There were an amazing number of people (around 300,000) who visited OSNews recently to read Scot Hacker’s article on MacOSX. As part of the camp of BeOS refugees, I have been searching for some time for a suitable replacement. Many come close – FreeBSD is fantastic, but still complicated, the new school of Linuxes are very close to ready for me, even Windows XP has come a long way. My x86 machine is pretty fun – it gets a new OS every two weeks or so. But what does that say – that I like variety or that I can’t find what I want? I’d suggest most of us still feel that we’re missing something – otherwise, why read osnews.com?
Surely, OS X is far from perfect. But with Mac backing it – it’s likely to get a lot of attention and enhancement over the next few years. In fact, based on BSD, it seems like a dream come true – it’s Unix that your grandmother could use. With all this hype, I’ve already thought about whether it’s financially feasible – and judging by the comments, I’m not the only one. It brings up an interesting debate: is it worth changing hardware platforms for an Operating System?
On one hand, x86 OSes have been getting better with amazing speed. First off, most of the comparisons that have been drawn between ‘other’ OSes and Windows have compared the newest shiniest, version of their OS to Windows 98. In truth, Windows XP has made great strides over previous versions of Windows. The interface, once I completely obliterated Luna – the fisher-price looking default interface, is easy to use and manipulate and is as fast as any OS I’ve used lately. Boot time is less than 20 seconds. Recover time from a cold boot is barely noticeable. The new version of NTFS even uses attributes like those found in the Be File System (admittedly, not the same way, but they are there). XP includes a firewall that I have found to be extremely effective. Seems like a great piece of software. The problems?
(A) I was using a pirated copy, which didn’t thrill me. And I don’t want to cough up the 300 dollars to buy a real copy.
(B) Microsoft is no doubt aware of (A), and tracking my every move, thanks to the integrated Passport system, a Redmond spy that reports back home every few seconds. I’m confident it tells a big SQL Server what I’ve been up to.
(C) XP seems, at times, to eat more system resources than it offers.
(D) Most importantly, though I respect their products, I think their business practices SUCK. And yes, for my own reasons, that means I really don’t want to use their OS.
That’s why Windows XP had to go from my system.
Linux is attractive to me as well. The gorgeous look of GNOME 1.4 compels me to put up with the tempermental X Windows system. KDE 2.2.1 is finally at a point to compete with Windows’ functionality. But with both of these desktop environments, there is still a lack of functionality – dependancy hell (*), no standarization, printing, PPPoE… the list goes on. Plus, although I can use the command line, I really prefer not to. Some may call it blasphemy, but I think a full OS should have a graphical interface for eveything. So Linux, though getting very close, still leaves something to be desired.
FreeBSD is a fine piece of software. A complete, uniform OS in it’s own right, it’s the most stable and reliable OS I’ve had the pleasure of using. SoftUpdates make for a strong, time-tested filesystem. As a server, it’s tough to match, let alone beat. But as a workstation, command line experience is a prerequisite. I’ve said before, FreeBSD ain’t for newbies.
QNX, AtheOS, OpenBeOS…while there are prospects on the horizon, none really are suitable as a full time OS. Dual-booting is certainly an option, but not a desirable one for me. My OS of choice should be able to fulfill all of my needs, not just a few. That’s why I’m not still using the BeOS; I simply can’t reboot everytime I need to use another application. In truth, if you frequent a website called OSNews, there’s a good chance you still feel that your OS is still lacking something.
A few months ago I had the chance to test out Mac OS X. The BSD at the very center of this beautiful OS make it a genuine flavor of Unix (some will argue, of course, but it is built on Unix). But there’s a GUI front-end for everything. It only took a few clicks to give me a functional FTP server. iTunes appeared to sort data by file-system attributes (can someone verify this?). It’s got the power of the command line available but never gives you a reason to have to use it. The stability of Unix is present beneath the layers of well padded interface, and it’s evident. With the propritary hardware specs, there are never driver problems – you know the system works because Apple developed all of it! Sure, we’ve all heard complaints about the speed of the OS or the cost of the hardware, but I haven’t heard major complaints about the functionality, interface, or usabiity of the system. The complaints that have come up are likely to be addressed without remodeling the existing structure. In fact, most people who use it seem to love it.
Apple might be attempting to segment the PC crowd. If they can keep Mac lovers with backward compatibility and feel as well as attract the hardcore computer lovers who run *nix and/or hate Microsoft, they will have tapped into a segment of the community that companies like Be failed to capture. With the cash Apple has in the bank, it’s a safe bet that OS X will mature, become faster and easier, attract developers, and gain a more defineable percentage of the computer market. Some say the “Ooh-and-Ah” of OS X wears off within an hour, but I must be an exception – because I really want a Mac now!
