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Ubuntu Linux vs. Mac OS X

CmdrTaco posted about 7 years ago | from the begin-the-battle-royale dept.

OS X 479

An anonymous reader writes "An article on InformationWeek pits an Apple user against an Ubuntu Linux user (although he talks about other distros as well) as to which OS makes a better desktop operating system. As might be expected, the conclusion seems to be "different strokes for different folks," but it's interesting to see Microsoft cut (mostly) out of the equation."

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They're not mutually exclusive (5, Informative)

Heftklammerdosierer! (846009) | about 7 years ago | (#20071309)

Ubunutu is easy to install on a Mac.

Re:They're not mutually exclusive (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20071475)

And also on the other platform. Ubuntu wins hands down in all scenarios. As for OS X, I dont care - for this reason alone : "Unlike Microsoft and Linux, Apple doesn't support running the Mac OS on off-the-shelf hardware. You buy a Mac, and it comes with the operating system pre-installed." Thanks Apple, but I was not born with silver spoon.

Re:They're not mutually exclusive (5, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | about 7 years ago | (#20071821)

You sound angry at Apple... Why? If you can't afford it then you are not forced to buy an Apple. If you like what apple has to offer and you wan't one save up a little longer for the money. The point of the article was to show that there are alternitives available to windows and the Pluses and Minuses of each. The reason why Macs don't cover 90% of the market like Windows does is because of the hardware lockin, it is no suprise. If you want a Rollsroyce for a Car you are not going to find many off the shelf parts at your local garage. and you are going to pay more for such a car. But that doesn't mean I have to hate Rollsroyce. And say my Toyota is far superior to that Rollsroyce just because I can get parts for my Toyota easier.

Re:They're not mutually exclusive (3, Insightful)

omeomi (675045) | about 7 years ago | (#20072181)

If you want a Rollsroyce for a Car you are not going to find many off the shelf parts at your local garage. and you are going to pay more for such a car. But that doesn't mean I have to hate Rollsroyce. And say my Toyota is far superior to that Rollsroyce just because I can get parts for my Toyota easier.

Not sure I would consider Apple to be the Rolls Royce of the computer industry. They make a nice product, for sure, but the difference in quality is more like the difference between a Toyota and a Honda. Some people like one, some people like the other.

Re:They're not mutually exclusive (2, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | about 7 years ago | (#20072367)

Rolls Royce may be a bit of a streach but the diffence between PC and a Apple is not like Toyota and Honda but probably more like Toyota/Lexus and BMW. While a lot of PC are of much lower quality then all of apples products but there is a good amount that are just as good if not better.

Re:They're not mutually exclusive (-1, Troll)

jedidiah (1196) | about 7 years ago | (#20072501)

Apple sells a lowend machine with a video chipset that you have to "hack" in order to use with commonplace monitors... even in MacOS.

Apple is no BMW.

The OP had the original idea.

It's Toyota/Lexus vs. Honda/Accura. That's still being a bit kind to Apple.

Re:They're not mutually exclusive (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20072479)

The difference between Windows and Ubuntu is similar to the difference between a pinto and a tank.

Re:They're not mutually exclusive (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 7 years ago | (#20072281)

Can you tell me why exactly you would compare OS X to a Rolls Royce? I mean, it's a nice GUI, nothing incredibly innovative (but then again, neither is Ubuntu, Windows or most of them).

Re:They're not mutually exclusive (3, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | about 7 years ago | (#20072449)

I was comparing it to availablity in parts... Rolls Royce seemed like at the time probably the hardest car to find parts for, Also more expensive then the average car, and well saught after even inspite of these problems. I would actually say Macs are close to BMWs in quality and design and innovation. But I wanted to prove a point of differenct choices doesn't mean that one choice is wrong or right, more then making a quality comparison.

Re:They're not mutually exclusive (2, Insightful)

TobyRush (957946) | about 7 years ago | (#20071485)

Ubunutu is easy to install on a Mac.

But it's Ubuntu vs. Mac OS X, right? Not Ubuntu vs. Mac hardware. I know next to nothing about Ubuntu, but I'm assuming you can't run it from within Mac OS X...

Re:They're not mutually exclusive (4, Informative)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | about 7 years ago | (#20071629)

I know next to nothing about Ubuntu, but I'm assuming you can't run it from within Mac OS X...

Actually, you can via virtualization (Parallels, VMware, etc).

Re:They're not mutually exclusive (1)

Jeppe Salvesen (101622) | about 7 years ago | (#20071651)

You can, using at least vmware.

And you can also partition up your harddisk and use boot camp to set up a dual-boot environment.

Re:They're not mutually exclusive (2, Insightful)

morari (1080535) | about 7 years ago | (#20072047)

As is Windows... You still have to waste the money on overpriced, proprietary hardware from Apple though. With almost no choice over components and little options to upgrade in the future. People blast Microsoft for vendor lock-in, but Apple has always been worse. But who cares when you get something that's sleek and cool looking like a Mac, right?

Re:They're not mutually exclusive (1, Funny)

xtracto (837672) | about 7 years ago | (#20072129)

Ubunutu is easy to install on a Mac.

So what?, they are taling about Ubuntu.

Re:They're not mutually exclusive (0, Offtopic)

Mr. Picklesworth (931427) | about 7 years ago | (#20072267)

Actually, we are "talking". (Nice typo).

ubuntu is discontinuing PPC version (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20072373)

so uhm. yeah. your post is rather misleading. of course, that didn't stop it from getting a +5.

