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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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  • A better idea... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jamar0303 ( 896820 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @09:51AM (#21478225)
    Or, instead of just replicating the look, you can put some real work into it and get the real thing- OSx86. Of course, apparently it's illegal in some countries- at least it's not in mine.
  • by rolfwind ( 528248 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @09:54AM (#21478247)
    It's always been resistant toward going to the middle-low and low-end market in terms of price. In the 90s, they experimented with licensing out their software and letting generic makers market hardware bundled with it -- but it cannabalized their own sales.

    I wonder if they could make it work differently today -- if they stipulate that the manufacturers couldn't make any hardware over $500 or so. Just to catch the low-end market for marketshare but not having the support headaches and losses that cheap manufacturers often bring.

    Even in the PC market there are higher-end manufacturers (Lenovo/IBM laptops) so why not apple? With the price ceiling in the contract, I can't imagine the other manufacturers will put out a pretty package that will compete with Apple directly but one for budget conscious consumers that Apple could never have hoped to catch anyway.
  • by garcia ( 6573 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @09:54AM (#21478253)
    My father just bought my mother a 17" Macbook because he couldn't find a laptop he wanted to buy for her that didn't require you to buy Vista and then downgrade to XP later.

    My mother despises MacOS and can't "figure anything out." Now while I don't care for MacOS myself I tried to explain some things over the phone to her so that she would at least be able to use it for the time being until my well-meaning father can figure out what to do to fix things for her. She pretty much was being unreasonable about the whole thing and said over and over, "I'm 57 years old, I don't want to learn something else."

    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?
  • Re:DIY? (Score:0, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 26, 2007 @10:02AM (#21478317)
    Parent is not a troll. The truth hurts, eh fanboys?
  • by krunk7 ( 748055 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @10:38AM (#21478717)

    She pretty much was being unreasonable about the whole thing and said over and over, "I'm 57 years old, I don't want to learn something else."

    I had to put up with tons of phone calls to support windows, clean of viruses, etc. my mother and father's windows computers. One of my main tasks when I came home to visit was "Look at the computer for a while", which means try and make it run like new.

    I bought them a Mac about 2 years ago. At first, I got the same response. Endless whining about not wanting to learn something new. I simply told them that I was their computer "advisor and repairman", this was a lower maintenance, lower risk machine and if they chose to go back to windows they'd be on their own from here on out. Stick with mac and I'll be their free tech support bitch again.

    Took a month or so, but now they'd never use windows again. In 2.5 years, I've received 4 phone calls. Two of them were a broke cable modem. The cable company kept telling her "it was a mac thing", but a surge had killed the modem. After insisting they replace the modem, everything worked. One of the calls was to ask me how to get from Hotmail to Gmail + Apple The third was to ask how to connect the internet, which used to be quite the support call with windows. Yes, I can do it quickly but trying to get a 55 year old woman who learned computers relatively recently to "Go to start, Right click Network Icon, blah blah" proved quite the trial often involving a couple of reboots and head scratching on why the hell it wouldn't come up. With her new Mac my only support advise was "Plug in the wire that looks like a huge phone plug on the end into the only place it'll go on the back of the computer".

    My only point being, she comes to you for advice because she knows no better. If she's going to be stubborn, then return in kind. Just tell her you'll never help with computer issues again if she doesn't put minimal effort into learning her new one (I mean really, 99% of the effort is learning two new icons: Safari & Mail). Little does she know you won't really be doing any tech support whether she stays with mac or not. ;)

  • Re:That's silly (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kklein ( 900361 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @10:43AM (#21478769)

    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.

    Be careful. I bought a Mac laptop because I couldn't stand the thought of living in a Vista world and I actually have to do things with my computer so Linux isn't an option. Now the Mac is starting to take over my entire computing life. I have put my work-provided computer in my filing cabinet because that MacBook plays better with the Windows domain than Windows, hits the wi-fi when I'm elsewhere on campus every time, and comes home and goes right to work here as well. It's astonishing how good it is.

    I'm not particularly averse to setting things up but... I can't complain about not having to!

    I'm now eying a MacPro for my home computer because right now I just don't even want to turn my XP computer on anymore, but that's where I have my music, etc., so I have to.

    I kid you not, this time last year I was mocking the Mac something fierce. Now I'm recommending it to anyone who asks. It's like running Linux, but with developer support and it doesn't look like ass and you don't have to edit text files just to make it boot right (as of Ubuntu 7.10, I shouldn't be using this complaint anymore, though).

  • by samkass ( 174571 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @11:42AM (#21479489) Homepage Journal
    One of the nice features of Leopard (MacOS X 10.5) is that it's really, really easy to do screen sharing and show them stuff remotely from another Mac. If you're in a video chat with them via iChat, just select the button that requests screen sharing. It will ask the other user for permission, and if they grant it it will open up the firewall and set up a VNC connection with their machine as the server. You'll still be chatting with them, too, but the chat will shrink to the corner of the screen. No need to wait for Christmas.
  • by pikine ( 771084 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @11:50AM (#21479603) Journal

    I successfully converted my mom to use a Mac Mini this summer. One time she mistakenly hid the dock. She panicked and called me, but she didn't know what it's called. All she said was "the icons disappeared."

