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Confessions of a Mac OS X User 989

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

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  • by Dr Reducto ( 665121 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @03:46PM (#8115526) Journal
    I don't know what is up with this guy. His logic board gets fried, so he says that he can't stand hardware lock-in. It seems like just a rant, and doesn't really make sense. if he didn't like the hardware, he should have just sold the iBook on Ebay, instead of just keeping it. Running Linux won't fix the logic board, and he will be back to having the same problems that he had with his Dell(No Linux Compatibility with Linksys Wireless card.)
  • Hmm. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by daeley ( 126313 ) * on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @03:47PM (#8115544) Homepage
    Sometimes I feel guilty about useless navel-gazing, as should anyone who bases computer usage on guilt. Good God, use it or don't, and stop whining about it!
  • Answer: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by EvilStein ( 414640 ) <> on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @03:50PM (#8115588)
    No, I haven't.
    I think Linux has a loooong way to go as a desktop OS. The word from LinuxWorld was "It's not quite there yet.." which means that other people feel the same way.

    Mac OS X just works. It has applications that I need to get along. I like having some games. I like having stuff like iSync & iTunes. Yes, I know there's Linux apps, but I like how everything works *together* and isn't an ugly kludge. See, at work, I need to get *work* done.. I don't have time to futz around with Xconfig.

    I have never ever felt guilty about using Mac OS X instead of Linux on my Apple hardware.
    Linux goes on the *x86* hardware anyway.

    What a silly article.
  • Nope (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pixelgeek ( 676892 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @03:51PM (#8115603)
    >> have you ever felt guilty over using Mac OS X instead of Linux?

    Hell no. I only ever use Linux for servers.

    Using any of the window managers that ship with Linux makes me love my OS X box even more.

    And hardware lockin is a double-edged sword. If the hardware is of poor quality is is indeed a problem but I have never had an issue with any of the Apple hardware I have owned that I couldn't get fixed by an Apple tech in a few days.

    Can't say that for some of the x86 beige box machines I've owned that I've had Linux on.
  • never felt guilty (Score:4, Insightful)

    by vingilot ( 218702 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @03:51PM (#8115611)
    Linux is not on par with mac os x as a desktop system. Maybe someday, but not yet. In this instance you get what you payfor. My webserver is linux and that works fine-- no way would I pay for mac to run my domain, its just to expensive. I love linux but I will only use it where it is the best solution.
    Just like programming: java, perl, c++ depends on the solution I need to solve.

  • by Chess_the_cat ( 653159 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @03:52PM (#8115618) Homepage
    Guilt implies that you've done something wrong. So why would I feel guilty about using a certain OS? This is really getting out of hand. If you feel guilty about using OS X instead of Linux you need professional help.
  • use what works (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Daniel Dvorkin ( 106857 ) * on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @03:52PM (#8115629) Homepage Journal
    Every once in a while I feel a twinge of guilt over using an OS (Mac OS X) that, while based on an open-source foundation, isn't truly free the way Linux is. I believe strongly in the F/OSS model and would love to see it take over the software world, so shouldn't I be doing my part?

    And then I look at the current state of the Linux desktop: it's pretty much caught up to Windows, but it's got a long way to go before it matches the Mac. I switched from M$ to Apple when I realized how much Windows sucked in comparison to the MacOS, and I've never really regretted that decision, so why would I want to take a step backwards? At the end of the day, I'm a pragmatist, not an ideologue. Use what works, not what someone else tells you that you should use because it's morally superior (Linux) or what everyone else is using (Windows).

    Right here, right now, OS X lets me get my work done faster, more efficiently, and more enjoyably than any other OS. If that changes, maybe my choice of OS will too. It hasn't happened yet, and honestly I don't expect that it will any time soon.
  • Feel guilty? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by grasshoppa ( 657393 ) * < minus caffeine> on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @03:53PM (#8115630) Homepage
    About using a superior desktop product?

    Sorry, I feel no guilt in using the right tool for the right job.
  • by MillionthMonkey ( 240664 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @03:53PM (#8115632)
    I don't know what is up with this guy. His logic board gets fried, so he says that he can't stand hardware lock-in. It seems like just a rant, and doesn't really make sense.

    Agreed... The "guilty" question is the really puzzling thing:

    It also raises the obvious question: have you ever felt guilty over using Mac OS X instead of Linux?

    Why would you feel guilty for not using a F/OSS operating system? This is just ideology run amuck. Programmers and engineers need to eat too. We can't all work for free.

    I'm not even an Apple user, because of the cost. But Apple makes a good product and charges what it's worth. You get a well designed package, with hardware and software components designed by the same manufacturer to work together as a system. I can't go to Fry's, buy a cart full of cheap commodity PC hardware, and expect to (easily) run Mac OS X on it. So what? Avoiding vendor lock-in is one thing, but why would you feel "guilty" for using it?
  • Enjoy! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by samantha ( 68231 ) * on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @03:55PM (#8115665) Homepage
    I only tried a Mac (Powerbook) less than a week ago. I used to own one of the early macs in the mid 80s that I loved but I felt frustrated by proprietary cuteness. I find Mac today has even more of the wonderful aesthetic appeal and is *much* more open thanks to the unix basis and the work of many. So I consider it the best of all worlds for my laptop needs. I love Linux and have owned several linux desktops and laptops. But the Powerbook is the first computer that has put a big grin on my face every time I use it in many a year. Guilt? Over happy computing?

