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Wall Street Journal: Mac vs. PC

pudge posted more than 12 years ago | from the no-such-thing-as-too-many-pundits dept.

Apple 142

cpk0 writes "Walt Mossberg is taking a few days to discuss the differences between Mac and PCs, and which is suitable for whom. He begins by saying the tides have definitely turned in regards to Apple's state as a computer which he will recommend. This is the first in a miniature series of articles by Mossberg touching base on the Apple vs. PC situation (but don't worry, it's not at all about bashing one side)."

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*sigh* (-1, Troll)

PhysicsGenius (565228) | more than 12 years ago | (#3744774)

Not this old hokum again. Computers are a tool, people. They exist to solve problems and help us with our jobs. Comparing Macs to PCs is pointless and trollish. What you need to do is ask what task you need solved.

For instance, my mom needed a computer that she could use to check her email and maybe do a little web browsing. The iMac is perfect for her.

I need something that will let me run a quality office suite, a standard development environment and all the latest games but not cost me an arm and a leg. The only rational choice for any of those things is a PC running Windows XP.

Re:*sigh* (3, Insightful)

Incongruity (70416) | more than 11 years ago | (#3744864)

I need something that will let me run a quality office suite, a standard development environment and all the latest games but not cost me an arm and a leg. The only rational choice for any of those things is a PC running Windows XP.

I am not trying to flame you, but did you bother to read the article before you posted? All of those points are covered by the author in more or less detail and it really doesn't seem like you've bothered to read the article before you posted. I am truly sorry if I am wrong in that judgment. I use and support both macs and PC's everyday at work and I found the article to be spot on. Of your objections, the only one that is really valid is the one about gaming. Many of the best selling games *do* come out for PC's first. Some are released for both platforms at the same time but the balance are indeed released for PC's first. Cost is on par, except in the low-low end. Office for OS X is on par with Office XP an as for development environments go, what are you asking for? Windows APIs? Other than that you've got just as powerful tools for software development on the Mac as you do on a PC.

In this case, I firmly believe that the scales are pretty evenly balanced overall and each platform has its pluses and minuses. Now, that is exactly what the author of the article expressed in his piece. If you disagree, you should be pointing out what, in his article, is factually wrong rather than making a blanket statement about "the only rational choice..." That's more rhetoric and rather trollish of you (something you claimed to be avoiding at the outset of your post.)

just my thoughts, -inco

Re:*sigh* (4, Insightful)

PythonOrRuby (546749) | more than 11 years ago | (#3745000)

It should alo be pointed out that with Mac OS X you get the development tools for free, which is a terrific thing for the younger, more cash-strapped generation of developers just coming into the market.

Re:*sigh* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3745136)

...as for development environments go, what are you asking for? Windows APIs? Other than that you've got just as powerful tools for software development on the Mac as you do on a PC.

Just wanted to point out that Mac's development suite and compiler are FREE (as in beer). Visual Studio is most decidedly not free.

Re:*sigh* (1)

pmz (462998) | more than 11 years ago | (#3745093)

I need something that will let me run a quality office suite, a standard development environment and all the latest games but not cost me an arm and a leg. The only rational choice for any of those things is a PC running Windows XP.


Don't you mean something providing an office suite with arguably good quality and a proprietary development environment but does cost you an arm and a leg?

PC environment less proprietary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3745172)

" a proprietary development environment but does cost you an arm and a leg?"

I can run Office XP on dozens of hardware platforms. Hardly "proprietary" compared to being forced to run any MacOS software on just one single platform where there is NO competition.

In the PC world, if it is good, it ends up on the machines, if it is bad, it leaves. Unlike the Mac hardware platform in which one company sets the rules, regardless of whether or not the feature (pinhole for ejection as opposed to button, for example) is any good.

Re:PC environment less proprietary (1)

pmz (462998) | more than 11 years ago | (#3745388)

Dozens of hardware platforms? Oh, you mean Pentium, Pentium MMX, Pentium Pro, Pentium II, Pentium III, Pentium III Coppermine, Pentium III Xeon, Pentium IV, etc.

Office XP is extremely proprietary; name one component of it that isn't developed and controlled by Microsoft. Conversely, OpenOffice.org is not proprietary; it is released under the GPL and isn't even controlled by Sun.

In the PC world, if it is good, it ends up on the machines, if it is bad, it leaves.

Correction: In the PC world, if Microsoft deems it good, Microsoft buys it, if Microsoft deems it bad, Microsoft crushes it. At best, Microsoft will opt not to buy something but will lead it on until it is good enough to buy and/or then crush.

Dozens of hardware platforms (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3746293)

"Dozens of hardware platforms? Oh, you mean Pentium, Pentium MMX...."

No, I was referring to the companies that made them. Dell, Compaq, GW2K. But if you want to count each processer separately, I guess that makes even more platforms.

Office XP is extremely proprietary; name one component of it that isn't developed and controlled by Microsoft.

But at least the hardware is much less proprietary; much more "open" if you avoid getting a Mac. Also, on the PC there is a much greater variety of word processor/spreadsheet/etc office software than on a Mac. More choice all the way around.

"Correction: In the PC world, if Microsoft deems it good, Microsoft buys it, if Microsoft deems it bad, Microsoft crushes it."

Correction to you: I was referring to hardware as well as software. MS does not own Gateway. Also in software, what you claim is not true. Go to download.com sometime. Look at all the PC software made by companies that are still in business, and are not owned by Microsoft.

And don't list Netscape as an example of something crushed by Microsoft. Netscape gave away browsers so much worse with each version until they were unusable. Self-crushing.
Only one company for Mac...

, Pentium Pro, Pentium II, Pentium III, Pentium III Coppermine, Pentium III Xeon, Pentium IV, etc.

Re:Dozens of hardware platforms (2)

DavidRavenMoon (515513) | more than 12 years ago | (#3747590)

No, I was referring to the companies that made them. Dell, Compaq, GW2K. But if you want to count each processer separately, I guess that makes even more platforms.

That's still ONE platform... x86. If you are using that reasoning, then Windows is a platform. How many companies make Windows? One.

How many compnaies make SGI or Sun computers?

All the people who think they have more choices because they build their own PC is missing one big point. You can only build one kind of computer, an "IBM clone" based on x86. Big selection of platforms.

Re:PC environment less proprietary (2)

gerardrj (207690) | more than 11 years ago | (#3746272)

So... other than x86, please list at least 23 other platforms that Microsoft Windows XP runs on. BSD, the heart of Mac OS X runs on at least: PPC, 68K, x86, Alpha, Sparc, MIPS, ARM, ia64 The software wrutten for Mac OSX could be written to take advantage of any GUI while still maintaining standard interfaces to the rest of the OS. In fact, only two options need to be accoutned for... Quartz, and X. If your program had all it's GUI stuff in one set of files you could easily port it fr om one platform to the other (Mac Quartz, to and BSD Xwindows system) Darwin is the open source BSD operating system at the core of Mac OS X. All of the BSD kernel and libraries are available for anyone to look at and modify. How many lines of code in Microsoft Windows XP are open source or even avalable to look at by outside developers? So much for you proprietary arguement. In the PC world, good things are included, bad elimindated.... Which is why instead of adopting FireWire, Intel, Compaq and others developed USB2. Which is why Wintels still have parallel ports and floppy drives. Which is why most standard Wintel systems still have CDRW or DRD-R drives as options. Which is why multiple monitor support didn't appear until Microsoft Windows 98, and still only supports two monitors? Which is why no major PC manufacturer installs 1000 bast T networking standard. All of these things are good. All of these things and have no, little, or poor support on Wintel platforms from the manufacturers. The one example you site ifor the Mac is moot. You don't use the pin-hole to eject a CD. You use the eject command in the GUI, or the eject button on the keyboard. The pinhole is only there for emergencies, just like on Wintel.

Re:PC environment less proprietary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3746372)

"Which is why Wintels still have parallel ports and floppy drives"

PCs (Wintel, or AMD, or other) still have parallel ports and drives AND usb because they are useful. That is all there is to it.

"please list at least 23 other platforms that Microsoft Windows XP runs on"

Do you want me to list scores of companies selling PC's?

