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Article:
  Switching Back to Desktop Linux
Subject:   worst article ever
Date:   2006-06-05 11:30:44
From:   sharumpe
Response to: worst article ever

I don't agree that it was "...a sophomoric and pathetic cry for attention".


I personally prefer the Mac OS to Linux as a desktop OS (yes, I've used Linux as a desktop once or twice) but I found the arguments in the article to be well-reasoned, if somewhat limited to the author's particular preferences.


Nowhere in the article did the author state that Macs and their users are dumb|useless|idiotic because of some feature (or lack of it). On the contrary, I thought that maybe there was a bit too much of the "for me, this is true" caveat in there.


My only criticism of the article is that perhaps it is a bit out-of-date. The critiques of Mac OS X are from an OLD version (10.2), so I found myself constantly wondering if the author would have found more|fewer problems with the current version or hardware.


My only suggestion to the author is to upgrade to an Intel-based Mac. Then you don't have to use a PPC version of Linux. ;)

Full Threads Oldest First

Showing messages 1 through 3 of 3.

  • Old beef ages well
    2006-06-06 20:55:34  kms-werk [View]

    All I can say is that I've got no quibbles with any of the issues chromatic raises, running a OS X 10.4.6 on a MacBook Pro. I'd toss in a few other bits, among them the inherent limitations in not having independent window management. On OS X as with Windows, busy (or hung) applications' windows can't be managed.

    Another is that there are a number of assumptions which become visibly apparent in the Mac visual desktop metaphor which start to fail badly when they're stretched. Most notably are the "infinite hight" menu and distinctions between app and window cycling. You can cycle through apps, or through windows in an app, but not readily through all windows on your desktop, and particularly not through windows on seperate workspaces (as managed by Virtue). There are a few bolt-ons here (eg: Virtue) which I've tried, others which fail notably.

    There's a significant list of other gripes I may post later, but suffice it to say:


    • OS X is a significant win over Microsoft's products (though it's ironic that I've got a more Linux-like userland through Cygwin than I have under Darwin / Fink / Darwin Ports).

    • OS X is probably plenty good for a large class of users.

    • OS X isn't Linux, and exhibits numerous shortcomings relative to Linux, which a significant number of technical users may note.

    • A large part of this boils down to the inherent freedom of the system. Linux is open in ways which OS X isn't and likely never will be. I've built a career for myself in technology by steering away from encroaching walls, and I'm seeing them when I'm on a Mac. I prefer open skies.



    I'd say chromatic's nailed the issue very, very well. It's also interesting to note that his comparison point is Debian (my own Linux distro of choice), though I suspect Gentoo and/or Ubuntu/Kubuntu (and related) users might feel very similarly.

    It would be interesting to know the distros used by folks who've been nonplussed by Linux in the past.
    • Old beef ages well
      2006-06-09 20:47:52  chromatic | O'Reilly AuthorO'Reilly Blogger [View]

      I forgot independent window management. Reading your comment brought back how much it annoyed me. (Okay, using the help system in iMovie and waiting on the little spinner again on my mother's iBook annoyed me yesterday too, so it's a fresh gripe!)
  • Newer Versions of Mac OS X
    2006-06-05 12:47:52  chromatic | O'Reilly AuthorO'Reilly Blogger [View]

    It's an interesting question how an upgrade would have worked for me. Certainly Mac OS X has improved since 10.2 -- I've used it a bit on the computers of friends and I've heard that some of my frustrations have gone away.

    I don't know how the hardware support would work though. I am fortunate that there is good Linux support for my model of PowerBook. Later PowerBooks seem less so, just by browsing Linux hardware support forums.

    I expect to know better how the MacBooks work out with Linux soon. It seems to take six months to get new hardware to the point of usable support, at least for what I need to do.