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Overview of Linux on Macintosh Hardware

Hemos posted more than 14 years ago | from the when-symbosis-goes-awry dept.

Apple 171

1millionmhz writes "Upside Today is running a piece on the relationship between Apple and the various groups creating Linux distributions for the PowerPC platform, including MkLinux, LinuxPPC and Yellow Dog Linux. Interviews with main figures from each company and covers how open source development model does an end-around on Apple's efforts to "keep Linux at arm's length." "

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Re:Apple isn't quite sure what to do (1)

tak amalak (55584) | more than 15 years ago | (#1667831)

The Client version of MacOS X will be using Quartz. It will be based on Abobe's PDF technology and expected to be very powerful and fast.
--

Not for Potato? (3)

Daniel (1678) | more than 15 years ago | (#1667832)

This is what I thought, too, but from Debian's PowerPC port page [debian.org] :

Status

Debian/PowerPC is considered to be stable as of February, 1998, and is currently being consolidated for release. More than
90% of the Debian packages are available, with the remaining packages being processed. Debian/PowerPC will be officially
released with the next version of Debian (2.2; code-named potato).

Now -- it's possible that the first major PowerPC release will be finicky until they get all the bugs shaken out, but it looks like they're coming along pretty well. Unless you're working on the port and know something I don't. (I just hopped over to the page so I don't know what's going on on the lists)

Daniel

Re:Apple isn't quite sure what to do (1)

IntlHarvester (11985) | more than 14 years ago | (#1667833)

Software accounts for 5% of Apple's total revenue

And I would guess that software counts for a majority of Apple's R&D expenses. Especially when you consider all of the holes they've poured money into over the years (Taligent, Copeland, OpenDoc, QuickDrawGX...)

Re:IBM is making this all academic anyway... (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 14 years ago | (#1667844)

I believe that it would be legal to include MacOS ROMs IF they salvage them from dead Macs. I remember a company, I think they were called Outbound systems who scavanged Mac Plus and SE ROMS for their portable "Mac" system.

Apple has the position to bully people, just as any rich company does. It would have to be another big company to be able to fight it out in court, some little upstart company won't be able to afford the legal fees involved.

>>How would making a PPC system vs. an X86 or Alpha system running linux hurt Apple's bottom line?

Apple would most likely take the same position of the BSA or the SPA that every PowerPC machine on the market that they didn't make/sell is a lost sale.

LK

K7 beats PPC anyday (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1667845)

Forget PPC number crunching - Checkout the AMD K7. http://www.amd.com And with the K7 you have more choices with OS type and hardware. Now back to Apple. Apple designed & developed their hardware. They have every right to do with it what they wish. If they don't want to let Linux, BeOS or whatever run on _their_ hardware thats their biz. Whether its good biz or bad biz, it doesn't matter, its still their biz. Sure its cool to run Linux on a groovy blue imac/ibook but it wouldn't be half as cool if it was _easy_ to do. js.

Re:Let us make the os????? (1)

SaDan (81097) | more than 14 years ago | (#1667846)

Eh... Sometimes the MacOS is too easy, though. I personally don't care for how things are dragged and dropped (file copy), the one button mouse sucks (yes, if I spent $$ I could have more than one button, but that's how it came from the factory!), and I don't have enough control over the operating system to tweak it to my personal tastes. Sadly enough, Windows98 allows me to do more with my OS than MacOS.

For fun I brought back from the dead one of the Mac II's we had in storage at work. Man, it was fun putting around on that old computer! Then I quickly grew bored with the fact I couldn't install any decent version of Netscape or other applications, and I shut it off.

Oh, well... I'll be running Linux/BSD/Solaris on my new laptop (please get here soon!), so this is all a moot point.

Re:The best proof of ownership... (1)

marmoset (3738) | more than 14 years ago | (#1667847)

I've successfully run everything between 7.6 and 8.6 on a UMAX S900 w/ a Newer Tech G3 card. I had to manually update my hard disk & CD Rom drivers (no big deal), but otherwise I've had no substantive problems even though 7.6.1 is the last MacOS release that "officially" supports my hardware. According to MacOS Rumors (admittedly not a definitive source of info but I tend to trust them on things like this) the MacOS 9.0 final candidate successfully runs on Umax, Starmax, and Power Computing hardware as well.

Realistically speaking, the Umax S9xx series (not sure about other clone brands) are so close to the Apple 8x00/9x00 boxes hardware-wise that Apple would have a tough time breaking the OS on these clones without breaking it on a _lot_ of Apple-branded hardware as well.

You cheap, crybaby, twits... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1667848)

It always amazes me how often I hear /.-ers whine and bitch about the cost of Apple hardware and how Apple is evil for trying to make a profit. Of course Apple wants to make a profit and keep competing products at arms length. Its called business! And why would you bitch and complain about the cost of Apple hardware? Do you have a job? If you are so freaking smart and a computer expert, why do have to worry about the cost of a computer? You should be to buy a Cray out of petty cash.

Anyways, if you want to run UNIX on PowerMac G3 hardware, shell out $499 and get MacOS X Server. It blows the doors off Linux in performance and has graphical interface that makes any distro's X Windows look like the slapped together widget crap it is. Plus you can run a real image editing application, Adobe Photoshop 5.5.

Free != Better
G3 > P3

Re:More machines? (2)

marmoset (3738) | more than 14 years ago | (#1667849)

Um (donning rubber waders and gloves) you wouldn't happen to have the addresses of those dumpsters, would you? ;)

Re: Macs lose as a Linux platform (1)

Mad Browser (11442) | more than 14 years ago | (#1667850)

I'll second this. I have been running LinuxPPC for the last several releases and while it *has* improved quite a bit, it DOES NOT compare to the quality of something like Red Hat or Debian... I had several utilities installed as part of the standard distribution that didn't even run...

Re: Macs lose as a Linux platform (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1667851)

Yeah. Until the G4 came out. Then all previous owners are locked out of upgrading their processor due to BIOS coding.

Proliferation of stupidity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1667852)

Then they call back the seller to complain each time they get a 404 File Not Found because they never had to learn the hard way how internet really works.

BootX (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1667853)

My experience with bootx has been great.. You DO have to boot into the Mac OS but only long enough to load the load the BootX extension.. Then your choice O'Linux should take over... LinuxPPC is pretty slick, or it was on my 9600 before.. I haven't spent any time with YellowDog, or MkLinux (which is in use by a couple of folks I work with).. Keep in mind that the compilers available for Linux do not contain the ability to optimize your apps for the AltiVec unit. Hence, you may see a relatively large peformance hit compared to apps on the Mac side..

