Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Mac OS X Switcher Stories

michael posted about 12 years ago | from the not-stoned-at-all dept.

OS X 795

spid writes "Tim O'Reilly posted an interesting article about people switching from other OSes (Mac OS, Windows, Linux) to Mac OS X. The resounding consensus is that most folks appreciate how, compared to these other OSes, Mac OS X 'just works.' O'Reilly also makes an interesting point that UNIX/Linux users, rather than Windows users, would be the best target niche for Apple's 'switch' campaign."

cancel ×


Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

no comments yet? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4118051)

by george, it's an FP!

Linux... (1)

Malduin (207683) | about 12 years ago | (#4118056)

...just works! I guess with an underlying *nix core, things seem to just work better. Wouldn't it be interesting to see a version of Windows with a *nix core?

Re:Linux... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4118115)

it's called WinNT and it has a VMS core

Re:Linux... (0)

stalbott972 (569919) | about 12 years ago | (#4118162)

Strange I thought it was called Lindows, but maybe thats just my deranged imagination for the morning.

Re:Linux... (4, Insightful)

DrXym (126579) | about 12 years ago | (#4118191)

Linux only "just works" if you're prepared to wade through manuals and waste hours screwing around with config files. OS X isn't perfection incarnate but it beats to Linux in terms of usability by miles. A novice can use it and that's the point.

Now there is a 'nix based OS that shows it can be done, the Linux distros should follow suit. It is no wonder that Linux "isn't on the desktop" given the current attitude of RTFM that pervades.

Re:Linux... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4118269)

I've never had to wade through manuals.


Re:Linux... (2, Troll)

rseuhs (322520) | about 12 years ago | (#4118245)

Linux not only works, it also has (and the Macies will crucify me for saying this) the best user interface, KDE.

In KDE I can have all the nice features that make me more productive: Multiple desktops, well designed icons optimized for recognizablility, 3 mouse-buttions supported consistently along the GUI, additional Unix-style copy-paste, better configurability, menubar-applets, etc. etc.

I admin, MacOSX *looks* great (but so does Keramik which will become the default in KDE 3.1 - also KDE2/3-default might look a bit conservative but it's certainly not ugly.). Anyway, but how does looking great benefit my productivity? I'd rather have several desktops (and 266DDR RAM) than better looking windows. I'd rather have icons which I can recognize instantly than unrecognizable thumbnails of real pictures.

Maybe I've misssed something, but can one MacOSX user tell me a GUI-feature that makes MacOSX better than KDE3, productivity-wise? The way I see it, MacOSX is like Windows-GUI just slightly different. If you want the real thing you need a real Unix-GUI like KDE.


Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4118061)

This is guide is written by slashdot readers for slashdot readers. Got a suggestion? suggest it by replying this discussion thread

1. Do not touch or attempt to touch a UFO that has landed. Passing through the Earth's atmosphere the skin of the craft will be hot. There is also a possibility of radiation. There is also a chance of steam being produced from the heated hull at the landing site.

2. Do not stand under a hovering UFO at low altitude. There is a possibility of radiation danger.

3. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO CONTACT ALIENS if they appear, any movement on your part may constitute an act of aggression. If possible, back away VERY slowly. Make no gestures what so ever.

4. Note the shape and size of the craft, use nearby objects for a size comparison.

5. If you can take some photographs but ... BE VERY CAREFUL. Flash photography may be seen as an act of agression, and could even have harmful effects on the aliens. The use of a tripod might also be confused with a dangerous weapon.

6. Do not touch any artifact from an alien spacecraft, the artifact may be dangerous, leave this to the authorites.

7. Get away from the area QUICKLY. Inform the local authorites or the military.


TrollBurger (575126) | about 12 years ago | (#4118141)

8. Do not attempt to have sex with the aliens. The alien's semen might have acid in it, and will melt the insides of your ass. Also SPECIAL NOTE TO TACO: Don't TacoSnot the semen either, it will melt your face off.

9. Offer the aliens a burger. They've just been on a trip that must have taken many millions of lightwears, they're probably a bit peckish.

10. Don't install WindowsXP on their spaceship computers, beczus WiDOWS XP IS TEH GHEY FOR FAGG3TS, AND WIL PROBALY CRASH THERE COMPUTARS> UUSE LUNIX INSTED OK THNX.

11. Don't tell the aliens about Slashdot, Jerry Springer, or America. The aliens are probably trying to find intelligent life.


Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4118206)

Thanks TrollBurger. A edited version of your comments will appear in all new versions of guide. I removed some offensvie parts and improved your grammar.


Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4118229)

Apparently you forgot to check spelling...


Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4118241)

hey buddy. my language is my own. stay out of my face

Few posts... (0)

j0hn_paul (571365) | about 12 years ago | (#4118062)

but the link is \.'ed already.

Switched, and then switched back (4, Insightful)

agentZ (210674) | about 12 years ago | (#4118066)

I'm a GNU/Linux user and have been since about 1995. I bought a Mac Powerbook laptop a few weeks ago, but ended up selling it after only a few days. Yes, it was sleeker, cooler, and generally nicer to look at than my current hodge-podge of hardware and software, but I decided that it wasn't for me. Yes, right now I have to tinker a little bit to keep things running, but I enjoy that. I realize that puts me in the minority of people in the "Real World," but I can understand how the Apple way isn't for everybody.

Don't get wrong, I think it's a great system, especially for people who aren't computer gurus, but it's not for me. The main thing was that OS X didn't offer me anything "new." There wasn't a compelling reason for me to learn a whole new set of shortcuts and keyboard commands in order to do what I'm already doing.

Re:Switched, and then switched back (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4118166)

Really, who did you sell a 3-day-old laptop to? What made you decide after a couple of days that a multiple thousand dollar investment wasn't for you, and why didn't you research it ahead of time? As a Linux user, are shortcuts really that difficult to master compared to needing to update your system every few days to keep it from crashing? Oh, right, you're full of shit.

