General Discussion General discussion on...anything!
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Join Date: Apr 2009
05-18-2009, 08:52 AM
Join Date: Feb 2009
05-19-2009, 01:38 AM
I've been using Macs the last 3 years, so you can assume I'm a recent user. I've been using Windows since v3.1 and Linux since 1997.
While I love Macs and plan on getting either an iMac or Mac Pro next year, I'm not about to install OS X on my Mini. I've enough machines at my home to experiment with and 3 OS X machines. I don't mind OS X being on the hardware that it came on when I bought said hardware, but I've the feeling that if I put it on the Dell, I'll constantly be fixing something...sometimes I just want things to work with the least bit of tinkering. In the case of my Mini, it is stable as hell (and I'm not saying that OS X on the Mini isn't stable but compared to my Macbook and PowerMac, I'm absolutely sure that I'm going to be fixing something weekly on the Mini if I install OS X on it. I don't want to mess with DellEFI or anything of the sort.
I love Linux, OS X, and the Windows OSs that I currently utilize, but the machines that I have each have a purpose. With some, I don't mind breaking, tinkering, or constantly tuning, but with particular machines, I just flat-out don't mess with...one of them is the Mini. While I have gOS installed on the Mini, it is definitely rock solid and will be on the SSD for quite awhile before I change up the OS.
I've 11 live hosts on my home network, so my hands are usually pretty full keeping these machines maintained.
I love OS X but I'm not IN love with it (not enough to put it on something that didn't come from Apple, at least).
Join Date: May 2009
05-19-2009, 02:29 AM
I purchased my mini with XP, and for pure experimentation I have ran the gamut of OS's on this bad boy. I can definitely see the attraction of OSX, but I am just having more fun playing with Ubuntu. I was surprised how much I preferred Ubuntu to OSX, as I am a huge FreeBSD fan, but I do. Currently I am running URN and it is perfect for what I want my netbook to do. I am running FreeBSD on my home tower, and Vista on my work PC (not by choice). Again I definitly see why people would pick OSX, but to me it falls like this:
Ubuntu > OSX > Windows
For the Windows vs OSX debate, to me that isn't much of a competition...
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Tampa, FL
05-25-2009, 01:10 PM
Before answering we have to make clear what the scope of the question is. To make it short, does the fact that most games are written for Windows make Windows better?
Granted it will make the operating system more attractive in deciding what OS to use, but does that reflect the actual quality of the operating system? Basically, are we evaluating the OS based on the merits of the OS itself, or based on whether or not you need software that is not written for any other platform? Are we choosing whether we prefer Windows or Mac, or choosing whether we prefer games or not-games? I'm going to be assuming we're evaluating the operating systems themselves, and not the applications written for them.
I find that the process for installing and uninstalling software in an OS generally gives you the best idea of what the rest of the system is like. Not just between Windows and Mac. I think the main reason for this is that this is the primary way most people have to interface with the system itself rather than with the applications that it runs (in which case the OS doesn't matter all that much).
My approach may be simply summed up as "Not which OS is better, but which sucks less?" And Windows sucks the most of any OS I've used.
Windows takes a very bureaucratic, formal, and systematic approach to software management. There are very few large software projects for Windows that don't install with the same tired "Next" "Next" "I agree" "Next" "Install" "Finish" sequence or some variation thereof. It's obnoxious, repetetive, and invariably asks you to restart your system after installing anything.
To manage it afterwards in Windows, you may need to go into the application-specific menus, or you may go into msconfig or services.msc depending on the type of software. Some of them even install control panel applets. Sometimes these are added to the control panel itself, sometimes they are additional tabs to existing control panel applets.
To uninstall it, you go to Add/Remove Programs or Programs and Features depending on your version. You find the app, click it once, click the uninstall button, and go through a similar next/next/next/finish sequence to uninstall the program. It doesn't always to uninstall it cleanly either, so occasionally you'd need CCleaner or similar to go through and uninstall leftover registry entries.
On Mac, it's far cleaner. The icon IS the program. Not some shortcut or pointer to the program, it's the program. You drag and drop the icon into Applications and you're done installing. To uninstall, take the icon out. Configuration is pretty easy, open up the program and the menu's at the top, or occasionally there will be a new icon in System Preferences, but I haven't used one that tacks new stuff all over the place.
