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Running Mac OS X Panther

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the quick-before-another-cat-gets-here dept.

Books 288

sympleko (Matthew Leingang) writes with his review of Running Mac OS X Panther, by James Duncan Davidson. "The Macintosh has come a long way in twenty-plus years. Much has been said of Mac OS X being the perfect union of a rock-solid operating system with a beautiful and functional user interface. Since the iMac, Apple's market share has been steadily increasing, and since OS X, Unix users have been making the switch. My last computer was a dual-boot box that I kept finding excuses to keep from booting to Windows. My PowerBook is literally the best of both worlds. I can run the older unix-based apps I need to for work, and use Microsoft programs and play fancy games when I want. It's also essentially two different computers. This book is about using that second computer, the workhorse behind the scenes." Read on for the rest.

The book fills a certain niche very well. It is not the missing manual to the iApps or a list of Finder tricks. It's not a primer on Unix for people used to GUIs and Macs (that's Learning Unix for Mac OS X Panther , also from O'Reilly). This book is for users who have administered a machine or network before and want to get the absolute most out of their Mac. It's also useful for connecting your Mac to a network seamlessly. But it's complicated and technical enough if you're the kind of Mac user who doesn't have the Terminal on your dock you might be intimidated. That may not include most slashdot readers, but it's worth mentioning because part of the Mac ideology is that it works beautifully with little trouble. The Unix ideology, however, is also represented: if want to tweak it, you can.

The author illustrates both interfaces to the operating system throughout the book. There are Macintosh applications to access all kinds of system information, whether it's users and groups, preferences, system logs, or services. For those who love Unix and the command line, just about anything you can do with the GUI you can do with the CLI. This makes a nice two-tiered approach to anything you'll want to do. The GUI is fast and easy to learn, but some things (particularly automated tasks) really need to be done on the command line.

The book is written well, and if you happen to be sitting next to your computer while reading it, you'll be constantly torn between the two. There are lots of things you'll want to try right away.

Part I: Getting Started

This part has a charming history of the Macintosh, from the toaster to Panther, complete with snapshots (my favorite parts of these are the disk usage indicators: System Folder: 152K in folder, 167K available.) It's fun to read and discover where on the time line you came into the fold.

Here also is a basic layout of the filesystem, containing parts used by the more Macintosh-y side and the more Unix-y side. For instance, there are several directories (um, folders) called Library; these contain information which might be in an include, share, etc, or lib directory. Better put, these contain supplemental Mac-app-related, non-user data. For Unix applications, the /usr, /var, /bin, /sbin, /etc, are all there.

Of course, there are top-level places to store things, or user-level locations for essentially the same kind of data (applications, preferences, documentation). This is the concept of filesystem domains, which additionally include network and system domains. The whole idea is to allow customization to ordinary users without giving up system integrity and preventing all users from unintentionally corrupting things.

If you haven't used the CLI on the Mac before, the author gives a basic introduction to Terminal by default uses the bash shell, but there are number of ways to change that if you want. Several text editors are available for editing through the terminal, but unfortunately, the author doesn't talk much about them. True, pico is self-explanatory and vi and emacs users will already have their followers, but a little more than how to exit these programs if they start accidentally (while that's quite useful information) would have been helpful.

There's important extra structure to Mac files that can be (accidentally or intentionally) unlinked on the Unix side. There are commands like ditto, CpMac and MvMac which take care of the important stuff and do exactly what their GUI counterparts do (and more than mv and cp). Also, there's open which is the analog of double-clicking (either apps or docs), and osascript which lets you write and run AppleScript scripts on the fly. More could have been said here about the differences between Mac files and Unix files. What of the resource fork?

Part II: Essentials

This is where the book's meat is. There is first a blow-by-blow account of what happens when you turn on your Mac. If you are interested in seeing all the gory details, you can always hold down Propeller-V during startup and see the BSD diagnostics (even if you don't know what these mean, it's nice to know some progress is being made. Though I love the taste of Mac Kool-aid, I often worry what's going on while that dial is spinning). You can change how the Mac boots by updating (at your peril, as usual) the Open Firmware settings on the chip with nvram. One nice bit of customization from Bell-and-Whistle Land: the graphic shown at boot time is in /System/Library/CoreServices/SystemStarter/QuartzDisplay.bundle/Resources/BootPanel.pdf. The /etc/hostconfig file has Unix-style host configuration information, such as what services get turned on.

Creating your own startup items is relatively easy; it's a matter of putting a directory, shell script, and plist file in /Library/StartupItems. You can also customize what happens after a successful startup. You can present a login window, auto-login as a specific user, or even allow dropping down to console login.

The larger and more powerful a computer gets, the more people want or need to use it, and the more important it is to make sure each user area remains separate. At the Mac lab at which I worked during college in the early nineties, we used RevRDist to make sure every computer in the lab mirrored one with just the right software, fonts, and windows in the right place. The Mac from which we mirrored was locked in the office, not to be touched. Now there are much easier ways to do this without wasting a computer.

It's easy to create and manage users using the the Accounts preference panel. The root user exists, but is essentially not needed. The person who installs the operating system becomes an administrative user, and can bestow that privilege on other users. On the command line, all administrative tasks can be done with sudo, which requires authentication as an administrative user to run, but which contains a slight memory so that passwords don't need to be typed at every command. Although it's discouraged, you can allow the root user to log in.

With the several filesystem domains, each user can manage his or her own preferences. Each application allows access to its own preferences, or they can be taken care of from the command line with the defaults utility. GUI means it's easy to do what you want without knowing exactly what setting to change; CLI means you can automate it easily.

Another important aspect of a multi-user system is in permissions. Like in any good unix, in Mac OS X files have permissions attached to them indicating whether the owner, other users in the owner's group, or all users are allowed to see, edit, or run them. This can be managed through the Finder (with the Get Info menu command), or with the command line with chmod.

