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Apple Businesses Software Linux

Mac OS X 10.3 vs. Linux 659

M.Broil writes "This is a nice and fairly complete 'first look' at Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther), but author Chris Gulker, who I happen to know was an Apple PR guy years ago, spends a lot of time comparing the Mac 'Panther' release to Linux, which he seems to use most of the time these days. He obviously likes a lot about Panther, but he doesn't think many Linux users will switch to it, and that a lot of 'Classic' Mac OS users may not want to move to it, either."
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Mac OS X 10.3 vs. Linux

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  • by maharg ( 182366 ) on Friday October 31, 2003 @05:19AM (#7356277) Homepage Journal
    A quick ssh from my Linux machine revealed that only the GUI had frozen

    Let the flaming commence !
    • by juuri ( 7678 ) on Friday October 31, 2003 @05:50AM (#7356370) Homepage
      Actually if he had taken the time to debug he could have found the offending process and killed it. It pains me to see people who would do the same thing if an X app froze up your WM become stupid when it happens on another OS. Hell, many GUI locks on XP can be averted if you have terminal services running and want to login and poke around.

      Is this the ideal behaviour for most people? No. But if this had happened on an X session would this reviewer have just assumed X itself was locked and kill it?
      • by teridon ( 139550 ) on Friday October 31, 2003 @08:50AM (#7356852) Homepage
        The majority of user-level processes are started by loginwindow or children of loginwindow, so killing it kills everything except the OS itself. This also returns you to the login window. In effect, this is the same as killing X11 when it locks up.
    • Another one liner (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tres ( 151637 )

      Yes, and just the other day, a quick SSH from my Powerbook to one of my remote desktop clients running Linux revealed that it was only the GUI that had frozen.

  • by Dancin_Santa ( 265275 ) <> on Friday October 31, 2003 @05:19AM (#7356278) Journal
    This was back when the monitors didn't come separately from the rest of the machine (i.e. before that Mac clone fiasco).

    I always loved the Mac interface because of its easy of use and very solid color support. I found that it was easy to make rainbows for my group's posters using the PageMaker software, much easier than anything on an IBM PC.

    I eventually grew out of my 'rainbow' phase and am back using Windows and sometimes even Linux (Yellow Dog, for when I'm feeling a little 'crazy'!), but the experience just isn't the same. We Mac users are a happy community, and sometimes I just want to give old Steve Jobs a hand.
    • by Negatyfus ( 602326 ) on Friday October 31, 2003 @05:36AM (#7356330) Journal
      sometimes I just want to give old Steve Jobs a hand.

      Am I the only one that finds this remark a little disturbing? My Gods, the mental image I got from this!
    • I eventually grew out of my 'rainbow' phase and am back using Windows and sometimes even Linux (Yellow Dog, for when I'm feeling a little 'crazy'!), but the experience just isn't the same. We Mac users are a happy community, and sometimes I just want to give old Steve Jobs a hand.

      I never even considered buying a Mac until I had played with OS X quite a bit. The classic MacOS sucked balls and it showed when one faulty application could lockup the entire OS. As far as I can tell that's still the case with

  • by narkotix ( 576944 ) on Friday October 31, 2003 @05:20AM (#7356283)
    I came across this [] article a while ago
    its not up to date but its a pretty good comparison
    • by Llywelyn ( 531070 ) on Friday October 31, 2003 @06:57AM (#7356563) Homepage
      Actually its a horrid comparison.

      First, it treats the OSs differently.

      Let's take DVD+RW support.

      MacOS X is given a "no" without third party tools.

      Windows XP is given a strong "yes" despite that you need third party tools to take care of it.

      Another example is "Coexists with another operating system on disk":

      Current macs won't boot into OS 9, but they can run OS 9 (through Classic mode) natively. They can also dual-boot with Linux without any difficulty. Surely this deserves the same rank as Windows.

      iChat AV is listed as an "Extra cost option" when as of when that was written it was free. This is inconsistent with how Windows is treated.

      Second, its selective about its categories. It covers 802.11b, but not 802.11g or BlueTooth. No mention of handwriting recognition (which MacOS X has built in via InkWell) , but things like "Web content on desktop" are included.

      The list, of course, goes on. Its a very poor choice as comparison sites go.
      • Let's take DVD+RW support

        If you read the notes below the table you will find:

        Virtually every DVD+RW equipped Windows PC on the market today supports DVD+RW functions transparently at the system level, usually with a packet-writing driver that meshes seamlessly with the standard Windows method of saving files to any available volume.

        It covers 802.11b, but not 802.11g or BlueTooth.

        Maybe he made it fair for all by using the older standard. Remember its only recently that 802.11g has been as afford
      • For OS X, they said:

        Uninstallation service for installed programs: no. Most programs can be deleted by dragging files to the trash. This may leave files in the system folder or other locations.

        Actually, dragging an application to the trash starts an uninstall script -- same thing happens on install. Maybe they thought they were deleting a single file, but most applications are actually directories that contain the "other locations" that they were probably thinking about.

        There's a certain beauty in thing
  • MacOS (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Pingular ( 670773 ) on Friday October 31, 2003 @05:21AM (#7356288)
    is definetly getting quicker, and is already very easy to use. But I'll give you a (slightly altered) quote to sum up the situation: 'Linux makes the easy things difficult, but it makes the hard things easier and the impossible things possible.'
    Wheras MacOS makes the easy things easy, the hard things hard and the impossible things not possible.
    • Re:MacOS (Score:2, Redundant)

      by Frac ( 27516 )
      But I'll give you a (slightly altered) quote to sum up the situation: 'Linux makes the easy things difficult, but it makes the hard things easier and the impossible things possible.'

