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 Post subject: Mac vs PC
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 9:38 am 
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Certainly Macs are supposed to be better than PCs, according to most anyone you ask, but they tend to cost a lot more.

I've decided to take the plunge and buy a Mac and see what is so special about them.

I've found a lot of the claims made about them are mostly hype, as I used to use a PowerPc Mac at work for many years, and frankly I prefer a PC, even with all the problems. I have no clue how to program a Mac and I can write assembly language code on an X86 machine.

Perhaps with Apple now using Intel processors the lines are being blurred between the two. It would be nice to create a blend and get the best of both worlds, and I suppose the Apple worshippers would claim OS X gives you the best of the Mac user interface while giving you the power of UNIX under the hood.

Actually I love UNIX, LINUX, especially IRIX and would be happy if that's all I ever had, but it's not and I have to deal with the fact most people prefer Windows or the Mac OS. I have some programs I'd like to port to the Mac eventually. I'm wondering if Java is a good language to use for portability or if I should stick to Pascal or C++.

I can never get a straight answer from an Apple True Believer.

I hear comments like these:

"I just plugged it in and it works, perfectly, all the time, every time."

"I've never had a single problem with my Mac, ever."

"Macs don't get viruses. It's not even possible."

I really wish I had a computer that just worked, and never gave me the slightest problem, was so intuitive that I could do anything I wanted to do without any training whatsoever, and everything just worked as I imagined it ought to.

Of course I was an Atari person back when their big rival was Commodore and most people would say the Amiga was a better machine, but where are they now?

I cling stubbornly to the things I love, like Turbo Pascal, Delphi, Windows, etc.

There's a lot of bad things about Windows, but there's also a lot of good about it.

Perhaps Linux is cheaper, even free, but you get what you pay for.

Aren't operating systems more complex than they need to be? Or is that just my misunderstanding? Aren't they filled with bloated code?

Why could the first operating systems run in a few kilobytes and now it takes megabytes, even gigabytes of space to load even simple stuff?

I'm watching Jake 2.0 on sci-fi with the sound turned off. Boring show. Had a lot of potential but it got old in a hurry. The new Flash Gordon show isn't too interesting either. I guess I'll have to watch it in re-runs. Lots of programs I didn't like at first sort of grew on me later.

Perhaps I'll get to like the Mac, though I've had no luck with Macs or Mac people in the past! lol

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 Post subject: Re: Mac vs PC
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 10:03 am 
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BrentDMartin wrote:
I really wish I had a computer that just worked, and never gave me the slightest problem, was so intuitive that I could do anything I wanted to do without any training whatsoever, and everything just worked as I imagined it ought to.


Alas peoples expectations continually rise, if you showed a modern computer to somebody in the 1980s they would be amazed, today nobody blinks an eye. The computer illiterate have been told they are easy to use, and they are up to a point when they dont do what they want. The times I've heard the phrase "But all I want to do is XXX" without any comprehension of the complexity of the task....

BrentDMartin wrote:
Aren't operating systems more complex than they need to be? Or is that just my misunderstanding? Aren't they filled with bloated code?


There is no law that says you have to install every linux package in the world. Have a go with gentoo.

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 Post subject: Re: Mac vs PC
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 10:37 am 
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porter wrote:
BrentDMartin wrote:
Aren't operating systems more complex than they need to be? Or is that just my misunderstanding? Aren't they filled with bloated code?


There is no law that says you have to install every linux package in the world.


No, but I do believe that is the official Ubuntu philosophy. ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Mac vs PC
Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2007 11:17 am 
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Thanks!

I wasn't trying to start a war, just commenting on how Mac owners tend to be more arrogant than PC users, in general! lol

I have never had anything but problems with computers, PCs or Macs, so I cannot imagine a computer or an operating system so perfect that it never ever causes any grief.

Just sayin .....

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 Post subject: Re: Mac vs PC
Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2007 11:45 am 
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Quote:
I have never had anything but problems with computers, PCs or Macs, so I cannot imagine a computer or an operating system so perfect that it never ever causes any grief.


My claim to fame seems to be that I can completely trash any operating system within 1 week after first setting my fingers to the console. After that, things get better ;) .

I haven't found a perfect operating system or computer yet - they're all annoying, but in different ways. I do find that Windows seems to provoke the most teeth-gnashing, but that means very little.

Apple hardware seems to be generally of high-quality (excluding a period in the mid->late '90s), but Jobs has an ego to equal the size of SGIs in 1996. I'm typing this from a Mac, but I can't stand the guy.