What do you think: is it worth changing hardware platforms for an Operating System?
About the Author
Adam Scheinberg is a Systems Administrator for the US Naval Sea Systems Command. He uses Windows XP, Red Hat Linux 7.2, and the BeOS at home, and Windows NT/2000 and Novell NetWare 5.1 at work. Adam can be reached on email@example.com
As people have heard me comment before, I was exactly the person you were. I was running everything under the x86 sun to try and get a system I truly liked. I have to admit that Windows2000 was probably the best all round operating system on x86 hardware. Not the best technologically, but the best over all. I however wanted to run a non-Microsoft operating system, that gave me all the power and usability of Unix without having to deal with a lot of the maintenance headaches that plague many Unix systems. As soon as I saw screenshots of OS X, I knew I would want a machine running it. So when the public beta came out the first thing I did was run out and buy a near-state of the art Macintosh. I couldn’t be happier, and don’t plan on buying any new PC hardware in the near future.
OS X is the power of Unix with a great front end graphical system. The Unix user should feel relatively unencumbered. Create a UFS partition if the case-sensitive issue becomes a real problem. On top of that, the development environment that you get for free is unbelievable! Cocoa is a joy to program in, and you have your standard Java, Perl, Python, C and Motif bringing up the rear. If you’ve been looking for a user friendly Unix, and you are looking for a new computer, then I would say OS X on Macintosh hardware is worth every penny.
Speak from someone who’s been running OS X since the first public beta, I can say the rate of evolution is truly staggering. Each release adds new features and provides a lot of improvements highlighted by customer feedback. If Apple doesn’t botch this marketing opportunity, then this could definately be the beginning of Apple taking back a large part of the market (still less than 10% however). This is especially true if they play the user-privacy issue correctly.
My two cents.
Personally, I value the quality of the tools I use, at work and at home. I think it’s reasonable to invest in new hardware to get a better operating system…but only if the operating system is truly a better tool.
Case in point: I love BeOS. I use Windows and Linux (workstation and server, respectively). I have four x86 boxes, including a laptop. If OSX was a better operating system than my x86 choices (for me, “better” means stable like Linux, fast like BeOS, wealth of apps like Windows, journaled/indexed filesystem and fast boot like BeOS) I would keep the x86 servers, but replace the workstation and the laptop.
Unfortunately, at least according to Scott, OSX is SLOW. There also appear to be other issues still being dealt with. If it ran on x86, I’d get a copy and try it out…but without reassurance that it is the tool I truly need, I’m better off keeping my options open with the x86 platform.
Your mileage may vary.
… and that undefinable quality known as “fun” … (those aren’t in any particular order.)
I’m looking for an OS that doesn’t get in my way by forcing me to do things either wholly by GUI or CLI. I want to be able to pick and choose how I interact with the system, depending on what’s quickest and easiest.
If the apps I want/need are only offered on a particular OS/platform combination, then I’m pretty much going to use them for that particular need.
Case in point: I’m writing this from KMail in RedHat Linux. I do my web programming development on this machine in PHP4 and MySQL under Apache. I can mimic my clients’ web server environment and when I’ve got everything working ok locally, I can just FTP the result to their end. Nice, speedy and I don’t have to deal too much with remote SSH/telnet etc.
Am I happy with Linux? Only in that I can get stuff done for work. I won’t be recommending this to anyone who is looking for more of a complete user experience. Too many inconsistencies, and at least on my particular machine, not particularly stable in the GUI department. I’ve got vanishing toolbar apps and other oddities occuring often enough to be truly irritating.
Also, Linux just doesn’t cut it for the rare times I’m in the mood to play games. Can’t play Homeworld, Command & Concquer Red Alert 2, StarCraft, Ground Control II, etc.
For graphics work, I’m still stuck using Win98 for Adobe LiveMotion, Illustrator and Fractal Painter. Please, no GIMP zealots. I’ve tried using it, and it’s not worth my time or effort to get comfortable enough with its quirks in order to get anything decent out of it.
Basically, in order for me to switch OS/platform, it’s got to be both practical from a work perspective and from a fun/leisure perspective.
If you don’t like Microsoft because of their business practices, you should stay away from Apple – they are no better in this regard.
Although they are not on top of the market, they are on top of the PPC market – and they are acting like or even worse than the monopolist MS because they *can* do it in their market.
