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I don't get it!


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#1
rebecca!

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I understand why Windows users or people who've just tried Linux or who aren't comfortable on it might switch to OS X, but why would a Linux Geek switch to OS X?

Is it stability? Reliability? Multimedia? Development tools?

I've been using Linux for about 6 years, exclusively, and OS X for about 6 months. There are things I love about OS X, primarily the fact that flash works perfectly, and Spotlight (there are Linux alternatives to this), and seeing how many companies support Mac out of the box (MSN Messenger, for instance).

But Linux seems so much more powerful and more efficient (for the user). OS X has little issues that make it completely unusable to somebody who has been using a Linux UI for over half a decade.

You can't drag a window from anywhere like you can in Linux (if you hold ALT). You can't resize a window from anywhere except one corner edge.

"Force quit" doesn't always kill an app. You need to open up a terminal and kill -9.

Multiple desktops aren't a native feature, not that there's any problem with Spaces, but if I try to open my browser when it's already open in another workspace ("desktop"), I am brought back to that workspace, instead of having a new instance (or window) of the browser appear. It has small issues like this, that make it seem like it's lacking.

I don't wanna sound anal but it's all the tiny issues like this that make me very frustrated when using OS X.


There's no apt-get or any alternative (I think?). Apt-get is by far one of the most beneficial things I've used on any computer, period.

There's nothing for developers on a Mac that's extraordinary compared to Linux. I'm no TextMate user (vim all the way), and MySQL and Rails are broken on OS X, at least by default.

There are a few reasons I'd make the switch to OS X permanently. 1) adobe products, 2) Office (OO is OK...) 3) Flash works. reason #3 alone is probably enough.

Am I missing something?

I don't mean to bash anyone, and I definitely see myself being a regular mac user in the very near future, but as of now, I don't see the jump from Linux to Mac as being as big as it's hyped up to be.. or maybe it's only a big deal if you're not used to any of the fancy stuff OS X offers (which Linux does)?

#2
geiman

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I'm not sure that a regular Linux "power user" would be upset about how GUI things would be in the OS's UI. I've been using Linux for longer than I care to say, and I have to say most of my time in Linux is spent either in a browser window, or in a terminal; most of the time I even get out of gnome just so I have a nice full screen terminal window.

Anyways, all I am saying is that OS X has many of the qualities that Linux lovers love; sure apt-ge isn't there, but there are fink and macports if you truly need it ( I usually prefer compiling my own stuff ). Take the OS X server for example; it provides some pretty awesome GUI's to server "tools" that have been around for quite some time. While they work great, sometimes you need a little more customization that Apple allows for. And since OS X still has the fabulous shell environment, it's very easy to accomplish this.

Overall, the great thing about OS X (in my opinion) is it seems to take all the good stuff from Linux, ie a great shell environment, and puts a nice GUI on it. That's the only reason I've been able to use OS X as much as I have over the past few years. I think complaining about the little quirks that differ between the two are pointless; every OS is different, if they were exactly the same there would be no point in any of this.

just my 2 cents ...

#3
gnubeard

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Is it stability? Reliability? Multimedia? Development tools?


Well, there are reasons to switch or not switch for everyone, and reasons will be different for everyone. The words "best", "worst", "good" or "better" are not absolute concepts - but they are indicative of some metric. Exactly what is measured, though, is entirely subjective. How one comes to define their own metric usually has a lot to do with not only what they need to achieve today, but what their past experiences (good and bad) and learned behavior about computers leads them to find "comfortable."

I, for example, am entirely "at home" on the shell command line because my very first experience with computers was with the (8-bit 2MHz 6809 512k RAM) Tandy Color Computer 3 running an OS called OS-9. It was a pre-emptive multitasking OS, with a shell interface strongly similar to UNIX.

So single-tasking DOS on the 286 wasn't an option for me. I used Minix on my 286 instead. Even though DOS had more, and better, applications available - using anything but a familiar shell with | and & wasn't really viable.

I skipped a 386, saving up for a 486 purpose built to run Slackware 3.0 whenever that was. I added a second disk and FreeBSD 2.2 soon after. I've used Open Source exclusively on a variety of machines since then, until adding MacOSX about a year ago.

Since then, I've come to use MacOSX more and more. I still have my shell. iTunes and my iPod "Just Work." Essentially all of the Open Source apps I use are available for Mac, and there are loads of Mac-specific tools, codecs and so on that are available to me now - I'm trying out GarageBand just because I can. Mostly I've started using MacOSX to learn about it and as a hobby. I make my living on Linux, so I like to play with something else at home. Chances are good that I'll be back on Linux most of the time soon enough.

You can't drag a window from anywhere like you can in Linux (if you hold ALT). You can't resize a window from anywhere except one corner edge.



So? Thats Mac. A Mac user would complain that they can't use Spaces the way they expect, or that
it is annoying to have grab specific places on the window to drag it instead of anywhere on the window frame when forced to use Gnome.

"Force quit" doesn't always kill an app. You need to open up a terminal and kill -9.


I've never encountered this, and I run a hodge-podge of apps and tools. Sounds to me like you have an issue with your install.