Re:Switched, and then switched back (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4118198)

You enjoy tinkering with laptops? good luck with that even on the pc platform. Laptop hardware is mostly propreitary even on the pc platform and can't be tinkered with much.

Did you know they have linux for mac and it runs great? I suppose not. Enjoy tinkering with and updating linux's hacked together shit gui's while others get work done with OS X.

Re:Switched, and then switched back (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4118260)

What a fucking obvious lie. You don't sell a few-day-old laptop, you return it for what you paid for it.

Re:Switched, and then switched back (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4118266)

These switched, then swithched back stories are all bogus and feature no real evidence as to why the switcher switched back. In this case, the user simply says: "It wasn't for me" without offering any credible statements regarding "why" it didn't work. Quite frankly, I think these people are lying, and they didn't switch in the first place.

Re:Switched, and then switched back (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4118280)

You are obviously either stupid or a troll. I haven't decided which.

windows has the majority of the market (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4118069)

linux is far less widespread than windows, and is far more stable... basically why advertise to a small group (linux fans) instead of the masses of unhappy windowz users?

Re:windows has the majority of the market (1)

OSgod (323974) | about 12 years ago | (#4118113)

Mistakes made:

1. You are assuming that masses of windows users are unhappy.
2. You are assuming that the now significant Linux installed base is not something that would benefit Apple greatly (perhaps putting them back over 10% of market share again -- a great day for Apple).
3. You are neglecting the three horse race -- Windows/Apple/Other
A. Windows XP is pretty and functional
B. Apple OSX is pretty and functional and unix
C. Other ranges from attractive to down-right ugly -- from workable and reliable to intolerably rough and trash

If you are going for market share attack your weakest non Apple OS's. I.e.: Older versions of Windows, anyone in the other category. Don't do a prolonged attack on the first phase -- see who falls out and how much you gain then come back again in a second pass to work on the niche's you have identified.

Re:windows has the majority of the market (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4118228)

1. I work in a large electronics company. I can't find a single Windows user here (out of thousands) who is happy with Windows. The main complaint is that about every ten seconds you hit some sort of unexplained pause or GUI retardedness or something.

3. Windows XP functional? Our IT people tested it out recently to prepare a report for the big shots to make the decision to upgrade or not. Last I heard they were still running screaming into the hills, and our finance people told MS they can stuff their licensing scheme.

In fact, in this Windows hardened company run by PC-fanatics, there's a buzz about trying a limited switch to Mac OS X. Someone realized that OS X would play better with the Sun workstations than Windows.

Re:windows has the majority of the market (3, Informative)

chesapeake (264414) | about 12 years ago | (#4118220)

Apple, does in fact, advertise to Linux users. Inside the cover of New Scientist, 29 June 2002 (AU edition) there is a double page advertisement entitled: "Sends other UNIX boxes to /dev/null."

A copy of this ad can be seen here. []

They really are targeting OS X at the scientific Unix crowd, even Linux, as the ad says: "'After two-and-a-half years of Linux, I've finally found joy in a UNIX operating system. And I found it when I purchased a Macintosh - the first one I've ever owned.' - John Hummel Jr., The Gamers' Press"

While I can see them winning business off expensive Unix hardware, I wonder how effective they will be in targetting linux users.

No... (0)

Xentor (600436) | about 12 years ago | (#4118071)

Ever since the first time I saw a computer science lab full of iMacs, I've had no respect for anything related to Apple... Just too depressing... Yeah, so they've adopted *nix... Too little, too late...

Switch? Nope. (5, Insightful)

DesScorp (410532) | about 12 years ago | (#4118075)

Switch to OSX from Linux? OSX is an incredible OS, but as long as I have to buy proprietary Apple hardware, and pay full price for minor upgrades, Apple can forget getting any of my money. Don't get me wrong.....technically, Apple got it right with OSX. But I still like the freedom of building my own machines as I need them. Apples are great for people that need convienience most of all, and have lots of cash to burn. The rest of us will continue to roll our own.

Re:Switch? Nope. (4, Interesting)

sporty (27564) | about 12 years ago | (#4118121)

I was the same way, but between OSX getting the OS right, following FreeBSD's layout (imho :) and not wanting to worry about hardware anymore, it was a clear winner for me.

As for the minor upgrade thing, $100 a year to keep on the ball isn't bad, especially for a "good" company like apple. Yes, don't bring up quicktime, it's been said and said again. But that is a different argument. Frankly, Apple needs the support. I equate it to giving charity to your favourite free software developer, in the case of Apple.

Re:Switch? Nope. (...and you never will) (1)

RawCode (464152) | about 12 years ago | (#4118123)

I doubt you will ever see Apple sell the OS X for any other platform. Thats the genius of Apple's business model; Want the OS? Gotta but the hardware (which is not cheap). They got it right. Let just hope Microsoft doesnt try this.

Re:Switch? Nope. (...and you never will) (2, Interesting)

mwjlewis (602559) | about 12 years ago | (#4118212)

They got it right. Let just hope Microsoft doesn't try this.

Why not? Isn't that the primary goal, A stable OS, that is easy to use and configure. I don't have ANY problem with MS using a BSD/UNIX/LINUX kernel. I have a problem with MS and their method to create a proprietary PC platform.

IMHO - The majority of /. users disgust with MS is not the OS, but the desire to make the computing platform proprietary, and non standards compliant.

Don't flame me for supporting MS. I am not supporting them, just making a point.

