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Obligatory "Anything For Mac? (or Linux)" 2007 :)
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Magnulus



Joined: 08 Nov 2005
Posts: 556
Location: Bergen, Norway



PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

icarus wrote:
IMHO I find that a mac might be better for someone who doesent know computers verry well. If someone is smart they will use something unix based*


I have been using computers actively for seventeen years. I think I know computers pretty well. I just happen to find the whole package of the mac machines and the screens and the OS is worth the extra cost. I don't think you need to try to make Macers seem like lesser people just because you don't like them.

This is my take on it: "normal" PCs are for people who like more control over their hardware. They're easier to upgrade (well, apart from the Mac Pro, but they're not regular consumer-grade machines) and they have an almosty hobby-like appeal in that people can spend hours fiddling with hardware and hardware settings to tweak things like this and that. The OS (windows) is also very mechanically built, with a sterile interface for the most part that is very functional.
Macs are for people who don't necessarily want to think about the machine too much. To them, it's a wrench. A tool they need to have to do what they want, but that they don't want to spend a lot of time thinking about. They come in a neat package that has everything most people need and are extremely easy to set up. The OS is more organically built, with a "living" interface that allows mess-heads like me to be as cluttered as they like without losing functionality.

As for accessibility of advanced features, crashes etc, they're pretty much the same from my point of view. Windows does seem to me to crash more often than the OSX but not a whole lot, but OSX seems slightly more cumbersome to people who want absolute control over the OS, though you CAN just bring up the Unix console and start typing stuff in.

icarus wrote:
-Macs are virus proof, Thats beacause nobody cares about macs. If thare were nearly as much Macs as PCs than they would be loaded with viruses spam and spywhare just like PCs. If you don't know how to deal with these than you do not deserve to have a computer.


Well, judging from the amount of mac zealots on the web, I'd say there are quite a few people who care about macs. It's just that with the hardware being slightly more expensive, it seems the malicious ******* who keep making viruses can't be bothered to even try. There is virus software for the Mac, and most people have those installed, but there's no real need for it right now.
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Fost
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Magnulus wrote:
people who want absolute control over the OS


See, this is where I don't follow the conversation - what is it the OS is doing? I don't use windows XP to do anything other than move files about, which it seems to do pretty well. The only feature of the OS I ever use is the one that reverts all the bulky styling to minimalist Windows2000 UI style. Other than that, I just live in my 2D/3D apps and email/web browser.

What is the OS doing that makes such as difference?
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Magnulus



Joined: 08 Nov 2005
Posts: 556
Location: Bergen, Norway



PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To be honest, I don't really know. The parts about the total control and all that is just stuff I hear people with more knowledge about the inner workings of a computer saying. I can use both OSes pretty well. I'm not an expert user in any of them, but I know them well enough to use them and to solve 99% of the problems I run into with either. I've never used the unix command line thing for the mac, and I've rarely opened the DOS prompt since DOS went out of style.

Personally, I just happen to find OSX to work more in the way my brain works. I'm a cluttered and organics-minded person. OSX just happens to be more intuitive for me. Also, Photoshop is faster on my Mac than it was on my PC, even though the PC had a stronger processor (though this one does have two) and Photoshop still hasn't been made available for Intel machines yet on the mac.

It feels to me like a combination of hardware and software makes my mac quicker with video and image editing than my PC was. But that's just gut feeling.
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SethP



Joined: 24 Apr 2006
Posts: 302
Location: Connecticut, USA



PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 11:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fost wrote:
Magnulus wrote:
people who want absolute control over the OS


See, this is where I don't follow the conversation - what is it the OS is doing? I don't use windows XP to do anything other than move files about, which it seems to do pretty well. The only feature of the OS I ever use is the one that reverts all the bulky styling to minimalist Windows2000 UI style. Other than that, I just live in my 2D/3D apps and email/web browser.

What is the OS doing that makes such as difference?


