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You Can Now Run Beta Versions of OS X—For Free

Unknown Lamer posted about 5 months ago | from the debian-did-it-better dept.

Apple 201

redletterdave (2493036) writes "Apple on Tuesday announced the OS X Beta Seed Program, which allows anyone to download and install pre-release Mac software for the sake of testing and submitting feedback before the public launch. Until Tuesday, Apple charged users $99 a year to test out new OS X software—doing so required a paid-up developer account. (Testing new iPhone software still requires a separate developer account for another $99 a year.) Now, much the same way new OS X software is now totally free to download, it's also free to try out. All you need is an Apple ID to sign up."

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Apple...Free (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46822985)

It's over... apple is finished..

Re:Apple...Free (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46823487)

How is this more free than the OSX you get with your mac?
Unless OSX can suddenly be installed on non-apple pc's.

Re:Apple...Free (1)

Noah Haders (3621429) | about 5 months ago | (#46823663)

it's free in that you don't need to have a developer account to download the betas. Although I doubt anybody purchased the developer account just to be able to access the betas... Does anybody know what the next release will be called? Yosemite?

Re:Apple...Free (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46824369)

Unless there's a surfing spot at Yosmite that I'm not aware of, I doubt it.

Re:Apple...Free (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46824505)

As a Brit I was embarrassed to have spent the first 25 years of my life pronouncing that "yo-see-might". I never even made the association with Yosemite Sam. Now I feel like I can't mock Americans for all their weird pronunciations.

Re:Apple...Free (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46824471)

How is this more free than the OSX you get with your mac?

What Mac?

Unless OSX can suddenly be installed on non-apple pc's.

Exactly.

Mac OS has usually been somewhat non-Mac compatible.

In the 1990s it was super-easy with "classic" Mac OS: just get an Amiga and run Shapeshifter (or some competing product, don't remember its name). You could be the only kid on the block with a 68060 Mac.

With Mac OS X on PPC, there were a a few dark years. (Digression: Fortunately, this was the one period during which Apple actually made pretty decent hardware, so having to buy a Mac wasn't so bad. In the early/mid 1990s you had to be pretty nutty religious to tolerate Mac hardware (anyone else remember the "road apple" Performas?), and nowdays Macs are ok though substandard compared to other machines of the same price -- yet still quite tolerable if you don't think about what you spent on it. But from 1998 to around 2003 Macs were downright competitively good machines. So back when it was hard to run Mac OS on non-Macs, you didn't really need to.)

But all that went away when they ported to x86. Nowdays you can run it under virtualization, or if you're willing to limit your hardware choices a bit, you can build a "Hackintosh."

Re:Apple...Free (0)

MisterSquid (231834) | about 5 months ago | (#46823757)

It's over... apple is finished..

The summary has one detail wrong.

Yes, developers who do pay a yearly fee have been able to download betas of OS X. Additionally, users identified by various means were invited by Apple to be a beta testers and those invited testers paid nothing to be download, test, and evaluate OS X betas.

I know this because I have been one of those invited testers since 2008.

Re:Apple...Free (1, Flamebait)

lucm (889690) | about 5 months ago | (#46824243)

those invited testers paid nothing to be download, test, and evaluate OS X betas.

You mean: those invited testers WERE paid nothing to download, test, and evaluate OS X betas.

Typically when a client wants me to test his product I'm getting paid. But I value my time and expertise (so do my clients), so YMMV.

WANT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46823005)

If I had a second Mac, I would be all over this. Unfortunately, my machine is my main work machine so I can't risk installing an OS that is in beta. Still, this is incredibly cool and will hopefully make their release OS software even more stable (more eyes catching problems while in beta and all that).

Re:WANT! (1)

rvw (755107) | about 5 months ago | (#46823247)

If I had a second Mac, I would be all over this. Unfortunately, my machine is my main work machine so I can't risk installing an OS that is in beta. Still, this is incredibly cool and will hopefully make their release OS software even more stable (more eyes catching problems while in beta and all that).

