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OS Comparisons From the BBC 524

igb writes "As part of their coverage of the launch of Vista, the BBC last week asked people to submit descriptions of the benefits and drawbacks of their chosen system, and today they've posted responses from two Vista users, a Linux user, and an OS X user. There's nothing earth-shattering here, but it's interesting to see the operating systems compared on a level playing field, and good that the BBC has given equal time to the major alternatives."
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OS Comparisons From the BBC

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  • Not level (Score:5, Insightful)

    by suso ( 153703 ) * on Monday January 29, 2007 @11:38PM (#17809308) Homepage Journal
    I'm sorry but this is not a level playing field. What this is is acknowledging the competition so as to appear fair and silence advocates, but then show off the latest features of Vista's interface, but not show the same in Linux and OSX. They have been playing this game for long enough that they know that eye candy sells. For goodness sake a Linux user that I work with said he was going to buy Vista just because he thought the box looks cool.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 29, 2007 @11:44PM (#17809362)

      For goodness sake a Linux user that I work with said he was going to buy Vista just because he thought the box looks cool.

      IN THE NAME OF DARWIN, KILL THE SUBHUMAN!

    • Re:Not level (Score:4, Informative)

      by Nanpa ( 971527 ) on Monday January 29, 2007 @11:48PM (#17809380)
      To be fair, they spend just as much time with Linux's prime features (Package Manager, Free Software, etc) and OSX's (Stability, ease of use, etc).
    • Re:Not level (Score:5, Informative)

      by DJ Rubbie ( 621940 ) on Monday January 29, 2007 @11:49PM (#17809402) Homepage Journal
      Agreed, like how AIGLX+Beryl isn't covered. However that is still considered beta currently, despite of that, I use it and it does more than what Windows Vista does in terms of eye-candy usability, and it hasn't quite crashed on me once yet if I don't push it (VT-switching causes it to blackscreen for me, but the desktop can be restored by restarting Beryl (try restarting just the windows manager on Windows - you can't).

      For those who don't know, AIGLX+Beryl has the window thumbnail and alt-tab zoom like OS X, yet the alt-tab has a live thumbnail of what the window is currently showing unlike OS X (not sure about the latest version of OS X). AIGLX+Beryl also has 3D window stack similar to Vista when the desktop cube is under rotation. I don't think it would be hard to implement that window stacking feature without the Desktop cube. Also multiple workspaces on the 4 sides of the cube, which I don't think neither supports natively.
      • It's funny that one of the bigger arguments against Beryl's forking of Compiz was that people thought it would be amazingly unstable, yet I've had no problems at all with Beryl since I've been using it. The only criticism is that some of the animations (especially the floppy windows) hurts my eyes since I have a bad lcd monitor with a pretty bad refresh rate and vga input which I might replace soon.
        • Beryl's Stability (Score:2, Interesting)

          by tyroeternal ( 999352 )
          I've heard lots of hooplah about beryl being unstable... and it drove me away for a long time. Stability is a major issue for me... but in my time spent with it... its perfectly acceptable.
      • by cheater512 ( 783349 ) <nick@nickstallman.net> on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @01:00AM (#17809988) Homepage
        To put it in perspective: Most of Google is beta. ;)
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      "I'm sorry but this is not a level playing field."

      Two on Vista. One for the others. The 1st Vista user sounds like he has never used any OS except Windows yet touts it will give OSX a run for its money. Typical Windows users. Little or no experience on another OS but yet its the greatest thing since sliced bread. As evidence by his statement:

      " A huge amount of research has been put into this new version which is evident in everything from the user interface right through to the new security model."

      Yeah,
    • by mynameismonkey ( 658515 ) <jaz@slashdot.jaz@co@uk> on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @12:25AM (#17809720) Homepage
      I know there's at least three other people besides me who are shocked at the complete lack of AmigaOS 4.0 coverage from the BBC.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mpe ( 36238 )
      I'm sorry but this is not a level playing field. What this is is acknowledging the competition so as to appear fair and silence advocates, but then show off the latest features of Vista's interface, but not show the same in Linux and OSX