FWIW: (2, Insightful)

Penguinisto (415985) | about 7 years ago | (#20072395)

...even the PPC ones :)

I use both Linux (Fedora Core: where Men are Men and modules are scared) as well as OSX (10.3.9 - yeah, I'm lazy - on a dual G5).

I originally got a Mac because that's where all the affordable non-Windows 3D/CG compositing software was at that time. POV-Ray I love (on occasion), GIMP I love, Blender, umm, I love in an S&M sort of way (which is why I eventually bought AC3D [] )... but there was no compositing thingy back then for less than ten zillion bucks, a'la Shake and Maya.

Anyrate - a few years on, and I use both quite happily together. I still use AC3D on Linux to do mesh, DAZ|Studio and Poser on the Mac, and NFS binds the two machines seamlessly.

I love using either one in spite of the diffs. I have a link to Terminal sitting on the OSX Dock, and once I got used to the 'not-quite-but-okay-yeah-it's-BSD' setup, it's been a breeze to script and poke around on with bash.

Truth be told, if I could run DAZ|Studio [] or Poser [] natively on Linux, I'd probably slowly but surely let the Mac fade and go full-on Linux (they sort of run under Crossover Office and Cedega, but the render times are murder). The reason why is cost-effectiveness. Yes Macs are actually fairly competitive hardware-wise, but I can more easily build a new box in stages (buy bigger CPU/mobo/RAM combo, then a bigger HDD, and who gives a crap about the case style as long as the P/S works...), instead of plonking down $2500 in one go. (I guess I could buy a Mac Mini and just mod the guts into a bigger case... Hrm. Never thought of that).

Anyway, for the foreseeable future, I'll prolly be using both, and I have no problems with that.

That said, I don't use Windows. I wanted a safer and more flexible OS a long time ago, moved everything to BSD and Linux, and haven't looked back since.


It's about switching. (5, Insightful)

ozmanjusri (601766) | about 7 years ago | (#20071351)

but it's interesting to see Microsoft cut (mostly) out of the equation

MS isn't out of the equation at all. The whole point of TFA is about switching AWAY from Vista.

Re:It's about switching. (4, Interesting)

Yvan256 (722131) | about 7 years ago | (#20071455)

People would need to install Windows Vista in the first place to be able to switch away from it.

The fact that Dell and others are still selling computers with Windows XP is not a good sign for Windows Vista.

Re:It's about switching. (3, Informative)

kdemetter (965669) | about 7 years ago | (#20071913)

Dell also sells computers with ubuntu preinstalled . []

Re:It's about switching. (0)

TheNetAvenger (624455) | about 7 years ago | (#20072109)

MS isn't out of the equation at all. The whole point of TFA is about switching AWAY from Vista

Why when Vista ships with a full BSD subsystem? Unix, Win32, Win64, NT Core. Not such a bad thing for Windows business environments.

Also if the *nix OSS world would embrace the Vista BSD a bit, they could get Windows business and home users playing with a real *nix environment and slowying use a carrot to bring them over to other distributions. :)

Who was left out of the equation? (-1, Offtopic)

Yvan256 (722131) | about 7 years ago | (#20071359)


Re:Who was left out of the equation? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20071825)

What a pathetic troll that was. Of course, you're well within the group think so your karma is safe.

Microsoft losing market share (2)

DJ_Maiko (1044980) | about 7 years ago | (#20071369)

I don't care what Microsoft's CEO says about them having a gajillion installs by the end of next year, etc. They've brought their own shovel & are digging their own hole as more & more people recognize Vista for the crapware it is. More & more articles like this one are opening up people's eyes to the vast non-Windows world & how grand it truly is. Sure, Microsoft shot themselves in the foot w/Vista but user-friendly alternatives like OS X & Ubuntu (amongst a bevy of Linux distros) will be closing the gap rapidly in the next few years.

Mod article flamebait (5, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | about 7 years ago | (#20071381)

Queue the flamewars in 3...2...1...

Seriously, religious wars aside, you pick the tool that will best meet your needs. That's largely going to be based on applications. Increasingly, there are good choices on both platforms here for a wide variety of different things. The one thing I will say -- if you're looking to do video editing, buy a Mac. 'cause the state of video editing on Linux right now still sucks. If you need Microsoft Office, buy a Mac.

For me, I do a lot of software development work and audio production. I could pick either platform, really, but lots of factors make me choose Linux over Mac OS X -- software freedom, hackability, and cost are my 3 biggest reasons. OS X is nice, don't get me wrong, it's just not for me.

Re:Mod article flamebait (1)

lawpoop (604919) | about 7 years ago | (#20071653)

Seriously, religious wars aside, you pick the tool that will best meet your needs.
Does this metaphor of OS as tools really apply? We've has the basic tools for thousands, if not tens of thousands of years. They're tried and true, and have proven their usefulness. Their tasks are well-defined and certain tools haven't really changed in shape much for thousands of years.

By contrast, the three main OSes available to Desktop users -- Apple, Linux and Windows -- aren't more than 15 years old. Are they really all that different from each other in terms of usefulness, as a saw is different from a hammer? Are they really as useful and singly-purposed as a chisel or screwdriver? I.E. are they all that effective in the roles they are supposed to fulfill?

