8 - I don't like Steve Jobs (I gotta be honest).
    fair enough. i don't like bill gates and i don't like rms. lotsa people don't like theo de raat. should i switch to sparc solaris?

    9 - We've heard about Apple treatening many Open Source projects (ie. OSX theme)
    and yet they opened up the entire core of their os. gosh they're so anti-open source.

    i don't think this is a list of reasons why you shouldn't buy an "apple" (there actually hasn't been a computer by that name since 1983) but the reasons why you shouldn't by a computer.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 25, 2002 @12:01AM (#3219147)
    1. It all depends what you're used to. Windows was confusing when I switched to it from Mac OS, and linux was even more confusing. Mac OS isn't any more confusing that any other mainstream OS. Hell, a lot of people think it's actually less confusing.

    2. Duh. Plug in a two (or more) button mouse. I used to use a 5 button MS Intellimouse Explorer with OS 9 just fine. I believe OS X even has the drivers for multibutton mice built in. For anybody with half a clue this shouldn't be a problem anymore (unless they're using a Powerbook).

    3.See #1. The Mac OS wasn't really designed for much customization anyway, so I'm not surprised they don't make it easy.

    4. Hell yes.

    5. Er, how?

    6. I personally don't see a problem with this, but if you do, fine.

    7. Yeah. Though in my opinion on a low end G4 it doesn't seem any worse than Windows.

    8. I don't like him either. He did arguably save the company, but now he's just holding Apple back.

    9. That was kinda stupid. Last I heard they pay a few BSD hackers to write open source code, so IMHO it balances itself out.
  • by WildBeast (189336) on Monday March 25, 2002 @12:04AM (#3219162) Journal
    So, if I'm right, you'll switch to Linux when Linux behaves like OS X? Then why not stick with OS X?
  • by Dephex Twin (416238) on Monday March 25, 2002 @12:28AM (#3219257) Homepage
    Let's take an example. If you asked me if I would rather have a Lexus LS400 or a Honda Accord, I would say I wanted the Lexus LS400. But don't you see how useless that is?

    Yes, that is useless. That is why the questionnaire is not "Would you rather have a Macintosh or a PC?"

    The questionnaire is asking, "If this is your behavior, why?" How does that not reflect behavior, unless people flat-out lie?

  • by Pussy Is Money (527357) on Monday March 25, 2002 @12:33AM (#3219268) Homepage Journal
    The problem with your scheme is that it becomes impossible to abort drag operations. Right now, you can click on an icon, then change your mind and release the mouse button, and have nothing happen. With your scheme, every undesired button press results in an undesired action.
  • by Jay Carlson (28733) on Monday March 25, 2002 @12:37AM (#3219285)
    First, a good way to map Ctrl next to A, like God intended it. (Until today, I didn't know about this completely undocumented bit of black magic [].)

    Next, remove the goddamn video resolution lock on the consumer hardware. I've got an iMac here stuck sending 1024x768@75 video out the VGA port. The video hardware can do much better, but there's no way of saying "turn off the builtin display". iBooks are similarly crippled; PC laptops aren't.

    Think very hard about adding a second trackpad button on the laptops. I can easily replace the USB mouse on a desktop box to get a second button, but there's no way to upgrade the trackpad without a bandsaw. Support for context menus in OS X is soooo nice; why make it harder for laptop users to take advantage of it on the go? (Yes, I know you can use modifier keys to get the same effect, but it's not the same.)

    Make a really fast web browser. This Celeron 450 seems much faster than the iMac 450 for browsing; similarly with 800MHz machines at work.

    Give me the source to, so I can add support for certificates. It's not like your competition is going to steal anything useful out of that excellent, Cocoa-centric app.

    Pay Valve Software to port the Half-Life engine to OS X. Geez, if the Mac doesn't run Counter-Strike [], how are we going to AWP all the Windows weenies?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 25, 2002 @12:41AM (#3219305)

    Apple got it correct.