      It also isn't exactly even handed to have twice as many Vista advocates. It's a bit like having a political program with two Labour, one Tory and one Liberal Democrat...
      A very obvious omission was "stick with XP".
    • I was surprised by the trailing remarks from the Windows supporters:
      "I really think that this one's going to give Apple Macs a run for their money." i.e. Mac have been clearly in the lead and Vista is just catching up.
      "I see windows Vista as a big improvement over Windows XP and would strongly suggest other PC users who have not explored beyond the Windows camp to upgrade." i.e. if you've already tried Mac or Linux there's no reason to look at Vista.
      Doesn't seem completely balanced reporting to me to
    • The Grandma Test (Score:3, Interesting)

      I'd find the whole thing more credible if they had gotten someone very inexperienced with computers to test each OS for a week or two. Any experienced user will tout their preferred OS over the others. Someone without much experience in any of them would be better able to discuss the pros and cons of the three.
  • Mac user (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Veinor ( 871770 )
    The Mac user writes: "I find it hard to find things to criticise, except perhaps to say that new versions of iWork and iLife are produced each year and it is hard to resist buying each new version, modestly priced as they are." Does anybody else smell a shill?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by XCol ( 1057404 )
      "I don't remember the last time a programme crashed on me, and OS X itself has never crashed on me." I have to wonder if this guy does anything but play reversi on his Mac. Lord knows I cant make full use of my Macs without at least one drop out or crash a week...
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by melikamp ( 631205 )

        I second that. I owned a PPC powerbook for about a year, and both Panther and Tiger crashed on me pretty badly about once a month (just hang or not wake up). I cannot really say that my Ubuntu Gateway is all that better, since I never got it to sleep without loosing modules, and ndiswrapper used to misbehave (until they fixed it). The rest of the OS, though, is absolutely rock-solid. Not a single crash since Edgy came out.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by DAharon ( 937864 )
      No kidding. That comment invalidates everything he said previously (as if there were anything of significance in any of the blurbs). Give me a friken break! I wasn't born yesterday.
    • Re:Mac user (Score:4, Insightful)

      by melikamp ( 631205 ) on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @12:21AM (#17809686) Homepage Journal

      I felt that the criticism for Vista and OSX was kinda weak. May be it's not even about a shill, but rather about not knowing any better. The main issue with the non-free systems is that you cannot tinker with them, but most users do not even realize what they are missing. The Windows guys were, like, "Vista > XP", and the OSX guy was, like, "OSX > XP". Well, duh. Of course the new version is better than the one that's 5 years old--anything less than that would be a disaster. They do not see, though, how limited they are in their ability to customize their systems, both in terms of appearance and functionality, and this limitation is directly linked to the fact that the source is proprietary and the system can only be produced in "one size fits them all" format.

      Only the Linux guy was actually capable of providing a reasonable assessment of strengths and weaknesses, thanks to his broader knowledge of OSes and what they are useful for.

      • Re:Mac user (Score:5, Insightful)

        by mr_matticus ( 928346 ) on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @12:40AM (#17809838)
        The problem is an issue of values. You assume that people value the ability to tinker over the value of what is essentially an appliance, which is not true--some people would prefer the Apple "just work" mentality. As computers grow more specialized (media servers, desktop workstations, mobile information devices, etc.), the desire for a self-contained, reliable, attractive solution will only grow.

        Some people don't see open source as a virtue, and it's not simply because of Microsoft FUD. Most people I know honestly don't care because they don't want to have to dig around in the depths of the OS. They don't want to compile applications, and they don't care that the same source tree works on four different platforms thanks to elegantly designed tools. As long as there are Windows developers making applications that allow them to do what they want, it's an immaterial advantage. Some don't care that Linux costs nothing, because they never buy Windows either. It comes with their computer, so from their perspective, Windows doesn't cost anything either. If computer makers sold their machines at one price and offered to preinstall Windows for a separate fee, that act alone would be Linux's greatest boon in a decade.

        Trying to "educate" users about how "wrong" they are is the fastest way to look like a pretentious computer geek and lose credibility. It's not about "seeing the light," it's about what values people have and which OS most closely matches. People here hate and mock attempts at religious conversions and many seem to resent government deciding what to do with tax dollars, but they have no such problem with pushing their Linux agenda on the masses.

        Linux will always be relatively small because its virtues appeal only to a small portion of the population. It can't compete on ease of use with OS X, or the universality of Windows, or on cost with Windows (as long as Windows is bundled with PCs), or on the cohesiveness of OS X, or on many other fronts. Linux is great for tinkerers and those with an allergy to closed source; the rest of the population isn't broken because they don't care about those things.
        • Re:Mac user (Score:5, Interesting)

          by melikamp ( 631205 ) on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @01:16AM (#17810078) Homepage Journal

          I don't know why I am arguing with you, may because I am bored. Don't take it too seriously: it's ultimately a moot.