Well, the OS is doing pretty much everything behind the scenes. The OS is the thing that schedules different processes, provides a standardized interface to the hardware, and, in short, makes everything work. Without an OS, a computer really isn't much better than a heap of silicon.

In terms of modern day OSes, however, people have come to expect a little more than the bare minimum listed above. They want their OS to have a GUI, a core set of tools (such as a web browser), and provide numerous APIs (game oriented ones such as DirectX, as well as others) to facilitate application programming. So while you directly engage the OS's features very infrequently, the programs you use are totally dependent on the OS's APIs.

The Windows vs. Everything Else debate is about a somewhat fuzzy quantity of the "better" OS. In some cases the OSes are more or less identical (most of the core features listed in the first paragraph fall into this category), but there's still a lot of distinction between different systems (most of the stuff in the second paragraph).

Personally, I don't really like Windows, mostly because its conception makes no sense to me. The history of Microsoft as I understand it is:

1) Bill Gates sells IBM an operating system he doesn't actually have.
2) Gates rushes out and buys QDOS, which he re-brands MSDOS and hands back to IBM.
3) MSDOS and the early versions of Windows (up to ME) were fundamentally broken because they were all directly based off of the QDOS code, a quick solution meant to provide some basic, much needed functinality that was never meant to become the world's most widely used operating system.
4) Realizing the above, Microsoft creates the NT kernel which provides all the functionality that the QDOS code couldn't
5) Windows NT (mostly a corporate-only release) through Vista are based on the NT kernel

The part that I really don't understand is that the NT kernel was basically written to provide the exact same functinality as the already pre-existing (by about 30 years) Unix kernel. In computer science, the golden rule is to reuse code; this allows the use of code that has already been proven to be secure and reliable by years of experience. So Microsoft's choice to write the NT kernel instead of using the Unix kernel was basically them shooting themselves in the foot. No matter how brilliant the programmers working on the NT project were, it was impossible for them to beat 30 years of real-world use with whatever they came up with.

The reason I like OS X is because it's basically a mature UI sitting on top of the Unix core. I also like Linux because it's a fun tinkerer's OS, but the UI just isn't as smooth and polished as I've found the Mac's to be. To be honest, the only thing I use Windows for any more is playing games.

Also, the statement, "The only reason OS X is a more secure OS is because it's not as widely used," is a fallacy. Admittedly, if it were the dominant OS, more security vulernibilities would exist, but it's no where near as easy for virus writers on the OS X platform. In fact, there's never been a self-propagating virus for OS X. You can't tell me that's because of low market penetration; hackers will always get bored enough to try. The fact that there's not even one success story means that the Mac is at least nearly as virus-proof as they say, if not completely.

P.S. In terms of control, OS X offers you as much as you can handle. The only difference is that most of it is turned off by default.
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Fost
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 11:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SethP wrote:
The reason I like OS X is because it's basically a mature UI sitting on top of the Unix core.

Fair enough, but I hope you can understand how that just seems strange to me. I mean, once drivers and so on are out of the way, it's just applications that are interesting to me. If the Mac had some killer 3D or 2D app then I'd be interested. Funnily enough, the one reason I would like a Mac is simply because they are a nice design.

Really I just don't understand this OS debate. For me, there's nothing fundamentally flawed about any of the operating systems, and it just comes down to what I can do - i.e. what applications are available. I can't actually think of any app that exists on a Mac that something equivalent or better doesn't exist on windows. Linux actually has niche server applications that are really useful and so that's probably what I'd choose for setting up a server.

If there are really good apps on Mac that do everything you want, then that's a good enough reason to consider one I'd think.
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Fost
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 11:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Magnulus wrote:
It feels to me like a combination of hardware and software makes my mac quicker with video and image editing than my PC was. But that's just gut feeling.

