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OS X Businesses Operating Systems GNU is Not Unix Software Apple Linux

Confessions of a Mac OS X User 989

Posted by pudge
from the guilt-is-for-the-weak dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Here's an interesting commentary on OSDir.com about one Mac OS X user's guilt over using it instead of Linux on his laptop, and how he's been burned by the dreaded iBook logic board problems so much that it underlines the tyranny of hardware vendor lock-in: it's not that Mac OS X isn't F/OSS, but that it only runs on Apple hardware. It also raises the obvious question: have you ever felt guilty over using Mac OS X instead of Linux?"
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Confessions of a Mac OS X User

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  • Average users (Score:2, Informative)

    by Ooter (741986) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @02:50PM (#8115600)
    I seriously doubt the average OS X user would feel even the least bit guilty. Hell, the average user doesn't even know what Linux is or that fact that OS X is unix-based. Most OSX users don't contribute to the open source community anyway, they're too busy using iMovie, iTunes, iPhoto, iExcellentPackagedSoftware to feel guilty.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @02:55PM (#8115666)

    I've considered a Powerbook, but to be totally honest I haven't seen the stunning build quality that is so often remarked upon in the Mac community. Sure, they're better than cheapo eMachines-type kit, but they're still Taiwanese ODM systems and I keep reading about problems with warping, logic boards failing, screen scratches, duff drives, dodgy touchpads, and so on. I think I'll settle on a Thinkpad or Toshiba Sat Pro - they're built like tanks.

    By the way, here's the URL of one report I was reading: http://www.insanely-great.com/features/011130.html [insanely-great.com]. Can anyone confirm this guy's musings? It'd be interesting to hear from other Slashdotters on the matter!

  • by acomj (20611) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @02:59PM (#8115737) Homepage
    Apple as a company is not an angel. But its not a monoply and is leverging open source an contributing back to the open source community. As a rule Apple shuns DRM (digital rights management).

    But OS-X has at its core DARWIN which is an open source version of BSD which apple puts out. The parts of the OS that isn't opensource is the graphics layer above OS and a few other bits (hfs+ the file system is not open either I think.).

    They've given back web browser code, updates to GCC etc. etc.. So all told they're not bad guys.
  • by BlackStar (106064) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @03:04PM (#8115803) Homepage
    As this drifts off topic, I suggest looking at Darwin, which is all the guts of Mac OS/X. You pay for the pretty face, but the engine is free if you want it. Corporations make money for shareholders in the case of public corporations. Let me know when your home stereo system gives you control of the hardware and software it is running internally. So you can mod the idiotic station name display on the tuner.

    The puritans are running amok outside of reality again.

  • by clifyt (11768) <sonikmatter&gmail,com> on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @03:04PM (#8115807) Homepage
    You mean by flipping the latch on the keyboard, and pulling it back?

    It takes 3 minutes to pull the hard drive out -- ya need a phillips head and an allen wrench set. Should be in every geek's toolbag anyways.

    Not sure what the problem is. I told the guys from Apple when my screen burned out that I had confidential files and would not be sending the drive with it, and they didn't blink. I called on a Wednesday, got the package to send it out Thursday afternoon, and got my machine back the middle of next week.

    Again, not sure what they problem is here...
  • by CountBrass (590228) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @03:06PM (#8115832)

    How is something so blatantly WRONG modded up as interesting? Since when was utter ignorance at all interesting?

    • OS X is built on Open Source.
    • Apple have released their mods to FreeBDS and to the "kernel" of Safari back to the OSS community.
    • Apple do not have an overwhelming monopoly - and therefore haven't abused their non-existent monopoly.
    • Apple haven't tried to steal OSS/Free software.

    Need I go on with how Apple differs from Microsoft and SCO?

  • by spankalee (598232) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @03:12PM (#8115920)
    First of all Apple actually contributes to OSS projects even though they generally stay away from GPLed code and don't have to contribute their changes.

    They've made many documented improvements to KHTML, gcc, the *BSDs, and others. They've also made the entire underlying operating system available as OSS.

    Can you even come close to saying anything like that about Microsoft and SCO? Those two companies are the ones who testify in from of congress that OSS is unconstitutional and will destroy the US economy.