Multiple desktops aren't a native feature, not that there's any problem with Spaces, but if I try to open my browser when it's already open in another workspace ("desktop"), I am brought back to that workspace, instead of having a new instance (or window) of the browser appear. It has small issues like this, that make it seem like it's lacking.


Multiple desktops are perfectly "native" - they just aren't enabled by default. The Mac distinction between programs and windows makes the above behavior the "right" way to do it. You open a new window in the program, and drag it to the space you want. It is different. When I started using OSX I had a tendancy to leave a lot of unneeded programs open by closing individual windows instead of programs. You get used to it.

I don't wanna sound anal but it's all the tiny issues like this that make me very frustrated when using OS X.


Then use Linux. Last time I checked you don't go to hell for using it. :)

There's no apt-get or any alternative (I think?). Apt-get is by far one of the most beneficial things I've used on any computer, period.


MacPorts, Darwin Ports, Fink. All of these are examples of what you're looking for. I installed bchunk yesterday on MacOSX to convert a bin/cue image to .iso .. to install it, at my shell I did:

sudo port install bchunk

Done.

There are a few reasons I'd make the switch to OS X permanently. 1) adobe products, 2) Office (OO is OK...) 3) Flash works. reason #3 alone is probably enough.

Am I missing something?

I don't mean to bash anyone, and I definitely see myself being a regular mac user in the very near future, but as of now, I don't see the jump from Linux to Mac as being as big as it's hyped up to be.. or maybe it's only a big deal if you're not used to any of the fancy stuff OS X offers (which Linux does)?


I don't know about the "hype" - I never really heard any with respect to Mac vs. Linux. People use what gets the job done and makes their life easier than the alternatives. I have a close friend who started off with Linux w/ me way back when. He uses Windows now as his primary OS because his main machine is a laptop and he does Windows development for work. He adds Cygwin on top for the occasional times he needs UNIX stuff, or when the "Unix way" is easier.

Once you start dealing with this stuff for a living, you become much more interested in how to steal 10 or 15 minutes extra away from the computer a day. If Linux can do that for you, you'll use Linux.. if not, you'll use something else.

#4
shazeal

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I have recently switch our home machines from Linux to OSX. I still use Gentoo at work and would not change it for anything else since I dont think anything else could do what I need.
But for home, Linux in general not just Gentoo is too much work. I just cant be bothered with having to mess about with config/source/compatibility/other issues associated with Linux in general. I mean mail in OSX setup my damn email for me! what more can you ask for?

So in conclusion for me it is laziness that has caused me to switch. Spending 30 minutes at work to resolve a problem that will make my life easier is not really an issue since it also makes me more productive in my work.
At home 30 minutes to resolve an issue is time I could better spend on other things that are actually important to me. Figuring out why the latest Xorg crashes on startup, how to remove Pulse from bloated distros so my sound works correctly in some apps, or why the Kernel panics just are not all that high on my priority list anymore, they used to be and I used to enjoy it, I just cant remember why that was anymore... maybe Im just getting old <_<

#5
pebcak

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Well, they don't. I have yet to meet a linux power user who switched from linux to OS X. I know a lot of them who bought apple hardware, but in the end they run Linux on it...

#6
poofyhairguy

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I understand why Windows users or people who've just tried Linux or who aren't comfortable on it might switch to OS X, but why would a Linux Geek switch to OS X?


As someone who went from being a full time Linux geek (over 1000 posts over on the Ubuntu forums and many guides) to pretty much using OSX full time (except on my netbook- OSX sucks at low res) I will try to answer this:

1. Many Linux geeks don't like Linux, they just hate Windows and want an alternative. Since OSX is an easier to use Unix (if you have a real Mac) this fits them perfectly with a terminal and bash and everything. Not me though, yet I think this describes the majority of those who exhibit the behavior you find interesting.

2. Many Linux geeks are cheap- I have seen people on Linux forums spend hours trying to get a wireless card to work when they could just get a plug and play USB adaptor for $15. Now thanks to OSX86, those people can get that "cheap ass feeling" with even more gloatfactor (since they would have had to buy a Mac SOOO much more expensive then what they paid for their thrown together Hack). This still doesn't fit me though.

3. OSX86 can be harder than Linux and some people like a challenge. This is the one that fits me. If fact many days when I am knee deep in info.plists and dsdt files I feel like I am back in 2003 editing Xorg.confs or am I back in 1998 hacking a Windows registry. The newest Ubuntus and such have made Linux so easy that it begs for a greater challenge (and I know you can just use Slack or some other purposefully painful distro, but my attitude is that the fun is in making new things work, not remaking things work that some guy at Canonical already figured out a year ago).

4. Real working industry standard apps. Linux is great when you are in college and the max that is needed of you is to be able to turn in documents in the Word format, but in the real world where MS Exchange has more influence that any ancient king of Mesopotamia ever did it sure helps that OSX can work side by side with Windows PCs.

