Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 3rd May 2006 16:03 UTC, submitted by Moulinneuf
Talk, Rumors, X Versus Y CNet compares Acer's TravelMate 8200 to apple's MacBook Pro, and concludes the Acer wins; but only by a small margin. "The Acer pulled ahead with ample features and superior performance and battery life, then sealed the deal with its lower sticker price. If you're looking for the most connectivity and fastest performance for your dollar, the TravelMate 8200 is the laptop to buy. The MacBook Pro's strengths clearly lie in aesthetics, from its lightweight, eye-pleasing design to its graphics-friendly display to its elegant operating system. And Apple's superior software package could be said to offset the price differential between the MacBook Pro and the TravelMate 8200."
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RE[2]: OSX
by snowbender on Thu 4th May 2006 08:20 UTC in reply to "RE: OSX"
snowbender
Member since:
2006-05-04

Did you ever check the price of Microsoft Windows Xp Professional? Even an OEM version? That is a lot higher than the 100 dollar (even though I believe it's more like 125 dollar) for OSX. I don't like to compare with Windows Xp Home version, since that's a purposely cut down version of the professional version.

I believe that OSX is "objectively" better than its alternatives, keeping in mind a certain user group of course. Have you ever actually used OSX? Tiger has several features that are not available in Windows Xp (at least not without installing extra third-party applications), even though several are features that Microsoft intends to provide in Vista. But still, look at the time between the release of Tiger and the release of Vista.

I also believe that "objectively" (even though one could argue about this), OSX is much better from a user friendliness point of view. With this, I always keep in mind a not computer savvy person who needs to do something. For example, installing an application: in OSX, drag your application into the "Applications" folder and that's it. Uninstalling? Drag your application into the trashcan. Now, compare that to Windows. This may seem something stupid, but for some users this is not so evident. And it's not just installing applications, it's all of little things. For example, there's a firewall, but you can also activate an ftp-server or an ssh-server easily and when you activate those, Tiger will make sure that the firewall let's them go through. Also for example the fact that starting an ftp-server to transfer files is so very easy to do (only check a check box), is something I like about it. Sharing files over windows networks? Just check a check box in a clear control panel.

For example, I also like their printer management. You can store a certain set of printer settings (say, high quality settings for printing photos) in a profile, so that it's easily accessible when you print certain content. I don't know whether one can do this in Windows Xp, since I didn't actually use Xp a whole lot, I've used it for a limited time, but later got back to Windows 2000, since I like that one more.

I think you can say that Windows Xp is better than OSX Tiger for one thing, and that's memory usage. Tiger eats ram, it really needs a lot of memory to run good (it runs with 512mb ram, but not comfortable, it begs for more). I think Windows Xp is happy with a lot less.

I've used OSX for several months and I believe it's a very good operating system for users who are not that handy with computers, but it is definitely also interesting for more advanced users (who can come to like it). Personally, I like linux a lot more than OSX (both because of environments like Gnome and E17, and the "easier" availability of programs like emacs, latex, and probably also because Linux has been my main platform for years and I'm used to it), but I still think it's a very good operating system and I definitely prefer OSX above Windows. OSX is just more advanced.

You'll probably shoot me down as another "fanboy", but I suspect you haven't even seen OSX in action, let alone spend a considerable amount of time working with it.

Also.. I can't believe that people _still_ come with their "the Apple price tag". Check the Apple prices... really go check them. Then compare them with the prices of similar hardware from another high-quality brand which gives you similar quality of customer service, then come back and tell me how much "the Apple tax" really is.

Instead of always calling Apple users "fan boys", give some real arguments. The price difference might be there, but for some people the price difference is nothing compared to the added value that the whole Apple "package" gives them. I know that is subjective and maybe for you, you see no added value. That does not mean that an Apple user is a fan boy.