I felt the same way until I broke down and got one (0)

BoomerSooner (308737) | about 12 years ago | (#4118200)

Once you use it for about a month Linux seems very immature and the GUI is far superior to Gnome/KDE/Enlightenment. Plus it has ssh sftp ... all built in so nothing to even install to get to my Linux servers. Don't get me wrong I love linux, it just has a million miles to go to catch up to OS X on the desktop, plus os x has better apps > flash, quicktime, photoshop, illustrator, ...

The cost is not that great (as long as you use a monitor through vga instead of the adc connections) and if you desire a 3 button mouse simply buy one (I did > MS Optical has drivers for OS8.6+ and OS X).

Go look on eBay and get a used one to try it out, just give it a chance and go in with an open mind (like all you Linux users expect windows users to do).

Re:Switch? Nope. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4118281)

Apples are great for people that need convienience most of all,

You hit the nail right on the head - Apples are great for people with something better to do than maintain their computer.

(Which happens to be the entire point of their marketing campaign. Surprise, surprise)

Port it for crying out loud! (1, Insightful)

Quasar1999 (520073) | about 12 years ago | (#4118077)

I'd switch if OSx ran on an x86. But it doesn't, and I don't like dealing with the PPC architecture... It's costly, and difficult to get hardware for (since the BIOS code on such things as PCI cards, needs to be in PPC opcode format, not x86 opcode format).

Re:Port it for crying out loud! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4118145)

I think it's supposed to be in FCode. Too bad PCs don't use OpenFirmware too...

Re:Port it for crying out loud! (1)

tacokill (531275) | about 12 years ago | (#4118204)

Agreed! This OS would sell millions of copies if it ran on x86 instead of PPC.

As the poster mentioned, cost is the biggest issue here. Until its on x86, cost will remain the biggest issue.

Re:Port it for crying out loud! (2)

sporty (27564) | about 12 years ago | (#4118208)

Apple is in the buisness of selling complete solutions starting with hardware. That's a good chunk of their money. Would all those that switched from a pc to a mac for a "better" os have done so if they could have run it on a pc? Doubt it.

Re:Port it for crying out loud! (1)

Malduin (207683) | about 12 years ago | (#4118253)

Yes, but there are many a PC user that refuse to switch to Apple hardware due to the cost. If it were ported to the x86 platform, they could at least grab part of that market that would otherwise have nothing to do with Apple at all.

Sure, they may not have as many PC users switch to Apple hardware at that point, but that loss would probably be made up by the sales of the OS X port to the x86.

Heh.. if they were to port it, maybe they could call it MacOS X(86).

It's the interface, man!!! (2)

Ghengis (73865) | about 12 years ago | (#4118080)

It's a *nix (BSD, I believe) core with a really slick interface... I mean REALLY slick. I'd love to see Gnome or KDE work like that, so that I wouldn't have to spend 3 grand to enjoy it. (I know you can get the machines for cheaper, but come on... how can you pass up SuperDrive and the top of the line processor/RAM/HD ?)

"swishing" to Apple (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4118082)

Dear Apple,

I am a homosexual. I bought an Apple computer because of its well earned reputation for being "the" gay computer. Since I have become an Apple owner, I have been exposed to a whole new world of gay friends. It is really a pleasure to meet and compute with other homos such as myself. I plan on using my new Apple computer as a way to entice and recruit young schoolboys into the homosexual lifestyle; it would be so helpful if you could produce more software which would appeal to young boys. Thanks in advance.

with much gayness,

Father Randy "Pudge" O'Day, S.J.

osX for PC (4, Interesting)

slhack3r (324207) | about 12 years ago | (#4118088)

I'd "switch" TODAY if I could install osX on my PC.

After switching from Windows to Linux last year, I recently got a job working with 3 osX server machines and a large network of osX machines (it's a newspapaer, the boss is so sold on Macs that I can't even say PC at work). Initial scepticism aside, I love these machines. They do just work, as servers as well as clients.

Haven't Apple OS's always (1)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | about 12 years ago | (#4118090)

"just work(ed)"? The only news recently is that Apple's marketing department finally figured out this might be a differentiating feature of their product.

No Apple OS's haven't always "just worked." (1)

redfenix (456698) | about 12 years ago | (#4118170)

When I was in college, I worked on an AVID machine (a Mac with specially fitted h/w for post-production TV work) and it was always having problems.

Not to mention my experience with the PowerPC. I can't count how many times the little "bomb" popped up on that one.

Re:No Apple OS's haven't always "just worked." (2)

smack.addict (116174) | about 12 years ago | (#4118238)

Your experience is not relevant. It is with technologies that were, at the time, cutting edge on a different operating system that was not multi-tasking and did not have protected memory.

Two sides... (5, Interesting)

FortKnox (169099) | about 12 years ago | (#4118091)

Yes, I see how Linux users may be the more likely candidate to pick up a Mac. Familiar *nix feel, sweet desktop and windows manager, kick ass hardware. What is there not to like?

On the other side, what's not to like? THE PRICE! Most Linux users have a Linux box that isn't the biggest and best machine, just a box with spare parts that you put together (cause, hell, it works GREAT on subpar hardware). Not many get stuff like GeForce4 cards, because the 3D gaming market hasn't really hit Linux hard. Now, to switch, you have to buy a fairly expensive machine. Personally, I'd rather spend the money on a PC, because I'm a gamer, and that's where my cash usually goes.

Re:Two sides... (1)

swordfish666 (518548) | about 12 years ago | (#4118264)

You are totally right.

My Linux box: Old Fujitsu Laptop PII 300/96ram.
My GameBox:Win2K/PIII733/512ram/GeForce2.

I was once a Mac admin (stop laughing) and I didn't do much either. But when it came time to replace the old Mac's with the G3's is when we switched to PC's.
Then it was 1 G3 = 2 Dell's now 1 G4 = 3 or 4 Wal-Mart Specials.

As a linux user... (2, Interesting)

Eugene O'Neil (140081) | about 12 years ago | (#4118093)

O'Reilly also makes an interesting point that UNIX/Linux users, rather than Windows users, would be the best target niche for Apple's "switch" campaign.

