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Apple's Response to Microsoft: Unix Ads? 729

flaneur writes "In light of Microsoft's recent anti-Unix ads and the end of the 5-year contract between Apple, it's pretty interesting that Apple is suddenly running print ads emphasizing the Unix core of Mac OS X. Under the headline 'Sends other UNIX boxes to /dev/null', the ads contain quotes from various journalists praising the OS. But the most interesting thing? There's no IE in the dock -- Netscape is shown instead! Hmmm..."
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Apple's Response to Microsoft: Unix Ads?

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  • no IE icon... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hub ( 78021 ) on Monday April 15, 2002 @05:37PM (#3346111) Homepage
    ... But there are 3 Microsoft Office icons.

    No kidding.

    • Re:no IE icon... (Score:2, Insightful)

      by mkoz ( 323688 )
      Ofcourse... that is a major selling point. The power of Unix, but still able to open/write the *.doc files for mother/boss sends you.

      Works for me.
      • OpenOffice [openoffice.org]: The power of Unix, but still able to open/write the *.doc files for mother/boss sends you.
        • Hmm, this reminds me this question..

          How is Open Office with Mac OS X? I don't see any Mac binaries on openoffice.org, but there are instructions to build it..

          Does anyone test Open Office on OS X? how good, fast, bug free is it?
          • it's not any of the above(it's not fast, bug free or good, because it isn't yet). The build status page still indicates that most things compile, but that doens't necessarily mean they're functional. It'll be a while before you see a functional open office for os x.

            Sujal

    • Re:no IE icon... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rikki_t ( 81004 ) on Monday April 15, 2002 @05:42PM (#3346159) Homepage
      In Deed.

      Because lots and lots and lots of people use Office. So by showing that Office runs on OS X, Apple is showing you that even that will work.

      Besides, it supports the "MS should be making software, not OS'es" theory.

      Hell, Apple used to use Office X to promote OS X - they commented that Office X was more advanced and faster than Office 2000 on a PC.

      Mac OS is not synonymous with "No-microsoft."
      • Re:no IE icon... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by mestar ( 121800 ) on Monday April 15, 2002 @06:01PM (#3346316)
        Mac OS is not synonymous with "No-microsoft."

        but the enemy of my enemy is my friend.



        this is how an anti-unix ad gets to be a pro-unix add on slashodot. it says "put other *unix* boxes to /dev/null", now is this a response to microsoft's ads?

        people, this is an anti-linux ad.

      • Re:no IE icon... (Score:3, Informative)

        by HeUnique ( 187 )
        Yes..

        Unfortunately, Explorer on Mac OS 9 and OS X cannot show languages like Hebrew, Arabic and some others, and the MS office suite doesn't support those languages at all. ;(
    • Re:no IE icon... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by sql*kitten ( 1359 ) on Tuesday April 16, 2002 @05:01AM (#3348909)
      ... But there are 3 Microsoft Office icons.

      Read the first quote in the ad. They're not competing with Microsoft, they're competing with Sun, SGI and Compaq (DEC AlphaStation). Most of the people quoted are people who've come to MacOS X from other Unix variants.

      I see the same thing on /. all the time, Linux people thinking they're competing with Microsoft. People use NT (particularly on workstations) because they've decided for whatever reason not to use Unix - Linux mostly competes (if that is the right word) with other Unixes.
  • Apple has always stressed the Unix core to power users. They just stress that it is stable to less technical magazines.

    This is nothing new
  • Mirror of ad (Score:4, Informative)

    by unformed ( 225214 ) on Monday April 15, 2002 @05:39PM (#3346133)
    Since this site will probably die, and I wouldn't min seeing my site get more than two hits one day, I mirrored it here: http://stonedcow.com/unixad.jpg [stonedcow.com]
  • by festers ( 106163 ) on Monday April 15, 2002 @05:39PM (#3346140) Journal
    If the ad had said "Sends other UNIX Boxen to /dev/null." I would have been sold.
    • I disagree. Yeah, boxen is a unix admin term and seeing Apple use the jargon would be advantageous to get Unix geeks converted. But afair, 'boxen' is reserved for homogeneous systems that can be swapped, rearranged, and replaced with any other. 'Boxes' are each unique and have a personality, like your own personal system. Simply put, you name boxes, you number boxen. Macs come with a bit too much personality to be 'boxen' imho.