Reply Parent Score: 0

RE[3]: OSX
by maxmg on Thu 4th May 2006 11:53 in reply to "RE[2]: OSX"
maxmg Member since:
2006-02-26

I believe that OSX is "objectively" better than its alternatives, keeping in mind a certain user group of course. Have you ever actually used OSX?...
I suspect you haven't even seen OSX in action, let alone spend a considerable amount of time working with it.


Well, I'm using it right now, so I hope my comments are valid.

OSX is much better from a user friendliness point of view. With this, I always keep in mind a not computer savvy person who needs to do something.

Ok, how about on a UK bought iBook you try to locate the # symbol?* Or what about the much publicised 'rock solid' Unix underpinnings? Here's what you need to do just to get xdvi to work:

Install X from the installation CD from the optional extras, then type "export DISPLAY=:0.0" at a command line. Start X and then start xdvi from the command line of the apple terminal (not the X's xterm)

and xdvi is something that a 'non savvy person' might want to use if they're used to latex. OS X doesn't even come set up to open dvi files.... and Safari can occasionally drive you a bit nuts with its way of handling downloads. Not to mentioning you can't maximize windows in the dock (though doing apple-key L will maximize safari, but that is a cheat). It is just as annoying as XP. To bastardize the Mutt slogan: all operating systems suck, this one just sucks less, perhaps.

Then compare them with the prices of similar hardware from another high-quality brand which gives you similar quality of customer service,

Its customer service is routinely very frustrating, fixing problems is vey expensive out of warranty, and its build quality is very mixed. Look at the iBook logic board issue and all the bad feeling that generated. Or the iPods with bad screens. Perhaps they just get more bad press about their problems than Dell, but you don't get many people defending Dell in quite the same way as people do with Apple.

* it's alt+3 in case you were wondering.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[4]: OSX
by snowbender on Thu 4th May 2006 13:07 in reply to "RE[3]: OSX"
snowbender Member since:
2006-05-04

Ok, how about on a UK bought iBook you try to locate the # symbol?
Hmm.. I have an iBook with an international qwerty keyboard, I assumed that was UK/qwerty since it's definitely not US/interational qwerty, but since I do have '#' with Shift-3, I guess it's not UK/qwerty then. I wouldn't know about your keyboard though, but that's something you could check/ask before buying.

Or what about the much publicised 'rock solid' Unix underpinnings?
The rock solid Unix underpinnings have not much to do with your problem with xdvi IMHO. I know, X11 applications are just what I call "second-class citizens" on OSX. It's useful you can use them, but in general it's better to avoid them. I know since I ended up running a whole X11 desktop with fluxbox/xterm/emacs/gv, and then I just installed linux.

But there are applications available for using latex on OSX, for example iTeXMaC and TeXShop. Normally there's not need for dvi if you go straight to pdf. There is a native dvi viewer on OSX, but it's shareware MacDviX.

Anyways, I consider my sis a "non computer savvy" person, but she did use latex for her thesis because of the obvious advantages. However, I'm pretty sure she has no idea what "dvi" is.

