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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 DAQ42 ( 210845 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @03:48PM (#8115559)
    What, are you crazy?
    I would so much rather run this than just about any Linux distro out there. Mainly because I can guarantee my vendor is available on the phone when I need them to troubleshoot any of the funky ass things servers tend to do.

    And no, you can't come to my site or have a look at my logs because it's secure, just tell me what error code -16246 means in your software, ok, thanks, bye.

  • I wouldnt (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TheRealMindChild ( 743925 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @03:52PM (#8115627) Homepage Journal
    Now this is personal opinion, and I am sure I am inviting plenty of flames, so... here goes.

    I don't think anyone should feel ashamed for not using linux as their desktop. Fact of the matter is, any OS claiming to be linux is just a mess of free software utilities and applications, on a unixy type setup.

    While there have been a few noble attempts at actually building an OS from the linux kernel, it ends up being no more then repackaging the same crap in a more "shiny" way.

    The linux kernel is a good base for an OS. Until something other then a Unix clone is made from it, I will stand tall to the fact that I wont use it for my desktop.
  • by dgerman ( 78602 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @03:54PM (#8115652) Homepage
    One thing that annoys me is that there is no way the user can service (replace or remove) the hard disks.
    My ibook has suffered 2 motherboard failures, and the machine would not even boot in firewire mode. I wished I could just remove the disk, and send the laptop for service (the service people don't need to see my files!)

    The laptops I owned previously (IBM and dell) both allowed me to remove the disk.

  • by IdleTime ( 561841 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @03:54PM (#8115659) Journal
    I've never used an Apple product in my life. I have looked at OSX a few times but find it very unintuitive and I don't much care for beeing locked into ONE vendor for both software and hardware, pluss the fact that anything branded Apple is as expensive as a minor nuclear device.

    I know I'm going to be flamed by the 1337 Apple zealots but i couldn't care less.
  • by Faramir ( 61801 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @03:54PM (#8115661) Homepage Journal

    I've been a medium-level Linux sys admin for a number of years. But I'm also a web designer, and recently I decided that I needed to get a notebook. The decision to go with an iBook was almost a no-brainer: I wanted professional applications instead of almost-professional, and I didn't want to worry about incompatibilities, libraries, GNOME buggering itself, etc. And it has been marvelous. Now that I've replaced my linux box with a dedicated DSL router, I hardly ever turn it on.

    Overall, perhaps I do feel a bit guilty. I wish Sodipodi, The Gimp, and Bluefish were more stable and competitive with FreeHand, Fireworks, and Dreamweaver. And while I've used all of those applications to do some advanced things, it is simply easier and faster for me to use my Macromedia apps. Sure they cost me a few (student) dollars, but they've been worth every penny. (and yes, I started with MacGIMP, which at least is better than WinGIMP).

    But the best part is that I've stopped screwing around on the computer, thus freeing me up for other more important life activites (wife, for instance).

  • by loosifer ( 314643 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @03:57PM (#8115699) Homepage
    ...he just did not do a good job of making the point.

    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.

    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.

    Not so with anything on the x86 platform. It may not be easy, but linux, Windows, and others can be moved to different hardware from different vendors pretty easily.

    In other words, using Apple's software is _both_ software and hardware lock-in, and he hates it.

    I thought the guilt thing was silly, tho. Use what works best for you; I find it takes hours more a month to maintain my stupid linux box (often just because it's x86) than my powerbook, even though I do much more crap to the powerbook. I'm certainly not going to feel guilty for just using my computer, instead of maintaining it.
  • Vender lock in (Score:5, Interesting)

    by onyxruby ( 118189 ) <<ten.tsacmoc> <ta> <yburxyno>> on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @03:57PM (#8115702)
    Why is vender lock in for Apple ok when it's considered bad for anyone else?
  • by Deraj DeZine ( 726641 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @03:58PM (#8115710)
    I'm guessing you're a troll, but the reason I look favorably upon Apple is that they contribute back to the open source community (KHTML) and give exposure to many open source projects (Mozilla).
  • by pi radians ( 170660 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @03:59PM (#8115722)
    "When in fact Apple is more closed source and proprietary than both of them combined"