5. Honestly desktop Linux is not innovative for the most part. Most of the new innovative Linux desktop features either came (in some form) on Windows or Mac first, are only half implemented so they have little real world use (looking at you Compiz and its million half-baked plugins, or the KDE4 disaster), or exist only due to things only the free software world can provide (like apt-get- you couldn't have something like that in Commercial Softwareland without clicking enough EULAs to give you instant carpal tunnel every time you update). So in a way if you want to try out what Linux will be in five years, then you can use OSX today and all the features will be developed probably more fully than when it gets on the Linux desktop. On this point though I don't want to take anything away from the hard work people like Mark have done for the Linux desktop- Ubuntu is a testament to the power of nerdiness. Its just not the high end...

6. The Linux desktop serves no real market- it simply exists as a side effect of the massive Linux server market. It has no target base, no demographic to sell to (except Linux geeks). Because of this it is severely lacking in many pretty essential for desktop and laptop use areas. The best examples of this are OpenOffice (honestly a pretty crappy program, even though you have to love its existence) and (especially) Xorg. Even though it has fancy composite effects of a modern desktop, Xorg (due to a lack of resources for the Linux desktop) lacks basic features that have been in XP and OSX from day one (such as easy plug and play external monitor support for laptops). In fact, the "scratch your own itch" thing makes this even worse- I can't get complete OpenGL/CL support for a Radeon on Linux (not even basic MPEG2 acceleration) but I can get a desktop that flips on a side of a cube with snow coming down. Why? Because the Compiz pluggin is a low hanging fruit with instant gratification and a relatively simple codebase, making a decent acceleration architecture for video takes tons of time with little rewards...

At least that is what I think....

#7
Ranguvar

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As someone who went from being a full time Linux geek (over 1000 posts over on the Ubuntu forums and many guides) to pretty much using OSX full time (except on my netbook- OSX sucks at low res) I will try to answer this:

1. Many Linux geeks don't like Linux, they just hate Windows and want an alternative. Since OSX is an easier to use Unix (if you have a real Mac) this fits them perfectly with a terminal and bash and everything. Not me though, yet I think this describes the majority of those who exhibit the behavior you find interesting.

2. Many Linux geeks are cheap- I have seen people on Linux forums spend hours trying to get a wireless card to work when they could just get a plug and play USB adaptor for $15. Now thanks to OSX86, those people can get that "cheap ass feeling" with even more gloatfactor (since they would have had to buy a Mac SOOO much more expensive then what they paid for their thrown together Hack). This still doesn't fit me though.

3. OSX86 can be harder than Linux and some people like a challenge. This is the one that fits me. If fact many days when I am knee deep in info.plists and dsdt files I feel like I am back in 2003 editing Xorg.confs or am I back in 1998 hacking a Windows registry. The newest Ubuntus and such have made Linux so easy that it begs for a greater challenge (and I know you can just use Slack or some other purposefully painful distro, but my attitude is that the fun is in making new things work, not remaking things work that some guy at Canonical already figured out a year ago).

4. Real working industry standard apps. Linux is great when you are in college and the max that is needed of you is to be able to turn in documents in the Word format, but in the real world where MS Exchange has more influence that any ancient king of Mesopotamia ever did it sure helps that OSX can work side by side with Windows PCs.

5. Honestly desktop Linux is not innovative for the most part. Most of the new innovative Linux desktop features either came (in some form) on Windows or Mac first, are only half implemented so they have little real world use (looking at you Compiz and its million half-baked plugins, or the KDE4 disaster), or exist only due to things only the free software world can provide (like apt-get- you couldn't have something like that in Commercial Softwareland without clicking enough EULAs to give you instant carpal tunnel every time you update). So in a way if you want to try out what Linux will be in five years, then you can use OSX today and all the features will be developed probably more fully than when it gets on the Linux desktop. On this point though I don't want to take anything away from the hard work people like Mark have done for the Linux desktop- Ubuntu is a testament to the power of nerdiness. Its just not the high end...

6. The Linux desktop serves no real market- it simply exists as a side effect of the massive Linux server market. It has no target base, no demographic to sell to (except Linux geeks). Because of this it is severely lacking in many pretty essential for desktop and laptop use areas. The best examples of this are OpenOffice (honestly a pretty crappy program, even though you have to love its existence) and (especially) Xorg. Even though it has fancy composite effects of a modern desktop, Xorg (due to a lack of resources for the Linux desktop) lacks basic features that have been in XP and OSX from day one (such as easy plug and play external monitor support for laptops). In fact, the "scratch your own itch" thing makes this even worse- I can't get complete OpenGL/CL support for a Radeon on Linux (not even basic MPEG2 acceleration) but I can get a desktop that flips on a side of a cube with snow coming down. Why? Because the Compiz pluggin is a low hanging fruit with instant gratification and a relatively simple codebase, making a decent acceleration architecture for video takes tons of time with little rewards...

At least that is what I think....


1. That may be the case for some. However, I am quite annoyed with the approach to Unix Apple has -- they bury everything in a thick layer of MacPlastic™. MacPorts and Fink are interesting, but nowhere near as well updated or widely compatible as a decent GNU/Linux package manager like Pacman, Aptitude, Paludis, or *BSD ports/pkgsrc. Which is unfortunate. It does beat Cygwin (Unix for Windows), but not by as much as you'd thinl.