Apple... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1667856)

Apple is trying to prevent their computers from becoming open hardware. They want to keep complete control over them.

At arms length..... (0)

Wiggins (3161) | more than 15 years ago | (#1667858)

M$ has tried to keep linux at "arm's length" as well. And they have some of the longest arms around, if it is one thing about Linux people is that they are fanatical, you can run but you can't hide. on a side note I thought the story was awfully freakin long.........

Apple isn't quite sure what to do (4)

jht (5006) | more than 15 years ago | (#1667860)

On the one hand, they have a pretty solid, Mach/BSD-based server OS (MacOS X Server) that includes all the essentials for Internet operation, runs MacOS apps, and has a client version on the way. And they've released significant portions of it as pseudo-Open Source. They hope all this will sell more Macs, and give them a free development team for additional services.

Then again, they sell a proprietary, single-tasking (Any system that stops processing when the mouse is held down is single-tasking, AFAIC) OS with loads of chrome on proprietary hardware.

People often forget that the only way (technically) to legally buy a copy of the MacOS is to have a Mac to run it on. And every Mac includes the MacOS, like it or not. Apple doesn't lose any sales up-front when a user buys Linux for their Mac, but they do lose the upgrade revenue stream. This obviously concerns them more than a little: Apple has made quite a bit of revenue off their more frequent MacOS upgrades since they started charging for them. It's quite profitable.

In the end, Apple has to decide whether Open Source is something to embrace fully or shy away from. They seem, in fits and starts, to be heading towards it - ultimately I think they'll open up more of the OS in an effort to wedge into as much software market share as possible. They may even plunge back into the clone market now that Apple has the ability to churn higher-performance designs quickly. One of the reasons they bailed out of cloning was that Apple took so long to design system in the old days that clone makers could easily beat them to market with the super high-performance systems that generate all the revenue. Power Computing did very nicely for a while on that model. Now Apple can ship the fastest systems as the CPUs are ready, and they make an increasing percentage of profit from software. The process is interesting to watch.

What is saving the Linux/PowerPC vendors right now is that a Mac is far from an ideal Linux platform - it's relatively expensive and non-expandable for the MIPS compared to a cheap PIII system that'll run the same OS. For the most part, Macs lose as a Linux platform, so Apple isn't losing too much software profit to the Linux vendors (remember, the upgrades cost money now!). If they were losing more, Apple would squash them like bugs.

- -Josh Turiel

Re:Apple... (1)

./ (13859) | more than 15 years ago | (#1667862)

--
Apple is trying to prevent their computers from becoming open hardware. They want to keep complete control over them.
--

You have every right to say this, but my acceptance of that statement waits until there's enough proof to prop it up. Are there any specifics or details which haven't been mentioned yet?

But the hardware is neat! (1)

cdmoyer (86798) | more than 15 years ago | (#1667864)

While we will all admit that Apple may not make the the best hardware, techniacally...

From a coolness factor... they rock... My next computer is going to be an iBook (as soon as a Linux distro supports it).

While many of us techno-geeks buy a system for the gut's that are in it, a lot of people like those funky cases (including my girlfriend). There is a ture 'geeky-coolness' factor to having a blueberry mac running linux. Makes people do a double take.

Chris Moyer

Legally buying (licensing) the MacOS (1)

./ (13859) | more than 15 years ago | (#1667865)

--
People often forget that the only way (technically) to legally buy a copy of the MacOS is to have a Mac to run it on
--

Are you sure about this? I have seen boxed versions of the MacOS (8.5 comes to mind) at computer stores (Microcenter locally). I'm unsure if you have to provide proof of ownership to buy it tho.

NetBSD (0)

perry (7046) | more than 15 years ago | (#1667868)

By the way, NetBSD runs great on iMac and G3 -- presumably it will run on the G4 (possibly with a little work -- no one that I know of has gotten their hands on one yet.)

Re:Legally buying (licensing) the MacOS (1)

macsforever2001 (32278) | more than 15 years ago | (#1667870)


>--
> People often forget that the only way >(technically) to legally buy a copy of the MacOS >is to have a Mac to run it on
> --

> Are you sure about this? I have seen >boxed versions of the MacOS (8.5 comes to mind) >at computer stores (Microcenter locally).
>I'm unsure if you have to
> provide proof of ownership to buy it >tho.

Um, you don't provide proof. Whether it is "legal" or not, anyone could buy it.

Too bad (1)

Tsk (2863) | more than 15 years ago | (#1667871)

they've missed the best distribution : Debian. Debian PPC runs on Apple, PreP and CHRP hardware. The only pb is that you need to install one other distro (at least on Apple Hardware) and then install Debian.
The debian-powerpc mailing list is very active.

Re: Macs lose as a Linux platform (1)

Lowdown (84458) | more than 14 years ago | (#1667873)

Not anymore. One of the upgrade card vendors found a way around it.
Oh, and by all previous owners, you mean owners of the Blue & White Powermacs don't you? Yes you do. My beige G3 will take a G4 just fine (not that it will ever have the chance. i WILL have a new G4 by next year dammit!).

Re:Proliferation of stupidity (1)

HeghmoH (13204) | more than 14 years ago | (#1667874)

My mother doesn't seem to have any problem. She's a very smart woman, but she knows very little about how the internet works. Even so, she gets around it fine. I don't understand this whole you-must-understand-how-it-works-to-use-it-attitud e. Honestly, how many of you know exactly how your car/elevator/doorknob/cat/wife/stereo system/power strip/pocket knife/key/comb/toaster/oven/light switch/dresser drawer work?

You do? All of them?

Now, surely some of you do know how all of them work. But most of you don't, and use them anyway.

Those adds rocked, but Linux doesn't (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1667875)

Those adds showed apple's mastery of the Internet. A Linux add would show someone endlessly downloading new kernel versions and constantly remaking them. Then when he was finally done, if ever, he could run Apache. Oh, and maybe play one game, CTP. You Linux guys are just like what Forth guys were like 15 years ago. Convinced you've got the greatest thing ever, but all you ever do is spend your time rebuilding it. I assume Linux will fade away the same way Forth did.

Re:When are we going to have MacOS refund day? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1667876)

Refund on what? You are getting the OS for free. Unlike the M$ scenario, the installed OS can be classified as $0 value. Apple (hardware manufacturer) is not paying Apple (OS provider) anything for it, so there is nothing to refund.

