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The Ultimate MacDate 706

Posted by michael
from the going-dutch dept.
Hack Jandy writes "Anandtech - the PC hardware site - took the Apple challenge and tried a Mac out for a month. The result was the most indepth Macdate I have even seen. As quoted by Anand, 'In the end, Apple has developed a very strong platform.'"
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The Ultimate MacDate

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  • I am not surprised (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mirko (198274) on Friday October 08, 2004 @03:04PM (#10473671) Journal
    Once you're under Windows,you want the Linux hackability, once you are on Linux, you miss the bells and whistles, since I switched, I got both and I am happy :)
    • by malchus842 (741252) <stephen@adamsemail.net> on Friday October 08, 2004 @03:15PM (#10473825) Homepage

      I'm not surprised either. I used a Mac back in 1985, but then ended up on DOS/Windows boxes until about 18 months ago. Having switched and used a Mac for this period of time, I would NEVER switch back to Windows. Heck, I made it a requirement of accepting my last job offer that I have a Mac, not a PC.

      Why? Because the Mac gives me the best of both worlds - a Unix box (BSD no less), and a fantastic UI. I've been a Unix guy for a LONG time (1980). Linux is great, but when it comes to Unix-like boxes, I'll take the Mac any day as a user environment.

      I've switched my whole family - we now have 4 macs in the house. I got my pastor to switch to the Mac, and when I was a consultant, several comapnies I supported took my advice and switched. EVERYONE is happier than they ever were on the Windows box.

      • My father seems to have recently (sort-of*) switched. He recieved a PowerBook because a company he is doing work for wants the development on the Mac. The stability and the interface seem to really impress him. Now, he even has an iPod and an AirPort Express. (Okay, so both of those are good even without a Mac.) He said that he (and the family) has a Mac before, but he switched to a PC because Macs were lagging in some areas at the time.

        *I say "sort-of" because he still has Windows desktop and lapto
        • by cayenne8 (626475)
          I'm a recent convert of a sort. I just recently got a used iBook 800Mhz, G3. Good price on eBay..with software, carry case, 14" screen...all hardware.

          I got it to experiment with putting Gentoo Linux on it...heard good things. I decided to dual boot it. I've been using OSX a lot at the beginning...while I was installing and figuring out how to get Linux on it. More and more...I find I really like a lot about the OSX side. Its really a learning experience...I think I'll be even more comfortable once I get a

          • by steeviant (677315) on Saturday October 09, 2004 @03:26PM (#10481018)
            "I think I'll be even more comfortable once I get a replacement mouse that had 2 buttons and a clickable wheel..."

            You will be more comfortable, although the machines don't ship with two button mice, the OS supports them seamlessly.

            In the meantime, you can turn your trackpad into a 3 button trackpad with a scrollwheel by getting sidetrack here [ragingmenace.com].

            "I really miss the Linux/Unix way of clicking with left button to drag to highlight...and just click middle button (wheel) to paste. I understand with will work on OSX too with a new mouse."

            Sadly no, the Linux method of copy/paste won't work except in X11 applications, but OS X supports text drag and drop which can still be done entirely without moving your hand from the mouse, and is independant of the clipboard.

            "Overall..I do like it. I think I'll really like it more when I can figure how to get the Gentoo for OSX portage kit put on...and start to run more native X applications on it."

            It wasn't until I started using OS X as just another Unix with a fancy GUI that I really started to feel comfortable.

            As a person coming from the linux world, you might want to install the GNU fileutils, which is the same ls/rm/mv/cp/ln/chmod/chown etc that Linux uses, then just alias to the GNU versions instead of the FreeBSD tools it comes with.
      • Seconded... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Savage-Rabbit (308260) on Friday October 08, 2004 @04:23PM (#10474568)
        I can relate to all of what you said. I used to be a PC/Windows use because of the broad Software selection and ease of use (Point n click has some advantages), I was a also a PC/Linux user because of the stability security powerful server apps etc... OS.X is an acceptable compromise, even on my G4 PowerBook (which incidentally makes any PC laptop I have yet seen look like a brick when you see them side by side). Plus OS.X beats both Linux and Windows hands down when it comes to ergonomics (I am relly hooked on Exposé for example). Another boon is immunity to Worms/Viruses and best of all it integrates 95% into the windows network at work. My only gripe is that I wish Apple would increase the stability of its OS and the Window manager instead of adding so many 'eyecandy' features. In eight months of using OS.X have had one Kernel panic and five window manager crashes which is only marginally better than my experience with Windows XP, considering what I paid for the Mac I expected the stability of OS.X to be greater.
        • Pedantic Retort (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Valthonis (607085) on Friday October 08, 2004 @05:22PM (#10475095) Homepage

          I've found that a lot of people complain about the price they paid for their Apple hardware when confronted with software problems...

          Yes, Apple hardware is expensive. However, OS X 10.3 (latest version) is MUCH cheaper per license than Windows XP.

          Windows XP Pro (Upgrade): $189.99 [amazon.com]

          Windows XP Pro (Full): $279.99 [amazon.com]

          Mac OS X 10.3 (Full): $129.00 [apple.com]

          For an admittedly "better" operating system, Apple sure gives you a good deal, eh?