      Wheras MacOS makes the easy things easy, the hard things hard and the impossible things not possible.

      Great quote you got there. Too bad it's false unless you're willing to back it up with examples.
    • Re:MacOS (Score:4, Insightful)

      by mst76 ( 629405 ) on Friday October 31, 2003 @05:49AM (#7356366)
      MacOS is definetly getting quicker, and is already very easy to use. But I'll give you a (slightly altered) quote to sum up the situation: 'Linux makes the easy things difficult, but it makes the hard things easier and the impossible things possible.' Wheras MacOS makes the easy things easy, the hard things hard and the impossible things not possible.
      This is very true. OS X is more suitable for general day to day computing and mainstream apps. Linux is easier to customize for niche applications. You can set up Point Of Sale systems, kiosk type apps and terminals for (almost) nothing with Linux and old x86 hardware. With a bit of care, you can assemble your own specialized distributions on a 128mb compactflash or a live cdr, something I don't see happening with OS X.
      • Re:MacOS (Score:3, Insightful)

        by nikster ( 462799 )
        that will continue to be the case for as long as apple does not sell POS systems, kiosk type apps, or old x86 hardware.
        • that will continue to be the case for as long as apple does not sell POS systems

          I had a Mac LCII many years ago. That thing was a POS.
    • Re:MacOS (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Llywelyn ( 531070 ) on Friday October 31, 2003 @06:13AM (#7356441) Homepage
      'Linux makes the easy things difficult, but it makes the hard things easier and the impossible things possible.'

      I admit I'm kind of curious what "hard things [are made] easier" on Linux that aren't also made easier under MacOS X? What impossible things are made possible that aren't that way under MacOS X?

      • "what "hard things [are made] easier" on Linux that aren't also made easier under MacOS X? "
        Scaling down to near-nothing or up to supercomputers.
        "What impossible things are made possible that aren't that way under MacOS X?"
        Sourcecode modification of your gui?
        • Re:MacOS (Score:3, Informative)

          by Llywelyn ( 531070 )
          >Scaling down to near-nothing or up to supercomputers.

          Scaling down is easy. You can disable the GUI and the extraneous services, though if you are going to do that for all of your systems its probably best just to install Darwin by itself.

          As to supercomputers, the Terrascale Computing Facility would certainly seem to qualify. If you are talking things like crays, I'd call that a limitation of the hardware support and not a limitation of the OS.

          >Sourcecode modification of your gui?

          Well, you can r
    • Re:MacOS (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Espen ( 96293 )
      Wheras MacOS makes the easy things easy, the hard things hard and the impossible things not possible.

      Presumably you are refering to MacOS in the sense of 'MacOS Classic'. MacOS X makes the hard and impossible pretty much as easy (or difficult) as on any other Unix driven OS.
    • Remember AmigaOS (Score:5, Insightful)

      by johannesg ( 664142 ) on Friday October 31, 2003 @07:20AM (#7356621)
      As the AmigaOS style guide said, "Simple things should be simple. Hard things should be possible." And that's the way it should be.

      Your funny statement notwithstanding, impossible things are by their very definition impossible on any OS in any situation.

    • Re:MacOS (Score:3, Insightful)

      by skia ( 100784 ) *
      no, you miss the point entirely.

      OS X make easy things non-existant! It does them for you, and this is the big benefit of using a mac. Imagine if every little chore you had to do on your linix box that made you sigh or groan just wasn't there anymore. How much more productive or happy would you be using your computer? Considering 80% of my time is spent doing simple stuff, 19% is spent doing hard stuff, and 1% doing impossible stuff, an OS that takes out the easy things and leaves the impossible is a gr
    • Re:MacOS (Score:4, Informative)

      by diamondsw ( 685967 ) on Friday October 31, 2003 @01:15PM (#7359683)
      This won't get modded up, but I would disagree when it comes to OS X. With OS X, easy stuff is easy (via Aqua). Intermediate stuff can actually be hard, as you make the transition from Aqua to the UNIX layers. Integrating the two can be mildly tricky. However, once over that hump, I'd say that very integration makes impossible stuff possible (think integration of the command line and all it offers with GUI desktop programs and AppleScript). I'm too new to get modded. :)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 31, 2003 @05:25AM (#7356296)
    Is that MacOS X has several high-quality specialised desktop applications [] to its name, and Linux hasn't got any.
  • DAV over https? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by sita ( 71217 )
    What I want to know is if DAV over https is supported yet.
    • On Mac OS X specifically, or as part of the protocol? I have to admit I haven't heard of DAV over https.

      If it's Panther in particular and you have a server in mind, I'll be happy to check.

    • Nope

      Or at the very least, when I try connecting to my svn server over https it still says "The Finder cannot complete the operation some data in "url" could not be read or written (Error code -36)"
  • not switching? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Noodlenose ( 537591 ) on Friday October 31, 2003 @05:27AM (#7356304) Homepage Journal
    I was initially bitching about OS X, but since 10.1 I would never ever go back to 9. The commandline options, the GUI and the immense possibilities of having almost full compatibility with a huge UNIX backcatalogue are just impressive.

    There is NO reason to run Classic anymore, except if you run classic hardware, in which you don't have the choice.

    Dirk P

    • Re:not switching? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Arker ( 91948 )

      There is NO reason to run Classic anymore

      I must disagree.

      OSX (I'm typing this in it now) is better in a lot of ways, don't get me wrong. It's great to have a real command line - but the typical Mac user will never use it. It's great to have multitasking, and a real stable OS, that's for sure. The technical underpinnings of OSX are far superior to Classic.