          But anyway, I disagree with your pessimistic view. Gnome is just as easy to use as OSX. I've actually had to laugh when I saw a very analog-minded, Windows-nourished user bump into one of my Ubuntu desktops. He didn't even ask me any questions, just located a Firefox icon and started using the computer to the maximum of his ability. After about 10 minutes of being productive he turned around and said: "What is this, some kind of Mac?".

          As for the cost issue, you are just wrong. Sure, Windows never see themselves paying for Windows, but manufacturers do! Do you think that Gateway gives a flying bird about what to install? Besides, that is, the price of the components. As long as there is a decent market--as much as 0.1, I suppose--they'll jump on it, because the marginal cost of delivering another OS is zero. The amount of hardware testing only increases by a small constant, and then a market of any size whatsoever can be saturated at no additional cost. The savings, on the other hand, increase linearly. 50 bucks is a hellova deal when entry-level systems are priced below 600.

          • Re:Mac user (Score:5, Insightful)

            by mr_matticus ( 928346 ) on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @01:45AM (#17810266)
            I wouldn't call it a pessimistic view. Linux works fine, and it's a valid desktop operating system. But there's nothing that makes in intrinsically superior for Windows customers. Your example points to the problem most OSes will face: people spend most of their time in web browsers these days. Being able to locate a familiar icon and use a familiar application isn't an indicator that someone can use Linux. Any idiot can use a mouse and understand the now-basic desktop metaphor.

            What happens when they need to install a driver? There is no step-by-step process to follow. Hell, even updating video drivers requires you to know to type ./ before the (ridiculously long) filename just to get it to run. Both nVidia and ATi do a crappy job of modifying the X config files. It's easy to use if you don't do anything with it other than use the software it comes with. Where Linux fails is in the tasks that aren't as common, but are essential in order to keep customers (driver installation, software updates, installation, maintenance, plug-ins, basic troubleshooting, human-readable help files).

            I'm not sure what your last paragraph means. If Dell or Gateway wanted to cut costs and install Linux, what's stopping them? Deals with Microsoft giving them licenses for $25 or less. The costs involved in supporting Linux are far greater than that, and Linux would generate many more support calls because of its inferior driver system and its utter lack of a device manager (IMO, Windows' device manager is better than either OS X or Linux, but in OS X's defense, Software Update works extremely well for new drivers/firmware).

            Don't take this as a serious rebuttal, as the only serious point is that your example doesn't prove anything other than people recognize the Firefox icon (a victory in and of itself!).
        • by element-o.p. ( 939033 ) on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @03:33AM (#17810846) Homepage

          It can't compete...on cost with Windows (as long as Windows is bundled with PCs)...

          I disagree.

          At face value, you are right. You buy a computer, it comes with Windows pre-installed, IE, Outlook, maybe even Office. You and I know that you paid for the software in the purchase price, you just didn't see that cost since you were going to pay it even if you wanted Linux or x86 Solaris or FreeBSD or... So, it looks like Linux can't compete on cost with Windows.

          Then you get infected with a worm or trojan because the anti-virus software installed on your computer didn't come with free updates for then next N months. Now you have to buy a subscription to McAfee, or Norton, or Kaspersky (or if you're really smart Nod32, but I digress), and that is a re-occurring cost every year. Because you've done some homework, you also buy firewall software from McAfee or Symantec or (shudder) Black Ice. Yes, XP comes with a firewall, but you want the reporting features and ability to block by program that a commercial product offers. Oh, but you're getting a lot of crap in your e-mail, so you also buy mail filtering software. Then your thirteen year old, who knows way more about computers than you ever will (okay, this is /. so that's probably not true for this subset of computer users, but assume you aren't a geek for a minute) is taking programming classes at school, so you buy Visual Basic and Visual C++, and so on.

          Now how much cheaper is that Windows computer than Linux? There are free (as in speech and as in beer) alternatives for each of these problems available for Linux.

          So, yeah, the initial purchase price may be equivalent, but after that, you are just throwing good money after bad. But that's just my opinion. YMMV :)
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        "The main issue with the non-free systems is that you cannot tinker with them, but most users do not even realize what they are missing."