    Apple also doesn't lock down their hardware, and it's totally possible to run other OSes on Macs. Their is one proprietary part that is required to run Mac OS, but if you don't want to run Mac OS it's not a problem.

    Ever heard of OpenFirmware? It's an open standard that Apple, Sun and others use instead of the antiquated BIOSes found in PCs. What do MS and Intel want to replace the BIOS with? A locked down firmware that will implement DRM for media and software and possibly even OSes at the most basic hardware level. That's open?

    Apple uses standard components and has opened up many of their hardware innovations like FireWire.

    In other words: you're nuts.
  • by dgerman (78602) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @03:14PM (#8115949) Homepage
    Are you sure you are talking about a Dual USB ibook, white, 12" screen?

    Look at the following picture [geocities.com] (and the rest of the instructions [geocities.com]). The disk does not sit under the keyboard, and requires the removal of the back of the laptop and many other screws.

  • by jo_ham (604554) <joham999@noSPaM.gmail.com> on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @03:15PM (#8115959)
    I'll second your post.

    I seem to make similar posts in Apple threads where iBook logic board discussions arise. I'm a happy owner of a Dual USB 600MHz iBook which has been used for 4 hours or more per day since I bought it nearly two years ago. It's been over the Atlantic three or four times since then and it's travelled all over the UK in my car, on buses and on trains.

    It's bombproof, and I still get 2 hours on a full charge even at this age (down from the original 5 or 6 hours when new).

    I've never owned a more robust piece of hardware, and that includes my sledgehammer and welding kit.
  • by wo1verin3 (473094) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @03:15PM (#8115962) Homepage
    >> As a rule Apple shuns DRM (digital rights
    >> management).

    They might shun Microsofts DRM implementation, but they have their very own. Remember those AAC files that people get for 99cents on the itunes music store? Thats Apples very own DRM.
  • by GizmoToy (450886) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @03:22PM (#8116061) Homepage
    You sure can... I have no idea what the parent was bumbling on about.

    Take a drive out of a PC and put it into another PC - Check.
    Take a drive out of a Mac and put it into another Mac - Check.

    Both work equaly well. In fact, its even easier on the Mac. You don't even have to take out the drive!! Just hook the two Macs up via Firewire, hold Cmd-T while booting up the Mac with the problem, and have the functional Mac boot from that Firewire drive. If its a drive problem, you've just found it.

    The parent has no idea what he's talking about.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @03:28PM (#8116112)
    Here [apple.com] is where you may find the source for the core operating system. You can install it on some PCs if it makes you happy and you may do so at no extra cost and you may do so legally. While their graphical programs and libraries are proprietary, their programming interface [gnustep.org] is an open standard. They've also contributed to the Objective-C interface of the GNU compiler collection. While I don't deny Apple has done some pretty nasty things, your statement about how Apple is more closed than Microsoft and SCO combined is a silly ignorant rant.
  • by Cyclops (1852) <(rms) (at) (1407.org)> on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @03:30PM (#8116131) Homepage
    Why would you feel guilty for not using a F/OSS operating system? This is just ideology run amuck. Programmers and engineers need to eat too. We can't all work for free.
    And why would you think Free Software stops programmers and/or engineers from eating? Free Software is great for custom software, which happens to be one of the the biggest software market sections, if not the biggest...
  • by jcr (53032) <jcr.mac@com> on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @03:30PM (#8116140) Journal
    I still get 2 hours on a full charge even at this age (down from the original 5 or 6 hours when new).

    You probably need to recalibrate your battery. [apple.com]

    When I did this with my TiBook, it ran for about 1:45 after the menu bar said it was at 1% power.

    -jcr
  • by wehe (135130) <wehe.tuxmobil@org> on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @03:37PM (#8116217) Homepage Journal
    There are already many Linux distributions dedicated/ported to Apple's hardware. Especially there are many Linux installation reports on Apple PowerBooks and iBooks [tuxmobil.org].
  • by clifyt (11768) <sonikmatter&gmail,com> on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @03:38PM (#8116234) Homepage
    Sounds exactly like mine...unfortuantely, I can't read the GeoCities page as its exceeded its limits right now.