          Note: I neglected to mention XP Home on purpose; the lack of configurability with regards to disabling default services with known security vulnerabilities (Messenger, UPnP, etc.) make it unadvisable as a real consumer OS.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 08, 2004 @03:20PM (#10473876)
      Bells and whistles? The main thing that keeps me on Windows are the games. :|
      • by Midnight Thunder (17205) * on Friday October 08, 2004 @07:12PM (#10475977) Homepage Journal
        Bells and whistles? The main thing that keeps me on Windows are the games. :|

        And even then. Since consoles are really starting to come into their own, and Microsoft is encouraging the usual Windows games developers to develop for their console, you really have to ask yourself whether you still need a PC for your games?

        With the games argument assigned to the consoles, you no longer have to include that as a major requirement when buying your computer. Because of that the Mac becomes more appealing, as does any other non-MS-Windows solution.

    • by sploo22 (748838) <.dwahler. .at. .gmail.com.> on Friday October 08, 2004 @05:45PM (#10475271)
      More and more I'm finding out that Mac OS is, and indeed has been for a long time, very elegant and well-designed.

      A number of features that modern Linux distros and desktop environments are priding themselves on have been part of Mac OS for a long time. Graphical boot? Check. Graphical disk partitioner? Check. LiveCD installer? Check. Loads of nifty little features like an application-accessible encrypted keychain manager, desktop sticky notes, multi-user logins with profiles stored on a server... you name it. Mas OS 9 even has VOICEPRINT IDENTIFICATION for crying out loud.

      I'm now pretty determined that my next computer is going to be a PowerBook.
  • 20 IE Windows?!!! (Score:5, Informative)

    by jaaron (551839) on Friday October 08, 2004 @03:07PM (#10473702) Homepage
    From the article:

    When writing an article (especially big NDA launches), I'd have around 20 IE windows open, Outlook with another 5 - 15 emails, Power Point with NDA presentations, ...

    20 IE Windows??? Man, this guy has got to get a copy of Firefox [mozilla.org] and learn the joy of tabbed browsing.
    • Re:20 IE Windows?!!! (Score:4, Informative)

      by Tyler Durden (136036) on Friday October 08, 2004 @03:13PM (#10473792)
      That or any of the many other alternate browsers that allow tabbed browsing. And that includes Opera, which did it in the first place.
      • by Ianoo (711633)
        Why on earth would I want a closed source browser that contains Adware when I can have an open source browser that has more features (with easily installed extensions) for free? Opera works great on my Nokia, but I don't think I'll be installing their desktop software any time soon.
        • by AvitarX (172628) <<gro.derdnuheniwydnarb> <ta> <em>> on Friday October 08, 2004 @03:25PM (#10473928) Journal
          Firefox/Mozilla gestures do not even close to compare to Opera's (well not last time I tried.

          The only reason I dropped Opera is it didn't feel right on Linux (being QT, but not feeling as nice as Konquerer in the environment).

          Maybe they fixed this in Mozilla, but opera has these gestures/shortcuts that I find great, and miss:

          1) right mouse+mouse wheel (cycle tabs)
          2)hold right mouse+tap left mouse (back)
          3)revers of 2 for forward
          4)CTRL+mousewheel for a supurb zooming, way better then any other zoom.

          Also the ram ached forward and back buttons are blazing fast. Just amazing, even on older systems.

          Fast foward and rewind was nice, but pretty much jusdt a gimmick.
          • Re:20 IE Windows?!!! (Score:3, Informative)

            by shawb (16347)
            In Firefox 1.0 Pre with some mouse gesture extensions installed (Don't remember offhand which ones) I can:
            1) cycle through tabs by rolling the scroll wheel when the cursor is over the tabs.
            2) back page by right click, move mouse left.
            3) Forward page by right click, move mouse right.
            4) And CTRL+Mousewheel does zoom in Firefox for me, although it does not zoom as well as Opera, in my opinion. Basically just changes text size, no images zooming, formatting within frames or CSS gets kinda wierd. So I gues
    • by Tenebrious1 (530949) on Friday October 08, 2004 @03:22PM (#10473894) Homepage
      20 IE Windows??? Man, this guy has got to get a copy of Firefox and learn the joy of tabbed browsing.

      Or just stop going to the porn site that spawned them.

  • by Rosyna (80334) on Friday October 08, 2004 @03:08PM (#10473722) Homepage
    He keeps mentioning things like iCalendar, Office 2004 for the PC and Outlook 2004 for the PC. But I can't seem to find these anywhere? Am i going insane?
    • The Mac versions of Office always have the "year" label 1 year higher than the current Windows version. Office 97 (Windows) = Office 98 (Mac). Same for Office 2000/2001 and Office 2003/2004. Oh...and Office XP/v.X.
    • by boaworm (180781) <boaworm@gmail.com> on Friday October 08, 2004 @03:28PM (#10473955) Homepage Journal
      iCalendar is shorted iCal, more info here [apple.com].

      Office 2004 is the Applized version of Office XP. More info here [microsoft.com]. Outlook is renamed Entourage btw...

      And... it's probably more correct to say that Office XP is a Windowized version of Office 2004, since much development/innovation at Microsoft is implemented first at their Apple department in California (not in Redmomd like the rest of the stuff). As an example, they tried out a sidebar in IE for Mac. Dont think it ever made it to Windows...


      I wouldnt say you are insane, just that you misread the PC/Mac stuff. Some apple software ends up on win32 though, like iTunes.