  • So do I but... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MarcQuadra ( 129430 ) * on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @03:55PM (#8115670)
    So do I, but I keep findig places where Linux has the advantage. OS X is a kick-ass server and desktop OS, but Linux is really great for obscure shit, like making that ancient LPT photographic printer into a network printer, or packet-sniffing the network to figure out where all the traffic's coming from.

    Hell, I run 200 Macs, but I use Linux boot-CDs to image the ones from the pre-firewire days. It's just easier to have a respawning pair of 'netcat' processes listening on the server than fiddling with open-firmware or netrestore. I just boot the mac with the linux CD, netcat the file down and dd it to /dev/hda. Of course there's a bit more to it than that if you actually want it to happen quickly, but if you know your fundamentals it's no hassle.

    Do I feel guilty about not using Linux? Sometimes, I feel bad for not using Linux on my x86 box here, but I need to run a windows app to track tickets on it. I feel bad for not running a few Linux boxes for the kids to toy with on campus, but if they show an inclination to geekiness I'll be showing them the way to OSS anyway.
  • No... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by meme_police ( 645420 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @03:57PM (#8115700)
    ...why would I feel guilty. I can do almost anything I can do with Linux with the additional benefit of apps like iTunes. I've never had a problem using closed source software, I just have a problem with crappy closed source software.
  • by mbbac ( 568880 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @03:59PM (#8115719)
    evils of SCO and Microsoft. When in fact Apple is more closed source and proprietary than both of them combined

    Explain yourself.

    Apple uses OSS as the foundation of Mac OS X. Apple uses open standards where it is possible in all aspects of the operating system and their applications. Apple even uses an open processor platform instead of IA-64 or IA-32.

    talk about how cool Apple is and if only the world were a better place we would all use Mac's
    I don't know of anyoen that says this. Monocultures are bad. Interoperability is good.

    As far as Netflix Fanatic is concerned, Cricket still works for Apple. What does that tell you?
  • by morelife ( 213920 ) <> on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @03:59PM (#8115728)
    So, if you have important "work to do" why would you not have a hot backup machine ready and waiting at all times? For years I've set myself up so any one of my machines could get hit by a sledge hammer and I'd be back up and running within the time it took me to get to my other system and restore some files off a CD. Doesn't everyone do something similar?

    I've heard no hardware crap out stories so far about Apple, but what they DO need to make their offering rock solid is on-site support contracts like Dell has - where a person comes to you, bearing a replacement part. I've used this three times in two years, it's been great.

    On the other side of the story, comitting to OSX (or any Apple product, or Microsoft product) is comitting to Vendor Lock In.

    So stop your whining about "guilt" you little troll boy and use OSS and an more open hardware platform, and then contribute something to the community other than these stupid articles.

  • by DAldredge ( 2353 ) <SlashdotEmail@GMail.Com> on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @04:00PM (#8115738) Journal
    Yea! Because IBM, REDHAT, SUSE and the other enterprise linux companies don't sell 24/7/365.2423 support plans.

    Oh, wait, they do!
  • by RESPAWN ( 153636 ) <caldwell AT tulanealumni DOT net> on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @04:01PM (#8115764) Homepage Journal
    What I have never understood about certain segments of the open source community is why Apple gets such a big pass. The average slashdrone will rant endlessly (and probably rightly so) about the evils of SCO and Microsoft. When in fact Apple is more closed source and proprietary than both of them combined and talk about how cool Apple is and if only the world were a better place we would all use Mac's. Any model that fails to give you control of the hardware and software that you pay for is a bad one. Apple locks down both, a claim that is not applicable to either Microsoft or SCO. The open source community should get out of bed with Apple before we get another SCO situation on our hands. To those who say Apple would never do something like SCO look here.

    You clearly havne't been visiting /. long enough. ;) Apple is the underdog and a competitor to Microsoft, so it has to be good. That said, I think they also gain points in many geeks' eyes due to the fact that OSX is built upon BSD, which is itself embraced by the slashdot community. It's also really the first *nix OS with true mainstream application support. Or at least as much as Mac OS ever had, but most importantly it has Microsoft Office support (no matter your opinion, it's still the standard) Photoshop support, and probably a bunch of other graphical production apps I've never heard of but are pretty important to a lot of other people. So, even though they are extremly closed source and proprietary, they still provide geeks with an appealing alternative to Microsoft, not to mention the occasional cool, innovative, overpriced gadget.
  • by Hungus ( 585181 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @04:02PM (#8115777) Journal
    Its nowhere near the same, this guy developed a product while employed at Apple and sold it on the side. In the case of apple employee's working on open source projects liek fire this wsn't an issue because they were begun before the employee's tenure at apple.
  • by justMichael ( 606509 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @04:02PM (#8115781) Homepage
    too bad really i was considering buying a powerbook

    Don't base the quality of a PowerBook on problems people are having with iBooks, they are completely different animals.

    I have a TiBook 1GHz and considering the hell that the cat put it through it can take more than "normal use".
  • by stephanruby ( 542433 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @04:02PM (#8115782)
    Guilt. Linux. OS X. Sounds like a religious post to me.
  • by codemachine ( 245871 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @04:03PM (#8115791)
    My advise: Buy the Powerbook.