Several applications in the /Applications/Utilities folder allow you to keep track of what's running on your Mac. The author demonstrates these:

  • System Profile, which shows information about your system's hardware and software. You can use this to check out who made your hard drive and how much RAM you have. Also, every application installed in /Applications is registered here, so you can easily see what versions of which are there.
  • Console is another great utility for monitoring your applications. It collects log files from /Library/Logs, /var/log, and ~/Library/Log in a tree for browsing. You can filter views of these logs easily, making this a little more pleasant than tail -f.
  • To monitor processes themselves you can use Activity Monitor. Think of it as top on Macintosh Steroids. You can inspect processes to try and figure out what they're doing or kill them if they've stopped accepting input. For super users and developers, you can sample processes to figure out their inner workings. There is probably FMTYEWTK about processes, but it's good know it's there.
  • To terminate processes, there's the Force Quit command from the Apple menu, or you can do it through Activity Monitor, or there's good old-fashioned kill.

At the core of the Mac filesystem lies, of course, the filesystem. The Mac OS X Extended Filesystem (HFS+) is powerful yet friendly. It's case-preserving and case-insensitive. The latter means that README and Readme are the same file, but the former means that your original name for the file will be kept without enforcement of case usage. So if you want to call it ReAdMe, that's oK, too.

One of the most powerful features of HFS+ is journaling. This means every change to the file system is kept track of in the event of a system crash. This causes a slight overhead but pays benefits in automatic recovery from crashes without having to run fsck (or be scolded by your computer for its own crash). Fragmentation is also handled smartly; files smaller than 20MB are moved so as to have less than 8 fragments.

Lots of other disk-related activities are covered, including:

  • how to mount filesystems of other types, including CDs and DVDs, Apple Filing Protocol, Samba, NFS, WebDAV and FTP;
  • The Disk Utility application and its CLI cousin diskutil which do as much as you would want and more with a disk utility. You can check, repair, partition, erase and format any disks. You can even obliterate data by writing over it eight times with random data. Take that, NSA!
  • disk images, which are like 21st century tarballs. A disk image contains not only data but its own filesystem, and are mounted onto the user's filesystem just like disks. In addition, disk images can be encrypted to restrict access without a password.

Part III: Advanced Topics

The further along in the book, the less useful it gets. That speaks not the author's skill of exposition or choice of subject matter, but simply confidence in the Mac and the knowledge that I didn't need to know it. For the user administering a single machine, there's no real need to grok the inner workings of Open Directory: it just works. Printing, network services: it all just works. That's good news for Mac users. But it's also good that all this information is available if you really do want to tweak default behavior or configure something that isn't working as it should.

I talked about this book with the systems administrator in my department, and he mentioned that my statements in the previous paragraph are somewhat simplistic. According to him, it was a hard task to have public Mac workstations which mounted home directories from a central Unix computer, and allowed users to have their own preferences and user data (including Dock setups) live in their Unix accounts. Apparently the book that has all the information about networking, warts and all, hasn't been written yet. This book is as good as it gets, so far.

To summarize this part of the book: Open Directory has nothing to do with the filesystem directory. Instead, it's the central location of all authentication information. At one time Unix maintained user information in flat files such as /etc/passwd and /etc/group; with the advent of larger networks that regime has been largely replaced. Open Directory is a liaison between BSD's Pluggable Authentication Modules (PAMs) and Mac's Directory Services on the local end, and LDAP, Rendevous, Kerberos, etc., on the network end. Open Directory can talk to Active Directory as well, to allow authentication across Windows and Mac platforms. Through network (shared domain) authentication, users can log in on networked machines while their names and passwords are stored on a central server. The Directory Access Utility is the tool for this.

NetInfo is the database behind Open Directory. As usual, there are two ways to manage Netinfo information; the GUI NetInfo Manager, and nicl on the command line.

Mac OS X uses CUPS (Common Unix Printing Service) to configure and access printing. The printing chapter shows how to add and manage printers using the Printer Setup Utility, and how to customize jobs with the various settings in the standard print dialog. Like I said, though, printing is much easier than it sounds from this chapter. Rendezvous and Open Directory find the printers you're allowed to print on; you click Print and go.

Networking and network services are also covered here. The author shows not only the theory behind networking, but the settings which allow one computer on a network to find another on another network through the internet. Once this is accomplished, a number of services can be deployed, from FTP to remote login to a personal web site.


There's some useful stuff in the back, including how to install Panther from scratch (but especially what needs to be backed up before you do so!), all those boot key combos you can never remember, and a whole list of other resources, be they books, magazines, web sites, or mailing lists.

Check out this book if you want to learn the gory details of Mac OS X's core. It's short on gimmicks but long on information.

You can purchase Running Mac OS X Panther from Slashdot welcomes readers' book reviews. To see your own review here, carefully read the book review guidelines, then visit the submission page.

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Is your Mac OS X Panther running? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10927516)

Then you better go catch it!

Re:Is your Mac OS X Panther running? (5, Funny)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 9 years ago | (#10927542)

Heed this advice. My OS X Panther got loose and even though the little slut was only out for one night and next thing you know I have a litter of iPods on my hands.

Re:Is your Mac OS X Panther running? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10927547)

If that's true, I'd be pimping her out all the time. Or are you the guy running the Free iPod program?

Re:Is your Mac OS X Panther running? (5, Funny)

jrockway (229604) | more than 9 years ago | (#10927572)

Dude. iPods are like $300 each! Quit-yer-bitchin' and sell 'em on eBay :)

Re:Is your Mac OS X Panther running? (3, Funny)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 9 years ago | (#10927636)

For the love of god, will no one think of the illegitimate little baby iPods!!!

Re:Is your Mac OS X Panther running? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10928165)

The bastards!

Re:Is your Mac OS X Panther running? (1)

nadadogg (652178) | more than 9 years ago | (#10927589)

Hot damn, talk about the goose that laid the golden eggs!

Re:Is your Mac OS X Panther running? (1)

vicparedes (701354) | more than 9 years ago | (#10927864)

And you'll know OS X is past its prime when the next release is codenamed "Cougar."

Re:Is your Mac OS X Panther running? (2, Funny)

Joey Patterson (547891) | more than 9 years ago | (#10927574)

Actually, my Mac OS X Panther is running, but it's being chased by a Firebird and a Firefox.

Re:Is your Mac OS X Panther running? (1)

Joey Patterson (547891) | more than 9 years ago | (#10927606)

Is your Mac OS X Panther running? Then you better go catch it!

Nah, I'd rather catch a Tiger by the tail.

Re:Is your Mac OS X Panther running? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10927613)

You replied twice... are you trying different jokes out?