      But i might be off my rocker.
    • by NerdSlayer ( 300907 ) on Monday April 15, 2002 @06:03PM (#3346334) Homepage
      If the ad had said "Sends other UNIX Boxen to /dev/null." I would have been sold.

      And you wonder why you're a 27 year old virgin?
  • The X icon. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Traser ( 60664 )
    I thought the most interesting thing on the toolbar was the X icon. Can you run an X server on the mac? I guess so, as it is just a BSD core.

    The real question, why would Apple want to show a GUI on the mac that you could use instead of it's own?

    • Re:The X icon. (Score:2, Informative)

      by easter1916 ( 452058 )
      The real question, why would Apple want to show a GUI on the mac that you could use instead of it's own?
      Because (speaking specifically to X Windows) you can then compile and run X Windows applications, using a window manager like OroborOSX to make them appear to be Aqua applications. This, along with the BSD base of OS X, opens up a lot of great applications that otherwise wouldn't be available.
    • Can you run an X server on the mac?

      Dude. Where have you been [xdarwin.org] for the last year?
    • Re:The X icon. (Score:4, Informative)

      by bemis ( 29806 ) on Monday April 15, 2002 @05:55PM (#3346266) Homepage
      (disclaim: my opinion)
      You can (relatively easilly) run an X-server on OSX ... although i personally think it's a little overly complicated (sorry ... i admit it, i'm used to getting a nice "preconfigured" (to some extent) Gnome+KDE+AfterStep+BlackBox+WindowMaker+etc ad infinitum X setup with my distro, regardless of which distro that is) ... While Quartz (Aqua?) gives me a nice GUI, it doesn't give me the flexability and ease of WM change that my normal *NIX-Alikes would out of box ... (i use RedHat, Mandrake, SlackWare, FreeBSD and OpenBSD) ...

      that having been said ... it is a very slick set up, and i'm completely in love with my ibook dual booting OS9.2/OSX(10.1) and installing the X-components that allow you to run X-apps over aqua it is nice to be able to run my normal (lots of them at least) apps under OSX instead of mucking around in LinuxPPC or one of the PPC ports of *BSD.
  • Apple has always survived by soliciting the fringe crowd. They recognize that average users are not interested in changing OSs, and certainly not to make a political statement. Instead, they have targeted users who actually need an alternative OS, and would like a slick, not too costly option. So for Graphic Artists etc, there is MacOS. Now for the Unix crowd, there is OSX.

    Take not Linux advocates.
    • They've sold me. Next hardware I get will probably be a G4. I'm planning on getting my graphic designer a new TiBook and I'll probably get one as well. They have the best screens, nice keyboards, and it runs Unix.

      I cannot ask for anything more. All I really care about doing is running gcc, nedit or a comporable editor, gdb and having a standard tcp stack. Anything else is optional. It wasn't because of their advertising or soliciting. It's because Apple is starting to kick major ass.

      If I couldn't buy one, I would give my left nut for one of their cinema displays.
    • I disagree. Why do you think they push the fact that you can get MSOffice for it in all the ads of late?
  • by alexhmit01 ( 104757 ) on Monday April 15, 2002 @05:42PM (#3346163)
    You mean that an ad targetting Unix users isn't pushing IE but rather Netscape? It is showing the ability to run a full suite of software including Unix CLI, X11, Office, and other applications? They are showing 3 Microsoft products whose availability caters to everyone while also showing another company's icon... WOW! I'm shocked...

    Sometimes the rubish shown here is impressive...
  • by Sebastopol ( 189276 ) on Monday April 15, 2002 @05:46PM (#3346197) Homepage
    sorry, but that quote just smacks of icky marketing ectoplasm targeted at wannabes with lots of disposable income.

    and what up with the other guy: "...after two and a half years of linux, i've finally found joy in a unix operating system..." give me a break, this ad is so targeted at weenies.

    need more proof? last quote "...we're old hardcore UNIX hackers..."
    • Erm, marketing ectoplasm is meant for those who actually approve purchasing, often non-hacker suits who know enough to get in trouble but who are in charge of the budget. Which makes this ad perfectly targeted.
    • by antibryce ( 124264 ) on Monday April 15, 2002 @05:53PM (#3346254)
      Have you used OS X yet? Saying it's UNIX with "none of the hassle" is hardly icky marketing. In fact, it's probably one of the most honest ad claims in recent years.


