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OS X Businesses Operating Systems Apple

O'Reilly Thinks Mac OS X May Be the 'Next Big Thing' 99

Arkham writes "Tim O'Reilly gave a speech at WWDC called 'Watching the Alpha Geeks: Mac OS X and the next big thing', in which he suggested that Apple is doing the right things to be a big success. Specifically, Apple should continue to 1) adhere to standards, 2) keep things small and modular, and 3) document as you go -- man pages and RFCs. Anyone who has used Mac OS X can see that Apple is trying hard to be a good open-source citizen (for example, the new zero-config Rendezvous technology). The question is, at what point will these efforts pay off (more users, and thus more money)?" What is this "money" you speak of?
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O'Reilly Thinks Mac OS X May Be the 'Next Big Thing'

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  • Typo in the title ... ffs ...

    /me hopes it is just some bad pun he doesn't get.
  • O'Reilly Thinks Mac OS X Bay Be the 'Next Big Thing'
    Posted by pudge on 2002.05.10 11:30
    from the next-big-thing-in-a-nutshell dept.

    ... Pudge, those letters aren't even adjacent. What's your balfunction, boy!?

  • Never tried... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Komarosu ( 538875 ) <nik_doof.nikdoof@net> on Friday May 10, 2002 @07:42AM (#3495764) Homepage

    Never tried OSX yet, but i've heard too many good things to let it just slide by the and not be used. Hence this week im gonna grab a G4 from work to have a try on :)

    Anyway apple are playing the Darwin core, and gettin the Open Source community to take a look at it...get the support of the people and you will have a excellent OS...linux for example :)

  • by Eagle7 ( 111475 ) on Friday May 10, 2002 @08:00AM (#3495814) Homepage
    I am just a simple Caveman... your money and technology frighten and confuse me. But there is one thing I can understand - user interfaces with built in Alpha blending are l33t.
  • My problem with OS X (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Hemi Rodner ( 570284 ) on Friday May 10, 2002 @08:05AM (#3495827) Journal
    Yes, OS X has real multitasking, got a unix core, has transparent menus and it's nice and all, but unlike OS 9 and below, it does not support keyboard input of right-to-left languages (Hebrew, Arabic, Farsi, any other languages?)

    As a result, it's uncommon to see people in the middle east who use OS X. Those people still use the now dead [slashdot.org] OS 9, or more likely, Windows.. (yes, how bad and evil MS are, I must admit they did a great thing when they forced everyone to use the unicode standard, which is harder to display, but makes sense in every other aspect - searching, sorting, etc)
    • I know that Iran has no copyright laws, so MS doesn't earn a penny there. And although the major OS in the middle east is Windows, Linux is making good breakthroughs there. Companies like Hancom who develop explicitly with international users in mind (Asian, Middle east) are apparently quite popular.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      I can't put out my name for obvious reasons, but I can tell you that Jaguar will support Right to Left languages, including Hebrew and Arabic.
    • Indeed, right-to-left language support is currently very weak on OS X but this is rumored to change with Jaguar. Certainly there's been talk of it already from Apple people before (eg. Peter Lofting @ the ATypI Conference [atypi.org] Copenhagen last year) You can of course use many right-to-left languages on MacOS 9 and with XWindows on OSX already (eg. AbiWord [abisource.com]). From an implementation perspective, because of system-wide Unicode support it's certainly easier than ever - just get the language sets out the door at Apple. Additional language support should be quicker than with pre-OSX systems, and more uniform. Nice to see an another international ISO technology that Apple and Xerox started [unicode.org] coming back to help them. I never cease to be amazed at how innovative those two companies really were back in the 'day. And to a greater or lesser extent still are.
  • Documentation (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Actually, if Apple could be convinced to write developer documentation it would be a blessing.