Yeah, I've heard that before too, but I've actually investigated that and can't see any difference myself using final cut in a mac store. If we are talking offline editing at least, then have a mess with Vegas video before you decide on a Mac purely for video editing. Again, I don't see what the OS benefit is here - aren't you just saying you like final cut pro? Which is fair enough.
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Magnulus



Joined: 08 Nov 2005
Posts: 556
Location: Bergen, Norway



PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 7:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, like I said, Photoshop IS faster, so it's kind of a killer app in that you get more speed on it than a regular PC. Also, there are more editing programs for the mac than Final Cut, dude. Many of them avaible for Windows, some of them exclusive to mac.

I don't think messing around with Final Cut in a mac store is going to give you any REAL indication of its speed, either. Heavy, project-centered work is needed to properly gauge the speed. I'm not then saying that "YES! THERE IS A DIFFERENCE! SHUT UP!!!" of course. I just mean what I said.

Also, I suppose Aperture is a killer app. I haven't physically used it yet, but it seems to be a dream for photographers (like me).
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Fost
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 9:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The speed thing I don't really think swings it - not when you are paying over the odds anyway (unless you are talking a 200% increase Smile ) - you could just buy a faster processor in a PC. Stuff like aperture is what I think is interesting though. How much time do you actually spend sat using your OS to do anything? Probably a tiny percentage compared to using actual software. Something like aperture is interesting if it's particularly good, and it's something a lot of people are going to use as everyone seems to have a digicam these days.

Really it's just always apps for me - whether you are talking PC, Mac, PS3 or Xbox 360! That's good enough reason for Starscape/Mr. Robot Mac as far as I'm concerned.
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icarus
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Joined: 01 Mar 2004

Location: Olympia Washington



PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Magnulus wrote:

This is my take on it: "normal" PCs are for people who like more control over their hardware. They're easier to upgrade (well, apart from the Mac Pro, but they're not regular consumer-grade machines) and they have an almosty hobby-like appeal in that people can spend hours fiddling with hardware and hardware settings to tweak things like this and that. The OS (windows) is also very mechanically built, with a sterile interface for the most part that is very functional.


Found it.
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Weeble
Starscape Jedi
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Joined: 25 Apr 2003
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can't really not be using the OS, though. And if the window manager, windowing toolkit and shell are considered part of the OS, they have many obvious effects. Do you use the Start menu and the task bar? Alt-tab? Ever get frustrated trying to work with many applications at once and not being able to find the one you want? Struggled to arrange them on the screen? Do you find the system notifications (often, erroneously, called system tray) useful? Annoying? Often copy and paste between different applications? Do you use the task manager to identify and close rogue processes? Ever find applications don't uninstall cleanly? Ever find applications break each other? Each others' file associations? Ever wanted to script applications and found it hard or impossible?

Applications are enabled and constrained by the operating system in many ways, especially when it comes to interacting with each other. If an operating system provides poor support for interoperability then applications running on it may be forced to keep reinventing the wheel in various poorly compatible ways. Remember when you could use Netscape as your browser, but every application that tried to send you to a web-page opened up Internet Explorer? (That isn't even completely eradicated now.) The operating system does make a difference.
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Fost
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah I'm not blind to the fact that an operating system is doing a hell of a lot under the covers, but pretty much everything you mention is more than workable in Windows/OSX/Linux or even BeOS. They are all things that surround applications, and make little difference to why you should be using the operating system in the first place. I'm just suggesting that OS vs OS is a ridiculous conversation, since once they've hit the minimum bar I honestly couldn't care less. On the other hand, if an operating system supports all the applications I am interested in, then I'm happy. People seem to be suggesting that your productivity will be vastly increased with a Mac (even the adverts are culprits), I'm suggesting that's bollocks - your productivity will go up if you use well written applications in my book. The only feature I want in Vista is the ability to turn off the aero interface. All the operating systems hit a certain minimum bar of usability - I don't want or need more than that, I want better apps, and a wider variety of apps.
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Poo Bear
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does a Mac have a network neighbourhood?
When you click on it does the computer lock up for 5 minutes?
When it finally pops up is it filled with a confusing mess of 500 shortcuts to network locations you visited once 5 years ago?
If someone shares a new folder or un-shares a folder does it actually update onto your computer without you having to reboot or crashing the folder window?
If you try and get a new machine onto the network (particularly wireless) is it a complete pain of esoteric properties and configuration ****?