      Of course after 7 years of Linux I finally found joy in a unix OS. I guess I'm just a weenie.

      • Ok, you're probably not a weenie, but what was more "joyful":

        1. the first time you used any Unix?
        2. the first time you switched to Linux?
        3. the first time you used OS X?

        As a 7-year Linux user, what are the top 5 things you find superior in OS-X? And don't say GUI.

        • The fact that NeXT lives! And that there's finally a chance of a more thriving Objective C and OpenStep (err, Cocoa) community again!
        • by Bake ( 2609 ) on Monday April 15, 2002 @07:09PM (#3346738) Homepage
          5 things:
          Word,
          Excel,
          Powerpoint,
          IE,
          Photosho p.

          There. That's 5 things I can get on OS-X but not Linux.

          Don't get me wrong, to me Linux is like heroin, I'm always looking for that nice, warm, fuzzy feeling I got when I installed Linux for the first time. The feeling I felt when I tried out OS-X the other day was the feeling closest to that very same warm fuzzy feeling I had 6 years back.

          I'm even for the first time in my life _seriously_ considering a Mac (if I would have known that 2-3 years ago I would have commited myself to a psychiatric hospital).
        • by MidKnight ( 19766 ) on Monday April 15, 2002 @07:15PM (#3346773)
          Ok, you're probably not a weenie, but what was more "joyful":

          1. the first time you used any Unix?
          2. the first time you switched to Linux?
          3. the first time you used OS X?

          I'm not the original poster, but here's a related comment: possibly my most joyful moment in using OS X was when I switched from an Aqua application (running locally, obviously) to an X-Windows application (running remotely on a Solaris/SPARC box) without even noticing it. That's a spicy meatball.

          And, honestly, the experience of using UNIX for the very first time could never be described as joyful. Interesting? Yes. Powerful? Yes. But joyful? C'mon now....

          As for a top-five list, personally I think leaving out the GUI is, well, pretty stupid. Face it: a GUI is one of the most important facets of how usable a computer is. That said, here's my crack at it:

          1. Installation. It takes 10 minutes from "Insert CD" to "Play MP3's streaming from the Internet". I've got RedHat down to about 25 - 35 minutes, but it's a chore.
          2. Development. My professional job is developing software for Solaris/SPARC, and the Carbon/Cocoa API's take out a lot of the hassle. Plus, you get a full-featured IDE (ProjectBuilder [apple.com]) and scores of professional-grade development tools for free. Yes, they're based on the GNU compiler suite, but the stuff you get on top of that (packaging & UI-building tools in particular) are excellent.
          3. Laptop fanciness. I do my development (both for work and personal stuff) everywhere and anywhere that I can (network connection provided, that is). For 3 years I ran Linux on a laptop with varying levels of satisfaction. Getting it to do somewhat simple things (sleeping when I closed the lid, etc etc) was a challenge. Sometimes I enjoyed the challenge, but sometimes I just wanted the damn thing to work. Oh yeah, and the batteries last 5 hours per charge.
          4. Main-Stream programs. All hate-mongering aside, MS Office is useful (and necessary for some people). Adobe Acrobat (not just the reader) is great. I like being able to run Palm Desktop when I need complicated appointments, and 'cal' from the command line when I'm just looking for a date.OmniGraffle [omnigroup.com] is quite possibly the best diagramming program to date. Using OS X (with its MacOS history of having strong graphical programs), I can produce documentation that blows the door off of anything I could create with StarOffice/KDE Office/Gimp. I'm not discounting the usefulness of these open-sourced (and very competent) apps -- the OS X ones are simply better. Yes, more expensive, but it's worth the cost to me.
          5. Top-end hardware support. Bluetooth, firewire, CD-RW, DVD, etc etc. It's all built in to a point that you don't even think about using it. You can burn a CD by drag-and-drop from the desktop for crissake.
          Those five things said, the UI is really the best accomplishment of OS X. My mother uses a Unix-based OS and doesn't even know (or care). She just likes the shiny buttons and the way the programs never crash each other.