    Too many APIs are are shoddily documented at present.
    • Re:Documentation (Score:3, Informative)

      by Duck_Taffy ( 551144 )
      There is a new version of the Apple Developer's Toolkit, currently in beta, which has complete Cocoa documentation, so just wait a bit, and quit yer whining. I know they're still working on carbon docs, but in case you didn't catch the WWDC 2002 keynote highlights, Apple doesn't want developers using CFM anymore.
  • by theolein ( 316044 ) on Friday May 10, 2002 @08:52AM (#3495992) Journal
    A few (obviuosly biased since I'm typing this in in OSX) points about Apple and OSX and it's relation to OSS.

    1. Apple has become very successful over the last few years because they started catering for those consumers who don't like to fight with the computer and who have difficulty comprehending computers. Most of us who have been at this for years with various OS's and computers (WinXXX, Mac OS XX, Linux, BSD , x86, PPC etc) have become used to working out how the things work. We all have that certain contempt for users who have difficulty comprehending how to use a contextual menu, a config file or the labyrinth of MS control panels. Apple addressed this with the iMacs, iBooks and Mac OSX IMO, by providing a simple "dumbed down" UI (and this will go even further with the next release of OSX, which has a "simple finder" option) and by continuing to use single button mice. Until you've seen a friend who uses windows and look at astonishment at you as you use the contextual menu, you won't be able to appreciate this.
    2.Apple made a very wise decision to mix it's OS with an "OpenSource" core (Yes I know) and a propietry GUI. It gives Apple plus points with O'Reilly for instance and some possibilities for dvelopers to influence where the OS is going. At the same time Apple remains in control of the OS and GUI and can concentrate efforts and resources where they are needed.
    3. Using NeXT's technology was a big bonus, because ObjC is not that much harder than Java and quite a lot easier than C++ (although many will still use C++).
    4.Apple does actually sometimes seem to listen to their users (Spring loaded folders coming back) and does actually seem to bring useful innovations (Rendevouz, Ink, Firewire)into an industry which is scared of taking risks.
    5.Also very importantly, and this is not brought up that often, Apple doesn't have the reputation of absolute ruthlessness that Microsoft does. Make no mistake, Apple is still a business and will go over the occasional body (Retailers) but compared to MS they are angels. They seem to have realised that brutal EULA'S only make for bad press and bad attitudes. Apple doesn't care if you run PPC Linux next to Mac OSX and doesn't care if you run an MS emulator, because you bought the hardware.
    6. Apple's marketing is an order of magnitude better than MS'. Apple almost never brings technical details into the advertising and relies on celver associations. Compare this to the MS OfficeXP campaign where they showed the smart tabs on the shoulder of a naked woman. What were you supposed to think? OfficeXP = built in porn?
    7.Apple does however have one extremely week point, and this is the CPU. NO amount of "Myth" marketing makes up for the fact that they are very far behind in terms of processor peformance. Their reliance on a floundering company, Motorola, for the core of their machines is dangerous. There is still no sign of the mythical G5 and nothing has been said about it for the near future. IMO Apple would be better off buying the PPC area from Motorola, but what do I know.
    • Apple has become very successful over the last few years

      Well if by "few" you mean "twenty" then yeah :)

      Apple addressed this with the iMacs, iBooks and Mac OSX IMO, by providing a simple "dumbed down" UI

      Um...Again it sounds like you are unaware that Apple has been all about ease-of-use for the last two decades.

      (and this will go even further with the next release of OSX, which has a "simple finder" option)

      Yet again...this feature has been available for years in previous versions of the Mac OS. Quite useful, I'm told, for very young children.
      • Read what I wrote. (Score:3, Insightful)

        by theolein ( 316044 )
        "Well if by "few" you mean "twenty" then yeah :)"

        Apple was doing very badly in the mid '90s and losing a lot of money and customers until Jobs turned the company around. He did this mostly with the iMac at the time. He refined and simplified the product line which also helped a lot and introduced OSX which has done more to get users of other OS's to switch to Macs than any other previous OS (which tended to do the opposite)

        "Um...Again it sounds like you are unaware that Apple has been all about ease-of-use for the last two decades"

        OF course I know this, and agree that the classic Mac OS was easy to use. But the OS was very unstable and crash prone and quite backward. I sort of include not having to reboot your Mac three or four times a day under ease of use.