  • Installing apps (Score:5, Informative)

    by AKAImBatman (238306) * <.akaimbatman. .at. .gmail.com.> on Friday October 08, 2004 @03:11PM (#10473765) Homepage Journal
    Well, to install an application, you simply drag the application's installer to any folder on your hard drive and it's "installed". Doing so actually triggers a number of files to be copied to various places on your drive, but the fact that you are separated from that process, it really made me feel like I wasn't in control of my system. On the flip side, installing and uninstalling applications couldn't be easier. There are no full screen installers to deal with; just drag and drop, and get back to work while the application installs. The fact that I don't know where everything is being copied contributes to my feelings of file system disconnect. Then again, maybe I'm being a bit too philosophical about my OSes.

    He doesn't need to feel so disconnected. All the files are exactly where he put them, nowhere else. Mac applications are actually directories packaged up to look like individual files. All the files he saw copying were just part of the application directory. Nothing to worry about. :-)

    • Re:Installing apps (Score:5, Informative)

      by Nick of NSTime (597712) on Friday October 08, 2004 @03:16PM (#10473835)
      Further, some Mac OS X applications do have installers. Office 2004 has both an installer and a drag/drop folder. The Office 2004 installer lets you choose to not install certain features. Or you can just drag and drop the folder onto your hard drive.
      • True but ... (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Savage-Rabbit (308260)
        ... the native OS.X installer for *.pkg packages does not seem to have an uninstall feature (at least on one that I am aware of) which obviously starts to really suck as soon as you try to remove some crappy *.pkg packaged program you downloaded on a whim. Fortunately there is OSXPM [osxgnu.org] but it still sucks that Apple did not do a better job at thinking the OS.X package manager system throug.
    • Re:Installing apps (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Manuscript Replica (307437) on Friday October 08, 2004 @03:19PM (#10473863)
      Yeah, I would say that the Windows way of installing apps leaves the user with less control. You don't necessarily have any idea where an installer is putting files, what it's overwriting, what it's messing up. OS X app bundles stay in one place.
    • Re:Installing apps (Score:5, Informative)

      by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Friday October 08, 2004 @03:25PM (#10473927) Homepage
      Yeah, I'm not entirely sure what he means when he says "Doing so actually triggers a number of files to be copied to various places on your drive..." It just copies the .app folder, right?

      Maybe what he was noticing was the result of some settings/preferences/whatever being copied to his library, which many applications will do on the first run, but not when you install them.

      On the other hand, more and more OSX apps have actually gone to using an install program, including Apple's apps, which I find unfortunate. I like the whole drag-and-drop method of installation.

    • Re:Installing apps (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Gryffin (86893) on Friday October 08, 2004 @03:30PM (#10473987) Homepage

      Even Mac apps that don't use installers need to put various pereference files, support files and the like in certain directories, such as the user's Library folder. THis is actually done at first launch. The Anandtech guy apparently thought that they were installed when he dragged the app file over; that would creep me out, too, if dragging one one file actually dragged a bunch into seemingly random locations. But the file system isn't that magical; the application just created those files/folders as needed. No mystery here, no need to feel disconnected.

  • McDate (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 08, 2004 @03:12PM (#10473769)
    Have McDonalds started selling girlfirends?
  • by trance29 (614645) on Friday October 08, 2004 @03:13PM (#10473795) Homepage
    i rid myself of all WinTel PC's in my home (still need them for my job)... but since going to the Apple side i have to say i have had pretty painless computing. My Apple iMac just works and the apps that go with it. People argue that it is a single vendor platform but there is something to be said for that. The tight integration between the hardware and software makes things work smoothly. No mucking around with silly patches or resource settings. Personally i feel that Apple will be gaining a lot of ground in the 'market share' department in the next 3 years.
  • Finally (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Nick of NSTime (597712) on Friday October 08, 2004 @03:13PM (#10473798)
    It's nice to see a respected hardcore site like Anandtech confirm what we Mac users have known all along.
  • It's good to hear (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Iter Impius (820313) on Friday October 08, 2004 @03:14PM (#10473811)
    Apple created a very good operating system, which would actually probably be more to the liking of the average PC user - who just checks their email and surfs the web. They really should start advertising the usability and stability of Mac products, I see that as the quickest, and most effective way. The only downside to Macs really at this time is the lack of support for gaming, and I just don't see why more people don't switch, or at least give Macs a try.
  • by bburton (778244) on Friday October 08, 2004 @03:14PM (#10473812)
    From TFA:
    For starters, heavy multi-tasking management under Windows had caused me a lot of grief... After a certain point, the cramped taskbar became difficult to use as a locator tool, and while I could ALT+TAB forever, I just felt like I was idle for too long. I knew what it was that I needed to get to, and I knew I had it open, but the process of getting to it was a pain.

    This, my friends, is where Windows is seriously lacking as far as usability goes. He makes a good point. I for one can't stand more than about 4 Windows open at a time when I'm using windows, where as when I'm using Linux (I'm not a OSX guy) I usually have 20+ windows open on 6 virtual desktops.

    Unix based window managers (along with others) have had virtual desktops for years, where did Microsoft drop the ball?