    Apple has been having loads of problems with the iBook, but normally their hardware is rock solid. Their "Power" hardware is especially good. If I had a need for a new laptop right now, it'd definately be a Powerbook.
  • Um, who cares (Score:2, Insightful)

    by betelgeuse68 ( 230611 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @04:03PM (#8115796)
    Guilty about what? Being productive with a choice that empowers you more than another? That seems plain silly (to even pose the question).

    I have a Windows XP desktop and a LINUX desktop and they appear as one large desktop thanks to x2vnc.

    Yeah this may be /., but um, I like to run lots of retail software under Windows, e.g., games. And no, I'm not interested in WineX or WINE thanks. I'm cool with Mozilla, OpenOffice, RedHat's BlueCurve desktop but if it doesn't cut the mustard, I'll quickly go elsewhere.


    PS: This thread presupposes desktops... if you're talking about backend systems, I'm *NIX all the way.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @04:03PM (#8115800)
    When in fact Apple is more closed source and proprietary than both of them combined

    But Apple does do good things. For example, there are at least two or three Apple people working full time on GCC, including integrating various things Apple has done locally back into the main tree. I hear they have roughly the same thing going on with BSD and probably some of the other OSS stuff they use. Self interest? Of course, if it's in the main tree they don't have to deal with re-integrating it each time they want to pick up a new upstream release. But when was the last time you saw MS or SCO or (insert supposedly evil company) do something like that?

    Any model that fails to give you control of the hardware and software that you pay for is a bad one.

    You only have full control of the hardware when you build it yourself, from stock parts. If you buy your boxen from Apple or Dell or IBM or whoever, you should pretty much expect some degree of hardware lock-in. That's the way it goes, especially with laptops. Deal.
  • how exactly? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gearheadsmp ( 569823 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @04:04PM (#8115816)
    How exactly is OS X more closed than Windows? More GPL'd software gets ported to OS X than Windows. Quite a bit of OS X is Open Source, in that anyone can view the code - as opposed to Windows and/or Solaris. If the hardware is so proprietary, then why do 15" PowerBooks have DVI-out, USB 2.0, Firewire, DDR SDRAM, and industry-standard 2.5" hard drives, and more? Also, SCO doesn't make hardware.
  • Fashion is silly. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @04:06PM (#8115835)
    My clothes keep me warm, and my computer does what I expect it to do. Apple provides little for the average linux user other than a high price. Similarly, Tommy Pullmyfinger provides little for the average clothes wearer other than a high price.
  • by Spyder ( 15137 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @04:07PM (#8115848)
    I've been considering getting a PowerBook to replace my current Linux laptop. I'm held back by the fact that many of the security related tools are developed on Linux.

    As far a hardware lock in is concerned, there is a degree of hardware lock in for all laptops. Apple uses the same SO DIMMS and hard drives as PC laptops, though I haven't tried to get a non Airport miniPCI board to work in an Apple. Now on the desktop side there is a lot of commodity hardware for PCs.

    The real argument isn't hardware replacements, it's competition. Apple makes it's money on the hardware. It's why the OS is for their hardware, and as a technincal side benefit, gives them control over how the hardware and the OS interact. I don't think Apple could reasonably port OS X to the PC for business reasons. Right now, if you want to run OS X on a laptop, guess who you have to buy from? It's simple economic, only made slightly more complicated by the fact that the PC laptop market exists. You can think of it (simplisticly) as two different markets, a low compition market i.e. PC vs Apple, and a high compition market i.e. the PC laptop market. While Apple has to pay some attention to the PC laptop market, it is not bound to any individual vendor as a direct compeditor. If OS X was released for the PC, Apple could no longer take that stance.
  • by CrackedButter ( 646746 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @04:07PM (#8115852) Homepage Journal

    3 words caught my eye, "never used" and "looked", says it all, go to the apple store and try one but use it and do more than look. How you can say they are unintuitive is beyond me when they have guidelines for proper UI designs and they are known for their UI. I notice you didn't list any examples either.
    Not flaming you, just giving you a nudge to open that mind. I'm on my 3rd in less than 12 months (not due to failures mind you), with windows I had 4 for 3 years!
  • by AKnightCowboy ( 608632 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @04:08PM (#8115870)
    Because Apple does not let you run OS X on any other hardware, you are completely dependent on them for making your software work. If you get used to a certain environment and certain applications but then the hardware fails, you're screwed.

    Can't you just drop the Mac drive into another Mac?

  • by AKAImBatman ( 238306 ) <akaimbatman&gmail,com> on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @04:09PM (#8115876) Homepage Journal
    His main point is that if this happened to you on a PC, you could easily go to another vendor and run the same software on different hardware. Your Dell died and you think it's not going to recover? Drop the drive (or dd, or rsync, or whatever) into an IBM and you're basically good to go.

    Not with a laptop you can't. Dell and IBM use different form factors for their drives (even though the disk itself is the same). Now if you're talking about a desktop, they're just IDE drives. You can swap Apple drives in and out of Apple machines with ease. In theory, you could even swap them into PCs, but reading the filesystem might be a problem. (Same reason no one puts a Sun drive in a PC.)