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 Post subject: Re: Mac vs PC
Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2007 5:59 pm 
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I'm fairly sure the "Just Works" is marketing BS. My boss spent a week trying to fix his Core Duo Macbook Pro after trying to upgrade to 10.5. I've tried to install 10.4 on a G4 400 Mhz, and it went as smooth as your average Windows/ Linux/ etc. install, i.e. working after a day or so of fixing issues that came up. Both systems were all Apple hardware, no 3rd party devices, mods, etc. Just trying to put a new OS on a supported set of hardware.

As far as using Macs, I really don't like the fact you can't change certain behaviors that really annoy me. The biggest examples are the single toolbar and finder. For a single, 15-19" monitor setup, I can see how you might like a single toolbar. But for dual monitors or 24" screens, its a real pain to have to goto the corner of the left screen everytime you want to use a menu. Considering the time I spent using macs was for what they're supposed to be good at, video editting with Final Cut HD and Photoshop, I was on larger screens so this was a constant issue.

I also dislive that Apple changes things arbitrarily, and doesn't give you a way to keep the old look. Every version of Windows can be set to look and act a lot like the previous ones. I disabled the new skin on my XP boxes so I basically have a Win98 interface (I actually do like the gradient as opposed to the solid from 95). Even under Vista I could do this. Without 3rd party mods, 10.5 can not be made to look like previous versions of OS X and a lot of things (like the folders, and dock) even the Apple fanboys think look worse in this release.


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 Post subject: Re: Mac vs PC
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 1:14 pm 
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tillin9 wrote:
I'm fairly sure the "Just Works" is marketing BS. My boss spent a week trying to fix his Core Duo Macbook Pro after trying to upgrade to 10.5.


Sounds to me more like an exception (an outlier), rather than typical conditions. "Just Works" may be a slight overstatement, but since I've been using MacOS machines (since 1990), "Just Works" has been typical.

tillin9 wrote:
I also dislive that Apple changes things arbitrarily, and doesn't give you a way to keep the old look. Every version of Windows can be set to look and act a lot like the previous ones. I disabled the new skin on my XP boxes so I basically have a Win98 interface (I actually do like the gradient as opposed to the solid from 95). Even under Vista I could do this. Without 3rd party mods, 10.5 can not be made to look like previous versions of OS X and a lot of things (like the folders, and dock) even the Apple fanboys think look worse in this release.


I don't know about any of that. Leopard looks fine to me, but then, I'm probably not what you'd call a "fanboy." I prefer it for reasons independent of its look, namely the interactivity enhancements that go along with it. Frankly, so long as something works, I could care less what it looks like. (That, and I'm really lazy when it comes to customizing my 'experience'.)

I will say I've never understood the appeal of the look Windows has (any of them). Seems like MS never got that right, at any iteration, though I think vista does look better than previous versions of windows.

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 Post subject: Re: Mac vs PC
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 3:26 pm 
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Biggest gripe I have with Leopard is that I wouldn't be able to use Classic on my G4 Powerbook, so I'll keep that machine on Tiger. The MacBook Pro is on Leopard - first thing I did was to turn off the 3D mirrored dock effect. :P


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 Post subject: Re: Mac vs PC
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 3:32 pm 
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josehill wrote:
Biggest gripe I have with Leopard is that I wouldn't be able to use Classic on my G4 Powerbook, so I'll keep that machine on Tiger.



Yeah, my version of Elastic Reality is Classic-only (obviously). But I maintain a PPC 604e PowerMac Clone just for that (and Codewarrior).

I'd miss it on the laptop if it weren't for the fact that I almost never use it.

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 Post subject: Re: Mac vs PC
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 6:48 am 
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BrentDMartin wrote:
Aren't operating systems more complex than they need to be? Or is that just my misunderstanding? Aren't they filled with bloated code?

Why could the first operating systems run in a few kilobytes and now it takes megabytes, even gigabytes of space to load even simple stuff?

It's an oft-heard, and completely bogus comparison.

Yes, CP/M ran in 16 kB with (some) room to spare for a user app. Why don't today's OS's? Because we expect a lot (a lot) more from them, these days.

It kind of pisses me off to see people demanding every feature ever conceived, only to turn around and deal the "omg! bloat!" card.

,xtG
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 Post subject: Re: Mac vs PC
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2007 5:17 am 
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The whole modern computing experience is bloated:

Ten years ago, I gathered information from the internet (usenet, hotline, web), wrote essays in a text editor, managed files, burned CDs, played the odd game, did a bit of programming, etc. etc., on a 603e based Mac with, I dunno, 32? 64? megabytes of RAM. It was fine, quite snappy except for the modem speeds, all in all a thoroughly enjoyable experience when you kept the system clean (plus, OS8 was so beautiful).