Its a good book. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10927520)

CompUSA has it now.

apple (1)

.silG.00 (683700) | more than 9 years ago | (#10927526)

apple should stop making PCs... really they wont be able to get back a big part of the market. They are just making everything more ocmplex with their weird processors!

i think they should stick to ipods and that stuff..or making apps for windwos

thank you very much

Re:apple (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10927641)

You say in your journal that your karma needs to go up. Well, it won't with such stupid comments. Apple has created a very good OS based on Unix, and applied their GUI and usability philosophy to it.

if (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10927529)

If the author of this book was in the true open-source spirit, he'd release this book freely on the internet instead of trying to get you to buy it at stores...

Re:if (0, Offtopic)

Boson245 (789250) | more than 9 years ago | (#10927813)

The open source spirit would be to allow you to see his research and drafts. Open source fits within the realm of a capitalist system.

mod help (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10927543)

this ones for the mod whos gazing at this page ,not know what to mod....

Hey mod suck ya pussy

now mod me troll

I have helped you do easy modding....

now follow the procedure with other mod points...

Tiger (1, Insightful)

mirko (198274) | more than 9 years ago | (#10927546)

It's just a pity that this book is 1 year late.
Now, it's a book about Tiger (10.4) that we'd need.

Re:Tiger (1)

kiddailey (165202) | more than 9 years ago | (#10927642)

Actually, it may do good to have it out there now - drumming up interest and excitement with those people not yet running Panther or even those without a Mac. It might spur them into actually purchasing a Mac and/or Tiger when it does arrive.

Re:Tiger (1)

aldoman (670791) | more than 9 years ago | (#10927812)

What the hell are you on about? Who is possbly going to buy a $800 computer after seeing a book about it?!!

Re:Tiger (1)

AddressException (187785) | more than 9 years ago | (#10928136)

Someone who was on the fence, and only needed some reassurance to be nudged off?

Re:Tiger (5, Informative)

blixel (158224) | more than 9 years ago | (#10927751)

It's just a pity that this book is 1 year late.

The book isn't a year late, the review is. I've had this book since February of this year. The date of the book is December 2003.

Re:Tiger (1)

IO ERROR (128968) | more than 9 years ago | (#10927921)

The problem is that it takes so long to write a book, that by the time you have it written, proofread, edited, and sent to the presses, the next version of the software is probably almost ready.

Re:Tiger (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10927936)

It's just a pity that this book is 1 year late.
Now, it's a book about Tiger (10.4) that we'd need.

This is about darwin the core, not the Aqua Gui. Tiger are mostly Aqua and application differences. The core is basically the same.

Tiger is just around the corner... (4, Interesting)

WIAKywbfatw (307557) | more than 9 years ago | (#10927555)

Tiger, the next version of the MacOS, is being polished right now. At Mac Expo London last week, Apple was giving demos of the new OS and had machines where you could get a hands-on taste of some of the new features, like video conferencing, Safari RSS, etc.

Impressive doesn't do it justice: if it lives up to its billing then it'll be nothing short of the best desktop OS ever. And this coming from a dedicated Windows and Linux user.

Re:Tiger is just around the corner... (5, Informative)

fussili (720463) | more than 9 years ago | (#10927761)

Actually Video Conferencing using iChat has been around for a long while (I make use of it every day talking to relatives around the globe who although may not be the most technoliterate are easily capable of using iChat). The big difference in Tiger is that you can Video Multiconference - ie have a multi user video conference.

The GUI displays it as a sort of black marble table affair with beautiful reflections and an elegance which is breathtaking - not to mention the fact that using the H.264 codec they can render massive resolution video feeds from 3 other users and the feed from your own iSight/DVcam.

Check it out []

Re:Tiger is just around the corner... (0, Troll)

fmileto (533185) | more than 9 years ago | (#10928175)

"And this coming from a dedicated Windows and Linux user"
Maybe, it's just me but isn't that statement a bit of an oxymoron ??

A Tiger by any other name (1)

jackelfish (831732) | more than 9 years ago | (#10927558)

A re-issue is probably already in order as OS 10.4 is on the verge of appearing. I refuse to call it Tiger.

Re:A Tiger by any other name (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10927569)

What are they going to call it after Tiger? My assumption is Lion, but beyond that...I mean, Ocelot? Serval?? Bobcat???

Re:A Tiger by any other name (1)

Trurl's Machine (651488) | more than 9 years ago | (#10927779)

It's "teddy bear". No, really. I think they will progress according to the old Presley song: "I don't wanna be a tiger, 'cause tigers play too rough. I don't wanna be a lion, 'cause lions ain't the kind you love enough. I just wanna be your teddy bear" :-)

Re:A Tiger by any other name (4, Funny)

LurkerXXX (667952) | more than 9 years ago | (#10927796)



Re:A Tiger by any other name (2, Funny)

bsartist (550317) | more than 9 years ago | (#10927802)

What are they going to call it after Tiger? My assumption is Lion

And after that, Bear. Oh, my!

Re:A Tiger by any other name (2, Informative)

ip_fired (730445) | more than 9 years ago | (#10927855)

Apple registered [] the names of some other large cats including Lynx, Cougar, and Leopard.

Re:A Tiger by any other name (1)

Migrant Programmer (19727) | more than 9 years ago | (#10927918)

So far we have Cheetah, Puma, Jaguar, and Panther. Tiger is next.

Other than Lion there are a few more well-known big cats: Leopard, Wildcat, and Lynx.

I would think they would save Lion for the final version of Mac OS X.. the most "regal" of the bunch =)

Re:A Tiger by any other name (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10928100)

How about the rumored windows version. I hear that, in deference to Windows, it is bloated and slow, and for that reason they are calling it Garfield.

The DOJ just released a report.. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10927559)

that showed a strong correlation between the use of Macs and heavy marijuana usage. Marijuana is of course a gateway drug that leads to the abuse of cocaine, barbituates, and herion.

Mr Mackey says...drugs are bad...mmmmmmkay

"older" vs "Microsoft"? (1, Insightful)

grub (11606) | more than 9 years ago | (#10927561)

I can run the older unix-based apps I need to for work, and use Microsoft programs and play fancy games when I want

That's good, they aren't making any more unix-based apps from what I've heard. What kind of silly statement is that?

Re:"older" vs "Microsoft"? (2, Insightful)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 9 years ago | (#10927648)

My interpretation of this was that the writer was talking about things like vi, emacs, lynx, etc... Many of the most powerful programs that a lot of people associate with unix predate the MS office suite significantly.