You can use another partition for the beta.

Re:WANT! (5, Funny)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 5 months ago | (#46823847)

You can use another partition for the beta.

Does that work for Slashdot as well?

Re:WANT! (1)

lucm (889690) | about 5 months ago | (#46824253)

You can use another partition for the beta.

Does that work for Slashdot as well?

Booo

Re:WANT! (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | about 5 months ago | (#46824223)

You can use another partition for the beta.

VMWare also supports OSX now (at least vSphere/ESX does), so if you have Workstation/Fusion, it may well work as-is...

Re:WANT! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46823249)

my machine is my main work machine so I can't risk installing an OS that is in beta.

Install it on an external drive (preferably an SSD).

Re:WANT! (1)

psergiu (67614) | about 5 months ago | (#46823339)

But it will also work (albeit slowly) on a USB stick or even SD card.

Re:WANT! (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 5 months ago | (#46824293)

Firewire would be ideal.

Re:WANT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46823693)

Try VMware fusion.

Re:WANT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46823771)

maybe run it as a VM ? Parallels or vmware on an OS X host, QEMU/KVM on linux ?

Re:WANT! (1)

Entropius (188861) | about 5 months ago | (#46823807)

Until running cat on a large text file doesn't crash the terminal (blowing up all open terminals) and the built-in PDF viewer doesn't hang the OS for ~1s sometimes when scrolling through a static PDF (provoking the spinny color thing of doom), I'll stick to KDE or Cinnamon.

Re:WANT! (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 5 months ago | (#46823985)

Until running cat on a large text file doesn't crash the terminal (blowing up all open terminals)

How big?

built-in PDF viewer doesn't hang the OS for ~1s sometimes when scrolling through a static PDF (provoking the spinny color thing of doom)

Haven't noticed that either. Is that another huge file thing?

Re:WANT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46824439)

Good news! Neither of those things happen or have ever happened in any version of Mac OS X ever.

Re:WANT! (1)

guruevi (827432) | about 5 months ago | (#46824591)

You may have a hard drive or hard drive data consistency issue... that is practically the only reason OS X UI hangs, the kernel scheduler makes sure of that.

Re:WANT! (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about 5 months ago | (#46824199)

dual boot?

Toot little too late (1)

botfap (3511701) | about 5 months ago | (#46823019)

Where is Apple's future? It seems to be slowly eating itself

Re:Toot little too late (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | about 5 months ago | (#46823031)

Where is Apple's future? It seems to be slowly eating itself

Since we are talking about MacOS X here - the last estimate was that Apple makes 45% of all profits in the desktop + laptop hardware market, so I'd say they are slowly eating everyone else :-)

Re:Toot little too late (2)

botfap (3511701) | about 5 months ago | (#46823065)

please explain how the hard profit percentage has anything to do with the eating everyone else? apart from that your figure of 45% is nonsense unless its from before 2004 (earliest I could find figures for), I've just gone and looked through apples own figures for divisional profit and they are not even close to your 45% figure apart from iphones and iphones are rapidly losing worldwide market share.

Re:Toot little too late (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 5 months ago | (#46823197)

The relevant article is below. By only producing "luxury" computers, Apple has the benefit of making an enormous amount of money from a relatively small but very spendy user base. That's only going to continue as PC manufacturers continue to compete on price at the expense of profit margins and product quality.

http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/20... [cnn.com]

Re:Toot little too late (1)

botfap (3511701) | about 5 months ago | (#46823283)

wanna try again? you seem to think apple is a computer company

Re:Toot little too late (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 5 months ago | (#46823467)

The story in smartphones is even better for Apple. There they take 62% of the entire industry's profits.

http://bgr.com/2014/03/18/appl... [bgr.com]

Re:Toot little too late (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | about 5 months ago | (#46824367)

wanna try again? you seem to think apple is a computer company

Let me think. Article headline: "You Can Now Run Beta Versions of OS X-For Free". OS X (or more properly MacOS X) is Apple's computer operating system. The whole article is about computers. So clearly your initial post must have been about how well Apple is doing or not doing in the computer market. Unless you are an imbecile with the attention span of a gnat who cannot read a simple headline.