As a Linux user, I agree, at least partly: Linux users are the most likely people to switch from Windows to Macintosh. I was never able to live with just Linux, I always used to have at least one Windows partition somewhere. Now I find that having a Macintosh around the house helps me sever my last ties with Microsoft. I'm still not giving up Linux, but Macintosh is a nice compliment to it.

How have I "Switched", running Linux X apps w/KDE? (5, Interesting)

korpiq (8532) | about 12 years ago | (#4118095)

Here I sit, writing on MacOSX IE 6, waiting Software Update to install new version of OpenSSL on the background. I use apt-get (fink), KDE and Emacs, develop software on this iBook and run it on *nix machines over network, be it command-line or X11, thru openssh.

I have not switched. This was, with it's 6 hour uptime, the best *nix-laptop I could afford.

I have not "switched", nor have I to "switch" back when someone puts out a better laptop. I just use whatever *nix is applicable to me. Yellow Dog, yeah, I would try, but I don't need to fix what is not broken.

Apple simply did not break BSD when they created Darwin.

I meant: "freedom" is unlimited ability to switch (2)

korpiq (8532) | about 12 years ago | (#4118154)

Switching back and forth between different boxes all supporting your standard toolset is "freedom". Apple is in the game as long as they support it; soon as they start "locking" (see the excellent interview of Dre), they're out. Wish it were the same for every company.

Fix your laws, United Slaves of America!

It just works? (2)

13Echo (209846) | about 12 years ago | (#4118097)

The anecdotal evidence suggests too that Apple and its third-party developers do in fact need to do more to entice existing users to switch.

Let me build my own box.

Re:It just works? (5, Insightful)

sql*kitten (1359) | about 12 years ago | (#4118225)

Let me build my own box.

Then it wouldn't "just work". Say what you like about Microsoft, they support a vast range of hardware, and that's one of the reasons they software is sometimes unreliable. The only way Apple products can "just work" is if Apple maintains absolute control over the hardware their software runs on.

Re:It just works? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4118252)

I think that was what he was joking about.

It was a metaphor of sorts.

Re:It just works? (2)

Spencerian (465343) | about 12 years ago | (#4118250)

Apple won't you build your own Mac box anymore than Porsche would give you the parts to build your own custom sports car.

Some things in the world are custom-built for a reason. They tend to work better on average than a commodity system. Example: 1970's American cars vs. Japanese cars. There was a reason why a lot of us bought those Japanese cars. Inexpensive does not necessarily equate to better in some people's minds.

You're an exception, and that's OK--it's why Apple supports their Darwin project--the Mac OS X core is open source and works for x86 as well as PowerPC iron. Doesn't have all the OS X bells and whistles, but it sounds like you'd enjoy tinkering.

What's going on... (1)

passthecrackpipe (598773) | about 12 years ago | (#4118098)

More and more I get the impression that there are people from within the Open Source community that are actively working against Open Source and GNU/Linux on the desktop. What's up with that?

Mac OS X ain't all that (0, Troll)

Meleneth (104287) | about 12 years ago | (#4118103)

It's nice and all, but not that great. Definatly a step waaaay up from Mac OS 9, and much smoother than windows.

I have a TiBook 667 with a Rage128 card, and it's pretty fast. I'd use it all the time except under my fink install both enlightenment and windowmaker crash at startup. Also it's interoperability with linux blows - it cannot mount any kind of ext2 filesystem, and hfs+ is not supported by linux yet. Sure, I could use hfstools and copy stuff off the HD... (I think) but I want it to just mount. I'm also kindof bugged by having to set my NFS servers up for insecure mode. Not really because I have to change the settings on my boxes, as much as getting the settings changed on other machines.

So, I've installed gentoo on it instead. I'm usually a debian fanatic, but I thought I'd check it out, since I'd already messed up my debian install by totally hosing my kernel when I compiled it myself. First kernel build on the new machine, totally going to break. We don't need to steenking backups ;)

So anyways, gentoo has given me all the linux goodness I need. I won't say it was easy to set up - X11 didn't get my keyboard type at all, and I actually had to resort to hand hacking a ~/.Xmodmap file in order to use my keyboard in Xwindows. It's mostly usable now, only a few more symbols and all the keys will actually be typeable.

On top of that, I can actually play divx files. Divx support for mac os X is bad - the few files that actually play the sound skips horribly. And ogg vorbis support sucks too (i.e. imusic doesn't support it)

I love my linux boxen. *sniff*


Re:DivX on OSX (2)

CynicTheHedgehog (261139) | about 12 years ago | (#4118185)

DivX support on OSX is bad - if you use QuickTime. VideoLAN Client [] plays my DivX files perfectly on my 700MHz iBook. There is a small compatibility glitch if you have QuickTime 6 installed, but setting your display to Thousands of Colors instead of Millions of Colors fixes it. It's free, it's fast, and it lets you watch movies in full screen without the QuickTime tax.

Apple doesn't seem that interested in getting DivX to work well in QuickTime. Instead, they're pushing their own MPEG4 format. VLC is definitely the way to go.

Re:DivX on OSX (1)

Meleneth (104287) | about 12 years ago | (#4118232)

sweet, I'll have to check into that. Thank you :)

Re:Mac OS X ain't all that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4118209)

Definatly[sic] a step waaaay up from Mac OS 9, and much smoother than windows

Bleh... it still doesn't run Talking Moose!

What I find nice about OSX (2)

CrazyDuke (529195) | about 12 years ago | (#4118104)

OSX works without having to know to hack configs and source, but if you want to, the ability to drop into its unix core is still there. It is both easy to use and powerful at the same time.