        You mean they're missing the opportunity to tinker their way to disaster?
      • Sterotypical (Score:5, Insightful)

        by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @03:05AM (#17810702)
        I felt that the criticism for Vista and OSX was kinda weak. May be it's not even about a shill, but rather about not knowing any better. The main issue with the non-free systems is that you cannot tinker with them, but most users do not even realize what they are missing.

        Yet another person lost in the stereotyped view of OS X users as clueless Noobs, who know not what an OS is.

        Sorry, but the number of people who use OS X and are equally at home configuring any other UNIX system are legion. We are just people who got tired of having to configure things, and wanted to tinker with applications or other development instead of the OS that run them or even the window manager we interact with daily. I know a fair amount of about the kernel, about launchd, even about the filesystem and lots of other internal aspects of OS X I can use to configure the system just as well as any Linux system - but I am also happy with good defaults out of the gate that mean my tinkering is for fun, and not a matter of Getting the Damn System Functional.

        I really don't understand how people so seemingly apt in their ability to configure all aspects of Linux systems can rain such heavy critisims down on OSX users, where really the only constraint I face in tinkering with the system is the equivilent of a somewhat locked down window manager in Linux. After having used TWM, CTWM, GWM, KDE, and Gnome (among others) I don't mind a window manager that is pleasing an performs well without much tweaking.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by simm1701 ( 835424 )
          Not to mention expose! Ok linux has similar but I've never had time to mess around with it enough - the mac just works - and it is a full blown unix under the GUI.

          The hardware also just works! Its just a shame you pay a premium for it.

          I've used pretty much everything out there (bar VMS), I've installed linux on $1m IBM servers, I've built kernels from source for my desktop, I've worked as a tester on several open source projects.

          Right now, on the balance of all things, I would honestly say OSX is the superi

    • >> Does anybody else smell a shill?

      Yes. Especially when they talk about the 'industrial strength of Unix' - they're either a paid representative, or have read too many Mac adverts. ...and I say this as a Mac owner.

      Having said that, the Windows people were spouting the Microsoft lines too...

      only the Linux-user was pure and untainted - a lesson for us all ;-)
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by drsmithy ( 35869 )

      The Mac user writes: "I find it hard to find things to criticise, except perhaps to say that new versions of iWork and iLife are produced each year and it is hard to resist buying each new version, modestly priced as they are." Does anybody else smell a shill?

      I can only really think of two _major_ issues I have with OS X - performance/UI responsiveness and the Finder (especially regarding network resources).

  • FTFA (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fabs64 ( 657132 ) <beaufabry+slashdot,org&gmail,com> on Monday January 29, 2007 @11:41PM (#17809334)
    "The most unique new feature is called Readyboost. When you're having performance issues due to insufficient memory, you can use a USB flash drive as an additional cache of memory to boost performance."

    Wh... WHAT?!

    Sounds like a good way to wear out a flash drive..
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by flyingfsck ( 986395 )
      Not to mention slow as molassis.
    • by dbIII ( 701233 )
      Yes - from the descriptions on the MS site it appears to be a bad idea implemented poorly. Don't take it from me - read their description of it and wonder how it got into the release.
      • Fine by me if they want to sink money into it. Due to that insane idea I made off with a number of 2GB Sandisk Thumbdrives in Presskits (along with a few games, 128MB thumbdrives, and other stuff) during CES. They are slightly outa their minds thinking you can put a thumbdrive through that kinda punishment for very long.
    • Re:FTFA (Score:5, Informative)

      by westlake ( 615356 ) on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @12:10AM (#17809594)
      Wh... WHAT?!
      Sounds like a good way to wear out a flash drive.

      Ever hear of the hybrid hard drive?

      Using ReadyBoost-capable flash memory devices for caching allows Windows Vista to service random disk reads with performance that is typically 8-10 times faster than random reads from traditional hard drives. This caching is applied to all disk content, not just the page file or system DLLs. Flash devices are typically slower than the hard drive for sequential I/O, so to maximize performance, ReadyBoost includes logic to recognize large, sequential read requests and then allows these requests to be serviced by the hard drive. When a compatible device is plugged in, the Windows AutoPlay dialog offers an additional option to use it to speed up the system; an additional "ReadyBoost" tab is added to the drive's properties dialog where the amount of space to be used can be configured. ReadyBoost may also be able to use spare RAM on other networked Vista PCs in a future release. ReadyBoost [wikipedia.org]

      Q: Isn't user data on a removable device a security risk?
      A: This was one of our first concerns and to mitigate this risk, we use AES-128 to encrypt everything that we write to the device.