Re:Apple isn't quite sure what to do (1)

(Score: 6) (91332) | more than 14 years ago | (#1667877)

Huh? You're saying an entire OS will be based on Adobe's PDF technology. Methinks you're giving Adobe a teensy bit more credit than it deserves...

seems as stable as Windows (i.e. not much) (1)

tuffy (10202) | more than 14 years ago | (#1667878)

We're running MacOS8.5/6 on a PowerPC9600 (with 96 megs of RAM) and the stability is a real downer. It's prone to lockups, memory leaks and we've reinstalled the OS a half dozen times. MacOS just doesn't seem any more stable than Windows on a day-to-day basis. I have nothing against the MacOS, and the end users really like it when it works, but it just feels so damn fragile.

When Linux2.4 arrives (and I can use 3-button USB mice) I'd love to give Apple hardware a test drive. I just don't think MacOS can help me get my work done, no matter how easy it is to drag and drop things.

Re:K7 beats PPC anyday. Uh-huh... (1)

Lowdown (84458) | more than 14 years ago | (#1667879)

It does? You've got a K7 and G4 and have run compared them? Or you read a review of a comparison? Where?
I'd love to see it.

Happily dual booting (3)

Get Behind the Mule (61986) | more than 14 years ago | (#1667880)

For a few months now, I've been booting into LinuxPPC or MacOS as it suits my mood, and I'm pretty happy with it. But there's no way I can format my MacOS partitions and run Linux alone. I'm going to be dual booting for a long time to come.

I have to admit that I never used Linux much until then, but I'd been working professionally on Solaris for years (so flame me to a crisp, dear Slashdotters). I was excitedly looking forward to Linux, and have found it exhilerating. I've never had so much powerful software on a single installation working with Solaris, and some programs seem to run faster on my 300 Mhz PowerMac 6500 than on many Sun machines. Linux also seems to be making better use of the hardware than MacOS does, as well.

But there is no way I could dispense with MacOS now, probably not ever. Although I recognize that support for peripheral hardware under Linux has gotten very good over the years, it's not even close to meeting my needs. I have a Sagem Spiga for networking, an ISDN TA that runs under the Geoport protocol. It's not supported under Linux, and may never be, so I have no networking under Linux (try to imagine that). Sooner or later I'll have to shell out some $$ for a new solution. I still haven't figured out how to get my Epson 600 color printer to work (the LinuxPPC Faq-o-matic allegedly has a solution, but it does nothing for me). And I don't have the first idea how to get my scanner and CD recorder working under Linux.

None of this is ever a problem with MacOS. You pop in the CD, install the driver, and you're done.

LinuxPPC is also simply lacking where some of my software needs are concerned. Just this week I formatted and printed a stack of announcements with QuarkXPress; I couldn't even consider such a project with Linux. And while word processing apps for Linux are getting better, they still can't compete with the options available for MacOS.

I can understand Slashdotters passionately supporting Linux over MacOS. Believe me, I'm on your side (despite what I've said). Linux is the future and I'm glad I'm on board. But it's far from the point where it can supplant MacOS on my machine. I need both.

Re:Those minimalist Apple ads... (1)

Che Guevarra (85906) | more than 14 years ago | (#1667881)

Linux in 3 easy steps?

Whatever you're smoking, give me some.

Mac OS X isn't single tasking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1667882)

they have a pretty solid, Mach/BSD-based server OS (MacOS X Server)...Then again, they sell a proprietary, single-tasking (Any system that stops processing when the mouse is held down is single-tasking, AFAIK) OS... Yer clearing talking about Mac OS X - but Mac OS X keeps chugging when the mouse button is clicked. Just thought I'd point that out.

Re: Macs lose as a Linux platform (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 14 years ago | (#1667893)

There are already two hardware vendors offering G3 to G4 upgrades. A bit of firmware code isn't exactly a major impediment.

Re:Apple isn't quite sure what to do (1)

Daniel (1678) | more than 14 years ago | (#1667894)

Everything still seems to stop on 8.6 when I so much as pull down a menu. They should have thrown everything out and started from scratch at least four or five years ago.

I've sworn not to touch a Macintosh for anything serious until OSX is released. Playing with cooperative-multitasking systems is not my idea of a good time.

Daniel

Re:Apple isn't quite sure what to do (1)

mattreilly (33603) | more than 14 years ago | (#1667895)

The display system will be based on PDF with some other goodness from Pixar thrown in for good measure.

cheers,

Matthew Reilly

Re:At arms length (3)

John Siracusa (4209) | more than 14 years ago | (#1667896)

"I own an Apple and I like the OS, but I beleive Apple's business practices are designed to drain every last cent from the consumers pockets."

...as opposed to those other publicly traded companies that are in business for the good of the common man, right? Your statement about Apple's business practices is basically a crude restatement of what the law requires of every public corporation. Welcome to America :-)

Re:But the hardware is neat! (1)

xeelee (36139) | more than 14 years ago | (#1667897)

The hardware is excellent for the price. They just make sucky keyboards and mice ;)

Re:"How many here have never used MacOS 8.6?" (2)

Another MacHack (32639) | more than 14 years ago | (#1667898)

The current thread manager only supports cooperative threads. Previously, 68k threads could be preemptively scheduled, but apparantly even that is gone. The Multiprocessing Services manager lets you create preemptive threads, even on a single processor machine, but these threads can't make system calls.

Of course there are all kinds of tricks apps can play to work well, "even when the mouse is down". Anarchie, a popular FTP client, does a lot of stuff using asynchronous network calls, so it works well in the background. There's also a hack called the "Menutasking Enabler" that lets other apps run while menus are down. I don't know how well it works on recent systems, haven't tried it lately.

Reference to information about threads manager [apple.com] (It also mentions this on page 9 of this PDF. [apple.com] )
Menutasking Enabler [aol.com]

Re:Curious disparity between Apple and Sun (2)

Chris Marlowe (79058) | more than 14 years ago | (#1667899)

Sun sells to the Slashdot market; Apple, largely, doesn't. In the Slashdot market, the computer is the job, and the customer gets the highest benefit from the most direct possible access to the workings of the machine as a machine.

In Apple's market, the computer is not the job. It is a tool that must support the mental model the customer has of his own job. The customer gets the highest benefit when the computer presents nothing dissonant with (or even irrelevant to) that mental model.

Apple is a systems-integration house that turns out machines that are ruthlessly designed to get the computer out of the way of the customer's work. They do this by integrating the design of the Macintosh from motherboard through OS to GUI design. There is a large market of decent, intelligent people who need such machines. If you don't want to say Apple serves that market well, at least admit they serve it better than anyone else.