You're right, "older" didn't need to be said, but I'd hardly call it "silly"

Re:"older" vs "Microsoft"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10927655)

He's not saying they're not making any more Unix-based apps. He's saying that he can run the older Unix-based apps his job requires while still being able to run newer stuff too.

Re:"older" vs "Microsoft"? (1)

green pizza (159161) | more than 9 years ago | (#10928057)

That's good, they aren't making any more unix-based apps from what I've heard. What kind of silly statement is that?
How about this site: [] (4, Informative)

blackmonday (607916) | more than 9 years ago | (#10927567)

Allow me to save you 43% off the listed price (I hope /. at least gets a cut at that price).

The awesome Bookpool [] has it for $22.75.

"best of both worlds" (3, Interesting)

asv108 (141455) | more than 9 years ago | (#10927576)

"My PowerBook is literally the best of both worlds. I can run the older unix-based apps I need to for work, and use Microsoft programs and play fancy games when I want."

That goes for my thinkpad running Linux too. I can run microsoft programs, I don't but I could, and play "fancy games." While the game collection for OSX and Linux is increasing, its usually older games. I really don't find gaming enjoyable on a laptop anyway. My powermac G5 is a nice gaming machine with the addition of a sensible mouse. Now all I need to do is wait for Doom3 and Half Life 2. By the time they come out, my one year Apple warranty will have expired.

Re:"best of both worlds" (-1, Offtopic)

Visaris (553352) | more than 9 years ago | (#10927634)

D00m III and Half-Life 2 are already out! Half-Life 2 is great btw. The physics are the best I've seen in any game to date.

Re:"best of both worlds" (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10927712)

He means when Doom 3 and Half Life 2 come out on Mac.

I'm not sure I would compare a PC notebook dual booting Linux the same as a Mac notebook. I can play games on my iBook _without_ rebooting.

By games I do not mean yet another clone of a classic puzzle game.

Re:"best of both worlds" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10927679)

Why the hell would you wait for Doom 3???

Re:"best of both worlds" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10927797)

Ya, I was sort of wondering about the "Fancy Games" bit. I have yet to see a "Fancy Game" (ie: Half-Life 2, Far Cry, Doom3) that will run on a Mac.

Maybe they'll come out by the time HalfLife 3 is released?

(for the record, I have a powerbook in addition to my PC, but I have no illusions that it's in any way a gaming machine, much less a "Fancy Gaming" machine).

Re:"best of both worlds" (4, Insightful)

NeedleSurfer (768029) | more than 9 years ago | (#10927952)

If you are a gamer, pure and hard, truly a Mac isn't the computer of choice. That's not why people use Mac or play games on them. Mac users usually want the option of running a few games, they will buy their computer for video editing, audio engineering, media content creation and management, biochemistry, genomics... that sort of thing, if it can also play games... yay!

Excellent free resource... (5, Informative)

blackmonday (607916) | more than 9 years ago | (#10927582)

Mac OS X Hints [] is a great free resource for those wanting to get under the hood of OS X. They have stuff like Applescripts for automation, shareware reviews, and command line stuff. Bookmark it!

Re:Excellent free resource... (4, Informative)

mirko (198274) | more than 9 years ago | (#10927605)

Also visit MacFixIt [] and XLR8YourMac [] ...

More Mac pimping (-1, Troll)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 9 years ago | (#10927608)

We all know that OSX is a BSD derivative. We know it has a slick GUI. We know that you can open a bash prompt, and run Apache. Um, we've known this all for years. Despite its title as a book review, isn't this just another Apple-pimping slashvertisement?

Re:More Mac pimping (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10927630)

Despite its title as a book review, isn't this just another Apple-pimping slashvertisement?


Re:More Mac pimping (0)

feldsteins (313201) | more than 9 years ago | (#10927758)

...we've known this all for years. ...isn't this just another Apple-pimping slashvertisement?

No, it's a book describing the new Panther details of all the cool stuff that you 'already know.' Why so defensive?

essentially two different computers.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10927660)

I have a windows box and a Mac. I would just like to point out that this too is essentially two different computers.

RISC vs CISC? (2, Insightful)

copponex (13876) | more than 9 years ago | (#10927670)

I have an emachines laptop that includes an Athlon64, 512MB RAM and an ATI 9600 Mobile. I bought a 15" AlBook with an ATI 9700/128MB RAM.

Yet, WoW runs faster on my emachines laptop, without a doubt. And on the forums I've heard that people are getting less framerates than my x86 laptop while running Dual 2.5 G5s with 6800 Ultra cards.

My question is, where's the bottleneck? Is it poor optimization for PPC? Or driver design? Or simply RISC vs CISC?

I was going to throw YellowDog on the AlBook because I love the hardware, but YD4 still doesn't have a sleep function, which is the same problem I have on the emachines. I've since gone back to fedora on the x86 and the difference in opening programs, scrolling, etc, is huge. Anyone out there with anecdotes on YellowDog vs OS X?

Re:RISC vs CISC? (1)

pkhuong (686673) | more than 9 years ago | (#10927759)

RISC Vs CISC was over years ago. They've both have sort of CISCy frontends (look at that OoO scheduling :/) with RISC core.

Re:RISC vs CISC? (1, Informative)

John Courtland (585609) | more than 9 years ago | (#10927795)

RISC vs CISC no longer applies to modern x86 architectures. The instructions you feed the x86 class processors are not exactly what are run on the execution core, there's a bit of translation to give RISC-style execution speed for commonly used ops (MOV, INC, ADD, etc) while retaining backwards compatibility.

As far as the bottleneck, I'd venture to guess that it's probably poor optimization. It MIGHT be driver related, nVidia might be behind in their Mac drivers. Eh, who knows...

Re:RISC vs CISC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10927821)

There's apparently a lot of problems with Apple's current OpenGL drivers.

Re:RISC vs CISC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10927822)

I have Fedora Core 3 on my x86 box and I just put YDL 4.0 on my iBook G4. Despite X not working right away at install (you need to run Xautoconfig --fbdev, then edit the config file to give it higher than 8-bit color), YDL 4.0 performs exactly like Fedora Core. In fact, it is just a port of Fedora Core 2. Which means it's a little behind, as Fedora itself is up to Core 3.