We are discussing computers here. We are not discussing what percentage of Apple's profits and revenue come from computer. We are discussing how big the computer selling part of Apple is in the computer market. Somewhere else we could be discussing how big Apple is in the ever shrinking market for portable music players (hint: Amazon doesn't sell any new music players with more than 32 GB capacity that are not made by Apple). We could discuss what percentage of set top boxes are made by Apple in yet another place. But here we are discussing computers.

Re:Toot little too late (1)

Blaskowicz (634489) | about 5 months ago | (#46824441)

As usual we have figure for branded PCs, so the small computers shops and raw parts are left out. I'm saying "as usual" because I remember such studies where the Ipod had a huge ass market share well over 50% ; except the no-brand players were collectively dominating the market and were not accounted for.

Re:Toot little too late (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | about 5 months ago | (#46823237)

apart from that your figure of 45% is nonsense

Published on theregister.com. Estimated profits 45% Apple, 13% Dell, 7% Lenovo, the rest - very little. Consider this: In the USA, Apple sells about 90% of all laptops over $1,000. Not "45% of Apple's profit". "45% of all profits made from selling laptop and desktop hardware". By the way, the market share of iPhones in the phone market has been growing every year, but that would be too boring to report. It's just that feature phones are more and more replaced by cheap smart phones. You think Apple cares if millions in China buy the cheapest smartphone they can find?

Re:Toot little too late (1)

botfap (3511701) | about 5 months ago | (#46823303)

hahaha you are basing your figures on "The Register's" ESTIMATED figures, wow that is funny, try some real data, apple publishes its own figures, what do they say?

Re:Toot little too late (2)

Sockatume (732728) | about 5 months ago | (#46823355)

The Register is re-reporting Asymco's figures, which are just taken from public accounting information.

Re:Toot little too late (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 5 months ago | (#46823507)

Apple's earning releases show their own profits, but not those of the other companies in the industry, so unless they happen to have made a comment in the notes, they are not likely to answer this question. Which is why you need an industry analyst, such as the one The Register has quoted.

Re:Toot little too late (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46823155)

Where is Apple's future? It seems to be slowly eating itself

Since we are talking about MacOS X here - the last estimate was that Apple makes 45% of all profits in the desktop + laptop hardware market, so I'd say they are slowly eating everyone else :-)

What I find amazing is how many Apple users brag about the extreme profit margin Apple is extracting from them, as if that is something positive for consumers. You can see it most frequently in iPhone vs Android discussions after Android very clearly passed iPhone in market share. Then the argument became "but Apple has much higher profit". Yes, they do, and it is coming out of your wallet, why are you happy about that?

Re:Toot little too late (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 5 months ago | (#46823255)

The brag factor is that Apple will probably be in business long after the last of their competitors have been sold off to Chinese conglomerates. I don't go in for that sort of petty side-taking and I don't have the kind of salary to be a Mac owner anyway but you can see how that works.

Re:Toot little too late (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46823699)

The brag factor is that Apple will probably be in business long after the last of their competitors have been sold off to Chinese conglomerates. I don't go in for that sort of petty side-taking and I don't have the kind of salary to be a Mac owner anyway but you can see how that works.

It would be interesting if there were any studies done on the longevity of companies with unusually high profit margins compared to companies with more industry normal profit margins. It wouldn't surprise me if the super-high-profit margin strategy also could be more fragile long term. Music industry during the CD decades would be one example, but you would of course need more examples and analysis of factors to draw any conclusions.