The cost of a Macintosh, its usefulness, and its excuse for existing, come from its tight integration. Apple is uninterested in Linux because Linux boxes don't need an Apple Computer, Inc. to build them. Put Linux on a Mac, and you've thrown away most of the value Apple adds (and charges for).

My rule of thumb is that a new Macintosh is wasted running Linux, and any Pentium is wasted running anything else. I'm writing this from a Mac running LinuxPPC, but it's an amortized Mac on a second career.

Re:The best proof of ownership... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1667900)

OS 8.6 has been running happily on my UMAX machine with a G3 upgrade.

I agree, but one issue for me remains.. (1)

CoffeeNowDammit (5514) | more than 14 years ago | (#1667901)

From what I've heard of OSX Server, it simply rocks. Not only does it come with a port of Apache, but also with a graphical shell for Apache. AFAIK, nobody else has that. And in the days before Java, more than a few CS grad students looked at NextSTEP and said, "yes, brothers and sisters, this is why we fought the revolution". And oh yeah, I think gcc and its entourage are thrown in as well with OS X Server (not sure about that tho'.)

The new hardware combined with OS X Server would be nothing short of stunning.

One thing that &^%$ess me off, however, is that there's no X server for OS X Server! (Did you get that?) Not without 3rd-party add-ons at least. Granted, the graphical rendering technology on NextSTEP was Display PostScript (cool), and the "Quartz" subsystem of OS X Server is supposed to use PDF (very cool).

But.. what the #%$@ do I do with X-based source code? Hack it to use Quartz? (Yeah, right.) Or try porting XFree86 to Darwin? (Yeah, right.) Or has someone come up with a solution to this snafu of which I'm unaware? (Always possible..)
-----

Best thing to happen to Apple, regardless (2)

SomeoneElse (90418) | more than 14 years ago | (#1667902)

As the article said, Linux can help get Apple into markets it simply couldn't penetrate. Yes, OS X is UNIX-based, but there is still considerable porting that has to be done in order to make it work, and the app availability is pretty low. Linux, OTOH, has thousands of apps that require minor changes to get running on PPC.

I think LinuxPPC will get Macintoshes into markets Apple never thought unreachable, like, dare I say it, ISPs. Think about it though, with a really good networking OS those Macs would actually make great file / print (SAMBA) / web / mail servers due to their design - small form factor, integrated components, low heat, etc. Sure it wouldn't fit every need, but it looks like a Good Thing to me, that Apple would be a fool to crush. While software sales is important to them, it's pennies compared to what they make on hardware. Crushing LinuxPPC to fend off potential loss in software sales (Forget the gains in higher-margin hardware sales!) would cut off another revenue stream and do them more harm in the long run.

Just my .02

Linux Evangalist (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 14 years ago | (#1667905)

A few months ago Apple was advertising a job opening for a 'Linux evangalist', that is someone who would be the go-between representing Apple to the Linux community.

I was kind of disappointed that the authors of this article seemed to make no serious attempt to contact Apple to get their reaction, and made up the story by talking only to Linux developers. I think it would very interesting to call Cupertino and ask to speak to the Linux Evangalist.

Re:You cheap, crybaby twits... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1667906)

"Cheap, crybaby twits?"

How dare you call me "cheap"!

Why I oughta...

Academic Market (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 14 years ago | (#1667907)

When Apple started the MkLinux project they cited the academic demand for the ability to run Linux as a key factor. I imagine that this demand has only gotten stronger with time, so Apple is going to continue to face this issue, and thus provide ways for Linux to work on the Mac.

Otherwise, I can't really see why a normal Mac user would want to run Linux after the release of Mac OS X. Mac OS X generally provides far better hardware support plus the large (certainly compared to Linux) base of MacOS application software all running on a BSD kernel. Mac OS X will be bundled in with the machine, too.

Cultural difference between Mac and Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1667908)

I don't have a problem with Apple, they should make money for their stock holders. I do disagree with the philosphy of apple though. Apple dictates what they deem is fit for an OS interface, Linux or Unix in general let us deciede what is good. Case in point is the look and feel of the GUI, macintosh says we have the best, and you will use it. Linux has a vast array of GUIs, and if you don't like it you can make your own. I simply can't and won't accept Apple's OS philosiphy. Think different, as long as you think like us!

Re:K7 beats PPC? Specs here: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1667909)

It beats SPECwise:

G4@450MHz: SPECint21.4, SPECfp20.4
K7@600MHz: SPECint27.2, SPECfp21.6

Proportionally K7 would seem to loose on fp. K7 has more CPU MHz and bus MHz. But G4 is gone on the int side.

But I think the code is not optimized either for AltiVec or 3DNow...

Re:Cultural difference between Mac and Linux (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 14 years ago | (#1667910)

Linux has a vast array of GUIs, and if you don't like it you can make your own.

Nobody in their right mind can claim that any one of the Linux GUIs is as good and MacOS 8. I would like to see any individual match the quality of the Mac GUI with a homebrew system.

Re:Proliferation of stupidity (1)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 14 years ago | (#1667911)

Car
Check

Elevator
Check

Doorknob
Check

Cat
ehhh... let's say half a check for now

Wife
Not applicable (besides, no one knows how women work anyway)

Stereo System
Check

Pocket Knife
Check

Key
Check

Comb
Check

Toaster
Check

Oven
Check

Light Switch
Check

Dresser Drawer
Wish I had one right now, but Check

This was easy. Mostly because you didn't mention sewing machines. Sewing machines give me fits.

Re:When are we going to have MacOS refund day? (1)

Prophet (13824) | more than 14 years ago | (#1667912)

Bullshit. Look at the indexed cost for production of their machines and you will see it is not equal to 0.00.

OS 9 (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1667913)

The new vers. of Drive Setup in OS 9 has a few default partitioning schemes for MkLinux and Linux PPC - looks like they are not pushing Linux off too far as they are facilitating one of the thinngs that is a pain in the neck for new users.

Re:IBM is making this all academic anyway... (1)

tgeller (10260) | more than 14 years ago | (#1667916)

With published specs out there for PPC CHRP (PPCP) machines out there it's only a matter of time until someone produces a PPC machine on the cheap that will run linux.

People interested in doing this are gathering even as we speak at http://www.openppc.org [openppc.org] .