2. I've done similar -- I don't like wasting old, but good, hardware. That's why I have an ancient Pentium 2 laptop for use on the go. I put Arch Linux on it, and it runs screaming circles around most Mac and Windows boxen (and even some heavyweight distros, like Ubuntu). It can't beat them compiling or stuff like that, but when I'm at home I can use distcc to leverage my desktop's four cores, and other than that I only really need web surfing and code editing. Projects like Xubuntu and Crunchbang bring this down to a level that "regular Joes" can use and love, especially since they'll be able to revive ancient PCs rather than spend a couple hundred bucks at the _very_ least on a new machine running Windows, and far more for a Mac or a paid-for-OSX Hackintosh. Hopefully as more and more OEMs like Dell sell Linux PCs, they'll also be able to show customers an appreciable price advantage there too. GNU/Linux is all about doing a lot with a little.

3. While I admit making a Hackintosh is fun, which is why I've done it, I must take affront at your statement. The purpose of Slackware and similar distros isn't to be masochistic, it's to have what you see as a better solution to Canonical's. I would trade my Arch box for Ubuntu no matter what -- I love ABS, the AUR, Pacman, rolling-release bleeding-edge updates, etc. etc. too much.

4. ...and if you're going to be doing anything with servers or high-end workstations, you can forget all about the Mac and spend all your time learning Linux, which completely dominates that market (trailed by not Mac, but Windows Server and other Unices). Amirite? And your Exchange comment is silly, the two main GNU/Linux email clients (Thunderbird and Evolution) both play nice with Exchange (despite MS's best efforts, I'm sure).

5. I do agree that there could be more originality displayed here, but some of those points are silly. KDE4, a disaster? KDE 4.0 was bad, but that's old news... KDE 4.3 is in the house and rocking, and has pushed the widget-centric UI (Plasmoids) that MS and Apple are still flirting with to wild success. GNOME 3.0 is coming soon, too, with a very bold new UI change called GnomeShell. I'm not convinced of its worth, but I think it will be loved as well in the end. When it was released, Compiz/Beryl blew away anything Windows or Apple had to offer, and did it on super-low-end GPUs too (my Mobility Radeon 9200, for example). They lost their focus, but 0.9 is coming soon with a re-merging of all major projects into a kickass unified approach. 3D on GNU/Linux is also improving radically lately, with an entirely new low-end graphics structure, to support cool things like Compiz.
I put my faith in breakneck-speed open source development :)

6. You fail to give any reason behind dissing OpenOffice (which, frankly, is just as good as MS Office for 90% of home users, and keeps getting better) -- and what you describe with monitors works fine on my laptop, so I don't know what you're talking about. As for the AMD (formerly ATI) graphics, this is an old story, hopefully one that will die soon. I agree, AMD sucked on Linux. They provided absolutely horrible binary drivers. Thank god, they're now providing adequate documentation, and the open source drivers are getting really, really good (far faster 2D and much more stable, 3D around the corner). I'm just happy the situation is improving very nicely :)


http://www.x.org/wiki/RadeonFeature
In the end though, I think your post was way off. It was a GNU/Linux bash (although it definitely wasn't biased pet se, or intended as such, just wrong on some points I think). This thread is about why Linux gurus switch to the Mac, which invalidates a lot of stuff you said about Linux having no market and such. The Hackintosh doesn't have a market, either... and the "Linux geeks are cheap" comment doesn't fit in at all.

I personally don't think I could ever move to the Mac. I'd miss the flexibility, and the control, too much. An OS where I can't even make the goddamn windows resize by any other corner than one is not for a power user like me. The issue isn't my opinion on resizing vs. Apple's, it's that Apple is a very one-size-fits-one solution. No stretch to it. If you don't want to do things the Apple way, then you're stupid, is the most common response I see to my window manager example complaint. And I can't tolerate that.

#8
poofyhairguy

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1. That may be the case for some. However, I am quite annoyed with the approach to Unix Apple has -- they bury everything in a thick layer of MacPlastic™. MacPorts and Fink are interesting, but nowhere near as well updated or widely compatible as a decent GNU/Linux package manager like Pacman, Aptitude, Paludis, or *BSD ports/pkgsrc. Which is unfortunate. It does beat Cygwin (Unix for Windows), but not by as much as you'd thinl.


Agreed on this mostly, except that for all its faults OSX is a real Unix and the real Unix parts can be gotten at, unlike with Cygwin....

2. I've done similar -- I don't like wasting old, but good, hardware. That's why I have an ancient Pentium 2 laptop for use on the go. I put Arch Linux on it, and it runs screaming circles around most Mac and Windows boxen (and even some heavyweight distros, like Ubuntu). It can't beat them compiling or stuff like that, but when I'm at home I can use distcc to leverage my desktop's four cores, and other than that I only really need web surfing and code editing. Projects like Xubuntu and Crunchbang bring this down to a level that "regular Joes" can use and love, especially since they'll be able to revive ancient PCs rather than spend a couple hundred bucks at the _very_ least on a new machine running Windows, and far more for a Mac or a paid-for-OSX Hackintosh. Hopefully as more and more OEMs like Dell sell Linux PCs, they'll also be able to show customers an appreciable price advantage there too. GNU/Linux is all about doing a lot with a little.