I think that they are are practically identical for the general purposes of the desktop user -- internet, email, word processing and spreadsheets. Other tasks, such as website serving or video editing, are more suited to different operating systems.

okay, try tool *brands* (1)

conspirator57 (1123519) | about 7 years ago | (#20071799)

some like craftsman chisels and unbranded, cheap hammers, while others go all snap-on.

BTW: no brand lasts much more than 100 years in fact, very few companies do, and those are quite interesting companies.

me, i like my Dutch East India Trading Company Darjeeling Tea. :P

Re:Mod article flamebait (4, Insightful)

Cobralisk (666114) | about 7 years ago | (#20071861)

It's more like the difference between a rotary saw, a hack saw and a chain saw. All three cut wood, but do it in different ways. Which one is most effective for a given task is left to the judgement of the craftsman.

Re:Mod article flamebait (1)

somersault (912633) | about 7 years ago | (#20072107)

Sounds like you're confusing operating systems with applications. I know what you mean, but the purpose of Windows, Linux and OS X is meant to be very general (unless you get a really cut down version of Linux that has been optimised to perform a certain task). It's all about the applications, as the GP said (I think they said something to that effect anyway o_0 )

Re:Mod article flamebait (1, Redundant)

jellomizer (103300) | about 7 years ago | (#20072127)

Well using the hammer anaoligy...
If I need a hammer then I choose what hammer is best for the job, but choosing the wrong one won't stop you from completing the job correctly it will just be ineffeciant.

For example I own 3 hammers.
A small light hammer
A medium size hammer
A heavy slege like hammer (one handed)

When I am doing molding I like to use the light hammer because I am hammering threw light wood in tight corners. I could use the slege and get the job done but it will tire out my hand quicker also mistakes could break the wood easier.

If I am driving a nail into masonary. The slege hammer work because I can get the nail in with less strikes. I could use the small or medium hammer but it will require more strikes and tire me out quicker.

If I am doing some roofing The medium hammer works the best. The Large one requires more strainus movement to move the heavy hammer, The light one requires more strikes.

Then there are jobs that I don't tend to do. Say working with metal, the perfered tool would be the ball hammer. But I may use my light or medium hammer for the job, it may not turn out as good and will be extra work but I decided for a job ill do onese it is not worth it to buy an other hammer.

The same with OS's, Depending what I am going to be doing ill choose my OS like a hammer.
If I need to run a lot comerical applications or I want to play games and just light computer work, Then Ill choose windows.

If I tend to run some comerical apps and I normally do light computer work, but sometimes I need to ramp up to some more custom script/app configuration that Macs are great.

If I need a single use server or need to to a lot of customizable work then Ill choose Linux.

Re:Mod article flamebait (2, Interesting)

RockHorn (896105) | about 7 years ago | (#20071699)

if you're looking to do video editing, buy a Mac

I wholeheartedly agree. We currently just switched from XP to Ubuntu at home, and I use a Mac laptop for work. My wife fell in love with iMovie/iDVD when we made our DVD last year, and I've been looking like mad to find a solution to keep us on Ubuntu, otherwise I'll have to by a *expensive* mac for home use.

The most promising apps so far seem to be Kino, KDEnlive, Cinelerra. Kino is unusable because we can't seem to add still images into the movie, KDEnlive is still very early in it's development, and I can't get Cinelerra to run on my Ubuntu Feisty installation, it just coredumps every time I run it.

On the other hand, what really concerns me about going with a Mac for this is the minimal drive space they come with. With each digital tape taking up 30 Gb, how am I supposed to fit all those on the small Mac drives. And they are rather limited in terms of expansion slots (except for the Power Mac which isn't an option). It seems one has to go with external drives, where I worry about performance when doing video editing.

I'm putting off the decision, waiting for Ubuntu to properly package KDEnlive and/or Cinelerra. Then I can at least evaluate the apps and decide if iMovie/iDvd is really the only route to go.

One final point, I wouldn't mind paying for Vegas, Premiere, or one of the other big boys, if only they would offer a Linux version!

Re:Mod article flamebait (1)

FST777 (913657) | about 7 years ago | (#20072083)

Three words: Firewire external harddisk.

(DISCLAIMER: Brought to you from a FreeBSD laptop. The debate is amusing :-) )

Re:Mod article flamebait (1)

Zelos (1050172) | about 7 years ago | (#20072139)

You can upgrade the iMacs to 750Gb from the Apple store, although it is kind of pricey.

Re:Mod article flamebait (1)

blindd0t (855876) | about 7 years ago | (#20071867)

The article is definitely flame-bait. I think most could agree, the primary weaknesses pointed out are necessarily in the operating systems themselves, but in the supporting software. Be it drivers, good tools for video edit, programming, etc... A good operating system simply cannot get anywhere without support on this side of the fence (coughs BeOS under breath). Now, that's not to say Linux hasn't gotten anywhere in this regard, because it has clearly made very significant progress over the years. I'm definitely curious to see how close the market-share is for Desktop Linux compared to OSX presently. I believe competition will be extraordinarily interesting from Apple when Linux approaches this. And one more thing: I'd pay for something like VMWare's fusion for Linux as the host OS!

Re:Mod article flamebait (2, Insightful)

Bluesman (104513) | about 7 years ago | (#20072045)

I don't think Linux will compete with Apple for a while. I think Linux may make huge gains at the very low end, where profit margins are so slim that Linux being free will be the deciding factor, like those new Asus $200 laptops.