      Q: Won't this wear out the drive?
      A: Nope. We're aware of the lifecycle issues with flash drives and are smart about how and when we do our writes to the device. Our research shows that we will get at least 10+ years out of flash devices that we support.

      Q: How much of a speed increase are we talking about?
      A: Well, that depends. On average, a RANDOM 4K read from flash is about 10x faster than from HDD. Now, how does that translate to end-user perf? Under memory pressure and heavy disk activity, the system is much more responsive; on a 4GB machine with few applications running, the ReadyBoost effect is much less noticeable.
      ReadyBoost Q&A [msdn.com]

      • by fabs64 ( 657132 )
        The only bit of actual technical information in that garbled press doc is that they're encrypting what if effectively a part of the swap file... That's an interesting way of efficiently using memory :-S
        • Re:FTFA (Score:4, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @04:15AM (#17811046)
          Encryption and decryption are faster than hard disk access, and flash access, by a considerable margin. AES-128 is really quite a fast cipher. (Oddly, performs quite slow on the Core 2 Duo compared to the AMD chips. Encryption performance is one of the Core's only weaker points; I expect Penryn, Yorkfield and Wolfdale to address that in microarchitecture tweaks.)

          Encrypted system volumes are available on Windows too (in Vista, natively, using BitLocker; in XP and 2000, using third-party encryption applications such as PGP Desktop Professional). Encrypted swap using a similar technique is commonplace on Linux, as well, and if you have the kernel configured appropriately, doesn't really take anything more than adding encryption=AES128 to the end of the swap mount line.

          The encryption isn't the performance killer. The swapping, that's the performance killer. However, if you're prefetching, it's likely to have overall little impact, and a broadly positive one depending on how well it's implemented.

          I'm still iffy on the ReadyBoost idea though. It's something that could always be done better by just adding more RAM (and Vista likes a lot, big surprise - 2GB to 4GB might be the next sweet spot to aim for). Hybrids in laptops, yeah, I can understand, that's a good idea that's been coming for a while. Just sticking a pendrive in and using that just sounds far too unreliable.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by iluvcapra ( 782887 )

      Does it use the thumbdrive as core or swap?

      The first would work horribly, the second ... horribly, but might wear your thumbdrive down slightly slower.

      Either way, it will shuttup any "insufficient memory" alerts Vista may throw up, thus it's a feature: "Look how easy it is for me to add extra memory to my computer! How cool is that!" The fact that Vista consumes a gig or so of RAM just doing it's thing is simply above a casual user, thus such band-aids are effective.

      No to look too far down my nose at an

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by iluvcapra ( 782887 )

        I got some food into me and up went my blood sugar and I was being too harsh. The person who invented the thing probably knows ablot about computers.

        Something very important about computers is that people often buy them for bullet-point features. "ReadyBoost" makes a great bullet-point, while "Decreased OS memory footprint," no matter how you phrase it, doesn't. This is very vexing.

        ReadyBoost is the computer equivalent of a chrome dashboard. It looks great, is a super feature for the gee-whiz effect a

      • Re:FTFA (Score:4, Interesting)

        by drsmithy ( 35869 ) <drsmithy AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @01:20AM (#17810106)

        Does it use the thumbdrive as core or swap?

        Neither. It's essentially a DIY hybrid hard disk.

  • Unique feature? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anubis350 ( 772791 ) on Monday January 29, 2007 @11:43PM (#17809350)
    FTA: "The most unique new feature is called Readyboost. When you're having performance issues due to insufficient memory, you can use a USB flash drive as an additional cache of memory to boost performance."

    Unique? That's Virtual Memory. Sure, the fact that it's easy (may be) a good thing (though how many people are going to keep an empty flash drive around for this? Easier to get the kid down the street to install more ram for you and be done with it if you cant do it yourself. However, unique? I can put a swap file on flash drive and itd do the same thing...
    • Re:Unique feature? (Score:5, Informative)

      by suv4x4 ( 956391 ) on Monday January 29, 2007 @11:56PM (#17809454)
      Unique? That's Virtual Memory. Sure, the fact that it's easy (may be) a good thing (though how many people are going to keep an empty flash drive around for this? Easier to get the kid down the street to install more ram for you and be done with it if you cant do it yourself. However, unique? I can put a swap file on flash drive and itd do the same thing...