I mostly agree with this too (my old Clamshell iBook ROCKS XFCE and I love playing with Enlightenment). My only beef is no old machine, nor any new Linux machine can encode video in handbrake like my quad core hackintosh does (a lot of this is due to the poor Linux handbrake port though).

3. While I admit making a Hackintosh is fun, which is why I've done it, I must take affront at your statement. The purpose of Slackware and similar distros isn't to be masochistic, it's to have what you see as a better solution to Canonical's. I would trade my Arch box for Ubuntu no matter what -- I love ABS, the AUR, Pacman, rolling-release bleeding-edge updates, etc. etc. too much.


I've always thought the purpose of the more difficult distos like Slack and such was so that can learn how Linux worked, instead of how to click a GUI. And on that note I don't want to take away from anyone who wants to be a hobbiest Unix admin...just not my cup of tea.

4. ...and if you're going to be doing anything with servers or high-end workstations, you can forget all about the Mac and spend all your time learning Linux, which completely dominates that market (trailed by not Mac, but Windows Server and other Unices). Amirite? And your Exchange comment is silly, the two main GNU/Linux email clients (Thunderbird and Evolution) both play nice with Exchange (despite MS's best efforts, I'm sure).


Agreed that Linux dominates high end and big iron. Disagree on the Exchange support- like many things in Linux its 90% at best there in either Thunderbird and Evolution. Neither has the every feature of Exchange works out of the box experiance like with SL. Where is the one good outlook type calendar for example? No where, but here is two half assed ones:

http://www.mozilla.o...jects/calendar/

5. I do agree that there could be more originality displayed here, but some of those points are silly. KDE4, a disaster? KDE 4.0 was bad, but that's old news... KDE 4.3 is in the house and rocking, and has pushed the widget-centric UI (Plasmoids) that MS and Apple are still flirting with to wild success. GNOME 3.0 is coming soon, too, with a very bold new UI change called GnomeShell. I'm not convinced of its worth, but I think it will be loved as well in the end. When it was released, Compiz/Beryl blew away anything Windows or Apple had to offer, and did it on super-low-end GPUs too (my Mobility Radeon 9200, for example). They lost their focus, but 0.9 is coming soon with a re-merging of all major projects into a kickass unified approach. 3D on GNU/Linux is also improving radically lately, with an entirely new low-end graphics structure, to support cool things like Compiz.
I put my faith in breakneck-speed open source development :(


I am looking forward to the new Gnome, and I will admit I was maybe being hard on KDE4 for its botched initial release. I won't let Compiz off the hook though- I don't care if it has the best effects if the backend isn't the best. I have seen Expose run basically in VESA mode on OSX- something Compiz (nor Aero) cannot can claim. Also Compiz has a ways to go to get to the point where its as stable as Quartz in day to day use...which is where the real innovation is- usable composite!

6. You fail to give any reason behind dissing OpenOffice (which, frankly, is just as good as MS Office for 90% of home users, and keeps getting better) -- and what you describe with monitors works fine on my laptop, so I don't know what you're talking about. As for the AMD (formerly ATI) graphics, this is an old story, hopefully one that will die soon. I agree, AMD sucked on Linux. They provided absolutely horrible binary drivers. Thank god, they're now providing adequate documentation, and the open source drivers are getting really, really good (far faster 2D and much more stable, 3D around the corner). I'm just happy the situation is improving very nicely :)


OpenOffice is a beast of a program: its not modular so its hard for people to join the project, its UI is slow on every platform, it uses Java in all the wrong ways. On Ubuntu Office 2003 running in Wine will open faster than OpenOffice 10 out of 10 times. I love it for being free, but if you are being honest it is no Office. And I know about the ATI situation, but the fact of the matter is that Xorg is a joke compared to Quartz. The ATI drivers are just one example. I could have picked many others - the lack of working randr on most hardware, the fact that even the best open drivers (Intel) still have major regressions from time to time you never see on other platforms, the fact there is no one standard to Video acceleration. I could rag on Xorg all day, but I won't because I know those behind it do their best. They just lack real resources because the Linux desktop is an afterthought compared to the Linux server...


In the end though, I think your post was way off. It was a GNU/Linux bash (although it definitely wasn't biased pet se, or intended as such, just wrong on some points I think). This thread is about why Linux gurus switch to the Mac, which invalidates a lot of stuff you said about Linux having no market and such. The Hackintosh doesn't have a market, either... and the "Linux geeks are cheap" comment doesn't fit in at all.


I want to apologize if I am seeming like a Mac fanboy bashing Linux. I LOVE Linux for what it is, and especially Mark and what he has done with Ubuntu is amazing. If OSX didn't exist I would use Ubuntu in a heartbeat over anything from MS.