With an ATX style MB you'd pay a slight premium over x86 hardware

After the 20,000th unit, maybe. Economies of scale, you know. But getting to that point will be a challenge.

but they benefits would be great

What he said!

Hopefully Apple isn't able to put pressure on anyone to prevent them from doing this.

The biggest thing Apple can do is pressure IBM to stop giving out these mobo designs. All the more reason to download them now at http://www.openppc.org/make.html [openppc.org]

--Tom

Some help for you... (1)

krynos (1706) | more than 14 years ago | (#1667917)

For the ISDN, everything depends on ISDN4Linux group (partially funded by SuSE if I remember).

For the printer, if using a RedHat look-alike, there is a printtool that let you specify that your printer is "Epson Stylus 600" or "ESC/P2" (you may need to upgrade printtool and ghostscript).

For the scanner and CD-R you need to enable SCSI Generic in kernel (if not done already). For the scanner there is a package called SANE. For the CD-R you should check cdrecord or cdwrite. See freshmeat.net to find them.

There is Sheepshaver that can run MacOS on top of Linux (if it's been released. Note, I don't have a PPC box).

Re:K7 beats PPC? Specs here: (1)

Lowdown (84458) | more than 14 years ago | (#1667925)

a) K, you got me there. But SPEC doesn't translate to real life performance. I'm not even saying the K7 won't be faster, I just want to see a thourough comparison of the 2 somewhere. I think it would be really interesting (I also think it would be great for AMD for the K7 to become the PC industry benchmark for maximum cpu performance rather than pentium).
B) I'm of the opinion that Altivec should be included as part of the measure of performance for the G4, as the vast majority of Mac developers will support it now or in the near future. It's too easy not too.
I guess I'll have to wait for a bit though. If 3DNow was supported at that level, I think it should be included as well.

Alternate OS on Apple hardware: the problem (1)

Phil-14 (1277) | more than 14 years ago | (#1667926)

Crushing LinuxPPC to fend off potential loss in software sales (Forget the gains in higher-margin hardware sales!) would cut off another revenue stream and do them more harm in the long run.

It didn't stop them from doing it with Be, and pushing them over to the Intel chip platform.


Sometimes Apple is its own worst enemy. It should stop being so petty. It's what gives me the most pause about buying Apple hardwre.

Re:The best proof of ownership... (1)

Zoop (59907) | more than 14 years ago | (#1667927)

I have a PowerTower 180e running 8.6 quite happily 24/7. I'm having to upgrade CD-ROM Toolkit, finally, but that's about it. It is unupgraded in the processor, but has more memory, a second HD, and a Voodoo II card, and as soon as I get around to it, a second Ethernet port (to secure my internal lan w/ my Powerbook 520 and my spiffy new PB G3 Bronze.

That 3 year old machine runs Photoshop 5.5, GoLive, Office 98, and even Mozilla M9 without problems (OK, M9 is forever in starting up, but it's usable). It is also my software router, and churns through SETI@Home in its spare time.

Now that I've learned that upgraded G3s on it run BeOS, I'll probably upgrade to a G4 and turn it into a MacOS/LinuxPPC(or Debian, don't know)/BeOS box for funsies.

Re:More machines? (1)

clifyt (11768) | more than 14 years ago | (#1667928)

it was happening a few years back at Eli Lilly in Indianapolis. A few friends of mine got to keep all the Quadra's they could find. Too bad their pretty much worthless now except as DNS Servers or other such low volume type servers. Until recently, I used one of these as my main Midi box for my synths, but my silver and purple Powerbook 140 looked so much cooler. The funny thing is I hear several departments are going back to using these things once again after their experiment of only having to support one OS didn't work out for some types of work...

clif

Re: Booting directly into Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1667929)

If you care to mess with Open Firmware, you can choose your boot partition and boot file, and bypass mac os altogether. The downside is you have to mess with open firmware again each time you return to mac os.

For info/instructions: www.linuxppc.org/userguide/of.html [linuxppc.org] .

Re:More machines? -- I'll take 'em (1)

cnicolai (14338) | more than 14 years ago | (#1667930)

Drop me an email if you know of recent (past 2 years) macs about to go to waste.

Re:At arms length (1)

Spamizbad (87449) | more than 14 years ago | (#1667932)

I look at it this way. Apples hardware is 2 year ahead of the x86 industry Apples software, however, its about 2-3 years behind (ex: MacOS). MacOS is outdated, I'm sorry. Each new version is supose to bring it up to par (first it was 7.5, then 8.0, then 8.whatever, and now 9.0).

Re:More machines? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1667934)

um, if these companies are centralizing on Windows 98/NT, why would running Linux be an advantage?

Can you even buy a K7 right now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1667936)

When compairing the cost of an AMD system with the G4 for a linux server what does the AMD system cost, since you can get a screaming G4 for $1600 to $2400.



Re:The Author Responds (1)

Sam Williams (94245) | more than 14 years ago | (#1667937)

Unfortunately, the last two days have not the best for getting through to Apple. I just got a call back from the main Linux community ombudsperson this morning. He said he wasn't be able to comment for the record without first running it through PR channels. All of the people I have contacted say support for Linux is strong inside Apple. For the moment, however, it's mostly on an individual or factional basis. Sort of what you'd expect within any large company, especially one trying to track two industries -- hardware and software -- at once. Sam Williams Upside Today

At arms length (1)

MrEfficient (82395) | more than 15 years ago | (#1667945)

I believe that Apple would rather keep linux at arms length. I don't see how it helps their cause. One of Apples key strengths is the quality of their hardware. Sure, its expensive, but its very good compared to the alternatives. If other manufacturers could build ppc machines that run linux, this would be a serious threat to Apple. And without the MAC OS, these machines would most likely be cheaper.

I own an Apple and I like the OS, but I beleive Apple's business practices are designed to drain every last cent from the consumers pockets. They are more controlling than Microsoft only less successful.

Re:Apple isn't quite sure what to do (2)

smileyy (11535) | more than 15 years ago | (#1667946)

People often forget that the only way (technically) to legally buy a copy of the MacOS is to have a Mac to run it on.

Well, this isn't entirely true. You can buy a copy off the shelf and do nothing with it. =) But I digress...

The reason that I'm a big fan of LinuxPPC is the hardware that it's running on. I'm sure part of it is that I have a lot of experience with Apple's hardware. I know that (at least for all the machines I have) that it's high-quality and standardized. But the installs and configuration of Linux on Apple hardware has been easier than doing the same on Intel hardware. It all feels a lot more stable to me. Maybe it just irritates me that (most? all?) Intel boxes don't support Open Firmware, don't have standardized ethernet, don't have standardized sound. I mean, I guess this brings back the whole default v. custom argument, but for the most part, when it comes to hardware support, I'd rather have good and easy v. great and hard.

