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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 grub ( 11606 ) <> on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @03:46PM (#8115524) Homepage Journal

    have you ever felt guilty over using Mac OS X instead of Linux?

    You'll have to ask my ex-wife; she took the Mac. :(
    • by McAddress ( 673660 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @03:52PM (#8115625)
      have you ever felt guilty over using Mac OS X instead of Linux?

      umm.. no. however i do feel guilty for having a linux box without paying $699 to SCO. wait a sec. i don't feel guilty about that either.

    • by bfg9000 ( 726447 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @05:21PM (#8116857) Homepage Journal
      -have you ever felt guilty over using Mac OS X instead of Linux?
      -You'll have to ask my ex-wife; she took the Mac. :(

      I was lucky. Mine got stuck with my Windows 98 box. They deserve each other.
    • 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.

      • 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.

        • 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 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 :)
          • by daviddennis ( 10926 ) <> on Thursday January 29, 2004 @12:29PM (#8124336) Homepage
            Well, KDE is a cheesy copy of Windows 2000, and Gnome is ... well, I'm not sure what it is since there are about a billion interfaces to it. Most of the attractive ones look like the designers were a bit too much into Goth, which isn't surprising since Gothic types may be morbid, but at least they're clever.

            I found it amusing that the Gothic designers would spend hours and hours on beautiful 3D rendering for their almost illegible Gothic fonts, leaving the fonts you actually had to use as unreadable as ever :-(.

            So you have two type of people working on Gnome/KDE, the types who want to not frighten people by making their system look as much like Windows as humanly possible, and those who do want to frighten people with morbid images! What an unbeatable combination.

            (I might sound less bitter if I'd succeeded in getting just one of the Gothic themes to actually work on my Linux PC. I actually like the Gothic types, but I can't resist poking some gentle fun at them).

            Anyway, with that setting the stage, you can see how much of a breath of fresh air MacOS X was to me. It's an original interface, that looks lovely and owes debts to nothing save its NeXTian ancestors. The fonts are lovely out of the box; you don't have to install complex X-Windows extensions with elaborate 15 step procedures to make them look ok; you can make 'em look great without any effort whatsoever. You can use great applications like Final Cut Pro and GarageBand, together with Unix stalwarts like emacs and all the command line stuff I know and love.

            I don't find MacOS X deficient in command line operation at all. There is emacs (although I wish there was a graphical version that used lovely Cocoa fonts), all my friends tar and ssh and gcc and so on are present and accounted for. It's true that command line administration is a bit obscure, but if you (like me) don't do a lot of administration on your personal computer, that's perfectly fine.

            It looks like I echo a lot of MacOS X users, when I note my 10-odd terminal windows and my 10-odd web browser windows. The value of the GUI seems to be primarily in the web browser when I'm doing work. Of course that might be because I develop web sites.

            There's definite value in having Unix and Photoshop on the same machine, and that alone makes MacOS X beat Linux and other Unix variants effortlessly.

            It's one computer for functions that used to take two or more. Not bad at all.

      • Re:Don't ask me.. (Score:5, Informative)

        by Roompel ( 599073 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @06:10PM (#8117574)
        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.

        Huh? I assume you have found the Terminal application and used it? I am a Sun/Solaris admin and I just replaced my good old Blade 100 with a G5 and nothing really changed for me. There are only four apps that I run constantly from the GUI: Terminal, Mozilla, Mail, and Acrobat. Everything else is done from the command line. You might want to check it out. Almost everything in OSX can be done from the command line. If you need some help to find your way around, check out the "OS X for UNIX geeks" book from O'Reilly.

      • 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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @03:46PM (#8115525)
    iDidn't do it.
  • 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.)
    • 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?
      • 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.

      • 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 Cyclops ( 1852 ) <> on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @04:30PM (#8116131) Homepage
        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.
        And why would you think Free Software stops programmers and/or engineers from eating? Free Software is great for custom software, which happens to be one of the the biggest software market sections, if not the biggest...
      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @05:16PM (#8116776)
        This is just ideology run amuck. Programmers and engineers need to eat too. We can't all work for free.

        Wake up. Free and Open have little to do with money or salaries or commercial interests. It has to do with rights, freedoms, security, and doing the smart thing for your own company and your clients.

        My company runs Linux on all desktops (yes, we're small and nerdy so we can do this) and production servers (just good business, here). We pay money for our operating systems, just like we would to MS or Apple. We happen to pay RedHat and SuSE for our operating systems. We get fantastic support (so far). We make (small) profits here, and we're able to pay our programmers. The RedHat and SuSE people get paid, so they're okay too. Our products save our clients money, so they're doing just well also. What the hell is the problem? Yes, we release nearly all of our own products Open Source, under the GPL. And it doesn't prevent us from charging money to people for them.