But I think my points are spot on:

First of all, Hackintosh does have a market. The market for hackintosh is geeks who want OSX, but they want it on a system that is a traditional, modifiable tower for less than the $2k a MacPro will set you back. If Apple sold a $1k quad core tower like every other major computer maker this forum would be empty.

This fits right into the Linux geeks are cheap thing, because basically on this forum we are all building cheap MacPros. Or cheap MacBooks. Half the fun of hackintoshing is the feeling of getting OSX without the Apple Tax, which is very close to the feeling of reviving some P3 class laptop with Xubuntu I think.

Finally, basically what it comes down to is polish. The Linux desktop really lacks polish. SUSE, Fedora and Ubuntu try their best but they simply lack the resources to do what Apple does. Plus after using OSX for two years I have noticed that OSX users are picky- if you try to trot out a "90% as good as the commercial app it is copying" app on OSX then your webpage will be filled with complaints. OSX users just don't accept what Linux desktop users have to deal with.

Pulseaudio is a great example. Pulseaudio has almost broken sound on the Linux desktop as it tries to fix it- look at any major distro's forum and there is some thread or another to disable pulse audio. ALSA did ok, so why the baby got throw out with the bath water I don't know. But I do know that if Apple had something that fundamental that broken in one of its major releases, Macnuts would burn down their headquarters. There would no helpful threads on Apple's forum of how to fix it, there would just be a million threads in all caps questioning Steve Job's sanity. Why? Because OSX users expect more, and they get more. Even Windows can't compete with the polish of the Mac desktop and its apps (where is the best MS Office? On OSX. The best Photoshop Interface? OSX, best version of Sling Box app? OSX, etc)

For what Linux is it is amazing. For what it does with almost no resources is a testament to geek power. But a thousand geeks scratching their own itch (which is often what Linux desktop apps are- paid for Linux development sticks mostly to the kernel and other serverish stuff that makes money) cannot beat a multibillion dollar company with the best developers on the planet (where Apple beats MS) when it comes to a user experience.

I personally don't think I could ever move to the Mac. I'd miss the flexibility, and the control, too much. An OS where I can't even make the goddamn windows resize by any other corner than one is not for a power user like me. The issue isn't my opinion on resizing vs. Apple's, it's that Apple is a very one-size-fits-one solution. No stretch to it. If you don't want to do things the Apple way, then you're stupid, is the most common response I see to my window manager example complaint. And I can't tolerate that.


Therein lies the problem with OSX - it locks you in the iWorld. In many cases you are stuck doing things the way Apple wants you to. Initially I fought that and dual booted Ubuntu and OSX for a year to lessen the effect, but here in 2009 I am all in. iPhone, Apple HTPC, the works. Why? Because even though it will cost you more (money) to stay in the iWorld, and you will lose the ability to do things how you want (I would KILL for an "always on top" option in OSX like any Linux window manager has), in the long run the iWorld is home to the most pleasant computing experience on the planet.

Which that right there probably answers your question: No real Linux nerd who loves customizing things, really believes in Free Software and the GNU, and likes the breakneck speed of Linux development has switched to OSX. Instead what happened (I think) is that after XP almost exploded prior to SP2 (and you couldn't run the damn thing on a network without being hacked) a huge chunks of nerds moved to Linux to get away from Windows. Now a lot of these people moved over to OSX after the Intel switch to get the things they missed from Windows on Linux (one way to do things, commercial software, etc). The base of Linux never wavered, never changed. And since Linux is not a product that is fighting for marketshare to make some sort of profit, I see no harm in Linux being used by Linux geeks and not all of us fair-weather switchers.....

#9
Ranguvar

Ranguvar

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Well, thanks for such a reply :D I was worried this would turn into the sort of fists-raised argument I despise, it's nice to be able to discuss reasonably. Sorry if my reply sounded harsh -- I must admit I had my guard up, since this is "enemy territory" :)

Agreed on this mostly, except that for all its faults OSX is a real Unix and the real Unix parts can be gotten at, unlike with Cygwin....

Eh, yeah, I agree. OS X > Cygwin. But more for compatibility (even though neither are as compatible as BSD or GNU) -- what real Unix parts are you referring to?


I mostly agree with this too (my old Clamshell iBook ROCKS XFCE and I love playing with Enlightenment). My only beef is no old machine, nor any new Linux machine can encode video in handbrake like my quad core hackintosh does (a lot of this is due to the poor Linux handbrake port though).

Huh. This I find odd, not in the least because I'm guessing the actual encoder you're referring to (HandBrake, even in its CLI form, is just a fancy interface around the real meat) being slow would be x264. I'm an avid video encoding and processing enthusiast (I'm Ranguvar on Doom9), and I track x264 development every day because it fascinates me :) AviSynth is the biggest thing I miss on Linux. Anyways, I find your statement odd because x264 is marginally faster on Linux than Windoze for me, and I doubt OS X plays a big role, because an OS can't really change x264's speed unless it's a HUGE hog, more piggish than Vista. I think the small boost I got was because of the switch to 64-bit, I've read on Doom9 that up to 10% gains in x264 weren't unheard of. So anyways, I guess Handbrake is quite fscked up, or some other part of what it's doing, like post-processing, is being very slow. I don't use Handbrake, I use x264 from the command line and with shell scripts (I have a quad core too, BTW).


