Linked by Eugenia Loli on Tue 14th Mar 2006 23:59 UTC
Apple "In twenty odd years of working with computers, I never owned an Apple computer. Frankly, until OSX, I was never interested. But the BSD underpinnings of OSX got my attention. The Mac finally got a "real" operating system. It was interesting enough that several years after it debuted, I purchased my first Apple computer on eBay, a Mac Mini, to dig a little deeper into the OS. Not only did Apple do something right with OSX, but it was smart marketing to introduce a cheap Mac that worked with PC hardware. It is squarely aimed at Windows switchers and the mildly curious like myself. I would never have considered springing for a full-blown iMac or iBook as a learning exercise, but a used Mini fit the budget."
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My experience was different
by gnobuddy on Wed 15th Mar 2006 01:53 UTC
gnobuddy
Member since:
2006-01-21

My wife uses a Mac with OSX (10.3.something, IIRC) on it, while I made the switch from Windows to Linux several years ago.

Curiously enough, my wife's Mac refused to print to either of the two printers on our home network - a Samsung ML-1710 laser printer, and an HP Deskjet 932C. The printer configuration tool would simply die silently somewhere during the config process, and nothing ever made it to the printer. Meantime just about every Linux distro I've used in the last two years (and I've used quite a few, including eight of the top ten on Distrowatch at the moment) had absolutely no problem talking to either printer, though I did have issues with an older version of Gentoo a few years ago.

The interesting thing is that I find Mac's far LESS useable than Windows, and far less useable than a Linux box with KDE on it. I have found, though, that Gnome has become about as unusable as OSX of late. Weird, the harder they try to make it usable, the less usable I find it to be - a few years ago, before the big Gnome usability push, I used to go back and forth between Gnome and KDE. Nowdays I can't stand to use Gnome at all.

Interestingly enough, I've done an informal survey of several friends and colleagues, and what I keep finding is that the folks who are extremely right-brain dominant - folks who think visually, and who don't understand things like hierarchical file system trees - like Mac OSX and Gnome. Meantime people who are comfortable using the left side of their brain - more analytic types - and peope who have a better handle on what is going on underneath the GUI of their computer - seem to strongly prefer KDE and Windows.

It seems to me that "usability" means very different things to different people.

-Flieslikeabeagle

Reply Score: 5

Rugmonster Member since:
2005-11-18

Interestingly enough, I've done an informal survey of several friends and colleagues, and what I keep finding is that the folks who are extremely right-brain dominant - folks who think visually, and who don't understand things like hierarchical file system trees - like Mac OSX and Gnome. Meantime people who are comfortable using the left side of their brain - more analytic types - and peope who have a better handle on what is going on underneath the GUI of their computer - seem to strongly prefer KDE and Windows.

I am a very analytical person and I prefer Gnome. Most of the folks in the local LUG who are admins/devs tend to prefer Gnome and the light weight window managers to KDE. I don't want to start a flamewar, but I think you're analysis is off from what I've seen.

Also, usability to me is that I can do the stuff I want to do with as little muss or fuss as possible. Do I have to go through numerous menus and point-and-click menus and wizards or do I get something that works with the defaults very well? For me, that's Gnome. For you, that's KDE or Windows. While I've had very little exposure to OS X, from what I've seen, things just seem to work for the most part with the default settings. That seems to be the goal of OS X and definitely the goal of Gnome. Don't overwhelm the user with 50 rarely used options. Give them what they'll most likely need and if they need that whiz-bang option, they can dig a little deeper.

Reply Parent Score: 5

Jake Member since:
2006-01-08

I am a very analytical person and I prefer Gnome. Most of the folks in the local LUG who are admins/devs tend to prefer Gnome and the light weight window managers to KDE. I don't want to start a flamewar, but I think you're analysis is off from what I've seen.

...Don't overwhelm the user with 50 rarely used options. Give them what they'll most likely need and if they need that whiz-bang option, they can dig a little deeper.


Digging deeper is fine if the option exists at all. I switched from GNOME to KDE because I had a few KDE apps I wanted to run anyway (k3b for burning anything other than pre-prepared images, konqueror mostly for khtml testing, and amaroK which is infinitely better than XMMS/BMP), and I got frustrated with GNOME hiding configuration options. The one that bugs me the most is focus behavior. Every time I built metacity, I would edit src/display.c, look for "debate" in a comment, and change the auto-raise behavior. Ubuntu includes a patch to create a gconf option, but I don't use Ubuntu. Then one day I couldn't figure out how to edit the menu. I swear I must have looked for about half an hour. I wasn't going to Google it. I figured if I couldn't find it, I'd switch. And I did. Now in addition to the previously mentioned KDE apps, I also run Filelight (space management), Tellico (for my DVD collection), and probably a few others. I still keep some GNOME stuff for GAIM and Evolution, and of course I still need GTK+ for the GIMP, Firefox, Dia, and a few other apps, but overall I'm quite happy with QT/KDE. It's not bloated, doesn't hog my memory any more than GNOME, and it doesn't look like Windows or OSX. Actually, I have it looking pretty much just like my previous GNOME desktop. The most significant difference is that KDE doesn't insult me by forcing me do things a certain way.