          Wow... looks like I'd better get off of the soap box before it breaks from all my gushing.... Basically, in my mind, OS X is an phenomenal accomplishment. It makes my life easier, and it re-taught me to appreciate the beauty of Unix again.

          --Mid

    • yeah, if they were really old hardcore UNIX hackers, all the doc apps would be 'ed'....
  • Odd? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Guitarzan ( 57028 ) on Monday April 15, 2002 @05:46PM (#3346200)
    I wonder why they used such a unixism (/dev/null) if this really is a response to the anti unix ads. It doesn't seem like one at all to me. Seems more like a "Unix is here to stay, so pick ours" ad. I guess as such a pro unix ad it can be seen as a response.
  • Ouch (Score:2, Informative)

    by wilburdg ( 178573 )
    The only thing more cruel than linking to that image, is linking to it behind their load balancer... (www4.macnn.com)

    Beep...Beep...Beep..............
  • by TellarHK ( 159748 ) <tellarhk@nOspaM.hotmail.com> on Monday April 15, 2002 @05:49PM (#3346221) Homepage Journal
    It's a pretty good ad, and I hadn't noticed the lack of an IE icon until someone pointed it out. I suspect that may have something to do with Apple/Netscape goodwill rather than ill will toward Microsoft, especially considering that Microsoft Office v.X is so well promoted by the image. Recently Apple switched it's start page default over to a Netscape server, so there's obviously some sort of arrangement between the two of them.

    The X icon is definitely a nice touch to push the BSD/Darwin underpinnings. I compiled and ran several X programs for my iBook a while ago, and with a rootless X server and the right windowmanager, it's a really nice combination.

    I was hoping this might be an Apple thread that'd stay away from the lame "It's too expensive for me, hmph!" whining people with no sense of TCO seem to cry out, that gets debunked every single time.
  • I also liked one of the quotes they chose for the add: "... Unix inside and Mac outside" In this context, I'd like to see Intel trying to drag Apple (or ZDnet) into court for infringing upon their "Intel Inside" generic tradmark. :)
  • It's simple, really (Score:5, Interesting)

    by greygent ( 523713 ) on Monday April 15, 2002 @05:50PM (#3346233) Homepage

    Apple realizes that it is converting UNIX engineers (like me) to the Mac platform with OS X. They're simply trying to get more UNIX folks to convert by placing ads in key technical publications

    It is odd that IE isn't in the Dock, but the Microsoft Office X suite is well-represented in the Dock.

    Apple has a valuable partnership with Microsoft. Sure, there's some rough edges, but for the most part it's a good team. Microsoft even formally announced that it will continue supporting the Mac, even after it's settlement contract expires.

    Microsoft apps for the Mac aren't much like their Windows counterparts. They're generally more sensibly written, and the MacBU team seems to pay closer attention to what the user actually wants, instead of what Microsoft thinks they want.

    A bigger question may be why they don't have any of the Omni Group's [omnigroup.com] [goatse.cx] software in the Dock. In my humble opinion, Apple is paying too little attention to these people who've been around for years and years (think NeXT) developing great, solid applications.

    Not everything is a conspiracy.

    • by k2r ( 255754 ) on Monday April 15, 2002 @06:39PM (#3346537)
      You cannot even use iTools with OmniWeb, because "We don't support your current browser.".

      Do I have to mention that it works smoothly if you switch OmniWeb's identity to some MSoft-Products?

      Is this very bad style, apple?
    • by jafac ( 1449 ) on Monday April 15, 2002 @07:08PM (#3346729) Homepage
      This is not at all odd.
      By displaying a Netscape icon - they're visually telling the ad's target audience, the Unix person who may be thinking of migrating to OS X, that OS X does run alternative browsers - because most Unix-heads are pretty unhappy with Microsoft's offerings on other unix platforms (for instance, Solaris).

      By displaying the Office suite icons, they're visually telling the ad's target audience; here's your solution to the problem of not being able to read MS Office files on your Solaris/BSD/Linux/HPUX/AIX/SGI/etc. box.