        "Yet again...this feature has been available for years in previous versions of the Mac OS. Quite useful, I'm told, for very young children.
        Again, I know this. I was referring to OSX, which hasn't had this until now.

        OSX is the future on Macs. Classic Mac OS is not.
        • I not only read what you wrote, I freakin' quoted you. Repeatedly. Basically what you're doing now is saying "what I wrote isn't quite what I meant," which may be true but isn't my problem. Perhaps you didn't mean to give the impression that you thought Apple just sprang up from nowhwere two years ago. Perhaps you didn't mean to give the impression that you thought Apple's present sucess is the only sucess they've had to speak of. But you did give that impression quite clearly. Be more careful next time.

          And now you've been modded up a point for denying it. Consider yourself fortunate.
          • Wow! You tell me to consider myself fortunate for trying to make a comment on Apples present success. Do you think the word "present success" has anything to do with what was happening to Apple in the mid '90s under Scully, Spindler or Amelio? This is 2002 and not 1995. The company has changed, as has the OS. I was trying to be somewhat positive and don't really understand your need to attack me. But if you need it and it solves some of your problems -fine.
    • The latest issue of Macworld has a short blurb about the G5 (near the end of an article on the new Ghz chips). Apparently Motorola does sell G5's for embedded systems but has no imedate plans for G5 on the Mac. But they are out there.
    • I usually give apple credit when it comes to innovation, but Windows XP already has handwriting recognition, so OSX has just finally caught up.
      • Apple brought this technology to market years ago in their Newton product. Nice try though :)
      • Inkwell is based on Newton HWR technology. The 'Rosetta' print recognizer on the Newton 2.x devices, written in-house by Apple, has yet to be surpassed in the world of HWR technology. The second best I've seen is Calligrapher, originally written by Paragraph, who wrote the cursive recognier on the Newton 2.x devices. Today's Calligrapher is still no match for the 5+ year old Rosetta HWR engine.

        Apple need not "catch up" with MS on this one...

        (Reminiscent of MS's ClearType sub-pixeling technology. It was seen first on the Apple II [grc.com], yet MS claims it as their own technology.)


      • If you restrict the topic to Mac OSX only and exclude Newtons, WinCE etc OSX has had the technology since the days of the Developers Preview releases. In the public beta days, just before OSX 10.0 came out Apple announced that it had "developed" handwriting recognition for the OS (No, I can't remember where, possibly Maccentral archives?) but didn't include it in the product at the time. The lack of tablet drivers and applications made it completely useless at the time. In XP it is also useless unless you have a tablet or a TabletPC. I assume that Apple will release it's own version of a tabletPC this year sometime.
    • Every point you made was excellent, except for the last one.

      The only "myth" about performance is that the speed of the processor is the speed of its clock. this is false. Given that a PowerPC does so many instructions in a given clock cycle, its very easy for an 800MHz PPC chip to exceed the performance of a 1.8GHz Intel chip. (And I'm an intel share holder, but not a motorola one. I know where the money is, but I recognize that the product that makes the most money is not the better one, paralleling the OS world.)

      Look a the distributed.net results. Look an any reasonable, rational comparison.

      Try to encode MPEG -2 in real time on a PC box, then try it on a Mac. What will you see?

      If you run software that actually uses the PowerPC's processing capabilities, you have the fastest X on the planet. Apple ships the fastest laptop on the planet (even more so since a 1GHz laptop using Intel actually runs at 250MHz when on battery power.) The fastest desktop for the price, etc. etc.

      Also, I heard that SGI was goign to the PowerPC, but I have not been able to confirm that rumor .

      The competition is dying-- alpha which got far less done per a clock than the intel, is dead. AMD can barely keep afloat, and has no path out of the position of depending on Intel, MIPs is dead. Even Merced seems stillborn. PA-RISC is dead. UltraSparc seems dead.