    Every single Mac Laptop I've had in the last 5 years has worked the exact same way. In the space that you insert the airport card is a little metal cover. Ya unscrew it, pull on the handle provided and lift it off. From there, ya have access to the internal memory -- the stuff they don't want you to upgrade yourself, but won't void your warentee if ya do and beside that, the hard drive.

    From my music forums, I've helped a number of people upgrade their drives from the standard 48k RPM (iBook) and 56k RPM (the others) to faster drives...not one had any real problems getting at it.

    But again, it sounds exactly like my machine...I haven't opened a G4 iBook yet, but I've heard they were the same as well.
  • Re:What?! (Score:5, Informative)

    by NickV (30252) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @03:53PM (#8116479)
    ok I call your ass on the carpet. tell me ONE thing that OSX can do that linux cant.

    Easy: Open a complex Microsoft Office document and not lose any layout settings because of conversion issues...

    Well that's one. Let me give you a few others:

    -Real world page layout (quarkxpress, indesign)
    -Photoshop (CMYK) editing
    -Real time video editing/post production work of HD streams across ANY IEEE1394 video device.
    -Wake up from sleep in less than a second
    -Connectivity to a Microsoft Exchange Server
    -Actually play Warcraft 3 (and sign up for the worlds of warcraft beta test!) (and no, buying WineX and dealing with the emulation layer isn't good enough)

    I can go on and on (like professional MIDI software for musicians) but I just remembered you asked for one thing "OSX can do that linux cant."

    Now sure, I can't run it on my Lego Mindstorm, but I think the stuff I listed is a little more important. and with my hardware accelerated X11 server, I can do alot of the stuff that you linux guys can do too.
  • by Graff (532189) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @04:00PM (#8116577)
    Take a drive out of a PC and put it into another PC - Check.
    Take a drive out of a Mac and put it into another Mac - Check.

    Let's take this one step further:

    Take a drive out of a PC and put it into a Mac - Check.

    Sure you can't boot off of the drive without installing a Macintosh operating system but all of the data on the drive will be accessible to the Mac if the drive was formatted with FAT or NTFS. I've done this a number of times to help my PC friends recover data from their crashed PCs and it works without a hitch.

    Sure Mac OS is proprietary, but it hardly locks you in to a specific operating system. In fact Mac OS does a damn good job of trying to cooperate with as many other operating systems and file types as possible.
  • by paronomasia5 (567302) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @04:08PM (#8116678)
    I've installed linux on many a powerbook, yellow dog linux is to linux what mac is to windows.. is as easy to install as OS X!!! Only 2-3 clicks during the entire install. I kept it dual booting, ofcourse..
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @04:16PM (#8116776)
    This is just ideology run amuck. Programmers and engineers need to eat too. We can't all work for free.

    Wake up. Free and Open have little to do with money or salaries or commercial interests. It has to do with rights, freedoms, security, and doing the smart thing for your own company and your clients.

    My company runs Linux on all desktops (yes, we're small and nerdy so we can do this) and production servers (just good business, here). We pay money for our operating systems, just like we would to MS or Apple. We happen to pay RedHat and SuSE for our operating systems. We get fantastic support (so far). We make (small) profits here, and we're able to pay our programmers. The RedHat and SuSE people get paid, so they're okay too. Our products save our clients money, so they're doing just well also. What the hell is the problem? Yes, we release nearly all of our own products Open Source, under the GPL. And it doesn't prevent us from charging money to people for them.

    If my company goes under, our clients have a lot of piece of mind that the latest source is available to them. Lately, there have even been 3rd party consultants who have taken our source and added features that we simply don't have time for (or disagree with), and they're able to make a living (partially, at least; I'm not sure) at that. Yee ha. There is no lack of money in Free and Open if that's what your goal is.