Apple holds and will probably always hold the high end where people feel like they're getting special stuff for their extra money.

I think Linux will eat up the very low end then expand slowly from there.

Re:Mod article flamebait (5, Insightful)

Stamen (745223) | about 7 years ago | (#20071871)

Truly, if I'm speaking to a tech oriented person asking me what OS to choose I always say learn Unix, which one is less relevant. If you learn *nix, you can easily use OS X, Linux, BSD, Solaris, etc. If you learn Windows, you can well, use, um, Windows.

In addition to learning the GUI stuff, learn some of the command line; you are most productive with a mixture of the two. Also, the shell (command line/cli) is fairly static, and your knowledge transfers to every OS, er, except, for, um, Windows.

As for OS X vs Ubuntu. At work, I use both on the desktop (an OS X box right next to a PC running 7.04, using synergy to span my mouse and keyboard), and I prefer OS X; but mainly that is because I love TextMate so much; if I still used VIM primarily, I wouldn't prefer one over the other (although Cream in LInux is very nice, so that may sway me). On servers, it's Linux all the way, period.

For home, it's a no brainer, I use OS X. I'm a programmer, so I want to tweak my shell and my editor to a very fine point, but for stuff like music and movies, I just want the stuff to work, frankly. Oh and Quicksilver, Linux really needs a Quicksilver clone (no, you don't have one, if you think you do then you've never actually used Quicksilver)

Re:Mod article flamebait (1)

truskool (1135891) | about 7 years ago | (#20072017)

You are the only one that spoke my language here and I heard it as " production!". I am facing the dilemma as we speak. I have just built a new PC that I want to use for audio production and I am conflicted about the os to use. I am just wondering about where I can find hi fidelity audio software for linux? What I normally find on the shelves of course is for mac or windows. I would appreciate a pointer or two in this regard because honestly I had forgotten about the linux option. I want to be able to use my 4gigs of RAM but I don't want to have to go Vista to do it! Could you please hit me off with some knowledge...

Re:Mod article flamebait (1)

carpe_noctem (457178) | about 7 years ago | (#20072275)

I'll start a flamewar with you. I also do audio production, and it's precisely the reason I switched from linux to mac. Audacity and Audour are in a sorry state compared to Logic/Cubase/Ableton Live/Pro Tools... let alone that there are basically no good mastering plugins (or any good plugins?) for this platform.

I would be very interested to hear what software you use and what you're actually producing.

10 pages to say what? (0)

Bullfish (858648) | about 7 years ago | (#20071397)

Really, in the end, all the article says is that Mac OSX is great if you want the prepackaged experience, and that Linux (Ubuntu) is great if you like to tinker and completely personalize your machine. So... 10 pages to say what everybody already knew.

Re:10 pages to say what? (1)

AltGrendel (175092) | about 7 years ago | (#20071923)

Well, maybe here on /. but the rest of the world still has to be reminded of this. This article strikes me as written for the suits out there that aren't really sure yet (or the poor IT guy that has to explain this to them) and may need some justification for moving on.

Microsoft was cut from the equation because... (3, Insightful)

night_flyer (453866) | about 7 years ago | (#20071401)

the first part of the article states:

"If you're a Vista-wary Windows user who would rather switch than fight, should you move to a Linux distro or Apple's OS X?"

Why would they put MS into the equation?

Re:Microsoft was cut from the equation because... (1)

My name is Bucket (1020933) | about 7 years ago | (#20071643)

Because apparently starting from square one with a new OS is easier than keeping your current install of XP Pro or Win2000.

Re:Microsoft was cut from the equation because... (1)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | about 7 years ago | (#20072043)

Because apparently starting from square one with a new OS is easier than keeping your current install of XP Pro or Win2000.

But in 2017, MS has promised to stop supporting XP. It's like the getting ready for the 2038 problem, it's never too soon to switch your OS to a different solution that will not be in use a decade from now.

Why choose? (1)

tomshaq (1018286) | about 7 years ago | (#20071403)

I have a macbook and dual-boot with OSX and Ubuntu. They both serve different purposes, but together, for me, cover everything I could ever need to do. It's good to see that Ubuntu is bringing Linux to some attention, and exposing a lot more average consumers to the Linux side. Linux is definitely desktop ready, and is advancing at a pace far beyond any of the alternatives, especially as Ubuntu has become the poster boy of Linux, more and more people are becoming involved. Soon, Linux (maybe Ubuntu, maybe some other flavor) will become a dominant force in the personal computer market, which will lead to better support from hardware companies (I'm looking at you, ATI) and better software.

Oh... (5, Funny)

Mazin07 (999269) | about 7 years ago | (#20071407)

From the description I thought the Ubuntu user and the Mac user were going to fight to the death. Too bad.

Re:Oh... (1)

psbrogna (611644) | about 7 years ago | (#20071523)

I think you've struck upon a terrific idea: Celebrity OS Wars. A reality show where two non-technical pop-culture icon's compete to install an OS on bare metal. It's just as good a concept as some of the other hokey stuff tv exec's have signed off the last few years. I'd watch it. Hell, I'd even bet on the outcomes.

Re:Oh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20071537)

From the description I thought the Ubuntu user and the Mac user were going to fight to the death. Too bad.
Good thing it isn't because I don't have any scorecards above Round 99.

Two Operating Systems Enter... (2, Funny)

geoffrobinson (109879) | about 7 years ago | (#20071943)

...only one leaves.

