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How to Turn Your PC into a Mac 492

An anonymous reader writes "CNet is running a Mac fanboy's idea of a nightmare feature entitled 'Mock OS X: Five ways to make your PC more like a Mac'. While the idea of turning my PC into a Mac-like machine does get my juices flowing, I'm not sure the user experience would be exactly the same but I'm going to spend this afternoon trying it out anyway. "To borrow a metaphor from Spartacus, some people like oysters and some people like snails. Except what if there was a way to make your snail do some of the cool things oysters can do, like make pearls? And what if you could make your PC do some of the cool stuff that Macs do so well?"" Seems to me that this would be a lot easier if step one was install linux...
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How to Turn Your PC into a Mac

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 26, 2007 @09:52AM (#21478229)
    Crassius: Do you eat oysters?
    Antoninus: Yes.
    C: Snails?
    A: No.
    C: Do you consider the eating of oysters to be moral and the eating of snails to be immoral?
    A: No, master.
    C: Of course not. Its all a matter of taste, isnt it?
    A: Yes, master.
    C: And taste is not the same as appetite and therefore not a question of morals, is it?
    A: It could be argured so, master.
    C: Um, thatll do. My robe, Antoninus. Ah, my taste includes both oysters and snails.

    Or how sexual preferences can become a topic in a Mac / PC comparison...

  • That's silly (Score:3, Informative)

    by sm62704 ( 957197 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @09:58AM (#21478277) Journal
    I didn't RTFA (I must not be new here) but people don't choose Macs because of any of the Apple's features. People choose Macs for stability and freedom from viruses and other shitware (the reasons we wipe Windows and install Linux) and because some high end graphics programs either aren't ported to Windows or are ported badly.

    The best way to make your Windows more "like a Mac" is to install Linux for its stability and freedom from shitware. That said, if I ever buy another whole computer (which I haven't done since 1987, I just upgrade parts as needed) It will be a Mac.

    I'm amused by the car commercial where they're touting its bluetooth, "powered by Microsoft". No way in hell I'd buy one, just because it's "(under)powered by Microsoft." ! I've been using Microsoft's OSes and programs for a quarter of a century, and they used to be the best quality out there. The quality has been declining for all that time, IMO right now Microsoft's OSes and programs are by far the very worst either on or off the market.

  • by riffzifnab ( 449869 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @09:59AM (#21478293) Journal
    Just get a second drive if you want to play with linux. Back in the day I used to play around with drive resizing and there is a high probability it will end in tears (but then what doesn't?). Besides, another hd = more space for your (totally legal) music, etc.
  • UI Enhancements (Score:2, Informative)

    by CFBMoo1 ( 157453 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @10:01AM (#21478307) Homepage
    UI enhancements like this scare me. There were a couple of computers that came in to the shop when i worked for a college campus RESNET that flat out refused to work with Cisco's network access software. Apparently the UI enchancement replaced a key OS DLL file that the Cisco stuff needed and wasn't compatable with the Cisco stuff. In order for that person to use their computer on our network we had to uninstall their UI software. Be careful what you purchase for UI enhancements.
  • by Thornburg ( 264444 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @10:01AM (#21478311)
    Umm, use Boot Camp to install Windows XP? It even lets you dual-boot, you don't have to trash the Mac OS to do it.
  • by mattgoldey ( 753976 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @10:08AM (#21478383)
    Some jokes never get old. This isn't one of them.

    Every Mac desktop now comes standard with a Mighty Mouse. It has two regular mouse buttons, plus the ability to squeeze the sides of the mouse for a 3rd button. It also has a mini trackball on top that allows the user to scroll in two directions and click it for a 4th button. Every button on the Mighty Mouse is fully configurable within Mac OS X.

    In addition, even before multi-button mice were standard issue, it's not as if they were ever really needed in Mac OS. Right-clicking is just not all that common. Mac OS is just not designed around the right-click the way Windows is.

    Even further... if you didn't want a Mighty Mouse, or if you have a Mac that didn't come with one, any standard USB mouse will work on a Mac, so you can have as many buttons and wheels as you want.
  • by Ai Olor-Wile ( 997427 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @10:16AM (#21478477) Homepage
    This is actually an advertisement for Stardock disguised as Apple fanboyism. The only paid product really indicated is the miserable dock application of the same company, which has much better and completely free alternatives. With the exception of Expose and Spaces, I'm pretty sure the author's entire range of features can be delivered by Stardock software.