"the heart of Mac OS X runs on at least: PPC..."

Name one company other than Apple making desktop machines running Mac OSX.

"Which is why instead of adopting FireWire

Firewire is a very easy option on a PC if it is needed. Even with the firewire AND the floppy and Centronics port, it ends up costing a lot less than the mac....

"Which is why multiple monitor support didn't appear until Microsoft Windows 98, and still only supports two monitors"

I saw multi-monitor support on PCs running DOS long before Windows or OS-X were around.

"Which is why no major PC manufacturer installs 1000 bast T networking standard."

Why? It's just a check-off option.

"The one example you site ifor the Mac is moot. You don't use the pin-hole to eject a CD."

Yes you do. That is why they provide it. If you didn't need it, it would not be there. PCs remain much friendlier in this regard; much more intuitive: eject the disk press the button. No obtuse GUI commands needed: nothing made harder just for the hell of it.

If a pinhole was easier to use than an eject button, don't you think that PC makers would have copied this? No wonder the Macintosh meets the needs of less than 10% of computer users when someone thinks "difficult is better".

" The pinhole is only there for emergencies, just like on Wintel."

What about AMD-based PCs running Linux?

"So much for you proprietary arguement."

Let's see the list of companies selling Mac-OS desktops.

Re:*sigh* (5, Insightful)

overunderunderdone (521462) | more than 11 years ago | (#3745213)

Not this old hokum again. Computers are a tool, people. They exist to solve problems and help us with our jobs. Comparing Macs to PCs is pointless and trollish. What you need to do is ask what task you need solved.

For "old hokum" it seems that the article is making EXACTLY the same point as you are.

For instance, my mom needed a computer that she could use to check her email and maybe do a little web browsing. The iMac is perfect for her.

Sounds just like one of the conclusions of the author.

I need something that will let me run a quality office suite, a standard development environment and all the latest games but not cost me an arm and a leg. The only rational choice for any of those things is a PC running Windows XP.

Hmm, The ONLY rational choice for ANY of these things? Microsoft Office [microsoft.com] isn't the quality office suite you are looking for? ProjectBuilder [apple.com] & Interface Builder [apple.com] that come with the package aren't exactly standard I guess, you could always get CodeWarrior [metrowerks.com] . And the BSD environment, GCC 3, Java 2 etc. etc. etc. seem pretty standard.

As for "an arm and a leg" I'll grant that Macs tend to sell at a premium but when you are considering the actual specs in detail they are not that much higher, and in some cases are actually lower than comperable PeeCee's.

There are many games available but for the hardcore gamer a PeeCee is still the way to go.

A computer is a tool and this particular tool may not meet your particular needs but of the four needs you mentioned you seem to be mistaken about the Macs ability to meet three of them. It is common misconceptions like yours which prompted the author to write this "old hokum".

Macs much more expensive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3745284)

"PeeCee"? Odd spelling.

Anyway, once you compare specs, Macs cost a lot more. Especially when you consider such things as standard ports and floppy drives which come on almost all PC's, but require extra expense on Macintoshes.

Re:Macs much more expensive? (1)

Dragonmaster Lou (34532) | more than 11 years ago | (#3745423)

Macs come with USB. What's not standard about that?

Mac towers come with Gigabit ethernet standard. I don't see any PCs coming with that standard.

Just about all Macs come with CD-RWs standard. Don't need floppies, usually, if you have one of those. Half the PCs I've seen don't come with CD-RWs standard -- just CD-ROMs or DVD-ROMs.

Macs come with Firewire standard. That's a pretty standard port as nearly every digital camcorder uses them.

PCs have more "legacy" hardware, that's true, but the Macs have at least as many of the newer standard ports as stadard equipment than most PCs.

Standard ports (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3746177)

"Macs come with USB. What's not standard about that?"

PC's come with USB ports, as well as parallel and serial ports which run the vast majority of printers (instead of just the most recent ones). You get both old an new, and you pay less for the privilege.... again.

It is a design goof on Apple's part. Again, if there were no need for them, you wouldn't have the PC manufacturers lining up to keep them for the most part. A "standard" bucked by Apple, almost alone.

This is more true than ever in the enterprise environment, where you really have a need for standard ports. Here is where someone does a brisk sale in converters; necessary on the Mac, but not in the PC where the old printers will plug right in.

Re:Macs much more expensive? (2)

Graymalkin (13732) | more than 11 years ago | (#3745546)

Macs ditched all need for floppies with their new systems. If you've got a bootable partion on just about any media Open Firmware can boot it. Floppies are so 1980s man, get with the go.

Pay more to get less, again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3746141)

"Floppies are so 1980s man, get with the go."

If there wasn't an actual lingering need for them, the PC companies would have left them off a long time ago. As it is, you get them on PC's and you end up paying less for the privilege.

Re:Pay more to get less, again (1)

KillerKane (260666) | more than 11 years ago | (#3746690)

Where does it end? Maybe I shouldn't have bought a Mac because it doesn't accept oiled punched paper tape as input and I can't attach my 300 baud acoustic coupler to it for networking. Yeesh.

Re:Macs much more expensive? (2)

overunderunderdone (521462) | more than 12 years ago | (#3747361)

"PeeCee"? Odd spelling

It's not that uncommon among mac users. I suppose it is to distinguish Mac's from Wintel machines (both of which are "PC's" - Personal Computers)

Anyway, once you compare specs, Macs cost a lot more. Especially when you consider such things as standard ports and floppy drives which come on almost all PC's,

I'm not sure what is non-standard about 10/100/1000 ethernet, firewire & USB. I'll grant the lack of legacy ports & it is a nuisance. Ironically the only loss I really regretted was the decidedly NON-standard ADB port because not having it meant I had to get a new Wacom tablet.

As for the "missing" floppy drive - I can honestly say I have never missed having a floppy drive. On my last mac that had one I think I used maybe twice a year (& even then I had other options). Do you even have ANYTHING small enough to fit on a floppy that you can't just email to the recipient? Or are you backing up your system on 10,000 floppies?

iMac is not perfect for that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3746519)

"For instance, my mom needed a computer that she could use to check her email and maybe do a little web browsing. The iMac is perfect for her."

Only if the main thing she wanted to do is have the machine look "cute". Otherwise, she could buy a PC that will do these things for half the price... part of it being that PCs are generally a lot cheaper, and the other part being that the iMac is overkill for this: flat screen, high speed movie making support are not needed for checking e-mail and browsing.

Standards (4, Funny)

pmz (462998) | more than 12 years ago | (#3744811)

From Mr. Mossberg's WSJ article:

It's easier today than ever to use a Mac in a Windows world and to share information. This is true partly because the Internet and e-mail don't distinguish between computing platforms.

Oh boy, does Microsoft hate statements like this :)

Re:Standards (4, Funny)

Laplace (143876) | more than 11 years ago | (#3745022)

It's easier today than ever to use a Mac in a Windows world and to share information. This is true partly because the Internet and e-mail don't distinguish between computing platforms.


Except with respect to VB scripting worms.

Re:Standards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3745066)

Oh yeah, especially since there is no such thing as Outlook for Mac.

Re:Standards (1)

pmz (462998) | more than 11 years ago | (#3745112)

Outlook is proprietary poop (shit that ain't free).

Re:Standards (2)

dadragon (177695) | more than 11 years ago | (#3745461)

Outlook at Mactopia [microsoft.com] would seem to disagree.

Utter crap (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 11 years ago | (#3745405)

Yeah, Mac and Windows mailers support croos-platform encodings for attachments. But whenever I've worked in a mixed environment, it's always been a nightmare to get people to use them. You're just continually dealing with Mac people who complain that they can't read your attachments, and who send you attachments packaged as sit files!

Besides, email attachments are not a practical way to share any but the most trivial documents. Not to mention the virus risks!

Why on earth does Slashdot keep trumpeting Mossberg's pronouncements as if they meant jack? His sole qualification to have any sort of technical opinion is (according to him) technical illiteracy [slashdot.org] !

Re:Utter crap (2, Informative)

dalamcd (573483) | more than 12 years ago | (#3747377)

... and who send you attachments packaged as sit files!

