Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 20th May 2009 13:27 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems Hot on the heels of the Russians, we have another clone maker popping up, this time in fish & chips country: Freedom PC. "Powerful and versatile, environmentally friendly yet inexpensive computer systems compatible with any and all of the main operating systems: Mac OS X, Linux or Windows. So YOU can decide which one to use for what YOU want to do. And we give you a choice of models, too - from the low priced and good looking office machine, the ideal choice for business, to the high powered, sleek, gaming media centre. All, with the operating system of your choice pre-installed - or none at all - at prices accessible to all." They offer various models pre-installed with Windows, Linux, or Mac OS X.
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fsck
Member since:
2005-07-06


Ah, if only it were that simple. Some apps come as self-contained bundles, and installing them is as easy as you describe. However, on first run, many of them install additional system files, services, and other components, and those do not get removed when you delete the app, neither do the configuration files in your user folder although those aren't usually a problem. Everything has to be removed manually, as Apple provides absolutely no uninstall facilities in OS X. Yes, you read that right, none whatsoever.
These are bad enough... but worse, some larger apps are distributed as pkg files. These are installers very similar to Windows installers, and yes they put a lot of files in various places. If you're lucky, the app will come with its own uninstaller... if you're very lucky, the uninstaller will be written correctly and remove everything the pkg installed. If not, you're absolutely on your own, as Apple provides no way to uninstall pkgs or even track which files have been installed and where by which pkgs.
Over time, this makes Mac OS X slow down a great deal. In my experience it takes longer to happen than it does in WinXP or Vista, but it does happen nevertheless... and cleaning out an OS X system can be a nightmare once it gets to that state.

Heh. I'm not and have never been a Mac user so I made sure to preface with "afaik". The package management systems (and repository systems) may have their faults.....but when they work well - they work very well. Makes me glad to be a Linux user. I find it a bit strange Apple would lack any uninstall facility for pkg files, doesn't seem to be aligned with their "make everything intuitive" ethos.

Reply Parent Score: 1

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Well, Apple means the UI when they say everything's intuitive. Sometimes they don't make the underlying system as intuitive as it should or could be. As long as you're within the bounds of what Apple has considered an average user is going to do, you're fine. Step outside those boundaries, even just a little, and things can get rather complicated. Apparently they figured an average user would just drag the app to the trash and not realize they didn't really get rid of all of it... and typically that's true, and then they wonder why their systems have slowed to a crawl. It provides the illusion of simplicity.

Reply Parent Score: 2

DavidSan Member since:
2008-11-18

Well, Apple means the UI when they say everything's intuitive. Sometimes they don't make the underlying system as intuitive as it should or could be. As long as you're within the bounds of what Apple has considered an average user is going to do, you're fine. Step outside those boundaries, even just a little, and things can get rather complicated. Apparently they figured an average user would just drag the app to the trash and not realize they didn't really get rid of all of it... and typically that's true, and then they wonder why their systems have slowed to a crawl. It provides the illusion of simplicity.


It is true that over simplicity installing can cause that. That's a very big concern when people design stuff.

But Mac OS X has a very difficult situation. You are forgetting that Mac OS X has tons of software ported from other platforms that cannot do what Apple says. Most of those software, has to be installed in Mac, as they are installed in Windows or Linux. Using installers. Example: Microsoft Office and Adobe CS.

In a wonderful world developers would retool everything to work as Apple want, but reality bites hard. It is very difficult, so when they port, they port badly.

And it is exactly the same when Apple ports Apps to other system like Windows. Somehow, they manage to make things incredible big an clumsy, while Mac Apps are not.

So it raises a question... Is really good ported software or is it better to develop the thing again from scratch for a platform in particular?

Reply Parent Score: 1