      But, if you look at the traditional Mac audience, the folks that have been their loyal customers all these years, the thing that's most important to

      • Clean GUI (Score:5, Insightful)

        by aphor ( 99965 ) on Friday October 31, 2003 @11:03AM (#7357883) Journal

        I have a TiBook. I'm typing on it now. The NeXTStep interface was cleaner than the MacOS Classic interface. The only thing that "dirties" the MacOSX interface is the "classic" look of apps that insist on drawing windows with their own application-specific goofy widgets that are designed to look good taking up all of a blurry 14" CRT screen.

        Also, more time in the "lickable" Aqua world, and you will be instantly conscious of the mood altering effects of being surrounded by soft edges and clean surfaces with rich (but understated) textures when you switch back to the cold-hard Classic. It's easy to say "it's all just flash !*blink* *blink*", but you haven't really tasted both samples.

        I've used MSWindows 3.0,3.1,95,XP; NextStep; BeOS FVWM, OpenLook, CDE, WindowMaker, AfterStep, Enlightenment, KDE, Sawfish, Black Box; etc.. I prefer the OS-X (still using Jaguar) interface. Keys include a cohesive window-management scheme, and *working* VFS. Also there's transparent terminals that use QuartzExtreme so that I can put a window with documentation under a window and type what I want based on the slightly blurred text underneath. Cocoa's message-passing for loose-types makes for a somewhat bloat-y experience, but it isn't something that scales with hardware. It runs nearly as well on a Grape G3 iMac as it does on my TiBook at twice the clock speed plus AltiVec and 32MB GPU.

        That said, MacOSX is a logical continuation of NeXTStep. It is a leap from MacOS Classic. Let me say one thing: it is much less of a leap from Classic to OSX than it is from Classic to MSWindowsXP.

        You can continue to run your old Classic apps in MacOS Classic if you like. I invite you to try EBay for an old NeXT cube/slab with some software on it. OSX has definitely met Classic users halfway. If you are so reactionary that you can't bear to part with your good-ol' key combo shortcuts and learn a new style, then you don't deserve to run new software that demands it. That's great if you're a "my own little world" style user who just needs Adobe apps and doesn't need UTF-8 international character support...

        The bottom line is that you can hold out and save your money for a compelling personal reason to switch, but if you really want your old OS, the old interface guidelines, etc. it ain't gonna happen. Translating your comments in light of that makes your position sound more like "There are those of us who will never upgrade. Long Live Classic!" Whatever...

      • And this is the one area where OSX is a step backwards. Apple has fallen for what we could call the Microsoft syndrome, fallen in love with flashy graphics at the expense of a clean UI, and it shows.

        We don't have to be puritanical about this. A little eye candy is perfectly harmless, although if it goes too far over the top it is distracting.

        However, the old Finder was a masterpiece of UI design, built to exacting HCI standards and a coherent, ergonomically driven vision. Apple has abandoned that kind o
  • News Forge appears to be getting the /. treatment, so here's the article:

    An early eval of Apple's Mac OS X 10.3

    By: Chris Gulker

    Apple's BSD-based Mac OS X 10.3 Panther offers 64-bit processor support and new features wrapped in the latest version of a GUI that has its roots in the NeXT desktop. While Panther sets a new standard for ease of use and interface look and feel, it still lacks features that Linux users have long enjoyed.

    Panther, billed as "the evolution of the species" and buil
  • Switching... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Chicane-UK ( 455253 ) <chicane-uk&ntlworld,com> on Friday October 31, 2003 @05:41AM (#7356341) Homepage
    He obviously likes a lot about Panther, but he doesn't think many Linux users will switch to it..

    Well he can put me down as a Linux user who jumped onto OSX.

    I really like Linux, but I just never got on with it as a desktop OS - lots of little things used to irk me, and the frustration of trying to get Linux working with much more modern hardware (like my NForce2 board) just made me get fed up with the whole idea.

    Using OSX is like having the ultimate Linux distro.. you have THE best GUI available today, there are loads of Window XP beating applications shipped with OSX as standard, and hardware integration is obviously perfect - stuff just works. Plus you can quite easily get into the underlying UNIX core, and tamper with things - having such a functional GUI, and being able to fire up a terminal and use things like openssh, pico, etc right out of the box just totally sold me.

    I still use Linux on my servers though.. you just can't beat that reliability and flexibility.. though I haven't tried out OSX Server yet.... :p
    • Re:Switching... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by pigeon ( 909 ) on Friday October 31, 2003 @05:57AM (#7356397) Homepage
      Exactly what I did.. I used to use linux on my desktop, debian, used it for quite some time, but after a while I got a little annoyed that every time I wanted to do something more "Exotic" like using bluetooth, it was a lot of struggle. With os X it just works (which is not always the case with windows either). For me OS X is the ideal desktop OS, it has the unix side, so I can use the unix tools, it runs the cool audio applications like logic audio, dtp apps and videoediting apps, it;s stable, it has a great gui and it's not windows, but the virtual pc emulation is good enough if I need to run some windows app. Which never happens. I still use linux on my servers, although I am migrating some of my servers to freebsd. I mean, OS X on the desktop, freebsd/linux on the servers: life is good.
      • Exactly what I did.. I used to use linux on my desktop, debian, used it for quite some time, but after a while I got a little annoyed that every time I wanted to do something more "Exotic" like using bluetooth ...

