“When Steve Jobs introduced Apple’s new iMac in January 2002, the spotlight was focused entirely on the physical architecture of the first mainstream computer that fully defied the term ‘box’. The new iMac is a white dome with a flat screen that floats on the end of a chrome arm. It looks like a cross between a Luxo lamp and a makeup mirror. Jobs called it ‘the best thing we’ve ever done'”. Read the rest of the MacOSX review at LinuxJournal.
A Penguin’s-Eye Look at Apple’s OS X
2002-03-19 macOS 34 Comments
5 things I hate about MacOSX (in no particular order):
1) Its incredibly slooooow on ‘modern’ hardware.
2) Its default file system (HFS+) is not case sensitive.
3) The default location for system files do not have an elegant directory structure (you cannot beat BeOS implementation). This problem exists with all *nix implementations.
4) The Dock is counter-productive. A taskbar/deskbar with a start menu (Windows, BeOS, KDE/Gnome) is better.
5) Its incredibly slooooow. This has to be emphasised multiple times. MP3’s skip. Videos jerk. Harddisk thrashes like mad.
5 things I like about MacOSX:
1) Display quality is fantastic. Scaling is amazing.
2) Finally a *nix implementation for the rest of us. (I still miss BeOS, though)
3) Err, the cases are pretty.
There is no #4 and #5.
Buying an iMac just because I thought OSX was going to be great ended up being the biggest computing mistake in my life.
You must be running it on Dinosaur-Ware, I am running it on an old G3 iMac with no problems (of course it zings on my Ti-Book G4). I can admit that Mac OS X 10.0 was slow and I usually stayed on the OS 9 side of the house, but now with 10.1 I am mostly on the X side, but every once an awhile I go to the 9 side for the classic ride 🙂
The Dock rulez!
MP3s do skip in OS X from time to time (I hate that)… that is why cooperative multitasking in OS 9 was great (no skips like Windows)!
Probably the best compliment to BeOS is some of the similar functionality where the dock is concerned and such.
I’ll be buying another Mac by end of summer and give my girlfriend my old one (her PC just bit the bullet)!
That’s odd. It’s plenty fast on my dual 1GHz 1.5 Gig RAM G4…..
>>That’s odd. It’s plenty fast on my dual 1GHz 1.5 Gig RAM G4…..<<
You got to tell us all about it… I have been contemplating about getting that machine! So was it worth every penny? Darn it, I am jealous now :-
“The default location for system files do not have an elegant directory structure (you cannot beat BeOS implementation). This problem exists with all *nix implementations.”
I actually find the unix directory structure to be elegant. The directory names are short and descriptive (at least to me), and the nesting depth is shallow. I think /etc should be renamed to conf, but as long as you know what it’s for it’s okay. FreeBSD has one of the cleanest structures I’ve used. However, I haven’t used MacOS X yet, so I can’t comment on it’s directory layout.
1. There’s a mistake in the article that shows that the person had never seriously used a mac before: MPW is and has always been a free download, so you could develop software for macs with free tools (if you wanted to).
2. If we needed another death bell for OS X, this is it: LINUX hackers love it and will likely turn it into exactly the same mess that LINUX is right now.
If you step back for a moment and look at the situation, you really don’t have to worry too much about Linux hackers turning it into any kind of a mess.
The difference between Linux and Mac OS X is this: Linux has no unifying force/direction (other than Linus Torvaldz, really) while OS X has Apple as the 800 lb. corporate gorilla of unification. Apple will never, ever let things get so out of hand that there’s even the slightest chance of fragmentation. They may incorporate nice ideas that come along from the OpenSource (or MIT License, or whatever) direction, but they’ll be the final word on any official changes.
Linux hackers will be able to go and mess with their machines to their hearts content; other people will be happy to just stick with “pure Apple” and never muck around with any of the innards. It’s actually a very nice situation for Apple. They can now appeal to both types of computer users, the tweakers and the acceptors.
If/when Apple comes out with an affordable version of hardware that’s in my reach, I’m probably going to bite the bullet and make the switch. The more I read about it, the better I like the direction they’re taking. I know they’ve still got problems to fix, and I don’t expect them all to be fixed any time soon. However, at least for myself, the rule of thumb in computer purchases is this: “Can I do my work on it?” From the sound of it, yep, this one’s a keeper
Apache, PHP, MySQL, bash, ssh, FTP, several flavors of browser, *and* mainstream apps like Adobe LiveMotion & Illustrator & PhotoShop … talk about web geek heaven!
I still have a hard time finding OS X sluggish in daily operations when compared against Windows2000 ond WindowsXP. The one exception to this will have to be Finder windows with lots of files. Outside of this, I have had no major complaints about the speed. I have a 450MHz G4 Cube, and it is more than enough for doing development and graphics manipulation. Back when memory was a lot cheaper I bumped my memory over 700MB. I leave ‘top’ up regularly and always have 300-400 MB to burn, even with things like VirtualPC or Classic running. I’m also guilty of running many applications at once, so this isn’t an artifact of just leaving ‘Mail’ up and nothing else.