This is all I'm going to say (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4118105)

This is all I'm going to say []

What's OSX? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4118107)

I would switch, but I don't know what I'd be switching to, because I can't see any of the Quicktime demos on the Apple website...

Re:What's OSX? (1)

Malduin (207683) | about 12 years ago | (#4118147)

Why not?

Didn't these guys [] fix that for you?

Re:What's OSX? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4118197)


My point is that I shouldn't have to pay $ to a third party in order to view marketing material for a product from the company that could've a) used an open format or b) produced a player for their own format

Seriously, I'm supposed to be their target market!

Theres a valid point or two in there. (1)

sirinek (41507) | about 12 years ago | (#4118110)

Linux users would be one group to target but theres such a small percentage of us, I'm not sure its worth it for Apple to pursue.

It'd sure be nice though if the two main unix desktop environments "just worked". Right now, GNOME is a configuration nightmare and KDE ships with a broken browser among other quirks. OSX is a godsend compared to the two of them.

Apple's doing right by targetting Windows users who want stuff to "just work" compared to Linux users who dont mind tinkering a bit. Lets not second guess them. :)



Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4118112)

This is a guide is written by slashdot readers for slashdot readers. Got a suggestion? suggest it by replying this discussion thread
  1. Do not touch or attempt to touch a UFO that has landed. Passing through the Earth's atmosphere the skin of the craft will be hot. There is also a possibility of radiation. There is also a chance of steam being produced from the heated hull at the landing site.
  2. Do not stand under a hovering UFO at low altitude. There is a possibility of radiation danger.
  3. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO CONTACT ALIENS if they appear, any movement on your part may constitute an act of aggression. If possible, back away VERY slowly. Make no gestures what so ever.
  4. Note the shape and size of the craft, use nearby objects for a size comparison.
  5. If you can take some photographs but ... BE VERY CAREFUL. Flash photography may be seen as an act of agression, and could even have harmful effects on the aliens. The use of a tripod might also be confused with a dangerous weapon.
  6. Do not touch any artifact from an alien spacecraft, the artifact may be dangerous, leave this to the authorites.
  7. Get away from the area QUICKLY. Inform the local authorites or the military.

O'Reilley doesn't care (0, Troll)

SpanishInquisition (127269) | about 12 years ago | (#4118117)

Whatever platform you switch to, they are going to sell you a shitload of books anyway, in fact they want you to switch as often as possible so you end up owning all the books they publish and end up bankrupt.

oh yeah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4118118)

from the article:
"It's taken a coupla weeks and several false starts -- but I'm getting more and more enthusiastic about X. And (as I am about to write in some "public" comments) David Pogue's Mac OS X: The Missing Manual is an absolutely stellar -- and ESSENTIAL! -- tool for understanding X and getting the most out of it. (Apple's idiotic "Help[less]" files verge on being worse than useless -- partly because one can spend unending time slogging through their links, only to FAIL to find most of the answers. )"

all it took is a couple weeks and a goddamn book on how to use it? Yeah that's great. That was coming from a self-described "mac guru" too.

Linux users would be a good target (1)

Tyreth (523822) | about 12 years ago | (#4118119)

I am hoping for my next computer to get a Mac with OSX. Thanks to Linux I've grown to know and love Unix.

Problem is, I need my windows partition for games. With a Mac OSX machine I could have a complete Unix environment, and still play most of the popular games. I don't think I'd be willing to give up Linux, but I'd certainly be happy having both OS's running on the same computer.

Linux has more than just stability. I love the whole philosophy behind it as many others do, and while Apple is closer than Microsoft, it's still not as good as Linux.

Interesting Negative Switchers Story on (2, Interesting)

JiMbOb_ka (232846) | about 12 years ago | (#4118126)

I read an interesting article on yesterday about a minister who had been suckered in the "Switch" campaign. The article can be found here [] .

Re:Interesting Negative Switchers Story on Salon.c (1)

Flakeloaf (321975) | about 12 years ago | (#4118255)

Moreover, what's so intuitive about these impossible newfangled CD-RWs

Yup, not having to deal with eight year-old technology is as good a reason as any to shy away from computer manufacturer . Hard drives in the gigabyte range? Ten... one HUNDRED network cards? Eep! [] A nineteen inch screen!!

Switch to OS X (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4118134)

OS X is so good that even /. changed it's own webpage to a more 'aqua-esque' design.

OSX theme (1)

rmadmin (532701) | about 12 years ago | (#4118136)

Hrm... I switched.. from default KDE theme to an OSX theme. It is mad sexy. I think OSX's window manager is everything. I've been using it for a few days now, and it still makes me warm and fuzzy every time I look at its details. "Theropudic Window Manager?"

Agree (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4118139)

I do agree, switching from another unix OS is more beneficial for some people but the target audience is smaller. Targetting the windows users is better in that sense.
But in the end, Apple is targeting the average user. Pro user already know the pro's and con's or can get the info. Average user don't really see the difference...and telling them how much easy and bug free it is can make them change.
If Apple want to target a wider audience, they have to offer better price on their hardware because not everybody want to pay the big price for hardware. Mostly the average user that don't see a difference.
Although I think the scientific people are quite a good target. Some of them were using Apple before and some already switches. Apple unix core is a good scientific platform.
Soo many audiences....not enough users :)

Linux is still the best OS. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4118159)

I do not think OSX is an alternative to linux, as a developer i think that linux is the best OS period. It has all the toold I want and I have the freedom to customize it tehy way I want to. Linux freedom can not be matched by any commercial OS.

Keep it Clean! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4118161)

Win 2000 & XP are VERY stable - as long as you keep the CRAP off of your system! My personal XP rig (generic P3) NEVER crashes, because I don't have the usual Kazaa/Gator/Bonzi/warez garbage running.