        I've looked at it from a little different perspective. I mean I know OS X looks good, is extremely easy to use, and is very well integrated. I have actually considered getting one of those sexy laptops, but when it comes down to it, I figure, novelty and "looking good" wears off, and it comes dow

        • Re:Switching... (Score:5, Informative)

          by SlamMan ( 221834 ) <squigit AT gmail DOT com> on Friday October 31, 2003 @07:58AM (#7356723)
          But you can do all of that! Off the whole "OSX is BSD, but prettier" angle, all you have to do is load up ">console" mode at login, and fire up an XWindow manager. Poof, looks and works just like linux.

          Given, OSX's Aqua has cleaner better solutions than that, IE, GIMP runs fine under the X11, or you can pay $$25 and get an Aqua'd version from Open OS X []. As for virtual vesktops, there's a host of 3rd party apps for it, but make sure you give Expose a try first. Greatest thing since slice bread.
    • the frustration of trying to get Linux working with much more modern hardware (like my NForce2 board) just made me get fed up with the whole idea ..... hardware integration is obviously perfect - stuff just works

      Send $2000 to my address via PayPal and I will ship you a machine with modern hardware that works perfectly out-the-box with Linux.

      Actually, don't do that - my point is that you're comparing apples (hardware+software) and oranges (just software). Apple have a distinct advantage in this area, in

      • Thats a fair enough point, but I wouldn't exactly consider an NForce2 board (probably one of the most popular performance Athlon chipsets in use today) as a 'built-from-the-bits' type component.

        I realise that its not really any fault of Linux that there is such poor hardware support.. its manufacturers opening up the specs to allow the developers to make drivers. Either that or the manufacturers making substandard Linux drivers in an attempt to keep Linux users at bay.

        But at the end of the day, I want my
        • I understand what you are saying, but produce the same situation for Linux as OS X has and then see if you have problems. With OS X, you either had a machine custom built by Apple to run with Apple's OS or you bought one. Now, to my knowledge there is no Linux distribution offering custom built computers, but you could sit down and build a machine based on hardware that you know Linux supports well. Then you'd have a fair situation to compare it to if you still had problems.
    • Well he can put me down as a Linux user who jumped onto OSX.

      I went from using Linux on my main box to using an Apple as my main too, but the resemblence ends there.

      I use the Apple because I have to have a few proprietary programs that don't have Linux versions. It was Apple or XP, and Apple wins that comparison hands down.

      But I strongly disagree that it beats Linux, for my purposes, outside of that constraint.

    • nd the frustration of trying to get Linux working with much more modern hardware (like my NForce2 board)

      So, how's OSX handling that NForce2 mobo? :P
  • A recent switcher (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mubes ( 115026 ) on Friday October 31, 2003 @05:41AM (#7356342) Homepage
    Well, I went from Linux over to OS X for my 'daytime' OS just a month ago....and upgraded to Panther as it came out too. Just thought I'd add a couple of reflections;

    I'm certainly not a linux newbie, started off with a slackware 0.99pl13 and been using various disties since, and it'll still run on my servers for the forseeable future, but I have to say that as a desktop OS OSX is hard to beat.

    The bundled applications in the iLife suite are really something - plugging in a video camera and spooling a tape onto disk, editing it and burning to an indexed DVD took about 2 hours. Of course, there's plenty of stuff you can't do, but the OS basically makes the easy things trivial. Most of the things iLife offer can be done via Linux, but the beauty of OS X, for me at least, is that it all works _well_enuf_ out of the box - Linux is always a few hours tinkering to get the configuration you need. It's a shame that OpenOffice isn't better integrated into the system, but that's down to all of us getting our collective fingers out and doing something about it!

    With the benefit of 'fink' theres plenty of GPL software out there, so in theory at least there shouldn't be much that you can do with Linux that's not possible on OS X (OK, OK, let's not get started about Aqua), but OTOH, linux gives you a sharp set of tools for doing the more sophisticated things that are difficult to do anywhere else.

    Apple PowerBook quality, in my experience, hasn't been so great - my first machine went back because it had a duff DVD drive, current one has colour deformations on the screen, but that'll get sorted over time.

    In short - OS X is a great OS for those people who want to do straightforward computer things (including content manipulation) but not for the dyed-in-the-wool linux hacker. Personally, I can't see myself going back to Linux for my desktop OS...

    • I just switched last week, and I really enjoy working with my new 12" PB. And like you, I have kept Linux in my flat as a server OS (on a small, silent Dell OptiPlex) - it's a stunning combo :)
  • User experience (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mirko ( 198274 ) on Friday October 31, 2003 @05:42AM (#7356347) Journal
    Let's make it short.
    ever since I switch to Jaguar (My Panther box is somewhere between Cork (IE) and .CH) , I have been able to :
    • Inline view any of the online-available movie trailers in my browser
    • User quality music software (Reason, Logic...)
    • Use Interface Builder
    • Standby/Resume an easy way
    • Use Excel, thus discover that Microsoft API may suck but what they develop for the Mac is quality stuff
    • Use Illustrator, Flash MX...
    • Not losing time configuring my computer No need to : it definitely pleases me the way it goes
    • Use my smartmedia/pcmcia adapter without going through 20 kernel/pcmcia-cs modules recompilations (it stopped being recognized around linux2.2.18)

    What I could do on Linux and still can do on OSX:
    • code in perl
    • (ab)use the command line
    • develop, test and cross-compile software for my Zaurus

    What I still cannot do (I used to be able to do it under Linux) :
    • Synchronize my Zaurus to the Address Book and the Datebook