      I agree with you 100% on your opinion of Omni Group's software - but on the other hand, on OS X, iCab is MUCH faster - even though it's rendering is often very quirky - and personally, my choice is Mozilla. Mozilla is much faster than OmniWeb, plus Mozilla has tabbed browsing.
  • Process List (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jwbozzy ( 519130 )
    Did anyone else notice the process list? Microsoft is listed as a process...
  • that Netscape 6 takes 53% of the CPU on that G4?

    One word: Optimize.

    (now removing tongue from cheek)

    • I haven't looked at the online version, but I'm looking at a print copy right now, so maybe mine is more readable than yours. Scan down the list and peer through that translucent dock menu, though. Yep, that's right ... the next highest CPU usage is the Dock itself! Higher than top, even! Heh. I love my Mac...
  • a fine reply (Score:5, Interesting)

    by xeno ( 2667 ) on Monday April 15, 2002 @05:51PM (#3346246)
    This is a fine response to MS's recent "We have the way out" ad campaign (with a graphic that indicates you should jump out a window -- apt in many ways, but I digress).

    The tone of the "Way out" is a whiny "UNIX is too hard" that perfectly matches the designed-by-Smurfs interface they're pushing with XP. It's nice to see Apple having the collective cajones to ante up and reply "Yeah, UNIX can be hard, but (a) it's worth it, (b) we've done it, and (c) it just *works.*"

    Interestingly (to me) this is the software version of what I thought Apple was going to do before the iPod was announced. When Jobs said the new hardware item would be "revolutionary", I imagined an industrial 2-U rackmount dual-G4 server with an Apple logo laser-cut into a burly-he-man stainless steel faceplate. With remote Aqua/X admin tools. Now *that* would have been revolutionary for Apple. iPod... not so much. But here they're doing the equivalent serious production-geek-appeal with software. I especially like that X is shown in the dock. Now there's a finger in Bill's eye.

    Jon
    • An ironic reply. (Score:2, Insightful)

      by czardonic ( 526710 )
      The tone of the "Way out" is a whiny "UNIX is too hard" that perfectly matches the designed-by-Smurfs interface they're pushing with XP.

      When XP came out, people were falling all over themselves to point out how it was a rip off of OSX (and that Windows in general was a rip-off of MacOS. I take it that you think that OSX also fits in the designed-by-Smurfs category.

      It's nice to see Apple having the collective cajones to ante up and reply "Yeah, UNIX can be hard, but (a) it's worth it, (b) we've done it, and (c) it just *works.*"

      Their message is that UNIX is only usable with a designed-by-Smurfs UI tacked on to it.
  • Woo hoo! (Score:2, Funny)

    by Guitarzan ( 57028 )
    Complete with Netscape taking up 53% of the CPU!

    Hehe, very nice :)
  • the end of the 5-year contract between Apple

    Apple had a contract with itself? Reminds me of a question posed by my high-school newspaper:
    • What is the difference between an orange?
    Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?
  • Wrong direction (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SuiteSisterMary ( 123932 ) <slebrun&gmail,com> on Monday April 15, 2002 @05:57PM (#3346291) Journal
    I'd say that they're more aiming at other UNIX workstations; Sun boxes, mainly.
  • It's a bit of a stretch that this is directed at the MS/Unisys "way out" ads. It's much more clearly directed at all other Unix's (including Linux) on the desktop.
  • btw... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by rimdo ( 160461 )

    The ad is on the front cover of the new Scientific American (May, 2002), and in the terminal on the OS X desktop, there is a "Microsoft" (and an "Adobe Photoshop") process running. It's possible that the IE button is trademarked and would require permission for use in an ad.

    How many seconds are there in a year? If I tell you there are 3.155 x 10^7, you won't even try to remember it. On the other hand, who could forget that, to within half a percent, pi seconds is a nanocentury.
    -- Tom Duff, Bell Labs
  • rebus (Score:3, Funny)

    by megabulk3000 ( 305530 ) on Monday April 15, 2002 @06:20PM (#3346439) Homepage
    the icons in the dock are spelling out "W XP ON X"
  • I can only assume that Internet Explorer is now fully integrated with Finder. The existence of a separate IE in Mac was always a liability in the DOJ case. :-)
  • by Dark Paladin ( 116525 ) <jhummel AT johnhummel DOT net> on Monday April 15, 2002 @06:24PM (#3346459) Homepage
    From my new Powerbook, over the weekend, I:

    Played more Icewind Dale
    Used Gimp to make a new banner (with Xdarwin)
    Used BBedit to edit a Perl script, then to write a review of Icewind Dale
    Ran an old OS 9 Groupwise program to connect to my Day Job mail.
    Used MS Word to view some work documents.
    Ran a perlscript to edit some 200 pictures with ImageMagick.
    Surfed the web/checked email with Mozilla.
    Wirelessly connected to my internal network and my Linux server/router and out to the Internet.
    Used SSH to tweak some setttings on some Linux boxes.
    Used Virtual PC to run Win98 so I could run my Sharkport program to save my Metal Gear Solid 2 saved games from the Playstation 2 to my Mac HDD.
    Got pictures of my daughter's birthday party from the camera to the Web for the fam'.
    Played music with iTunes (Final Fantasy Pray rocks.).

    And most of this was running at the same time, with all the stability of my old Linux box, easier than Windows - so simple that my wife, who hates computers, started messing with the laptop (after I gave her her own account so she wouldn't see my Tifa Lockheart porn).

    I've used Windows for over a decade, Linux for 3 years, and a Mac for 3 months. Out of them all, OS X is the best out of the lot.

    PS: Before you ask, Apple hasn't paid me $0.01 for this. Though I wish...Where's the game payola, guys ;).
  • There's no IE in the dock -- Netscape is shown instead!

    Now, IANAMF (I Am Not A Marketing Floozy), but from a marketing perspective, that makes really good sense. It seems to me that in these ads they're attempting to appeal to more Unix-type people than your more basic "I check email and surf CNN.com" computer users. And, those Unix-type people will instinctively have a negative association with virtually anything Microsoft (IE especially).

    So, instead the ads attempt to flaunt the fact that the Netscape you currently run on Linux/Solaris/AIX/Irix/HP-UX runs just fine on OS X too. Note they also have the icon for XDarwin [sourceforge.net], the OS X-native X Window server, running in the dock as well.

    I don't think this is a case of Apple dissing Microsoft -- they just have a good sense of the target audience.

    --Mid

  • I don't think that MS cares much about Apple, Apple have a stable user base and it's not growing much, same for UNIX.

    Windows only serious competitor is Linux, the others have already bitten the dust.
  • It's interesting to note what the sources of the quotes surrounding the PowerBook are. Three of them are from people working in the life sciences or associated fields (one guy from the Brain Mapping Centre at UCLA, another one from the genetics department at Stanford, and the third from a cheminformatics company). Even Tim O'Reilly is showing an interest in the life sciences computing market these days (another person who is quoted in the ad) by publishing a series of books about bioinformatics.

    Apples have long been used in educational and research settings, but over the last few years, Linux workstations have becoming more and more frequent (especially in light of the need for everyday labs working in genomics and proteomics to be paying more attention to their data generation and analysis). I wonder if Apple is recognising this and specifically targeting people working in bioinformatics and life science research to try and win them back to their 'traditional' platform?
  • OS X vs. Linux (Score:4, Insightful)

    by harlows_monkeys ( 106428 ) on Monday April 15, 2002 @06:40PM (#3346542) Homepage
    Now that I've had a chance to use OS X for a while, I'd have to say that if what you are looking for is Unix...that is, if you are the kind of person who thinks that the purpose of a GUI is to conveniently manage a bunch of terminal windows and run a web browser, then Linux is better out of the box.

    OS X can certainly be fixed up to be as good, mostly, but out of the box, most Linux distributions win:

    No bash on OS X
    No Vim
    Terminal program is nowhere near as good as the KDE terminal program

    That's not a complete list, of course. Basically, what I've found is that if I sit down and try to use OS X to develop Unix programs, I run into lots of little things where it is just not as good as Linux.

    If I had to have exactly one computer, and if Everquest and Dark Age of Camelot did not exist (their existence makes this no contest...I'd pick Windows), it would be a Mac with OS X, because the combination of an acceptable Unix plus mainstream commercial apps, and a very nice administrative interface for those things I'm not expert enough in to configure by hand, makes it a great system.