That’s funny… I am a Linux user who is seeing where Linux is incapable, and I’m thinking of buying some Apple hardware. I’ve never gotten to have an excellent development environment and my “other stuff” in the same place. I just demoed a 500-mhz G3 iBook with OS X at Circuit City. OS X is true art, and truthfully, OS X is not slow at all, even on those specs.
I’m thinking I should get one of these machines ’cause they’re darn nice… but also because I support the platform. Apple made alot of good choices
That article really hit home with me (why am i saying that? i hate baseball).
Anyway… since theres no decent desktop OS for x86 anymore, my rough plan is to pick up an apple g5 not too long after its released.
For games, i’ll go with an x-box. mostly because of the potential hackability. hopefully someone can come up with a keyboard/mouse hack for first person shooters.
Linux x86 on the server, that is unless os X makes a simpler and better server. Or unless microsoft bring out a good home gateway – sans spyware. I predict they will release something of that nature.
But until then, I’ll keep visiting OSnews.
… only if it weren’t so damn slooooowww. My iMac crawls with MacOSX, unlike classic which flies on the same hardware (but crashes down so easily). Oh, BTW, did I say MacOSX is SLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWWWW.
Mr. Scheinberg said in his article “there are never driver problems – you know the system works because Apple developed all of it!” and I would like to disagree. Yes, the Mac architecture was developed by Apple, but the PowerPC CPU was developed by IBM and manufactured by both IBM and Motorola. IBM uses PPC CPU’s in their workstation/server systems so I wouldn’t say Apple has a monopoly in the PPC market, and between Motorola and IBM, there’s 2 flavors of PPC CPUs. I wanted to get real picky and go on saying Apple did not develop proprietary video and audio chipsets, memory modules, and etc. but I think people get the idea.
My take on the question “Is it worth switching hardware platforms for an OS?” is: Personally I wouldn’t switch hardware platform for an OS, instead I would switch OS to get on a different hardware platform. You can still try out OSX (Darwin) on x86 hardware if you had the right specs (Intel CPU and chipset only, and the right IDE controller, etc.) but then why would you run Darwin on an x86? You’d miss out on features like AltiVec. My personal agenda is to obtain a system suitable for 3D modeling/animation and video editing. Another part of me just wants to try a different CPU. When I switched from Intel CPUs to AMD CPUs I was very pleased, so I’m anxious to see what a switch in CPU platform would be like. So I have my goals in sight, I’ve decided what hardware platform I want to try out, and honestly it was Windows XP that drove me over the edge and converted me into a Mac user.
has anyone seen the silberschatz book on OS design? its got dinosaurs on the front: a cutting comment on today’s operating systems.
windows is ten years old (or thereabouts) but based on a paradigm invented in PARC more than twenty years ago.
linux and the bsds are just a re-implementation of a thirty year old OS (a very stable and well-designed OS, but invented for machines which were in use 30 years ago)
OS X is built on revolutionary micro-kernel technology. well… mach, which was one of the first generation micro-kernels (built in the 80s) which were all stupidly slow.
we need completely new ideas in systems software and maybe the best way to do this is to break the dependancy on the nasty, kludgy, legacy x86 platform and replace it with something nicer (like PPC) or much nicer (like MIPS or even IA-64?)…
You can only run Apple’s OS or MKLinux.
Linux is available on x86 so why switch to the Mac Platform unless you want to run Apple OS on Apple hardware exclusively? No thanks! My 7600/132 is the end of the Mac line for me. I am not interested in MacOS X (although I would try it if it ran on x86) and therefore not interested in Apple’s closed Hardware platform.
I intend on switching, alas I have to either not eat or pay rent for a few months, or wait a long, long time(that said a few months is a long time .
It was WinXP/Passport that did it for me. Don’t like it.
Any comments on the desktop metaphor? People cry about it, but I think it’s really good! A very effective way to organize your stuff. And when you add Aqua’s alpha transparency features…. you’re making it more effective (as explained in Hacker’s article).
Fast, stable, reliable, expandable, customisable.
Boots quickly to a GUI (shell, desktop or both).
Modern, modular, OOP programing paradigm.
Choice of work environments (shell or desktop) as needed.
Device based (if you ever owned an Amiga, you’ll know what I mean, otherwise, I expect you’ll not understand – and it’s tricky to describe).
There are probably other features which would be nice, but that’s the basics.
Not much to ask huh? 🙂
I’d prefer x86 based as that is the platform I’ve invested in, but I might be persuaded to change.
You can only run Apple’s OS or MKLinux.
to which I reply:
that is simply not true. You can run MacOS 9, MacOS X, Linux, NetBSD, MkLinux, AIX, A/UX, the list goes on… There may not be quite as many OS options for Apple Hardware, but there are definately more than 2.