Re:Oh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20072119)

Indeed, and it would've been a win regardless of who died. Heh heh.

What? (1)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | about 7 years ago | (#20071499)

What's the point of all of this? It's all about what people prefer. If I like Apple enough to take a second mortgage on my house to get one, you better believe I would learn to like it. And if I just plain hated M$ but didn't have the means to get Unix in Mac form factor [] , I would install Ubuntu. (Or in my case Fedora) What did this really accomplish?

Do something less controversial (5, Funny)

athloi (1075845) | about 7 years ago | (#20071519)

Like Ubuntu versus Islam.

Re:Do something less controversial (1)

cerelib (903469) | about 7 years ago | (#20071829)

It appears that Ubuntu and Islam have already formed a joint venture, Ubuntu Muslim Edition [] , to avoid such comparisons.

Re:Do something less controversial (1)

another_fanboy (987962) | about 7 years ago | (#20071945)

From the link: UbuntuME stands for Ubuntu Muslim Editio

Hopefully it will be nothing like Windows ME.

Re:Do something less controversial (1)

Sodki (621717) | about 7 years ago | (#20072023)

What I really would like to see is Ubuntu Christian Edition [] vs Ubuntu Muslim Edition [] . Now that is what I would call a _real_ flame war.

Re:Do something less controversial (1)

cHiphead (17854) | about 7 years ago | (#20072159)

As if OS Zealotry wasn't bad enough, now they go and combine OS with Religious Zealotry.

Really, how much more do you people need in a sign of the coming apocalypse?


Re:Do something less controversial (1)

54nd3r (655620) | about 7 years ago | (#20072239)

At least the Islam comes with a manual and personal support

One Button Mouse Charge Stale (3, Informative)

Naum (166466) | about 7 years ago | (#20071525)

Article bangs on the "mighty mouse" as not really being a 2 button mouse... ...while I am no fan of it, I recently hooked my Mom up with a new IMac and played with the mouse and the button on the side does right click and the knobby deal in the middle acts as a scroll wheel, at least it worked for me... ...and on my MacBookPro two fingers on the pad can accomplish same functions as a 2 button mouse...

Re:One Button Mouse Charge Stale (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | about 7 years ago | (#20071713)

You're right. It's not a one-button, two-button, or three-button mouse. It actually can operate as a four-button mouse, with an x- and y-axis scroll wheel. It's taken some getting used to, but I've adapted to it quite well.

Re:One Button Mouse Charge Stale (1)

parcel (145162) | about 7 years ago | (#20071757)

It actually is a two-button mouse in addition to the side buttons, it's just defaulted by OS X to both left and right click having the same action. Although the entire mouse body physically clicks, there are sensors underneath each side of the little scroll ball that determine a right or left click based on where your fingers are (pictures here [] , near the bottom of the page). That means that if you have your fingers over both buttons when clicking, it registers as a left click - you need to remove your fingers from the left side of the mouse to perform a right click.

It's annoying, but I love the little scroll ball so much that i've been training myself to lift my fingers from the left side for a right click. Although I hear the scroll ball goes wonky after a while from getting dirty...
Maybe someone knows of a mouse with a similar scroll ball, that has distinct buttons? I had a "horizontal scroll" mouse before that was just awful, had to tilt the mouse wheel to the sides, which due to the degree of force required invariably led to a vertical scroll as well.

*** It's not JUST about the button *** (1, Interesting)

scuba_steve_1 (849912) | about 7 years ago | (#20072369)

Contextual menus are (and have been) a core part of Windows for years. I don't need to hunt down a menu item in some far flung location when I manipulate an object in most Windows-based programs. Instead, I can right-click on it and see what functions are appropriate...and available, based on the object type and its state.

Here's the rub - adding that functionality to a program is not free. It takes effort. A bunch of effort...especially if you do it well...and if the program allows you to right-click on a wide range of objects. I know. I have developed applications (professionally) for Windows, (cross-platform) Java Swing, and...yes...for the MacOS. Thing is, most Mac users don't use this functionality since the two-button mouse has not been standard...and because Control click is a pain in the ass. Thus, very few Mac application developers exert the extra effort to do a halfway decent job for contextual menus. The same developers know that they MUST do a decent job on Windows since windows users expect this functionality...and have expected it for a decade. Cross-platform apps are the exception...but they are not the rule.

Feel free to flame away...about how right-clicking is a broken (and ill-advised) UI paradigm...and implies something wrong with the balance of the UI design...but frankly, I disagree...and so do many others.

Yes, you can buy a two button mouse for MacOS...but it would not change the fact that the code just isn't there in most applications to exploit the second least well. BTW, most Windows users now have three button mice (center wheel click). ;-

Yes, 100% proprietary is obsolete... (-1, Troll)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | about 7 years ago | (#20071555)

Up until the 1990s, companies like IBM and the Digital Equipment Corp. did it all. They designed their own chips, built their own system and storage hardware, wrote operating systems, provided applications, and provided service and maintenance for the whole thing. Now, that business model is obsolete. (Unless you're Apple.)

No kidding. That was the great leap forward with Microsoft's OS. You could run it on open hardware from almost any vendor. (Of course, Linux took this one step further with an open OS too.)

Let me know when I can run the proprietary Mac OS on open hardware like that which UMAX or a Power Computing systems used to provide. Then we'll talk about a level playing field.

Re:Yes, 100% proprietary is obsolete... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20071879)

(Of course, Linux took this one step further with an open OS too.)