    Computers in future will have no mice (portable flexipads that roll up)

    I have said this since 1983

    And I know I am correct.

    Portable ultrateck computers of 2009 will resemble a thick flexible place mat.

    It will be an illuminated touch sensitive pad.

    A keyboard could be imaged on part of it, and of course, when not typing a finger can :


    and many things can be done with those (selection, scroll etc).

    A cursor would be drawn above your finger averaged centerpoint.

    But the thing will not be PSYCHIC!

    It will not know which finger you are using.

    That is why every Macintosh program will run fine.

    No need for a second third or fourth mouse button.

    Even Steve Jobs made his 2button Next Computer default to each button doing same thing in 1990.

    All mac interface programs are very usable with one finger.

    PeeCee losers fought the mouse for years (up to 1987 for many magazines I read)

    And PeeCee losers still dont understand the mouse in 2002.

  • by banky (9941) <gregg@neur[ ] ['oba' in gap]> on Monday March 25, 2002 @12:42AM (#3219308) Homepage Journal
    First, how long do you expect the Dell to be useable? The last time I checked, people tend to replace their PC every couple of years, especially power users (who will replace components as soon as the newest iteration comes out). If that iMac lasts you a year longer than the Dell, is it (the Dell) still a better deal? I am using a Blue-And-White G3, 450Mhz, and it plays RTCW like a PRO. The same cannot be said for a Pentium system that came out at the same time. The only modification to the B&W is a Radeon. The average PC power-user will want to replace their GeForce with a GeForce4, and probably get some new sound. Oh, and RAM, because you can't run WXP in less than 256MB (or so it advises, correct?). I'll admit thowing RAM at OSX (and OS9 FTM) helps but it is usable at 128MB.

    Second, some of those facts are misleading. Have you ever sat an iMac on your desk? The 19" CRT is about the same size as the bleedin' iMac! Plus the PC, plus the cables, etc etc etc. Most PC users don't really care about things like design and form factor; I don't blame them. My point is, though, that things like that have a way of 'sneaking up' on you. I thought the 'Luxor, Jr.' was pretty god-awful, until I actually sat down and played with the neck thingee. I almost bought one right there. It's just an opinion thing; YMMV.

    And I must disagree, strongly, that many posters here don't hate Apple. I'd say at least 25% of the /. population strongly hates them, if only for Apple's wrong-headed strongarming of the themes community, their odd inability to treat developers with any real respect, or merely becuse they're a monolithic proprietary vendor. Many would not accept anything less than the complete freeing of OSX before buying a Mac. That's their perogative.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 25, 2002 @12:48AM (#3219327)
    If you don't like the standard Apple mouse, BUY ANOTHER ONE WITH THE FEATURES YOU WANT!

    I mean really, if you buy a car and the stock stereo doesn't have all the bells and whistles you wanted, do you piss and moan to GM or whoever that their stereo doesn't meet your high standards? NO! You buy a different Goddamn stereo to replace the stock one.

    Why can't you fucking Windows people get this through your heads? I thought you were all constantly upgrading your machines on a component-by-component basis? I mean, you all derided the iMac because you couldn't be swapping cards in and out of it every weekend, right?
  • by mr100percent (57156) on Monday March 25, 2002 @12:54AM (#3219351) Homepage Journal
    "PCs are NOT that hard to assemble."

    Sure, so how do these jumpers on the Hard drive work? Do they go horizontal or vertical? All I want is a 80 gig Hard drive, does that mean I need IDE? ATA? Does my Motheboard support EIDE? Where on the motherboard does it go? Should I power it up first and leave the drives unplugged, so i can mess with the BIOS?

    It's not that easy. My time is worth more than reading "Assembling PCs for Dummies." I'll gladly pay the $100 more to get a BTO system, with a superior OS to boot.

    Apple uses pretty good hardware from what I've used. Plus, it's all durable. I've dropped laptops, gotten kicked desktops, and botched up SCSI termination, all without problems. Plus, they send replacement parts to me in 2 days, accross the US.