As for OSX being slow, it may be slow now on the lower end of the supported hardware spectrum, but when the hardware catches up, it will be fine. Don’t forget that when windows originally came out, it crawled on the 386s of the time. FWIW, it runs fine on my G4-450. And my machine is more than 2 years old.
OK, now for my $0.02… Except for a 6510 :v) I also have 68k, x86 and as a newest member PPC. My opinion is that cheapness is the only advantage x86 has, other than that it does things worse than the rest. Despite all PnP promises, I still have to swap PCI cards to avoid IRQ conflicts. Chipsets run so hot they even have their own fans (anyone else remember the 80s when computer vendors were apologizing for demonstrating chips with coolers on trade shows with “the shipping product won’t have heat problems”?) and issues between chipset and PCI cards frustrate the user (VIA vs Creative Labs – have fun). Surely a PPC platform as open and with as many variations as x86 is would have similar problems, but to me less variety but more reliability (hw vendors have to test with less other hw.
MacOS X and OS 9 run without any hassle, just as smooth as the homecomputers of the 80s did – software and hardware from one vendor just runs better. I can run Linux or NetBSD as well on the iBook, and I hope that someone will take the challenge of porting AtheOS and/or OpenBeOS or some other more experimental systems on the Mac, just to have something to tinker with.
As a full work environment, MacOS X suits me much better than Win2k or Linux: On Linux you miss – I know you hear that often – “standard” software. You don’t like it, I don’t like it, but there are folks who send .doc attachments and make IE only web pages, and chances are those are your business partners. Other than on using Office or IE on Windows, MacOS has the advantage of being underdog and not being a popular target for virus programmers. On Win2k, I just miss having the possibility to do some things from the command line. Yes, there CMD, yes it is powerful, but everyone who has some Unix experience can tell you there’s a big difference. Other than Cygwin on Windows, the Unix shell in OS X is an integral part of it and works hand in hand with the other system interfaces.
Das war mein Senf dazu.
I do agree with the author, although I am forced to use windows for some proprietary software(Insurance related). Has anyone used the windows emulation for OS X yet? I think that someone should develop a WINE like project that allowed open source OS’s to run carbon and cocca programs. One would think that this would not be to difficult task due to the shared libraries and such?
Can you imagine how worried Microsoft would be if a Linux user could run native OS X software?
My last question, is why the author has a hotmail email account if he objects to Microsoft’s business practices?
The author has a Hotmail account because he receives LOTS of e-mail about articles on osnews.com that can’t clog up his work e-mail account. And who better to shoulder that burden than Microsoft!?
Should not be as hard as WINE, as bits of the API (for OS X) have aleady been ported in the name of <a href=”http://www.gnustep.org/“>GNUStep. The GNUStep
Dam thing will not compile under CGYWIN. (I want to compare API’s, BeOS Vs MacOS X (well OpenStep)).
big question time: Why the hell would you want to? <a href=”http://sourceforge.net/projects/gnu-darwin/“>GNU/Dawin</a>… plus GNUStep = GNU/Unix-like apple (minus pritty interface).
You can even do hugh chunks (the kernal, windowing API’s + whatever else OpenStep covers) on non-apple hardware (NOTE: This does not do apples Aqua, and I don’t know how much extra Apple have added onto the OpenStep API’s, but GNUStep do plan to implement them).
mlk (not used MacOS X or GNU/Dawin+GNU/Step or NextStep)
I agree with axeld. Apple is ugly too. FreeBSD is good for me, but I can understand how FreeBSD is not for everyone–it’s the configuration details.
So if I am reading this right, Darwin+GNUStep+Xfree86 = ability to run native OS X programs? This would be great!
Someone asked why, well it would be nice to run Adobe pagemaker, photoshop, etc.(future OS X versions)on a GNU or BSD OS I could get by with Star Office, but there is no comparable package right now.
Hmmm, good point, it will not beable to run OSX apps, but they should be able to compile on it (assuming I understand OpenStep, and apple & GNUStep have not changed the specs too much).
Just out of curousity how many PPC retailers are they? Apple and???
 Just Like Unix Appications
 GNUStep do seam to be taking a slightly diff route than Apple.
I am in the same situation as the author, but no one seems to have pointed out the obvious problems with switching to an apple machine. I can shell out $300 to run WinXP on my $1000 PC, or I can pay $3000+ to have an equivalent machine with Mac OS X. That’s about 3X the cost to switch to a different (but possibly better, maybe worse) monopoly. As much as I miss BeOS, that just doesn’t add up.