    What's that? You were trolling? Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to be a PITA. Wait. Yes I did.
  • by loosifer ( 314643 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @04:10PM (#8115892) Homepage
    I personally would not want to see Apple in Microsoft's position, because I think Jobs would quite possibly be worse for the computing world, but they're playing nice right now. Comparing them to M$ and SCO is just stupid.

    The vast majority of the stuff they do now is based on open protocols, and a lot of times these are protocols developed at Apple and then released. Rendezvous is probably the best example; this is something that computers users desperately need (yes, you too, even if you don't know it) and Apple's actually given us some hope we'll see it.

    No, Aqua itself isn't open, but the Unix underpinnings are, and Apple does everything they can to give advancements back. Safari is based on an OSS rendering engine, and they've contributed back to that project quite a bit. They used an open (if not common) format for their audio (sorry, does Ogg have DRM? No? Then Apple can't use it).

    As to the link you provided, that's totally unrelated. The guy is employed as a software developer at Apple. All employers have non-compete agreements with their employees, and all employers are somewhat harsh about employees doing things at home that are related to what they do at work. I'm currently under the thumb of a contract in which I'm modifying my own GPL'd code for the company but I can't rerelease the code. Incredibly stupid and annoying, but incredibly standard. And, of course, totally unrelated to this topic or to SCO.

    As to control of the hardware and software, I guess it depends on your definition of "control". I can't think of any senses in which Apple has control of either my hardware or software. I can install whatever I want on my Macs, and it will only take <1 second to get through the BIOS, as opposed to the shite x86 boxes and their shite BIOS. I have control of the software too, in the sense that I've upgraded the crap out of OS X and strangely Apple hasn't seemed to mind. What do you mean by "control"?
  • by tres ( 151637 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @04:14PM (#8115951) Homepage
    Your freedom of speech doesn't equate to my having to listen, agree and silently acquiesce--especially when you are plainly biased and just plain wrong.

    The irony is that its the zealots (whatever banner they ride under) that are the first to accuse everyone who doesn't agree with them of zealotry.

    Listen up, buddy, it's a fricking tool. Get over yourself and find something worthwhile to fight for. It's a shame that hordes of idiots--who don't even have a vested interest in it--flame and whine until you drown out all relevant and reasonable discussion of what makes one tool the right one for a particular task.

  • by Renegade Lisp ( 315687 ) * on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @04:15PM (#8115969)
    Programmers and engineers need to eat too. We can't all work for free.

    The all-too-common misconception again. I'm an engineer and a programmer, working only on free software projects, and I make a decent living off of it. (Before you ask, "only free software projects" means that for software that is released to the general public, I request that it is under a free license, otherwise I won't work on it. For internal software used only at a customer site, the question naturally doesn't apply. I do recommend using free software as infrastructure in these cases though. So all my work centers around free software, literally.)

    It all depends on where you set your priorities, and whether you are willing to question the established way of dealing with software, and try something new.

    A lot of big businesses are jumping onto the same bandwaggon right now. And when someone like IBM does it, believe me, there's a lot of money involved.

  • Guilt? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by tallman68 ( 586637 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @04:17PM (#8115988)
    I frankly don't feel guilt using Windows XP(TM) over Linux, let alone OSX. Whatever tool fits the job (or job description), which in the workplace is a combo of XP/2000, IPSO and Solaris. I think people need to keep this in perspective. Do you enjoy using Linux/XP/OSX/a Comodore 64, etc? Does it fit your personal/professional needs? Can you use it? Sorry but guilt over choice of OS is a little hard for me to grok (and I was raised Catholic).
  • I am an Apple user (Score:4, Insightful)

    by AoT ( 107216 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @04:17PM (#8115998) Homepage Journal
    You would feel guilty, as I do sometimes, because you have principles which you would like to uphold 100% of the time, those principles being a commitment to freedom(as in speech) and against contributing to an increase in non-free softwares userbase. Having principles make you feel dirty sometimes, as when you are forced into a pragmatic decision such as getting a mac because you don't have enough ability to get Linux/BSD/WhateverFreeOS running well, for example.

    I would *love* to use Linux but I can't even get XDarwin and MacGimp to run on my powerbook. So yes, I do feel guilty sometimes. Is it aan overwhelming, mind numbing guilt? No, but it is there.
  • by jimfrost ( 58153 ) * <> on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @04:22PM (#8116053) Homepage
    I suppose if you're using Linux for idealistic reasons there might be some reason to feel guilty, but my primary reason for using Linux was that it was a very cost-effective way to run UNIX rather than Windows.

    OS X gives me a nice solid UNIX with a much nicer interface and better vendor support (both software and hardware). Thank You Very Much.

    Besides, Apple's laptops are Really Nice and I haven't yet had anything like the same number of little annoying problems that I've had with both Windows and Linux on laptops. (This may well be related to generally superior hardware than you find from PC vendors who are engaged in cutthroat competition, but whatever.)

    I actually bought our household's first Mac for my wife because I got rather tired of reinstalling Windows (and all her apps) for her every 3 months when it puked all over itself. I wanted something that wouldn't require a lot of admin effort on my part, but that was still easy enough to use and with enough software that she wouldn't pull her hair out.

    It worked, although there were some teething pains as we both learned to use it and dug up the applications she needed.

    I ended up liking her laptop so much that when it came time to replace my Linux laptop I went with a Mac for myself too. The silly things work well.