    How can you be "more closed source and proprietary"? I'd love you hear your explanation, including specifics where MS products are "more" open source [] and less proprietary. []
  • by MoneyT ( 548795 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @04:00PM (#8115742) Journal
    You know, I don't know what these people consider "normal use" but as an iBook owner for 3 years (died from an accident involving electricity and water) and a powerbook owner for a year and a half, and as someone who carries his laptops in a book bag to classes, to work, and on planes and such, I have never had the sort of hardware problems people describe. And I'm not the only one. I know people who still have original TiBooks that put them through the same stuff I do and they're still working fine. And this thing does everything I've thrown at it, from compiling applications to running games to editing audio and video.

    The more I hear these stories, the more I wonder if people try to boot their machines by throwing them against a wall. These aren't windows machines people, put away the sledge hammers.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @04:00PM (#8115752)
    I knew a student of "indigenous oppression" in colonial Africa who claimed that tribal chiefs with the authority to oppress maybe 250 people, living in grand, dirt-floor huts with four times the dirt-floor-space of their oppressed serfs, were in the same league as European empires.

    Maybe they wished they were in the same league as England or France, but they weren't. Wake me up when Apple has >50 percent market share and its piddly little evil deeds take on the coercive power of M$. Then I'll be all outraged. Until then I will sit, not very oppressed and quite happy, at my Powerbook.

    (I only replied to the M$ aspect---SCO is not really worth whining about unless you get too close when they're sucked down the toilet)
  • by MillionthMonkey ( 240664 ) * on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @04:02PM (#8115776)
    A friend of mine at work just got a G5 for his replacement machine. Everyone in the office was coming over to slobber over it and admire it all week as he set everything up on it.

    Then he came out of a meeting the other day and found the screen frozen with an immobile mouse cursor- the thing had locked up spontaneously while he was gone. So he did some Googling and found a lot of people complaining about a problem with the G5 motherboards. Nobody seems to know what it is, except that replacing the motherboard fixes it.

  • by atheken ( 621980 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @04:05PM (#8115823) Homepage
    "having to switch back to linux and losing time reinstalling everything because the hardware is too crappy to whistand normal use is aggravating him."

    He didn't say "normal use" in the article, you assumed it. Although an iBook my be a bit more delicate than a Dell (which 90% ABS plastic). How do you know he didn't like using the thing in bed, sitting it on a comforter where it could overheat everytime... You have no idea what his usage habits were.

    Having to reinstall linux everytime? what is it that he's changing. Backup your files, have a default set of apps on the desktop, sorry you don't have your laptop for a week... it's the way things work. He also mentions he has Linux boxen all over, why is this so difficult? Why does he need to reinstall each time? How can he backup his data with a fried Logic Board, don't you need to it boot? Unless you don't need it to use OpenFirmware of whatever.

    Furthermore, the reason YellowDog can work so well is because it's targetted towards Macs, which have a finite set of system configurations. This is the reason getting stuff on PCs under Linux to work can be such a pain.

    This is nothing but a rant, the author is ex-communicated from the "Mac Zealot Cult."

    Oh, and maybe the 7th time is a charm, if you stop dropping the thing!
  • by anactofgod ( 68756 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @04:06PM (#8115836)
    Guilty? What an odd question. Correction...What a meaningless question

    "Have I felt the *need* to use Linux instead of OS X?" Not even once. Heck, ever since I got a 12"PB to replace the Sony laptop that I had been carting around for 2 years, I don't even feel the need to use Win2K. OS X just works, which allows me to get work done, instead of twiddling/tweaking/patching.