It’s very improbable that a new generation of applications will be
developed for MacOS X: its architecture is not revolutionary and
you can expect only portings from Windows and UNIX.
Even in the field of graphics, can you imagine Adobe, Macromedia,
NewTek or Autodesk going to release a Mac-only version of a new
masterpiece written in Cocoa?
Of course, “Linux” can be many things, but anyway…
I think I’ll stick with it, on a cheapo x86 box. It
runs my webserver fine, and the stuff I use: emacs,
and a few other things. OSX looks pretty, but I’ll
stick with ctwm. It’s an ugly interface, but it’s
*my* ugly interface, right down to the last pixel
specified in my 900-line .ctwmrc file. My favourite
window manager is probably “screen” though
If I were to change, I’d probably try OpenBSD for
the cool paranoia factor. Since I’m still learning
what 90% of the stuff on my machine does, however,
I don’t think that’ll happen any time soon.
I just bought a new Ti-Book G4 and loving it. I don’t find Mac OS X (10.1) to be slow, well maybe compared to BeOS, but not any other operating system (especially compared to Windows/Linux machines we use at work). I have been satisfied with the performance with the !0.1 release and have no intentions on moving back to the x86 platform unless it is to run BeOS again. I can admit that Dell has done a good job of making PCs look cool now with all that black and dark grey color flare and with the excellent customer support that Dell is well known for, it is almost thinkable, but until BeOS’s future is realized I will be staying right where I am. Scot Hacker is right… what could have been for BeOS is exactly what Mac OS X has achieved, a milestone in computing!
I am using both Windows 2000 and OS X at home and at work and I find them both to be excellent. I have used (and bought)every single OS that has appeared so far (I really mean this!) and I have spent more money buying Linux distributions than buying Windows.
Linux is certainly not the answer and I am speaking based on my own experience. Linux as a desktop OS is simply not good enough.
Windows XP is not the answer because I do not like the fact that Microsoft could be kept up-to-date with all I do on my computer every day. In any case, I do not see the added value of Windows XP over Windows 2000 so clearly.
Mac OS X is excellent and so is Windows 2000. Despite what people say, my Windows 2000 has proven stable as a rock and it has never crashed despite all the stuff I am doing with it. In addition to all this I have a home network (and wireless network) and with a few easy operations I can integrate the excellent Windows 2000 with the excellent Mac OS X. I can use both of these systems without any limitation on what I want to achieve with my computer.
What else can a user need?
Of course, I do not like Microsoft’s market practices and Apple’s prices but I do not think that anyone can offer me any alternative that does not impose limitations on me.
I think that it is high time that some mature feedback comes on sites like this one. I am 33 years old and I work for a bank and I am over the crazy years of youth. What I need is an OS that can achieve all I need from it within the limited time I have available for computers. I just don’t have the time to sit and read all the necessary to get stuff like BSD and Linux running with the same level of sophistication and efficiency as with Windows 2000 and Mac OS X.
You see, there are other important things in life than just sitting behind a computer!
There is a new OS becoming available that is linux based and will run MSwindows applications. This should provide most with the tools(MSOffic, etc..) and speed, flexibilty, and openess of linux. You can check it out at http://www.lindows.com
> You see, there are other important things in life than just
> sitting behind a computer!
Computer Science and Computer Programming are disciplines which
require sitting behind a computer for many hours.
Why sitting behind a bank teller and counting others’ money
should be a nobler activity? Perhaps only numismatics has a
greater cultural value…
I would love for Lindows to be a real operating system or runtime environment to replace Windows. At the same time, it should be remembered that years of development went into WINE, and it never quite did it. Coming up with a mainstream Windows emulation is probably a pipe dream. I’d like to think otherwise, but history is working against these guys. Also, they are supposed to be shipping a public beta by year’s end and the release by the end of 2002, a year later. There are only four days left to make the first part of that time table however….
After eading Scots OS X article, I was really interested in it, and I started digging around for more reviews of OS X.
I read the reviews on Ars Technica, of OS X 10.0, and OS X 10.01, and I was really really put off. Two points that sum it all up fo me:
1] The standard instal is around one gigabyte big. Thats huge! Thats just bloat! QNX is around ~25mb, and BeOS is around 40mb! Ugh!
2] It is so slow, you cannot even resize windows properly! What?!?! They had to put a little trick in ther to make Finder windows resize slow, but OK, but all other window resizing is really really slow…
Both articles just put me off totally… It just seems really bloated and slow, and the only good thing seems to be the eye-candy.