    • Solution for this problem for Windows users:

      Move your Windows task bar to the left or right side of your screen. (I prefer the left side.) In a vertical task bar configuration you can have 40-50 applications open before the bar 'fills up'. I also turn off 'always on top' so I can get the full use of my screen. This also allows you to set the task bar's horizontal width so you can read the applications' names displayed in the task bar. Clicking on the visible edge of the task bar brings it to the foreg
  • Cheaper Macs (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Puchku (615680) <Email@nOSPAM.adityanag.com> on Friday October 08, 2004 @03:15PM (#10473823) Homepage
    While Anand has done an excellant job of descrbing the Mac platform to people like me who have never used a Mac but always wanted to, he does not tell us how a cheaper Mac, say a $1500 Powerbook would compare to a $1500 Windows machine. I am considering buying a Powerbook, but am hesitant because I don't want a $1500 system that feels slower than a $1200 system. So all you Mac users, please help. Is there a significant/noticible difference between a Powerbook which costs $1599 or $1799 and a similarily priced Windows laptop?
    • Re:Cheaper Macs (Score:5, Interesting)

      by brasten (699342) on Friday October 08, 2004 @03:27PM (#10473947)
      Puchku,
      I was in the same position you are not too long ago(http://apple.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=04/02 /05/024208&tid=/ [slashdot.org])

      I ended up purchasing a PowerBook 1.25GHz 15" machine for around $2,600... My experience is basically that the PowerBook FEELS as fast as most notebooks you'd buy in doing every day things (word processing, browsing, email, etc)... the interface is extremely snappy that way, and I rare ever need to run around closing apps to speed your system back up.

      That said, if you plan on doing any extremely intensive processing... program compiling, etc... (that's about it), the raw power behind the cheap is disappointingly slow.

      That said, I haven't touched a Windows machine for a significant length of time since I picked up my PowerBook 9 months ago, and after experiencing the awesomeness that is Apple, I'd rather complain that my Apple is a little slow than be proud that my Windows/Linux laptop is a little fast.
      • eMachines vs iMac (Score:3, Insightful)

        by copponex (13876)
        Yeah. I sell Macs. Yet, my $1350 laptop can crunch more audio plugins (pure CPU) than a desktop dual 2.0 ghz G5.

        That being said, I'm getting my girlfriend a PowerBook. Why? Because she surfs the web, does some e-mail, adores photography, and wants a laptop that will last. My eMachines is starting to crack around the hinge, even though it's only 7 or 8 months old. I use my laptop every day for hours on end, and so do my colleagues, but they've had their 17" Powerbooks for two years, and nothing - nothing -
    • Re:Cheaper Macs (Score:5, Informative)

      by gunnk (463227) <gunnk&mail,fpg,unc,edu> on Friday October 08, 2004 @03:35PM (#10474052) Homepage
      If there is one in your area, go to an Apple Store and lay your hands on one. They're really good about letting you try it out there. You can play with it enough to get a feel for whether or not it meets your speed needs. Take a CD with some big docs on them and open them up. Do a little surfing. Check your email. Play with iPhoto and iTunes.

      I have a two year old PowerBook. It's beginning to feel a little sluggish to me here and there. Apps take a couple more seconds to open than I like, but I'm spoiled by having a dual 2Ghz G5 at work. EVERYTHING feels slow by comparison.

      That said, the feature mix on my PowerBook is awesome in a very portable package. A few years ago I bought a dining room table for my computer at the time (a Wintel box) and it's peripherals. Now we have the PowerBook in "office nook" in the kitchen. The size and portability are huge plusses to me.

      Now, if you really need a little more power, consider one of the new G5 iMacs. The housing is VESA-compliant, so you can wallmount it. Add an Airport card, wireless keyboard, and a wireless mouse if you want nothing but a power cord.

      Given the trade-offs, I'd definitely make the same decision to purchase a PowerBook.

      Now, as for comparing Wintel laptops to Powerbooks. I find that much of what makes a computer seem fast or slow is the smoothness with which the OS runs. The G4 chip is not going to perform as well as the newer P4 laptops. However, the OS runs VERY smoothly, so it FEELS more powerful than many Wintel laptops. Animations are silky. Expose provides incredibly slick window management when you have 20 things open in 12 different windows. Multimedia is smooth even when you are busy doing other things.

      Like I said -- go try it! The Apple web site will point you to the store nearest you.
    • Re:Cheaper Macs (Score:5, Informative)

      by MalleusEBHC (597600) on Friday October 08, 2004 @03:38PM (#10474084)
      I'm typing this on a 1.33 GHz 12" PowerBook ($1599 retail, I got it for $1399 on a student discount).

      This Powerbook flies. The 1.33 GHz G4 is damn fast for a mobile chip, i.e. something that won't suck down batteries like an Irishman sucking down Guinness. Maybe more importantly, the FX Go5200 in here allows OS X to take advantage of Quartz Extreme. Let's face it, with a laptop people are generally going to be more concerned with responsiveness than absolute number crunching power. By offloading system graphics to the GPU via Quartz Extreme, OS X is incredibly responsive.

      Through work, I've used some nice (for Dell at least) mid-range laptops. My Mac feels faster in comparison. although I've been a Mac user my whole life so part of it may just be that I'm more comfortable with the system. Either way, I could say for sure that the Mac will not be noticeably slower.