  • by kertong ( 179136 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @04:34PM (#8116182) Homepage
    So many people are so quick to complain about the hardware "monopoly" apple has. OSX only runs on apple hardware - why can't we buy cheap, faster PC hardware instead?

    I think this model is a double edged sword for apple. But if you think about the benefits, I really don't mind paying the extra $$$. Apple knows exactly what kind of hardware is in what platform, and it is just a small set of hardware to support. We don't have to deal with APIs with layers of drivers piled upon it. All the hardware works together very well, and is packaged together very nicely as well. As a result, you fire up OSX, OSX knows what to expect, and you have everything working right out of the box.

    If you're concerned about competitive hardware and bargain prices, use a PC - hardware has only gotten faster, and cheaper. But if you don't mind paying the extra dough and settling with hardware that isn't bleeding edge/top of the line, but would like somethign that works, buy an apple.

    I hate to bring in the age-old, cliche cars to computers analogy, but I'd much rather have a well built all-around car with parts that work together. You could buy the fastest engine, turbocharge it, but put on a crappy transmission with some incorrect gear rations and you're going to be running into a lot of problems.

    Eh.. I'll stop ranting here. So pretty much, I don't feel any guilt using OSX, although I miss hacking around in linux once in a while. I guess that's what yellowdog linux is for. :)
  • by mslinux ( 570958 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @04:34PM (#8116189)
    We've had 11 out of 14 ibooks with the logic board problem. Apple has fixed *one* out of warranty... it was 13 months old. There has been talk in general of a class-action lawsuit against Apple for this problem. It's an obvious defect. They are *well* aware of it. They have sold *millions* of these defective ibooks. No amount of visits by the regional Apple rep and other Apple PR clowns can fix this. It's a design flaw. A physical defect. We simply stopped buying ibooks.
  • by IdleTime ( 561841 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @04:36PM (#8116206) Journal
    When I said used, I meant as in daily use. I have tried OSX on several occasions and I'm fairly competent computer user, been working in the software industry since 1983.

    If you can explain how the little colored circles are intuitive is beyond me. Normally one would associate the colors with traffic colors, red is stop, yellow is caution, green is go. How that relates to their use in OSX is beyond me. Maybe that's the reason why they need to have those bubbles popping up with an explanation of their use when the mouse hovers over them?

    I know it is considered leet these days to think of Apple as a sort of God in the computer industry, but I personally find Apple to be more of a curiosa than a serious player.
  • Re:Bad Batch (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @04:36PM (#8116209)
    You want to talk testament to Dell's solidity?

    That's not a testament to Dell's solidity, it's a testament to your girl's insanity
  • by h0mer ( 181006 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @04:40PM (#8116260)
    The "blown out of proportions" problem can happen with any complicated product. Try finding a forum about your car, like VW Vortex [] or Mazda []. It could be that the problem happens with less than 3% of units produced, but if you read the forums it'll sound like it happens to everyone and you should fear for the lifespan of your product.
  • Re:Vender lock in (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nettdata ( 88196 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @04:40PM (#8116261) Homepage
    Why is vender lock in for Apple ok when it's considered bad for anyone else?

    I don't see this as being "Vendor Lock-in" because at the end of the day, I'm writing software that I can use anywhere.

    The Apple component (in this case a TiBook) is nothing more than a tool. All the output of my efforts (Java, Perl, etc.), can be moved to Linux, Solaris, BSD, Win32, etc., and it's not a big deal.

    I still have a choice, in the long run and where it really matters, and if Apple pulls some crap that I don't like, I can still bail without really losing anything but a bit of my time and some cash for new development apps/gear. Even then, most of my apps that I use for development are platform agnostic, and won't need re-licensing.

    My end product will still have COMPLETE choice of where it wants to reside.

    Now, if I want to do MS development (.NET, etc.), guess what, I'm seriously locked in. I have NO CHOICE on where to run my apps. If I don't like it, tough. For that matter, I'd be locked into the Dev environment for the most part as well.

    Which brings up another issue... trust. I have way more faith in the business practices of Apple than MS. I don't believe that Apple will do anything that will piss me off, whereas I'm quite confident that with MS it will only be a matter of time.
  • Guilty? Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kitzilla ( 266382 ) <.paperfrog. .at.> on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @04:42PM (#8116298) Homepage Journal
    The idea of feeling "guilty" about using *any* operating system -- including Windows -- is inherently weird.

    Maybe we've reached the point where we're no longer able to simply take or leave an OS on its own merits. I use Linux most of the time because it's cheap, stable, and I like the KDE desktop. At work, I use Windows for proprietary applications unavailable elsewhere. I also have a cool older iBook running OS X that has taken years of rough treatment without causing me much offense. I'll buy a G5 soon to run Photoshop.

    It's all a question of the right tools for the job at hand. Operating systems aren't a religion. There's no need to feel guilty using one or the other. No divine laws are transgressed.

    That being said, I think the Open Source movement is highly worthwhile. It provides the means to quality computing for those who might not be able to afford proprietary software, and it certainly keeps Microsoft, Sun, and Apple honest. Well -- mostly honest, in the case of at least one of those companies.

    I'm grateful to all those who have freely contributed code to the stuff I use. Power to the People.

    But guilty for using OS X? How silly. Mac users should probably feel good about contributing to the diversity of the commercial software industry.