    Oh, and the development tools and environment are certainly a big plus for OS X. With Interface Builder and Project Builder, using Carbon or Cocoa, it is easy to whip out an application that consists of a nice GUI front end and a traditional command-line stdin/stdout Unix program on the backend.

    Yes, you can do this on Linux, using something like Perl/Tk, but when you do it on OS X, you get a great looking interface. Perl/Tk is one of those things we like in spite of its looks.

    • Re:OS X vs. Linux (Score:4, Informative)

      by green pizza ( 159161 ) on Monday April 15, 2002 @07:29PM (#3346838) Homepage
      No bash on OS X, No Vim

      Mac OS X ships with plain vi. Bash is not included, but zsh, csh, and tcsh are... also sh, the real sh (not a sym link to bash).
    • Re:OS X vs. Linux (Score:5, Informative)

      by TheMonkeyDepartment ( 413269 ) on Monday April 15, 2002 @07:30PM (#3346849)
      - Bash IS available for OS X. You don't even have to recompile anything. [osxgnu.org] It took me 5 seconds to find this on Google.

      - Vim IS available for OS X. Again, no recompile needed. [imdat.de] About 3 seconds, again Google.

      - Agreed, the Terminal is decidedly no-frills. I don't need to spend a lot of time in the Terminal though (thanks to those awesome development tools) so I haven't looked very hard for a replacement. For those inclined, there has to be something better available somewhere. Perhaps someone can recommend an alternative?
      • I know they are available. That's why I kept saying "out of the box". :-)

        Given some searching and downloading, all current operating systems (Windows XP, Linux, OS X) can be made into quite acceptable environments.

        The nice thing about most Linux distributions is that you don't need to do that searching and downloading. That's especially nice for those that don't have broadband.

        That's why I say that for the pure Unix user, Linux wins. It's got all that good stuff out of the box.

        OS X reminds me a lot of a commercial Unix in the '80s and 90's. A good base that you can tweek with free software to get something great. And, unlike those other commerical Unixes, it also runs end-user consumer applications.

        Let me put it another way. Take away the GUI from OS X and you are left with Darwin. Darwin is available for x86. How many people do you see choosing Darwin/x86 over Linux? Not many...because as a Unix, it just isn't as good a Unix as Linux is.

  • fruitcake! (Score:4, Funny)

    by petis ( 139263 ) on Monday April 15, 2002 @06:40PM (#3346549)
    Comparing Unix with MAC is like comparing Apples and ora.. oh.. wait. Apple.


  • 'Sends other UNIX boxes to /dev/null',

    I've always enjoyed using Unix for its reliability. When Apple make an OS that doesn't need rebooting 5 times a day then they might get a few more converts from other Unices. Well, that's my experience with 10.1.3 on a PowerBook. As it is my PowerBook is OK to use as a toy but for the heavy duty kind of use that I usually put Unix workstations to I'll keep well away.
  • Almost there... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Van Halen ( 31671 ) on Monday April 15, 2002 @07:47PM (#3346931) Homepage Journal
    I'd love to say that I agree 100% with the ad's tagline, but I can't. Not yet, anyway. I love OS X and definitely rate it as the best overall OS I've ever used, but on the UNIX side, it still needs work.

    • First, there's stability. It's very good, orders of magnitude better than classic Mac OS, but still well behind most other UNIXes. In my group at work, we have a mix of about 25 IRIX and Solaris boxes. Of those, we get maybe one or two crashes a year due to memory parity errors. I have yet to crash my FreeBSD box at home after a year and a half. The Mac, since I got it 2 months ago, has crashed or locked up at least 4 times. Stock hardware, stock OS X install with the latest updates. Twice a month is great if you're used to Windows, but for UNIX, it stinks.

    • Flakiness/weirdness. Occasionally I'll type a command at the tcsh prompt and it will coredump for no reason. "ls" gets a bus error or something. Then it works fine after that. This certainly isn't every day, and it always seems to work the next time, but it's not indicative of a truly mature OS.