    So my point is not to troll (only people who disagree but won't argue might say so) but just to express the following : Linux is cool, nice, may even be optimized but my current powerbook is way faster than the P3/600 Linux laptop I had before switching (I don't care about existing models). I also benefit from many quality software and from a very cool development environement.
    Finally, I won't step back because I just enjoy typing this on the sexiest computer I ever owned (I also own an Acorn RiscPC, a NeXTstation, a Bebox, a P4 PC, a Zaurus and a Sinclair ZX81).
    • Re:User experience (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mvdw ( 613057 ) on Friday October 31, 2003 @05:48AM (#7356364) Homepage
      I'm sorry, but someone who owns a NeXT Station cannot possibly own a sexier computer, unless he also has a hexagonal, liquid-cooled couch in his basement.
    • Linux is cool, nice, may even be optimized but my current powerbook is way faster than the P3/600 Linux laptop I had before switching (I don't care about existing models).
      I know how you feel. MacOS is cool, nice, may even be optimized, but my current thinkpad is way faster than the 68K/16 System 7 laptop I had before switching (I don't care about existing models either).
  • by Hackie_Chan ( 678203 ) on Friday October 31, 2003 @05:45AM (#7356355)
    This is not to troll, but this is what I've been saying to my Linux pals a couple of time when Linux vs OS X has come up.... That Linux want to become Mac OS X.

    Major applications ported to it. (no WINE)

    Lots of games. (not Tuxracer!)

    And it's cool... (not trying to copy existing GUI's)
  • by kompiluj ( 677438 ) on Friday October 31, 2003 @05:48AM (#7356363)
    You cannot compare MacOS X with Linux, despite the fact that these operating systems are similar technologically - they are based on *NIX-like architecture.
    The reason for that is the simple fact that Linux is CLI (Command Line Interface) first, GUI second. And in MacOS X is the other way round - the interface is the most important part of the OS.
    Of course, you can compare the Linux kernel with MacOS kernel, Linux CLI with MacOS CLI, Linux filesystems with MacOS filesystems, and GNOME (or KDE) with MacOS X GUI, you can even compare a disto of your choice (be it RedHat, SuSE, Mandrake, Gentoo, Debian or Slackware) - with MacOS X, but not LINUX as a generic OS, for Christ sake!
  • by gsdali ( 707124 ) on Friday October 31, 2003 @05:53AM (#7356386)
    I'm surprised that he reckons that vast swaths of Classic users are cling gin on. Even people who were held back by Quark not upgrading quickly enough are moving now. What's more OS X can provide a very classic like user experience if you want it to.

    I'm also wondering about his assessment of the speed of OS X on his G4. Now maybe 16 years of Mac use has blinded me to how slow Mac OS X really is, but I find it (on a 500Mhz G3) pretty snappy and nothing to complain about. Maybe I should see the light and install Linux.

    I think not though, productivity would grind to a halt as I tried to get Linux to do the things I wanted it to.

    One things is to be said, I would have never ;learnt any *nix stuff or run any X11 programmes without OS X. OpenOffice 1.0.3 is now my Office suite of choice, although the sooner they sort out the terrible human interface the better. And that's my major gripe with Linux and other *nix flavours, is the terrible human interface. Now Aqua is not perfect but one thing Apple has managed to do over the years is keep the interface consistent and persuade developers to make their interfaces consistent with the OS. What linux needs is an Open Human Interface Standard if it want's to succeed on the desktop.

    • Among the Mac users I know, only about a third have switched to X permanently.

      Aside from the superior security, and the familiarity that makes 9 reliable for us (if you know how it works, and you don't run crappy software, it doesn't crash; and if you've got work to do, "Relearn ancient Unix and NeXt arcana" isn't high on your to-do list), what stops us from switching is the immaturity--still--of X in certain areas, like interface consistency, speed (at certain tasks), (certain kinds of) latency, and gener

    • What's more OS X can provide a very classic like user experience if you want it to.

      Umm, no it can't.

      If you've tried it, and think you succeeded, then you don't have a clue what the Classic 'user experience' is.

      You can sort-of-kind-of make Aqua *look* like Classic, but there are still so many key elements of the GUI missing and/or different, it's not anything close.

  • Stability (Score:5, Funny)

    by rf0 ( 159958 ) <> on Friday October 31, 2003 @05:56AM (#7356392) Homepage
    Well he does say

    "I think nothing of leaving apps and files open for days or even weeks on the Linux machine.".

    Now that is cool. Nice endorsment of Linux's stability. However I still think he should say that he does save once in a while as stable as Linux is it can't survive the power cord being pulled out the back or a child putting a pop tart in the CD-ROM drive

    • I'd never think a poptart in the CD-ROM drive would cause a kernel panic...
    • "I think nothing of leaving apps and files open for days or even weeks on the Linux machine."

      Funny you should mention that. What struck me when reading this statement was that it reflects exactly how I work on my MacOSX machine, and I'm pretty sure a lot of other Mac users do too.

      I also note how Mac laptop users tend to come in with just their computer and wake it up from sleep mode, whereas PC users usually come in trailing bags and leads, and almost always have to boot up their computer before using it
      • My old Sony Vaio (still have it but it is somewhat deceased) had this neat little suspend-to-disk feature (would write a snapshot of memory to disk and turn off; on waking it would load the memory snapshot). This was handy as I could turn it off for extended periods of time without it consuming battery power. It even worked under Linux!

        I had access to a PowerBook G4 TI for some months and while I certainly liked it very much, it seemed like suspend only lasted as long as the battery. Did I miss someth
        • OSX does not support suspend-to-disk yet. I really wish this feature existed, but I can live without it for now.