Also, you cannot use Fedora's Yum repositories, you need to use Yellowdog's and search Google for better ones. A lot of packages are missing. For one, Firefox is NOT available for YDL 4.0. You can build it yourself if you want, or grab the rpm from a YDL 3.0 repository, but then you're stuck with an old build of Firefox. Kind of disappointing.

Debian PPC is looking more and more like a better PPC Linux option, as X works right after install and requires less tweaking to get it to work. The new Debian-installer (sarge) is less pretty than Red Hat's Anaconda, but it actually detects all PPC hardware (at least on my iBook G4) and the partitioning tool is even simpler than Red Hat's now.

You can always use Debian's Alien package to turn the redhat-artwork rpm into a .deb file if you want that pretty Bluecurve theme. Same thing for their configuration tools, such as the services manager, you can rip the rpm's to deb's and use them, if you really want them. Other than Bluecurve and the nifty Red Hat tools (which Alien can turn into deb's), there's no reason to use YDL over Debian PPC these days.

Re:RISC vs CISC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10927882)

Its the RAM.
Put more in the AlBook, at least 512.
Macs eat up RAM like it was precious air.

Re:RISC vs CISC? (4, Insightful)

TheLittleJetson (669035) | more than 9 years ago | (#10927948)

Anyone out there with anecdotes on YellowDog vs OS X?

I stopped running linux on my macs at work for one simple reason. Make a list of the activities you plan to do under linux, that you couldn't do under OS X. Now, make a list of things you can do under OS X and can't do under linux. Chances are, you'll end up sacrificing a bunch of features so you can simply say "I'm running linux". There's no motive.

Hell, if you're a X11 purist you can even make it so you can toggle your OS X install between Aqua and XDarwin as your default environment. ...but once again, there's not much reason to do this as you mostly just lose functionality. Mac's have the advantage of being able to use OS X, why not do it?

Re:RISC vs CISC? (2, Informative)

Llywelyn (531070) | more than 9 years ago | (#10928005)

" Athlon64, 512MB RAM and an ATI 9600 Mobile. I bought a 15" AlBook with an ATI 9700/128MB RAM."

128 MB with WoW *and* MacOS X? You should have at *least* 512 MB, preferably more.

Re:RISC vs CISC? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10928112)

I think he means he has a Radeon 9700 Mobility with 128MB of RAM.

Re:RISC vs CISC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10928087)

You don't think that having 1/4 the RAM on the Mac might have a little something to do with that???

Ported from Windows (3, Interesting)

green pizza (159161) | more than 9 years ago | (#10928093)

This has been addressed in several interviews with Win Game -> Mac porting houses. It seems that while raw OpenGL performance is about the same between a Mac and a similar PC, the differences come in the game design / optimization and other libraries used. Many coding decisions made in the original game were done with the Windows / x86 crowd in mind. Even many PC "OpenGL" games still use other DirectX libraries for sound, user I/O, and other tasks. Even some very basic considerations, such as data file read-in, is done in little endian. Differences like this are almost nill in a small academic test case, but are significant in a complex game. Virtual machines, such as those used for AI in games like Quake3 are also optimized for x86.

For an example of a "pretty good" port, try the latest Mac build of UT2004. It has a few more tweaks and makes uses of a newer version of OpenAL. It's still slower than the native Windows version, but it's not too bad.

Re:RISC vs CISC? (4, Informative)

topham (32406) | more than 9 years ago | (#10928141)

The bottleneck is OpenGL on the Mac.

Check out and you'll see mentioned of the author having some issues with really low frame-rate on his new scenery for version 8 of X-plane. (The scenery is brutal. But it runs on a PC, and kills a Dual processor G5.).

I looked into it a bit and it looks like Apple's implementation allocates too much memory and causes thrashing (in memory) if the Display Lists are too large. I suspect it is the same reason iD hasn't released Doom III for the Mac, simply put the current OpenGL code cannot push that much data.

Max OS X is great, but... (5, Interesting)

samekt (628697) | more than 9 years ago | (#10927710)

I am a long time PC user, dual booting Windows and Linux. Although I am not easily influenced by advertisements, Slashdot is doing a very good job convincing me to switch.

I know that Mac OS X is a great OS. I think I know the most important advantages of switching. What is holding me back, however, is the fact that no-one is talking about the disadvantages of doing so.

I know that there are certain applications which do not exist on Mac OS X. But I can do my research on that topic. What truly bothers me is that there might be things I do not expect to be missing, e.g. I recently learned that iBooks do not support extended desktop, or that Quicktime does not play fullscreen.

So I have a question to y'all switchers. Are there any annoyances you encountered when switching from Windows or Linux? Something unexpected?

Re:Max OS X is great, but... (2, Informative)

fussili (720463) | more than 9 years ago | (#10927774)

erm, Quicktime not play fullscreen?

Command-F : Fullscreen

That's also accessible via the 'Movie' menubar

You can also choose "present on screen" from the same menu.

Re:Max OS X is great, but... (2, Informative)

qloops (623368) | more than 9 years ago | (#10927788)

Fullscreen QuickTime playback is supported by the Pro (pay-for) version of the QuickTime Player application on both Mac and Windows platforms. It has always bugged me that they split QuickTime into 2 versions a number of years ago, the free one having most of the functionality disabled. Video Lan Client [] is a very good program, that offers a lot of features Quicktime's free version does not.

QuickTime /does/ play fullscreen, actually (2, Informative)

Niko. (89205) | more than 9 years ago | (#10927824)

The free version of QT that comes with the box does not play fullscreen, but the full version ($35US, plays fullscreen very well, as well as allows you to edit QT content in many ways that the free version doesn't: add/remove tracks, adjust a plethora of attributes (size, aspect ratio, graphics mode, sound levels etc.) For example, I do a fair amount of basic video editing with iMovie, but iMovie won't let you swap the video track left to right, ie. car entering frame left now entering from the right. Full QuickTime does that in two or three clicks, without re-encoding.