But yes, Apple hardware is kind of expensive. But of course, hardware is always just a small part of the cost. The greater concern would be the much better software support and size of the community for Linux/Intel.

Re:Legally buying (licensing) the MacOS (1)

staplin (78853) | more than 15 years ago | (#1667947)

You can walk into any store that sells mac stuff and pick up a copy of the OS... 8.0, 8.5, 9.0 have all shipped that way.

Re:Apple isn't quite sure what to do (1)

Emil Brink (69213) | more than 15 years ago | (#1667948)

Um, I would hesitate to call Mac OS X Server (one must never lose the space between "Mac" and "OS" /nitpicker) "pretty solid". A recent review in a local magazine compared six Un*x platforms as servers, and Mac OS X finished last. It turns out that as shipped, Mac OS X can't even do filesharing with non-Macintosh machines. Sheesh. Linux, on the other hand, finished third, while costing about one tenth of the silver and gold medalists (which, btw, were SCO's Unixware 7.1 and Compaq's Tru64, respectively). On the gripping hand, one of the basis for this comparison was how the different servers performed running the Seti@Home client. Sheesh again. :) Still, I find it pretty arrogant to sell servers today that only work against Macs...

The best proof of ownership... (2)

Christopher B. Brown (1267) | more than 15 years ago | (#1667949)

The best proof of ownership is if the software will only run on Apple's hardware.

Hopefully there is still some ability of recent versions of MacOS to run on some of the clones ( e.g. UMAX, StarMax, Motorola, ...), but outside of the rather small population of "clones," there's hardly any hardware out there that MacOS will run on that isn't from Apple.

I suspect that you've missed the flame wars surrounding contentions over whether successive editions of MacOS will continue to support pre-"G3" PPC Macs...

More machines? (1)

Urmane (2213) | more than 15 years ago | (#1667950)

One would think that Apple would embrace Linux - it might help them sell more machines, and/or revive the old ones. I know they make The Money from hardware/software sales, but I can't see how it would be bad for them to acknowledge Linux by, say, releasing some specs for those PowerMacs that every company on the planet is literally tossing in the dumpster - yes, even the G3s. Nobody wants to support multiple environments, so Win9x/NT wins. I've seen several companies migrate out *all* Macs, regardless of cost, to move to NT. The SAs being able to run Linux on them would keep Apple's foot in the door, so to speak.

Re:Apple isn't quite sure what to do (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1667951)

Then again, they sell a proprietary, single-tasking (Any system that stops processing when the mouse is held down is single-tasking, AFAIC) OS with loads of chrome on proprietary hardware.

Pssst... they're fixing that.

The DVD Player software and QuickTime 4.0 both keep on trucking when the mouse button is held down. Presumably, that will be the case for other Mac software eventually as the OS continues to get updated.

Not meaning you in particular, but a lot of folks here seem to post about the MacOS without actually having used it in several years. How many here have never used MacOS 8.6? How many will still rag on Apple's baby as a 'toy' OS for months (years!) after the fully-buzzword-compliant MacOS X comes out?

More than a few, I bet.

Re:Apple isn't quite sure what to do (1)

Lowdown (84458) | more than 15 years ago | (#1667952)

"Apple has made quite a bit of revenue off their more frequent MacOS upgrades since they started charging for them. It's quite profitable. "

It's been said many times before, but I'll say it again. Software accounts for 5% of Apple's total revenue, which includes non-OS products like Web Objects and Final Cut."
It's not the money that keeps Apple addicted to the MacOS. It's that if you use it (the OS), you keep buying Macs.
Linux fluency would mean people could move to eMachines or some other cheap-as-expletive dreck computer. Unless you need a Mac (and there are many many reasons you would), their price would probably keep you moving down the aisle towards the PC section.

IBM is making this all academic anyway... (2)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 15 years ago | (#1667953)

With published specs out there for PPC CHRP (PPCP) machines out there it's only a matter of time until someone produces a PPC machine on the cheap that will run linux. All you really need is open firmware and you're in business.

With an ATX style MB you'd pay a slight premium over x86 hardware, but they benefits would be great. Lower power consumption and therefore less HEAT. You could put such a beast into a small enclosure with a modest fan to disperse heat.

Imagine running down to your next local computer show and picking up a PPCP mb and ordering a CPU card from Pre-owned electronics and throwing together an SMP PPC machine for under a grand.

The PPC is obviously not perfect, but it's raw number crunching ability makes it a good buy.

Hopefully Apple isn't able to put pressure on anyone to prevent them from doing this.

LK

Curious disparity between Apple and Sun (2)

LizardKing (5245) | more than 15 years ago | (#1667954)

Both Apple and Sun have powerfull Unix based operating systems marketed as proprietary products. Both make a considerable part of their income from hardware - high performance desktop machines, and in Suns case *really* high performance servers.

One area in which they differ is in their attitude towards Linux. While Apple did have a Linux-like project under their wings, they have abandoned it for their own Mach based OS. Sun meanwhile seem to be on course to make Linux support part of their OS, while encouraging users of older Sun hardware to make the switch to SparcLinux.

Obviously Suns attitude make good business sense - shunt users of old hardware onto a similar platform and get rid of the support headaches. but Sun do seem to have a more supportive attitude all round than Apple. They are far more keen to get people using their hardware, even if it means losing software revenue.

What would be great is if Apple could recognise that they can make much more revenue from hardware than from software. Their support costs would plummet had less software to be rsponsible for. So, until such a time when Apple see the light, they are destined to keep Linux 'at arms length'.


Chris Wareham

Re:When are we going to have MacOS refund day? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1667955)

I want to buy a Ferrari, replace the engine with a Ford and get a refund on the V-12!

Re:I agree, but one issue for me remains.. (1)

dadams (9665) | more than 14 years ago | (#1667956)

Or has someone come up with a solution to this snafu of which I'm unaware?

It's the same solution you use if you want to run X apps on a NeXt. It's a little library that translates from X to DisplayPostscript. Apparently, it was a pretty easy port. You can find it, if you loook

Re:Apple isn't quite sure what to do (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1667957)

The next version of OSX-server will also use Quartz. As someone else noted. OSX 1.0 is an interim release. However, Quartz based OSX-Consumer DR2 still isn't as fast as many Maccies would like.