      Also, speed aside, you would be hard pressed to find a Windows laptop that will compare with a Mac on the features to price ratio. I've yet to see a $1600 Windows laptop that comes with a comparable CPU, comparable battery life, dedicated GPU, built-in 802.11g, and built-in Bluetooth while still weighing in at 5 lbs.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 08, 2004 @03:17PM (#10473838)
    For those Mac OS X people with Linux envy, there is a lot of open source programs available on http://fink.sourceforge.net/.
    To install fink, you need to give a root account on Mac OS X even though there is an administrator account. Mac OS X does not have a root account as default for security.
  • by Beek Dog (610072) on Friday October 08, 2004 @03:19PM (#10473866)
    They're not using an Xserve.
  • by Gogo Dodo (129808) on Friday October 08, 2004 @03:24PM (#10473918)
    We've /.'ed his Windows servers. I've always found the Anandtech site to be rather sluggish. Must be a Windows thing.
  • thorough and fair (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BobWeiner (83404) on Friday October 08, 2004 @03:26PM (#10473938) Homepage Journal
    I applaud Anand for taking the time to thoroughly put the G5 through its paces. If Apple were still running the 'classic' OS, I seriously doubt Anand would have even bothered to look at the platform, let alone review it. OS X is the main reason why I prefer Macs. It doesn't get in the way of what I want to do. At work, I have a G5 on one side, and a HP XW8000 on the other. Both have their advantage, but as far as OS intuitiveness goes -- the Mac wins hands down.
    The PC Weenies: [pcweenies.org]Tech toons with a byte!
  • Well now (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dolphy (569457) on Friday October 08, 2004 @03:35PM (#10474048)
    After doing the necessary research to make sure that I could actually get work done on a Mac, I whipped out the trusty credit card and decided to give the experiment a try.

    That single sentence gives quite a bit of insight into a very major reason that Windows is so popular. The very fact that one has to research into applications is a drawbridge for many would-be switchers. With Windows, you have no doubts that there is going to be an application out there, already written, somewhere in cyberland...all you need to do is download (or buy). Gamers and "specialists", who require either very today-trendy or very specific function software, are turned off by the belief (or disbelief, possibly) that Linux and Mac simply can't support their needs.

    Then, of course, there is the whole hardware debate. Once again, for Windows...it's out there somewhere; go find it. For Linux, well, it's out there, but have fun finding drivers and getting Linux to be a happy landlord. For Mac, it's out there if Apple or an approved sales associate has decided you need to have it.

    In short, very few users are debating the worthiness, usability, or power of an operating system these days. It's the flexibility that they want. That may sound like quite a trite argument to have in favor of Microsoft...but in the context of the applications and hardware discussed above, I think it's pretty appropriate.
    • Re:Well now (Score:5, Informative)

      by technomancerX (86975) on Friday October 08, 2004 @04:24PM (#10474576) Homepage
      "In short, very few users are debating the worthiness, usability, or power of an operating system these days.

      You're right on this point. However most people could give a damn about flexibility. They want a machine that isn't going to get eaten alive by viruses every other week. Windows does not provide this. Period.

      As for the other points you raise, aside from gaming I have never had a problem finding either hardware or software for my Mac.

      I am also not a Mac zealot, as I use Linux, Windows, and OS X on a regular basis. I have to say for servers Linux wins every time. For games Windows wins every time. For actually getting work done, OS X wins hands down every time.

    • Re:Well now (Score:5, Interesting)

      by YouHaveSnail (202852) on Friday October 08, 2004 @04:51PM (#10474844)
      With Windows, you have no doubts that there is going to be an application out there, already written, somewhere in cyberland...

      Perhaps, but there's no guarantee that it will work very well.

      I'm not talking just about dinky little shareware apps, mind you. I fired up Microsoft Word the other day after not using it very often for quite a while. Word must be the most intrusive program I've ever used! It kept moving text around on me, reformatting it, and telling me that I'd misspelled things. A long look at the preferences failed to reveal a way to turn off many of the features which were getting in my way.

      Unfortunately, Word does the same sh*t on the Mac. But fortunately, most other programs don't. Using both platforms, my feeling is that Mac programs present a much more consistant interface. And there's more than enough Mac software out there that outside a few very narrow, very specialized fields, anyone will be able to do their work on a Mac.
    • Re:Well now (Score:4, Informative)

      by testcase (95188) on Friday October 08, 2004 @04:58PM (#10474902)
      It is actually quite simple to find hardware Macs -
      http://guide.apple.com/
    • Re:Well now (Score:4, Insightful)

      by burns210 (572621) <maburns@gmail.com> on Friday October 08, 2004 @07:14PM (#10475989) Homepage Journal
      "That single sentence gives quite a bit of insight into a very major reason that Windows is so popular. The very fact that one has to research into applications is a drawbridge for many would-be switchers."

      I would argue that is the perception, not requirement of needing research that hurts. I have yet to find a single thing I can't do with my mac that I can do with my Windows box. Period. And I knew coming in, the names might be different(Winzip vs. Stuffit Expander) but the functionality is all their.

      The perception of difference and change is what hurts the mac, in my opinion.
  • 12 pages (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bware (148533) on Friday October 08, 2004 @03:40PM (#10474109) Homepage
    12 pages, all of them slashdotted, the print command runs some MS-only WinOpen script that doesn't work in Safari, the email command runs some MS-only WinOpen script that doesn't work in Safari. Bah. Maybe he's got something useful to say, but I'll never get past the first page. At least it's not green on black like ArsTechnica.
  • by vhold (175219) on Friday October 08, 2004 @03:44PM (#10474147)
    I wonder if Apple ever intends to crack the gaming nut.. I think there is a huge community of gamers that would drop windows in a heartbeat if Apple even came -close- to being a competitive games platform. Gaming also drives hardware sales like nothing else imaginable. If I could play all the same games on a Mac that I do on a PC, I think I'd be willing to pay around $400 more for a similar powered computer without the wintel platform nuissance.