      Will the swap be encrypted so taking away the stick can't reveal confidential data? No.
      Will taking the swap out in the middle of the OS running lock it up? Yes.
      Will the OS benchmark the Flash for you and determine which pieces of data are best stored there and which not for best performance? No.

      So when you say "it's the same" you're stretching truth quite a lot.
    • Unique? That's Virtual Memory. Sure, the fact that it's easy (may be) a good thing (though how many people are going to keep an empty flash drive around for this? Easier to get the kid down the street to install more ram for you and be done with it if you cant do it yourself. However, unique? I can put a swap file on flash drive and itd do the same thing...

      Tell me this... can you change your virtual memory settings without a reboot under xp and below? I've not played with my settings but i'm willing to wag
  • Nice report, though the Linux guy should have pointed out the DRM on Vista. They did a good job with the security portion too.
    • I was surprised that none of the Vista users had complaints (well, maybe it is no surprise due to the fact they weren't entirely critical). I subscribe to Maximum PC magazine, and they shred the crap out of Vista-- sure, they love the eye-candy and other handy things that Vista has to offer over Windows XP, but the editors of Maximum PC wrote another article detailing about 10 things they hate about Vista, including ridiculous DRM software, redundant program install prompts, AND the fact that it will have
    • Nice report, though the Linux guy should have pointed out the DRM on Vista.

      You would prefer a dialogue which began with the Vista user demonstrating his new Blu-Ray drive by playing Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire?

      In high definition with full theater sound and large screen projection?

      Because access to protected content is all that DRM means to the casual user of Vista or the Mac.

  • by JoshJ ( 1009085 ) on Monday January 29, 2007 @11:51PM (#17809414) Journal
    The linux advocate pointed out the free software license, contrasting it with "piracy". Hopefully this is the start of free software making a real impact in the mainstream media.
  • WTF? (Score:5, Funny)

    by psykocrime ( 61037 ) <mindcrime@cpphaS ... o.uk minus berry> on Monday January 29, 2007 @11:52PM (#17809418) Homepage Journal
    and good that the BBC has given equal time to the major alternatives."

    What, and no mention of OS/2? Feh... what a bloody useless study...
  • It's Filler (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bullfish ( 858648 ) on Monday January 29, 2007 @11:52PM (#17809420)
    This is just filler for BBC's tech page. There is no real detail given on any of the operating systems other than, "it's cool, I like it". Before anyone says they should've said this and should've said that, this is aimed at people who know squat about computers, less about OS's and will likely read this article on page 5 of their newspaper. It was probably tossed on the desk of some rookie rerporter at five minutes to quitting time.

    • It was probably tossed on the desk of some rookie rerporter at five minutes to quitting time.

      I think you're probably right; there's nothing new or particularly interesting here. Both Windows guys have only ever used Windows, and they compare it with previous versions of Windows with no reference to the outside world. The Linux guy compares Linux with Windows (with a brief side reference to Macs), and the Mac guy compares OS X with Windows. Even the past experience of these people seems completely ster

  • Summary (Score:4, Informative)

    by Paulrothrock ( 685079 ) on Monday January 29, 2007 @11:54PM (#17809434) Homepage Journal

    Windows: Eye candy, eye candy, and you're gonna have to upgrade.

    Linux: Secure stable, and I swear it's got software you can run! I mean, people give it away for free.

    Mac OS: I use my machine for things and I really like it. And it's pretty

    • by suv4x4 ( 956391 )
      Summary:

      Windows: Eye candy, eye candy, and you're gonna have to upgrade.
      Linux: Secure stable, and I swear it's got software you can run! I mean, people give it away for free.
      Mac OS: I use my machine for things and I really like it. And it's pretty


      Summary: Slashdot.
  • Insecure much? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by XCol ( 1057404 )
    "It is clean, uncluttered and lets me get on with my tasks. When I see Windows' reminders, popups, and other interruptions, I appreciate its absence in OS X." Isn't it funny that the only person to sledge their non-choice of OS was a Mac user?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Helios1182 ( 629010 )
      Compare the amount of user interaction with the OS in Vista and OSX and you will see what he means. It is very rare that OSX gives messages or prompts to the user.
    • by WaKall ( 461142 )
      I wouldn't say it's not funny.