    Well, to be completely truthful, I did fire up the old VAIO the other day so that I could get on XBConnect [] and play some Halo on the ol' XBox.

    But other than that, I've been OS (se)X-ing it, 24x7.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @04:09PM (#8115879)
    Funny but I've gone through 3 laptops due to PCB failures, and it's not like I've been dropping them or anything, but they follow me everywhere and get bounced around a lot.

    My personal take on it is that nobody bothers to add in even a modicum of shock padding at the screw mounts, and come to think of it, very few manufacturers bother to make their cases rigid enough to not flex during regular use/carrying. I'm not saying everyone runs into these issues, but it seems like enough people would that it'd be worth building them up a little.. then again having the things fail every coupla years gives them an excuse to sell you another one :)

    -- vranash
  • Re:Nope (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ryanw ( 131814 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @04:30PM (#8116145)
    Hell no. I only ever use Linux for servers.
    EXACTLY. Until OSX there has not been a laptop I could use for all my hobbies and still be able to take it into the office and do work on it effectively with my co-workers.

    I tried to use Linux as my desktop for almost an entire year. I spent more time updating libraries and patching my system then I spent using the thing. And for what? Just to use a GUI that is looking more and more like Windows 95?

    I REALLY wish the Linux community would give up on the Desktop and focus on making Linux the best server platform out there.p> Linux has way to many distros and every single one of them has everything in a completely different location and different way of making things work. The applications for Linux show this problem. You can tell each developer is working with a different GUI, different distribution, etc.

    I think the solution would be if they let a specific tree of Linux or a specific Distro go under a BSD license and let someone do to Linux what Apple did to BSD.

    Linux will always be CLOSE to perfect with the GNU License. With a BSD license I could see someone having a business model to actually perfecting linux. Nobody has any incentive to make linux perfect until they have a true business model. I know RedHat is doing well, but this is only going to last so long. There are HUGE loop holes around RedHats business model. Nobody yet has tried to go around Redhat's business model. Their day will come.

    Right now Novell, IBM, and a few others are investing millions into Linux. If Linux ends up showing its true colors in the next few years, this funding will get pulled immediatly as all those companies end up with egg on their faces.

  • by Qbertino ( 265505 ) <> on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @04:34PM (#8116183)
    I'm getting myself an IBook.
    I'm not gonna ditch Panter, since I have some stuff to do in Flash. Other than that I'll stick with OSS and use Java. After all, the Java integration in MacOSX is phenomenal. I'm looking forward to just firing up JEdit without skinning and all and have it not look like someone did doo-doo on my screen but instead really cool with native AA fonts and all that stuff. Jippeee!
    It might be that I install Debian PPC on a different Partition though. Probably sometime later.
    Apart from MacOSX being proprietary Apple did just the right thing, imho: Use a refernce grade OS with solid OSS support as base and design a high end GUI around it. To me OSX and Linux aren't that far apart. I used it the other day and it even has ZShell installed! OSS *nix goodness with Apple Eyecandy and high end design tools and Java run natively. Just how cool is that? No, I probably won't feel guilty. :-)
  • No... (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @04:40PM (#8116263)
    MacOS and Linux are tools. Admittingly, they are extremely nice multi-purpose tools, but they are there to help you a) get the job done or b) enjoy life.

    If you were driving a taxi cab for a living, would you feel guilty that you were driving a Ford instead of a Chrysler? Some of you would prefer one or the other and that's ok.