    They should probably also feel good about an OS that works right out of the box, and which supports some quality retail software. Not to mention the time they save without the hassle of resolving dependencies, looking up hardware compatability, or the forever tweaking many of us actually enjoy with Linux.

  • by b1t r0t ( 216468 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @04:56PM (#8116514)
    Yes. In case you haven't tried removing the drives on these laptops, they use different styles of mounting braces. One won't fit the other. You might be able to break off various pieces and force it to fit, but that wouldn't be a very good long term solution.

    That's why there's this nifty new invention called screws . They're used to hold the hard drive into the mounting bracket. The best part is that they're removable! Ain't it great all the technology we got from going to the moon?

  • by forevermore ( 582201 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @05:17PM (#8116793) Homepage
    Your Dell died and you think it's not going to recover? Drop the drive (or dd, or rsync, or whatever) into an IBM and you're basically good to go.

    Have you ever actually tried this with Windows? Aside from having to go through "activation" again because of the hardware changes, most of the time it won't work right (if at all) afterward. I've done this countless times on desktop machines, and always end up having to reinstall Windows to fix all of the little annoyances and random slowdowns that happen from switching machines.

    But I will admit that at least most of the major distributions of Linux are much more capable at handling the switch.

  • by jo_ham ( 604554 ) <joham999@ g m a> on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @06:07PM (#8117532)
    Well, calling me an idiot while chosing to remain anonymous...

    Ok, maybe a well known fault, but this is the sort of hyperbole I'm talking about. Those online petitions contain maybe a thousand names (many of them as original as '' and ''').

    Apple has shipped something like 680,000 [] iBooks in 2003 alone (137,000 in Q4 according to that article) - so a measly few thousand people with logic board faults doesn't really mean all that much for overall build quality and customer satisfaction.

    "there are a lot of people with this problem, look up the petitions" - I did, and I looked at the total number of iBooks sold too. The number of people on the petitions (being generous and assuming they're all legit) makes up a mere 0.2% of iBook users just using the 2003 figures for iBook sales.

    Zero point two percent, if that. Out of proportion hype? I think so! How often do you hear of major problems with Dell, IBM, Gateway [some other random x86 box maker] because of hardware problems? Certainly not on issues affecting such a small subset of the users.

    I submit that you sir, are the idiot.
  • by ( 687626 ) * on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @06:18PM (#8117718)
    "have you ever felt guilty over using Mac OS X instead of Linux?"

    Why anyone would feel "guilty" is beyond me. There is nothing wrong with using closed source software, provided you are willing to accept the pros and cons of such a decision. (Also, if I wasn't using Mac OS X, I would be using NetBSD. The open source world is larger than the Linux kernel.)

    As for the hardware, all laptops users are pretty much dependent upon the vendor for help, as every vendor pretty much custom enginneers their laptops. (It's too bad that laptop components have never become standardized the way desktop parts have. It would be nice to be able to build a laptop.)
  • by ObiWanKenblowme ( 718510 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @06:18PM (#8117725)
    I certainly sympathize with you, that always sucks to have something break just out of warranty, but what's the magic number of extra days outside warranty before they don't have to fix it for free or at a discount rate? The terms of the warranty are clearly spelled out, but people seem to expect some extra "free warranty" time. How much extra time should you get? A week? Three weeks? One month? Two? I hate taking the side of a large company, but they have to draw the line somewhere, and the warranty expiration date seems like a good place to do it.
  • by Omega996 ( 106762 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @06:40PM (#8118023)
    oh geez...
    it's a damned tool, not your fucking life. My 'principles' when it comes to tools can be summed up as "I want tools that perform as advertised."
    Linux as a desktop operating system is a fun thing to mess around with, but when you decide to settle down and do some work with the damned thing, that sort of nonsense gets in the way. My ex-employer was a nearly 100% MS shop. In fact they're my ex employer because they tanked their UNIX servers (which I ran with over 400 days of uptime, with 24/7 workload) for NT/2000. I could never get a desktop (linux or FreeBSD) that I could run 100% of the time and not have to dual-boot back to Windows for something. When I started bringing my Powerbook to work, I didn't need to use Windows any more.
    I could connect to the POS Exchange server, I could ssh to my UNIX boxes, I could open every stinking MS Word and Excel document on the network, etc. I gave my PC workstation back to the desktop support guys, and was happy with my dual-monitor setup with my Powerbook. Now, perhaps in a different environment, you could perform the same feats using Linux or FreeBSD. Believe me, over the course of 5 years, I tried pretty damned hard to keep from working in that unstable, virus-susceptible, insecure Windows environment.

    Your F/OSS ideology can suck an egg. Those arguments aren't about which OS empowers the user more (the single user model, as set forth by CP/M and carried on through every MS product, versus the multi-user model as set forth by UNIX and UNIX-like OSes), or which one is better for some tasks but not so great for others. It's just a bunch of idealogical whining about open-source vs. closed-source. To top it off, the only license that gives true freedom to do whatever the fuck you want with the software (the BSD license, before someone screams that POS GPL) isn't even given a nod when compared to that fascist GPL shit. It's all well and good when it's an intellectual exercise, but when it comes to getting work done, I've found those arguments suddenly lose a lot of relevance.
    Hell, if Windows didn't have so many problems, I would've used *that* at work, since I wanted to do a good job for my employer, even considering the lack of resources that they were willing to provide (like a decent UNIX workstation). Fortunately, since I was running a real desktop UNIX-like OS, which ran software that was compatible with the crap that my "enterprise" *cough cough* ran, I didn't have to. So roll that into a fatty and smoke dat shit...
  • by jo_ham ( 604554 ) <joham999@ g m a> on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @07:46PM (#8118793)
    I just took a figure of about 2000 failures (based on petitions) and grabbed the first article that google came up with for Apple's sales figures. I extrapolated the yearly figure from the Q4 results quotes, so my numbers aren't at all scientific.