    Actually, from my perspective, it's becoming too late. Whereas Windows 98 was pure hell in terms of usability, hardware compatibility, inconsistency, and stability, Windows XP massively shrunk the gap between itself and the overall Mac platform. By the time Apple would catch up, if ever, in the gaming market, the gap might be too small to bother a migration.
    • Will someone explain to me the point of building a $3500 Windows-based gaming system when you can buy a console for 10% of the price and have better graphics, a far bigger screen, a better selection of games, and none of the problems associated with, well, Windows? I mean, when's the last time a PlayStation 2 caught a virus, or needed to have its OS reinstalled?"

      I've never understood this mentality *at all*. I really wish someone could explain it to me, because if someone can explain it to me, maybe they c
      • by vhold (175219) on Friday October 08, 2004 @04:31PM (#10474646)
        Bigger screen : True

        Better graphics : ... err.. no. PC is still king of graphics. Every time the gap appears to close, it widens radically again. Consoles have the advantage of consistency, they can be sure that it will look the same for every person playing. This is being annoyingly offset by cross platform games that either take a lowest common denominator approach or just release somewhat stripped down inferior versions on the weaker platforms.

        $3500 : Huh? Try less then a 1/3rd of that for a very high-end machine. You can go 1/5th of that for a capable machine. More expensive sure, but it's going to be more powerful then any console, and it's going to be .. well.. a computer too. Web, office apps, email, IM, you know. If -all- you do is play games, then yea, your cost-benefit analysis throws you right into the lap of a console.. unless..

        Better selection of games : Pure opinion. Entire genres aren't even represented on console systems (and visa versa). Consoles don't have anything even remotely resembling the (legal) gaming mod community. I don't argue that consoles are way more carefree, and I also don't argue that Apples are more carefree then PCs. That's my whole point, the PC has a lot of extremely good games you simply won't ever get represented properly on any current console system or the Mac. If it weren't for the PC exclusive games, I most definitely would -not- be running windows.

        There's the possibility that say, 5 years from now, everybody will have these awesome HDTVs, and all consoles will have hard drives ( unlikely, it seems that every console manufacturer is backing off the HD idea ) and with all games running at 720p or higher, the main advantages of PC gaming could potentially evaporate. I honestly don't think it's going to happen. As far as I can tell, the PC's upgradability and modability are going to leave it perpetually on the cutting edge and there's always going to be development houses that are going to knock on that door and consistantly unleash the most technologically advanced games on PC first. More likely then anything, we'll have our awesome high end PCs attached to those awesome HDTVs and PC gaming may hit a new stride must-have-it-ness.
    • by Bud (1705) on Saturday October 09, 2004 @05:03AM (#10478011)
      The fact that the Mac is not a competitive gaming platform is not a bad thing. On the contrary; only the very best games are ported to the Mac, and when they arrive, 6-18 months after the PC version, they are largely bug-free too. Bottom line: the PC crowd are very good beta testers, weeding out the bad games and the bad bugs.

      A good game is just as good tomorrow as it was yesterday. Write down your personal top-ten list of the all-time best games, and chances are seven of those games have been released for the Mac. Mine is: Tetris, Pirates, StarFlight, Civilization, Descent, Quake, Carmageddon, WarCraft, Halflife and Halo. (Of these, only Halflife is not available on the Mac.)

      I play computer games to relax and get my thoughts off the daily grind, much like others watch TV and still others go to the gym. I spend around 2-6 hours a week on computer gaming. I have no reason at all to complain about the games available to me. The only people who complain about the state of gaming on the Mac are the 0-day dudes, and I think it's mostly because they want to induce envy in their (online) friends. You know who you are, and you're not even close to the middle of the Gauss curve.

      --Bud
  • A recent switcher (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Twid (67847) on Friday October 08, 2004 @03:44PM (#10474155) Homepage
    Last week, I got my 20" iMac G5 and decided to shut down my Windows box and my debian server and see how it went.

    Moving the Linux stuff to the iMac was a breeze. I was mainly using the linux box for running Squid, for acting as a shell server for IRC, and for a general purpose file server. The iMac does all that and now does easy print sharing for me as well. With BSD under the hood and the power of (a href="http://fink.sourceforge.net">Fink, anyone used to Linux can probably easily move their stuff over to OSX painlessly.

    Moving the Windows files was painless using the built-in SAMBA on OSX. I installed OpenOffice (under X11) for times when I need compatibility, but I'm intentionally staying away from MS Office on OSX for now, just to see if OpenOffice is good enough. I'm giving up gaming on the PC, which I'll miss a little, but I've got a GameCube and PS2 which can get more use now.

    The real strength of OSX is in iLife. My wife really had a lot of trouble with Windows and the complexity of all the different apps we had to use to manage media (ThumbsPlus, Premiere, etc.) With iLife, she can publish or email or get prints of photos out of iPhoto very easily. iChat and iTunes are nice too. I've had quite a few MP3 players, but the iPod plus iTunes is the first one I didn't have to manage for my wife.