Look at the iBook logic board issue and all the bad feeling that generated.
Well... I happen to have experienced this first-hand, with a G3 iBook, which I bought in Taiwan. I started having problems when it was already out of warranty. I didn't buy the extra warranty since I thought chances that it would break down were small, and that it would need to be pretty bad to cost as much as the warranty. Also, the extra warranty for an iBook is a lot compared to its price (back then in Taiwan it was, anyway). In any case, I brought it in in an Apple Center in Belgium and it was covered by their special logic board repair program. In the end, they had to send it to an Apple repair center in the Netherlands, but they sent it and repaired it for free and I could pick it up after two weeks. It's not fun to miss a laptop for 2 weeks. In fact, I imagine for a lot of people it's just intolerable. In any case, to make things short, I had to bring it back 3 times more. And then it broke down for the 5th time. That was getting too much, even though it was repaired for free all the time. So, this time I just called straight to Apple Customer service to tell them about the problem and that I really didn't see the point in having it repaired again because obviously it's gonna break down again. They transferred me to another person, who reviewed the repairs on my laptop, told me that was indeed not normal and then offered to send me the new G4 iBook instead. And a week later or so, I could drop off my old G3 iBook and pick up a new G4 in an Apple Center.
The logic board problem was very annoying for those who were affected by it. Definitely doesn't give a good impression for someone like me who gets this problem with the first Apple computer he bought. On the other hand, I can understand this kind of manufacturing problem can happen and in the end I'm happy in the way it was resolved. I doubt I'd get the same kind of service with a lot of other brands.
At least, I know a friend who has a (pretty high-end) Compaq laptop, which has been giving him problems from the beginning. The reason is probably that the laptop gets too hot and then locks up. It's rumored to get too hot by bad design (it contains one of the first AMD laptop cpus). He brought it in several times, but then gets it back with them saying that they can't find a problem with the laptop and that it doesn't lock up when they test it. In the end, my problem has been resolved, but this friend still can't do much with his laptop.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: OSX
by BryanFeeney on Thu 4th May 2006 12:55 in reply to "RE[2]: OSX"
BryanFeeney Member since:
2005-07-06

Just to note:
"Objective" is something that can be unambiguously asserted based on known and accepted facts

"Subjective" is something that is asserted based on personal experience and opinion.

Technically a lot of what you said in your comment was subjective. Personally I'm on the fence. I got enthused by Mac OS X when Panther and then Tiger came out, but I'm not so certain now. The whole Rev A syndrome is a bit off-putting, but on the other hand, the industrial design is top-notch.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[4]: OSX
by snowbender on Thu 4th May 2006 14:02 in reply to "RE[3]: OSX"
snowbender Member since:
2006-05-04

Technically a lot of what you said in your comment was subjective.
I know the meaning of the words objective and subjective, so in a sense I have to agree. That's why I wrote the word in quotes. I tried to be as objective as possible. The question is whether one can say something really objective about userfriendliness.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: OSX
by Wintermute on Thu 4th May 2006 14:00 in reply to "RE[2]: OSX"
Wintermute Member since:
2005-07-30

Bla bla bla, I've never seen OS X in action. Wait, I though Apple was the company that made records...

Let's start with the basics. What made you think I consider XP better? Did I even talk about XP, did I even mention another OS? You make so many assumptions about my views...

Where did I say that OS X is worse than Vista? (I don't agree or disagree with that statement, IMHO they both suck). The point I was trying to make is that you cannot treat OS X as an extra processor or an extra GB of RAM. You cannot say that OS X is worth $400 because valuing OS X is a completely subjective thing. You might love some features of OS X, while I would dislike them. I dislike iTunes, I dislike Quicktime, I dislike Apple's package management system.

So don't treat Apple's OS as a $400 dollar feature. It's a feature for some and a pain for others.

"Also.. I can't believe that people _still_ come with their "the Apple price tag". Check the Apple prices... really go check them. Then compare them with the prices of similar hardware from another high-quality brand which gives you similar quality of customer service, then come back and tell me how much "the Apple tax" really is. "

See you still keep on with your customer service and bla bla bla. Did you consider the fact that I don't need customer support and that for me it's a waste of money? Granted for laptops, it's a different issue (not much choice with laptops), but there is still the issue what's so special about their customer service?

The point I am trying to make is that no matter how good you think OS X is, you cannot use it as an arguement to show that a certain laptop is worse than another. How you value OS X is subjective. You just don't get it that for some people OS X isn't worth the extra price. That's why poeple consider it a tax.

Why am I supposed to justify why OS X suck? You guys are the ones that are stating that OS X justifies the price. When someone makes a statement like that, he has to take the burden of the arguement.