Er, excuse me, but Stuffit Expander [stuffit.com] is available for Mac, PC and Linux for free, and it's all you need to unstuff _any_ .sit file.

dalamcd

P.S. No, stuffit.com is not a porn site...

Re:Standards (1)

macdaddy357 (582412) | more than 11 years ago | (#3745771)

The difference in a nutshell. Mac - Working PC - This application has caused an illegal operation, and will be shut down... Does that paint a picture?

Re:Standards (1)

phil245 (587259) | more than 11 years ago | (#3746108)

I just was wondering how much money changed hands between Apple and a poster to start this thread

a vote for Mac (1)

Sir Elton John (577301) | more than 12 years ago | (#3744818)

As a member of the entertainment industry, I have to throw my weight into the Mac camp. Music apps like Cubase that just aren't available for Intel PCs are essential to the cutting-edge musician.

The new Macintosh Operating System, affectionately referred to as "X," also does a superior job of coupling media programs with the OS itself. I believe this is an effect of the Open Source nature of the OS, as software developers appear to be crafting their wares with greater insight into what happens "beneath the hood."

Sadly, Windows' paltry competition in this area has encouraged stagnation in the Macintosh audio market. Hopefully, Linux will cause things to pick up a bit, or music fans may be forced to listen to the same crap that has been flooding the airwaves for the last decade or so.

Cheers.

Re:a vote for Mac (1)

moshek (569789) | more than 11 years ago | (#3744851)

"Music apps like Cubase that just aren't available for Intel PCs are essential to the cutting-edge musician"

First, I must say that I am avid Mac fan and a musician who has been using Cubase for about 4 years now. I did want to point out, (is this REALLY Elton John?), that Cubase is indeed available for the PC platform. In fact, Cubase SX hit has already hit the market for the PC whilst we are still waiting on the 'X' side. Such is life...

Re:a vote for Mac (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3745129)

is this REALLY Elton John?

i highly doubt it. but even if it were him, that would be Sir Elton John to you!

Re:a vote for Mac (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3745193)

Sir Elton John wrote:

As a member of the entertainment industry,

I don't find you all that entertaining. With the exception of your attempts to hide your obviously balding head under wigs, toupees, and ugly hats.

Music apps like Cubase that just aren't available for Intel PCs

Check again. They are.

The new Macintosh Operating System, affectionately referred to as "X," also does a superior job of coupling media programs with the OS itself yeah, sure. Too bad windows has had vm and concurrent multithreading for years now.

I believe this is an effect of the Open Source nature of the OS, as software developers appear to be crafting their wares with greater insight into what happens "beneath the hood."

Yeah, sure. Too bad very few media programs have been rewritten or even recompiled for Carbon/Cocoa. Most run under OS-9 emulation mode.

music fans may be forced to listen to the same crap that has been flooding the airwaves for the last decade or so.

Oh? Are you re-releasing all your old crap with "new" lyrics?

You have it backwards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3745196)

PC versions of Cubase are now ahead of MacOS versions.

Re:a vote for Mac (2)

extrasolar (28341) | more than 11 years ago | (#3745315)

Mac OS X isn't Free Software (aka Open Source). Period. There is no halfway free or kind of free. So please don't spread around such a misconception.

Re:a vote for Mac (1)

dadragon (177695) | more than 11 years ago | (#3745488)

MacOS X could be considered an application which runs on Darwin. Darwin IS open source.

It's like running CDE on Linux. Free OS, non-free application.

Re:a vote for Mac (2)

extrasolar (28341) | more than 11 years ago | (#3745919)

Darwin is part of Mac OS X.

Re:a vote for Mac (3, Informative)

90XDoubleSide (522791) | more than 11 years ago | (#3746082)

Mac OS X requires Darwin. Darwin does not require Mac OS X. Darwin is completely independent and can be run alone on PPC and x86 machines.

Anti-microsoft sentiment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3746548)

""I think that the anti-Microsoft sentiment is simply due to their having been so successful selling a lot of crap." -Woz "

Yes. there is an anti-Microsoft groundswell out there. Thanks to this, Apple has captured 65% of the computer market.

[Back to Earth: is Woz really this out of touch? Did he ever realize that he gave a revolution and no one came. Must be shell-shocked since he built a lot of NeXT crap and was not successful selling it. These guys will have to realize that regardless of whether or not Microsoft stinks, its products are very popular]

Re:Anti-microsoft sentiment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3746685)

What kind of crack are you on? Woz had nothing to do with NeXT. That was Jobs. Two Steves, different people.

Re:a vote for Mac (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3746001)

Free Software DOES NOT EQUAL Open Source. Or vice-versa. The two often intersect, but they are by no means the same.

You can have an open source product that is not free. BTW, Darwin is freely-available under the Apple Public License. The rest of OS X is not.

Macs as a.... Fileserver? (5, Interesting)

zulux (112259) | more than 11 years ago | (#3744862)

Yep!

I have serveral clients with too much money on their hands that have wanted a fileserver for home - Usually I take an older ATX box of theirs, put it in a decent case with a good and quite powersupply (Antec/PC Power And Cooling) and replace the processor fan. Plop in FreeBSD, Samba and hide it in the closet.

Last week, we used an IMac for filserving and as a novelty - the machine sits in the den, where the kids can play DVDs and listen to MP3, and the Samba filserver keeps on ticking. It's the first time that I've felt confortable having little kids play games with on a computer that, at the same time, is serving files. So far, there have been no lockups or crashes.

There are several benefits that I like with this situation - the customer gets a fun toy to play with, the "fileserver" is quiet and can nativly RSync it's precious files back to my servers for an offsite backup, and best of all - I get a reliable computer thats good for my reputation.

Really, the fullfilment of dream for an easy to use Unix has snuck up on us in the form of a Luxo Jr. lamp.

Few remaining issues before I switch... (1)

Trilaka (172371) | more than 11 years ago | (#3744894)

I'm not sure if this is an appropriate forum for this, but I figure the Slashdot Apple community might be able to help me alleviate one concern that is stopping me from buying an iBook:

How easy is it to remap keys in Mac OS X? I know OpenStep 4.2 had a simple keyboard configurator app that allowed me to switch between various keymaps, but in my quick in-store demo of an iBook, it didn't seem that the keyboard control panel had the same functionality. I'm not looking for any huge modifications, but I will not buy a laptop if I cannot have the caps lock button act as control...

The other issues I have I'll have to take up with Apple personally (I don't want to buy an iBook if a new OS is going to come out in a couple months unless I'll get a free upgrade, and I don't want to pay $249 simply for a 3 year hardware warranty).

Re:Few remaining issues before I switch... (1)

PythonOrRuby (546749) | more than 11 years ago | (#3744960)

Thgen wait a few months for the new iBook. Jaguar is due out in August(which knowing the way they do things means the last day of August). You've obviously waited this long, so it won't kill you to wait a bit longer to get a (better) iBook with 10.2 loaded.

The other alternative is to look at it this way... The upgrade fee won't likely be in excess of $30(I paid $19.95 for the 10.1 upgrade CD which included the Dev Tools and 9.2.2 also, when I originally only ha the 10.0.3 CD). What would you pay for a point upgrade on the Windows side? Well, let's see, Win2k was essentially NT 5.0, and WinXP is basically NT 5.1, so you'd have paid $99 for that single point.

In comparison Apple's offering you a deal. Or you could just borrow the upgrade CD from someone who's already shelled out the cash for it, if you don't mind such unethical practices. ;-)

Re:Few remaining issues before I switch... (2)

foobar104 (206452) | more than 11 years ago | (#3745215)

The upgrade fee won't likely be in excess of $30(I paid $19.95 for the 10.1 upgrade CD which included the Dev Tools and 9.2.2 also, when I originally only ha the 10.0.3 CD).

Just for the record, I picked up a free 10.1 upgrade CD at the Apple Store in my home town, then downloaded the developer's tools from the Apple web site. Zero cost to go from 10.0.4 to 10.1.

Apple may or may not do something similar with Jaguar, but it's safe to say that they've set a precedent.