The 800mhz G4 is $1599 and available at CompUSA. I just bought one yesterday and threw my OpenBSD workstation in the closet. Like someone else said… Apache, ssh, and Photoshop!
Wow! Were you on any kind of a waiting list there? I’ve been reading that there have been supply problems, with the Apple retailers getting first dibs over the more general ones like CompUSA.
How do you like it so far? Any feel for the speed? What kind of RAM do you have in it? Etc., etc.
Hi Hank, I see that you mentioned VirtualPC … how do you like the performance of it? What apps do you run through it?
(I know, I’m full of questions)
The supply shortage you’re hearing is for the iMac2, and I have a hunch the Anonymous poster is referring to an 800 MHz G4 PowerMac, which is rather easy to come across, though I never saw CompUSA mention anything but iMacs in their product catalog. Either that or I’m just dumb.
Hey, I doubt you’re dumb … there are lots of companies who don’t exactly bend over backwards to let people know that they have more things available than what they list in their catalogs!
I assumed he had been talking about a new iMac2, but now that I re-read his posting, I think you’re right.
Thanks for pointing it out to me
Hey Dave, thanks for reassuring me that I am not dumb.
I just want to say that just because MacOS has BSD in its gut doesn’t mean we should go comparing it to other BSD and *nix. What I see is Apple maintaining the Mac OS tradition but simpily taking advantage of a good foundation which is BSD. Not that there’s anything wrong with comparing it to other OSes of similar nature, I just think that we have to look at it as an OS as a whole and not just nit pick at the parts that they have in common and declare one better than the other. There is a definite value in using a Unix variation for desktop and everyday use. It’s also possible that any OS can perfom the same functions as any other, it’s only a matter of which one you feel most comfotable working with. The PC or Mac platforms don’t define what is professional and what is not. It’s the users and how they use their computers that draws the line between hobby and profession. We all know that.
I’m just speaking randomly. I love computers, any kind will do. My next computer will be a Mac. I just want to try something different and hoping I’ll like it. That and the fact that I can’t stand Microsoft’s business practices, not to mention their ethics. Most of all I absolutely refuse to use Windows XP (future versions of Windows will be no different) and the whole .NET thing doesn’t sit well with me, and I’m a programmer. Java has a special place in my heart because it helped me get a grasp of object oriented programming and that’s how I got to where I am today. Microsoft can not take that away from me, and they haven’t done anything to make my life better lately.
Yes, I was referring to a G4 tower. CompUSA had quite a few of them. I think only certain CompUSAs have an expanded Apple section. Mine has an Apple rep (or at least someone in an Apple shirt) that wanders around.
The 800mhz machine seems pretty fast, but not quite as fast as the dual 1Ghz they had on display!
They did have the new iMac, but I don’t know if they had any other than the display model. My favorite thing about the iMac is the way the screen moves. It’s so easy and fluid to move, yet feels solid.
Since you asked…
I’ve never owned a Mac bfore but OSX is just so damn cool I had to buy one. I got it in early Feb and the verdict is YES it’s worth every penny.
I pretty much maxed it out: dual 1GHz/1.5 Gig RAM/17″ Studio Display/Airport card/printer/3-button mouse and other odds and ends which brought the total to a breathtaking (for me anyway) $5395.19 (but hey, you only live once). I nearly went for the 22″ display but had to stop the damage… I just wish the GeForce Titanium had been available at the time.
Since I bought at the local Mac store (in Plano, Tx which I think is the only one in the state so far) $411 of the total was sales tax which may be a good reason to buy on-line but….I sprung for the extra $30 to have the memory and Airport card installed at the store. They pulled the machine out, and after much tinkering, reported that it was completely dead! It wouldn’t even boot. The second machine was a charm.
I’ve been using Linux for years so the first thing I did was install Fink and install all the stuff that was missing
(from a Unix point of view). Now I’m working on stuff every
Mac user seems to need – my next buy is Painter 7.
I purchased a 800mhz G4 iMac for my wife. She loves it. I think it is a snappy little machine. It sits in our family room and blends in quite nicely. It plays DVD’s/MP3’s/etc.. without a hitch.
Only have 1 complaint. The Superdrive will not work with CD-R/RW media that is over 8X on data burns. luckily, iTunes2 will let you set the burn speed. Which allows us to use the 100pk of 16X CD-R’s we already had.
Overall, I think that OS X has great potential. I have a 867mhz machine in my basement with all my other machines: LINUX/WIN2K/OS9.