          If you have a fully charged battery, it will last for a very long time, which is enough for me.
  • by inkswamp ( 233692 ) on Friday October 31, 2003 @05:56AM (#7356394)
    This simmering OS X vs. Linux thing that seems to have emerged lately (as evidenced by more articles like the one posted) humors me and bothers me. Mac users and Linux users should band together against the common foe. Need I name names? :^)

    I'd hate to see users of two fantastic operating systems like OS X and Linux turn into bickering opponents not unlike the factious Judean liberation groups in Monty Python's Life of Brian.

    IMO, there's more than enough room for lots of operating systems out there. I hope some of you posting comments favoring one or the other can keep the comments purely at a technical, respectful and impersonal level.

    • The problem is that Mac and Linux are rather like extreme left and extreme right versus the broad middle-of-the-road Windows world. In most cases, Mac philosophy and Linux philosophy are on the extreme opposites, while Windows philosophy tries to balance them (as both Mac and Linux users would agree, their balance is actually the sum of the WORST parts of both worlds).

      Take the problem of customization. Linux world is "customize everything, if anything else fails - just by tampering with the source code".
    • by jc42 ( 318812 ) on Friday October 31, 2003 @10:32AM (#7357548) Homepage Journal
      I'd hate to see users of two fantastic operating systems like OS X and Linux turn into bickering opponents ...

      Well, as a software developer by trade, I sorta like it.

      One of the very real problems with all computer systems (linux included) is the difficulty in discovering the capabilities and limitations of the software. This is where "X vs Y flame wars" come in handy.

      Thus, in the eternal unix vi-vs-emacs war, I went with the vi side. But I didn't learn much about it from the docs. Where I really learned was the flame wars. Some emacs partisan would say "Emacs can do FOO and vi can't." A vi partisan would then say "Yes it can, here's how ..." My response would be "Hey, I never suspected that vi or emacs could do that, but now I know how to do it."

      It's a pity that this particular was seems to have somewhat died down. As a result, the younger generation no longer has this simple, elegant way of discovering the undocumented capabilities of these powerful tools. I often watch younger people laboriously trying to get them to do what to me are simple, quick tasks.

      Meanwhile, on the GUI front, the X-windows world has a flock of window managers, most recently KDE and Gnome. As usual, the "documentation" mostly consists of idiot-level intros that are more marketing that education. If you want to find out how to do something, asking newsgroups or mailing lists mostly gets you a "RTFM" response. But if you can say "Gnome can do BAR but KDE can't" you often get a reply explaining how easy it is with KDE.

      With both MS Windows and the Mac GUI, you don't have this. I've been playing with OSX for four months now, and there are a lot of cool things about it. But from my X-Windows perspective, the GUI sucks. The simplest things that I do with one or two events on my linux box can take the longest time. Even a simple cut-and-paste is 2 to 10 times longer than with X, and prone to frustrating errors. I can't background a window. There's only one desktop. You can only resize windows via the lower right corner. Terminal windows don't have borders, and changing the background color is extremely difficult, so the windows run together. And so on.

      Yes, I've asked on ...mac... newsgroups, but with disappointing results. The replies tend to be "It can't be done" or "Wait for the next release". The first reply I tend to translate to "I don't know how to do it", of course, and the second to "Maybe someday, when the geniuses at Apple get around to it".

      It's all very frustrating to know that such things have been solved on linux, but the commercial guys at both MS and Apple seem to have little interest in the possible solutions. And as a programmer, I don't have any practical way to implement a solution myself and offer it to the population of Mac users, as I've done in the past with linux and GNU software.

      Or maybe I'm missing something ...

      [Note that this message could be interpreted as an example of "linux can to QUX but OSX can't." I'd be happy to see it lead to a debunking of all my comments by explaining how too get a profitable linux-vs-OSX flame war going, so I can learn how to do things on OSX that I know how to do on linux. ;-]

  • ... MacOS has a smoother user interface. If you like a crisp and clean desktop buy a mac. if you work in the design or music business buy a mac. also buy a mac if you have too much money left and want a piece of art.
    on the other hand side, as to customizing mac os can not compete with linux. also, in my opinion linux has more programs that are freely available (i know that osX is a bsd derivative, but I don't know if you can compile a lot of open source code on a osX platform). I work a lot on linux and mac
    • Re:to sum it up... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Megane ( 129182 )
      But if you have better things to do with your time than customize your window manager and desktop environment (and XFree86 modelines) all day, then maybe OS X is for you.

      Linux is great for computer "gearheads". The equivalent of some guy 1983 whose only car was some beater that he constantly had jacked up to tweak the motor. On the other hand, if you have a regular 9-to-5 job, you can't afford to have your car not working every morning at 8 AM. One solution is to get another car. Another is to get rid

  • Well, I'm sold (Score:4, Interesting)

    by drsmithy ( 35869 ) <drsmithy @ g m a> on Friday October 31, 2003 @06:04AM (#7356417)
    Having finally had the opportunity to sit down and use a Panther machine for a decent length of time, Expose has sold me. It is, without a doubt, the best task switching method I've ever used. While the default keyboard shortcuts are terrible, remapping them to some mouse keys makes switching between tasks incredibly quick & easy. It really is a "killer feature".

    Are people working on getting something similar into KDE and/or GNOME ?

  • Mac User since 9 (Score:3, Informative)

    by bbtom ( 581232 ) on Friday October 31, 2003 @06:24AM (#7356463) Homepage Journal
    I've used Mac since 9, and upgraded to X at around 10.1. Before that I used 95, and attempted Linux (but my shitty old computer didn't want to play - damn CD-Rom drives of that time).