On Linux and OpenSolaris it's typically a little gui with a big list of software that you go through and check the boxes for the software you want, click Apply, and then let the system download and install everything for you. To uninstall it, you uncheck the box and click "Apply". You rarely need to uninstall and reinstall it, usually you can delete the hidden folder ~/.programname and that'll delete all your personal configurations, then when you run it again it remakes the folder from the defaults. Systematic, simple, and easy.
FreeBSD and Gentoo, it's typically done from a command line, where the system downloads source code, compiles it, and installs it.
And all these are typical of what working with the system is like in general.
Moving on to more specific Windows vs Mac stuff...
I haven't had to fix a Mac yet, because nothing has ever broken on mine. My programs work fine, they don't crash, they give me no issues whatsoever. I've had similarly few problems when using Ubuntu or Solaris or any other OS in a fairly "stock" configuration. You don't really need that much flexibility with a Mac so things typically "just work", with sane defaults.
In Windows however, repairing it when it's broken is a pain. Spewing such helpful error messages as "Internet Explorer has stopped working! Windows is searching for a solution! Whoop, didn't find one!" or "0x00000024 (0x8000B134, 0x00000000, 0x00000001 0x00000000)". Or sometimes it just fails silently. In places where the fix is fairly obvious (e.g. if it says C:\Windows\system32\config is missing or corrupt, you probably need to chkdsk /r), rather than attempt repairs, the system will just say "OHTEHNOEZ, SOMETHING ARE BROKED" on a scary blue screen with white lettering.
Macs run extremely smoothly. The buttery smoothness of scrolling in Safari on Mac can't compare to what any browser is willing to do in Windows.
Windows is more customizable, but with stiff limits, and when you hit them, you know it.
Both of them rule their operating system with an iron fist, but OS X has more features to lock you in to, Windows gives you such terrible defaults that if they didn't give you the freedom to change them significantly they'd start selling less copies of Windows.
One of the places where Windows' bureaucratic nature shows brilliantly is in trying to actually change anything. Windows loves overcategorization. Even worse, Windows will overcategorize and then have to make even more subcategories. And then hide all the real options in obscure properties dialogs in backwater menus.
If all applications were equally available for all platforms, I doubt Windows would maintain it's market dominance for another 10 years. It might even become the plurality (<50%, but still more than everyone else) OS as measured by new installs within 5 years.
Microsoft also suffers chronically from Not-Invented-Here syndrome. Apple is integrating things like ZFS, Dtrace, and many of FreeBSD's enhancements. Microsoft is still using that terrible and opaque NTFS. I can't say I was surprised when a multi-operating system benchmark saw Windows back to back against itself at the bottom of the disk benchmarks, and didn't do particularly well elsewhere either. (OS X was not part of that test.)
An operating system is good at what it tries to be good at, and typically not very good at much else (though they can be "not bad" at other things). Mac OS X is good at being simple, clean, and easy. OpenBSD is good at being simple, and secure. FreeBSD is good at running fast on server workloads and supporting new technologies. Linux is good at performing well on older hardware while trying to run on absolutely everything and pretending to be Unix. Windows is good at making Microsoft money, and not much else.
Because I'm one of the people that takes an operating system on technical merits, I say "both suck, but OS X sucks way less than Windows."
Vostro A90, 16GB SSD, 2GB DDR2, US-INTL Keyboard, FreeBSD 7.2-STABLE
Latitude E6400N, 2.4GHz, 4GB, 320GB, Opensolaris 2009.06 updated to build 118
Dell Tech Support agent
Join Date: May 2009
05-26-2009, 04:27 AM
Mac OS X is built on UNIX and there is absolutely no job out there that is "too much" for Mac OS X that Windows can handle with ease.
Just because it's a more intuitive and easier to use interface doesn't mean it isn't powerful.
When you see universities and research organizations building supercomputer clusters they aren't running them on Windows. 9 times out of 10 they will be running Linux, or some UNIX variant like Mac OS X.
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