      All of these processors were killed by the either the market control of Intel, or the speed superiority of Motorola. Many who relied on them switched to Intel hardware, rather than PowerPC, but the PowerPC still rules the power domain.
  • From a 'Beta Geek' (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Erasei ( 315737 ) on Friday May 10, 2002 @09:08AM (#3496084) Homepage
    I am not really an Alpha Geek, more of a Beta Geek really. I am in software development, and use a Solaris workstatation with emacs, Perl, and MySQL, so I am all about OpenSource.

    I do not hate Microsoft, nor do I worship Apple. I think MS could be a little more friendly, but business is business, as long as it's legal of course.

    So, having said that, when I was in the market for a new laptop a few months back, I compared all of reasonable laptops on the market, regardless of who made it and what OS it ran.

    I finally went with the 14.1 LCD'ed iBook for several reasons, and I can honestly say that I have not been unhappy with any feature, whether hardward or software, and that is saying something.

    OS X is the best OS I have ever used. It has the darwin core so I can program while out of the office (I have apache, mysql, php, perl, and emacs, it's more of a server-top really). Plus you get the beautiful GUI front-end and excellent gaming support for when you need to relax.

    All in all, the best OS I have ever used.

  • "Apple is trying hard to be a good open-source citizen"

    What projects do they contribute open source code to ?

    All ive heard is that they use *bsd code, do they improve and contribute the code upstream ?

    What other projects do they contribute to ?
    • Maybe you should visit the Darwin Project [apple.com] page and learn about how much they have improved.
    • What projects do they contribute open source code to ?

      All ive heard is that they use *bsd code, do they improve and contribute the code upstream ?

      From what I have heard YES, apple has contributed code back to the projects they have used: gcc, apache, perl, freebsd, mysql, emacs, openssh etc.

      Then of course there are their own projects that have been released under the APSL. There is a lot of debate about whether this license is "open source" or not. Whatever your opinion on it they have used it to release the Darwin OS, the Darwin Streaming Server (for streaming Quicktime content) OpenPlay (a network abstraction layer based on Apple's old NetSprockets technology) and HeaderDoc (A tool for generating HTML reference documentation from comments in C, C++ and Objective-C header files..)
      • Any chance of a Cocoa emacs or xemacs with variable width font support from Apple?

        I don't like running emacs from the terminal, and running xemacs through the integrated X-Window system just shows how shoddy the fonts are that we've been tolerating for so many years :-(.

        I'd even be willing to pay for that (although I shouldn't have admitted that or RMS would have me shot). I know the standard answer is to dive into the code and do it yourself, but I'm simply not familiar enough with emacs or x-windows internals to give it a shot.

        • Re:emacs? (Score:2, Informative)

          by TTop ( 160446 )
          There's a pretty decent Cocoa-ized version of emacs 21.1 at http://www.porkrind.org/emacs [porkrind.org].

          I don't think it uses variable-width fonts, but it's better then the terminal version, IMHO.
          • Hey, thanks!

            Curiously enough, it can use variable width fonts, but they render in a similar way to Carbon applications instead of Cocoa - in other words, badly. So Optima (my favourite font when rendered well) still looks ugly, but Palatino isn't half bad.

            Thanks for the link - it definitely helped get my MacOS X emacs use out of the stone age :-).

        • What about looking at BBEdit? [bbedit.com] It can do everything emacs can (and a lot more), and you can even set it to the emacs keybindings. It's carbon, but truly a coders dream of a GUI-text editor.
          • What about looking at BBEdit? [bbedit.com] It can do everything emacs can (and a lot more)

            Forgive me if I find this hard to believe.

          • As a long-time user of BBEdit who works with an expert emacs user, I'll have to scoff at that assertion. BBEdit is a wonderful text editor, but I've seen my coworker do some pretty amazing stuff with emacs without having to lift his fingers from the keyboard once. You can open UNIX shells in line with a window with a text file you have open. You can interpret LISP directly from within the editor. You can open and compare two or more files in the same window. Plus, there are a lot more applications with bindings for emacs in the UNIX world than there are made to work with BBEdit in the Mac world.