Re:Max OS X is great, but... (1)

igomaniac (409731) | more than 9 years ago | (#10927825)

Yes of course there are annoyances -- you've learned to do things one way and when you try to do them the same way on a mac it doesn't work, and a lot of the nice little details of the OS you just don't know about at first. To take two examples: when I first got a mac I was looking for the Add/Remove programs thing in the System Preferences (the equivalent of the control panel) because I wanted to uninstall a program. I couldn't find it, and grew frustrated until I realized that you can just drag applications to the trash. The second example is that just a few weeks ago (after over a year of using the iBook every day) I realized I can drag a file on top of the terminal window and it types the full path and name of the file - it's a very nice feature, integrating the finder and the terminal nicely. Of course there are also other annoyances which are _real_ annoyances unlike my first example. The software supplied with my digital camera didn't have an OS X version and although iPhoto is very nice, there are some advanced features of the camera that I can't use. Overall I'm extremely pleased with the mac, 99% of the time things just work and I can concentrate on the work I want to get done. I use quite a lot of unix applications which don't run well on windows (don't get me started on cygwin... it really is quite unpleasant), so for me it's a big gain -- YMMV

Re:Max OS X is great, but... (1)

radish (98371) | more than 9 years ago | (#10927875)

Just as an FYI to anyone reading this on a non-mac, windows supports this too (and has for a while). Just drag a file onto a command window and watch the magic :)

Do the popular linux terms not offer this? It's been a while since I had a suse install to play with.

Re:Max OS X is great, but... (1)

samekt (628697) | more than 9 years ago | (#10927971)

It works in Suse 9.2 too.

Re:Max OS X is great, but... (4, Informative)

kiddailey (165202) | more than 9 years ago | (#10927834)

Actually, Quicktime definitely does do fullscreen. What doesn't is the free version of Apple's Quicktime player - though for $25 US you get fullscreen and a lot more handy features.

There are many free alternatives though -- such as, but not limited to MPlayer [] and VideoLAN [] which are two very fine players.

As far as missing applications, I've had yet to be unable to find alternatives to what I use in the PC world, so without further specific examples, you won't get much help. In fact, even if there is a program only available for PC, VirtualPC [] or Remote Desktop Connection Client [] solves that problem completely for me.

I've always used Win and Mac OS (since Win3.1 and OS 7 anyway) and the only major annoyance on the OS X side is when I keep hitting CONTROL+C to copy on my Mac after working on the Windows box for prolonged periods of time.

I won't even bother to list all my annoyances with Windows :) ... IMO, it just feels like a clumsy OS in comparison.

Re:Max OS X is great, but... (-1, Flamebait)

aldoman (670791) | more than 9 years ago | (#10927890)

I don't regret 'switching' but you will get quickly pissed off with how limiting OSX feels after a while. As you say, Apple likes to be very stupid and limit trivial features like dual screen's on 'consumer machines'.

I think the main problem is performance - The G5 is starting to look very dated. Infact it looks very much like the G4, oh so much promised from it but very little delivered. It seems to be stuck at 2.5GHz (I don't even think it's rated for that - they are defnitely taking it past what it should be with the watercooling system they have on it).

Apple hardware, is I'm afraid, vastly overpriced. Especially their monitors - 20" Cinema Display - $1300. Dell 21" TFT Display with better specs, colours and brightness/contrast - $600. How someone can defend that is absurd. The Dell monitor I'm talking about is the 2005FPW and you can get it easily for $600 after the various rebates Dell does. As little as $300 with a XPS machine...

Re:Max OS X is great, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10928135)

Dell doesn't make a 21-inch LCD.

Dell's 20" widescreen display uses the same LCD Panel as Apple however, so it doesn't have anything to one up Apple on.

HP makes a 23" widescreen display that also happens to use the same LCD panel as Apple's 23".

Re:Max OS X is great, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10928140)

I don't find the G5 dated at all. also, when you talk about 2.5 GHz, you do realize that this is a whole other thing from Intel 2.5 GHz, right? And is $799 for an eMac (with a CRT), $999 for an iBook really all that "vastly overpriced?" Sure, the monitors are pricey, I'll give you that.

Re:Max OS X is great, but... (1)

Trurl's Machine (651488) | more than 9 years ago | (#10927892)

I know that Mac OS X is a great OS. I think I know the most important advantages of switching. What is holding me back, however, is the fact that no-one is talking about the disadvantages of doing so.

Well, I consider myself a real Apple fan, bought 4 of their machines and the next one probably will also have the fruity logo. The hardest part of the apple to chew for me is the limited choice of hardware. I mean, the hardware itself is absolutely great, but the choice isn't. For example, if you fancy a subnotebook - stick with x86. Apple just abandoned this segment since powerbook 2400 (that is, around 1998). The smallest machine they manufacture is powerbook 12" - not upgraded since April 2004 and still actually not as small as some Sony Vaio subnotebooks.

Also, it's frustrating that Apple cripples some "low-end" machines just to emphasize the difference between low-end and high-end. There's no technical reason for Powermac 1.8-single CPU to have slower bus than its siblings, dual G5 Powermacs, it's done only to make them "different" so higher price tag on dual is more "justified". But what if I don't need dual CPU. single CPU with fast bus would be enough for my needs? What if I don't want modular design, I'd rather have something like iMac - but with the fastest G5 and graphics card on the market? Then I'm screwed. Of course, every company is doing things like this - abandoning certain market segments, crippling its low-end machines etc. But on the x86 the competition is too sharp and too widespread - if Dell abandons certain segment, probably HP will take it from here. If you stick with MacOS, you suddenly find yourself out of many choices you took for granted so far.

Like I said, I think the benefits are still more important than lack of choice so it's not that I'm discouraging you - but you (wisely) didn't ask about benefits this time, you wanted to hear about annoyances.

Re:Max OS X is great, but... (1)

ThousandStars (556222) | more than 9 years ago | (#10928148)

There's no technical reason for Powermac 1.8-single CPU to have slower bus than its siblings, dual G5 Powermacs, it's done only to make them "different" so higher price tag on dual is more "justified".

Chips need to meet a tolerance range to be considered acceptable, and that includes FSB range; as such, I'm guessing that Apple puts 1.8 ghz chips that otherwise wouldn't make the cut into the single processor machines and reduces the FSB. Meanwhile, they can introduce a headless Mac for less money than they'd be willing to sell otherwise.

Re:Max OS X is great, but... (2, Informative)

jackelfish (831732) | more than 9 years ago | (#10927901)

I have been using a mac since OS 6 was first introduced. I currently own an iBook G4 and while it does not support an extended desktop there is a firmware hack [] that will provide you with this capability if you have a vid card with enough RAM.