  • Re:one reason... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Com2Kid (142006) <> on Monday March 25, 2002 @12:57AM (#3219368) Homepage Journal
    Sure as hell am not. :)

    I believe in nice SQUARE and BEIGE 90degree edges.

    *COUGH* background in technical drawing *COUGH*

    Besides, curvy things add NOTHING to the overall usefulness of the system but they DO add to the size of the code and the time that the OS takes to start up and do things. (more code to load equals more time to load, obviously).

    Support for curvy things also add unneccisary complexity to the source thus increasing the chance that additional bugs will pop up.

    The time that is spent implementing support for curvy things could BETTER be spent FIXING other bugs that surely exist within the OS. Or at very least improving performance (yah yah XP has performance increases, but there would be MORE if the time spent implementing curvy things had instead been spent on more performance increases. Not to mention that the performance increases already there would have a greater effect if curvy thing support was not eating performance up at least somewhat)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 25, 2002 @01:14AM (#3219435)
    15,000 sounds really big doesn't it? Unfortunately you would have to add several orders of magnitude to make a direct comparison to the PC.

    Hower the poster you are replying to mentioned that he is interested in games, if games are released on the Mac, they are generally released later then on the PC (with some notable exceptions, such as Quake 3), which means you tend to miss out on the initial multiplayer action. So you try and join games, were others have already several months of experience, and its not so fun.

    Because of the cost of porting games, only big name games make it to the Mac (Again with exceptions), all the odd/cult games never show up.

    As for your second point, isn't Virtual PC a seperate program that you have to purchase or is Apple bundling it now?

    I hardly think that mentioning an emulator as a defence of a platforms diverse availble software is very encouraging. Particularly if its an official statement. It basically says that our platform isn't able to draw enough developers. That's like advertising that the PC has a wealth of high quality Japanese games, because you can use Bleem! and japanese playstatoin discs.
  • by maggard (5579) <> on Monday March 25, 2002 @01:47AM (#3219594) Homepage Journal
    I'm not gonna try and tell Apple how to sell their products: They've got the best-selling computer a couple years in a row, 4 billion US in the bank and appear to be the only computer manufacturer riding out these times well.

    However I can make one suggestion to folks commenting on what it would take to get them to buy a Mac: Use one. Don't go on about how you disliked MacOS 7.6.1 on an LC II back whenever.

    Try a modern Mac,
    running MacOS X,
    for one hour.

    See how fast you can come up to speed on it. That it has all of the Unix lovin' ya dig with the ease of a great GUI right there for the using. How it ships with a set of developer tools, documentation, the works (mmm - Cocoa). The full range of standard applications available. That it is perfectly married to the hardware it runs on.

    One hour. Try it. Don't read reviews, listen to gripe-sheets, how old-school Macolytes miss some features, the pissing & moaning that Apple paid for a specific codec and didn't give it away, whatever.

    See for yourself what it is like.

    Take a look at the hardware and price it out against any other top tier manufacturer with quality components, a three year warranty, full support. See if MHz really is the true and only measure of a computer's performance. Ask yourself if you could fall in love with an OS, would you be cheating on another?

    That's all. Give it a fair shake and then decide if it's right for you or not. But at least drive it around the block, kick the tires, check out under the hood. Trust me, the brochures don't do it justice.

  • by rtm1 (560452) on Monday March 25, 2002 @01:55AM (#3219629)
    My suggestion: bring back hardware licensing! It will increase market share and increase the purchases of their OS, where the real money is at anyway.

    Are you insane? Bringing back hardware licensing would increase other people's marketshare, not Apple's, and we saw this years ago when cloning almost put Apple out of business. As for there being more money in selling the OS - how much profit do you think Apple makes on hardware? Their gross margins on Powermacs are something on the order of %20 - which is a hell of a lot more than they make selling their OS for $150.