            Personally, for actually editing files, I vastly prefer BBEdit, but emacs is definitely more of a comprehensive tool. All those features are the reason it's so huge and bloated as to have been nicknamed "Eight Megs And Constantly Swapping."
      • There is a lot of debate about whether this license is "open source" or not.

        There is no debate about APSL being an "open source" licence. The source is available, it does not cost anything, and you can make changes. ESR and the OSI have certified it as such.

        What the debate is about is whether or not it is a "free software" licence. RMS and the FSF have rejected APSL from their certification because they don't like some of the provisions, such as the fact that if you redistribute the source with any changes, you must provide Apple with a copy.

        • What the debate is about is whether or not it is a "free software" licence.

          Actually that's basically the way I see it as well. But there are a lot of people on /. that conflate the terms "open source" and "free software" and I left it up to the reader to decide whether releasing code under the APSL constituted "giving back to the community".

        • That's good. I rejected RMS and FSF from *my* certification many years ago when they called for a boycott of Apple (but not Microsoft) for not releasing their source code.

          Apple doesn't pretend that its in the free-software business, other than the fact that they have done more to support free software than Stallman has during the 90s. (The 80s are another matter).

          Apples open source software is open source.

          RMS has stated his non-belief in intellectual property, and I suspect this is underlied by a non-belief in real property.

          But the rest of the world realizes that Open Source allows people to make money and use some of that money to contribute back to the software, so everyone does better.

          Economically, Free (as in BSD) and Open (as in Open) source software will always beat closed (as in RMS and FSF) software that doesn't let you use it in proprietary work. This is the equivilent of Microsofts "we own it and you can't use it, unless you're using it for our profit".

          Stallman made the mistake of trying to force everyone to believe as he did, and as you seek, the freer environments are flourishing while the GPL is on the wane. The only reason stallman is still around is he had many years of head start-- but pretty soon, Apple alone will have released more truely-free code than he has.

          People who wonder about whether apple is giving back to the community seem to ignore that they open sourced their entire Os. Is the ocmmunity giving back to apple?

          Never mind the fact that they open-sourced a streaming media player, when the market says these are worht $8,000 a year per stream capacity.

          In every area where apple is using open source, they have contributed changes. Can you say that about yourself?

          And on top of that, they have open sourced new technologies, and old ones a like.

          Rendezvous is revolutionary.
          • That's good. I rejected RMS and FSF from *my* certification many years ago when they called for a boycott of Apple (but not Microsoft) for not releasing their source code.

            Actually, this is NOT why the FSF asked for a boycott of Apple. What the FSF was disgusted by was Apple's lawsuit against Microsoft (and previously others) asserting copyright violations for appropriating the Macintosh's "Look and Feel". This issue really went deep to the heart of what the FSF was/is all about, since if you could prevent people from writing code (from scratch) that implemented a particular kind of interface (in this case a UI, but think about MS's relationship with Samba these days...) because somebody asserted a copyright/IP claim similar to Apple's, then the whole free and open software communities were at grave risk.

            I think some people were annoyed by the FSF stand against Apple (but pretty silent on MS) because they believed that MS was or would be the greater threat to free and open computing in the future. (And it would probably be tough to argue that it wasn't using today's hindsight.) But while mere software hording and embrace/extend were not going to win MS any friends at the FSF, at least they weren't filing lawsuits whose success could only lead to big problems for almost all free software.

    • Read the release notes for FreeBSD 4.5. It mentions a number of filesystems bugs that were found and fixed because of a file system test application that Apple contributed.
    • I think this is a common mistake within the open-source and free software communities. Being a 'good citizen' is not only about contributing code, but it is also about sticking to openly defined standards and making sure to implement them cleanly.