    I love 10.1 (and hopefully 10.3 once I can find 70 to drop for the students edition) - I can do 'boring' stuff on it, like run Word or Powerpoint. I can do arty / photographic things on there (Photoshop), and also run Apache, MySQL, PHP/Perl to develop websites.

    In addition thanks to Fink I can use debian style package management tools with ease. Damn good OS.
  • by nuckin futs ( 574289 ) on Friday October 31, 2003 @06:46AM (#7356533)
    but my grandma can't use it.
    She buys a digital camera, plugs it on a Mac, and iPhoto does everything for her.
    If she plugs in the same camera on a linux machine, will it do the same thing?
  • by ljavelin ( 41345 ) on Friday October 31, 2003 @06:50AM (#7356544)
    I only use Linux. My desktop machine at works runs Linux, and my desktop machine at home runs Linux. No "dual boot" or anything like that.

    Is Mac OS X good? Yeah. I'd say it's pretty darn compelling, and all Linux application developers should take a good long look at OS X in order to learn to see where it succeeds.

    Running Linux on the Desktop does not make my day easier. Printing, clipboarding, decent-quality video drivers, fonts, app consistency - these are all still major issues that impact the further deployment of Linux on the desktop.

    The amazing part of OS X is it's integration and consistency. Simply put, it's a cohesive environment, built as if one very talented person built almost all the applications. Every Linux distribution is years behind it in that category (although things are very slowly getting better!)

    It's hard to force UI and feature standards upon desktop applications in the world of open source - the distributedness and the lack of centralization of open source makes it hard to achieve that level of clarity.

    So the next question is - can it be done in Linux? Is it even possible to build guidelines and services that make it possible for an open source project to achieve what Apple has done for OS X?

    If I ever buy a laptop, there is no doubt in my mind that it will be a Mac running OS X.

    PS - every application should have a "print preview"! Damn it!
    • Really good post, and excellent questions. I agree with your position wholeheartedly.

      I'm on the other end of the spectrum. I use a Mac running OSX all day. I'm a sysadmin by trade ... and we only do UNIX. Solaris (a little) and Linux (99%).

      OSX has the tools to help me do that: good support for X so I can export displays back to my machine as needed. A real CLI. Standard unix tools.

      And then, there is the other part of my job, and my hobbies. Opening word documents and writing technical specifications. Pri
  • This is silly... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 31, 2003 @06:53AM (#7356554)
    I know that this this is going to degenerate into a my OS is better then your OS battle, So I just get this in for the record.

    Linux and OSX are part of the same culture.

    Apple doesn't really compete with linux or the rest of the current UNIX crowd. Maybe SUN but they are screwed anyway. We are not talking about a fork of Unix but rather Apple embraceing a current implimentation (BSD/Darwin) and giving it there own "spin" by, bascially, bolting on their own propriety GUI (quartz and what ever that new metal look is called) plus a bunch of lifestyle apps.

    As long as a program conforms to the POSIX stardard then it should compile on OSX just fine. If you absolutely must have all your software "free" in the idealogical sense then I think you can find a open source implimentation of Cocoa and afterstep - a standard which Apple more or less follows. Apple can's own UNIX as much as SCO can since it is a open standard.

    What we are talking about is a company talking the best of open source and making it more friendly for your average consumer. This is someting that most linux distros try, the best example being Mandrake. but don't quite get right mainly due to technical (XFree86, dependency hell) cultural (pointless flamefests over which is the best editor) and social problems (not having one standard GUI, installing a million text editors, lack of propriety apps etc). Some of these problems can be overcome, but some, like the idea that to make more people use linux you have to clone the windows GUI are going to take years to get over. I for one am glad that someone is attempting to lead the way and give people what they what - a decent alterative to windows that dosen't require a degree to write your resume on. Yet still has the power of UNIX if yon need it.

    OSX is UNIX. That Apple should chose this direction should be taken as compliment to Linux.

    Sorry to rant but I wish for once us geeks would stop getting into pointless pissing contests about things which, in the grand scheme of things, just aren't really important. For example who cares that OSX can't crtl alt f1 to the terminal? this is just nitpicking.

  • NIS/YP (Score:2, Interesting)

    by uohcicds ( 472888 )
    Anyone know if PAnther has support for YP/NIS services. It was a know issue with early OSX releases and it's fairly hard find out. Believe mew, I've tried... BG: Our cxampus is about to get a nice spanknig 50 seat G% lab with 50 or som machines. Our dept has an existing infrastructure underpinned by NIS for authentication, with some samba. We'd like to be able to get some of our existing users to use new facilities more easily and beinfg able to integrate with new servers installed specifically for that la
  • by malsdavis ( 542216 ) on Friday October 31, 2003 @07:43AM (#7356680)
    I played around with a Mac OS X computer (one of the cool looking 'lamp' ones) in PCworld the other day and was extremely impressed.

    Personally I will stick to Linux because I like it but I think for a lot of novice computer uses currently using Windows because 'theres no other choice', I think should consider switching to Mac OS X.

    I had always sort of them as being extremely expensive but the ones in the shop (which sells both Windows and Mac computers) were about the same price as the Windows ones.

    The major problem is that as the sales guy explained to me, people don't realise a 800mhz G4 is far better than say a 1.5Ghz Pentium however when people see the 800mhz mac costing more than the 1.4 ghz PC they obviously go for the PC.

    Kind of reminds me of the old saying that if it wasn't for Apple's pathetic marketing practises they would be the dominant software company of today (whether that is good or bad I don't know).