    Hardware licensing would be awful. If Apple became just an OS vendor then they'd start acting like Microsoft - force feeding upgrades to a market that doesn't really want them because its their only way to maintain income, and all the other stupid and horrible things MS has to do to keep the cash rolling in. What an awful world that would be. If you want Apple to die a horrible death at the hands of their own OS licensees then bring back cloning.

    I'll happily keep paying my little bit extra to get hardware that works well, an OS that doesn't have stupid web browsers built into it for no reason, and applications that don't try to sell me things whenever I plug in a camera.

  • by foonf (447461) on Monday March 25, 2002 @03:01AM (#3219811) Homepage

    This would be like going to a dealership and saying "Why should I spend $40,000 on this BMW when I can go across the street and get a Geo Metro for $9,000? It'll take me to work just as well as the BMW won't it?"

    This is not a sound analogy. First of all, the cheap PC is as fast or faster. But more importantly, other than the CPU and the case, modern Macintoshes basically are PCs. They use standard PC memory (and not DDR, either), standard PC video, IDE hard drives, PCI/AGP expansion slots, USB and Firewire...inside the shiny case there is nothing unique about them. There might have been something to this in 1984, when you could get a Mac with real sound and a 32-bit CPU where no corresponding PC existed, or even 1989 or so with a Mac II and a high-resolution display. But the proprietary hardware that used to distinguish systems like Macs and (moreso) Amigas from PC clones can't compete with commodity PC hardware in price/performance any longer. Even the PowerPC CPU, which by the most optimistic estimates is only on par with Intel and AMD, really only functions as a glorified copy protection device, to make running the operating system on (even more) commodity hardware difficult. If they could do it without opening the door to simple OS X emulators for commodity PCs, I believe Apple would move to AMD or Intel CPUs for the cost savings.
  • I don't change my monitor that often so I don't want to buy one with each computer. The computer at Circuit City is a Compaq Presario 5000. As I admitted before, Macs are probably competitive in the mid-range. But if you want a CHEAP COMPUTER you would have to buy a used Mac to get to PC-like prices.

    I've done my fair share of tech support so let me assure you - these cheap PCs are total and utter crap. If that's all you ever buy, you have no idea how much hell you're putting yourself through. There is no way you can call Macs expensive these days because they clearly are not. They are quality machines that come with a 3 year extended warranty and more features than the competition. If you don't want to use Macs because you prefer Windows that's fine - but don't blame it on price.

    My habit is to buy the cheapest computer available and use it for a year and a half and then buy another cheap one.

    At the point that your discarding your PC, the Mac is only half way through it's warranty. You choose to pay $500 every 1.5 years, I pay $1000 every 3 years with full warranty coverage. Home users would keep the Mac much longer than that (5 years minimum). At your rate the computer is costing you $333/yr, my rate is $333/yr and for the typical home user of a Mac it's $200. Now which is cheaper? Factor in the fact that the Mac users are getting a new monitor each time and that eventually you will need to buy a new one as well and the Mac is cheaper in both cases.

    Oh and that eMachines computer you mentioned, has no firewire, no ethernet card and no video memory (on-board video). The iMac has firewire, a 10/100 ethernet card and a Rage128 Pro with 16MB video RAM. So not only is it a lower overall price (long-term), the iMac has significantly more features. Oh and used Macs have excellent resale value so you won't save huge amounts by buying second hand.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 25, 2002 @03:49AM (#3219907)
    This will probably piss some of you Mac users off, but I felt strongly enough about it to sent it to Apple anyway.

    Hi, I'm writing in response to your request for input from PC users. I've seriously been considering buying a new Apple ever since the new iMac made an appearance on the scene. It's just plain sexy and I love Apples reputation for having everything work the FIRST time (unlike my Windows machine from the lower pit of hell).

