Boston Linux & Unix (BLU) Home | Calendar | Mail Lists | List Archives | Desktop SIG | Hardware Hacking SIG
Wiki | Flickr | PicasaWeb | Video | Maps & Directions | Installfests | Keysignings
Linux Cafe | Meeting Notes | Blog | Linux Links | Bling | About BLU

BLU Discuss list archive

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: I really prefer Linux over everything else

 On Sunday 20 January 2008 01:13:52 pm [hidden email] wrote: 
> > Both Mac OS X and Linux have their advantages and their weaknesses. 
> I dislike equivocation, it is politically correctness at its worse. We 
> should be able to proudly state our opinions, argue them with people who 
> are willing and of differing opinions. 
> To paraphrase the "Incredibles," when everything is equal, nothing is 
> better. 

Only I didn't say they were equal. I said both had their advantages and their 
weaknesses. Windows has its advantages and its weaknesses too. Doesn't make 
it equal to anything else though, and I feel its weaknesses greatly outweigh 
its advantages. Anyhow... 

> > ...and also doesn't have years and years of legacy cruft with new 
> > features (such as compiz) bolted/hacked in on top. The fluidity of the 
> > Mac OS X graphical environment eye candy quite honestly kicks the crap 
> > out of X11 on comparable hardware. There are tradeoffs between X11 and 
> > Quartz. 
> That "legacy cruft" that people like to point to can be quite important. 

Can be, yes. Can also make it much harder to add new features. Just ask some 
actual X11 developers what they think about X11 and all the legacy cruft. I 
know a few in my office who will go on and on in great detail about how bad 
it is. 

> Secondly, "bolted/hacked" is a surely subjective. X11 was designed to be 
> extensible, the fact that it supports the stuff like Compiz is a testimate 
> to how well designed it really is. 

Again, I'll defer to our X11 hackers who will curse X11 up and down, and wish 
they could simply rewrite it from scratch to ditch all the legacy cruft and 
bolted on hacks, and instead implement things cleanly for modern systems. 

> > Note that Mac OS X does have a built-in vnc server though, if you really 
> > need/want to control an app on a remote system. 
> Yuck, a whole desktop for one application? That's a hack. 

Hm... Quite a few people consider this "hack" to be quite useful. In fact, its 
available with Gnome and Windows too (not sure about KDE, but I believe its 
there too)... 

> Hope you don't 
> have a video running. Hope no one else is using it while you want to. 

I suppose not. But really, the only applications I typically run remotely are 
command line anyhow, which works just the same on both Linux and Mac OS X. 

> > Conversely, I still find several things still work way better under OS X 
> > than under Linux. 
> Like? example? 

Suspend and resume. Wireless network setup. Moving from one network to 
another, wireless dynamic IP to wired static in two clicks or less. 
Encrypting a user's home directory. Video chat. Hot-plugging and 
auto-configuring monitors. Trackpad configuration. Touchscreen support. 
Handwriting recognition. 

> I love the look of the menu bar at the bottom of the Mac, but I hate 
> having to use Finder and open a window to get to applications I don't 
> normally use. 

You don't have to. Use spotlight, just command-space, type in a letter or two 
of the app name, arrow down and hit enter. Or put the Applications folder in 
the dock. Or install some 3rd-party software like LaunchBar, TigerLaunch or 

> > I tend to move back and forth 
> > between Mac OS X and Linux. Again, both have their advantages and their 
> > weaknesses, and perceptions of exactly what they are vary from one person 
> > to another. 
> Yea, but what do *you* think and why?, who cares about some arbitrary 
> faceless people. This is a discussion of preferences. 

Well, *I* still think the OS X desktop is more elegant, and more things Just 
Work on OS X. Not that a Linux desktop can't be tricked out to my liking and 
made so everything I want to work pretty much just does, but it requires a 
lot more tweaking. I also really like the power and flexibility of Linux, and 
the fact that I can modify the code of pretty much anything running on my 
system to improve it, try out experiment new things, etc. In particular, I 
rather like hacking on the kernel these days. I mean, don't get me wrong, I 
love me some Linux, but its far from perfect -- if it was, I wouldn't have a 
job... ;) 

> >> I can't think of anything the Mac can do that Linux can not 
> > 
> > I can. 
> Like? example? 

Be a viable platform for grandma. Some people might argue with that, but 
seriously, if you told your grandmother, who lives 3000 miles away, to go out 
and buy a new computer, would she be able to find one on which she could 
video chat with you within half an hour of getting home from the store? 

> >> , conversely, I 
> >> can name a few things that are either impossible or difficult to do on 
> >> the Mac that are simple on Linux. 
> > 
> > And I can think of plenty of things are simple to do on a Mac that aren't 
> > on Linux. :) 
> Like? example? 

The video chat example. The wireless dynamic to wired static in two clicks or 
less example. The seamless per-user encrypted home directory example. Also 
check out Time Machine. 

Now, I could be way off base, but to me, it kinda sounds like you're putting 
down Mac OS X without actually having a whole lot of meaningful experience 
using it, only brief encounters where you went into it with preconceived 
notions that it was inferior. I base this assumption on your belief that the 
only way to launch an infrequently used application is through the Finder and 
inability to think of anything that works better on OS X, because just about 
everyone I know that has used OS X any significant amount of time has a 
pretty easy time pointing out things that work better under OS X than they do 
with Linux. 

For the record, I've been using the various incarnations of the Mac OS dating 
back about 20 years now, and have run every version of Mac OS X from the 
pre-Aqua Mac OS X Server up through Apple's current offering. My Linux 
desktop experience dates back 11 years or so. Sorry if you don't like 
my "political correctness at its worst", but to me, a long-time user of both 
Mac OS X and Linux, they really do both have their advantages and their 
weaknesses, and I really like them both regardless. I won't touch Windows 
with a ten foot pole though, I think its a steaming pile of shit with almost 
no redeeming qualities whatsoever (there you go, some political 

Jarod Wilson 
[hidden email] 

This message has been scanned for viruses and 
dangerous content by MailScanner, and is 
believed to be clean. 

Discuss mailing list 
[hidden email]

BLU is a member of BostonUserGroups
BLU is a member of BostonUserGroups
We also thank MIT for the use of their facilities.

Valid HTML 4.01! Valid CSS!

Boston Linux & Unix /