    I also like how they avoid mentioning that you could just crack uxtheme.dll yourself, which is what FlyAKiteOS does, and theme to your heart's content, instead opting to plug WindowBlinds, which is again inferior due to sluggishness. (The author doesn't even mention WB's one user-attracting point, which is that it themes every control, even the stuff that XP themes don't touch.)
  • Re:DIY? (Score:3, Informative)

    by toQDuj ( 806112 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @10:22AM (#21478555) Homepage Journal
    If you've only got 900 dollars to spend, perhaps you shouldn't be focusing on getting a new pc... Especially since you won't get more than 500 euro's worth of pc ;).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 26, 2007 @10:30AM (#21478631)
    Well you could install a bunch of spyware ...

    Is it running Leopard? I find if you put the folders (especially the application folder) in the dock, you can click on it and it'll show everything in side of it. At that point its basically a "start menu". Click on the little icon and then click on the program you want to run. The dock is basically the taskbar. MacOS really isn't that hard.

    However, if your Mom really wants XP you can actually format the machine with a standard MBR partition table and install Windows XP to the whole machine (note you wouldn't be able to do firmware updates at that point). Of course you mom would be dead to me and the rest of the Mac world for such an unforgivable offense but I'm sure you and her can live with that :).

    On the other hand, I'm the only Mac-user in my extended family and I told my grandmother not to get a Mac (so others could do the pointless Windows tech support). They know I don't fix Windows machines anymore. They can bug my dad or an uncle for that.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 26, 2007 @10:41AM (#21478745)
    You can configure touchpad to recognize 2-finger tap as "right click" (btw, you can scroll with two fingers anywhere on touchpad, very useful).

    Also if you have one-button mouse (or touchpad for that matter) - "right-click" can be done by Command-Clicking it.
  • from a boomer here (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 26, 2007 @11:12AM (#21479121)
    Ask her if your dad got her a new top of the line mercedes if she could "figure out" how to drive it.

    She sounds like she just wants to run some applications and *not* an OS. Which is what most people do. Just show her how to run the probably few applications she needs, after that there isn't any need to "figure out" anything. You see this all the time really, business or personal, people learn a few applications and that's it, the rest of the machine never gets used (like bloated linux DVD distros, who the hell uses 5,000 applications??? I defy anyone to actually admit to running that many applications, I'll call em a liar to their face. I load up a new distro then start paring it down, even just the full CD distros have way too much crap on them for most people)

    With that said, I have run into folks who really can't "figure" stuff out, it just isn't in their skill set, by the time they are in their 20s, that's it, their brain shuts off and they go into maintenance mode. It is neither bad nor good, just is, so no sense fighting it.. Just is is all, you'll have to determine based on other examples if your mom falls into that category. I happen to know another lady of your mother's (mine also) age group, just a little bit older, who has an imac she got and can't figure it out either, point her to user guides and forums, etc, no dice, nothing works, just can't garner any computer mindset.

    It does too much stuff!!!

    And that's whats wrong with computers, and apple, and windows, and "desktop linux", all of them, and why there needs to be computing appliances, not that they do stuff, they do too much stuff! It's turned into one size fits nobody!

    And here's another example of how a lot of computer makers don't get it, people want an appliance for the most part, but computers are designed and built and sold by computer enthusiasts. There needs to be just a modular computer appliance for the other 99.999% of the population, the potential customer gets a checklist of normal apps with descriptions, "surf the web" chat with friends" "watch movies" play games", a "what would you like to do?" thing, that gets checked off and only that is what the appliance "does" with big fat buttons that work with one mash and that's it, even directly on the keyboard or better yet just a blank machine with plug in applications as hardware modules. A little strip that took some sort of bog standard usb things that are preloaded, something like that, plug right into the side of the keyboard say. And don't over burden it, more than half a dozen things would fall back into general computer usage, but for those who can get buy with half a dozen or under major apps-an appliance would be loads better, especially if loaded a ram disk image and was instantly clean and new after every fresh boot. Eliminate that trojan malware crapola.

    The only reason internet appliances never caught on was because they were underpowered over priced junk and they did stupid stuff like "no mouse included" like webtv. I honestly think there is a market for such a device as long as nerds didn't design all the aspects of it. Underneath, yes, out on the surface where the customer touches it, get them nerds away! Not even *close* to their skills.

    I should actually make these things thinking about it, huge untapped market because previous efforts were dumbed down near computers, a real appliance would be just as powerful as a regular computer (really should have 5 times the RAM though standard, each plug in module gets its own gig 0 ram say), just designed as an appliance. I have no idea why some smart guys haven't bingoed to this yet, except that they are all geeks so they think everyone wants to be a geek or something. Even Jobs doesn't get it because he's a geek. He almost gets it, but too far gone into it now, can't step back and walk in a non geeks shoes any longer.