      Not to say code contribution isn't needed, but some companies can't or won't do it for business reasons and I am not going to blast them for taking that stance. However, not 'embracing & extending' standards is being a good citizen and it allows Linux, *BSD, etc. to easily interoperate which is one of my big goals.

      I don't necessarily care if they contribute tons of code, but if they make it easy to mix mand match platforms to suit my needs by embracing standards then I am all for it...

    • My question wasnt meant as a troll, Thanks for the constructive responses.
      It would be nice if in time, apple could change their license to be Free one, at least they are in the right ballpark.
      • Yeah, I don't see why this was modded as flamebait. It was an honest question and I learned a lot from it.

        As a Mac OS X-user I was delighted to learn that Apple has contributed to the underlying technologies and the OS-community at large.
  • reality check (Score:3, Insightful)

    by feldsteins ( 313201 ) <scott@noSPam.scottfeldstein.net> on Friday May 10, 2002 @11:45AM (#3497120) Homepage
    Hey don't get me wrong. I'm delighted - yes delighted - that O'Reilly likes OS X. And everything he outlines as being good ideas really are good ideas.

    But there is a slight element of ridiculousness to this whole post. The idea that what Apple needs to do to be "a big sucess" and make "more money" is create more man pages is absurd.

    Golly gee, maybe they can be as sucessful as Linux next! Do ya think??

    If you don't even understand the irony of the above line then you really need a reality check.

    Anyhow, like I said I am positively giddy about O'Reilly's love for OS X. I myself benefitted directly from the Apache Web Serving In OS X [oreillynet.com] series of articles which appeared under the O'Reilly banner not long ago. But still...the idea that pandering to the uber-geek is going to do wonders for Apple's marketshare or bottom line is absurd on it's face. They should still do it...but it's consumer products like iMovie, pricing and marketing that affect the bottom line, not man pages.
    • By catering to alpha geeks, they can get lots of wonderful new applications. There are many great things that were done on Linux.

      People need the big guys (Photoshop, Final Cut Pro, After Effects, Office, etc), but there's plenty of room for the little ones, too.

      So yes, what Jobs is doing here has a strategic purpose, just as making the GUI super easy to use does.

    • Re:reality check (Score:2, Informative)

      by tadghin ( 2229 )
      Actually, the brief report didn't quite capture the thrust of my remarks (which will be up in some form on oreillynet.com within a day or two).

      My point was this: if you look at the "alpha geeks", you often can see the shape of the future long before it's obvious in the commercial market. This was true with the PC (which was derided as a toy by the establishment), with the web (ditto), and so on with many new technologies.

      Hackers push the envelope to make technologies do what they want before vendors and entrepreneurs package them for other people. My point is that a lot of the things that the hackers and other alpha geeks have been incorporating into their lifestyle for some time - wireless, chat, web services (even if only created by web spidering and screen scraping), peer-to-peer (rendezvous), etc. - are all starting to show up in a nice package.

      So to me, this is a good predictor that Apple is really on the right track.

      The second part of the talk was somewhat unrelated. It was advice for the future based on what has been successful for Unix, the internet, and open source.

  • .. I can get decent pc hardware cheaper. Okay I saw the onay vs mac comparison where Sony was only a little better than the Mac and Mac was 1/2 as expensive, but I paid 800 for my current computer almost a year ago, including OS (RH 7.1 at the time). I don't think I could have gotton a Mac for that price. Okay I probably could have gotton a Mac for that price, but not one with 512Meg of RAM. Not NEW. 1.2Ghz CPU, 32Meg video card, NIC, 52x cdrom, SB live sound card.
    • But then you can't run OS X, so you lose. I can sew my mouth shut to make my head more aerodynamic, as a runner--but then I can't eat.

    • by Binky The Oracle ( 567747 ) on Friday May 10, 2002 @02:27PM (#3498279)

      You have to realize, though, that you aren't Apple's target market. You're willing to take the time to futz around with putting a PC together piecemeal. After you spend $800 on hardware, you're still going to spend several hours installing and configuring the OS and apps. You're willing to track down and fix problems that occur when you want to add hardware, etc.