      However, I would say that it's expected. I would guess that the flux of users from one OS to another over the past couple of years has been heaviest from Windows to OSX. It's still easy to use and you can buy it pre-installed, at increasingly competitive prices in the already-built space (but still not totally competitive).

      What's the likelihood of finding a Windows user who switched to windows because of things they didn't like about OSX or Linux?
    • Re:Insecure much? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by aristotle-dude ( 626586 ) on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @12:42AM (#17809848)

      "It is clean, uncluttered and lets me get on with my tasks.When I see Windows' reminders, popups, and other interruptions, I appreciate its absence in OS X."Isn't it funny that the only person to sledge their non-choice of OS was a Mac user?
      Did you totally miss that the guy was a switcher from windows? That might be why he mentioned the contrast between the two systems. You might want to loosen that tinfoil hat a little.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by p0tat03 ( 985078 )

        As a relatively recent switcher, I can completely attest to the lack of obtrusive notifications in OSX when compared to Windows. One of the things I absolutely could not stand about Windows are the little taskbar popups. I don't need to know when you've successfully connected to a wireless network, that little wireless icon in OSX tells me that without popping up a bubble. I also don't need to know when updates are ready to install, and when I dismiss that damned bubble you better not well come back in 15 m

        • by koreth ( 409849 ) on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @04:35AM (#17811128)
          Hear hear. That stupid wireless networking popup has got to be the most annoying UI element in the known universe. Its absence alone makes me very happy I'm typing this on a Mac instead of my old Windows laptop.

          "Hi! You're now connected to the same wireless network you were connected to before you closed your laptop, the only wireless network available, in fact, and your signal strength is Excellent in case there was some doubt about your ability to get a clear signal from the wireless access point sitting in the closet six feet away from you. Please stop what you're doing and move the cursor down to me to acknowledge this critical information!"

  • Drawbacks? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Add_Water ( 1056858 )
    "requires more resources", "is less widespread than the competition", "it is hard to resist buying each new version" are these the real drawbacks? And where's the comparisons the headline talks about? It looks like they picked 4 fanboys comments and posted them. And why are there 2 comments about Vista, and just one of each other oses? Because windows has a bigger market share?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Falladir ( 1026636 )
      Because they told the first guy they would publish his comments before they realized that despite having used windows since 3.1, he knew jack-all about it. Here's a summary of his comments, rendered in caveman-speak:

      "I use windows long time. Now it pretty! When changing between programs it VERY pretty! But my flash drive doesn't work any more."

      Seriously, how can a major news source publish "it just adds to the overall experience." Seriously.

      I can't respect a guy who's so utterly hung up on the
    • by MarkByers ( 770551 ) on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @02:07AM (#17810388) Homepage Journal
      > And why are there 2 comments about Vista, and just one of each other oses? Because windows has a bigger market share?

      No. It's because you have to say twice as much to make Vista sound good.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @12:02AM (#17809524)
    Also, unlike Vista and OS X, Linux provides comprehensive support for languages such as Gaelic and Welsh.

    I believe this to be false, and I am assuming it is coming from someone who has never used OS X. I just looked in System Preferences, and they are indeed there under International (you need to look under its native name, e.g. "Cymraeg" for Welsh -- it's hidden under the "Edit" button). OS X was built with Unicode in mind. OS X even comes with built-in support for the Inuktitut (Eskimo) language for chrissakes!! (Try visiting http://www.gov.nu.ca/inuktitut/ [gov.nu.ca] in Safari --- that is rendered in the default font!!)

    I use both Linux and OS X heavily, but stuff like this doesn't lend the Linux camp any credibilty IMHO.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Mjlner ( 609829 )
      "I believe this to be false, and I am assuming it is coming from someone who has never used OS X. I just looked in System Preferences, and they are indeed there under International (you need to look under its native name, e.g. "Cymraeg" for Welsh -- it's hidden under the "Edit" button). OS X was built with Unicode in mind."