    As an aside, the iMac G5 is a beautiful machine too and it's totally silent. Spookily silent. When I walked into the home office after shutting down the windows and linux box, I thought we had a power outage. :)

    I think Anand's review is accurate and very fair. The only thing I would add is just a comment that for anyone non-technical or anyone with a lot of digital media, I think an apple machine makes a lot of sense, especially with the low cost of the new iMacs.

    (disclaimer: apple employee :) )
    • by ravenspear (756059) on Friday October 08, 2004 @04:12PM (#10474454)
      A recent switcher...
      disclaimer: apple employee :)

      You are an Apple employee and you "just switched"?????

      That's it. Upon order of the field of distorting forces of reality, you are hereby commanded to turn yourself in to ye Supreme Ruler of the Universe and Master of All to receive your severance package.
    • by Mr. Cancelled (572486) on Friday October 08, 2004 @04:42PM (#10474751)
      I too am a recent switcher (in fact I just typed up a long-winded, pro-mac thing on Eugenias propaganda machi- Er... OSNews), and love my Mac.

      However there is one area that my Mac's a letdown: You cannot watch mpeg2 video in Quicktime without buying an addon. And then you still cannot edit an mpeg in any Quicktimes-based app (idvd, imovie, and so on).

      It's just ridiculous that this "Media Machine" cannot perform even simple edits on one of the most common video formats around! Don't think that a Mac doesn't understand the mpeg format at all: Even those aforementioned iapps can output mpeg2. They have the ability to output mpeg2 for burning DVD's. But if you want to re-encode those videos, or simply chop off a commercial or something, you have to re-encode it as an avi or quicktime file. Or use some stopgap shareware solution (A seperate app that keeps numerical track of where I'm editing, and then I paste those numbers into Quicktime. What a pain in the ass!)

      Again, I love my Mac, but I think it's so stupid that to chop up an mpeg file that I recorded, I have to switch over to my Pentium box to do so.

      Stupid, stupid, stupid....

      Since you work at Apple, maybe you can let them know why this particular switcher, and probably countless more amateur video editors, are unable to completely switch over from the PC platform.
  • by d_jedi (773213) on Friday October 08, 2004 @03:55PM (#10474270)
    You've /.ed my favourite hardware review site.
    What else am I supposed to read when I'm supposed to be working??!
  • Oh God... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tacokill (531275) on Friday October 08, 2004 @03:56PM (#10474276)
    From reading the posts thus far, I have this nagging feeling:
    Am I going to be one of those MacIdiots now? It's starting to look that way...


    (I am imagining a world where my PC is mostly in my control. Very few viruses. Very little spyware. Things run as I expect them to. Actually, now that I think of it, very few problems at all. There seems to be very little to "fix". Shit, now what am I going to spend my time doing?)

  • by FortranDragon (98478) on Friday October 08, 2004 @04:01PM (#10474327)
    Kissing some Karma goodbye...

    I was a bit underwhelmed by the review. While there were some fair cops (video card underpowered, not enough RAM, game releases lagging behind, etc.), I was bugged by some of his comments.

    A few examples:

    It's iCal, not iCalendar. He seemed to have gotten it wrong more often than right. (If you use a program you can see its name in the menu bar.)

    He didn't bother to check on how the drag-n-drop installs work. (Not good for a supposed hard core tech site.)

    No, Macs aren't overpriced against other name-brand manufacturers. They are price competitive. (I'll grant you that if you build your own and zealously look for bargains you can build a slightly cheaper PC.)

    Of course Windows is going to be more stable if you buy specific hardware for Windows servers as (is implied) using any old hardware for Linux.

    He's used Unix at university and he still doesn't feel comfortable about the concept of home directories? Or the Unix hierarchy? (The names can be cryptic, but the hierarchy is pretty simple compared to Windows splatter approach.)

    Unfortunately it is little glitches in reviews that leave you wondering just how technical the reviewer is in their other reviews. This one could have stood a little more fact-checking. I know I would hesitate before recommending this article to a knowledgeable Windows-using friend. I'd probably point them towards Ars Technica instead.

    Funny note: I think he meant he's used Windows since 3.0, not 2.0. Using Win 2.0 would have been the act of a masochist. ;-)
    • by arekusu (159916) on Friday October 08, 2004 @04:19PM (#10474532) Homepage
      Re: "In order to launch the file or open the folder via keyboard, you have to hit Command-Down Arrow (Command-Up Arrow will traverse up a folder tree). This takes a bit of getting used to and if approached with an open mind, you can get used to it in a couple of days, but it can be frustrating at first - especially if you are a keyboard addict used to Windows."

      Very frustrating. Until you figure out how to use Cmd-O.
    • No, Macs aren't overpriced against other name-brand manufacturers. (I'll grant you that if you build your own and zealously look for bargains you can build a slightly cheaper PC.)

      You really need to stop buying your PC's and PC equipment at Tiffany's.
  • No shit (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Lord Kano (13027) on Friday October 08, 2004 @04:05PM (#10474374) Homepage Journal
    In the end, Apple has developed a very strong platform.

    Anyone that's USED one in the past 15 years will tell you that. There's no question that Apple has some good technology in their arsenal. The question is "Is Apple right for you?". For me it used to be, but now it's not.

    There's no need to make it any more complicated than it needs to be.

    LK
  • by FleaPlus (6935) on Friday October 08, 2004 @04:05PM (#10474380) Journal
    I'm primarily used to running Linux on my desktop, but lately I've been considering buying a laptop. I've heard many good things about OS X, so I'm thinking of buying an iBook.