    Saw the same thing with cellphones and the amazing shrinking screens and buttons while the population ages and gets shakier fingers and crappier ey
  • Re:DIY? (Score:2, Informative)

    by benbean ( 8595 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @11:32AM (#21479383)
    >It's not like anybody serious about movie or music making would use iMovie or GarageBand, anyway.

    No, they would use Final Cut Pro and Soundtrack Pro on, um, a Mac.
  • Re:DIY? (Score:2, Informative)

    by omeomi ( 675045 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @11:36AM (#21479427) Homepage
    Or they would use Adobe Premiere / Adobe Aftereffects for video on the PC, or Cubase (Mac and PC), Sonar (PC Only), or ProTools (Mac and PC) for Music...
  • 600 US$ Mac (Score:2, Informative)

    by LKM ( 227954 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @11:43AM (#21479507) Homepage
    You can get a Mac mini for 600 bucks. If you wait a month and spend 1100 bucks, you can get a MacBook, and for a 100 bucks more, a very nice iMac.

    Apple Store Online []
  • Re:DIY? (Score:3, Informative)

    by omeomi ( 675045 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @11:56AM (#21479679) Homepage
    Running cubase or protools on mac vs the pc is exactly what got lots of pros going for the mac.

    I run both on both Windows and OSX, and I've never had a problem.
  • Re:600 US$ Mac (Score:2, Informative)

    by Mister Whirly ( 964219 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @12:12PM (#21479877) Homepage
    Yes, you can get a Mac Mini for $600. Then another $200-$300 for a display. Then add in another $40 - $80 on a USB keyboard and mouse (make it $100 if you want official Apple brand stuff). Then don't forget speakers.

    All in all a Mac Mini will cost you about $900 or more to set up, not the "it's only $600" I hear often quoted.

    Just to give you an idea, you could get a Dell Inspiron 531s desktop with an AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core 4000+, 1 GB RAM, 250GB hard drive, 17" widescreen flat panel LCD for $549. And yes, that also includes keyboard, mouse, and speakers... []
  • Re:DIY? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 26, 2007 @12:15PM (#21479915)
    Actually, from someone who's a film editor, 90% of jobs available are for Final Cut Pro people. You'll rarely find a job using Premiere, or even Avid.
  • Re:DIY? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 26, 2007 @12:17PM (#21479943)
    Bullshit, plain and simple. You can't get a usable entry level Mac that doesn't suck (I.E. Mini with no display, kb, mouse, speakers, etc) for less than $1100. Entry level PCs can be found for around $600 with everything you need to use them. Apple fans may have some points to brag about, but price will never be one of them.
  • Re:DIY? (Score:3, Informative)

    by omeomi ( 675045 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @04:47PM (#21483683) Homepage
    Could you explain this statement a little more please? I'm not sure the difference between a recordist and a composer?

    Well, within the music industry, recording of bands at record studios tends to be done on Pro Tools, partly because it's rock solid, and partly because it's what everybody else uses. If you're recording the Axl Rose / Slash reunion album, and you only get one take before they kill each other, you don't want there to be a glitch that ruins the take. Also, in a record studio, you often have an engineer who may not know anything about writing or performing music, but knows a heck of a lot about recording it. For composers who work, say, on video game or film music, or even a lot of electronica producers, a glitch (often caused by overloading the capabilities of the computer) doesn't always make much of a difference, and might even be a gateway to a new creative idea. The composition tools of Pro Tools have never quite measured up to Logic, Cubase, or Sonar, so a lot of us go for those programs instead, especially since they're less expensive than Pro Tools. Are you saying a composer does more before hitting the studio than the other group, which goes into the studio with more basic ideas and works up the tunes from those live?

    Not at all. I'm basically looking at it from the perspective of the guy behind the computer. If you're an engineer at a record studio, your primary concern is getting the best recording possible. Glitches are a no-go. You're not really a part of the compositional process. If you're a composer who's producing music entirely "in the box", you might be more interested in greater creative expression, and less in stability. Not that any of these programs are unstable, but Pro Tools does a better job of not letting you over-extend the capabilities of your system, thus causing problems.
  • by juiceCake ( 772608 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @04:47PM (#21483689)

    Yeah, in Windows, you absolutely need to right-click.

    No you don't. You don't even have to use the mouse at all.

    You don't have to hit ALT + Keyboard Shortcut for several menu options either, but you can.

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