Of course, you're wrong. But nice try. For you n00bs around here: Open source is not new! Repeat that until you understand it.

IBM was releasing open source OSs when Linus' dad was probably still learning to walk.

Get over your Linux FUD. It's really old at this point.

Re:Yes, 100% proprietary is obsolete... (1)

cerelib (903469) | about 7 years ago | (#20071893)

The problem now is that, because of how widespread Windows is, the "open hardware" is made specifically for Windows. If you want to use much of the hardware for something other than Windows, you are on your own. While it is better than the single vendor system, it currently has some problems.

Re:Yes, 100% proprietary is obsolete... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20071899)

No kidding. That was the great leap forward with Microsoft's OS. You could run it on open hardware from almost any vendor.

See, those of us who enjoy using Apple products actually think of steps like that as a great leap BACKWARD. Sure, there are plenty of people who want to run an OS on whatever hardware they buy, from the latest-and-greatest to $150 crap. That's what Windows and Linux are for. Many people LIKE that Apple produces both the hardware and the software because it offers better integration. The more systems you have to support, the more stuff than can go wrong, pure and simple. Linux has come a long way with drivers, but last I heard it wasn't a piece of cake to install a wireless driver on a Linux-based laptop. (I'm sure someone will correct me, but be sure to include your definition of "piece of cake.")

When you do call up Apple support, they can't tell you to hang up and go call the maker of the box or Microsoft.

I realize that having clone-makers wouldn't dilute my choice to buy Apple hardware, but--and this has been said a gazillion times already--it won't happen because Apple values the user experience and subsequently wants to control it from top to bottom.

If what you really want is Apple's OS running on whatever box you want, maybe you're not clear as to the advanges of NOT being able to run it on whatever box you want.

Re:Yes, 100% proprietary is obsolete... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20072149)

Linux has come a long way with drivers, but last I heard it wasn't a piece of cake to install a wireless driver on a Linux-based laptop. (I'm sure someone will correct me, but be sure to include your definition of "piece of cake.")

Okay... I'll satisfy your desire to be corrected...

Why would you want to install a wireless driver on a Linux-based laptop? I just installed Ubuntu and the wireless worked fine without having to do the driver installation myself.

Re:Yes, 100% proprietary is obsolete... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20071951)

"That was the great leap forward with Microsoft's OS. You could run it on open hardware from almost any vendor."

It was a "great leap forward" for Bill Gate's bank balance. It's not clear that it's been an advantage to users: it certainly hasn't produced better products (unless you're naive enough to think Windows is a good product).

And, of course, "people who care about software build their own hardware". Gates not only brings no culture to his products, as he admits himself, he doesn't fundamentally care about any aspect of the quality of the products his company shovels out: he only cares about profits.

Incidentally the Great Leap Forward was one of the most horrific chapters in modern China's history: []

You might like to stop using the term for trivial purposes.

Re:Yes, 100% proprietary is obsolete... (1)

Orion_ (83461) | about 7 years ago | (#20072123)

That was the great leap forward with Microsoft's OS. You could run it on open hardware from almost any vendor.
*cough* CP/M *cough*

Screw CP/M (0, Troll)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | about 7 years ago | (#20072331)

Screw CP/M - it never had the mindshare or marketshare that Windows, Linux or the Mac OS did.

the economic factor (1)

FudRucker (866063) | about 7 years ago | (#20071567)

if you are looking to save money on computer go with Linux = Free (both beer & freedom)...

if you have plenty of cash to spend on a computer go with whatever you want (either Apple's Mac or build a top notch PC and install whatever Linux distro you like best)...

Apple may be a good alternative to MS-Win but it is not free (no free beer & none of the four freedoms as RMS's definition)...

Who's more UNIX-user? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20071571)

Who's more UNIX-user between the two guys ?

I'd bet on the ubuntu one.

iTunes for Ubuntu (2, Informative)

DrDitto (962751) | about 7 years ago | (#20071575)

Take a look at the success of the iPod. The Slashdot community may not get the "lame iPod", but you can't argue with its success and market penetration. Nearly all my friends have one. I have one and I love it. Now how on earth are we possibly going to consider a switch to Ubuntu without having iTunes available?

Re:iTunes for Ubuntu (1)

Tim_UWA (1015591) | about 7 years ago | (#20071759)

I actually much prefer Amarok to iTunes, especially for managing the music on my iPod. For instance, right clicking on an album in the side-bar and clicking "transfer to media device," instead of shift-clicking all of the songs and dragging them to the iPod icon, is more convenient for me (especially when I'm wiping my iPod and transferring 4GB of stuff over). Although, I haven't used iTunes extensively, so there may be some way to emulate that functionality.

Also, being able to copy music from my iPod is extremely useful. I am aware you can download some third-party iTunes lookalike to do the same, but then that's hardly making a comparison to iTunes.

Re:iTunes for Ubuntu (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20072059)

You can drag a whole folder or set of folders to your iPod in iTunes as well. You are married to selecting the songs individually if you want to use the right-click context menu, though.

Copying music back off the iPod is iTunes' only major flaw. I would bet Apple isn't happy about it either since they get so many complaints, but they have no choice since they have to deal directly with the recording industry.

Re:iTunes for Ubuntu (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20072081)

Ehm, I use GTK-Pod which enables me to up and download off my ipod without the the fear that if I plug it in somewhere else it will wipe it. And amarok works fine...otherwise use rythembox.