    I have a question for people who've used both sorts of systems: Are there any features/characteristics of x86 Linux machines that are lacking on OS X machines?
  • Web rendering speed (Score:3, Informative)

    by Imazalil (553163) on Friday October 08, 2004 @04:06PM (#10474383)
    The article actually brings something up that I have always noticed on a Mac (os 9 & X), surfing the web is painfully slow compared to a windows box. I've used IE, Netscape, Opera, everything I could get my hands on, but it is still slower than on a pc. Is this a rendering thing, but it happens in os 9 even more than X? Just curious if anyone out there knows why this is.

    Im.
  • by Pausanias (681077) <pausaniasx&gmail,com> on Friday October 08, 2004 @04:15PM (#10474490)
    I'm an astronomer, and my work involves a lot of coding (and running) CPU-intensive C programs, as well as intensive image processing. In the 1980s, a lot of people in our field were using VAX systems, but in the 90's they began switching to Sun/Solaris platforms because of their speed and stability; that's what I used throughout graduate school. In the late 90's, Linux-Intel became a player, because it could offer such a dramatic cost reduction compared to Suns, which were exorbitantly priced (at its most disparate, I believe a Linux-Intel system with comparable performance to a given Sun cost 25% less).

    Now we are at a point where many people at my institute are switching to macs. The top reasons are: 1) Hate to/don't have time to RTFM. Need a situation where hardware you buy just works. 2) High-end mac prices are now comparable to high-end intel prices 3) Any document can quickly be made into a PDF (a standard in our community)

    As a fan of free software, I feel guilty about this. However, I do think many of Apple's products are aesthetically pleasing, and things like iChat works with amazing simplicity. Clearly they put a lot of thought into design, and I agree with a lot of choices they've made, so I feel OK about supporting them.

    I wish Linux would eliminate the RTFM. Some of us just don't have time for that. But I still have an Intel laptop, and I intend to see how far things have come since RedHat 9 by installing sarge when it is out.
  • by el-spectre (668104) on Friday October 08, 2004 @04:20PM (#10474538) Journal
    Is that Mac finally put out a good OS. How am I supposed to sneer at crapintoshes now?

    Oh well... I can still badmouth windows.
  • by halosfan (691623) on Friday October 08, 2004 @04:22PM (#10474555) Homepage

    Until about half a year ago, I had never even thought about buying a Mac. Then I broke a bezel [slashdot.org] on my laptop. Ultimately, that forced me to evaluate every laptop I could get my hands on for durability. A couple months and about $3K later I was a happy 17'' Powerbook owner. The only downside to that was that another couple months later my lady decided she can't live without a Powerbook either...

    And then it occurred to me:

    • 12-inch Powerbook -- $1.6K
    • Memory upgrade -- $100
    • Brenthaven shoulder bag -- $140
    • Not having to support Windows -- priceless
  • Ballsy (and wordy) (Score:5, Insightful)

    by YouHaveSnail (202852) on Friday October 08, 2004 @04:39PM (#10474722)
    I'm glad to see that Anand is open to trying a new OS. I give him lots of credit for plunking down a few grand, buying a nice Mac, and giving it an honest go. And I'm glad that in the end he had a positive experience and continues to enjoy using his Mac.

    It's pretty interesting to read the impressions of someone trying out MacOS X for the first time, particularly if that someone hasn't travelled outside the world of Windows. Anand writes:

    The uniformity really extends far beyond keyboard shortcuts...a menubar always exists at the top of your screen in MacOS X, regardless of what application you're in.

    Talk about getting down to basics, eh? I think that's a very interesting comment. It would never have occurred to me to explain that to a new Mac user, particularly one with extensive computing experience on another platform. Kudos to Anand for capturing the newness of it all.

    That said, there are a number of things that bug be about the article. For one, it seems pretty ballsy to switch to an entirely different platform and think that you've learned enough in 30 days to write an article of this length (printed, it comes to 24 pages). He clearly is laboring under a number of misconceptions that probably would have been cleared up if he'd spent some more time with his system.

    Another thing is that he seems to want his Mac to work the way Windows does. That's a pretty common thing with switchers, and it's totally understandable. But if you're going to review an OS you should really try to come to it with an open mind. To his credit, he's pretty up front about his bias being due to using Windows for so long, but his "the directory structure seems very foreign because it's different from Windows" comments make me want to choke him.

    A good editor (human editor, not text editor) would really help this article. Anand tends to use 50 words where 7 are called for, and he even manages to contradict himself occasionally. Though it clearly was not, it should have been reviewed by a knowledgeable Mac user or two to clear up some of the obvious misconceptions.

    Anand criticizes the price of the system he bought several times. He spent about $2700 on a top of the line, dual processor G5 because:

    I knew that if I was going to give the platform a good chance, I needed to get the fastest system that Apple had to offer.

    It's great that he knew what he wanted and all, but as a newcomer he wasn't really in a position to know whether he really needed that much power or whether he could have gotten along just fine with a G4 iMac. He never considered that something less than the fastest thing available could meet his needs, and he doesn't bother to try to find out. So it's a little unfair to whine about the price when something costing half as much very well might have performed acceptably.

    Overall, I'm glad he wrote it and I'm glad he's happy with the Mac. Keep at it.

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