Re:Few remaining issues before I switch... (4, Informative)

Dephex Twin (416238) | more than 11 years ago | (#3745014)

How easy is it to remap keys in Mac OS X?
...
I'm not looking for any huge modifications, but I will not buy a laptop if I cannot have the caps lock button act as control...

I'm not sure about full keyboard re-mapping, but for your caps lock woes, there's uControl [versiontracker.com] .

Hope that helps!
mark

Re:Few remaining issues before I switch... (2)

ZxCv (6138) | more than 11 years ago | (#3745088)

I'm not entirely sure about the keymaps, but even if you buy an iBook now, it comes with coupons that will get you a free OS upgrade when its available. As well, be aware that you have up to a year after you buy the machine to decide if you want the extended warranty. In my experience, the standard 1 yr has been more than enough (the only problems I ever had with any Mac happened within that 1st year).

Re:Few remaining issues before I switch... (2)

inkswamp (233692) | more than 11 years ago | (#3745132)

How easy is it to remap keys in Mac OS X?

I don't mean to sound like I'm trying to evade or rework your question, but if this concern is in regards to using the control key vs. the Apple/command key, I would really encourage you to give the Apple approach a shot. I have worked on both Windows and Macs and find the Mac convention of using the Apple (or command) key to be preferable and I've known Windows users who have grown to prefer it as well for the simple reason that it's less physical space to stretch your fingers and that the Apple key is closer to the natural resting place of your hands on the keyboard. Even if you don't find those to be a compelling enough reasons, it's very easy to become adept at both (I switch between the conventions of both platforms easily at this point.)

Having said that, I'm sure there are utilities or hacks out there to do it. Either way, I wouldn't let such a trivial matter stand in the way.

--Rick

Re:Few remaining issues before I switch... (3, Informative)

TTop (160446) | more than 11 years ago | (#3745134)

The iBook comes with a 1 year warranty, the $249 simply extends the warranty to 3 years. You'll think that's a good deal if your LCD ever breaks. A side benefit of the extended warranty is that you also get free support for that 3 year period.

It's also worth noting that if you don't get the 3 year warranty, any time within the first year you can choose to pay the $249 to extend the warranty the additional two years.

Re:Few remaining issues before I switch... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3745142)

How easy is it to remap keys in Mac OS X?

Why, on God's green earth, would you want to do THAT!!? After 100+ years of it, is QWERTY just not that good enough anymore?

Even still, just take the thing apart and re-wire if it's THAT important.

Re:Few remaining issues before I switch... (1)

RevGregory (585273) | more than 11 years ago | (#3745349)

I'd suppose it depends on your needs. I know some people who like to swap the control and caps lock keys to match some older terminal standards - and there is a patch out there for OS X to do that (this being a particularly tough patch due to the caps lock wanting to persist as a toggle between two states.) Beyond that I'm not sure what is available as far as whole keyboard remappers, I'm sure they're not far behind.

Keymapping and OS upgrades. (1)

Aniquel (151133) | more than 11 years ago | (#3746237)

I whole-heartedly agree with you on this one. Although difficult, it is possible to remap keys under OS X. The keyboard files are in /System/Library/Keyboards. By the way, all apple computers come w/ 3 free sub-major version OS upgrades, and all minor version upgrades are free via Software Update.

Re:Few remaining issues before I switch... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3746564)

apple generally offers upgrades for free to people who have bought a new mac within 30(?) days.

Keymapper App (2, Informative)

ablair (318858) | more than 12 years ago | (#3747529)

It's not yet easy to manually remap keys in OSX, (many do with XDarwin) but you can do it by text-editing the appropriate xmodmap file you're using (Warning: the DMCA may seriously repercussions if you live in the US and try to do this... check out the scary disclaimer on this how-to [mail-archive.com] for remapping keys with XDarwin!!) This really should be something user-changeable in the System Prefs itself, under "Keyboard" and hopefully will be in Jaguar or not too long after.

In OSX, you could manually re-map the modmap file for the appropriate keymap you want to change out of the list of keymaps in the /System/Library/Keyboards/ directory (pick yours, though I think there are even more now with 10.1.5):

/System/Library/Keyboards
/System/Library/Keyboards/ACE.keyboard
/System/Library/Keyboards/ACE_102.keyboard
/System/Library/Keyboards/Apple.keyboard
/System/Library/Keyboards/AppleAdjJIS.keyboard
/System/Library/Keyboards/AppleExt.keyboard
/System/Library/Keyboards/AppleII.keyboard
/System/Library/Keyboards/AppleISO.keyboard
/System/Library/Keyboards/AppleISOExt.keyboard
/System/Library/Keyboards/AppleJIS.keyboard
/System/Library/Keyboards/Belge.keymapping
/System/Library/Keyboards/Canadian-CSA.keymapping
/System/Library/Keyboards/Canadian-ISO.keymapping
/System/Library/Keyboards/Canadien.keymapping
/System/Library/Keyboards/Dansk.keymapping
/System/Library/Keyboards/Deutsch.keymapping
/System/Library/Keyboards/Espanol.keymapping
/System/Library/Keyboards/Francais.keymapping
/System/Library/Keyboards/HIL.keyboard
/System/Library/Keyboards/HIL_ITF_JAPANESE.keyboa rd
/System/Library/Keyboards/HIL_JIS.keyboard
/System/Library/Keyboards/HP_MiniDIN_JIS.keyboard
/System/Library/Keyboards/Italiano.keymapping
/System/Library/Keyboards/Japanese.keymapping
/System/Library/Keyboards/LatinoAmericano.keymapp ing
/System/Library/Keyboards/MSN.keyboard
/System/Library/Keyboards/Netherlands.keymapping
/System/Library/Keyboards/NeXT.keyboard
/System/Library/Keyboards/Norsk.keymapping
/System/Library/Keyboards/OADG_A01.keyboard
/System/Library/Keyboards/OADG_AX.keyboard
/System/Library/Keyboards/OADG_J3100.keyboard
/System/Library/Keyboards/Portugues.keymapping
/System/Library/Keyboards/Schweizer.keymapping
/System/Library/Keyboards/Suisse.keymapping
/System/Library/Keyboards/Svenska.keymapping
/System/Library/Keyboards/TYPE5.keyboard
/System/Library/Keyboards/TYPE5_Compact.keyboard
/System/Library/Keyboards/TYPE5_Compact_JAPANESE. keyboard
/System/Library/Keyboards/TYPE5_Compact_UNIX.keyb oard
/System/Library/Keyboards/TYPE5_JAPANESE.keyboard
/System/Library/Keyboards/TYPE5_PC.keyboard
/System/Library/Keyboards/TYPE5_TUV_EUROPEAN.keyb oard
/System/Library/Keyboards/UK.keymapping
/System/Library/Keyboards/USA.keymapping
/Volumes/Mac/System/Library/Keyboards
/Volumes/Mac/System/Library/Keyboards/ACE.keyboar d
/Volumes/Mac/System/Library/Keyboards/ACE_102.key board
/Volumes/Mac/System/Library/Keyboards/Apple.keybo ard
/Volumes/Mac/System/Library/Keyboards/AppleAdjJIS . eyboard
/Volumes/Mac/System/Library/Keyboards/AppleExt.ke yboard
/Volumes/Mac/System/Library/Keyboards/AppleII.key board
/Volumes/Mac/System/Library/Keyboards/AppleISO.ke yboard
/Volumes/Mac/System/Library/Keyboards/AppleISOExt . eyboard
/Volumes/Mac/System/Library/Keyboards/AppleJIS.ke yboard
/Volumes/Mac/System/Library/Keyboards/Belge.keyma pping
/Volumes/Mac/System/Library/Keyboards/Canadian-CS A.keymapping
/Volumes/Mac/System/Library/Keyboards/Canadian-IS O.keymapping
/Volumes/Mac/System/Library/Keyboards/Canadien.ke ymapping
/Volumes/Mac/System/Library/Keyboards/Dansk.keyma pping
/Volumes/Mac/System/Library/Keyboards/Deutsch.key mapping
/Volumes/Mac/System/Library/Keyboards/Espanol.key mapping
/Volumes/Mac/System/Library/Keyboards/Francais.ke ymapping
/Volumes/Mac/System/Library/Keyboards/HIL.keyboar d
/Volumes/Mac/System/Library/Keyboards/HIL_ITF_JAP ANESE.keyboard
/Volumes/Mac/System/Library/Keyboards/HIL_JIS.key board
/Volumes/Mac/System/Library/Keyboards/HP_MiniDIN_ JIS.keyboard
/Volumes/Mac/System/Library/Keyboards/Italiano.ke ymapping
/Volumes/Mac/System/Library/Keyboards/Japanese.ke ymapping
/Volumes/Mac/System/Library/Keyboards/LatinoAmeri cano.keymapping
/Volumes/Mac/System/Library/Keyboards/MSN.keyboar d
/Volumes/Mac/System/Library/Keyboards/Netherlands . eymapping
/Volumes/Mac/System/Library/Keyboards/NeXT.keyboa rd
/Volumes/Mac/System/Library/Keyboards/Norsk.keyma pping
/Volumes/Mac/System/Library/Keyboards/OADG_A01.ke yboard
/Volumes/Mac/System/Library/Keyboards/OADG_AX.key board
/Volumes/Mac/System/Library/Keyboards/OADG_J3100. keyboard
/Volumes/Mac/System/Library/Keyboards/Portugues.k eymapping
/Volumes/Mac/System/Library/Keyboards/Schweizer.k eymapping
/Volumes/Mac/System/Library/Keyboards/Suisse.keym apping
/Volumes/Mac/System/Library/Keyboards/Svenska.key mapping
/Volumes/Mac/System/Library/Keyboards/TYPE5.keybo ard
/Volumes/Mac/System/Library/Keyboards/TYPE5_Compa ct.keyboard
/Volumes/Mac/System/Library/Keyboards/TYPE5_Compa ct_JAPANESE.keyboard
/Volumes/Mac/System/Library/Keyboards/TYPE5_Compa ct_UNIX.keyboard
/Volumes/Mac/System/Library/Keyboards/TYPE5_JAPAN ESE.keyboard
/Volumes/Mac/System/Library/Keyboards/TYPE5_PC.ke yboard
/Volumes/Mac/System/Library/Keyboards/TYPE5_TUV_E UROPEAN.keyboard
/Volumes/Mac/System/Library/Keyboards/UK.keymappi ng
/Volumes/Mac/System/Library/Keyboards/USA.keymapp ing