Re:Academic Market (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1667958)

you are not going to be able to run a server off of OSX Consumer, Silly!

LinuxPPC will attract some people who want to retask an Apple without paying hundreds of $ for a license (for an NOS that will likely not be any better for their situation) Some people will buy G4 servers from Apple, some will buy regular G4's and retask some of their G3's with Linux. Some will retask their G3's with "storebought" OSX server.

Dead-Old Performa 6110 to Linux??? (1)

GW Hayduke (19878) | more than 14 years ago | (#1667959)

I know this is probably better for ask slashdot,
BUT.... I gave my old performa6110 to my 3 year old to play with, but the Monitor adaptor is definately on it's way out, and I don't feel like futzing with a soldering iron for a quasi-decent game box for my daughter. So I am about ready to turn it into a headless Linux box to help keep things running in my house-LAN.... Any suggestions to which distro to use? It's a POS PowerPC601 60Mhz with 70MB Ram, and a Limited HD space 250MB I believe....any suggestions would be helpful
Thanks all....

Re:Some help for you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1667960)

There is a section for stylus color printers in printtool (if your distribution is RH6.0 based, and you can find rhs-printfilters-1.51something.something...which should be the case for LinuxPPC 1999) rpm -qa| grep rhs

printtool --> edit --> select filter--> Espon UP (that's Uniprint) -->stylus 600 -->OK

Now, does anyone know how to get a Epson Photo 700 to print well under Linux? I am aware of two commercial tools. Neither of which I can configure to work. Who WHo WHO is "responsible" for print filter stuff under Linux and where can I contribute to and/or berate them?

Re:IBM is making this all academic anyway... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1667962)

Yes, but nobody is currently making PPC systems at a price point and form factor to be competitive in the desktop market. Right now I can buy a 600MHz Athlon or PIII plus ATX MB for $750. If I could buy a 500MHz G4 + ATX MB in the same price ballpark, I would.

Re: Macs lose as a Linux platform (1)

jafac (1449) | more than 14 years ago | (#1667963)

YEah, I never feared for the eventual appearance of G4 upgrades. Hell, when they can make an upgrade chip that fits into an L2 Cache slot (one of the old Performa models IIRC), then pretty much nothing is beyond them.

But I DID take issue with Apple's behavior - and especially their silence, and bullshit excuses.

That, and their statement that Mac OS X will NOT run on POP (PowerPC Open Platform) (the platform formerly known as CHiRP, formerly known as PReP), really PISSED ME OFF. I mean, I like Mac hardware as much as any Mac fan, but we MUST have open hardware specs for cloning and competition, otherwise, nobody will be there to kick Apple in the pants to get them to produce quality machines in the future.

"The number of suckers born each minute doubles every 18 months."

Re:At arms length (1)

rob colonna (72681) | more than 14 years ago | (#1667966)

Re: "MacOS is outdated", so what if it is outdated and not fully buzzword compliant?
My //c is quite outdated, so what? It still does what i need it to do, which is play Choplifter.
The point is, with the burden of the obviously, oh-so-terrible *cooperative* multitasking, i'm able to write web pages in BBEdit, compose images for them in Photoshop, preview the material in Netscape, check my mail with telnet, be logged in to icq, and not have MacAMP skip a beat of Depeche Mode. This on my 3 year old 7500/200 (604e).

I don't care if it's outtdated, it just plain keeps working. And thus, so do i.

Re: Booting directly into Linux (1)

Spazient (94267) | more than 14 years ago | (#1667968)

OF is programmable and there are many ways to create a boot menu: I use OF to boot and at prompt just type "boot" for linux, "bye" for MacOS, I've never reprogrammed OF from my first LinuxPPC installation. A note, when in linux don't use "macos" command to restart in MacOS, simply "shutdown -r now": incredible! as on Intel machines!

Re:The best proof of ownership... (1)

./ (13859) | more than 15 years ago | (#1667975)

--
The best proof of ownership is if the software will only run on Apple's hardware
--

Wow, good point. No point in buying an expensive bookend I s'pose.

--
Hopefully there is still some ability of recent versions of MacOS to run on some of the clones ( e.g. UMAX, StarMax, Motorola, ...)
--

Hmm, well, there's a PowerComputing PowerTower Pro 180e around here which runs 8.1 happily, but forget about anything past it. I tried 8.5 and seem to recall it wasn't a happy experience.

Those minimalist Apple ads... (1)

Oscarfish (85437) | more than 15 years ago | (#1667976)

Remember those from a few months ago, when they showed an iMac being taken out of the box, plugged in to a phone jack, and instantly have an Internet connection, "1-2-3, the Internet has never been so simple!"?

Somebody ought to make a Slashdot version, where we see a geek hook up the iMac, tear up the hardware and upgrade it, kill the MacOS, and install Linux :)

"1-2-3, a real operating system has never been so easy!"

Those ads they showed always pissed me off though, is someone forgetting there's a little thing such as an ISP?

Think different, think proprietary, think Microsoft. Shudder.

Re:Too bad (1)

Eidolon (29916) | more than 15 years ago | (#1667977)

There is no *official* Debian distribution for PowerPC; and there are no guarantees that there will be when Potato gets released, either. The list is so active because there have been many difficulties with the PowerPC port.

Re:The best proof of ownership... (1)

smileyy (11535) | more than 15 years ago | (#1667978)

<offtopic>
I have 8.5.1 running quite happily on a Power Center Pro 180.
</offtopic>

When are we going to have MacOS refund day? (1)

Prophet (13824) | more than 15 years ago | (#1667979)

I want to be able to buy an iMac, put Linux on it, and have Apple refund me the price for the operating system software that I do not want!

Re:At arms length (1)

Eidolon (29916) | more than 15 years ago | (#1667980)

It's great to see someone acknowledge that Apple's hardware is in many ways superior to Wintel hardware.

I don't think Apple is more controlling than MS, however. Apple clearly follows standards more than MS does, and doesn't try to subvert standards for their own ends. Apple Java vs. MS Java is one good example.

Re:Apple isn't quite sure what to do (1)

MouseR (3264) | more than 15 years ago | (#1667981)

It turns out that as shipped, Mac OS X can't even do filesharing with non-Macintosh machines.

That's not quite true, as MOSXS can export and import to/from NFS.

Linux, out of the box, can't share file system to Mac OS machines, making it an incomplete server platform. Sheesh, as you say. But that doesn't keep you from downloading to apropriate tools to do it and install them in a snap.

Ditto for MOSXS. It may not have all the tools that you need, but they are mostly available.