    The two biggest obstacles I have to an Apple purchase are as follows:

    1.) Lack of software. Yes, I'm sure you hear this one OFTEN but it's one of my biggest barriers to actually plunking the money down for an apple. Apple needs to improve their relationship with companies that make just about ANY kind of software. It isn't enough that Apple comes out with some of the same software that is available on Windows machines; they need to do it at the SAME TIME. I need to be able to pick up a piece of software for my Windows box OR my Mac without having to wait MONTHS and even years for it to be released on the Apple platform.
    2.) The HORRIBLE attitude coming from the existing Apple user community. Someone at Apple REALLY needs to address the horribly negative, stereotypical and mean-spirited attitude current Apple users display towards those of us who haven't had the opportunity to use a Mac. I've cruised several Mac sites looking for information (MacWorld in particular) and have been shocked and dismayed to see people like me asking questions only to be called fools, morons, idiots and just plain sub-human scum because I currently use a Wintel machine. I'm not kidding, take a look at some of these sites and see how potential customers are being treated by those already using your products. The feeling one gets is of an elitist community that frankly, doesn't want new users added to the community. There are some who genuinely try to help those of us with questions, but the impression I initially got really, really turned both myself and my wife off from purchasing our first Apple Computer. My wife literally tunred to me and said "If owning an Apple means acting like these people, we don't need it." I know there is a TON of animosity in the Apple community towards Microsoft but the fact is your more rabid fans are turning away many people who are really interested in becoming Mac supporters. I really believe you would increase sales five- fold if someone from Apple really made a concentrated effort to educate your amazingly vocal fan base to include and welcome Wintel users instead of ridiculing and isolating them.

    That's it; if you can tackle these two problems I really think you can draw tons and tons of dissatisfied Windows customers like me to your brand. I urge you, please make an effort to change the attitude prevalent without your current Mac owners; they are your biggest asset and your biggest liability. That's if you're really interested in getting more PC users to switch over; if you're happy with your already successful status-quo then I wish you the best of luck!

  • by GurgleJerk (568712) on Monday March 25, 2002 @04:48AM (#3220067)
    "I WANT MORE MOUSE BUTTONS!" - This point keeps coming up in this thread, so I want to clear something up about mouse buttons.

    Mac OS X supports multiple mouse buttons. Just plug in whatever strange little USB mouse you want (or already use on the PC) and you can use them just like you do in Windows. No plug-ins required.

    And why does the Mac come with only one button? It's becuase it's so darn simple. Anybody can guess what you do with one button. Point. Click. Easy. Now, give a newbie a two-button mouse, and they get a little confused. It's kind of like having a door with two doorknobs.
  • by GMontag451 (230904) on Monday March 25, 2002 @05:00AM (#3220106) Homepage
    For $3500 I bought a 1988 Toyota Cressida. It does everything that a BMW does and it cost about 1/10th of the price. Why should I spend $40,000 on this BMW when a cheaper car does everything that it does. Why, maybe my penis is too small and I need to compensate by buying an expensive car. I've got as much money as I want so i'll blow off an extra 20% on this Macintosh. Sure its slower and more proprietary than an equivalently priced PC, but its got "the sex".

    You have obviously either never driven a BMW or think that driving is just for getting you places. There is nothing like driving a BMW, except maybe driving a Porsche (where you trade handling for performance) or driving a Lexus (where you trade handling for comfort and an amazing stereo system). Yes, it will get you to the same places, but it certainly won't be as fun, and it sure as hell won't last you as long.

  • by danwarne (545932) on Monday March 25, 2002 @05:29AM (#3220183) Homepage
    Written by an avid Mac evangalist who wants Apple to make it easier to sell macs.


    - OS X's multi user directory structure is very confusing for people that are used to having "My Documents folder on Drive C". There DEFINITELY needs to be an interactive tutorial that teaches people about the "home" directory and so on.


    - The method for connecting to other computers in OS X is not intuitive. Windows users in particular do not expect to have to go to a menu item for that. There should be an equivalent to "network neighbourhood" on the OS X desktop (without the condescending Micro$oft name of course).