Re:Toot little too late (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 5 months ago | (#46823539)

Look at your own quote of the preceeding conversation. The profit margin answer is to the question "Where is Apple's future? It seems to be slowly eating itself". It's proof that Apple's business model is working very well for them, and they aren't going to go out of business anywhere in the foreseeable future.

Re:Toot little too late (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46823575)

Ah, if only i had mod points. I am with you 100% on this and have often wondered why they "brag" about apple's profits which they pay for as some sort of badge of honour?

Re:Toot little too late (1)

Karlt1 (231423) | about 5 months ago | (#46823661)

You can see it most frequently in iPhone vs Android discussions after Android very clearly passed iPhone in market share. Then the argument became "but Apple has much higher profit". Yes, they do, and it is coming out of your wallet, why are you happy about that?

The typical user in the US pays the same amount for a high end iPhone as they do for a high-end Android - $200. The carrier pays Apple a larger subsidy for the iPhone. Why should the end-user care how much of a subsidy that the carrier has to pay?

Re:Toot little too late (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46824215)

Really? Probably because the carrier passes these costs on to the customer?

Re:Toot little too late (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about 5 months ago | (#46824307)

because if they were not paying apple as much the cost of our phone bills could be cheeper. Think about it, why should I a dumb phone user (not really) have to pay more for my bill to subsidize the iPhone?? (yeah, i know thats wishful thinking verizon would simply pocket the profits)

Re:Toot little too late (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46823093)

What makes you say that?

Re:Toot little too late (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46823101)

herpa derp a google fanboys

Re:Toot little too late (1)

botfap (3511701) | about 5 months ago | (#46823221)

no google, we swapped OS X 10.6 -10.9 for ubuntu. its taking a little adaptation but of the 9 previous OS X web team devs, 6 of them are happier on ubuntu, 2 want to go back to OS X becuase they dont want to learn something new (the people scared of change) and the final guy is a Windows guy who hated OS X anyway and wants to use windows. only OS X machine we are leaving is a 27" iris pro haswell imac which is a lovely machine ruined by a toy operating system in 10.9.

Re:Toot little too late (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46823555)

Apple has excellent corporate BYOD support on all their devices.

iShould have read (-1, Troll)

Vlijmen Fileer (120268) | about 5 months ago | (#46823057)

iOS iX iBeta iSeed iProgram iNow iFree iTo iUse.
iAnnoyingly iChildish iApple iCrap :/ Who the hell would be interested????

Re:iShould have read (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46823149)

iWould.

beta tester now? (5, Insightful)

blindbat (189141) | about 5 months ago | (#46823083)

I feel like I've been running betas since Lion.

Re:beta tester now? (2, Insightful)

botfap (3511701) | about 5 months ago | (#46823151)

OS X 10.6.8 The last properly stable version, unfortunately apple wont secure this OS anymore so our IT dept is slowly transitioning us to Ubuntu which is actually a lot lot better than we had feared. Its still not OS X but then neither is 10.8, its a fisher price toy interface to an OS.

Re:beta tester now? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46823227)

So far Apple hasn't missed a security patch 10.6. It wasn't vulnerable to any of the recent SSL flaws like the newer OSes.

Re:beta tester now? (-1, Troll)

botfap (3511701) | about 5 months ago | (#46823269)

yes it has, its missed plenty, you clearly just don't want to know. Start here: http://www.ibtimes.com/apple-k... [ibtimes.com] Then use a search engine to avoid looking like an anonymous dick

Re:beta tester now? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46823763)

You realise that that article is entirely based on the fact that 10.6.8 didn't receive a patch for goto fail... A bug that never affected 10.6.8 in the first place.

Re:beta tester now? (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 5 months ago | (#46823613)

What's not stable about Mavericks? (10.9)

Re:beta tester now? (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 5 months ago | (#46823893)

I'm quite happy with Mavericks, myself.

I wasn't all that happy with Lion, to the point that I rolled back to 10.6.8 Snow Leopard. Mountain Lion was useable.