But, i must comment, so this doesn’t become a LINUX vs. WIN2K vs. Mac thing. I have found that the Linux box which is an IBM PC300/512mb/100g hd runs flawlessly as my primary server. and I mean FLAWLESSLY. Haven’t touched that machine since I started it up. OS9….well…it’s OS9, and it does freeze on occasion. The OS X machine…Haven’t rebooted once. It has been rock solid. Been fartn’ around with REALBasic. I have found system response to be excellent.
The Win2K machine has actually been very solid. I do have a minor complaint about that machine though. It requires a reboot every once in a while to clear up a process that will not allow a reset/end task. The processor usage goes to 100% and the machine drags….Can’t figure out what is doing it yet…. Other than that, it has functioned very well.
Sorry about the rant, but i just lost sight of what the original post was…..
I tested VirtualPC and found its performance pretty bad on my machine. I was trying to get it running for my sister to run SPSS stuff on my Mac. I think it will be horrible for this. The responsiveness I would compare to my 200MHz laptop. So office tools and web browsing would be good. Don’t try Mathematica or Matlab or anything like that though. At least not if you have a 400MHz G4 or G3.
By the way, I tried getting BeOS running on it, and it successfully installed and booted, but it seems like the tracker is dying somewhere. I know it isn’t *supposed* to work, but has anyone had any success on this?
>>By the way, I tried getting BeOS running on it, and it successfully installed and booted, but it seems like the tracker is dying somewhere. I know it isn’t *supposed* to work, but has anyone had any success on this?<<
I think Scott Bates from Frizbe.net got it to work?! I asked him sometime ago about how he was successful, but had no reply as of yet. He is pretty busy guy from what I gather. If you have some success, let me know becuase I am planning on trying that route to BeOS instead of buying a new PC to run it, though I did find a PC I like, so I may just get one anyway 🙂
Hey T Ly how can you say you don’t like ms business practices when apple’s are worse? They not sell you the os and the hardware, squash all other hardware sellers and if they had the capital to develop one I’m sure they’d sell you your office suite to boot. I get so tired of apple fans acting like apple is the kindly uncle of computing to ms’s tyranical dad, when in truth they’re both cold hearted, look out for themselves only, companys. Apple’s goal is to make money same as ms, so quit acting like apple is computings savior.
No ne said Apple is the saviour of the computing world… no one is! Mac fans are tired of everyone saying that you have to run Windows in order to survive in our computing world, which is not the case!
>> It requires a reboot every once in a while to clear up a process that will not allow a reset/end task.
Download pskill (http://www.sysinternals.com/ntw2k/freeware/pskill.shtml) or write your own utility to kill rogue processes.
True, Apple and Microsoft are just 2 money craving companies with dark pasts. If recall from my post earlier, I mentioned my favoritism for Java over .NET . Apple is embracing Java, whereas Microsoft is out to exterminate it. It’s a really fine line, but that’s just one of the many reasons why I am now favoring Apple over MS.
There is not a technology company that doesn’t have dirt under their nails. They’re just like politicians, there’s no such thing as a “good” politician. When we vote, we vote for the one we think makes the most sense and the one we feel is less evil. (Evil is a strong word, I can’t think of a better word, and I know it’ll come to me later, but this forum doesn’t have an editing feature).
If anyone reading this is a politician and feels offended by my comments, I apologize to you. But I also kindly remind you that as an American citizen, I am entitled to my own opinions, and I have not directed my comments at anyone specificly.
I see what your saying and I was prolly a little harsh with my generalization but I’m sure you’ve come across your fair share of apple fanatics who try to portray apple as good and ms as evil. I’m also sure there are some people totally blind to what ms has done to get a majority market share. btw CattBeMac I for one have never said apple users have to switch, to each his own is what I say. Any fool who trys to force someone to switch oses is doing it because thats the only way they can feel like they made the right choice (you know if I can convince tom that windows is better and he switches I must be right). I just get so tired (as a windows fan, thats right I admitted it and I’m proud of it too) of all the flack ms gets when other, equally dirty companies, are being put on a pedistal (along with their psychotic ceo, I’m sorry gates may be cold blooded but jobs is frickin crazy).
I get what you’re saying… both Steve Jobs and Bill Gates are visionaries and maniacs! They both like to be in control and so forth. And like your devotion to Windows my devotion is to the Mac (and BeOS). I like that platform because it fits my personality and my needs! I definitely don’t want an all Mac world, the same as I don’t want an all PC world… that would just be mono, and I am into stereo myself! One of my closest friends here in Europe is a big Windows freak and we play with each others systems all the time. While he was away on holiday I had to kid/house sit for him and was using/playing with WinXP all week! I liked the improvements, but still thought there was something missing (not sure what though). I still own a PC with Win95 running on it. I came from the Windows world and fled for greener pastures mainly due to my hobbies in music and graphics. Though now I am doing more programming on my Macs lately. I switched to the Mac to fit my lifestyle and it has done exactly what I want and delivered to my expectations as a computer user both as a professional and a home user 🙂
Is Apple really that bad? They killed off the clones but their explanation at the time is that they would have gone out of business (and thus taken the clones with them). Is survival anti-competitive? This is very different from the way MS killed of Be, Be never presented a threat and being a monoploly this action was illegal.