    How come you can't browse Windows networks using Mac OSX's inbuilt SMB client? It looks like the SMB client was a half-implemented effort simply to satisfy a check box on a list. But this is really one of the most crucial features of OS X's attraction to business. Let's face it, there's few businesses without Windows NT servers somewhere. Why not let OS X users browse for servers?


    In Windows, once you set the page size to A4, it sticks -- permanently. You never have to look at it again. But in OS 9 and OS X, Mac users constantly have to go to page setup to make sure it hasn't defaulted back to letter. This is a MAJOR annoyance for your international customers.


    It's annoying in OS X that if you click on a program, all it's 'child' windows don't come up to the front at the same time. That's a step backwards. Users want to be able to see all the output from programs at the front rather than having to click on each of the windows to bring them to the front.


    I can see that Apple is trying to maintain its trademark simplicity by sticking with the one button mouse -- but let's be frank, everyone uses the right mouse button these days, and especially pro users. People just end up buying a third party mouse to get this functionality -- why not include it with the Mac by default?


    Most PC users find it very confusing that they have to software-eject disks, and to be frank, a lot of Mac users do too -- especially when a disk gets 'stuck' due to a rogue software process that is hanging on to the disk. Why not put a 'soft-hardware' button on the Mac casing that performs a psuedo-hardware-eject. EG it calls a function in the operating system to issue an eject command to the drive. That way you still get operating system control over the drive, but you satisfy users who have an urge to press a button on the computer.


    How the heck do you delete a user directory in OS X without knowing root level unix commands? If you delete a user, the user directory just sits there labeled 'deleted', but it's still not possible to delete.

    Dan Warne
  • by IamTheRealMike (537420) <> on Monday March 25, 2002 @07:51AM (#3220493) Homepage
    However, there are *far* more Mac OS X applications out there than there are Linux applications, despite your statement. This is mostly because most Linux applications happily run on OS X (and more and more are coming precompiled in a double-clickable installer).

    Er, sorry? By that logic the number of Linux apps beats any OS out there by miles because any Windows app can be run under Wine (not true of course). It makes no sense:

    • To run a Linux app under OS X you must be a guru at recompiling (unless it's been prepackaged: not very frequent), which very few OS X users are, basically only those that migrated from Linux.
    • You must invariably be running an X Server. I have tried XDarwin at my Mac-lover friends house, and it'd scare the living daylights out of most Mac users. Sure, it has an installer program, but when you run it what pops up? TWM with three xterms. Most Mac users won't want to place XDarwin (which is huge) onto their systems, and keep it running in the background just to run a Linux app.
    • Most of the decent Linux apps these days are KDE or GNOME apps. Although in theory these could be ported, I have yet to see many people running all the KDE libraries and an X server just to use an OS X app.
    • Linux apps don't have the Aqua look, and there are large numbers of OS X users out there who were 'inspired' shall we say by its looks. You give them a GTK+ or Qt app and they'll puke.

    Now don't get me wrong, I like OS X. But saying it has more apps than Linux or Windows is ridiculous. Actually you often can't even count Classic apps either, I know that the fact that you had to run Photoshop in classic has held back widespread OS X adoption by old-skool mac users for a long time, and my friend hates running Classic apps, would often rather wait until it's been ported in fact. So you can't really class Classic apps as OS X apps, it's just emulation of the hackiest sort (it boots the whole of OS 9 into a window).

  • by rhost89 (522547) on Monday March 25, 2002 @11:09AM (#3221456)
    This is basicly what i sent in. Id love to buy a mac, but the cost involved it too high. For someone who has a lot of money invested in x86 software, buying all my apps over again is going to be a lot of money, add to that the fact that you have to pay 2 to 3 times the amount for comperable hardware and you have a small fortune that could have been spent elsewhere (like a GL1 for instance). Apple, lower your prices on the hardware to a decent level and well talk, otherwise, you wont have my buisness anytime soon.

When the weight of the paperwork equals the weight of the plane, the plane will fly. -- Donald Douglas