Your argument in that respect is therefore weak. Besides, MOSXS is at version 1.0. Give it a second major release before complaining about missing features.

Re:Apple isn't quite sure what to do (1)

CyberELF (502) | more than 15 years ago | (#1667982)

> It turns out that as shipped, Mac OS X can't even do filesharing with non-Macintosh machines.

(I assume you mean Mac OS X Server as Mac OS X (client) hasn't shipped yet)

Really? The Mac OS X Server I run at home does have NFS (client *and* server) out of the box, just like e.g. Solaris. Please check your facts before posting false rumours.

Re:Apple isn't quite sure what to do (2)

Battra (65036) | more than 15 years ago | (#1667983)

Mac OS X Server includes Samba as part of the package. It is installed by default, as are NFS and AppleShare file services. I ran OS X Server on my powerbook for close to six months and gave it a fairly thorough testing. I was impressed by some features and depressed by others. My biggest criticism of OS X Server is that it *STILL* uses a windowing system derived from the NeXT window manager and not X. The NeXT window manager was a great ide, and it is still a solid technology, but no one else supports it. Porting X based apps will be much more difficult than porting between other unixen. This will mean that Apple will remain in the marginalized software position they are in now. By the way, I am now running LinuxPPC on my PowerBook, and I haven't booted into Mac OS in weeks. I have to give credit to the LinuxPPC people, USB works great in their distro. I will probably be installing it on my iMac at home this weekend.

Re:Apple isn't quite sure what to do (1)

rhedin (91503) | more than 15 years ago | (#1667984)

What is saving the Linux/PowerPC vendors right now is that a Mac is far from an ideal Linux platform - it's relatively expensive and non-expandable for the MIPS compared to a cheap PIII system that'll run the same OS. For the most part, Macs lose as a Linux platform, so Apple isn't losing too much software profit to the Linux vendors (remember, the upgrades cost money now!). If they were losing more, Apple would squash them like bugs.

Maybe, Maybe Not. I just bought one of the new Mac G4/400 boxes specifically because of the price. I've been using various cheap intel boxes and have several problems (with hardware) that necessitated component replacement; not a trivial matter when I am in Florida, and the customer is in California.

As a possible replacement, I bought two Dell P3/600's, but for the price (over $2000 no monitor), when I saw the $1600 price on the G4, well it piqued my interest so I had to get one. Now, I'm not sure how well it performs next to the P3's, but if its anywhere close, then I've got a "brand name" machine (that looks cool) that I can install and (hopefully) reduce any hardware issues.

The only thing I'm a little worried about is having to boot into MacOS (to launch BootX) prior to starting Linux. Of course, I could be mistaken here, since FedEx won't deliver my copy of Yellowdog until this afternoon.

Rob

Mac OS X was an interim release... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1667995)

give apple a break here (certainly all the reviews i've read have). Mac OS X was a 1.0 release, and more of an interim release so that people could see what the company was doing. in that regard, reviews have been quite favorable, even though it still lacks many things like real filesharing, a mail server, etc. these will come in time. remember linux in 1993? yah, i didn't think so.

Re:IBM is making this all academic anyway... (1)

tak amalak (55584) | more than 15 years ago | (#1667996)

Apple can't put pressure on Companies to not produce PPC systems. The can stop them from including Mac ROMs and installing the MacOS on it, though. They have the right to that. IBM makes PPC systems as does Motorola, Total Impact, Bull computers, Synergy Systems, etc. How would making a PPC system vs. an X86 or Alpha system running linux hurt Apple's bottom line?
--

Apple rulez (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1667997)

I'm too tired right now to read the other comments, but suffice it to say that Apple is doing very cool things, and I'm really looking forward to Darwin & MacOS X.

Somewhat offtopic, but it had to be said.

Let us make the os????? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1667998)

Zeesh, some people should sit down at a mac and use macos sometime before criticizing it. Ever since the 128k it's been the easiest to use there is and much more stable than the windows varieties. How could anyone NOT like it??

"How many here have never used MacOS 8.6?" (2)

jht (5006) | more than 15 years ago | (#1667999)

Don't count me in that group. I actually own a PowerBook 3400, iMac, and PowerMac 7200, all running OS 8.6 back at home (to go with my Win98 game PC, my Mandrake-based workstation, and my RedHat 6-based server - yes, I know I need a life!). The 7200 runs my home email server (Eudora's EIMS), and my wife uses the iMac. MacOS isn't bad for what it is, but there are issues that are fundamentally broken in the design that are only now getting dealt with after 15 years (and several false starts). Thread Manager is a decent implementation of preemptive multitasking on a limited basis for the platform, but I'm still from Missouri (the "Show Me" state) when it comes to fixing an issue as fundamental as the mouseclick.

But you're right - Apple's OS has the perception of being a toy, and that probably won't change in many minds even when OS X Workstation comes out, even though it'll be drastically wrong by then.

- -Josh Turiel

Re: Macs lose as a Linux platform (3)

Eidolon (29916) | more than 15 years ago | (#1668000)

Macs do lose as a Linux platform, but not for the reasons you describe.

One of the biggest obstacles to Macs as a good Linux platform is that the kernel source is *still* not integrated into the main source tree. Every time one asks when this will happen, the answer is always Real Soon Now -- Maybe. Also, there are no good distributions that will run on a Mac. While the LinuxPPC group is to be commended for their kernel efforts, the LinuxPPC distribution can't compare to anything on Intel. Yellow Dog isn't much different; nor is Turbolinux; and Debian is still in the distant future.

The oft-cited non-expandability argument against Mac hardware is ancient history. When was the last time you saw a Mac that didn't have several PCI slots, several DIMM slots, and easy CPU upgrades? It's been years, folks.

I have an old 7500 chassis which has been upgraded through several generations of processors (now running a fast G3). I could put a swell G4 card in here if I cared to spend the money. Can you take a n old Pentium 75 box and put a 550 MHz Pentium III in it without a new motherboard? I hardly think so.

Re:Those minimalist Apple ads... (1)

doce (31638) | more than 15 years ago | (#1668001)

Those ads they showed always pissed me off though, is someone forgetting there's a little thing such as an ISP?

Not at all. They do something very similar to every PC manufacturer on the planet... They have a deal with a national ISP (earthlink in this case). When you boot your iMac, it runs a configurer that asks if you already have an ISP (and to enter the info if you do). If you specify that you don't, it runs a little program that dials up Earthlink, gives them your billing information, and gets you on-line.
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