    It sucks that iBooks are failing, and I'm not denying there's a problem - there obviously is. It's just not as widespread as people seem to think or make out (although if my iBook kept failing I'd be pretty pissed off too!).

    It would be a shame if you decided not to buy Apple again after your experience, although I can understand why you'd be reluctant. I've been an Apple user since the days of the 9600/300 - a machine that we still use 6 or 7 years on! I also look after a Beige G3, a Dual 450 G4, 12", 15" and 17" powerbooks, dual usb iBook and dual 2Ghz G5 - none have had any problems (aside from some booting issues with panther + ati graphics + g5 causing the display not to start, but that's been fixed now).
  • by Enrique1218 ( 603187 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @09:22PM (#8119462) Journal
    I have to agree with the author on a certain point. Though I firmly believe Mac OSX is far superior to Linux when it come to my desktop needs, I feel that the quality of Apple's hardware is suspect. Though I really want to use OSX, I dismay that Apple is only vendor that can offer the computers for it. I feel that their leadership in innovative design has come at a price of quality. I don't know of any statistics about Pwerbook/iBook failures or lifespans but I do know my experiences. My Powerbook died after 3 years of use with failures in DVD player after the 1st year. My boss Titanium Powerbook is a far cry from when it was first bought. The screen is defective and the DVD is dead. His previous notebook had screen failure after 2.5 years. For the money we invest in these notebooks ($3000+). One would expect to have them a little longer. There is a huge price beyond the initial premium one pays just to use Mac OsX.
  • by King_TJ ( 85913 ) on Thursday January 29, 2004 @12:49AM (#8120803) Journal
    Quite frankly, Linux always feels pretty "rough around the edges", and I'm not sure that'll ever really go away. (Some of it is probably inherent when you're talking about an OS developed by anyone, anyplace on the globe, who feels like contributing some code to it.)

    The Mac with OS X is the polar opposite of this, with a stunningly beautiful GUI and some of the most original GUI-related concepts I've seen on any platform. (Even Gnome and KDE couldn't seem to resist sticking to the Windows-esque concept of some sort of START type button in a corner of the screen with menu windows popping open from it, listing the applications you can launch. OS X bypassed that completely with the "dock" idea.)

    If you really are a command-line "power user" in Unix OS's, then yeah, Mac OS X is currently not really for you. The thing is, I suspect relatively few of us really work from the CLI as much as we like to think we do. (I know for example, I have several good friends who are nearly Linux zealots, and they constantly like to point out the powerful things that can be done from the shell prompt. They're quite right, except I still see their machines running X and a window manager most of the time. Unless your system is primarily a server, being remotely accessed but not generally used locally, a GUI is usually more pleasing to the eye, and is the environment people would rather be in. (If nothing else, people like having nice looking pictures as their "wallpaper", instead of staring at a blank screen with white text and a blinking cursor on it.)

    I think of Mac OS X as "Unix for the rest of us", sort of how the original Macintosh was supposed to be the "computer for the rest of us".
  • by crazyphilman ( 609923 ) on Thursday January 29, 2004 @01:02AM (#8120880) Journal
    I think it's like the old story about how Software Engineers won't admit they like Pascal because they're afraid it means they Aren't Worthy.

    Up until recently, the Mac O/S wasn't really that geek-friendly in the sense that it didn't have a command line interface (the older ones had A/UX, but that went away for a while), it wasn't multiuser, it wasn't as powerful as Linux, and so on. So it has a reputation as "that user-friendly end user thing" among the kind of people who are into tweaking their Linux boxes. Plus there were all the cutesy touches that turned some people off, like calling their Java development environment "MrJ" (WTF???).

    So the author is afraid the fact that he likes Mac OS/X means he "isn't worthy" like the old-time Pascal guys. He's afraid the spicy-Szezhuan devouring hackers are all going to make fun of him and throw fortune cookies at him while making rude noises. It's kinda funny, actually.

    (Shameless advocacy section begins here)

    I think it's bizarre that anyone would feel GUILT anyway, because OS/X is a great operating system. It gives you all the geek power of Linux (Perl, GCC, JDK1.4, a great IDE almost as good as Visual Studio) with none of the headaches. Turning on the firewall and turning off nonessential services can be done in one minute flat. Keeping the system up to date is a piece of cake, and because Apple is a profitable hardware vendor, you don't have to worry about them not having enough money to keep the patches flowing.

    I was briefly annoyed that their filesystem isn't case-sensitive until I realized that it preserved case so it didn't break Java packages. So it turned out to be kind of a nonissue.