Re:iTunes for Ubuntu (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20072429)

Amarok? Rhythmbox? XMMS2?

Unbalanced? (1, Interesting)

Tim_UWA (1015591) | about 7 years ago | (#20071611)

To me that seemed like "Genuine, Honest Evaluation of Ubuntu" vs "Mac is Awesome." For one thing, in the 'Installation' section the Mac guy failed to mention the necessary re-install of OS X when you buy the mac. Unless you like 15GB of crap you don't need on your computer (>1GB of printer drivers!!!). The Ubuntu guy focussed on the concerns for a new user, whereas the Mac guy focussed on how much he liked certain things, and all the cool stuff you could buy for it. Not worth reading

Just mulit-boot it (3, Insightful)

rortega007 (1135069) | about 7 years ago | (#20071733)

Hey im new around here so wutzup. How about just have all three OSs?! I multi-boot with OSx86/WinXP Pro/Ubuntu/SUSE OSED, theres gotta be people out there like me that do this right? Why fight over which girl you want when you can just have them on speed dial and switch em when you need to?

Re:Just mulit-boot it (1)

Dr. Smoove (1099425) | about 7 years ago | (#20072261)

1999 called, they want their silly multiple boot config back. VMWare makes this type of shit deprecated. Or are you measuring your internet penis by "number of installed OS's"?

Nothing about Games.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20071811)

So I will keep buying Windows. You get what you pay for in this world, and if I want fun, I expect to pay for it.

Businesses are already rejecting Linux - mine has just insisted that, if any Open Source code is proposed for a project, it must be eyeballed by the security team (who can't code). So that's no Linux here.

If anyone knows a good way to pursuade management to accept Open Source without commercial guarantees, then let me know!

Re:Nothing about Games.... (1)

Dr. Smoove (1099425) | about 7 years ago | (#20072353)

If that's not a troll,

from TFA (5, Funny)

penp (1072374) | about 7 years ago | (#20071853)

Likewise, Apple takes pains to make setting up a Mac as simple as possible. When you buy a Mac, it comes in a box with a minimum of packing materials, and an envelope of documentation. You unpack the Mac; plug the CPU into the wall socket; plug the keyboard, mouse, and monitor into the CPU; and switch it on. It detects an Internet connection (if one is available), and walks you through a two-minute configuration and setup with an easy-to-follow wizard.
You want me to do what with my processor?

Re:from TFA (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | about 7 years ago | (#20071955)

Dammit! Almost time to upgrade my house to AM2 outlets everywhere...

Going from skiing to snowboarding (5, Interesting)

Mr_Silver (213637) | about 7 years ago | (#20071887)

I'm a skier, been skiing for over 7 years now and (if I dare say it) I'm pretty reasonable. I'm not an expert, but as long as it isn't icy moguls (or moguls for that matter) can handle most of the pistes ... and I enjoy it.

Now snowboarding looks cool. You can do things you can't do with skis, it certainly looks like fun and you can do some great tricks. So I gave it a go, several times. The problem was that here was I, standing at a resort with my snowboard on and looking at what I could do. The black down the mountain? Nope. The long red? Nope. The winding blue through the trees? Nope. The rubbish green which snakes past the lifts. Well, sort of as long as I didn't mind falling over a bit.

So here am I, completely unable to go off and explore the mountain because the tool I was using to do it, I couldn't use properly. I hadn't invested the time and the effort to learn and here was I, unable to get the best out of it.

So what should I do? Spend the next week (and only week of my holiday) falling about on a green run? Or slap back on my ski's and head off and explore the mountain, try all the runs, get to the summit and check out the blacks down the back - plus a little off piste?

I did what, I suspect, a lot of people did. I put my ski's back on. My weeks holiday in the snow is precious. I don't have the time and money to fly abroad to ski again multiple times a year so in the end I wussed out, picked what I knew was comfortable and that I could do and went with that.

I rationalise that my holiday was too short to be sitting face down on a green run when I could be taking full advantage of what the mountain had to offer. I did the training and the falling over 7 years ago when I was learning to ski - it's taken me years (literally) to get where I am now and, in one fell swooop, I don't want to go back again to that.

I think a lot of people consider Windows vs something else in the same way that I consider skiing vs snowboarding.

Re:Going from skiing to snowboarding (1)

beau_west (1114973) | about 7 years ago | (#20072051)

While you're probably right in that most people are afraid of the 'learning curve', when I switched to Mac OS X about a year and a half ago, it was nearly seamless. Sure I spent the first few weeks fiddling around and trying to figure out what I could do, after that, I quickly grew into being a prolific Mac user.

Using Parallels, I have Windows XP and Ubuntu Linux installed on my MacBook Pro as well. I'll pop onto them every once in a while for different things, and while I enjoy playing around with Linux, I think it would be much harder to use Ubuntu in my every day activities than Mac.

Re:Going from skiing to snowboarding (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20072307)

Not to mention that snowboarders/snowboarding suck -- which OS X and Ubuntu don't.

The analogy might have worked had you been a lame ass snowboarder trying to learn how to ski.

Re:Going from skiing to snowboarding (2, Informative)

TheMeuge (645043) | about 7 years ago | (#20072105)

That's all well and good. But I think your analogy is flawed.

It took me about 3 weeks to stop booting into Windows on laptop after I installed Ubuntu. And that's considering that I've never ever hadn't even laid my eyes on any flavor of *nix before.