I've always thought the purpose of the more difficult distos like Slack and such was so that can learn how Linux worked, instead of how to click a GUI. And on that note I don't want to take away from anyone who wants to be a hobbiest Unix admin...just not my cup of tea.

I think if you tried a modern bare-bones Linux distro, you'd be surprised :) You do learn a lot, but the focus is on much more intimate control of the OS. The choice of DE and/or WM isn't made for you requiring removal and installation of one you like, the config files and such tend to be vanilla, etc. And even the learning tends to be a ton at the beginning, and much less as you go along. They've managed to take all the grunt work of Unix administration out of the system. Slackware's a little musty, but try for example Arch (my fav). I can set up a smoothly-running machine with a full desktop environment in a few hours with Arch. I've used Solaris and NetBSD, and both take MUCH longer to get to that point -- I think the fetish many have for running a 'hardcore' Linux has simplified the process. It's nothing like being a real sysadmin. But YMMV, of course, and your opinion is your own :)


Agreed that Linux dominates high end and big iron. Disagree on the Exchange support- like many things in Linux its 90% at best there in either Thunderbird and Evolution. Neither has the every feature of Exchange works out of the box experiance like with SL. Where is the one good outlook type calendar for example? No where, but here is two half assed ones:

http://www.mozilla.o...jects/calendar/

I'll readily admit that I'm out of my field here, I don't do much with business apps -- I haven't even used a local mail client in quite a while. So I'll back out here :)



I am looking forward to the new Gnome, and I will admit I was maybe being hard on KDE4 for its botched initial release. I won't let Compiz off the hook though- I don't care if it has the best effects if the backend isn't the best. I have seen Expose run basically in VESA mode on OSX- something Compiz (nor Aero) cannot can claim. Also Compiz has a ways to go to get to the point where its as stable as Quartz in day to day use...which is where the real innovation is- usable composite!

Personally, I favor good tiling window management to the glitter of Compiz. But I agree, I was overzealous in my original reply. Compiz was very broken under the mirror-smooth surface. I think it still served an important role, though. It gave GNU/Linux an image, esp. on YouTube-like sites. I think the dawn of Compiz was really a turning point, where Linux developers said "You know what? I'm sick of MS flashing their fancy effects. Let's show people that Linux is cool, too." Again, I don't care for Compiz personally, but it did mark a turning point where a lot of Linux fans and devs really started pushing for Linux desktop improvements. Let's hope Compiz 0.9 is a marked improvement, it's nearing beta now. When will Linux be able to top Quartz? Hard to say, but I'm eagerly watching this project:
[url="http://"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wayland_%28display_server%29""]Wikipedia[/url], Phoronix (more articles on it there if you search, that headline is bad, Wayland isn't an X server per se), Google Groups (check the FAQ).


OpenOffice is a beast of a program: its not modular so its hard for people to join the project, its UI is slow on every platform, it uses Java in all the wrong ways. On Ubuntu Office 2003 running in Wine will open faster than OpenOffice 10 out of 10 times. I love it for being free, but if you are being honest it is no Office. And I know about the ATI situation, but the fact of the matter is that Xorg is a joke compared to Quartz. The ATI drivers are just one example. I could have picked many others - the lack of working randr on most hardware, the fact that even the best open drivers (Intel) still have major regressions from time to time you never see on other platforms, the fact there is no one standard to Video acceleration. I could rag on Xorg all day, but I won't because I know those behind it do their best. They just lack real resources because the Linux desktop is an afterthought compared to the Linux server...

*times* 7 seconds on my Arch. Not very nice, but not dismal, and Office takes far, far longer to start on most Windows PCs I know. I agree, OOo is a pig, and I wish it was better. But, it's not a deal-breaker for me. GNUmeric and Abiword are much lighter and faster spreadsheet and document editor alternatives, the OOo team is working on start speed, Go-oo is faster than vanilla OOo, etc. Certainly no true fix for the problem, but I'll live with that slower start, and in most other areas OOo can easily match pace with Office's featureset.

Okay, now the graphics architecture :P It needs lots of work. There's a huge shift taking place right now, in which everything but NVIDIA blobs is moving toward a unified architecture. Apple chose to create Quartz instead of use X.Org because they wanted native support for compositing, etc. That will come with Wayland, and hopefully soon. But until then, X.Org isn't *that* bad. There's not many Linux games anyways, so I don't miss that too much, and everything else I've managed to tune just right. After all, the OP's question _is_ about major geeks :) Wayland will be really nice for end users, but if you're a geek like me, X.Org shouldn't be as bad as you make it sound. My desktop at least is smooth, smooth :)



I want to apologize if I am seeming like a Mac fanboy bashing Linux. I LOVE Linux for what it is, and especially Mark and what he has done with Ubuntu is amazing. If OSX didn't exist I would use Ubuntu in a heartbeat over anything from MS.