    Finally, and this is where OS/X eats Linux's lunch, OS/X has perfect hardware support. Almost every piece of hardware on the market has an OS/X driver available. You don't have to kludge anything to work with a general purpose driver, you can use the manufacturer-supplied driver. So, you can spend your time USING your scanner, digital camera, and sound system instead of trying to make it work. That's priceless, ok? Not having to spend hours hacking away to get a scanner to work is a wonderful, wonderful thing.

    Don't get me wrong. I love Linux. In fact, I use it on my other machine. But I love OS/X also, and I use that on this, my main machine. It's really about giving credit where credit is due. Apple's done a fantastic job.

    Anyway, that's my .02. I think the original author should just relax and enjoy. :)

  • by shellbeach ( 610559 ) on Thursday January 29, 2004 @01:17AM (#8120957)
    they constantly like to point out the powerful things that can be done from the shell prompt. They're quite right, except I still see their machines running X and a window manager most of the time.

    Just a quick note for you: a CLI and a GUI are not mutually exclusive. The real question is - how many terminal windows are open at once on your friends' GUIs? At an average I'd say I have 5 or 6 terminals open at any one time using linux. And I often have two cygwin terminals open when using Windows.

    Of course it's nice to have pretty wallpaper and a few bells and whistles. But they don't get the work done :)
  • Re:What?! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Jon Abbott ( 723 ) on Thursday January 29, 2004 @01:49AM (#8121106) Homepage
    Here is my semi-complete comparison between OS X and other OSes (namely Windows and Linux):

    - Kick-ass junk mail filtering (it uses Bayesian filtering, which is a very smart way to detect junk mail).

    - Expose []

    - Applications use a consistent GUI, unlike Linux (and sometimes even Windows with its ideas like "To shut down, click on 'Start'"). One big difference from Windows and Linux is that most OS X dialog boxes have button text that is written in verbs (such as "Save file" and "Don't save file" instead of "Yes" and "No"). That way you can quickly look at a dialog box and know what to do without even reading the full text. When you have no time at all to get something important done, this truly helps.

    - Default application settings often make sense. The amount of settings I need to change to set it up for my liking is minimal.

    - For those times when default keyboard combos are crappy (rare), you can use keyboard combo remapping to custom-map menu options to keys (yet another Panther only option*) -- under System Preferences -> Keyboard & Mouse -> Keyboard Shortcuts. Keyboard combo remapping is easier with GNOME, I'll admit, but I have always had trouble with it keeping the changes I make.

    - Applications are self-contained, meaning they don't have their files scattered across multiple directories. You could copy your already-installed applications over to another computer and they would work perfectly. Most applications you can just drag into your "Applications" folder/subdirectory and be done with it -- no other step is necessary.

    - iPhoto works very, very well with digital cameras. The prints you can order online from Kodak are excellent and easy to order.

    - No product activation to worry about.

    - Unlike Linux, the thing just works. There is no tinkering required to get the results I want. Unlike Windows, it doesn't crash and behave oddly. I can still get Windows 2000 and XP to crash and act quirky on occasion.

    - Attention to detail -- lots of the OS software has intuitive features that make life easier. Try typing the first few letters of a long word (such as "unequivocally") into Mail or any program with a text box, and hit alt-Esc. It comes up with a list that lets you pick the words that start with those first few letters. Also, you can right click in any text box and tell it to "Check Spelling as You Type". Programs will remember this setting and apply it to future emails, web pages, text files, etc.

    - FileVault can encrypt your home directory (wait a few versions to use this though, as it's kinda buggy right now). I know that Linux can encrypt its entire filesystem, but is it as simple as clicking a checkbox?

    Anyway, the list goes on and on... I remember the first time I read Jamie Zawinski's quote, "Linux is only free if your time has no value", I completely disagreed with it... Although, I realized after a few years that I was only in high school when I was learning Linux back in '96, and my time pretty much had no value back then. Now that I've grown up somewhat, and my time does have more value, I don't really have the time to be tinkering with my computer for six hours a day. You know the process -- trying to get something to work, just so you can then get to work on what you were intending to work on in the first place... That doesn't cut it when you need results quickly.

    Anyway, Apple has been great in filling the void for a very well-functioning UNIX laptop system, and I praise them for that.
  • Re:Don't ask me.. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 30, 2004 @03:07AM (#8132602)
    Why would I feel guilty about using a well-designed commercial OS that is also built on UNIX, and offers me the ability to run *nix software right out of the box?

    I was a Mac user before OS X, but I now consider the Classic Mac OS history - it had its place at one time, but OS X is where it's at now.

    Sure, I could run Linux on a cheap Dell laptop. I did for awhile, but had to keep switching to Windoze a dozen times a day to work in MS Publisher and Word since my employer chooses to be ignorant about computing ("If everyone else is using Windows, there must be a good reason, so I will use it, too").

    I am writing this in Safari, on a Rev. C iMac I bought in early 1999. I gave my Dell to my sister, who couldn't care less what kind of computer or OS she uses (though I did get her to start using iTunes instead of that other crap). I need a faster computer, and when I get one it will be a Mac, and I will run OS X. I have nothing against Linux, but it's incomplete and confusing for most casual computer users. I can see the advantages of it, and I'm a supporter of OSS, but there's just too much to screw around with to make a Linux box run the way I want it to.

"The pathology is to want control, not that you ever get it, because of course you never do." -- Gregory Bateson