I still use BeOS and will for a long time but I’ll be buying an Ibook in a few months time, and then I’ll have the perfect solution: my main desktop OS will be my dual BeOS machine, my server will be running FreeBSD en my laptop will be running OSX.
BTW some time ago I crashed w2k by playing a mpeg movie, nice stability.
I remember a few years ago hearing about this thing called Rhapsody….
Then I followed it until…well the started to talk about OS X….
I use Mac OS X on my Powerbook G3 just fine…. 333mhz/328mb/12GBHD….
It does everything I need it to be. When I go to compile my Java apps and applets with Project Builder…there is no comparison to any Windows compiler.
I haven’t used many Linux development programs just because Mac OS X is just great. I love the fact that if I do want to use unix I can just pull the terminal up or even logout and login as >console and get to the heart of the os.
I also have M$ Windows Xp and when I use my powerbook I can’t put the thing down, now with my desktop with XP on it I get tired of it too quickly.
I’m a unix admin by day, and always had a variety of machines at home. Until this past summer I did most of my home “surfing” etc on a Wintel box. Unix on the desktop had always been a dream. Linux satisfied that need for a while, but it became such a PITA to keep it current that it almost wasnt worth it to me. I taught my wife to use linux and I thought she was doing well. She is by no means computer illiterate but after really watching her I found she was using Windows for most tasks and booting linux to play a few of the desktop games she liked (xmahjongg etc.)
Last summer I bit the bullet and bought a new style iBook. OSX was REALLY a work in progress. But classic worked, and there were a few apps out for OSX. I set up a wireless network and began to fall in love with OSX and my little laptop. Whats more, I found my wife using it….not just playing a few games but really using it. In August we bought her a Powerbook G4 so that I could get my little iBook back. I’ve since replaced my aging Dell with a used G3 mac for use as a light duty server and desktop when I need big storage and a larger monitor (mostly iMovies of the kids).
I booted the Dell into linux and left it there. I dont think I’ve touched it in a month. If I go another month, my Sun will get the 20 in monitor and the Dell will go in the attic. If you buy into OSX for the “pretty frills” yeah it rubs off after a few hours. Its grown on me though. Unix on the desktop is really here….my wifes behavior is proof enough of that for me.
<< that is simply not true. You can run MacOS 9, MacOS X, Linux, NetBSD, MkLinux, AIX, A/UX, the list goes on… There may not be quite as many OS options for Apple Hardware, but there are definately more than 2.>>
Well, OS 9, OS X are both Apple’s OS. I have OS 9 on my 7600/132.
Linux, MkLinux are both Linux.
But A/UX has been dead for years.
AIX runs on PREP machines right? Apple’s New Macs are not PREP are they?
So there you have it. Apple’s OS or Linux on Apple machines. (No one else makes the hardware plus Apple’s GUI is no longer the big advantage it once was.)
With x86 you get Windows, Linux, BeOS, Solaris, BSD, SCO Unix, QNX, Novell… just to name a few popular ones. Solid hardware is available from a plethora of vendors.
The Mac is a fine platform and has it’s purpose like Education & Publishing. Not for me because Macs don’t offer enough of an advantage over the PC anymore.
The PC difference is choice and value!
You see, there are other important things in life than just sitting behind a computer!
Your entire post won’t go over well with the penguinistas.
All your points are right on the money, though some will dismiss them as rants of a Windows luser. Personally I can’t justify putting up with the shortcomings of Linux just because I can’t stand MS (which I can’t), but in this case “the enemy of my enemy is not my friend.” I need both Win2K (which might be the most reliable OS I have ever used, or tied with BeOS) and Linux because I teach the CIW program, otherwise I might own a Mac.
Why sitting behind a bank teller and counting others’ money
should be a nobler activity? Perhaps only numismatics has a
greater cultural value…
JLG — You missed the point entirely. Nicholas didn’t say anything of the kind. All he said what that not all of us make our living by making computers work. Some people are bankers, some are tradesman, some are preachers, some are educators, etc. Many would like to spend time with their families or climbing mountains or going to the beach. Most people only have enough time to USE their computers (if they own one at all), and have no time or need to become computer scientists or programmers. From the tone of your post, I assume you are a CS. Yours is a great profession, but you are in a very small minority. Too many linux advocates can’t seem to understand that. They have very little tolerance or respect for anyone who does something else for a living (your comment being a prime example), and that amazes me. This kind of arrogance is, IMHO, the main reason that Linux is not widely accepted on the desktops of home and small biz users. If they want their prize OS on my computer, they have to meet me where I am, not insult me because I’m not where they are.