Oh no, you didn't. I just meant that I thought you were more critical of Linux in general and from a general consumer's view than critical from a geek's view, which was the OP's question.


First of all, Hackintosh does have a market. The market for hackintosh is geeks who want OSX, but they want it on a system that is a traditional, modifiable tower for less than the $2k a MacPro will set you back. If Apple sold a $1k quad core tower like every other major computer maker this forum would be empty.

Okay, agreed.

This fits right into the Linux geeks are cheap thing, because basically on this forum we are all building cheap MacPros. Or cheap MacBooks. Half the fun of hackintoshing is the feeling of getting OSX without the Apple Tax, which is very close to the feeling of reviving some P3 class laptop with Xubuntu I think.

But while I have no issue with piracy, how many of these people here do you think even paid for OS X itself? ;) Piracy is good, but sharing being legal is even better. More than $100 down for OS X really makes one reconsider refitting a current machine versus buying something new (a new Mac perhaps), though it's not as bad as the Apple Tax.


Finally, basically what it comes down to is polish. The Linux desktop really lacks polish. SUSE, Fedora and Ubuntu try their best but they simply lack the resources to do what Apple does. Plus after using OSX for two years I have noticed that OSX users are picky- if you try to trot out a "90% as good as the commercial app it is copying" app on OSX then your webpage will be filled with complaints. OSX users just don't accept what Linux desktop users have to deal with.

Unfortunately, I agree. Geeks seeking polish should go for a Hackintosh. I do find that a significant portion of us are willing to live without that polish for other benefits though :) Which shouldn't be taken as giving up, I know I at least will be working my butt off to try and create polished Linux apps :D


Pulseaudio is a great example. Pulseaudio has almost broken sound on the Linux desktop as it tries to fix it- look at any major distro's forum and there is some thread or another to disable pulse audio. ALSA did ok, so why the baby got throw out with the bath water I don't know. But I do know that if Apple had something that fundamental that broken in one of its major releases, Macnuts would burn down their headquarters. There would no helpful threads on Apple's forum of how to fix it, there would just be a million threads in all caps questioning Steve Job's sanity. Why? Because OSX users expect more, and they get more. Even Windows can't compete with the polish of the Mac desktop and its apps (where is the best MS Office? On OSX. The best Photoshop Interface? OSX, best version of Sling Box app? OSX, etc)

Again, agreed. Linux itself though is still a baby on the desktop, and a very curious one at that -- it's grown extremely fast, but has yet to mature (okay, now this analogy is freakishly close...). We must watch, wait, and hope :)


For what Linux is it is amazing. For what it does with almost no resources is a testament to geek power. But a thousand geeks scratching their own itch (which is often what Linux desktop apps are- paid for Linux development sticks mostly to the kernel and other serverish stuff that makes money) cannot beat a multibillion dollar company with the best developers on the planet (where Apple beats MS) when it comes to a user experience.

I do think Linux will need backing from big-$$ on the desktop, but I think it'll get there with time. A thousand geeks scratching their own itches have created arguably the best OS "backend" there is, and it's not too much to hope that a "frontend" (polished desktop apps) will be sold by companies once Linux has had more maturing time.


Therein lies the problem with OSX - it locks you in the iWorld. In many cases you are stuck doing things the way Apple wants you to. Initially I fought that and dual booted Ubuntu and OSX for a year to lessen the effect, but here in 2009 I am all in. iPhone, Apple HTPC, the works. Why? Because even though it will cost you more (money) to stay in the iWorld, and you will lose the ability to do things how you want (I would KILL for an "always on top" option in OSX like any Linux window manager has), in the long run the iWorld is home to the most pleasant computing experience on the planet.

And therein is the reason that I've (I admit!) despised Apple products for many years now :) Not my cup of tea. Not only do I demand more flexibility, I'd rather cast my ballot for an OS which I agree with philosophically.


Which that right there probably answers your question: No real Linux nerd who loves customizing things, really believes in Free Software and the GNU, and likes the breakneck speed of Linux development has switched to OSX. Instead what happened (I think) is that after XP almost exploded prior to SP2 (and you couldn't run the damn thing on a network without being hacked) a huge chunks of nerds moved to Linux to get away from Windows. Now a lot of these people moved over to OSX after the Intel switch to get the things they missed from Windows on Linux (one way to do things, commercial software, etc). The base of Linux never wavered, never changed. And since Linux is not a product that is fighting for marketshare to make some sort of profit, I see no harm in Linux being used by Linux geeks and not all of us fair-weather switchers.....

A very nice analysis, one that I suspect contains a high degree of truth.
Just be sure to keep watching your back -- Tux is coming ;)

Oh! I forgot one very important thing... projects like Wine, which allow one OS's apps to be run on another OS. I do believe that there will come a day when one could use Wine as a replacement for the Windows API in any situation, and it will be 99.999% complete. Projects like Wine are interesting, because they provide they ability to kill lock-in based on apps that only run on one OS. Wine is being ported to OS X, too (Darwine), so it will help them.... and one day, perhaps there will be a Wine for Cocoa and Carbon ;)





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