I genuinely don't know and I was interested to see if maybe this was all about usability? Windows has a lot of **** that gets in the way (networking is just one annoyance), a lot of it you get used to and don't really notice because there is nothing at hand to compare with.

Maybe Macs solved some/all/none-of those problems?

Heck, just playing a video/dvd can be a frustrating adventure in Windows. Maybe Macs are just as bad though.
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Magnulus



Joined: 08 Nov 2005
Posts: 556
Location: Bergen, Norway



PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know much about networking. All I know is that when I was at my girlfriend's parents' place over christmas, her father sat fiddling with settings and stuff in the DOS Prompt of her PC, trying to get it to connect to the Wireless in the house (run by a windows mainframe PC, if that's what you call it) for at least half an hour after I had pressed five buttons to connect. I'm not going to say what that indicates, if it indicates anything, because I honestly don't know. I'm just telling you the situation from my point of view.

DVDs are supported in OSX, though you are limited to five changes of DVD Region. (probably is some kind of a fix for that out there, though I personally can't say I can be bothered to look for it for now.)
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Agrajag



Joined: 04 Aug 2006
Posts: 342



PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pretty much all of those networking problems are gone in Mac (unless you're trying to network a Mac and PC together, in which case you have about a 50% chance of it working). Networking between Macs works beautifully in my experience.

You think that you don't really use the OS, and the software is what matters, but the OS matters more than most people realize. It's impossible to describe the differences adequately, the only way you're going to get it is by using a Mac for an extended period of time (took me about 2-3 weeks to completely fall in love with the Mac OS and delete my Windows partition).

I think my favorite part about Mac is being able to personalize and configure different things, without worrying about breaking something. I have tons of little 3rd party apps and hacks running to tweak different things, and my Mac still runs smoothly. On the other hand, I just installed Google Notifier on my PC and it's already crashed. I also ran TweakUI (an XP tweaker actually created by Microsoft) and it can't seem to remember by settings from day to day. Not to mention the fact that sometimes half my system tray icons just completely fail to load (leaving me without a battery indiciator, bluetooth connection, graphics setting controls, antivirus controls, etc).

My personal experience is that on Macs things work the way they're suppose to on the first try with little difficulty, while on PC things might eventually work if you spend a lot of time on it.

EDIT: I'm not saying Macs are perfect. PC's do some things better. Like Windows Explorer is way way better then Mac's Finder. There are plenty of other annoyances with the Mac too, it's just that they're mostly trivial while XP's are mostly big annoyances. The problems with Windows are far worse in my opinion than the problems with Mac.
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icarus
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Joined: 01 Mar 2004

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Poo Bear wrote:
Does a Mac have a network neighbourhood?
When you click on it does the computer lock up for 5 minutes?
When it finally pops up is it filled with a confusing mess of 500 shortcuts to network locations you visited once 5 years ago?
If someone shares a new folder or un-shares a folder does it actually update onto your computer without you having to reboot or crashing the folder window?
If you try and get a new machine onto the network (particularly wireless) is it a complete pain of esoteric properties and configuration ****?

I genuinely don't know and I was interested to see if maybe this was all about usability? Windows has a lot of **** that gets in the way (networking is just one annoyance), a lot of it you get used to and don't really notice because there is nothing at hand to compare with.

Maybe Macs solved some/all/none-of those problems?

Heck, just playing a video/dvd can be a frustrating adventure in Windows. Maybe Macs are just as bad though.


One problem I had recently was trying to link my PC up to a Mac so I can use the printer. Evil or Very Mad I gave up, put the file on a flash drive, and went downstairs to print it from the printer.
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