On the other hand Apple denying Be access to their hardware specs was not an act of survival and can’t be justified.
Who cares? BeOS never had any percentage but did that stop me using it?
Linux on the desktop only has 0.5% (or suchlike) but does that stop many people using it? Low % does not always automatically mean death. Other companies may have larger market shares but they don’t make any money.
Anyway the absolute number of users is more important than the %.
Apples have always been easy to use. What makes that bad? You’ll find many Apple (and Windows) users are using thier computer as a tool, they may not have the slightest interest in what is underneath the hood, they merely wish to use the computer for it’s intended purpose. Having access to the internals of a system is neither necessary or desirable to the majority of computer users.
Speed (or lack thereof)
Is it speed or responsiveness you are talking about? BeOS and the Amiga were both focused on responsiveness and consequently will always “feel” faster than other systems even if they are slower. Next always had responsiveness problems from the very beginning, so much so they stuffed in an i860 to handle graphics in the 2nd generation hardware.
The “DANO” leak of BeOS is probably the most responsive system I’ve ever used – and thats saying something considering previous versions were shit hot fast already. (I’ve yet to see DANO crash BTW). OS X is still a fairly new system so it has good time to improve.
Age of NT versus OS X:
“And through Windows NT, you can see it throughout the design. In a weak sense, it is a form of Unix.”
You could of course turn the arguement on its head and say Unix is more “mature” than NT… Besides, just because something is not the latest technology does not mean it’s not up to the job.
Windows Vs Unix Installations.
It is generally easier to install stuff in Windows, however it may be more difficult in Unix but not always much difference and the difference I find is once it’s set up it just works, Windows tends to give me problems if I try anything even remotely adventerous.
I gather installation in OS X is easiest of all – closer to BeOS / Amiga which were always easy.
great story by the Register folks, but here is more to that drama;
First off, I am a new developer on the Mac OS X scene. I chose to target Mac OS X because I like the operating system and user interface.
A group of us are creating games which will be published for Mac OS X, Amiga DE and later Win32 and Linux.
I’ve recently bought two new Macs, an iBook 600mhz and just received my G4 tower (867 quicksilver). I am very happy with the systems.
Our games will be done in 2D and 3D (OpenGL).
MacOS X is a joy to use. I’ve done lots of Unix programming and have been into Linux since pre-Slackware dazes.
Nicholas I agree Be is a great os, and I wish palm didn’t buy them and kill them (btw would someone please fill me in as to why people say ms killed be). If they would’ve made some smarter choices I think they could’ve overtaken macs in % of desktops. I am hoping OBOS turns out great and true to its roots, if it does I’m most likely going to try it (and I currently want to try that rebundled 5.0.4 that beosonline is offering, if I can only figure out how to burn it in easy cd creator or nero). btw interesting reading, from the handfull of articles I’ve read at the register though I get the feeling they hate to see anyone make a buck and they’re paranoid about their privacy
MS made it where OEM’s were not allowed to sell there systems with Windows and another OS on it. Be’s only real chance to gain acceptance for the ‘media OS’. Hitachi even created a system with both windows and BeOS, however MS made them hide the beos install so users couldn’t find it before the systems shipped. Pretty sneaky (and illegal) stuff on MS’s part really.
About Gates and Jobs, did anyone ever see Pirate’s of Silicon Valley. I thought that was a pretty good portrayal.
I just red from Apples web page that they are ramping up production on the new iMacs to shipping 5,000 a day and expect to go much higher with the demand being so high.
That is underhanded, but no more so than apple’s refusing to give be hardware specs (imo anyway). You say “and another os on it”, which unless you worded it wrong means they still could’ve shipped a be only box. Either way its dirty pool and non-competative but I don’t think its illegal. btw I will give apple this, that display on the new imac is damn crisp for being a flat panel (I’m not a fan of the system as a unit concept though).
Genaldar, I’m also not a fan of the “system as a unit concept” and that includes laptops. If the screen craps out, you’re screwed.
Laptops are double edged sword though. They are more required because its doesn’t make much sense to make a 2 component portable system, but worse because they’re even more to expensive to replace (I don’t know anyone whos needed a imac screen replaced, but I think it would be cheaper because the old imac screen was pretty much a starndard crt, unless I’m mistaken, while laptops are pretty damn proprietary). Either way though it sucks to be sol if your screen dies (at least most laptops have a video out so you could hook em up to a monitor as a short term fix, while I don’t think you can do the same with either the old imac or the new one).