Your analogy of skiing and snowboarding is flawed, because you're comparing both levels of skill and levels of difficulty that are not applicable to OS usage. The fact is that (again following your analogy) most of us are not doing the black diamonds on our Windows systems. We're doing the blues (yes, I know). And after having switched about 10 people to Ubuntu, I can conclude that anyone who has a reasonable understanding of the concept of how to use an OS, will not have any trouble using Linux, and will happily finish out their vacation on a snowboard.

Now this may be different for a grandmother who relies strictly on memorized procedures to check her email. But anyone who has a dynamic understanding of what they're doing, should have the basics covered in a week or less.

Re:Going from skiing to snowboarding (2, Insightful)

Serious Callers Only (1022605) | about 7 years ago | (#20072179)

If your skis were made of unsuitable materials, and poorly designed, your analogy might be more appropriate.

I think a lot of people consider using Windows to be much like using cardboard skis.

Re:Going from skiing to snowboarding (5, Insightful)

starglider29a (719559) | about 7 years ago | (#20072345)

Great analogy.

Now, imagine that someone skied up beside you, turned your skis the way they wanted, stole your lift ticket, and finally broke your skis halfway down a black diamond run.

Then imagine that on the way up the ski lift, you are informed that in order to prevent ski theft, you will have a slope protection agent. "You are trying to turn left. Cancel or Allow?" But when you get to the top of the lift, you learn that you have to replace your favorite skis with more expensive skis. Then you need to upgrade your boots to this special limited selection. And none of them will fit into the bindings on the skis.

Now, you are realizing that the choice of an expensive-ish (not really) snowboard ready-to-ride, or a roll-your-own board shop will get you down the hill in one piece. Cancel or Allow?

so sick of the os wars everyday (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20071907)

Ubuntu, OS X, Vista, who gives a fuck, use what you want to use, stop wasting everyones time.

New OS X User (1)

epistemiclife (1101021) | about 7 years ago | (#20072121)

I was a user of Windows for a long time. I tried Linux when it was less mature, but I didn't become a "real" Linux user until I went to college. I used SuSE, primarily because it had drivers which actually worked on my ridiculously proprietary Vaio laptop. Ubuntu is very nice, as well.

Several months ago, I decided to get a Mac, which was a first. I've never been happier. It's easy to use, and it's BSD Unix, with a fully-functional command line. I still run Linux in a virtual machine, using Parallels, along with XP, but there is little point at running a completely separate instance of Linux, unless there is some specific program (or user interface) that one desires to run. It's difficult to deny that OS X is easier to use the any version of Linux in existence. I was sold when I saw that "installing" applications is usually unnecessary, and generally consists of dragging an icon.

The purpose of a user interface is to be functional and efficient, and I am constantly confronted with features that appear to exist simply because someone realized, "It would be easier if it were done this way." There are some annyance, as well: I think that having to press Command-O to open a directory is one keystroke too many, and that the fact that [Enter] renames a folder is backwards. I feel similarly about the fact that the Home and End keys do not function as they do in every other operating system in existence. I also find annoying that, when I select the "get info" option for a directory, I can't copy the full path to the clipboard (and thus to the terminal). This could probably be fixed with a line of code.

ad infinitum.

Re:New OS X User (1)

Zelos (1050172) | about 7 years ago | (#20072189)

You can just drag the folder to the terminal to copy the pathname to it, or drag the folder icon on the title bar of the finder window.

Re:New OS X User (1)

epistemiclife (1101021) | about 7 years ago | (#20072375)

I guess that some people would say that becoming a Mac user has made me dumber. But my mom thinks I and my computer are cool.

The mac reviewer... (1)

Brian Gordon (987471) | about 7 years ago | (#20072213)

How could anyone at slashdot take seriously a reviewer who refers to the computer case as the "CPU" and uses such language as "You just plug the CPU into the wall and away you go"? ...

Money is the root of all OSX solutions? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20072361)

From the article:
Feature X
Linux: To do X you can use this, or see if that works, or maybe find a solution here.
Mac: Buy Y for $Z.

Fair Review (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20072413)

How can anyone give a fair review of any Linux distro when there are many different ways to do things?

I use both (2, Insightful)

ChrisA90278 (905188) | about 7 years ago | (#20072435)

I have both ubuntu and a Mac on my desk at home. I use just one monitor. The are very much alike except for one big thing and that one big thing is huge. I can't run Photoshop or Apple's Final Cut, Aperture or even iTunes on my Linux system. The other thing is that Mac OS X will not run on my non-Apple hardware. So I use both.

At work I'm on Linux almost exclusivly with some things running on Solaris.

goddamn ads (0, Flamebait)

frankm_slashdot (614772) | about 7 years ago | (#20072453)

i'm on a mac, and not using firefox... not using adblock... nothing.

and by page 2 i was so furious with having to close each fucking float-in ad that i gave up on reading the article...

guess ill just go back to work now... on my g5 desktop, macbook pro laptop runnng vista... firewall server running openbsd and the rest of my computers running gentoo linux...

oh, and fuck zealotry. right tool for the right job. sometimes the right tool costs a bit more money. deal with it.

Historical Precedent (2, Funny)

PinkyDead (862370) | about 7 years ago | (#20072545)

- We mustn't fight each other! Surely we should be united against the common enemy!
= The Judean People's Front?!
- No, no! The Romans!
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