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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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  • WTF (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 26, 2007 @09:49AM (#21478197)
    Next time I see tripe like this on the firehose I'm going to throw a negative on it, instead of just ignoring it. Get stardock and window blinds? I mean seriously ...
  • Apple 'wow' factor (Score:2, Insightful)

    by 0100010001010011 ( 652467 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @09:50AM (#21478201)
    DeskSpace has a much flashier spinning-cube effect for the Apple 'wow' factor, as you can see from the manufacturer's screenshot above.

    The thing that I like about most Apple 'wow' factors is they're non-intrusive. Flipping between screens I don't want a 1 second visualization. I do it constantly and it'd get annoying and in my way. When I switch users. I don't mind that extra second because I do it once and it's nice to show that I'm actually switching users.
  • Way #6 (Score:2, Insightful)

    by morgan_greywolf ( 835522 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @09:53AM (#21478237) Homepage Journal
    Way #6: Install Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon. It includes most of this stuff right out of the box and the rest can be added right from Synaptic.

  • Re:DIY? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by mynsa ( 1144971 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @09:53AM (#21478241)
    Why not just buy a mac? seems the easiest option to me
  • misses the point (Score:5, Insightful)

    by xirtam_work ( 560625 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @10:05AM (#21478351)
    What makes Mac OS X special is not the glitz and glamour on the surface, it's what's underneath. The Cocoa framework for Objective C is head and shoulders above the MFC/Win32 programming approach. it's built on BSD and Mach and is now officially a Unix certified OS. It's built in a logical and elegant way. You can run Linux/Unix apps on it. X11 is included, although an optional install. OpenGl and Aqua make it beautiful to look at. There are literally hundreds of reasons why I prefer it, but won't go into them here.

    Simply skinning XP with an' aqua' style skin and adding a dock does not make it anything like OS X. Any more than putting a Ferrari shell on top of a ford doesn't make it a Ferrari.
  • by TobyRush ( 957946 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @10:07AM (#21478363) Homepage

    My question for all of you is how, when I'm there at Christmas, do I make MacOS X more like Windows so that she's more comfortable with using the OS?

    Install BootCamp with Windows XP.

    However, if you're looking to keep her on MacOS because of the security or something else, then you'll need to figure out what specifically she's missing from Windows. Often, with casual users, it's just interface stuff that throws them for a loop, and that can be pretty easy to solve. Does she miss contextual menus (i.e., right-clicking in Windows?)? Get her a two-button mouse or show her the multi-touch trackpad capabilities (like two-fingered click = right-click). Does she miss the Start menu? Set up a folder in the dock with her favorite stuff.

    Of course it may be that she just doesn't like using computers, and is using the MacOS/Windows thing as an excuse to avoid them...

  • Re:DIY? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sm62704 ( 957197 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @10:08AM (#21478395) Journal
    I'd have modded this comment "funny" (as it was obviously intended) rather than "troll". OTOH I'd have modded the summmary "flamebait" for it suse of the phrase "Apple Fanboy". Actually the whole summary was rather trollish; if the summary was a comment and I was modding I'd mad it "Troll".

    I'm not an Apple user; I run XP and Mandriva dual-boot and don't even have an iPod, but that summary was a troll. And the word "fanboy" is flamebait whether you're commenting on Apple, Microsoft, Linux, Be, Sun, or any other OS, company, or organization.

    Is a bit of civility in the article summary too much to ask? I wish "drinking from the the firehose" was more like modding than a simple "yes/no".

    Taco usually does a better job of editing than this (running jokes aside) but hay, it's Monday after a 4 day weekend. I'll cut him some slack.

    -mcgrew [kuro5hin.org]
  • Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DrXym ( 126579 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @10:09AM (#21478401)
    There is nothing wrong with either XP's or Vista's look and feel. Why the hell would you want to make it look like OS X? It seems that if you absolutely love the look of OS X that the best way of obtaining it is to buy a Mac.
  • Re:That's silly (Score:2, Insightful)

    by juiceCake ( 772608 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @10:15AM (#21478455)

    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./

    Of course many of us run Windows free of viruses, malware, and shitware, and with high end graphics program that are ported to Windows, and ported well. We edit video, create books, posters, illustrations, animations, etc. We also realize it's no longer the early 90s.