That said I do have 2 pcs at home, one running windows XP and the other running Debian. For some of the more obvious annoyances between my mac and windows pc (fink [] and apple's X11 actually give me most of the capabilities of my Debian box):
1) many websites (large corporations, including many banks) are optimized for windows and will not display properly in Safari or IE for mac (no longer supported by Microsoft). This can be overcome if you happen to run Microsoft's Virtual PC, which will run XP and therefore a compatible IE.
2)I do not like iPhoto's categorizing my digital photos. I have yet to find a good program for the mac (I use Firehand Ember [] on my PC)
3)Which brings me to another point, there is a lot more shareware out there for Windows (however, if you are proficient with Unix, many of these types of applications have already been written for Unix and can be compiled on OS X given a little time).
4)If you need to have all the shiny new software out there, then the mac is not for you. An example is Gmail. It only recently began supporting Safari and there is still no Gmail notifier for OS X (although there are some nifty Gmail widgets out there for Konfabulator [] ).
5)Upgrading is more often than not a problem. Don't think that you can head off to CompUSA and buy a new video card for your new G5 tower. Memory is really the only readily upgradeable component in an apple (and this is only a recent addition). Many apples leave you stuck with what you bought (I do not really see this as a big problem as I like to upgrade to a completely new system every 2 years or so anyways).
6)People will salivate all over your new computer. So if you have OCD don't buy a new mac.

If you are heavy into windows and need to use Microsoft Access or other windows only apps extensively, don't think that virtual PC will be your savior if you buy a mac. In this case stick with Windows for these things. However, if you are just waffling because you can not think of what you "might" be missing, just jump in and go buy a new 1.33GHz iBook, you will not be disappointed. I myself will always use a macintosh, not being a PC gamer and now that I have the command line and X11 I may never use anything else.

Re:Max OS X is great, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10927954)

re #1: i've never had a problem using Safari, but that doesn't mean other people haven't. you could also use Firefox.

re #5: now that GMail supports POP access you can just check your email with Apple Mail, Eudora, etc etc.

Re:Max OS X is great, but... (1)

jackelfish (831732) | more than 9 years ago | (#10928003)

Gmail does not offer pop access to all its members at this time.

Re:Max OS X is great, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10927977)

Re #4 - GmailStatus is at us/, fits in the OS X menubar. There are at least 4 other Gmail notifiers for OS X. Do some research before making blanket statements, n00b.

Re:Max OS X is great, but... (1)

jackelfish (831732) | more than 9 years ago | (#10928041)

I actually mentioned the Konfabulator widgets that act as Gmail notifiers. Thanks for pointing out my omission, as there are obviously an abundance of Gmail notifiers available to those such as yourself.

Re:Max OS X is great, but... (1)

lixlpixel (747466) | more than 9 years ago | (#10928095)

An example is Gmail. It only recently began supporting Safari and there is still no Gmail notifier for OS X

why don't you just set up a pop3 account in for your gmail address?

Re:Max OS X is great, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10927927)

Actually it is possible to do full time even with the free version of QuickTime player which comes with OSX. I discovered this recently. You can do it through AppleScript:

tell application "QuickTime Player"
present movie 1
end tell

(this could easily be triggered by a shortcut key using your utility of choice)

Re:Max OS X is great, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10927940)

... or full screen even

Re:Max OS X is great, but... (1)

HotButteredHampster (614950) | more than 9 years ago | (#10927990)

I'm a switcher, but my switch happened so long ago as to be lost to history. Against that, I can offer you the fact that I use Windows XP at work every day, so I live in both worlds.

iBooks do not support extended desktop

This is something I can speak to: they do support it. I have a iBook G4 12", and it's a very simple hack [] to fix this. Apple has created a setting in OpenFirmware which prevents it, but the hardware can do it. Run the hack, and voila: mega-desktop goodness. I run a 19" external monitor when I decide to chain myself to a desk.

On the subject of annoyances, I'm scratching my head. I can talk for hours about the annoyances that I have when working with XP, but usually, the Mac annoyances come down to compatibility issues

  1. Web sites that only work in IE. Sometimes even IE 5.2 for Mac doesn't cut it, but this whole situation is becoming rarer every day.
  2. Brainwashed corporate people who believe that everything should be a Word document (but you can $choke out for a very nice Mac version of Office). Exchange/Outlook/Entourage is the same deal.
  3. Finding out a particular piece of software isn't available. With OS X, though, this is not usually an issue, not like in the System 7.x to 9.x days.

Come to think of it, that's the same list you'd have for a Linux box, except the Office solution in that case is OO.o. As long as you can be flexible, you're okay.

On the hardware front, you have to deal with the fact that you can't plunk PC graphics cards in a G5 and expect it to work, but ATI and nVidia both churn out quality cards for Macs. Hard drives and other (CD-R, DVD) drives for x86 are variously possible to put in a Mac, but check with the Mac hardware geek community first.


Re:Max OS X is great, but... (1)

mollymoo (202721) | more than 9 years ago | (#10928036)

I got my first Mac, an iBook, a few weeks ago. A few odd things (this is a UK version, some may not apply to the rest of the world): @ and " are the wrong way round (@ is on the 2 key). There's no # key marked (it's ctrl 3). No Del key. Seriously, there is no Del key (it's Fn backspace). No disk activity light(s).

Apple say you can't run the iBook closed, which makes docking and using a separate keyboard/mouse/monitor a bit of a bugger. You can make it run closed with a bit of hacking, which I think I'll do, and just stick a fan on the dock pointing at the vent on the side and see how warm it gets.

If you want anything built-to-order (bigger HD, Bluetooth etc.) it takes 2-3 weeks.

The 12" iBook screen is nothing special. Not particularly bright and the vertical viewing angle isn't too great either. Perfectly useable, but not up to the standards of the Powerbooks or Cinema Displays.

All those things are pretty minor. Generally I've been very, very happy. I can find apps to do whatever I need, it's scarily easy to set up and customise using the GUI. It really does "just work".

By the way, you can hack it to make extended desktop (assuming you mean spanning desktop onto an external monitor) work.

I still have my Windows and Linux boxen, but the only thing I miss on OSX compared to them is the availability of games on the Windows box. My Mac running OS X is just a better computer than my Windows or Linux boxes (and yes, I do know how to use them both). More expensive (not just the hardware - there is more of a shareware than freeware community in the Mac world if you want native OSX apps rather than GPL/Linux ports), but worth every penny IMO.