        If my company goes under, our clients have a lot of piece of mind that the latest source is available to them. Lately, there have even been 3rd party consultants who have taken our source and added features that we simply don't have time for (or disagree with), and they're able to make a living (partially, at least; I'm not sure) at that. Yee ha. There is no lack of money in Free and Open if that's what your goal is.

        Dammit, Free and Open are not about money.
      • 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 ericspinder ( 146776 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @03:54PM (#8115662) Journal
      I think that I've got it...
      (Paraphrasing)When to a show in '02, bought a wireless PC card and had trouble installing said card on Linux laptop. Bought an Apple laptop, (you know the one with the bad logic board), sent it for repair, still a problem. But this is not a "harward issue" as it is software issue because I cannot keep a second machine running Linux, every time I need to use my second machine I need to reload the OS with my preferences and settings. So, I hate fucking OSX for not setting up my Linux box for me while my Power book is in the shop again. Damn vendor lock in

      I think that he is going to try to load Linux on his Power Book. That's a followup story I'd like to see! I don't know if it is possiable, but he seemed to have trouble getting an wireless card running....

    • 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.
      • 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 GizmoToy ( 450886 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @04:22PM (#8116061) Homepage
          You sure can... I have no idea what the parent was bumbling on about.

          Take a drive out of a PC and put it into another PC - Check.
          Take a drive out of a Mac and put it into another Mac - Check.

          Both work equaly well. In fact, its even easier on the Mac. You don't even have to take out the drive!! Just hook the two Macs up via Firewire, hold Cmd-T while booting up the Mac with the problem, and have the functional Mac boot from that Firewire drive. If its a drive problem, you've just found it.

          The parent has no idea what he's talking about.
          • by Graff ( 532189 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @05:00PM (#8116577)
            Take a drive out of a PC and put it into another PC - Check.
            Take a drive out of a Mac and put it into another Mac - Check.

            Let's take this one step further:

            Take a drive out of a PC and put it into a Mac - Check.

            Sure you can't boot off of the drive without installing a Macintosh operating system but all of the data on the drive will be accessible to the Mac if the drive was formatted with FAT or NTFS. I've done this a number of times to help my PC friends recover data from their crashed PCs and it works without a hitch.

            Sure Mac OS is proprietary, but it hardly locks you in to a specific operating system. In fact Mac OS does a damn good job of trying to cooperate with as many other operating systems and file types as possible.
  • No (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @03:46PM (#8115529)
    It's pretty far down on the things I feel guilty about. I'm a middle-class white American male, you insensitive clod!
  • 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!
  • umm..... (Score:3, Funny)

    by paranoidsim ( 239426 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @03:47PM (#8115548)
    tap. tap. tap.
    click. click. click. ......

  • 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.

  • Yes, (Score:4, Funny)

    by El_Ge_Ex ( 218107 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @03:48PM (#8115570) Journal

    I fell guilty about using Windows XP.... opps, sorry wrong subject.

  • Answer: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by EvilStein ( 414640 ) <(ten.pbp) (ta) (maps)> 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.
  • Slashdot (Score:5, Funny)

    by sport_160 ( 650020 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @03:51PM (#8115602) Homepage
    Sometimes I feel guilty about doing some work, while I am trying to read Slashdot.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 ) * <skennedy@AAAtpno ... inus threevowels> 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 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 clifyt ( 11768 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @04:04PM (#8115807)
      You mean by flipping the latch on the keyboard, and pulling it back?

      It takes 3 minutes to pull the hard drive out -- ya need a phillips head and an allen wrench set. Should be in every geek's toolbag anyways.

      Not sure what the problem is. I told the guys from Apple when my screen burned out that I had confidential files and would not be sending the drive with it, and they didn't blink. I called on a Wednesday, got the package to send it out Thursday afternoon, and got my machine back the middle of next week.

      Again, not sure what they problem is here...
      • by dgerman ( 78602 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @04:14PM (#8115949) Homepage
        Are you sure you are talking about a Dual USB ibook, white, 12" screen?

        Look at the following picture [] (and the rest of the instructions []). The disk does not sit under the keyboard, and requires the removal of the back of the laptop and many other screws.

        • by clifyt ( 11768 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @04:38PM (#8116234)
          Sounds exactly like mine...unfortuantely, I can't read the GeoCities page as its exceeded its limits right now.

          Every single Mac Laptop I've had in the last 5 years has worked the exact same way. In the space that you insert the airport card is a little metal cover. Ya unscrew it, pull on the handle provided and lift it off. From there, ya have access to the internal memory -- the stuff they don't want you to upgrade yourself, but won't void your warentee if ya do and beside that, the hard drive.

          From my music forums, I've helped a number of people upgrade their drives from the standard 48k RPM (iBook) and 56k RPM (the others) to faster drives...not one had any real problems getting at it.