Re:beta tester now? (1)

umafuckit (2980809) | about 5 months ago | (#46823957)

I've seen some weirdness with Mavericks on some machines. On my 2011 13" Air, Mavericks is fine. On my ~2009 (don't recall the exact year) Mini it's really, really, slow. I even wiped the HDD and did a re-install. It behaved at a reasonable speed for a week or two and now it's back to horrible slowness. I also have a colleague who has two more or less identical 2013 Macbook Pros. One has Mavericks and one has Lion. He claims the machine running Mavericks is very obviously slower than that running Lion. This is despite the extra RAM on the Mavericks machine.

Re:beta tester now? (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 5 months ago | (#46824015)

For sure it's more memory hungry. I'm considering upgrading my 4GB to 8GB.

Re:beta tester now? (1)

SDF-7 (556604) | about 5 months ago | (#46824347)

Well, for the last month I've had my Mini which just sits there as an iTunes server run out of memory. Never happened before.

Trying to watch a bit with Activity Monitor, the kernel_task balloons up over 4Gb, Finder shows as non-responsive, the File Cache is only around 1Gb -- and "Compressed" is huge. Free memory the last time I caught it was about 16Mb out of 16Gb.

Given its role, I expect the File Cache to grow -- but either it isn't or Activity Monitor isn't reporting it as such, as it only shows a few Gb in normal operation and doesn't show at all when the problem state is hit. And even if it did eat all the RAM for caching -- if it can't shrink it down without hanging all the user processes then that's certainly a bug.

Otherwise, my assumption is that something is leaking in the kernel over time so the system can't find it to clean it up, everything else gets shrunk/compressed as it can and the reclamation hogs the processor in the worst case. Again, haven't seen this before Mavericks and based on some support threads, I don't think I'm alone.

Re:beta tester now? (1)

Moridineas (213502) | about 5 months ago | (#46823243)

Zing!

(still running Snow Leopard on my laptop and happy about it!)

Re:beta tester now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46823291)

"I feel like I've been running betas since Lion."

Is it a gay lion?

crocodile teeth penis shaft

PC Release !! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46823119)

cmon Apple, you know you want to.

Re:PC Release !! (1)

rvw (755107) | about 5 months ago | (#46823277)

cmon Apple, you know you want to.

That would mean world domination!

Re:PC Release !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46823369)

Technically it is as long as you have compatible hardware.

http://www.hackintosh.com/ [hackintosh.com]

Re:PC Release !! (1)

WillAdams (45638) | about 5 months ago | (#46823579)

And can puzzle out all the magic combinations to make it work --- thus far I've managed to get my ThinkPad X61 Tablet:

  - booting OS X 10.6.8
  - sleeping on demand and waking when the lid is opened
  - keyboard and Trackpoint work

The one thing which isn't working is getting the Wacom stylus to work using TabletMagic (I have one of the stupid hybrid models which also has rudimentary touch input) --- I can see it as WACF008, and I've even got it allowing itself to be activated, but it won't allow the pen input to work.

Re:PC Release !! (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 5 months ago | (#46823689)

Why would they want to release their free-of-charge OS onto other PCs, when the money that's used to develop OSX comes from selling Macs?

Besides, licensing MacOS for other computers was one of the mistakes Apple was making in the years before Jobs came back. When they were heading towards bankruptcy. They won't be repeating that mistake.

These days you can't even say that Apple should follow Microsoft's model, as Windows is on it's way out.

Free labour ! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46823133)

Hey what a great chance for me to provide free labour to a multi national corporation. In exchange for ? Er....

Gee I can't wait to sign up :)

Good luck (3, Interesting)

namgge (777284) | about 5 months ago | (#46823157)

Good luck with this Apple, but in my experience the bug reports and feedback you'll get from Joe Public will be next to worthless. Don't waste your time on them; concentrate on what paid-up developers are telling you about your betas and fix the issues they identify first, please.