    Dammit, Free and Open are not about money.
  • i do! (Score:5, Informative)

    by slavitos (666569) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @04:35PM (#8117073) Homepage
    it seems that the majority here doesn't feel guilty... well, i do...

    i spent an entire year preaching Linux to all my friends but i have to admit that all the way i've been having tons of problems with it... USB devices were not working, attempts to switch keyboard layouts gave me XFree86 errors, trying to do accounting with Gnucash was a lunacy, and could XMMS be ANY UGLIER? Then i tried installing XD2 from Ximian (which I still consider the best "graphical shell" for Linux) and that just broke *everything* on my laptop... On that day i just got so mad i walked down the street and got a powerbook G4...

    so, back to the guilt thing.... yes, i do feel guilty - probably because i kind of showed myself as a hypocrite - preaching linux to others then getting an Apple machine. i think the key with Linux happiness is to recognize whether it's APPROPRIATE for what you do. if you need email, web browsers and a shell then Linux IS perfeect... but if you try to use it the way i did (USB, Music, several business applications, multimedia), then you better know how to recompile things yourself (i don't).

  • Re:Don't ask me.. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Roompel (599073) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @05:10PM (#8117574)
    On the Mac, as on Windows, the text window is an orphan. On linux, like all unixoid systems, the text/CLI approach is well developed, and is the best way to do most tasks. On OSX, although it is a kind of unix, most of the system only works from the GUI. This is a real disappointment, and relegates it to the "toy" classification for many purposes.

    Huh? I assume you have found the Terminal application and used it? I am a Sun/Solaris admin and I just replaced my good old Blade 100 with a G5 and nothing really changed for me. There are only four apps that I run constantly from the GUI: Terminal, Mozilla, Mail, and Acrobat. Everything else is done from the command line. You might want to check it out. Almost everything in OSX can be done from the command line. If you need some help to find your way around, check out the "OS X for UNIX geeks" book from O'Reilly.

  • by nuckin futs (574289) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @05:25PM (#8117817)
    closed source?
    remember that buffer overflow problem [slashdot.org] on OS X not too long ago? someone was able to look at the source code and had a fix within hours. You think that will ever happen with a closed source and proprietary OS like MS Windows?
  • by nathanh (1214) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @05:27PM (#8117844) Homepage
    You clearly havne't been visiting /. long enough. ;) Apple is the underdog and a competitor to Microsoft, so it has to be good.

    Actually Apple has always been good and they weren't always the underdog to Microsoft. Go back 25 years and they were both shoestring operations but Apple was bigger than Microsoft.

    Apple has always been good because they are a combined hardware/software company with geniuses on the payroll (eg, Raskin, Burcell, and Wozniak). What Apple does is Real Computing. Microsoft is a software company that rips off ideas from others, then rewrites history to pretend that Microsoft did it first. There's no honour in what Microsoft does. It's kinda lame.

    Apple-critics like to say that Apple ripped off the GUI from Xerox. But it's not true. Xerox had basic ideas like windows and mice. Apple had to create dozens of new concepts for the GUIs used on the Lisa and the Macintosh. It's fairer to say that Xerox started something and Apple finished it. That's another big point in Apple's favour.

    One thing I've always disliked about Apple is (sadly) the Apple community. They're more rabid than Linux fanatics and more clueless to boot. I have listened to various Apple-fanatics defending cooperative multitasking, lack of protected memory, benefits of RAM Doubler, any justification at all for forked filesystems, etc. It always boggles my mind that they can talk about how much more "productive" they are because of 2-second savings in changing focus, but they suddenly go quiet when they have to wait 5 minutes during a reboot because their computer crashed. Thankfully MacOSX has fixed the foundational problems with MacOS.

    But leaving the rabid community aside, Apple from the 70s and 80s would have been top of my list of Places I'd Like To Work if I'd been old enough at the time. Even with the downside of Steve Jobs having to be there. Apple does cool stuff. They always have. They still are. They're among the few companies that have kudos in the geek community, even if you didn't particularly like MacOS <= 9 because of the foundational faults in its design.

    But Microsoft has always sucked. Bill Gates has always been a dickhead and his company has always been the McDonalds of computing. He might be rich but he has never been cool. There's nothing nifty about Microsoft software. It gets the job done on a budget. That's about the nicest thing you can say about Microsoft.

  • Re:Don't ask me.. (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @06:20PM (#8118520)
    ...a 3 button mouse would be a helluva a lot simpler to manage than having to memorize a set of obscure key combinations in conjuction with the mouse clicks to accomplish a task.