          But again, it sounds exactly like my machine...I haven't opened a G4 iBook yet, but I've heard they were the same as well.
  • 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).

  • 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?

  • by superpulpsicle ( 533373 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @03:55PM (#8115671)
    A couple years back my uncle wore some lousy Apple t-shirt when he was fixing his car. He got more sh*t from random people than yankees fan in boston.

    Ever since then my uncle gets extremely embarrassed when he mentions he's a mac user. He just doesn't know what to expect next.

  • by metrazol ( 142037 ) <jwm33.cornell@edu> on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @03:56PM (#8115675)
    Why would iFeel guilty about using OSX? I'm a new PowerBook owner and iFeel having a nice UNIX/BSD/Whatever core under my iHood is a feature. Linux is, as many have stated, not ready for mass desktop usage (though iDisagree, with the latest KDE builds...) so running OSX gives me a system my iFriends, my iMother, my iCoworkers, etc. are more comfortable using while it is secure, powerful, and pretty. That review of BSD yesterday said just that, "Greater server, but the desktop is lacking." OSX gives us Aqua, which solves the desktop problem.

    Now, some people will say that using OSX and Apple hardware brainwashes people into supporting Apple blindly. That is not the case. iLove Apple. They have never done anything that iDislike and iHave never noticed any kind of subliminal messages. iLove Apple. iPlan to upgrade and iPlan to stick with this company. iCal tells me to...
  • 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.
  • 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 Bizzarobot ( 442358 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @04:17PM (#8115995) Homepage
      It's like being taken hostage initially against your will, then realizing your captors are the Swedish Bikini Team.
    • 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.
  • by morelife ( 213920 ) <f00fbug@postRECH ... minus cat> 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 Bingo Foo ( 179380 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @03:59PM (#8115732)
    have you ever felt guilty over using Mac OS X instead of Linux?

    Not since realizing that you get what you pay for.

  • by stephanruby ( 542433 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @04:02PM (#8115782)
    Guilt. Linux. OS X. Sounds like a religious post to me.
  • 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 afbialek ( 746218 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @04:07PM (#8115855)
    how could I feel guilty about OS X? ok, it's gross that icons wiggle and pop up when you click them, that the iBook itself looks like a jelly bean, and that sometimes the running iChat man makes me laugh...but some of us like computers to seem happy :). (why else do you think emoticons were invented?)
  • sometimes (Score:5, Funny)

    by minus_273 ( 174041 ) <> on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @04:11PM (#8115914) Journal
    I wake up in the middle of the night crying.. knowing that i use photoshop, dreamweaver, office and many other wonderfull programs on my unix box. I feel horrible that my favorite OS is supported by hardware manufacturers and works seamlessly with windows PCs but i dont have all the issues of a windows user..
  • 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 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. :-)
  • by wehe ( 135130 ) <wehe&tuxmobil,org> on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @04:37PM (#8116217) Homepage Journal
    There are already many Linux distributions dedicated/ported to Apple's hardware. Especially there are many Linux installation reports on Apple PowerBooks and iBooks [].
  • Guilty? Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kitzilla ( 266382 ) <> 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.

  • i do! (Score:5, Informative)

    by slavitos ( 666569 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @05:35PM (#8117073) Homepage
    it seems that the majority here doesn't feel guilty... well, i do...

    i spent an entire year preaching Linux to all my friends but i have to admit that all the way i've been having tons of problems with it... USB devices were not working, attempts to switch keyboard layouts gave me XFree86 errors, trying to do accounting with Gnucash was a lunacy, and could XMMS be ANY UGLIER? Then i tried installing XD2 from Ximian (which I still consider the best "graphical shell" for Linux) and that just broke *everything* on my laptop... On that day i just got so mad i walked down the street and got a powerbook G4...

    so, back to the guilt thing.... yes, i do feel guilty - probably because i kind of showed myself as a hypocrite - preaching linux to others then getting an Apple machine. i think the key with Linux happiness is to recognize whether it's APPROPRIATE for what you do. if you need email, web browsers and a shell then Linux IS perfeect... but if you try to use it the way i did (USB, Music, several business applications, multimedia), then you better know how to recompile things yourself (i don't).

  • Guilty? (Score:4, Funny)

    by shking ( 125052 ) <babulicm@cu u g . a> on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @05:42PM (#8117185) Homepage
    It also raises the obvious question: have you ever felt guilty over using Mac OS X instead of Linux?"

    Nope. I feel smug, just like the rest of my cult... err... community

  • by zpok ( 604055 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @10:24PM (#8119862) Homepage
    Knock yourself out you horrible linux user you [].

    ...trying some reverse psychology here, aiming for guilt, revulsion and a subconscious unnatural urge to play with his erm... garageband)

"The number of Unix installations has grown to 10, with more expected." -- The Unix Programmer's Manual, 2nd Edition, June, 1972