But of course, there's will soon be an easier way if you don't want to muck about. Michael Baltak's GPL'd DoubleCommand Deluxe [mac.com] , under development and hopefully to be released soon should offer a good amount of flexibility in custom keymapping for free. Or, to kill the bug with a sledgehammer you could get a macro utility like Quickeys [apple.com] from CE Software and map the Caps Lock key to trigger a one-key "shortcut" of your choosing (ie: map it to another key)

I wouldn't worry too much about paying to upgrade the OS to Jaguar, Apple so far has been fairly good about this sort of stuff. You could also wait a few months until Jaguar comes out and you might not need a keymapping utility at all, if you can bear to wait.

Apple Keyboards: Desktop OK; All Laptops Broken!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3747541)

I have exactly the same issue: I need the key to the left of the 'A' to be a Ctrl key. This is not just a want; it is a genuine need based upon ergonomic reasons.

All Apple desktop keyboards are USB, and they are OK. They can be reprogrammed to have the desired and needed functionality. However, all Apple laptops still have built-in ADB keyboards, and the ADB keyboards are absolutely unacceptable.

When Apple redesigns their laptop motherboards to use built-in USB keyboards, instead of built-in ADB keyboards, they will have fixed the problem. They have not yet done so.

Note: is is now possible to use the built-in ADB keyboard with Debian GNU/Linux [debian.org] , but as of yet, Apple has not made it possible for unix old-timers to use with OSX. Nor is it possible (as far as I know) to use with FreeBSD, NetBSD, or OpenBSD.

For full details on how the ADB keyboard was mis-designed, check out my previous slashdot posts. [slashdot.org]

Please note that my intention is not to troll. My intention is to warn other long-time unix users that Apple's laptop keyboards are not yet acceptable, and also to try to communicate this fact to people inside Apple. I want to effect change. I want Apple to fix this last problem, so that I can enthusiastically support them. If I didn't care, and if I didn't want to see this positive change, I wouldn't have bothered spending the time to make these posts.

Unfortunately, I have almost no hope. Apple has demonstrated for more than 10 years that they will not address the concerns of unix users [google.com] . I sincerely hope that they change their ways. The fact that they now have a very-high quality unix OS gives me hope that they might start to care about unix users.

A key point that the WSJ missed (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3744958)

From the article:
Most home Windows users tempted to switch to a Mac could do so without losing anything, and might well gain.
Unless you don't feel that becoming a homosexual is "losing anything". When will these Mac fanboy journalists bring out the truth about the massive manlust that resides in the Mac community? The gay agenda will stop at nothing in winning new anuses--whether through fashion, music, or computers.

Yatta!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3744975)

I think that apple should change it's name to Yatta! That should help it generate BILLIONS!

YATTA! YATTA! YATTA!!!

Re:Yatta!! (1)

TheGeneration (228855) | more than 11 years ago | (#3744988)

I had a friend recently who switched from Apple to PC. This guy was always a gung-ho apple user. Always telling me how much better his G4 was than my PC. I was quite surprised to see him make the switch. I suppose if a true believer like him can be converted Apple is really screwing up.

Re:Yatta!! (2)

Nomad7674 (453223) | more than 11 years ago | (#3745362)

I bought a PC about a year ago after being a Mac-only buyer for about 15 years (before that it was an Amiga, but I blush to mention it). It was not because Apple screwed up, but because my employer used PCs and it was the way to ensure I could work from home and learn some new software for work before work adopted it. I still kept my Macs for home use, and today I find myself using all of the Macs (even the ones a few years old) and the PC is collecting dust in our basement.

My point? An Apple user buying a PC is not necesarily an abrogation of the Mac. It just means that today he needed something that only PCs provide.

Hardware compliant, software future (5, Interesting)

xanthus (158940) | more than 11 years ago | (#3745038)

I could very easily have been the LAN admin [apple.com] in Apple's brilliant marketing campaign. I'm still considering writing in, if nothing else to thank them.

I just love plugging in a piece of hardware and having it work the first time. Bring home some new hardware, connect it all up, pop in software, and everything works the first time. I have equal horror stories from the PC support that I did for many years of having to wrestle with hardware and drivers that just didn't work or weren't compatible with other pieces of hardware. Oh, The Pain, The Pain!!

Apple has embraced unix which, last time I checked, leaves M$ Windows as the only non-unix home computer OS. To me, that makes me even more skittish of learning anything Windows related. I can't help but think that it would be a skill that won't transfer nicely to other computer platforms. In fact, I'm even starting for forget some PC-specific skills. :G:

The old M$/Mac war has never been an issue for me. I won't argue with people for more than 5 minutes. I just grin and say "I'm an IT person. I have several computers at home and at work. I prefer Mac over Windows." They're usual the ones who press the issue. At which point I just smile and ask them why they're being so defensive?

Re:Hardware compliant, software future (2)

b_pretender (105284) | more than 11 years ago | (#3745174)

"Apple has embraced unix which, last time I checked, leaves M$ Windows as the only non-unix home computer OS."



Although I've recently switched from using primarily Linux to using OS X on a TiBook, your argument holds very little weight. I use Win2k at work and it's solid. Furthermore, MS hired the Mach MicroKernel developers to create WinNT way back in the day. These guys are excellent and experienced OS developers and they still work at Microsoft.

Although, WindowsXP/2K may be the only non-*nix desktop OS, one can assume that it has a *nix basis, since the core team of developers do. One can especially assume that smart design decisions were for the NT kernel with regard to POSIX thread handling and what not.

Re:Hardware compliant, software future (5, Informative)

cpeterso (19082) | more than 11 years ago | (#3745357)

MS hired the Mach MicroKernel developers to create WinNT way back in the day. These guys are excellent and experienced OS developers and they still work at Microsoft.