Re:Keep it Clean! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4118202)

Hehe yeah good point. Win2k/XP is VERY stable as long as you don't install software. Wow, what a perfect solution. The OS for people who don't want to run any software.

Re:Keep it Clean! (2, Interesting)

Malduin (207683) | about 12 years ago | (#4118205)

Actually, I'm convinced that Microsoft designed every version of Windows as a self-corrosive OS. That way you're always paying for upgrades and tech support. I bet if you let a fresh install of Win2k/XP sit on a machine running for 1 year with no user intervention and no hardware failures, it would still crash when you checked on it after that year...but that's just my opinion.

I switched (well more like added) and love it (0)

BoomerSooner (308737) | about 12 years ago | (#4118171)

I use mac os x for my everyday stuff but all my servers run linux (free == I can afford it) with the exception of my db server which is a sparc with solaris 8 and oracle 8i.

OS X is by far the best Total OS offering by any company out there. It's rock solid (I've yet to crash it in 3 months) and the GUI beats the shit out of Gnome/KDE/Enlighenment ...

Jaguar is going to be great (although my G4 Tower is smoking fast).

OS X is great (5, Interesting)

GoatPigSheep (525460) | about 12 years ago | (#4118172)

Apple took a risk switching their entire OS core over and not having 'native combatibility' with older apps (yes I know it can run them but it has to load the whole classic mode which takes a long time). Apple went through a similar change when they went from motorola cpu's to the powerpc ones, and having the older code 'emulated' (although it ran just great anyway).

Apple seems to be much more willing than pc makers and microsoft to switch to new things and I think this is very good as it encourages others to follow. I am mostly a windows user and I must say that OS X is deffinately on par with winXP when it comes to usability and surpasses it when it comes to stability.

In my experience... (1)

phigga (526030) | about 12 years ago | (#4118173)

"O'Reilly also makes an interesting point that UNIX/Linux users, rather than Windows users, would be the best target niche for Apple's "switch" campaign."

I tend to agree with that, but I would further qualify it to say that "Linux users as well as those who don't think that Linux has a place on the desktop would be the best target niche."

Obviously, OS X has a BSD filesystem, not Linux, but as a user of both Slackware Linux (at work) and OS X (at home) I have come to think of my iMac as a *nix machine with a hecka-sweet desktop environment......far sweeter than any currently available for Linux.

Jews, Jews, Jews (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4118178)

Jews [] . It reminds me of the RIAA and Napster difficulties.

The National Alliance [] has compiled a thought provoking document [] which demonstrates the pervasive Jewish grasp on the "entertainment industry". The Jews who control the RIAA and MPAA are deathly afraid of losing their free ride which they have taken on the backs of consumers and artists. We must break the Jewish stranglehold so that freedom for all may ring again.

Download this broadcast in mp3 format: the Jew in this mp3 [] . Listen and learn.

Stupid, but cool question.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4118184)

Is it possible to hang X Terminals off a XServe server to host remote displays? A Mac OS X thin client would be cool, and definately something to look into...

Windows audience is the biggest target! (1, Interesting)

AlgUSF (238240) | about 12 years ago | (#4118186)

They are going after the windows user base, because it is the biggest! If you are going duck hunting you probably want to go to a lake with a lot of ducks.

I know a lot of windows users (non-geek) who hate windows, but feel that there is no other option, and this is just presenting another (and better) option to windows. Last time I checked windows 98 was the most used version of windows, and it is a piece of sh!t. I hope these Mac ads grab 10-15% of M$'s customers. I personally switched my parents to Linux about 3 weeks ago, because they were tired of Windows.

Something smells funny (1)

Tyreth (523822) | about 12 years ago | (#4118187)

I like the way Tim O'Reilly takes great pains to explain that 15 results that are given voluntarily no way represents a sample set of the population, and I fully agree.

But despite Tim O'Reilly's warnings, he still says:
In other words, switchers appear to be adopting Mac OS X at twice the rate of Mac OS 9 users. Linux users, and Windows users who also use Linux or another Unix, appear to be the most common switchers."

So while I don't disagree that it is possible that a greater number are coming from switchers than upgrades, I do think Tim should stick to his own warning - 15 responses is woefully inadequate for any representation.

Counterpoint...Salon says don't switch (1)

blastedtokyo (540215) | about 12 years ago | (#4118188)

According to this Salon article [] Windows users shouldn't switch unless you want all the old problems of incompatibility.

Hardware (2, Insightful)

zmalone (542264) | about 12 years ago | (#4118192)

A lot of people are complaining about Apple's hardware, however, I have a slightly different view on it. I used to be a Mac person, and I am presently planning on going back, not because of the software (I prefer NetBSD, OpenBSD, and Linux, all of which support most modern Macs), but because of the hardware. Their laptops look nice, have reasonable battery life, and have more then enough power for what I do under Linux. As such, I'm currently planning on buying a loaded iBook as soon as possible, while the iBook doesn't look like that great of a deal if you look at it is a low end notebook, if you look at the 12.1" iBooks in comparison to PC "compact" laptops, the prices are really quite good. Sure the processors just are not keeping up with the x86 world these days, but my experiences with Apple in the past are such that I'm willing to bare that (plus their tech support ships you replacement parts quickly).

Mac OS Users Are Inflexible. (4, Insightful)

Spencerian (465343) | about 12 years ago | (#4118203)

Windows and Linux users are used to having their desktops change dramatically throughout the years (for Linux users, sometimes weeks). Therefore, when plopped in front of a Mac OS X interface, the users tend to scout around and adapt pretty quickly.

Mac OS 9 users (Lord bless 'em) are the most stubborn, inflexible, fearful sort of user you can imagine when it comes to how their Macs work. That's a compliment to Apple--it shows the power of the original Mac OS interface over its many years of tenure. When you have a good thing, you are very stubborn to change.