Some people mentiones that you can run more OS’ than just MacOS X/9.
Yes, it’s true. There’s Linux and (Net/Open)BSD. But there’s no logical reason for installing BSD/Linux next to OSX. Many Linux/Unix apps have allready been ported to OSX (check GNU-Darwin).
Adam Scheinberg also said that he does not want to dual-boot. OK, there’s the Classic enviroment in OSX, but “real” MacOS9 is better for running Classic apps.
He also mentiones QNX together with AtheOS and OpenBeOS. I don’t agree. QNX is a finished OS. AtheOS is not really finished. And OpenBeOS is not really begun.
To answer his question (“is it worth changing hardware platforms for an Operating System?”):
If you have enough money… why not. But you should wait for the G5, if you plan to a change.
> JLG — You missed the point entirely. Nicholas didn’t say anything
> of the kind. All he said what that not all of us make our living by
> making computers work.
> This kind of arrogance is, IMHO, the main reason that Linux is not
> widely accepted on the desktops
I’m not a Linux zealot. I only wanted to say that a minor part of computer
users spend many hours behind computer because they have fun in programming
and tweaking with operating systems. It’s a passion.
Some people are fond of mechanics and spend many hours in their garage
tweaking with cars and motos; most drivers don’t have this passion but
ususally respect those dirty hobbies/works…
One other thing, as it was pointed out, there may be a big development on the Macintosh hardware side in January. There is this new “Apollo” machine. This is either going to be a much faster G4 or a G5 machine. Not only will the processor be faster, but so will the clock speeds on the other components (RAM, IDE et cetera). The possibility of it being a G5 machine is probably over-hyped by the rumor mills. Either way, wait until the end of January to buy a Macintosh.
i’m thinking new hardware new OSes. with network and handheld processors reaching ubiquity, i’d think you’ll be seeing more of QNX and inferno around. BeOS on ARM?
Either way, wait until the end of January to buy a Macintosh.
Just can’t wait to see Apple’s sticker price on those machines…
Also looking forward to the “supercomputer” hype and hand-picked Photoshop benchmarketing, too. I think the Hype-O-Meter will hit a new high come late Jan.
> Either way, wait until the end of January to buy a Macintosh.
Woot, a good reason for being poor ATM, I can’t just blow it on a new Mac that’ll be out of date in a few weeks.
Does anyone know what happend to the Dual TiBook. I heard of it once, then never again. Good [G|g]od[dess] i’d like one of them
> PC’s have OS x, y, z…
Most of which are OpenSource, I really see NO reason why many of them can’t and (assuming the Mac becomes more popular with it’s funky new graphics, and pritty boxes) won’t be ported over. I’m quite sure if/when OpenBeOS is at the magical ‘r0.7’-ish, some kind sole will port it over, maybe the same with AtheOS, not all OSes will be ported tho. (v2 jumps to mind for some reason
Windows 98 tore it for me. It came with my Sony 505, and the end user (Me) experience was terrible. I spent more time formatting and reloading than doing productive work. I refused to buy the “SE” upgrade because it should have been a free bug fix. I bought a Cube after Mac World San Francisco for $1000 and have been running OSX since it’s release in March. Speed was OK with that release, but 10.1 was much faster.
My overall Mac user experience has been great! I love Aqua’s intuitive smoothness. Everything I have added worked right the first time and the bundled software is better than anything I have seen on the Windows side. iTunes – just put in an audio CD, Play a DVD? – just put it in! Make a Movie? Just plug in a firewire DV Cam – iMovie couldn’t be easier. Import still images? Plug in your USB Camera and OSX recognizes it without drivers.
You get what you pay for. Value is if you get you moneys worth, not how much you pay. Simply put, Apple is worth the money, just for the excellent end user experience that comes with it. And oh yes, one more thing… I laugh at Viruses and Worms, Trojan Horses can’t get in the stable. Built on the security offered with BSD Unix, OSX does not contain the holes, trap-doors, and back-doors that are the major features of Microsoft’s products.