Re:Good luck (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46823337)

They likely will, this is probably more for collecting larger volumes of the automated usage data and automated crash reports.

Re:Good luck (4, Insightful)

Bogtha (906264) | about 5 months ago | (#46823525)

in my experience the bug reports and feedback you'll get from Joe Public will be next to worthless

Bug reports and feedback aren't the only valuable things that can come out of this. If an application crashes for a significant number of users at a particular point, it makes it easier to prioritise. It also makes it easier to detect problems that occur with real-world data and system rather than test data.

Re:Good luck (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about 5 months ago | (#46824343)

agreed. Allowing joe schmoe to beta test even if they dont provide "useful" information are still providing information on how joe schmoe uses his computer. The more a company knows how its users use their product, the better they can make them

New OS X is free* (3, Informative)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 5 months ago | (#46823261)

As best I can tell, OS X is free to download only if you already have OS X. I don't see any way that someone who doesn't already have a very recent version of OS X can download it for free.

Re:New OS X is free* (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46823427)

As best I can tell, Linux is free to download only if you already have a computer. I don't see any way that someone who doesn't already have a a computer can download it for free.

Fixed that for you to point out how stupid you and your comment are.

Re:New OS X is free* (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46823657)

I think his point was more along the lines that its not "free" as in Linux is free.

The OSX Beta program is free as in "you are already locked into our ecosystem and so please test this for us for free".

Re:New OS X is free* (2)

EvanED (569694) | about 5 months ago | (#46823733)

To be fair, Hackintoshes show that there's no technical reason why OS X would be useful on computers other than a Mac. It's valid to point out that the licencing restrictions on OS X are still in play.

Re:New OS X is free* (2)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 5 months ago | (#46824377)

There is no LEGAL licensing restriction that prohibits you from building a Hackintosh. Trying to sell hackintoshes is another matter.

Re:New OS X is free* (2)

psergiu (67614) | about 5 months ago | (#46823445)

But you already got the old OS X for free when you bought your mac. So the new one is double-free :)

Oh, you want to install-it onto a uncool PC ? You dirty, double crossing, good for nothing, two timing software pirate hacker ...

Re:New OS X is free* (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 5 months ago | (#46823621)

Oh, you want to install-it onto a uncool PC ? You dirty, double crossing, good for nothing, two timing software pirate hacker ...

I am one of those who would be willing to purchase an OS X license to install on a non-Apple PC. Yet they don't even give the option to do so. I have heard the explanation that they don't want to be on the hook for support on the matter, and I'm fine with that - just let us buy a license with no support and be done with it.

Re:New OS X is free* (1)

Yebyen (59663) | about 5 months ago | (#46823827)

It doesn't really work that way. There are implied warranties of merchant-ability and fitness for a particular purpose that cannot be disclaimed in some jurisdictions. (So just don't sell to those jurisdictions... ehh, doesn't really work either.)

I bought a bike at Walmart for $200 yesterday. Middle of the road price for a Walmart bike. I had someone take it down and look at it for me before I left, he acknowledged that whoever put it together must have been a total idiot because the seat was loose. He adjusted it...

Next thing I know, I'm in the local bike shop looking at $600-1300 bikes while I wait and paying $10 for an adjustment because the seat is still loose, the front brake is rubbing, and the rear brake doesn't stop, dealing with some guy who doesn't want to deal with me because I paid 1) not enough, to 2) someone else, for 3) probably a decent bike if it wasn't put together by total idiots.

It's easier for Apple if they just don't sell macs at Walmart, then. Right... should have gone with a car analogy.

Re:New OS X is free* (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about 5 months ago | (#46824081)

The guy doesn't want to deal with you because you're still only out $210. And you might tell your friends how much money you spent for an essentially useful bike. Dude wants your $600 and wants your friend's $600 too.