      For you, time is less expensive than cash, and that's cool. You probably enjoy the process as well (I know I do) and most importantly, you have the ability to do the work.

      Most of Apple's target market are people who don't have the ability or who don't want to spend the time screwing around with the OS and applications. They just want the computer to work.

      With OS X, Apple has provided a fantastic system for people who "just want it to work" as well as providing the hood latch for people who want to get in and get their hands dirty. For you, that might not be worth the price, but the point of the article is that for a growing number of "alpha geeks" it is.

      Yes, you can get a barebones Dell or build a FrankenPC for $800. But you won't get the Apple OS, all of the included applications, etc. Estimate the amount of time it would take you to build a system with all of the same features and applications as a $1200 iMac and multiply times standard consulting rates. The savings might not be as large as you think. Especially when you factor in the time it took you to learn the skills that allow you to assemble the box in the first place. It might still be cheaper, but not $400 cheaper.

      An iMac with a DVD burner, 512 megs of RAM and its included software is very close in price to a similarly equipped brand-name PC. And both platforms have their strengths and weaknesses. And you could make the same argument for building your own $800 PC vs. buying a loaded Dell or Gateway.

      I don't see the point in trying to compare a brand-name computer that's shooting for a seamless out-of-box experience with the roll-your-own crowd... the priorities and benefits are too dissimilar.

      • Truthfully thought it takes me about 30 minutes to build a pc from parts, maybe an hour tops. To install RH 7.1 or later is about another hour and about an hour to config the OS. However you also have to configure Mac OS X as well so the last hour is not counted. When I say configure, I mean set up ppp and make your desktop you and select your theme and preferences and things. Shut off or turn on services. Hey you have to do that on any OS.

        So then 2 hours of my time is not worth the extra $400+ for the Mac to me. Yes I am thinking about me.

        There is no reason Mac could not sell OS X on a PC. Darwin is the core of the system and it works on intel so cocoa and carbon should be portable as well. Of course Apple would want to make this port and they are in the business of selling hardware not just software. If they ever do port to intel the whole OS X then yeah I would be willing to spend about 100 bucks on buying OS X for a pc. Until that happens or I'll stick to building my own pc. I would hover recommend this for my mother or father who would certainly benifit from OS X.

        • just taking a guess, but if Apple ever *does* port to x86 hardware, I bet the OS will cost more than $100. I would be willing to guess 300-400. Or, more likely in my opinion, they would sell Apple x86 macs, and try their hardest to figure out a way to make sure Mac OSX only ran on Apple PCs.
          • Apple ported there last os over in a project named pink. It seams to me that they should only realise it (or rather the os x equivalent) if there hardware sales attempt to drive them out of business. As a last ditch effort they could release a copy of OS X for the x86 hardware.
        • Truthfully thought it takes me about 30 minutes to build a pc from parts, maybe an hour tops.

          And how long did it take you to acquire the knowledge required to do this?

    • by dutky ( 20510 ) on Friday May 10, 2002 @05:39PM (#3499502) Homepage Journal
      I can get decent pc hardware cheaper

      I think you misspelled the word adequate. Even the best x86 PC hardware is far from decent: it doesn't have a real bootloader/monitor in ROM, it can't handle booting to anything but a small handful of archaic video modes (much less boot to a serial console) and it has all kinds of wierd kludgery in the essential hardware (gate A20 cruft, default unidriectional parallel ports, no standard on-board sound or ethernet, etc.). It is no suprise that you can get your PC stuff at a significant discount.

      I will easily admit that you can't get the highest MHz CPU, or the flashiest video chipset, in a Mac, but you get better quality hardware at a comparable price to other name brand computers (if you are comparing an Apple to a machine you threw together from parts or bought from a parts-shop hole-in-the-wall, you probably haven't considered the warrantee price).