Free yourself from the Wintel Monopoly and the monthly subscription fee that is coming to your desktop, along with forced upgrades and engineered incompatibillities of Microsoft “standards”
This poor iMac of mine has had just about every operating system I could throw at it. The 400MHz iMac DV came with OS 8.6 then -> 9 ->9.1. I’ve swapped out the old 10gig HD for a 60gig. Tried duel boot with SuSe 7.1/MacOS 9.1 (running MOL). Then I tried OpenBSD (nice and secure but a pain to configure). Then ran the Public Beta (and cursed under my breath). I’ve now settled on MacOS X 10.1.2/9.2 with VPC running Win2k. So far I’ve been happiest with the latest incarnation. With 2 very inexpensive sticks of 512MB PC100 RAM I can run many applications without crashing (unlike 9.x). I can install new applications without hours of headaches but if I want that experience I can download and compile many ‘linux’ apps. I also have a 700mhz IBM Stinkpad (work laptop that collects dust while it runs Outlook and Visio). The IBM laptop has an Intel Coppermine P3 and I think it’s much slower than the 400MHz G3 iMac. The only excuse for the slowness of the Laptop is that it’s running iPlanet, but then again, my iMac is running Apache without a hick-up. It wouldn’t be fair to compare the Duel proc 500MHz G4 sitting on my desk at work with either the Stinkpad or iMac it’s a real scorcher, like using a hot chainsaw to cut butter. PC (Intel) hardware has always felt cheap and crappy and the standard OS (windows) makes for a package that reminds me of a Chevy Cavalier. So, I’ll stick with my Mac hardware and MacOS X thank you!
OSX is so lovable (run apache/mysql an other *nix goodies, maya, after effects, office, whith games like giants or wolfMP runing in the background, without hiccups…).
Whenever I need to access my mobo, I am blown away by the top notch industrial design and ease of use. Yes, Macs cost more, but for people like me who spends 12 hours a day in front of a machine, use it for work, fun and life 🙂 over a two year lifespan the extra cost is ridiculously low. Well worth it to work in a MUCH BETTER environnement. Everything plugs, works, run, and I only worry about the work I am actually supposed to get done.
I predict that the *nix heads that switch to PPC Macs will never look back. I do not know of one thing you cannot do in OSX.
but i do not at the moment, and it’s not practicle for most people
face it, buying a new computer just for the operating system these days is for people with money to burn, and there other alternative operating systems out there that can help make the most out of the hardware you already have
it’s one thing to promote a non-MS operating system, it’s another to justify the price of over-priced hardware, and thats something more mac advocates should at least try to understand
Oh, come on now… iBook is $1150 at Circuit City, iMac is $700 at store.apple.com… I hardly consider those prices outrageous.
I’ve just bought a new Power Mac G4, with flat screen (VERY TASTY!!!), because to be honest I was just wanted something that worked. Mac OS X; very stable, and looks the business.
Plus you don’t have to go hacking into Windows, to get the bloat of Microsoft’s other program files I DON’T USE, just to make the damn thing run right.
Plus Filing Structure kicks WINDOWS arse BIG TIME
Plus its a godsend not to see Microsoft anywhere on your system
With MAC OS X you sort of get into, and you don’t realize that until you have to go work with Windows again.
Bascially if you fancy something different and aren’t hot with configuring stuff, get it.
>>it’s one thing to promote a non-MS operating system, it’s another to justify the price of over-priced hardware, and thats something more mac advocates should at least try to understand<<
>Oh, come on now… iBook is $1150 at Circuit City, iMac is $700 at store.apple.com… I hardly consider those prices outrageous.<
j has point, my friend just purchased a new HP laptop and spent $300 more that what he could have gotten on an iBook with similar specs! or spent $100 more and got the Ti-Book G4!
hmmm… makes you wonder huh
I truly think its time for powerusers to stop using x86. My Pentium120 was getting old, and so i bought myself a used DEC Alpha, now this thing has kick. The x86 is just an all-round crappy processor, the only thing it has going for it is:
B) marketing being put into it
C) the fact that most ppl dont know of any other procesors.
Apple makes amazingly nice processors, as do many other companies, why are people still using a 32bit-wannabee-hack processor (IA-32)? Since the 386, there have been vary few changes in the x86 (IA-64 excluded if it can be counted as x86). All they did was add the FPU, which you can add to a 386 anyways, and a few new sets of instructions (MMX, 3DNow!, SSE).
This alpha can support more RAM than i could ever dream of having, whereas most x86 boards support less than a gig, even though the processor, since the 386, could handle 4gigs of addressing space.
Hardware issues?? Pfft. I put in an ATI Radeon 32Meg SDR PCI video card in his puppy (sadly it doesnt have agp), and an AWE64 soundcard, both work.
In case you are wondering which OS im using, Debian GNU/Linux, the install was as smooth as a debian install can be (which is pretty smooth if you dont have shit for brains). Where the install differed from the x86, it had nice explanations to go with it, i was impressed.
I really dont see any compeling reason to stick with x86, especially when there are so many open-source projects from which you can get nice programs from. Who needs warez when apt can do the dirty work?