Re:Max OS X is great, but... (1)

j0kkk3l (778886) | more than 9 years ago | (#10928039)

You can get extended Desktop on the iBook with the Dual Display Hack. QuickTime won't play Fullscreen in the non-Pro Version, that's true. But you can write an easy Apple Skript to solve that: dgetry/2004/11/fullscreen_quic.html

Re:Max OS X is great, but... (1)

BFaucet (635036) | more than 9 years ago | (#10928050)

Reliance on the mouse is a big issue to me. I really loathe having to pause reach for the mouse every two seconds to move the cursor to the button, click then go back to my keyboard. I also find Apple's mouse designs to be pathetic. Single button mice are down right dumb in my opinion. Right clicking is such a useful feature. I wouldn't mind not having a wheel, but a right mouse button is very valuable. The shortcut keys they have can also cause a strange tangle of fingers too. Having that option key confuses my hands to no end.

Price is also a big issue. I realize Apple is very high quality and as everyone likes to say, "it just works." But I don't have $5k to burn for something I could get for $2k on the PC side. And this dual G5 I use at work generates a TON of heat. I thought my Athlon box at home made a lot of heat, but this thing doubles as a space heater.

After all that bitching I should clarify I do like the Mac. Having access to a nice terminal is really very nice. I'm hoping my fingers will adjust to having the option key and figure out how to arange themselves so they don't trip over themselves. I also didn't find the Mac as stable as my Windows box, but It seems much more stable after three weeks of working with it. I think after working with an OS after a while you gain a subconscious rule book on things you shouldn't do (Like don't try to write to an NTFS formatted external drive... Finder locks and it won't even restart... Force quit is also rendered useless.)

Re:Max OS X is great, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10928115)

Do you only use the mouse that comes with your Windows or Linux computers? No? Then why complain about the Mac mouse? Guess what happens when you put a three button mouse on a Mac? BTW, there is no frelling way you can get "the same" PC for $2K that you have to spend $5K on for a Mac. Maybe if you're comparing MHz . . . but clock speed isn't comparable across architectures: different instruction sets (and no, I'm not talking about the CISC/RISC thing), different everything.

Re:Max OS X is great, but... (2, Informative)

ThousandStars (556222) | more than 9 years ago | (#10928164)

Reliance on the mouse is a big issue to me.

Hit command (the apple button)-tab to cycle through programs and command-tilde (~) to cycle through windows in a particular program. Command and the direction of an arrow left, right up or down will bring you to the end of lines, right and left, or the end of a field, up or down. That might be part of the "strange tangle" you describe, but I've found that I don't have to take my hands off the keyboard often.

Answers (3, Interesting)

claudebbg (547985) | more than 9 years ago | (#10928090)

Concerning the extended desktop on iBooks: html []
will do the trick (easy, safe -list of supported machines, clean). Concerning the Quicktime full-screen, previous answers are complete (buy it if you also need editing, trick it, or just use VLC as you perhaps already do on Linux).

And yes, there are differences between Linux, Windows and MacOsX and that makes some of the possible annoyance.
If you know Linux well, you'll discover some little changes, like when you switch to FreeBSD or AIX or Solaris. Basically you can (configure; make; make install;) run most of Linux tools. You'll certainly miss the multi-desktop feature (not included but some free/sharewares do the trick) and discover Expose (whaaaou).

If you know Windows well, you'll find the Finder strange at the beginning, you'll perhaps regret the latest games (situation gets better but slowly), and some advanced P2P/Ripping tools (situation gets better really fast), you'll miss the global inconsistence you got accustomed to and perhaps some keyboard tricks (like calling menus with alt-E), you'll discover new Ms Prices (Office is really expensive on Mac and stealing it is easier but still forbidden), you'll miss the graphical admin (get server tools if you like admin with windows or get some of the freewares which do that well or remember it's Unix and you can do what you want with a terminal). And of course you'll discover "major updates" with "real features" (and "price";-( every 18 months.

There are plenty of good sides of course but you seem to have heard enough of them for today...

Just remember the first week is awkward and you have to realize you need to learn new moves. Don't try a small weekend switch and get ready to spend some time at the beginning to make your new /Users (oops, not /home nor /usr) feel good.

And ask some Mac users about your precise needs and habits, they'll certainly tell you how to find a solution.

Re:Max OS X is great, but... (1)

siriuskao (614113) | more than 9 years ago | (#10928098)

First thing I noticed with OS X is there is no CUT option. Therefore I can't cut/paste files like I am used to in Windows.

Re:Max OS X is great, but... (1)

qloops (623368) | more than 9 years ago | (#10928125)

ummm, try cmd-x (cmd = apple key).

Couple nitpicks. (1)

BrookHarty (9119) | more than 9 years ago | (#10927919)

HFS+ does have defraged files, it just defrags the FS over time.
So you cant say it never get defraged, it just knows how to clean up after itself. Thats a big difference than saying it never defragments.

How could you not go indepth in Resource forks? Thats the main difference between it and a normal BSD Box. Since most applications are GNU they dont care about them, and you have to use special programs to copy apple files, etc. Thats really the only annoying thing about the mac, resource forks (IMHO).. I know in theory its good to have fat binaries and such, with multiple help files, but since I'm an english only OS user, I dont need all the extra fluff.

And you can boot the system into console mode and treat it like a normal BSD box. I've become a little lazy and stopped using my Linux server and started using fink and applications under OSX. Screen, Irssi, squid, perl, etc, all the same applications and server processes I use daily are all there under OSX.

Sounds like an OK book, but I don't want to know about *nix side, I'm a unix admin already, I want to know the if's, how's of darwin hitting the metal. I dont need GNU overviews.

But thats me. I run gentoo linux on x86/ppc/sparc, but the Mac I leave running OSX.

The most valuable sentence (1)

Elwood P Dowd (16933) | more than 9 years ago | (#10928019)

Apparently the book that has all the information about networking, warts and all, hasn't been written yet. This book is as good as it gets, so far.

Ah. That was the answer to my question. (Where is the rest of the documentation for Open Directory?)


Re:The most valuable sentence (1)

dadragon (177695) | more than 9 years ago | (#10928144)

Where is the rest of the documentation for Open Directory?

<cynic>In the source code?</cynic>

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