    Then buy a 3 button mouse and plug it in to your Mac. I agree that control-click is not as easy as right-click - which is why I use a multibutton mouse with my Mac. Right-click and scrollwheels are supported at the system level; you just need a mouse that has those features. And any Mac compatible mouse with more buttons than that (such as the MS Intellimouse Explorer) should come with software to configure the extra buttons with.
  • Re:RMS and vi (Score:3, Informative)

    by Christian Claiborn (539715) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @06:33PM (#8118651)
  • Apple provides a neat little tool named security [apple.com] for this purpose. It allows full access to, and manipulation of, the keychain.

    To retrieve my Slashdot password from the keychain, I would do the following:

    security find-internet-password -s slashdot.org -g
    Note that the first time you use security to access a keychain item, you will receive the standard Confirm Access to Keychain dialog. It would be unwise and unhelpful for this to happen when you are trying to access the keychain remotely via SSH, therefore it would pay to first access the keychain in this manner when you have access to the UI to Always Allow security to access that keychain item.
  • Re:Don't ask me.. (Score:2, Informative)

    by mojotunes (111461) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @07:18PM (#8119080)
    It's not that overblown if you're right handed. The new iBook/PBook notebooks have all the ports on the left side of the machine. Having to cross the cable over to the other side is a pain. It's not like it would be that hard to make a multi-button trackpad. Every other notebook on the planet has them now and some have scrollwheels too. Apple (Jobs?) is just being stubborn on this issue for no good reason.
  • by Bimble (28588) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @07:29PM (#8119154) Homepage
    You can buy your processor from Intel or from AMD (and once you buy a motherboard, you're locked into that vendor for your processor upgrades for as long as you own that board). Likewise, for a Mac, you're pretty much buying a processor upgrade from IBM (or from Motorola for G4s). There are intermediaries you can go through from both sides (there are several processor upgrade vendors on the Mac side, believe it or not), but it boils down to Intel or AMD on the one hand or IBM on the other, since they're the ones manufacturing the chips.

    Cases, motherboards, and most expansion cards (inasmuch as they're Mac-specific, anyway) are the only items you listed that can be said to be "locked in" on the Mac anymore. There's no special hard drive you need to buy for a Mac, they use DDR RAM, same as most PC motherboards, and the peripherals all use the same USB and Firewire as PC peripherals and are almost always compatible with both if they're compatible with a Mac.

    What the difference between the Mac and x86 boils down to for this argument is that Apple sells its boxes as one package, same as its competitors (Dell, HP, Gateway), and there's no convenient route for the hobbyist or expert to take if you want to construct and maintain a machine piecemeal. You'll have as much luck upgrading a Dell piecemeal as you would a Mac - you can swap out most parts, but in general it was designed as one package, not as a box that can conveniently let you swap out motherboards.

    Consider, too, that most of the time that I buy a new PC motherboard it's at a point where technologies have changed all around. I'd need a new processor to go with the board, then new RAM (either a new standard like DDR or a faster speed variety to take advantage of the new motherboard). If I really want to keep up, then a new hard drive (a faster ATA standard, or maybe even serial ATA) would be in order, and maybe a new video card to take advantage of a faster AGP port. I could get all that fairly cheaply compared to a whole computer from Apple, Dell, or another complete package vendor, but that comes down to a difference in markets, not different levels of lock-in.

    On the whole, I think you have to come up with more than cases and motherboards to declare it evil lock-in. Another respondent mentioned software investment, but as I said there, almost any software purchase on any platform is going to lock you into the OS it's designed to run on. And if you design your software choices so that you can compile them anywhere, then it barely matters where you run 'em, PC or Mac - there's a bit of a price advantage to upgrading a PC piecemeal, but if you're just using the Gimp on KDE and a bunch of other open source tools you'll do just as well buying a Mac to run them then later switching to a PC and running the same things, when you're buying a package computer.
  • by jo_ham (604554) <joham999@noSPaM.gmail.com> on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @08:39PM (#8119577)
    I'm glad you're having good experience with yours.