This is not true. Yes, Mach's Rick Rashid works at Microsoft [microsoft.com] . However, he did NOT write anything for NT; he is the head of Microsoft Research. Microsoft hired Dave Cutler [microsoft.com] to write NT. Cutler worked at DEC and wrote DEC's VAX/VMS, RSX-11M and VAXELN operating systems. NT more resembles Cutler's canceled "Mira" operating system project at DEC than it does Mach. In fact, Cutler left DEC because his Mira project was canceled. He took his ideas and team of engineers to Microsoft.

WindowsXP/2K may be the only non-*nix desktop OS, one can assume that it has a *nix basis, since the core team of developers do

This is also not true. Dave Cutler hated Unix.

Re:Hardware compliant, software future (2)

Webmonger (24302) | more than 12 years ago | (#3747434)

If Windows NT (and derivatives) had a good POSIX implementation, we wouldn't need Cygwin as much.

Re:Hardware compliant, software future (1)

Dragonmaster Lou (34532) | more than 11 years ago | (#3745386)

XP/2k has no *nix basis at all. All its developers originally worked at DEC on VMS. It has a POSIX layer, but most people consider it a pretty bad impelmentation of POSIX, at best.

Re:Hardware compliant, software future (1)

bsartist (550317) | more than 12 years ago | (#3747396)

MS hired the Mach MicroKernel developers

Others have already addressed the MS side of the story - I just wanted to add that Avie Tevanian, one of the principle developers for Mach, was hired by NeXT when they were first formed, and continues to work at Apple. IIRC, he's a VP now.

The author missed an opportunity... (4, Interesting)

PythonOrRuby (546749) | more than 11 years ago | (#3745039)

As I mentioned on MacSlash.

While the WSJ author made a point of criticizing Mac interaction with corporate VPNs, he failed to mention that Macs are quite often easier to integrate into Windows networks than PCs running Windows are.

If for network interface card configuration issues alone, the Mac shines in this area, and it deserves praise for this.

Re:The author missed an opportunity... (2)

TTop (160446) | more than 11 years ago | (#3745171)

Uh, No. I am a proud iBook owner and a big proponent of OS X, but Macs do not integrate with Windows networks easier than Windows. Like printing to a MS-network printer, browsing the network, etc. For instance, if your Mac is DHCP, it will end up having the network name of whichever Windows client previously had that IP address (rather than properly updating the local DNS/WINS server with the name of your Mac), although I'll admit this could be a server issue, the integration still isn't nice or "easier".

But my biggest gripe about Mac's SMB integration is that if you copy a file from a Mac to an SMB share, for each file it copys you get a "bonus" file with the same name preceded by a ".". So copying 10 mp3s from my iBook to an SMB share deposits 10 extra turdlets on my Win2k server.

Re:The author missed an opportunity... (1)

PythonOrRuby (546749) | more than 11 years ago | (#3745319)

I don't discount your experiences, but mine(and the experiences of many other people) have been quite the opposite.

Bring the Mac in, plug it in, enter the supplied IP/DHCP information, go. There's no step four. ;-)

Bring the Dell/Gateway/HP/Compaq in, plug it in, enter the supplied information, then spend the next hour dealing with tech support, and finally get connected, but with an unreliable connection.

Re:The author missed an opportunity... (1)

SN74S181 (581549) | more than 11 years ago | (#3745496)

I have never, ever, had to call in anybody from Tech Support. Back about six months ago when I was in charge of keeping the embedded developers happy in a Telemetry lab, I could throw Windows on a box, without any third party anything, and expect it to authenticate and hook up to the DHCP server automatically. Of course, all the server side stuff was Unix at that shop...

Mossberg (3, Insightful)

Surlyboi (96917) | more than 11 years ago | (#3745097)

I've always liked Mossberg's even keel when it came
to Mac/'doze comparisons. If it works, he'll say so,
if it doesn't he's not gonna sugarcoat it. Back before
the return of Jobs, he faily accurately sized up the
trouble with Apple and called them on it. He's shown
the same attitude toward Microsoft.

No ass kissing, just what he thinks works. A refreshing
change from yesterday's Dvorak drivel.

The Apple Monopoly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3745160)

It doesn't make sense for businesses to "switch to Mac" as long as there is a hardware monopoly: just one company with machines running the Mac OS.

These companies are in for a rude shock if they convert to Apple and get screwed with the higher prices, limited availability, and other problems you get when just one company makes the hardware.

Re:The Apple Monopoly (5, Insightful)

foobar104 (206452) | more than 11 years ago | (#3745253)

It doesn't make sense for businesses to "switch to Mac" as long as there is a hardware monopoly....

The same thing could be said of any non-PC computer vendor. And yet, lots and lots of businesses use Suns and IBMs, to name two. Who makes an AS/400 besides IBM? As far as I know, no one. Does this stop businesses from buying and using them? Of course not.

Businesses have no problem whatsoever signing up for proprietary systems or solutions, as long as those solutions make good financial sense. If it's cheaper to run Macs on the desktop, they'll run Macs. Hardware "monopoly" be damned.

As an aside, I'm getting pretty tired of the widespread misuse of the word "monopoly" by the Slashdot community. It's not really a monopoly, in the strictest sense of the word, when only Apple can make Apple computers. Only Volkswagen can make the Beetle; that's not really a monopoly. You guys may wish that every product or service could be decentralized, but that's just now how the world works.

Re:The Apple Monopoly (1)

lsommerer (89441) | more than 11 years ago | (#3745722)


As an aside, I'm getting pretty tired of the widespread misuse of the word "monopoly" by the Slashdot community. It's not really a monopoly, in the strictest sense of the word, when only Apple can make Apple computers. Only Volkswagen can make the Beetle; that's not really a monopoly. You guys may wish that every product or service could be decentralized, but that's just now how the world works.

Maybe not in the strictest sense, but it's pretty darn close. If your anology was completely apt, we would be living in a world where switching from a VW Beetle to a Ford Focus would require a new garage, different gasoline, and a new kind of steering wheel. But we don't. If you get a different car, everything else works pretty much the same. But if I switch between a Windows PC and a Macintosh, I have to also spend about as much on new software.

....So you have to make sure you switch computers when it's time to upgrade software....

Re:The Apple Monopoly (2)

foobar104 (206452) | more than 11 years ago | (#3745873)

There's no question that Apple is the sole provider of Macintosh computers, and that only Macs run Mac software. But let's stop using the word "monopoly" to describe that situation. Call it a single-vendor product, or something. There's a huge difference, in the qualitative sense, between only having one vendor for Macintoshes and living in a neighborhood where AT&T is your only choice for cable television. One of those is a monopoly, and one really isn't.

Re:The Apple Monopoly (1)

lsommerer (89441) | more than 11 years ago | (#3745964)

It's not that I really disagree with you, it's just that you're choosing examples that don't support your argument well.

If you want a computer, you can choose between several hardware platforms (Wintel, Macintosh, Sparcs...). But if you decide that you want a Macintosh then you are stuck with Apple as your provider. Does that make them a monopoly? They are the sole provider of a good or service, so in that respect they are. But how does that relate to your example?

If you want to watch TV you have several choices (Cable, Satilite, Radio Waves...[?]). But if you decide that you want Cable then you're stuck with AT&T (or whomever you're stuck with). Does that make them a monopoly? I think we both agree that it does --sort of.

The platform is PC, not Wintel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3746203)

"If you want a computer, you can choose between several hardware platforms (Wintel, Macintosh, Sparcs...). "

Remember, a large percentage of PCs run AMD, not Wintel. Used PCs but not Wintels for years myself. Also, well known to the slashdot community of course, a certain number of PC's avoid having anything to do with Windows thanks to the diligence of there owners who happen to be Linux fans.

Re:The platform is PC, not Wintel (1)

lsommerer (89441) | more than 11 years ago | (#3746922)

I was actually compating Macs to Wintel machines If you use an AMD (or whatever compatible) chip to run a Microsoft OS, then I think the term Wintel still applies. Obviously if you run something else on your AMD (or Intel for that matter) chip then the term does not apply.

Re:The platform is PC, not Wintel (1)

lsommerer (89441) | more than 11 years ago | (#3746936)

Dang, I didn't read your post carefully enough. I did say hardware platforms, and probably should have said computer systems or some such. Ignore me.