    Similarly, you do not have be locked into a Macintosh or Linux platforms in order to support and appreciate the open source movement. I'm sure there's a developer somewhere who writes stuff for Linux but does so on his Mac because he likes the Mac user interface better. And just as likely are people who write stuff on Linux but "donate" it to MacOS. KDHTML and Safari anyone?
  • by kalinh ( 167661 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @04:45PM (#8116348) Homepage
    I can't RTFA because the site is /.ed at the moment. In my experience Mac OS X provides just enough aggravation for me as a Linux user that I do feel guilty using it. Not guilty because I am betraying Linux or any related ideal, but guilty because I am betraying myself--giving up speed convenience and usability every time I watch the dreaded spinning beach ball of death, or wait for OS X to switch between windows. Expose is a neat hack, but it is no match for multiple desktops and sloppy focus (don't even bother pitching Codetek VirtualDesktop because it is totally inadequate in speed and usability--including the beta code for sloppy focus). Trying to fill out web forms with just the keyboard is impossible (and yes I know about "full keyboard access" a complete misrepresentation since it doesn't work as expected on even Apple applications). The major saving grace of OSX is that Launchbar exists for it.

    I own a G4 iBook; the reason I own one is because Apple replaced my G3 iBook after I suffered 3 failed logic boards over the past year. The place where I get my warranty done said that in December they were involved in 5 G3 iBook replacements with Apple. Now, I'm happy that Apple replaced my system with a new model, and I hope that the problems that so many experienced with the last generation of iBooks have been resolved, but going back to OS X is painful after using exclusively GNOME 2.4 for the past month or so. I had consdiered selling the G4 on eBay and getting an x86 system. I didn't because none of them can offer the battery life available on Apple hardware without being Centrino linux-lockout. At least Debian runs well on Apple hardware.

    Regardless, I'm in the middle of finking GNOME 2.4 onto Darwin so I can get some work done. I don't fault Apple so much as the rest of the industry for designing ugly, heavy, low-battery-life, windows-centered behemoths.
  • Re:To all mods: (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kfg ( 145172 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @04:56PM (#8116523)
    This joke is so not funny anymore.

    It all depends on whether the particular mod laughed or not really.

    Under the right circumstances slipping on a banana peel is still funny.

    As the 2000 year old man once noted:

    "Tragedy is when I bang my thumb. Comedy is when you fall down a manhole and die."

    It's all in your perspective. IAIYP in the modern way of phrasing things.

    When dealing with the sort of humor that is based on language and spelling the appreciation of a certain cleverness is part of the humor response, so if you've seen something over and over again it loses something. On the other hand one can take a completely tired old pun in a new situation, give it a little twist, and it will be funny, at least in part, because the joke was already tired.

    In this case the author of the joke didn't just put an "i" in front of everything and say "see, funny, huh?" He constructed a very simple sentence that used the "i" in a grammatically correct way and apropo to the subject.

    I got a mild giggle out of it.

    SCO sue me.

  • Damn straight! (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @05:13PM (#8116751)
    When it comes right down to it, open source and Linux are just two overhyped bullshit technologies. With OS X I have an OS that does everything I want it to and is maintained by professional, PAID programmers, in the USA, not india or china or some other third world hell hole.
  • by Graff ( 532189 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @05:17PM (#8116792)
    I don't know what these people consider "normal use" but as an iBook owner for 3 years (died from an accident involving electricity and water) and a powerbook owner for a year and a half, and as someone who carries his laptops in a book bag to classes, to work, and on planes and such, I have never had the sort of hardware problems people describe.

    I'm gonna do a "me too" on this one.

    I have had a 1/2 dozen Apple laptops pass through my hands via home, work, family. The only serious problem I ever had was with a PowerBook 5300 CS. The power socket on that laptop had gotten bumped hard which caused it to break off internally, a common problem for many laptops. It was out of warranty but I brought it into the service center anyways to see how much it would cost to get repaired.

    I found out that the PowerBook 5300 warranty had been extended because of this very issue. I handed the laptop off to the service center and they mailed it to Apple that day. Three days later the laptop was back. It had taken 1 day to get to Apple, 1 day to repair, and 1 day to get back. Apple not only repaired the power socket, they also replaced some scratched plastics and a plastic door which had been removed and lost. All of this at no cost to me.