    Whoever came up with those problems was talking bullshit:

    1) the video chip is on the underside of the logic board - pressing down on the case next to the trackpad would just push down on the section enclosing the hard drive, which is mounted slightly proud of the logic board with rubber grommets - there would be no way to affect the logic board by pressing on the case from the top.

    2) the logic board couldn't electrify the screws - the whole laptop uses DC, so while it's possible to have the screws at a higher PD than some other component in the computer, you'd have to close the circuit to get current to flow - ie, connect it to the negative terminal of the battery. So, you'd have to touch the screw, then touch the battery's negative terminal to feel any shock, and that's assuming the screw is somehow connected to the battery.

    2b) DC very rarely arcs at such low voltages (12 to 24 volts at 1.8 amps in an iBook) over the sort of distance it would have to in order to go from logic board to frame. His claim of arcing between the logic board and the frame is silly - where was the frame earthed? The board is already connected to the negative battery terminal by design, so there's no way to force a path from positive to negative battery terminals via the logic board and a spark to the case. It's also very hard to get a low current to arc - it's why arc welders use such high currents (50 to 200 amps or more).

    3) While the power cable has been seen to spark at the plug, this is due to the fine copper cables touching together and coming apart as the cord is moved. It's not dangerous, but it does mean your power supply is borked.

    4) sometimes the power and video cables to the display get pinched in the display hinge, causing them to break, this is correct. However, there is space for them if they're fitted properly.

    Here's a picture [jo-ham.com] of the inside of my iBook (taken when I upgraded her hard drive with a more spacious model). As you can see, pretty much all of the metal parts inside there are already attached to the logic board - nowhere for this mysterious electrical arc to go to!
  • by Blondie-Wan (559212) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @09:58PM (#8120112) Homepage
    As it turns out, they just today announced a new service program [apple.com] for the affected iBooks that covers them for three years from the date of sale, and also reimburses customers for any repairs for this problem that customers had to pay for before today.
  • by JohnsonWax (195390) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @10:08PM (#8120171)
    Apple has done alright here and has extended warranty coverage for iBook owners starting today:

    http://www.apple.com/support/ibook/faq/

    Not as good as no problems, but I don't think you can expect too much more than this. Can we get back to bitching about 1 button mice now?
  • Re:Don't ask me.. (Score:2, Informative)

    by tarzan353 (246515) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @10:18PM (#8120240)

    One biggie is that text windows work much better on linux.



    Have you noticed that any application developed with the Cocoa framework gets all of the following for free, in any text window: multiple undo support, optional spell checking, keybindings, printing, unicode support, etc...


    On Linux, you would have to implement every one of those things yourself, if you were writing an application with text windows.

  • by hype7 (239530) <u3295110@a[ ]edu.au ['nu.' in gap]> on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @11:00PM (#8120493) Journal
    Apple have just implemented an iBook repair program [apple.com], that among other things will fix any of the stated problems or refund people that have had to pay for the problem.

    Say what you like about Apple, but they're willing to stand behind their problems once they recognise a fault (witness the whitespots on the Powerbook G4).

    -- james
  • Re:Don't ask me.. (Score:2, Informative)

    by ratsnapple tea (686697) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @11:12PM (#8120555)
    If it really bothers you that much you can always download something like SideTrack [ragingmenace.com] and assign trackpad tap to left click and thumb button to right click. Not an ideal solution if you're hellbent on having a separate button, I'll admit, but certainly better than bitching endlessly on Slashdot.

    Personally, I find that I don't really need to right-click that much in Mac OS X anyway. The interface is well-designed enough that almost all of what I need to do doesn't require a right click, and frankly, even if Apple offered a two button model, I'd still spring for the one button. I happen to think it's just plain more elegant. YMMV.