Re:The Apple Monopoly (2)

foobar104 (206452) | more than 11 years ago | (#3746336)

But you're getting too specific. If you want a soda, you can buy any number of brands. But if you want a Diet Coke with Lemon, you've got only one choice.

The thing is, you're drawing a distinction between "computer" and "Macintosh." While that distinction makes a lot of sense at the technical level, it's meaningless in economic terms. A Mac and a PC are different, but they can be considered to be equivalent from a certain point of view. At that level, a Mac is just a particular variety of personal computer, of which there are several varieties from several different vendors. So the term "monopoly" doesn't apply there.

Mac is not a PC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3746433)

A Macintosh is a type of microcomputer. However, it has always bucked the standard of the PC ("personal computer") which was invented around 1982 by IBM and Microsoft. Apple does not build PCs, even though it has contributed occasionally to the PC standard.

Re:The Apple Monopoly (1)

lsommerer (89441) | more than 11 years ago | (#3746901)

While that distinction makes a lot of sense at the technical level, it's meaningless in economic terms.

No, it does make a difference in economic terms. If you want to buy a Macintosh, you have to buy it from apple. There is no competition for a Macintosh. If you do not draw a distinction between PCs and Macs then there is no economic difference.

I get the feeling we're not getting through to each other.

Hmmm .... (2)

SteveM (11242) | more than 11 years ago | (#3745879)

If your anology was completely apt, we would be living in a world where switching from a VW Beetle to a Ford Focus would require a new garage, different gasoline, and a new kind of steering wheel

New Garage? I have my G3 and PC sitting on the same desk ...

Different Gas? I plug my G3 and my PC into the same power strip ...

New Steering Wheel? Well, the PC does have a two button mouse ...

If you get a different car, everything else works pretty much the same.

Until you need replacement parts ...

Steve M

Re:Hmmm .... (1)

lsommerer (89441) | more than 11 years ago | (#3746015)

That's what I get for trying to extend an annology. Nice job ripping it to shreds. My point was the software, and that's what I was reaching for (obviously without success) with the garage, gas and wheel.

Re:Hmmm .... (2)

TheAJofOZ (215260) | more than 11 years ago | (#3746985)

That's what I get for trying to extend an annology. Nice job ripping it to shreds. My point was the software, and that's what I was reaching for (obviously without success) with the garage, gas and wheel.

No, your whole argument is flawed, not just the analogy you're using. There are some things about every product area where different products are incompatible. Fords and VWs use different tyres, parts etc, coke comes in a different bottle to Mountain Dew - it's called product differentiation. Where I work we develop an HTML editing component, we aren't a monopoly but we are not compatible with our competitors API. You either invest in one or the other, and go with it.

The same thing applies with Mac vs PC, they are both in the same product category and compete with each other, but they are incompatible. You pick one and go with it - if you decide to change you have to deal with the incompatibilities.

If Apple were a monopoly then you would never hear about them competing with anyone, because in a monopoly you don't have (noteworthy) competition. In this case though, Apple competes with Dell in the education arena, Microsoft in the OS arena and the combination of Microsoft and $PC_MAKER in the computer arena. Heck, they just launched a series of ads which highlight why Mac is better than Microsoft. If Apple has a monopoly, why are they so keen on competing with Microsoft?

Finally, note that Microsoft has a monopoly because of their size and market dominance, so while there is some competition from Apple and Linux it is deemed insignificant under US law. Apple obviously does not have a large market share (5% is not large) and so don't have a monopoly.

Re:Hmmm .... (1)

lsommerer (89441) | more than 11 years ago | (#3747054)

It's not my argument that's flawed, it's your limited understanding of what the word Monoply means. Look it up. We'll wait.

There are many companies that produce computers on which you can run Windows. There is no monoply on these. Yes, there is product differentiation here.

There is only one company that produces computers on which you can run the Macintosh OS. Now listen carefully to this, because I'm not saying anything more or less, "Apple computer has a monoploy on producing computers that can run the Macintosh OS." That has not always been the case in the past, but it certainly is now.

Re:Hmmm .... (2)

TheAJofOZ (215260) | more than 11 years ago | (#3747111)

It's not my argument that's flawed, it's your limited understanding of what the word Monoply means. Look it up. We'll wait.

I'm fully aware of what monopoly means, though Monoply doesn't seem to be at all relevant to this conversation. Furthermore, you have failed to suggest any part of the definition of monopoly that I have misunderstood.

I'm not saying anything more or less, "Apple computer has a monoploy on producing computers that can run the Macintosh OS."

Agreed, but this is a pointless statement. Microsoft have a monopoly on Windows. Apple computers are an Apple product, just as Windows is a Microsoft product. Thus, it is nonsensical to say that Apple has a monopoly on producing computers that can run the Macintosh OS because it effectively boils down to saying that Apple has a monopoly on Apple products. Thus, it is still a misuse of the term monopoly because you are essentially using a nonsensical statement to introduce a word with heavy negative connotations into the argument, effectively setting up a straw man.

Re:Hmmm .... (1)

lsommerer (89441) | more than 12 years ago | (#3747197)

Microsoft have a monopoly on Windows.

That's not what I said. And that's where you're missing the difference. Lots of people (you, me, Dell) can build computers what run Windows. There is only one company that can make computers that run the Macintosh OS.

When you are talking about that distinction, then it is the right word to use (providing you can spell it correctly). If I was comparing Apple to Microsoft, then I would fully agree with you. But I am not, and more importanly, the originaly poster who started this whole thing was not either.

Err (0)

mclaren_1010 (541130) | more than 11 years ago | (#3745163)

Cons: "Slower processor speed"
Is this debate still going on?

speed differences? (1)

jchristopher (198929) | more than 11 years ago | (#3745560)

Does Mr. Mossberg point out the dramatic speed difference between the GUI of Windows 2000 and Mac OS X? He should, if he really wants to write an impartial article.

Many, many people get their computers via mail order and never have a chance to try them in person until they've already paid. Macs in particular can be VERY difficult to return for a refund once you've opened the box. Because of this, many people won't have the opportunity to use OS X prior to purchase.

OS X, even on the G4 iMac, still lags. People should know prior to making a purchase decision.

Re:speed differences? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3745760)

Jaguar should fix this... at least on every Macs that have a recent graphic cards (GeForce or Radeon)...

Apple customers are screwed in this regard. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3746242)

"Many, many people get their computers via mail order and never have a chance to try them in person until they've already paid. Macs in particular can be VERY difficult to return for a refund once you've opened the box. "

Yes, the company has a monopoly in this arena. Don't like Apple's policies? You are screwed. Not a problem at all with the PC environment, where there is a very large number of vendors that do compete with each other.

I know this from experience. In my area, if I want an Apple, I have to go to an "authorized apple dealer" which closes hours before many of the PC sellers close. Guess they don't to sell computers. They even open much later too. This is part of an actual intentional policy to limit dealers and make Macintosh machines harder to obtain.

Re:Apple customers are screwed in this regard. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3746691)

your full of shit

Re:speed differences? (2)

PsychoSpunk (11534) | more than 11 years ago | (#3746258)

Does Mr. Mossberg point out the dramatic speed difference between the GUI of Windows 2000 and Mac OS X? He should, if he really wants to write an impartial article.

Does jchristopher have a reference beyond the vagueness of "OS X, even on the G4 iMac, still lags."? He should, if he really wants to write an impartial post.

My experience with my G3/500 iBook has been greatly improved since the release of 10.1.5. So, if this was meant as an attempt to be insightful to the lagginess of the GUI, then let's be fair. Set up a Win2K machine that pushes all of the GUI through a PDF rendering level using software based rendering. Since you're moving the processing from the GPU to the CPU, and you're comparing to the new iMac, this theoretical Win2K machine can only utilize a P4/1GHz (I'm feeling generous). Compare this machine with a normal Win2K machine, a new iMac with = 10.1.4, and a new iMac with 10.1.5.

Oh, one other thing, both Win2K machines are required to move the GUI out of kernel-space (what's it in there for anyway? That's just begging for a user-space program to crash the whole system).