But just to point prove you wrong, I will tell you why OS X sucks for me:

-No 3rd party support for MKV editing (thats crucial for me, so why the f--k should I pay extra money for an OS that doesn't support MKV editing, do you now see how your 'fair price' arguement is going down the toilet.
-I don't like the idea of static libs (read one of my posts for explanations). Sure windows has this problem as well, but I never said that windows is better.
-I dislike iTunes and quicktime. In general I don'
t like Apple's attitude to alternative formats (thats right, I use ogg/Xvid/MKV and I am not paying extra to be told what formats to use.
-I don't like Apple's dock. Windows taskbar is very limited and it sux but it's still better if you like minimalism.

Are you starting why not everyone considers OS X to be 'added value'? So don't treat OS X as objective advantage for Apple.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[4]: OSX
by snowbender on Thu 4th May 2006 15:36 in reply to "RE[3]: OSX"
snowbender Member since:
2006-05-04

The original post was about "The value in an Apple computer is not in the hardware, it's in OSX and the extra software that is included." Apple as a company gives its customers a complete product that consists of hardware, operating system and certain software. That's Apple's right and Apple's choice. In part, this explains part of the price difference.

You said "An Apple fan might believe OS X to be worth $100, but that doesn't apply to everyone else." I compared with Windows XP because for the 'average' user, only Windows or OSX are viable options. From that point of view, OSX is not that expensive and is in my opinion the better choice. Sorry about getting carried away about OSX, I wanted to point out that for certain people OSX is functionally better than Windows and it is not about being an Apple fan boy.

You gave me the impression in your initial post (Get over the fanboyism!) that you (just like many others, it seems) consider every Apple user a fan boy, who can't objectively decide what machine suits him best and what laptop gives him the best deal. I'm starting to get really annoyed with every time again hearing the same arguments about the price tag. Some years back, I bought an iBook because it was the cheapest 12" laptop I could find with similar features. (I also knew that it was 100% supported, also power management, wireless, suspend-to-ram and the like on linux, which is important for me)

If for someone OSX and iLife is worth the 400$, then so be it. If someone is really fond of Apple hardware from an aesthetically point of view, then so be it. No need to call them Apple fan boys.

The point I am trying to make is that no matter how good you think OS X is, you cannot use it as an argument to show that a certain laptop is worse than another. How you value OS X is subjective. You just don't get it that for some people OS X isn't worth the extra price. That's why people consider it a tax.

I completely agree with your point about it being subjective. I do get that for some people OSX isn't worth the extra price. I do get that some people don't care about customer service and don't want it. I also get that some people don't care about the weight of their laptop. I also get that a lot of people don't care about the amount of noise their laptop makes. I get that different people have different requirements regarding laptops. I still feel that it's not right to call it a tax, or to call Apple hardware over-priced.
Also note what I said at the end of my previous post.
The price difference might be there, but for some people the price difference is nothing compared to the added value that the whole Apple "package" gives them. I know that is subjective and maybe for you, you see no added value. That does not mean that an Apple user is a fan boy.

What's so special about Apple customer service? I am not saying that other companies don't have customer service that is as good. Apple warranty is valid internationally, and I know I can drop off my laptop in any Apple center. For example, I wouldn't know where I could hand in the Acer in here if there's a problem with it. Unless I bought it here and could bring it back to the shop. Subjective argument? Probably.

My point is that you need to consider the whole thing to explain the price. Maybe that doesn't make it worth it for you, but it's still part of the price and an explanation why it's more expensive. And it is what gives the Apple computers added value for some people. (I know, "some")

About why OSX sucks for you.
MKV editing... mkvtoolnix from http://www.bunkus.org/videotools/mkvtoolnix/downloads.html#macosx? I don't know whether that's what you mean, but I used that before on linux and it's available for OSX.
I also don't like iTunes and Quicktime, but you can get access to ogg/xvid/mkv with vlc (videolan media player), even though it's not perfect as a music player.

Reply Parent Score: 1