But the loyalty to Mac OS 9 hurts Apple's move to OS X, of course. I anticipate having to take my client's OS 9 users through a Mac OS X orientation, watching them kick and scream in the process.

It has "just worked" for some time... (1)

192939495969798999 (58312) | about 12 years ago | (#4118211)

Apple should adopt "it just works" as their slogan. I have been using Apples since the macintosh in 1984, and they have always "just worked" . While there have been situations where I ran into the occasional bomb, sure, but inevitably that was because there were a ton of weird, 3rd party programs installed (some from Microsoft, of course). Without that junk, using real mac apps like desktop publsihing,etc they seem to work like a charm.

I switched, somewhat. (2)

lunenburg (37393) | about 12 years ago | (#4118214)

I sprung for a used iMac G3 about 4-5 months ago, and have been using that as my primary desktop station at home. I've been pleased with the way I can do everything I need to without the OS getting in my way (except for some printing problems).

I still use Linux on my laptop at work, but my Linux desktop at home has been pretty idle.

Give me a break.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4118218)

He received responses from 15 users and decided to write an article about it. I would say that at least several hundred responses would be needed to give any credibility of masses from Linux\UNIX switching to OS X.

iBook G4 (1)

0tim0 (181143) | about 12 years ago | (#4118222)

The minute I see an iBook with a G4 in the Apple store, I'm a-convert'n.


Linux and Mac OS X (5, Insightful)

peatbakke (52079) | about 12 years ago | (#4118230)

I know a lot of Linux geeks who have made the switch to OS X for their day to day desktops (I'm one of them), but it's not the right market for Apple to pursue. Windows is definitely the place to do it -- everyone in the Linux camp is there because they made a conscious decision to use Linux, whereas a vast majority of the Windows world isn't aware of the fact that alternative operating systems exist (heck, they don't even know what an operating system is).

Linux a perfect system for those who enjoy working with computers and need to do things which are beyond the scope of your typical office suite of software. Linux is an operating system which is able to bend over backwards to fit an extraordinary range of platforms, and get the job done in an amazing number of ways.

Mac OS X appeals to those who don't need that extraordinary flexibility, but still want the stability and control of a UNIX system along with their "normal" applications. It's a compromise, and my personal opinion is that it strengthens the Linux / Free Software community tremendously, as it puts a command prompt two clicks away from the average user's fingers. Those who want to explore now have the option to do so, without the extraordinarily steep learning curve it takes to "get into" UNIXes.

Regardless -- there's way more money to be had by converting Windows users with hip marketing campaigns. Geeks will float about on their own free will, and I'm sure OS X will be a better OS for it. It's proving itself to be a magnificent platform, and Apple doesn't need to spend any money to spread the word in that regard.

Ok I'm convinced (1)

JahToasted (517101) | about 12 years ago | (#4118233)

As soon as finish writing this post I'm gonna download a free copy OSX and install it on my Dell laptop.

Re:Ok I'm convinced (1)

Malduin (207683) | about 12 years ago | (#4118272)

Good luck...but if, by some miracle, you are able to so, post a link! ;-)

My personal opinion (2)

Mr_Silver (213637) | about 12 years ago | (#4118237)

My personal opinion (and I'm sure I'll get marked as a troll for it, but I have karma to burn) is that if OSX could run on PC architecture, Linux on the desktop would in all sense and purposes be "dead".

Well not totally dead, but corporations would be far more ameniable to switching to OSX than they would Linux. It's not Microsoft, yet runs Office (so ensuring they can still use powerpoint, word, excel, outlook etc) and as many people have say "it just works". And once the corporations move, people get comfortable with working with something different and they eventually purchase it for home because that's what they've used and understand.

It isn't going to happen for various technical and business reasons, but it's something to think about anyway.

(cue lots of people either confirming the technical impossibility, telling me i'm dumb because i find OSX easier than KDE/GNOME, asking why I can't use OpenOffice instead of Word or just plain accusing me of trolling etc.etc)

Why I switched - the short version (4, Insightful)

Dark Paladin (116525) | about 12 years ago | (#4118248)

Basically, it boils down to "make it work".

I love Unix - I love the power and the stability. I still use Linux as a server system (though, I admit I wouldn't mind trying out an Apple server just to compare).

But the biggest reason why I switched just deals with making it work. Do I have to worry about whether my clock program, which has the features I want, works under Gnome or KDE or not? Will I be able to cut and paste between Emacs and Mozilla? How do I install the serial port adapter software - oh, wait, I'm using Red Hat, and the designer made it to work with Suse....

Again, it's not that Linux is bad at all, it just takes that much more work to tweak. Want to change resolution in Xwindows? Get out to a prompt and run Xconfigurator.

Then I use OS X, and I get the best of both worlds. I get the power of Unix (I spend more time in Terminal than anything else), but I still get a slick interface and programs that look great. I don't worry about whether the program I'm looking at needs Windows Manager or something else - it fits in. I can still run Gimp (because I'm too damn cheap for Photo Shop) under XDarwin.

I'd love for Linux to make huge desktop roads, but that will take a change of paradigm[sic]. Linux developers will have to give up some things - say "Let's stop the KDE vs Gnome arguments, and say *this* is the standard - let folks experiment with things if they want, but we will heretofore say *this* is the way to do things", then go out and make it. They'll have to have an Interface guideline, and try to hold to it. They'll have to get follow up programmer who don't just focus on cool technology - which we need, and I thank God they make it - but then they need someone to come along after them and say "All right, let's put a good interface on this puppy."

Is OS X better? Probably not - the stability is about the same, the speed is probably less than Linux, but the interface is great. Linux is faster, but isn't as pleasing to work with.

So that's why I switched. I keep up with the Linux stuff for my servers, but my day to day gaming/typing/communicating is done on OS X.