Re:New OS X is free* (4, Insightful)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 5 months ago | (#46824287)

I bought a bike at Walmart for $200 yesterday. Middle of the road price for a Walmart bike. I had someone take it down and look at it for me before I left, he acknowledged that whoever put it together must have been a total idiot because the seat was loose. He adjusted it...

Next thing I know, I'm in the local bike shop looking at $600-1300 bikes while I wait and paying $10 for an adjustment because the seat is still loose, the front brake is rubbing, and the rear brake doesn't stop, dealing with some guy who doesn't want to deal with me because I paid 1) not enough, to 2) someone else, for 3) probably a decent bike if it wasn't put together by total idiots.

I used to work in a bike shop likely not too different from the one you describe. I can tell you, there is a huge difference between the components on the BSO (bike-shaped object) that you purchased at WalMart and the bikes you had in front of you at the bike shop. There is a reason why the WalMart bike was $200 and the ones at the shop were more, and it has to do with the quality of every component on the bike. This isn't a comparison between VW and Audi, this is a comparison between Porsche and a cheap skateboard. The components on the BSO are all Chinese made and lack not only the mechanical precision but also the ability to make adjustments that the better bike shop quality components have. I have seen BSOs from WalMart and others come in with brakes that could not be safely adjusted because they were of such poor manufacture.

And that isn't even getting to the frames. The BSOs are almost without exception made to only one size per model, which is seldom an appropriate size for the buyer (particularly an adult buyer). The frames themselves are poorly made as well of inferior alloys - both in terms of weight and durability - when compared to even the least expensive bike you can get at a bike shop.

Seriously, no adult should ever buy a bike for themselves at a big box (Target, WalMart, KMart, Toys R Us) retailer. If you wanted to stick to a $200 budget you would have been vastly better served by searching your local craigslist where you could have easily purchased a quality bike, in the correct size for you, for that amount of money. You could have checked ebay as well and come out better there, too.

If you just purchased that BSO yesterday my advice to you is go return it tonight and find a bike elsewhere. You won't get your bike shop fees back but you'll still be way better off.

Re:New OS X is free* (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | about 5 months ago | (#46824231)

I am one of those who would be willing to purchase an OS X license to install on a non-Apple PC. Yet they don't even give the option to do so. I have heard the explanation that they don't want to be on the hook for support on the matter, and I'm fine with that - just let us buy a license with no support and be done with it.

I've heard that explanation as well, and it is pure speculation and most likely wrong. The reason why Apple doesn't sell licenses for MacOS X is that MacOS X is basically used as advertisements for the sale of Apple hardware, and that's where the profit is. They don't even care about getting money from upgrades anymore (10.9 was a free upgrade). If you think about buying a Mac today, you know that you will get at least two or three OS updates for free, which costs Apple nothing but increases the value of the Mac compared to a PC.

Re:New OS X is free* (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 5 months ago | (#46824327)

If you think about buying a Mac today, you know that you will get at least two or three OS updates for free, which costs Apple nothing but increases the value of the Mac compared to a PC.

I'm one of those who does not run windows on his PCs - and hence gets my OS and updates for free anyways - so this logic doesn't really apply to me. Indeed, it might matter to some other buyers although I'm not sure how many people are able to keep their computers running long enough for such an update actually exist - for example most Vista users managed to render their system completely unable at least once before 7 came out. I'm not sure that OS X, in the hands of an average user, is really that much better in terms of longevity.

Re:New OS X is free* (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 5 months ago | (#46824425)

I've heard that explanation as well, and it is pure speculation and most likely wrong.

Oh really? Do you know how many variations of video cards you get with nVidia and AMD alone? When I had a PC, I can tell you that an updated driver from either of them had a chance of making your video unusable to the point where you had to roll back to a previous driver. Add in drivers for Ethernet, sound, etc and and it's not pure speculation. It's fact. Apple has invested a great deal in customer support. Can you imagine the sheer number of appointments they would have to deal with for hardware problems that they had nothing to do with/ability to fix?