    yours
  • Re:Don't ask me.. (Score:3, Informative)

    by AstroDrabb (534369) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @11:37PM (#8120713)
    On Linux, you would have to implement every one of those things yourself
    Don't comment on things you don't know about, it makes you sound silly. You can use wxWindows [wxwindows.org] which is a cross-platform (Linux, MS Windows, Mac) C++ GUI that provides tons of feature that you "don't have to implement yourself". wxWindows has features like calendar controls, network access classes, image handling, sound handling, HTML rendering, OpenGL support, ODBC, database grids, and a ton of other classes to help out [jussieu.fr]. There is also QT [trolltech.com] which has tons of similar features that your application can use by default. If you use the Gnome or KDE widgets/extensions you get a lot of integration and functionality of those desktops by default in your application. Agian, try to make statements on things that you actually KNOW ABOUT.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 29, 2004 @10:09AM (#8123560)
    Hey..I work for Apple so I'm definitely not an unbiased opinion....BUT

    Apple has to charge more because:

    a) their stuff is built MUCH better...and designed better...and built with better components..many of which are custom made. They are built in smaller quantities too, which jacks the pricing up.

    b) they pay their employees well, and give good benefits. we have comfortable chairs, can requisition comfort appliances (armrests, back supports, wrist straps, left handed mice, etc) we actually GET PAID for our overtime, we get real vacations, we get holidays...if there's overtime we get fed. in other words..we're treated well. I was trained for almost 4 weeks before being sent to work....so I *gasp* actually knew what I was doing when I started.

    c) they make a profit (a novel concept in a capitalist society, I know)..dell probably has to sell 4 shitty laptops to make what apple makes selling one. this isn't greed, it's good business sense. don't sell cheap crap..it makes you look bad and is unprofitable..sell quality products and people will pay more.

    d) SOMEBODY has to fund all the R&D that goes into UI design. ever notice GNOME, KDE, Windows, and many others look a hell of a lot like the mac UI? SOMEBODY PAID FOR THAT RESEARCH...and it was Apple users. (don't even bring up the Xerox parc history....apple borrowed the following ideas from them: a mouse, a pointer that points at buttons on the screen. the rest was Apple.)

    so essentially, if you buy a mac you're paying to do the research and development for the rest of the copycats in the computer world. blame them, not Apple.

    the money you spend on a mac is NOT going directly into Steve Jobs' wallet.

  • by daviddennis (10926) <david@amazing.com> on Thursday January 29, 2004 @11:29AM (#8124336) Homepage
    Well, KDE is a cheesy copy of Windows 2000, and Gnome is ... well, I'm not sure what it is since there are about a billion interfaces to it. Most of the attractive ones look like the designers were a bit too much into Goth, which isn't surprising since Gothic types may be morbid, but at least they're clever.

    I found it amusing that the Gothic designers would spend hours and hours on beautiful 3D rendering for their almost illegible Gothic fonts, leaving the fonts you actually had to use as unreadable as ever :-(.

    So you have two type of people working on Gnome/KDE, the types who want to not frighten people by making their system look as much like Windows as humanly possible, and those who do want to frighten people with morbid images! What an unbeatable combination.

    (I might sound less bitter if I'd succeeded in getting just one of the Gothic themes to actually work on my Linux PC. I actually like the Gothic types, but I can't resist poking some gentle fun at them).

    Anyway, with that setting the stage, you can see how much of a breath of fresh air MacOS X was to me. It's an original interface, that looks lovely and owes debts to nothing save its NeXTian ancestors. The fonts are lovely out of the box; you don't have to install complex X-Windows extensions with elaborate 15 step procedures to make them look ok; you can make 'em look great without any effort whatsoever. You can use great applications like Final Cut Pro and GarageBand, together with Unix stalwarts like emacs and all the command line stuff I know and love.

    I don't find MacOS X deficient in command line operation at all. There is emacs (although I wish there was a graphical version that used lovely Cocoa fonts), all my friends tar and ssh and gcc and so on are present and accounted for. It's true that command line administration is a bit obscure, but if you (like me) don't do a lot of administration on your personal computer, that's perfectly fine.

    It looks like I echo a lot of MacOS X users, when I note my 10-odd terminal windows and my 10-odd web browser windows. The value of the GUI seems to be primarily in the web browser when I'm doing work. Of course that might be because I develop web sites.

    There's definite value in having Unix and Photoshop on the same machine, and that alone makes MacOS X beat Linux and other Unix variants effortlessly.

    It's one computer for functions that used to take two or more. Not bad at all.

    D

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