And just to self pimp (or for more on this subject): Penguin2Apple: How a Linux Lover turned to a Macintosh []

I just bought my first Apple... (1)

kikensei (518689) | about 12 years ago | (#4118261)

an iBook. I think laptops are where Apple has a chance. I still build my own boxen, and will not be buying ANYBODY's pre-built systems for my Desktop. But laptops, well you can't custom build them anyway. (At least I sure can't). If I'm gonna buy somebody's hardware for a laptop, Apple's is nicer than most. With Fink, and XDarwin, I can run apt-get to grap redesktop and admin the few Windows Servers I oversee. I'm mounbting SAMBA and NFS drives, as well as SSH'ing into my Unix boxes. And the iBook loos NICE, and OS X is very pleasant. Hell I'm using frotz to play some old infocom games in the OS X terminal. Playin' Warcraft 3 and RtCW.

Also, at least on the iBook, the 802.11b Airport wireless card has a great range. SuSE ain't gettin replaced on my deswktop PC anytime soon, but I blew off Yellow Dog Linux on the iBook. For a laptop, IMHO, OS X does it all.

Using statistics to lie! (2)

John Harrison (223649) | about 12 years ago | (#4118263)

From the article:

In other words, switchers appear to be adopting Mac OS X at twice the rate of Mac OS 9 users. Linux users, and Windows users who also use Linux or another Unix, appear to be the most common switchers.

Does anybody else see something wrong with this statement? First, what percentage of his sample of alpha-geeks used Mac OS 9? We don't know. In general Mac has what, 5% of the market? So lets make things really simple and assume that the list he emailed consists of 1000 people. 50 of them use Macs. Of these 50, 5 have switched to OSX, a rate of 10%. Of the remaining 950, 10 people have switched to OSX, a rate of 1.05%. So what does "rate" mean to Tim?

More interesting is his claim that OSX is more appealing to those who already use some flavor of Unix as opposed to those who currently use Windows.

O'Reilly is wrong (5, Insightful)

toupsie (88295) | about 12 years ago | (#4118274)

O'Reilly also makes an interesting point that UNIX/Linux users, rather than Windows users, would be the best target niche for Apple's "switch" campaign.

Just from the whining posts of "OS X is cool but Apple is a big, mean, evil proprietary hardware manufacturer", you can see that O'Reilly is completely wrong in suggesting Linux users are a perfect niche target. Apple should focus their ads 100% towards Windows users--people that expect to pay for what they use. There is no point going after the Linux folks. The attitude of "if its not free its evil" is not one you are going to change with white backgrounded commercials. Plus why would you focus on 1% of desktop users instead of 95%?

Unless Steve Jobs wants to lay prostrate in front of Linus and RMS and wail, "I am not worthy, I am not worthy!", there isn't an ad that is going to convert a hard core (masochistic) Linux desktop users.

Tim O'Reilly goes to Dark Side (1)

Yog Soggoth (595971) | about 12 years ago | (#4118275)

First he bashes Open Source advocates in their attempts to lobby government:

Next he says,

"Apple may be wise to target Unix/Linux rather than Windows in their switch campaign."

From this, we may conclude that the ways of the Dark Side are indeed seductive and powerful...

OSs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4118278)

i bet OS-X is much better than Windoze 9x/ME/2k/XP or anything else Micky$oft can ever produce, but since Apple/Macintosh software only runs on Macintosh hardware o wont get it when i can build my own computer for about 500 bucks that is equivelent to a 2500 dollar OEM PC..

so i will continue to build my own computers as needed and use my favorite Linux (Slackware) on it and rebuild Slackware to fit my needs, it works for me, and saves me a TON of money, and nobody owns it but me, and i don't have to worry about Micky$oft having the privledge of r00ting my box legally via their crazy EULAs

I don't understand the "Just Works" thing (2, Interesting)

Drunken_Jackass (325938) | about 12 years ago | (#4118279)

Don't get me wrong - i use Linux for server applications because it's rock-solid.

Having said that, i don't know why this campaign of "It just works" isn't raising more eyebrows.

First of all - OS9 apps don't "just work" on OSX - there's a lot of cajoling to get older OS9 apps to run properly under X.

And, correct me if i'm wrong, Apple is still limited in the number of applications that are developed for the platform. Sure if you want to wait 6-8 months after the windows version of a game or app is realeased to have it ported to Mac, that's great - but i'm impatient.

As far as hardware is concerened - well at least NVidia cards work. But you certainly don't have as wide a variety of hardware available that's Mac-compliant - completely disregarding the hardware that the OS runs on!

OK. Make the campaign "It doesn't crash as much" or "You don't have to restart all that much anymore"...but say what you want - Windows 2000 and XP have taken Windows stability a long way since 95/98. Sure there are still some annoying points that i wish would go away (which is why i don't use Windows in a server environment) but on the whole i rarley encounter crashes anymore. And who leaves their machine on 24x7 anyway - i doubt all of those mac-usin' graphic designers do. They're all the artsy, crunchy, lets'-preserve-our-electricity types.

Bottom line is this - "It Just Works" is misleading at best.

I like having the source code (1)

timeOday (582209) | about 12 years ago | (#4118283)

I'm not a real kernel hacker, but sometimes it's nice to have source code.

I want to be able to elevate priorities as a user, so I edited out the check that only lets users raise their "nice" value on processes.

On my old laptop, the driver for a new PCMCIA card was refusing to start the card because the voltage was wrong. After checking the card to verify it could take either voltage, I edited the voltage check out of the driver. I used the card successfully for over a year, and now use it in a different laptop (with a non-hacked driver). Under Windows, the card seemed to install and start but never worked.

My point is not whether these specific tasks could have been accomplished on another OS, just that it's extremely gratifying to find and fix code that's giving you troubles.

I guess the obvious "common man" argument will be made, but what do I care what somebody else wants?

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>