      All of this said, I run a few x86 PCs at home, along side my Macs (the house is evenly split: 3 PCs, 3 PowerMacs, 1 Compaq LTE and 1 PowerBook) mostly because an x86 box was the best choice fo Linux until a few years ago (LinuxPPC is damn nice these days, though it lacks some support for some browser plug-ins). Still, I've always been frustrated by the things I can't do on a stock x86 PC that take no effort at all on a Mac.

    • No "but"... (Score:2, Interesting)

      by ryochiji ( 453715 )
      ...for me, it's ALL about the OS. I guess it depends on what you do, but most people interact more with the OS and software than the hardware.

      Quite frankly, I could care less what the underlying architecture is, as long as it runs an OS and software I like working with.

      Sure, I know I can get faster, more expandable, and cheaper PCs. But I won't get a PC because none of them run MacOS X. It's not that I'm not famliar with anything else (I use Windows at work, tinkered with Linux+GNOME, and use a Solaris box at school), it's just that I prefer using a Mac over any other alternative.
  • My Big Thing... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by dasspunk ( 173846 )
    Aside from rescuing my drowning Apple stock, I'm not concerned whether OS X is the "next big thing", rather, that it's my thing.

    Since OS X came out, I have seen some changes that could be perceived as fodder for the "next big thing" argument, even here on Slashdot. For instance:
    • Apple now has it's own section [slashdot.org] on Slashdot
    • There seems to be a little less Apple FUD in posts
    • There are more OS X specific information sites like O'Riely's [oreillynet.com]
    • There are a ton of new OS X books [amazon.com]

    The reasons for these changes are, to be sure, numurous and loaded with opinion such as those in my own case: No more switching back and forth from Mac to Linux just to get a "full featured" desktop machine. Open a Word doc, make a movie, use your firewire and USB peripherals, surf with IE if you want, jump on the command line, drag and drop, run Apache, MySQL, PHP, Perl, Bash, Grep, etc.... All this and I get hardware that was designed as if someone read my mind (iBook).

    Actually becoming the "next big thing" would be great for Apple and it's users but seeing how I've been waiting for years for the next Beatles and the next Michael Jordan, I'm not holding my breath.
  • Tim O'Reilly is keynoting this year's MacHack [machack.com]. It will be interesting to see what all this *nix influence will do to MacHack [machack.com] attendance, easily the most intense Mac-specific wireless LAN party on the planet. ;) See you here!
  • One FreeBSD Kernel Hacker I know (and I don't have permission to use his name, so he will for now be anonymous) said to me "Cocoa is what X-windows should have been." I think that it is fair to say that he is a convert...
  • What i like about OS X and Aqua, as an unexperienced linux user, is that it helps really well bringing linux to people who don't know how to use it that well, there is no need to use shell at al, but if you want to you can use it, in 'normal' linux that's not the case, there the shell is always a large part of the operation. and people like my dad who love Aqua, but can't work with Linux cans till feel the power, without knowing any specific commands etc.
    • It's worth mentioning that what lies beneath Mac OS X is not Linux. It's BSD, another form of UNIX, the OS family which Linux is a clone of. Though they are very similar, there are a few differences between them in the usage of common command-line tools.

      To be even more precise, Darwin (Mac OS X's variant of BSD) is actually a Mach microkernel with a BSD-clone kernel implemented on top of it and BSD and GNU userspace tools running on top of that.
  • In his blog today,(http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/wlg/1395)Tim says more about his WWDC keynote, including:

    Hackers push the envelope to make technologies do what they want before vendors and entrepreneurs package them for other people. My point is that a lot of the things that the hackers and other alpha geeks have been incorporating into their lifestyle for some time - wireless, chat, web services (even if only created by web spidering and screen scraping), peer-to-peer (rendezvous), etc. - are all starting to show up in a nice package with OS X.

    So to me, this is a good predictor that Apple is really on the right track with some big trends.

Thus spake the master programmer: "Time for you to leave." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"