    • Administration. I realize that OS X has a lot of NeXTStep heritage, and therefore uses NetInfo instead of the more traditional UNIX administration mechanisms. Fine. But Apple, being the king of ease-of-use, needs to improve the administration abilities in OS X. Easy gui panels for everything - not just a few settings like IP address, users, etc. Do it like IRIX but even better. (I may have read somewhere that OS X Server has a lot of this stuff - maybe Apple wants people to buy that to get all the admin stuff. Fair enough)

    • The whole assumption that everyday users will run with admin privileges. As a seasoned UNIX veteran, I cringe at the very thought of running with any more than standard user privileges. Most things in OS X work just fine as a regular user, but some still assume you have admin privileges. Moreover, many third party applications have taken this attitude from Apple and practically refuse to work if run by a non-admin user. Quicken was a real ordeal to get working so both my wife and I could run it and update the same data file from our respective accounts.

      Also, I wish there weren't so many different installers used by various apps. The standard one you get with Apple's development environment is nice in that it allows normal users to temporarily acquire admin privileges by entering a user/password. They all should do this, but I find myself logging out completely and logging back in as admin just to install some software.

      Along these lines, it would also be nice to have an easier way to start gui apps as an admin - sort of a graphical sudo. Of course I can do something like sudo open /path/to/Finder.app or whatever but it's a pain.

    • Virtual memory. I don't know a lot of details about this, but from what I've read, there is a lot of room for improvement here. As I understand, OS X allocates swap space in 80 meg chunks as needed, in files on the filesystem (again, heritage from NeXTStep). I'm no expert, but it seems like a dedicated swap partition might be faster. Maybe not, though.

    • Performance. 10.1.x runs pretty well, but it still seems like there is room for improvement, even at the BSD level (of course Aqua can use more performance, but that's not exactly the UNIX layer anymore). Command-line utilities on my G4/733 still seem slower than the same ones on my Duron/750. I know Apple's advertising about the MHz myth is a bit misleading with highly optimized Photoshop filters, but still - isn't there some more optimization that can be done? GCC is nice and all, but my understanding is it's not that great at optimizing for PowerPC. Perhaps real performance gain could be had simply by improving compiler output.

    Well, those are my completely non-expert opinions. Take them with a huge grain of salt. Hopefully Apple will improve on them in 10.2, along with some of the other issues I've noticed. Even so, I love this OS and I'm very excited to see how much better it can get!

    • by Doktor Memory ( 237313 ) on Monday April 15, 2002 @09:53PM (#3347499) Journal
      • First, there's stability. It's very good, orders of magnitude better than classic Mac OS, but still well behind most other UNIXes. In my group at work, we have a mix of about 25 IRIX and Solaris boxes. Of those, we get maybe one or two crashes a year due to memory parity errors. I have yet to crash my FreeBSD box at home after a year and a half. The Mac, since I got it 2 months ago, has crashed or locked up at least 4 times. Stock hardware, stock OS X install with the latest updates. Twice a month is great if you're used to Windows, but for UNIX, it stinks.
      • Flakiness/weirdness. Occasionally I'll type a command at the tcsh prompt and it will coredump for no reason. "ls" gets a bus error or something. Then it works fine after that. This certainly isn't every day, and it always seems to work the next time, but it's not indicative of a truly mature OS.

      This is unintentional irony at its finest. :)

      Random bsd-layer application coredumps are not normal behavior under OSX, and the number of complete system crashes/lockups you describe are way above the average that I've observed. I would wager any amount of beer that you have a hardware problem.

      The ironic part: odds are very high that you have a memory parity error happening. Unfortunately, one of the reasons that those SGIs cost 5X as much as a PowerMac is that they support ECC memory, and can thus recover a bit more gracefully from such errors.

      Swap out your DIMMs with registered CL2 sticks from Mushkin, Kingston or Crucial, and I suspect you'll be suitably impressed by the results. (Also, check and make certain that the CPU and case fans are operating at their indicated voltage and RPM...)

      Insightful comments otherwise, btw.
    • Re:Almost there... (Score:5, Informative)

      by paulschreiber ( 113681 ) on Monday April 15, 2002 @10:12PM (#3347576) Homepage
      Along these lines, it would also be nice to have an easier way to start gui apps as an admin - sort of a graphical sudo. Of course I can do something like sudo open /path/to/Finder.app or whatever but it's a pain.

      There's a shareware tool for this -- pesudo [tds.net].

      Paul

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