      It is not about font support or Unicode, although both are part of the solution, but about the ability to switch the language of the entire system. By changing a setting, KDE speaks Ir
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Weedlekin ( 836313 )
        Did you not read the post you're replying to? There is no Irish or Welsh version of OS X because _OS X directly supports_ approximately 100 languages or variants of languages out of the box, plus a bunch of other localisation details, all of which can be applied on a per-user basis. Thus, my Mac has users set up for me in British English (I have several users optimised for different tasks), and users for my wife and her daughters in Spanish because that's their native language, and this per-user localisatio
  • ... but i thought that the introduction of the linux and mac user would have to have their critique of Vista (ie. offer their perspective on the competition). This article is really nothing more than four fan-boys of a particular IT community dissection flaunting their collectively underwhelming e-peen in our faces.

    I suppose it would be fair to say that there was a level playing field in terms of effectiveness in promoting their respective platforms... if I showed these "articles" to my parents, or some ra
  • Another significant advantage with Linux is that, unlike in Windows, there is no need to worry about security since viruses are very rare, no virus has yet spread successfully on the platform.

    And that statement makes me cry.

    1. Security is not limited to viruses, and saying there is no need for security just... ya makes me cry.
    2. Depending on your exact defination of virus... say if you include worms, saying that no virus has never spread on Linux is simply not true.


    I see purpose for all 3 OSs - w
    • I think you need to consider the audience that the article is intended for. As far as most people think, anything that attacks your computer (including spyware/adware) must be a virus. The article is not the place to explain the difference to the masses. Also, the "no need to worry about security" statement is not far off for the average user. Most easy to install linux distributions are reasonably secure by default - sure there is a lot more that can be done but for your average PC user knowing that th
  • Can anyone tell me what the Linux guy has running on his desktop? Specifically, I'm curious about the semi-transparent apps running on the right hand side of the thumbnail in the article.

    Thanks.
    • The stuff on the right is probably a Karamba or SuperKaramba applet. Install it via your package manager of choice and check out all the stuff for it at kde-look [kde-look.org].
  • by WankersRevenge ( 452399 ) on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @12:17AM (#17809648)
    The first thing I noticed after switching from Windows to Mac OS X almost six years ago is its complete lack of distractions. It is clean, uncluttered and lets me get on with my tasks.

    If you look at the adjacent screenshot, you'll see a completely cluttered desktop filled with distractions. I find it amusing that out of all the images, this one has the most clutter.
  • ...but didn't the BBC have it's own Operating System at one time?

    Something like this? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BBC_Micro [wikipedia.org]

    Too bad they never continued that project...

    Thanks,

    Mike
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Akir ( 878284 )
      BBC didn't actually have their own operating System. As I understand it, the BBC Micro was actually running a slightly modified RISCOS.
      • by lindseyp ( 988332 ) on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @01:03AM (#17810016)

        Actually the BBC micro and its cut-down counterpart the Acorn Electron preceded RISC processors and ran a 'basic' OS, (MOS/BASIC) that was little more than a tape filing system and a BASIC command line.

        A pretty good one for its day, I have to admit.

        It was followed by a disc filing system they simply called "DFS", and then later progressed to a directory-tree system called "ADFS"

        It was Acorn, the manufacturer of these computers, who went on to develop what I believe is the first RISC processor, the ARM, and made a line of computers based on these with RISCOS for many years

      • by Alioth ( 221270 ) <no@spam> on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @01:26AM (#17810158) Journal
        The Beeb was made by Acorn. It was based on the 6502 processor, and didn't really have an OS as such - really, just a ROM monitor much in the way that other 8 bit computers of the era had. Acorn went on to design the ARM CPU (now ubiquitous in handheld devices). When the ARM was new, it did appear in the last model of BBC Microcomputer (the Archimedes with the BBC branding). Again, it was Acorn's OS (Arthur, renamed to RiscOS).
  • by kurtmckee ( 870398 ) <contactme@kurtmckee.org> on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @12:38AM (#17809828) Homepage

    > good that the BBC has given equal time to the major alternatives

    I use Amiga 4.0 you insensitive clod!

  • What matters (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Reality Master 101 ( 179095 ) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <101retsaMytilaeR>> on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @01:18AM (#17810094) Homepage Journal

    Here's the only comparison of operating systems that matters to the vast majority of people:

    Software Selection:

    Windows: The most and best selection
    OS/X: Far less than Windows, but still serviceable
    Linux: The least selection and most crude.

    People use applications, not operating systems.

Nothing succeeds like the appearance of success. -- Christopher Lascl

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