The whole reason I think power users got started with GNOME rather than KDE was the Trolltech QT license problem. Many of us who picked desktops "back in the day" (not sure exactly when) picked GNOME because KDE was based on the non-free QT.

Back on topic, I don't expect to switch to OSX any time soon because I can do everything I want in Linux, and Macs are too expensive. I want to continue upgrading piece-by-piece rather than buying new systems. Yes, I know Macs are upgradable, but not to the extent of getting a new mobo (easily anyway). I was curious enough to have tried running OSX on my Compaq laptop, but Apple doesn't have anything worth paying more for a less flexible platform (both hardware and software).

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE: My experience was different
by Shane on Wed 15th Mar 2006 02:20 in reply to "My experience was different"
Shane Member since:
2005-07-06

Usability means mostly what you are used to. Linux desktop environments like Gnome and KDE use the same taskbar metaphor as Windows and you will find these more useable for you.

In OS X, trying to use the dock as a taskbar to manage windows and to switch between them will only lead to frustration.

Joel Spolsky has a nice writeup on the subject: http://www.joelonsoftware.com/design/1stDraft/03.html

Reply Parent Score: 3

ValiSystem Member since:
2006-02-28

In OS X, trying to use the dock as a taskbar to manage windows and to switch between them will only lead to frustration.

Thanks to point this. It drives me crazy, especialy when i need more than 8 terminals. The big joke is that Mac users i know never noticed that the Dock does not fit for multiple windows apps. And no, exposť is not a usable solution, it's a solution when you're completely lost.

Reply Parent Score: 1

tryphcycle Member since:
2006-02-16

"In OS X, trying to use the dock as a taskbar to manage windows and to switch between them will only lead to frustration"

i totally agree with you! every windows user i know does exactly that! and yea...the get frustrated...a blert out... "windows still have a better task bar!" and of couse.... i agree... but then again OSX does NOT have a task bar. it has a dock...which is not supposed to be used as a like that wondows task bar! thats when i aquaint them with expose using "active screen corners...." task bar-smashk bar!!!!

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: My experience was different
by PowerMacX on Wed 15th Mar 2006 07:23 in reply to "My experience was different"
PowerMacX Member since:
2005-11-06

Curiously enough, my wife's Mac refused to print to either of the two printers on our home network - a Samsung ML-1710 laser printer, and an HP Deskjet 932C. [...]. Meantime just about every Linux distro I've used in the last two years (and I've used quite a few, including eight of the top ten on Distrowatch at the moment) had absolutely no problem talking to either printer[...]

Mac OS X has CUPS too, if your bundled native drivers failed for whatever reason and CUPS worked fine in your Linux distros you should have used that on OS X.

peope who have a better handle on what is going on underneath the GUI of their computer - seem to strongly prefer KDE and Windows.

KDE sure, but Windows? Are you putting Windows users and KDE users on the same level of average "technical" knowledge about what is going on under the surface???

Also, open the Terminal in OS X and you have all your *NIX tools to dig in as deep as you want. Perl, Python, gcc, Apache, PHP, etc. preinstalled an lots just a ./configure make make install away. (Or if you use Fink, just an apt-get away)

Reply Parent Score: 1

someone Member since:
2006-01-12

a Samsung ML-1710 laser printer, and an HP Deskjet 932C
You need to install driver for Samsung ML-1710, here is the website: http://tinyurl.com/ewle7

As for the HP printer, you can visit this site: http://tinyurl.com/h9atn
to download the OS X driver.

Now, Apple includes 1GB of printer driver with the Panther installation disc and it probably includes a driver for Deskjet 932C. Installing that package will *probably* allow OS X to automatically configure the printer for you, but I tend to think it's a waste of HD space.

Edited 2006-03-15 08:48

Reply Parent Score: 1

ML-1710 work on OSX
by tryphcycle on Wed 15th Mar 2006 19:47 in reply to "My experience was different"
tryphcycle Member since:
2006-02-16

well... regarding your ML-1710.... go try it again! my ML-1710 work wonderfully (although, i do need to order some toner) make sure you are using up to date drivers...

and was far as the whole usability of OSX verses every thing else. every one is different! but in my experience... once somthing like expose is actually used (and gotten used too!) windows users start seriously considering an OSX box.

now...as far as your generalizations regarding right brain/left brain. its all just eliteist piffel! to say that generally windows users are more analytical..... what ever! but your windows jock in from of BASH on osx and see how analytical they are, as they sweet!

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: My experience was different
by altair on Wed 15th Mar 2006 23:21 in reply to "My experience was different"
altair Member since:
2005-07-06

Curiously enough, my wife's Mac refused to print to either of the two printers on our home network - a Samsung ML-1710 laser printer, and an HP Deskjet 932C.

My old HP 930 C printed just fine 3 years ago when I got my powerbook. Did you ever reinstall OSX and not install any of the printer drivers? The 932C is not that different from the 930C.

Reply Parent Score: 1