Re:speed differences? (1)

jchristopher (198929) | more than 11 years ago | (#3746606)

As the user, I don't particularly care that OS X is slow because it's running the GUI through PDF, and I suspect that quite a few others don't care either! I know it's slow because it's pdf. But I want it to be responsive, like Windows 2000, and the REASON it's not doesn't concern me. That's Apple's problem.

Re:speed differences? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3746539)

maybe if you read the article before you open your close minded pie hole you would know and would spare us the redundancy of your post.

Re:speed differences? (1)

bsartist (550317) | more than 12 years ago | (#3747430)

Does Mr. Mossberg point out the dramatic speed difference

No, as the summary says, he wrote a balanced article, not a one-sided bashing.

ahh, a spoonful of sugar... (0, Troll)

Newtlink (300635) | more than 11 years ago | (#3746269)

to go with the steaming fistful of bullshit served up in print, again..

"Slower processor speed.."

--
as relative to what?? to a shit peecee??

peecees need the extra freq to deal with shitty memory management.. and all the shitty india-borne crap win-coding from some dirt hovel in bangladesh.. "100,000 more lines of code before you get your bowl of rice, Patel.."
--

"All come with Mac OS X, the new Apple operating system, which rarely crashes and is on a par with Windows XP.."

--
ON PAR?? yet more bile from the bowels of an inferior sub-human windows cretin..

using xp is like a really bad case of the beer-shits..

--

"It's easier today than ever to use a Mac in a Windows world and to share information. This is true partly because the Internet and e-mail don't distinguish between computing platforms. As users spend more time online and less time running boxed software, compatibility with software becomes less of an issue.."

--
this actually has to be explained to the win-cretin set.. the center of the universe does not revolve around redmond, washington..

yet, this is another arguement FOR middleware and that passive-aggressive shit branded ".net"..

so, i this is not positive press for the Mac or Apple..

this is a case of "they are still 5% trying to fit in OUR windows world, but as MSFT tells us, we are number one.. they are shit with pretty boxes that still don't work."..

so FUCK him, FUCK the WSJ and FUCK MICROSOFT..

and if your a x86 peecee user..

FUCK YOU, YOU COMPLETE IDIOT RAT-BASTARD.. DIG YOUR HEAD OUT OF YOUR RECTUM, WIPE THE SHIT FROM YOUR EYES AND FINALLY REALIZE THAT YOU'VE BEEN DUPED..

and you passive Mac users make me sick.. sip your high-priced lattes and passively accept this shit from your win-cretin "friends" and the popular press.. but, feel good about it all..

FUCK YOU. I USE A MAC.

WWW.APPLE.COM/FUCKYOU

That should be the new ad campaign..

Fast processor speed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3746417)

" "Slower processor speed.."
as relative to what?? to a shit peecee??"


If a machine costs a lot more and has a slower processer, it might look more like Mr Hankey than the cheaper one that is faster.

"ON PAR?? yet more bile from the bowels of an inferior sub-human windows cretin."

They are not really on par. Compared to Windows XP, the Mac-OS runs hardly any software.

"[and if you are a PC user]
FUCK YOU, YOU COMPLETE IDIOT RAT-BASTARD.. DIG YOUR HEAD OUT OF YOUR RECTUM, WIPE THE SHIT FROM YOUR EYES AND FINALLY REALIZE THAT YOU'VE BEEN DUPED.."


Duped? By paying a lot less for a machine that is faster, can do a lot more, and has more options than an Apple product?

"and you passive Mac users make me sick..."

Save the evangelish for the church.

"FUCK YOU. I USE A MAC."

I think you are doing it to yourself.

"I hate microsoft"

Without Microsoft, there would be no Apple. A few years ago, when Apple was about to die due to its ongoing "customer be damned" mode, M$ bailed it out. Apple is little more than Microsoft's beard to shield it from monopoly charges. How do you like it that Apple right now is little more than a part of M$ business strategy.

Re:Fast processor speed (0)

Ravendon (52608) | more than 11 years ago | (#3746878)

"If a machine costs a lot more and has a slower processer, it might look more like Mr Hankey than the cheaper one that is faster."

Processor speed comparisons between different families are totally bogus. The only way megahertz means anything is a comparison between processors in the SAME family. You can have a 500 mhz 68x0 processor and a 400 mhz G3 and the slower processor would actually be quite a bit faster.

"They are not really on par. Compared to Windows XP, the Mac-OS runs hardly any software."

Not sure what you are talking about. Mac OS? Do you mean Mac OS X or Mac OS 9? Or Mac OS 8? Macs run all Mac programs fine. And with virtual PC they can run all windows programs also. Try running a Dos based game under XP. Or Rune. Or are you talking about variety rather than compatibility? There are quite a large amount of applications that won't run under XP. Or they will run, however, the installer won't run. So, you need to boot into a dual partition scheme and install from Windows 98 to a shared fat 32 partition. Crazy stuff like that.

"Duped? By paying a lot less for a machine that is faster, can do a lot more, and has more options than an Apple product?"

You get what you pay for. Macs can do everything a PC can and usually easier. You can recompile the source from any program written for a Posix compliant OS, edit the makefile and you are now running all Linux and Unix applications, along with running Mac OS X applications. You can create Applescript scripts that can control Terminal.app as well as unix scripts that can control Terminal.app. You can also control Applescript using unix scripts. You can automate and control anything with Mac OS X. You won't find that on PC's. Plus, you have backwords compatibility with Mac OS 9 apps under Classic.

"Save the evangelish for the church."

Save the English lessons for school.

"Without Microsoft, there would be no Apple. A few years ago, when Apple was about to die due to its ongoing "customer be damned" mode, M$ bailed it out. Apple is little more than Microsoft's beard to shield it from monopoly charges. How do you like it that Apple right now is little more than a part of M$ business strategy."

Without Apple, Microsoft would have died very early on and would never have been able to get to the point where they could buy DOS and backstab it's way to the IBM contract. Learn your history lessson. Or did you skip those lessons along with your English lessons?

Also, without Apple, a lot of other companies would have died an early death. This includes gaming companies such as Electronic Arts and Sierra On-Line.

Anywho, without Apple paying Microsoft for use of it's 6502 Basic Interpreter, they would have become bankrupt. They had used up almost all their money up to that point.

Btw, Microsoft's payment wasn't to avoid monopoly charges. That's a myth. They settled out of court for payments due on licensing of the GUI from Apple. Oh, yeah, you missed that lesson also. Microsoft licensed Windows 1.0 and Windows 3.x until version 3.11, when they stopped payments. The agreement was that Apple would drop all future litigation in exchange for a $150 million investment in Apple non-voting stock. This is in addition to untold millions of dollars of additional monies being transferred to Apple in various non public forms.

In addition, Microsoft signed a technology agreement with Apple for 5 years where each company had access to each others source code and promised continued development for each other's platforms. So, Apple had access to parts of the underlying source to Windows 95, 98, ME, W2K, NT4 ,XP code, and most of their applications, not just the APIs. Microsoft had access to parts of the Mac OS 7 - 9.x code as well as Mac OS X code. Plus, they had unrestricted licenses to use each other's copyrights and patents for that 5 year period, which ended recently.

People have been saying a lot of crap about how Apple was going to die throughout it's history. But, what most people don't realize is that even before Jobs came back in 97, Apple had been INCREASING it's profits and had built up a few Billion dollars in reserves. Now, can you name many PC companies that have been around as long as Apple has? Dell? May 1984. Gateway? 1985. Compaq? Houston, 1982. lol As far as I can tell, only IBM and HP have been around longer then Apple. I can picture the commercials. "Dude, you are gonna buy a machine from a company that's been around since May, 1984!" lol How about "Dude, you are gonna buy a machine from a company that's been around since 1976 and has won more awards, such as the Oscar and The Grammy, then any other company around!"

PCs better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3746976)

"You get what you pay for. Macs can do everything a PC can and usually easier"

No, Macs can do only a fraction of the things a PC can do, and only sometimes easier. Usually harder. Things do improve a whole lot if you run a PC emulator on the Macintosh.

Otherwise, the Mac excels only in certain niche applications (desktop video). For most everything else, a PC is better, much cheaper, and much easier.
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