Today, I struggle to perform those exact same tasks on a Mac that's an order of magnitude faster and has 10x the amount of RAM - because these tasks are now much more complex. I of course know that rendering a complex HTML+CSS+JavaScript web page is more intensive than HTML1, but I don't care. I just want the information on it. I know that all the layers of abstraction present in a Mac means that each application will take up more resources, but, really, I don't care, I just want to type text. I am doing the exact same things I was 10 years ago, but now I've got swapping left, right and centre because I don't have a full gig of RAM, my operating system takes up 5 gigabytes on disk and my 1.33GHz G4 can be brought to its kness by a web site - which I'm BTW *still* waiting on cos site sizes have multiplied seemingly faster than download speeds.

So: hardware's got faster, I've got RAM and disk space in abundance, but the experience is *slower* and less responsive than it used to be. I think that matches a dictionary definition of bloat, if there is one.

As for Macs 'just working', of course it's not true all the time. Just like what we used to say about PCs - 'it just doesn't work' - isn't *always* true (but quite often) :P..


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 Post subject: Re: Mac vs PC
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2007 9:35 am 
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Computers don't have to be bloated. I just played with DSL (Damn Small Linux). Its 50MB, a fully featured Debian based distro, and runs Karamba to show processor and memory use. On my Pentium III laptop it used roughly 1% processor and 36MB RAM (It has 512MB) to run all the background services, dillo web browser (which can handle modern HTML+extras), aterminals (with transparency), etc.

Of course, the graphics with JoeWM (the default WM of DSL) looks like Solaris crica 98. DSL also uses a 2.4 kernel so it lacks a lot of new features from 2.6. If eye candy or the newest featureset doesn't matter, you can use either older software or new light software (which looks like old software) to make things snappier.

Of course, people like eye candy. This is why compiz/OSX/Areo is all the rave. I'll be the first to admit compiz with emerald is much, much better looking than JoeWM. While this one choice doesn't increase memory/processor/GPU use that much (unlike OSX which eats memory like crazy, or Vista which is just poorly written), but after a dozen or so such tradeoffs, even with well written programs, things get slow if you using older hardware.

The code bloat argument is only true for some things, the rest is feature/ resource decisions. Early versions of KDE3, for example, uses far too much memory because the developers decided to push unoptimized routines in order to get the features people wanted. This was recognized as a mistake and later versions got faster and use less memory. OSX did the same thing (partially because it shares a non-trivial amount with the KDE codebase) though I can run KDE3 on Linux or OpenBSD with 640MB of RAM. Running OSX with that is dicey at best. I honestly want to know what it does with all of it.


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 Post subject: Re: Mac vs PC
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2007 3:38 pm 
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I think I know what bloat means! :D

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 Post subject: Re: Mac vs PC
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2007 1:16 am 
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With a chance of looking back at past experiences with a bias: for all the graphical candy and extra options we enjoy nowadays, does the experience of computing really give more satisfaction?
Sure, renders and real-time 3D looks better (and the end result is what really counts at the end of the day), but i'm not sure if this load of software that requires 2GB ram, 2x CoreDuo 3GHz gives a fuzzier feeling compared to software that ran on a 32MB, 200MHz machine :)

Still love the 4Dwm environment and looks despite it's age...it has a nice balance between polished consistency and being a serious tool :)

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 Post subject: Re: Mac vs PC
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2007 6:02 am 
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UrbanHero wrote:
With a chance of looking back at past experiences with a bias: for all the graphical candy and extra options we enjoy nowadays, does the experience of computing really give more satisfaction?

Yes. But not because of the candy (well, not solely because of the candy, anyway).
Quote:
Sure, renders and real-time 3D looks better (and the end result is what really counts at the end of the day), but i'm not sure if this load of software that requires 2GB ram, 2x CoreDuo 3GHz gives a fuzzier feeling compared to software that ran on a 32MB, 200MHz machine :)

True enough. But, like I said, there's more to it than looks. Take a look at Leopard and see what it can do without any third-party applications necessary. You can flip through entire catalogues of media files and have them previewed right there in the Finder. It may come as a shock to some, but there's coding in the OS that takes care of that. Sure enough, the OS would be (much) smaller without that functionality. However, you'd have to fire up an application for each document you want to (pre)view.

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