  • Re:DIY? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) * on Monday November 26, 2007 @10:20AM (#21478519) Journal

    Why not just buy a mac? seems the easiest option to me
    Not if you've only got $900 to spend.
  • by Neitokun ( 882224 ) <nmalynn@gmail.com> on Monday November 26, 2007 @10:26AM (#21478579) Homepage
    ObjectDock is garbage, Konfabulator sucks up system resources, and DeskSpaces looks no different than YDOM, which made my system thrash like no tomorrow. (Granted, I don't have a 3D card) I wonder how much StarDock paid to get top billing...
  • by 0xdeadbeef ( 28836 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @10:40AM (#21478739) Homepage Journal
    Oh, great and wise Apple guru, what other objects does that action work on? Because so far, I've only found it on the Dock.

    And how is my mother supposed to learn this? Right-click is non-destructive (unlike several meta-click combinations on the Mac) and it takes seconds to discover.
  • by davidwr ( 791652 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @11:16AM (#21479177) Homepage Journal
    When I can insert a commercial Mac DVD or download a Mac .DMG installer disk, run the installer, and run the apps, then I'll have a PC that looks and feels like a Mac [laughingsquid.com].

  • Re:That's silly (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mdb303 ( 911529 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @11:19AM (#21479209)
    people don't choose Macs because of any of the Apple's features

    Really?? I guess I must have been imagining it, then, when I chose to use Macs due to their superior UI, their Unix core, their high quality bundled applications, their superior hardware, etc., etc.

  • Re:DIY? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by omeomi ( 675045 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @11:25AM (#21479301) Homepage
    Am I the only one who's tired of the PC being cast as the boring office-machine while OSX is fun? Or, as the article puts it, "ancient HP WageSlave 486s in strip-lit spreadsheet farms across the world". Not that I give a crap about which OS is more fun...I'm just tired of hearing the same message repeated over and over again. Yeah, I get it, Apple wants me to think PCs are for work, and Macs are for fun.

    Less is more. War is peace. 2+2=5.


    I'm currently typing this on a Mac, but seriously, gaming has always been way better on the PC than on the Mac, and while OSX comes with better entry-level multimedia-creation tools, on the professional front, I can't think of a single OSX application that doesn't have a comparable Windows-based competitor. It's not like anybody serious about movie or music making would use iMovie or GarageBand, anyway.
  • Re:That's silly (Score:3, Insightful)

    by donscarletti ( 569232 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @11:35AM (#21479417)

    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
    I call bullshit on that. In 1981, when MSDOS first came out there were plenty of advanced UNIX systems with multi-user capability, multitasking, memory protection, device abstraction etc. In 1984 the Mac was released which had a user friendly graphical UI and multimedia abilities while windows wouldn't be common for another 8 years. Now with something like Windows 2k3 server you at least have something that won't crash on a protection fault and will remain responsive most of the time. I wouldn't use it for anything serious, but for general user-desktop use it works fine. Sure, you either have to fork out the price of another two computers, pirate it or get an academic version like I did, but it generally works pretty well. Back in the late 90s of course you had a choice between running Win9X which would run your desktop applications but would provide zero fault tolerance or security or NT4 which simply wouldn't run the bulk of the consumer software that was still coming out but still seemed to get PWNED by a new worm each week. At least with NT5 and Vista there's a single platform you can run your games and consumer apps on so you don't have to go without memory protection to be a home user.
  • by dpbsmith ( 263124 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @11:45AM (#21479531) Homepage
    I stopped reading the article right there.
  • Re:DIY? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Cal Paterson ( 881180 ) * on Monday November 26, 2007 @12:17PM (#21479939)

    Am I the only one who's tired of the PC being cast as the boring office-machine while OSX is fun?
    Am I the only tired of the PC being cast as a Windows machine? There are a whole host of operating systems that run on IBM PC's. In fact, OSX is one of the one operating systems that does not.

    If you mean Windows, say "Windows".
  • by foldingstock ( 945985 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @12:58PM (#21480515)
    Unlike OSX, running all that crap on Vista or XP (stardock, "myexpose", etc) will significantly slow windows down. You can't bolt on a load of [poorly designed] third party apps and say its more like OSX.

    Linux can run IE, that doesn't make it "more like windows."
  • Re:That's silly (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ToasterMonkey ( 467067 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @01:10PM (#21480683) Homepage
    Right, I suppose that's Linux's excuse also. Security is so poo-poo on Mac OS X and Linux that they're only safe because they aren't big enough targets. uh huh.