    However, I think that for novice users who arn't quite ready to use Linux as a desktop (in its current form), then they should be recommended a Mac as they are atleast half way there and all competition is good for the computer industry, better than everyone dominated by one large monopoly anyway.
  • by igomaniac ( 409731 ) on Friday October 31, 2003 @08:44AM (#7356834)
    If you're like me and want to do some development for fun, the new developer tools that come with Panther are absolutely amazing. I think it beats anything available for free (fix and continue, need I say more...) and also beats Visual Studio (which is, to be fair, a pretty good product even if it is made by the evil empire) which certainly does not come for free with every compy of WinXP.

    It is my opinion that an OS that makes developers comfortable is going to be a successful OS, so full credits to Apple on this one. I would really never have considered buying a mac before OSX (come on, they didn't even have a command line!) but now I have, and it just let's me get on with doing what I love, writing software...
  • by roshi ( 53475 ) on Friday October 31, 2003 @11:50AM (#7358492)
    More than one previous poster has pointed out that OSX and Linux users are natural allies, and that the two systems have more similarities than differences, but I would put an even finer point on it:

    OSX and Linux can help each other by breaking the monoculture. There have been a few stories recently about the Linux user base being set to overtake that of OSX in the next few years. These stories are invariably followed by choruses of "Apple is dying." but consider: An (corporate) IT environment which welcomes Linux on the desktop and in the server room is a) more likely to consider alternate platforms and b) an extremely friendly environment (from a protocol standpoint) in which to deploy OSX boxes.

    Unlike MS OSes, which expend a great deal of their energies in locking out other platforms, both Linux and OSX are commited to open standards; they are playing by the same rules and will always play well together. A world with (let's say) 85% Windows 10% Linux and 5% OSX on the desktop is a world where more attention and emaphasis will be given to open standards, where OSX will have less resistance to grow its share in many different market spaces, and (perhaps most importantly) a world where the barrier to entry for some theoretical new-and-better OS is much lower.

    To look at this another way: As PCs become more commoditized, and as they move more toward being plug-in-and-use appliances, the OS must fade further and further into the background; it must become transperant to the user. The day will come when end users neither know nor care what OS they are using (some would argue that's always been true ;) Sony will ship a slickified custom linux with their Vaios, geared toward the multi-media heavy tasks that their product is aimed at, other companies will ship machines with stripped down, extremely easy to use "big-button" interfaces for grandma to check email and look at pictures of the grandkids. If we can just break the MS lock on the market, there will be plenty of room for a rich ecosystem of OSes to survive. If they are all commited to open standards, there is no reason why a plethora of OSes (as opposed to just one or a few) cannot both survive in the market and be easily managed by IT pros.

    The future is not a world where Linux (or MacOSX) has replaced windows on the desktop, but rather one where we have a burgeoning number of choices, and can pick amongst many tools to get the job done right. (I hope....)

  • by ducomputergeek ( 595742 ) on Friday October 31, 2003 @11:52AM (#7358520)
    but he doesn't think many Linux users will switch to it, and that a lot of 'classic' Mac OS users may not want to move to it, either."

    Why is it at every PERL and PHP developers conference I attend, I see more and more carrying iBooks and Powerbooks? There are a few running Linux on a DELL or other PC notebook, but there were many Linux users that abandoned Linux on their desktop for OSX. Most "switchers" I know were from Linux to Mac, not Win to Mac.

    I am one of them. I was tired of Windows crashing, even with 2000 and now XP being much better in that regaurds, and it was consent problem of not having drivers for the hardware I already had and what to consider in the future.

    OSX came out and I waited until 10.1 for Apple to get the major bugs out of the software and when it came time to buy a new laptop, I chose an iBook. Why? I still have MySQL, PERL and PHP along with BBEdit now to code in and test in a *iux platform on my laptop. Plus, I can still communicate with the rest of the business world with MS Office, plus programs like Photoshop, QuarkXpress, GoLive, Dreamweaver, Flash, Quicktime, iLife, etc..

    Apple beat Linux in the desktop market hands down. Truefully, the smaller businesses I deal with don't have the resources or the need for a dedicated IT person on staff. That want products that have a 1-800 number they can call for support or if they do need to hire someone to come fix something, that they at least know what they hell the program is.

    Now, several SMB's I have delt with in the past six months have switched from Windows to Mac, and most have been perfectly happy because their systems don't crash, its easy to use. Some use it as a Point-of-Sale system with a CC reader. USB barcode scanner and USB cash drawer without any problems. Others just need MS Office, email, and Quickbooks. The biggest complaint I have heard was one manger loved the productivy, easy of use, and stablity of their Macs, but complained that the Mac didn't have solitare.

    Until we see commercial vendors, the Adobe's and Macromedia's of the world, produce native Linux products, the platform in the US won't be takening off in the business world.

    Part of the reason has to do with the Dot communism mystique of the OSS community. While businesses know that the deployment costs of Linux on the desktop is a hell of a lot lower, TCO may or may not be. I have only had one client switch his office over to mostly Linux. Their accounting and shipping units still use PC's because of their software needs. There was nothing there in OSS land that would have proved cost effective to switch too, and their PR department (2 people) are using Macs for page layouts and the like. However, this was a medium sized company with 40 employees including 5 IT guys that had been running Linux on servers for close to three years and played with the system at home.

    I will place my own predictions: Linux users will continue to switch to OSX. Maybe not in droves, but proably more than one would think.

"I don't believe in sweeping social change being manifested by one person, unless he has an atomic weapon." -- Howard Chaykin