Re:New OS X is free* (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 5 months ago | (#46824363)

I am one of those who would be willing to purchase an OS X license to install on a non-Apple PC. Yet they don't even give the option to do so.

If you want to install OS X on a Hackintosh, you still can. This does not change that aspect at all.

Re:New OS X is free* (1)

nine-times (778537) | about 5 months ago | (#46824323)

It's not really "free". The cost of OSX and the associated apps (e.g. Pages, iPhoto) is rolled into the price of the original laptop/desktop purchase. Apple is now providing free *upgrades* to the bundled software.

Re:New OS X is free* (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about 5 months ago | (#46823643)

If you own an Apple computer capable of running OS X then you have all that is required.

Re:New OS X is free* (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46824279)

There are several Macs that can run OSX out of the box, that cannot run modern OSX, examples are G4, G5, and Intel Mac with a either a 32 bit CPU or 32 bit EFI on the system (MacPro 1.1)

Re:New OS X is free* (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46824321)

So you're saying that if you don't own an Apple computer capable of running the new OS X then you don't have what is required?

Reading comprehension fail.

Re:New OS X is free* (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46824447)

GPP:

If you own an Apple computer capable of running OS X then you have all that is required.

Do you see the word "new", or "recent". By the wording of the statement, if it came with Puma or even Cheetah, it will run.

Re:New OS X is free* (2)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 5 months ago | (#46824433)

All of these Macs are at least 5 years old. Some of them are 10 years old. Seriously you can't run the latest Linux on these machines either without major customizations.

Re:New OS X is free* (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 5 months ago | (#46824401)

You need an AppleID too.

You mean I can work for Apple for free? (2, Funny)

Kardos (1348077) | about 5 months ago | (#46823433)

Sign me up!

Re:You mean I can work for Apple for free? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46823625)

Does Ubuntu or Fedora pay for you to try their beta or release candidates?

Re:You mean I can work for Apple for free? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46823767)

Flip side, does Ubuntu or Fedora charge for their products? See above for posts about apple's fantastic profit margins.

I've installed Ubuntu on 5 computers at home (for myself and my kids) and paid them zero.
Granted, it is not exactly true as I donated because I support the cause but wasn't required to do so.

Re:You mean I can work for Apple for free? (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 5 months ago | (#46823923)

Flip side, does Ubuntu or Fedora charge for their products?

How long have they been selling hardware? I hadn't heard about that.

Re:You mean I can work for Apple for free? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46824277)

I'm sorry, but I fail to see your point. Did i somehow imply Ubuntu or Fedora sold hardware?

This subtopic was about working for apple for free testing the beta product, not sure where hardware comes into play?

mo3 0p (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46823435)

triu8phs would sson very distracting to = 1400 NetBSD Rivalry. While

dual boot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46823671)

can I dual boot Windows 7 and Mac OS X? I just need to repartition the hard drive on my HP computer, right? sorry, I'm an noob

As much as I like Macs... (3)

wjcofkc (964165) | about 5 months ago | (#46824559)

To get it out of the way, I am not an Apple hater but I am not a fanboy either. I have a MacBook, but Linux based OS' run my main systems. My thoughts:

There was once a time where every release of OS X was gutted relative to the previous version, sometimes eliminating upwards of 10 or more gigabytes of code. OS X only got faster with each release. I am not sure where that came to an end, but the last few release have been steadily slowing down my MacBook.

I have also sadly watched the interface become more bogged down and convoluted over the last few years. It used to be the height of simplicity. I wonder what decisions led things astray. I dual boot elementary OS on my MacBook, and am always astonished by how much faster it is. I rarely boot into OS X anymore, and am no longer excited about the next release. For the record my main production distro is Bodhi, and my servers run Debian and FreeBSD on extremely thin hardware - yet run extremely well, albeit they are headless.

I know all that is only partially on topic, but they are still good talking points.
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