    Look man, Windows security _was_ horrible.... nonexistent. Mac OS X and Linux are not in some security Dark Age just because they haven't had widespread attacks. If/when malware and viruses come to these platforms, they are plenty prepared. There wont be a repeat on the same scale as some older Windows attacks. Vista will have an easier time this generation too. Think where OS security will be however far into the future you think Mac OS X or Linux could be 'big enough' targets.

    Some malware can already be adopted to any platform. Trojans, installed to user's home directory, and replication done by using the client's mail application, all while throwing out dozens of pop-up confirmations. The kind of attack vector which will probably exist for another 10 years or so in computing.

    There will always be bugs in system software, but as far as being a serious compromise to security, they get fewer and further between. Too many different layers today for the nastier types of stuff that used to fly in the past.
  • Re:That's silly (Score:2, Insightful)

    by tooslickvan ( 1061814 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @02:42PM (#21482003)
    People chose Macs for many different reasons. Some may pick them for stability and freedom from viruses but I suspect most purchase them for other reasons because it would require that the buyer is educated on these things. The percentage of home users who buy computers who know computers is small. Most people buying Macs are probably buying them because their friends recommended them, the case and UI look cool, or because they were in the Apple store already to buy an iPod.
  • Re:That's silly (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CaptDeuce ( 84529 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @02:58PM (#21482249) 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.

    There is some truth to that. TFA featured Windows equivalents of the Dock, Exposé, Dashboard, Spaces, and -- for lack of a better term -- window & desktop skins. None of those will convince Average User to pick any OS over another.

    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.

    While you do cite stability I would instead describe the reasons people choose a Mac as:

    • It is easier to use
    • It Just Works

    Malware and bloatware is gravy. Aside from viruses, most users take everything else that is evil for granted and are often incredulous as to all the crap (including viruses) that is missing on the Mac; you virtually have to show them a working Mac before they can fully grasp the reality.

    Ask your Average User who has any sort of clue why a Mac would be a good choice (and I have asked many over the years) and the typical response is that "it's easier to use" (seriously!) and something like "isn't it good for graphics?"

    Easier to use refers to the interface. The Mac interface is (generally) simple, clean, and intuitable (the amount of intuition spread across individuals of the human population is not constant). A person left alone with a Mac will often be able to perform basic tasks with little or no help. Which leads to...

    "It just works" means that the Out of the Box experience is virtually painless. The most troublesome is configuring email; it can be for me too but I know what information I need and manage to find it though some ISPs [coughroadrunnercough] do their best to make it difficult to find.

    Installing software and peripherals most often goes without a hitch and using them continues to do so. I've known countless numbers of Windows users who simply give up using printers, scanners, mice, and whatever else you can think of; fewer than Mac users to be sure.

  • Re:Who cares? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cayenne8 ( 626475 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @04:13PM (#21483261) Homepage Journal
    I'd say...save a bit longer...$600 for a system just is NOT really practical, at least not for very much use.

    Why not save up a bit more. You could get a nice iMac.....and with VMWare...well, then you'd have the best of all worlds. You could run OSX apps, you could run windows stuff virtually, and you have a pretty easy run with open source software on OSX too.

    This way with a little more $ upfront, you have all the OS'es you want to run, all the apps you will need for awhile, and a system that actually will hold its value for awhile.

  • Re:600 US$ Mac (Score:4, Insightful)

    by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) * on Monday November 26, 2007 @05:22PM (#21484149) Journal

    You can get a Mac mini...
    I use professional PCI audio hardware for my digital audio workstation, so a Mac Mini is out. I've used the firewire and USB hardware, like the M-Audio Fast Track Pro and the Mbox from digidesign, and I much prefer having the card in the case. I just can't seem to get the same responsiveness from the external gear, nor can I use nearly as many audio and midi tracks and effects. I've spent a few thousand dollars on my specialized audio hardware, and I'm not going to replace it all with firewire stuff just so I can run a Mac Mini which is so much less powerful than the machine I built for myself. Unfortunately, for me, it's either the Mac Pro or a PC. Since I've got a kid to put through school, I just can't justify the additional expense of the Mac Pro just because it's a little cooler than my XP Pro system. I mean, an Aston Martin DB9 is cooler than my Subaru, but I can't justify the additional cost for that either. I've sat in a DB9, and I can tell you for sure that the Aston Martin's interface is cooler than my Subaru's too.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo.