Given Apple’s increasingly evident distractedness from Mac OS development as it concentrates more on the mobile space with the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch, some are suggesting that Ubuntu captures the traditional “Mac” spirit and vision better than the actual Mac OS does these days.


A week ago, on April 29, Linux distro Canonical released Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (Lucid Lynx) in Desktop, Server and Netbook editions. It featured a new look that some rate more attractive and up-to-date than Snow Leopard’s. “Lucid Lynx’s” new graphics card drivers and other consumer-oriented innovations front a Linux-based operating system package containing all the essential productivity applications you need, all for free: a web browser, office suite, media apps, instant messaging and much more, and is being pitched as an open-source alternative to Windows and Office or Mac OS X and the iApps. Ubuntu’s core applications are all free and open source.

The Register’s Gavin Clarke reported last week that with Lucid Lynx, Canonical is hoping to entice Mac and Windows users to switch, quoting the company’s COO and blogger Matt Asay asserting that changes in the consumer-oriented Ubuntu 10.04 LTS edition will cause “Apple fanbois” to reconsider their love for Steve Jobs, while “milk-fed Windows users” will be less inclined to run screaming to their retailer to return their Ubuntu PCs.

Given Apple’s increasingly evident distractedness from Mac OS development as it concentrates more and more on the mobile space with the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch, some are also suggesting that Ubuntu captures the traditional “Mac” spirit and vision better than the actual Mac OS does these days.

In an April 28 essay anticipating the imminent Ubuntu 10.04 release, ServerWatch’s Paul Rubens said that Apple is fading from relevance in the computing space as it focuses more and more on phones, web tablets and other consumer gadgets, and that if you’re an old-style Apple fan (by which he means a fan of real Apple Mac computers, not so much the new Apples-R-Us toys and games company), there’s no need to fret because while Apple may not “get” it anymore, it seems Canonical does. He asserts that during the past 12 months Ubuntu has evolved into something that’s powerful, easy to use, and far more stylish than Snow Leopard, which he thinks is not really that surprising when you consider that Apple is far too busy with its iPhone OS to bother much with updating OS X. Rubens says that Ubuntu is innovative, forward-looking, stylish and fun, and rapidly becoming everything that OS X might’ve been had Apple not decided to turn its back on it and become fixated with iPhone OS — “except for being overpriced and closed.”

The concept of desktop Linux possibly better capturing the early-days essence of Mac culture isn’t entirely new. A decade ago I reported on another user-friendly Linux GUI project by a startup called Eazel. The Eazel team was spearheaded by a who’s who of Macintosh alumni. Staffers included Mike Boich — former head of Macintosh evangelism for Apple Computer; Andy Hertzfeld — lead programmer for original Mac OS development in the early ’80s who wrote much of the code that became the iconic Macintosh GUI; Susan Kare who did the graphic design for the original Mac OS Finder icons; Darin Adler who had been technical lead for System 7 development at Apple; and Bud Tribble — first software architect on the Macintosh project and manager of the original Macintosh software team. Mac people all from way back. Arguably, that bunch had a more purebred Macintosh “pedigree” than the folks who were developing OS X at the time.

I suggested back in 2000 that there was a case to be made that the thinking behind Eazel may well be truer to the original Mac essence than OS X itself. I wondered whether OS X would retain enough distinct classic Mac-ness, that je ne sais quois that made the Mac a Mac for many of us veteran users, to sustain the dogged loyalty that had characterized the Mac community through thick and thin for 16 years up to that point? Or would it be so NeXT like, or much, much worse, Windows-like, that hitherto Mac loyalists might be tempted to stray into other pastures? As it turned out, the Eazel project eventually withered on the vine, as it were, and we Mac OS fans adapted to OS X, which turned out to be a very decent computing environment, but lately there are rumblings that Apple is losing interest in the Mac OS with its focus shifting primarily to the mobile space.

Indeed, in his April 29 philippic against Adobe Flash, Steve Jobs appeared to refer to “the PC era” in the past tense, “implying that the computer and mouse paradigm is passé, with the mobile era being about low power devices, touch interfaces and open web standards (notwithstanding that ironically the iPhone OS environment is anything but ‘open’).”

Not so with Ubuntu, which is committed to traditional desktop and laptop computing, and where the ‘free’ in ‘free software’ is used primarily in reference to freedom, and not to price — although the company says it’s committed to not charging for Ubuntu, and that the most important thing about Ubuntu is that it confers rights of software freedom on the people who install and use it, freedoms that will enable the Ubuntu community to grow, continue to share its collective experience and expertise to improve Ubuntu and make it suitable for use in new countries and new industries.

What do you think? Does Canonical with Ubuntu have a realistic shot at convincing significant numbers of Mac OS and Windows users to switch?

  1. Well, to say Ubuntu is more relevant or better at user experience is just ludicrous.
    I have Ubuntu at work, mac at home – definitely can talk about it and believe me, Ubuntu is never going to be as stable & fast as my mac, even if my Ubuntu is 4core, 4gb ram etc. etc. it just does NOT deliver :)

    1. Nessa Arwen Friday, May 7, 2010

      Have you even used UBUNTU??? or just commenting for the sake of it. Notice the version mentioned?

      Or do you simply not know enough about linux to get it working?

      As far as stable goes, no matter what you do, you can’t get the stabilty of linux. Mac crashes, on boot itself it it must, windows … do we even want to go there… linux no matter what you are free to fix it yourself…

      And do backup your great comment with some examples… that we all understand (time for instance).

      I know for a fact ubuntu boots in a max of 10 secs… and no I don’t have a new fanged pc… just a dual core and 2 Gb ram….

      1. Well, I’ve been a Linux user since 1998, used so many distros, Slack, Red Hat, Mandriva, Gentoo, Debian, you name it…
        The last 4 years used Ubuntu as my primary desktop.
        Six months ago I made the switch to OS X, and I tell you, Ubuntu is nowhere near. While it was fun to hack the system, I enjoyed to deal with every single X issue, application install, wireless driver, sound driver, missing gnome menus, and the list goes on and on…
        But I reached a point in my life that those things aren’t fun anymore, I want my computer to just works, and Ubuntu wasn’t helping. To say that linux boots in 10 secs and other OS’es crash on booting is just a lie, I had quite my share of kernel panics under every single distro I used. Funny enough, it was precisely boot time issues that made me do the final switch to OS X.
        I have all my Unix needs and a consistent UI. Sleep mode just works, wireless just works. And most of the time, I don’t need to fix things myself, that’s is not a feature… If you have to stop your work to mess with source code unrelated to what you were doing, than that’s not something desirable. For the vast majority of people, this alone is one reason to abandon the OS, even so if we’re talking about a desktop system.

      2. @Bob Well said… as a *nix user for the past ten years myself, I know exactly how you feel. The Mac OS switch to Unix is is what brought me over to the Mac in the first place.

        The beauty of a Mac, and I can still pop open a terminal and fire up vi when I want.

      3. LOL

        “Or do you simply not know enough about linux to get it working?”

        is the exact reason why no one outside tech blogs cares about linux: If I want to drive to the supermarkt, I put my key in my car and drive – I don’t need to change a cam belt first or calibrate the transmission.

        Funny that this comment is made in this thread since “simply working” is the essence of OS X

      4. FYI: I ran a datacenter for huge e-commerce site. One of the top 5. For the last two years, I do iPhone apps.

        I would use Linux for servers. Period.
        When I needed extra-heavy-duty I/O (like a SAN database) I went to SUN Enterprise servers.

        Windows for an environment like that? R U kidding?
        Apple? Not there for this type of environment.

        Ubuntu for all Intel based laptops. Works like a charm. If users are having trouble with Ubuntu and their laptops, it is their System Administrator’s fault!

        The trick to having a perfect Ubuntu experience across the enterprise is: Hardware Uniformity.

        Don’t mess around with weird hardware crap. Stick to a hardware configuration that works and have your SA’s work out any kinks.

        Your users should never-ever have to complain about Ubuntu. NEVER!!!

        I am using mostly MACS at home. I write iPhone apps and it is a necessity. However, my mother-in-law, who is an older lady, uses Ubuntu (on a HP laptop) and she loves it.

        I see no big difference between a MAC and a Ubuntu machine. A MAC is nothing more than Ubuntu running for a specific target machine.

        That’s why MACS work so well. They don’t have to worry about a thousand different configurations.

        Windows an a laptop? R U crazy?

        Windows is only for hard core apps that refuse to run on Linux or MAC. Those apps are getting fewer and fewer.