    I ssh'd into her computer and ran OSXvnc server (now Vine server) tunneled over ssh. I noticed the problem and fixed it for her on the phone while she watched what I was doing. The most difficult part was to figure out what her IP address was in the first place.

    She didn't have to learn any new icons. Both Skype and Firefox icons look the same. She uses Yahoo! Mail and Gmail, so she didn't have to learn anything new.

  • by Tom ( 822 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @01:12PM (#21480727) Homepage Journal
    TFA clearly shows why MS and everyone of the same mindset will never copy Apple: They focus on the entirely wrong things.

    Sure, Expose is nice, and the dock is better than the stupid taskbar (hey, what isn't?). But that isn't the point.

    The really good things about OS X, that you can't emulate with a couple shareware tools, or choosing an OS X like skin/theme. What sold me on OS X is that things just work. It really is that simple. Plug in some USB device, it just works. No annoying "looky, hardware!" wizard. You need something, anything (text, picture, diagram) from one app in another - drag & drop. Just works. On windos, it sometimes does, sometimes doesn't and the rest of the time gives you something you didn't expect (like the URL of the picture, or weirdly formatted text).
    The list goes on pretty much endless, and it all boils down to the computer doing what you want and expect it to do, instead of being a fairly accurate simulation of a wild beast that needs taming before you can use it, and where you should still never let your guard down.

    And that is the point, the nice GUI and useful additions are just icing on the cake.
  • Re:DIY? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by omeomi ( 675045 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @01:58PM (#21481441) Homepage
    Am I the only tired of the PC being cast as a Windows machine?

    I said PC because I meant PC. I didn't specifically mention Linux, but when talking about games, I said "PC". To me, that includes Linux, because you can run a lot of Windows games on Linux using Wine. I only referred to Windows when talking about professional multimedia creation tools, because that is an area where Linux is seriously lacking.
  • by greywire ( 78262 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @02:31PM (#21481851) Homepage
    Yes, that's right. My previous job provided me with a macbook pro for the 6 months I was there. I had to give it back when I took a much better job that provided me with a windows (vista..) notebook.

    I hadn't used a mac in many years. I used to be an Amiga guy. So I really wanted to be alternative pc guy again. I really wanted to be convinced to switch to mac. I wasn't. Maybe my brain has just turned to mush from the years of being mainstream pc-clone guy.

    What I liked about mac: the hardware is simply a work of modern art. Its a fabulously engineered machine. If I could afford it, I might buy one just for that reason and run windows on it. Unfortunately I cannot. Macos is, obviously, at its core, a superior OS. Sure its based on UNIX which was invented what, a whole decade before windows? So for what it does, it does extremely well. I love the near instant ON stand by mode, even though it runs the battery down it can last days. Dashboard is kinda cool, but I rarely used it, same thing for expose. Installing apps is great, usually just copying a folder into applications. Nice. Parallels is genious, especially coherance mode. Why can't the windows and linux versions do that?

    Fortunately for the mac, parallels is the only thing that made the mac bearable. Strangely, windows seemed to run better in parallels that it did directly on a pc (starting up faster, etc). Maybe that is just a testament to the apple hardware. But I simply couldn't do without some windows software I have grown used to, not to mention just having a much wider selection of things when I go looking for new software. I hate the finder, its worse than windows built in file manager, which also sucks, so I use directory opus (so I am making my pc more Amiga-like). This is huge for me.

    What I like about windows: the task bar. Sorry but I just cannot get used to the all-iconic mac ways. The dock or whatever its called is just confusing to me. I hate it. I like the textual windows task bar. I like the window previews in vista. I like the start menu even though it requires constant management to keep it from becoming cluttered by every program installing stuff on it. I like the menus on the windows not at the top of the screen (I've always hated that on the mac). windows runs on cheap hardware.


    Mac pros: what it does do, it does better. Parallels. Easy application install. Standby that works. Smooth but otherwise useless bling. Beautiful hardware. More secure.

    Mac cons: expen$ive, feels like a toy with limited options to protect me from myself, limited software selection

    Windows pros: task bar, cheap, more software, doesn't limit your options, directory opus file manager

    Windows cons: grossly inefficient design, buggy, ugly, standby is worthless, insecure, too long between major updates.

    * note: vista is largely excluded for me. It's total F*cking crap and I am about to revert to xp. I admire the concept behind the new composited desktop (an Idea I thought of years ago, and apparently isn't that hard to implement since linux and mac both have it). In theory, readyboost is neat idea. Doesn't seem to help though. If I had the choice between only Vista and Macos, I might choose macos, but only because I can run XP in parallels on the mac.
  • Re:DIY? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by omeomi ( 675045 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @02:36PM (#21481895) Homepage
    Do not forget Apple's own Logic Pro/Studio. Forget Cubase, if you are serious or professional you'll know it's a prosumer app.

    You don't know what you're talking about. I am a professional, and among the other professionals that I associate with, Pro Tools is the clear industry standard among a certain group, namely, those who do more recording than they do composing. Among composers, Logic, Cubase, and Sonar have about equal distribution, with a few others like Digital Performer thrown in. I do like Logic, and would probably use it if it were still cross-platform, but it isn't, so I generally don't. However, to act like Logic has any significant features / capabilities that Cubase doesn't have is just plain wrong.

To be a kind of moral Unix, he touched the hem of Nature's shift. -- Shelley