    I understand that things can happen to laptops but I think that the abundance of stories is due to the bad experiences getting top billing while the good experiences stay quiet. Not only that but Apple is also selling quite a few laptops these days so we are hearing a higher percentage of stories about them.
  • by GizmoToy ( 450886 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @05:20PM (#8116840) Homepage
    Even that is wrong. You CAN take a drive from a Mac and put it in a Dell if that's your intent. Obviously you can't boot from it, but it'll mount as a secondary so you can grab your data off of it. I have an HFS+ formatted firewire drive hooked up to mine right now. I don't see how Windows not having built-in HFS support is the fault of anyone but MS itself. OSX supports FAT and NTFS, after all...

    In addition, the parent said this (direct quote):
    "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."
    You'd definately not be screwed. You put the drive into another Mac, and it would boot right up. Just like if you put your Dell HD into another Dell.

    On the other hand, if you find yourself not liking OSX, or the Apple hardware itself, then you do have a problem. If you weren't ready to make such a commitment you should have played with one a bit more before buying, just as I said previously. Even then you're in luck because you can sell it for nearly as much as you paid for it.

  • Re:Don't ask me.. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jc42 ( 318812 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @05:28PM (#8116974) Homepage Journal
    have you ever felt guilty over using Mac OS X instead of Linux?

    No, because I have one of each sitting on my desktop.

    When I got the 17' Powerbook, I decided that I would give it the best chance I could, by refusing the temptation to install things like the X-Windows server and other Open-Source tools. I'd use Apple's tools and teach myself to use them. Only when I could use something without thought would I compare it with the corresponding linux tools.

    Over the months, I've gotten quite comfortable with the PB, OSX, and the whole package. But when I lean back and compare them critically, I have to admit: Nearly everything is simpler, faster, and easier on the linux box. The Mac is generally prettier. And in a few cases (such as plugging in USB gadgets), it does a better job.

    But so far, despite my best intentions, the Mac has turned out to be slow and clumsy compared to linux. I've even made my linux life more difficult by switching WMs occasionally. KDE one week, Gnome the next, then Enlightenment, then FVWM. This slightly slows down my linux use and sometimes produces stumbles. But still, the linux box wins on most comparisons.

    One biggie is that text windows work much better on linux. One of the embarrassments of the GUI world is how much faster and more productive a CLI user is than a GUI user, for almost all tasks. And a CLI user can work on machines anywhere on the Net as easily as the onee on their desktop.

    On the Mac, as on Windows, the text window is an orphan. On linux, like all unixoid systems, the text/CLI approach is well developed, and is the best way to do most tasks. On OSX, although it is a kind of unix, most of the system only works from the GUI. This is a real disappointment, and relegates it to the "toy" classification for many purposes.

    It's too bad. But maybe it'll improve. Apple has only recently gone the unix route. Give them a few years of hanging with the unix crowd, and maybe they'll pick up some of the things that make linux better than OSX.

    And maybe the linux gang will learn how to recognize USB gadgets smoothly and painlessly.

  • Frankly, no. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by c_monster ( 124327 ) <> on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @05:30PM (#8116992) Homepage
    I used a Linux desktop for three years (1999-2002), and it was a good three years. I never looked back to my Win*** days with fondness, and I felt smug whenever my co-workers got viruses I didn't. Of course, I also had a list of niggling gripes a mile long, not the least of which was my inability to find any usable applications where VERSION >= 1.0.

    Switching to Mac OS X (first on my wife's iBook, then on my own TiBook) fixed all my gripes and only gave me a few new things to gripe about. Then, I noticed something amazing... I wasn't spending 10 hours/week fiddling with my system, updating packages, tweaking WM preferences, and searching endlessly for a GUI text editor as usable as BBEdit or UltraEdit.

    Plus, it has vi! and Apache! and MySQL! and ImageMagick! and!!!1! I really haven't made it past the glow of using a system that JUST. PLAIN. WORKS. Perhaps Apple will do something really tyrannical (*cough* DRM *cough*) that will make me regret the switch, but for now I'm too happy to care.

    ~chris, who has to get back to his day job writing Open Source software (for servers)
  • Re:Vender lock in (Score:4, Interesting)

    by nettdata ( 88196 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @05:41PM (#8117158) Homepage
    Well you could just choose to not develop on .NET. I've written java apps on my work machine (windows) and ported them to my server (linux) and they run just fine. perl works just about the same everywhere as well.

    I agree. That's why I specifically said MS development and deployment, not Java or Perl. That's when you have lock-in.

    If you're doing Java dev on a Windoze box, the Win32 machine becomes a tool, just like Apple/OSX.

    In my opinion, the choice of the tool that you use in dev is a preference, and not a lock-in when working on code that is vendor agnostic. (Except for reliances on proprietary tools, etc.).

    At the end of the day, "vendor lock-in" depends on the context.
  • Prettier. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by daviddennis ( 10926 ) <> on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @05:52PM (#8117336) Homepage
    The big advantage in my view is that I feel better and work better when my screen's an aesthetic delight than otherwise.

    So I'm delighted with all my Macs - I switched almost totally away from Linux and Irix, my previous systems, and in terms of computing environment, I couldn't be happier. The Mac isn't perfect, but it's as close to a hassle-free computing environment as I can get.

    And that's worth its weight in gold, at least for me.

    Just out of curiosity, could you give a few examples of things you can't do from the command line? I'll bet there actually are ways around it that you haven't heard.

  • RMS and vi (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Theatetus ( 521747 ) * on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @06:11PM (#8117604) Journal

    What editor did RMS use to write the first emacs?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @06:17PM (#8117708)
    I'm also the proud owner of a Dual USB 600 MHz iBook from 2001. My iBook did happen to survive an encounter with water. (I'm actually quite amazed how robust this iBook is.) Even better, the iBook gets faster with every system update. I did have to replace the battery. (It didn't break; however, I was only getting 2 hours out of it.) But that is an inherent limitation of Li-ion technology. Unless you want to change the physical constants of the universe, there is no way around that. My newer battery consistently gives me 4.5 hours of use---sometimes more!
  • Re:Don't ask me.. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Amiga Trombone ( 592952 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @06:18PM (#8117719)
    Over the months, I've gotten quite comfortable with the PB, OSX, and the whole package. But when I lean back and compare them critically, I have to admit: Nearly everything is simpler, faster, and easier on the linux box. The Mac is generally prettier. And in a few cases (such as plugging in USB gadgets), it does a better job.

    But so far, despite my best intentions, the Mac has turned out to be slow and clumsy compared to linux.

    I hate to say it, but that was my experience as well.

    Having heard so many wonderful things about OS X, I bought a refurbished iBook just to have a look-see.

    I tried hard to like it. I really did. But I found I was just more comfortable with Linux on my Thinkpad, or, horrors!, even with Windows.

    I can see where OS X has a lot of potential, and it has a number of cool features I wish were available on other platforms, but, on balance, I just wasn't able to warm up to it. I think part of the problem is that the Mac approaches tasks in a manner that's different, but not necessarily easier. The Mac might be a bit easier to use if Apple would make a few concessions to the fact that most of the world is acclimated to PC's, and adjusted to the lingua franca of computer interfaces - like a 3 button mouse would be a helluva a lot simpler to manage than having to memorize a set of obscure key combinations in conjuction with the mouse clicks to accomplish a task.

    Still, as a unix box goes, the Mac is simpler than most. Were it only that admining a Solaris or an AIX box was so simple.

    But I'm afraid I found the Mac interface is a long way from as intuitive as it's reputation.

    But hey, that's just me.
  • Re:Don't ask me.. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Dunedain ( 16942 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @07:09PM (#8118365) Homepage

    open gets you into bundles (, as well as to documents tied to particular programs.

    softwareupdate and defaults cover a bunch of ground. Now that there's a decently usable Carbonized Emacs, I don't even use an X server most of the time: Terminal, Emacs, and Camino cover 99% of my needs. Oh, and Preview for looking at compiled TeX.

    But that said, you're unfairly biasing the comparison by not using X11 and free software. One of the big advantages of the Mac is that it provides *both* (MS Office, iChat, Finder and other GUI tools for business) and (Emacs, an X Server, a good free programming environment). Cutting half of that off isn't a Mac any more; it's more like a 1997 Mac. For example, I have a custom-built Postfix install with TLS support on my laptop, using client certificates to authenticate to my home MTA: perfect mail relaying no matter where I am. And it lets me tell to just use the localhost as an SMTP server. Now I get good S/MIME and GnuPG support, in-line spelling checking, and a nice UI *and* the technical features I want. AND, since it's standard-based IMAP, I can hand that system off to friends and family, and use it at work, but use Gnus for my personal mail.

  • Re:Spot On! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by kfg ( 145172 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @07:36PM (#8118698)
    Just remember that it is an individual threshold.
    One man's -1 Flamebait is another man's +5 Funny.

    Along those lines I can't say I derive any great satisfaction when one of my posts just gets modded up to +5 and sits there.

    The ones that I take pleasure in are the ones that provoke a "mod war," where the post gets moderated a dozen times or so and span the complete range of adverbs.

    Then I know I've written something that with some development and editing would turn into a good piece of writting by my own standards.

    A standard which places the humorous agent provocateur, such as Twain and Swift, up at the top of the list. (Thoreau might fit into this catagory as well, but his humor is so incredibly dry and philosophically subtle that it often takes some pains to root it out. The sentence "As the time is short I will leave out all the flattery, and retain all the criticism.", comes to mind).

  • by bedouin ( 248624 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @08:10PM (#8119003)
    My friend has an iBook from 2001 he's been using daily since; he's never experienced any problems. I bought my iBook in July of 2002 and haven't had any troubles either. Admittedly though, I have a PowerMac at home and don't use my iBook except when out of the house. I have two other friends with iBooks, two more with PowerBooks. None have had any troubles.

    I think the problems people are experiencing with logic boards and displays are real, but possibly preventable. For example, one might not want to grab the machine with one hand (putting unnecessary pressure on the logic board). This is something I do too often, unfortunately. Another thing you might want to avoid is opening and closing the display too frequently, putting stress on the cable leading to the display. I will be extending the warranty on my iBook, even though mine has been functioning well.

    The article was Slashdotted so I couldn't read it, but it seems this guy's beef is with not being able to swap commodity parts from other laptops, and then put them into his iBook. Well, if you buy a PC laptop you're generally in the same boat. You're not going to be able to swap a Thinkpad's logic board with one from a Dell. Really, the only swappable parts on notebooks are hard drives and PCMCIA cards . . . A malfunctioning, out of warranty Dell is just as much of a nuisance as an iBook. A failing laptop just out of warranty is a pretty common occurrence for my PC using friends (failing displays, HD's, logic boards, etc -- I've seen it). The problem here seems to be people expect much more from Apple, even if the iBook is an entry level machine.

    Laptops are portable devices; they see more abuse than your desktop. Though it might be a poor comparison, I used to be a DJ. I'd regularly replace my Sony studio monitor headphones, sometimes 2-3 times a year; it just came with the territory. After the second time though, I bought an extended warranty. Nowadays, sitting at home, a modestly priced set of headphones last me a few years. Laptops are fragile pieces of machinery, and if you're a power user, you put them under TONS of stress daily. Knowing that, one should buy an accompanying warranty, and expect a failure. For a desktop, on the other hand, I'd probably never buy an extended warranty.

"If you lived today as if it were your last, you'd buy up a box of rockets and fire them all off, wouldn't you?" -- Garrison Keillor