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Linux vs. Mac: Should I Get a Mac?

Anonymous Coward writes | more than 6 years ago

Operating Systems 4

An anonymous reader writes " ponders on whether or not it's better to get a Mac over Linux. The author writes, "Then again, I have to come back full circle and ask myself — do I really 'need,' or even want, OS X over a pure Linux box? Under the hood, it's basically the same thing, which is a hat tip to Apple. Incredibly secure and simple to use. Personally, the most compelling reason to use this OS would not be for iTunes. It would also be for the fantastic applications designed to make video editing a breeze. Is this something I really want to do on a notebook? If I went MacBook Pro perhaps, but it's really more of a desktop sort of a task for an iMac, I think. I don't know yet, it does seem like OS X is looking better all the time. I can hammer out scripts like I do in Linux fairly easily, and now, thanks to VMWare Fusion, I can even use my beloved Evolution PIM where Entourage is not a great replacement for me. Maybe it's time to upgrade my notebook after all?"
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Why both make me a cranky old man (1)

tempest69 (572798) | more than 6 years ago | (#20725963)

To begin with, linux, mac and windows are all staring me in the face right now. And I have issues with the functionality of all three. I haven't delved into the cryptic depths of the UI on any of them, I'm reasonably capable of using any of them. The mac has an elegant UI, the keyboard shortcuts are amazing under the mac.. Safari can increase font size on the fly, and do it really nicely, firefox does it well on some web pages, and kinda botches it on others. Sure I've seen some safari resize nightmares too, and its pretty subjective, safari just feels more comfortable.

The built in mac image zoom, its a gimmick, but it works fantastic. The automatic spell check in dialogue boxes is amazing, all my spelling mistakes are intentional. The scroll wheel on the mouse is a bit laggy under mac, for scrolling, but for zooming its responsive, no clue why. The crazy pinwheel torks me off, sometimes the whole box is stuck, waiting for the spinner to stop, nothing on the keyboard matters so it gets the hard shutdown. Killing processes is nutz they have a zombie like will to stay intact. Generally I give up on harder installs under a mac, because if they dont work right away they usually dont work at all. Getting sshd to work under OSx is not straight-forward.. using a regular keyboard has some weirdness with the six keys above the cursor keys

Linux, its where I program. All the services are easy to get running, the software available is amazing.. Some packages can be obscene nightmares to get installed.. if the package manager doesn't support it it gets messy.

Gnome and KDE, haven't felt anywhere near as intuitive as mac or windows.. I click on the time, and I get the calendar...

(soapbox) The continuity of linux gets me cranky, to renew an ip address the command pump was the norm. but it got upgraded to dhcpcd, then to dhcpclient then to dhclient. The problem is that these commands disappeared, and all traces were gone, so typing apropos pump shows nothing. trying apropos ip shows far too much. Without the experience of knowing that DHCP renews ip addressses, figuring out what the command is takes far more work than needed. The breadcrumbs are totally cleaned out.. figuring out that iptables is the new ipchains is another waste of effort when apropos ipchains or man ipchains could just point the way.(/soapbox)

Anyway I find the mac less frustrating for simple desktop use, more frustrating trying to make it act like a linux server. For linux, the desktop is tolerable, but not pleasant yet. But getting it to work in server mode is as pleasant as it gets.

Re:Why both make me a cranky old man (1)

644bd346996 (1012333) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732957)

You're having trouble with getting sshd to run? It isn't that hard. Either you use the GUI to enable it, and stick with the default configuration, or if you really need to customize the config a lot, you leave that alone and use the standard unix methods with Fink.

Also, what programs are bringing your mac to its knees so frequently? Since you mention a scroll wheel, I assume you have one of the more recent macs that shipped with a mighty mouse. I've yet to experience scrolling lag on one of those machines. Also, what apps are you using that crash? The only hard crashes I've had were from a bad OpenAFS install, and I've never had trouble killing a hung beta build of something.

Re:Why both make me a cranky old man (1)

tempest69 (572798) | more than 6 years ago | (#20756329)

Safari Brings my machine to its knees(sure I have Itunes and Email running in background). sometimes its the pinwheel, sometimes the mouse just sticks in place.. This morning the mouse froze for 2 minutes, but the keyboard was still alive. If they both stop for more than a few minutes I just wince and reboot. I swapped to a das keyboard and microsoft mouse to rule out hardware, the problems persist. It shouldnt be having issues, it's a 2.66 ghz core2 with 3 gigs, and the nvidia 7600 24" imac.

As far as ssh goes, I found it in "sharing" (yea I feel dumb, but ssh and sharing arent two things I would have equated before) and it seemed to be happy as soon as the box is checked.

I haven't heard of fink before.

To be totally fair the mac locks up far less than my xp box.

Linux & Mac in Harmony (1)

whichpaul (733708) | more than 6 years ago | (#20728741)

For many people what's under the bonnet of Linux and Mac really won't be the driving question cause they're both reputably solid.

If you're looking for a laptop you should decide whether you are one of those special people who actually "need" a laptop. I personally find the Apple laptop hardware to be well designed, both aesthetically and practically, although you will pay more than many PC manufacturers - but not always by much.

If you're looking for video editing, Mac is the of course the best option (yes I know there are OSS packages for Linux but they're just not there yet - yes I have used them). There is a good range of basic to pro-level packages.

I currently have a MacBook on which I run Ubuntu under VMWare Fusion. I appreciate the convenience of not having to reboot, I also like that things like WiFi aren't an issue (big plus). VMWare Fusion for the most part works great, although I find sometimes the VMWare client software goes AWOL when I've updating or messing around with Ubuntu, this may however be purely my fault. I'm able to fire up Ubuntu, run my favourite transcoding programs (SoundConverter, DVD::Rip, Transcode, MPLayer etc..) or do some LAMP web development without having to buy 3rd party apps or tame the Mac beast.

As for a GUI, I really Gnome. It seems to get better and better. Mac OS X is pretty good too. I've used both extensively and for me it's really 50/50; each have strengths and weaknesses (although Mac fan boys will never admit that). But the thing that really makes an OS & GUI meaningful is the apps. For regular Internet / Office my choice is Ubuntu with Gnome. For multimedia it's Mac. For games it's XP. Fortunately, there are also a lot of OSS apps (like Firefox, Thunderbird, Adium, BiTorrent and soon a decent port of OpenOffice) on the Mac platform which does chew into my Internet / Office selection.

The bottom line, I appreciate the quality design, ease of use and wide support the Mac offers; I also appreciate the great, free utilities and server technologies that Linux distribs offer. For me the Mac means I get stuff done without any fighting, but when I'm feeling more adventurous or technical up comes Ubuntu.
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