        If you need to run Windows, then just buy a machine and do it. Stuff like VMware and Parallels just don’t cut it as far as performance goes.

        Thank you for listening.

  2. It’s an interesting question to ask, but the answer is a rather easy and quick “no.” OS-X has always had a dock for instance and Ubuntu has a task bar. How can it be “closer to the essence” (which you never define BTW), when it doesn’t have a dock?

    Also, dig in beyond the thin surface layer and you run smack into full on Linux confusion and ugliness almost immediately. Also about as far from the original “essence” as you can get.

    1. cough He’s a writer from Low End Mac. OS X is the devil (until it’s a 4 year old version), Classic is king, and apparently IMAP can’t cache.

    2. Have you dug in beyond the “thin surface layer” of your precious OSX? Guess what “you run smack into”? Yep, that’d be UNIX (or a BSD derivative at least). So me thinks that someone should know what they’re talking about before they get all comment happy.

      1. In all fairness, if you stray outside (the admittedly nice) package managers, Linux software installation and control is a bit of a nightmare for average users.

      2. @D: That is a fair critique, but the very same thing can be said for Mac OS X. At least with Linux, the package managers generally have most every open source utility imaginable, even the very obscure ones.

        On Mac, this is not true. If it’s not in MacPorts, you are generally screwed. And even then, you usually have to compile the whole stack (including dependencies). It’s time consuming and nightmarish, and the reason why I dropped OS X from any computer I actually have to work on.

      3. Ouch, that is such a painfully dumb remark. I feel sorry for you.

  3. “except for being overpriced and closed”
    Are you serious about that?? This is certainly not describing Mac OS X. There is almost nothing that I can have on Ubuntu that I can’t get for SL…
    This being said, if I were a Windows user, I would definitely consider switching. Probably to Mac OS though… :)

    1. That “except for being overpriced and closed” was a quote from the Paul Rubens article mentioned earlier…hence it being in quotes. :)

  4. Patrick Santana Thursday, May 6, 2010

    I would say that Ubuntu is a good OS. I like to use it.
    You really could do this comparison with Windows OS, but regards to Mac OSX, it is really a joke.

    I use both system, but Ubuntu is still far from away Mac OSX.

    I see ubuntu server as a very good alternative for mac osx server. But desktop version. Ha ha ha ha ha

  5. I’ve felt this way about Ubuntu since the early days. Just visit the Ubuntu forums and you discover with refreshing realization that the people using Ubuntu are some of the nicest and even minded people you’ll meet in this “OS war” and it’s often infectious. Same deal with the community help documents. There’s no assumption that you’re an expert. And there’s no dumbing down of things. The Ubuntu community accepts you as you are and has you covered. That Mac feeling and humor that I first got from early subscriptions to MacAddict is definitely apparent with Ubuntu. And fun too. The various awareness campaigns are fun and interesting. Heck, I made an Ubuntu poster to celebrate it. http://the-penciler.deviantart.com/art/Ubuntu-Poster-No-Border-122740737

    I’m using Mac OS X 10.6.x now, but I would not have any issue using Ubuntu again. In fact I have VirtualBox with Ubuntu installed (along with many other OSes to be well rounded). Plus I know how to set up an Ubuntu box to the point that I would not end up wanting.

    I think to purely rate Ubuntu against the mainstream OSes on statistics alone sadly ignores what Ubuntu is about at its core and at the core of its community. And people taking the time to bash Ubuntu is unfortunate. A lot of it stems from ignorance of what you can do in Ubuntu and unfortunately a lazy attitude about it.

  6. Seriously, somebody who thinks thinks that Ubuntu is anything like Snow Leopard, not only in appereance but ESPECIALLY in ease of use should seriously consider an asylum.

  7. I personally love Ubuntu. I’ve put a number of friends on it as their first machine and it’s awesome. The latest update just makes it even better.

    For me the only issue is that I can’t run the latest versions of Adobe software on it. As a professional designer unfortunately Adobe is the standard for sharing files. I’ve tried GIMP and Inkscape and while they are nice they just don’t cut the mustard compared to Photoshop. I’d also agree that photoshop is a pig that has way too many features now.

    1. “The latest update just makes it even better”. Really? Do you mean the Ubuntu 9.10 with new default theme?

      How in god’s name is Ubuntu 10.04 any better than the previous version? Ubuntu 10.04 = Ubuntu 9.10 + new theme + ‘Mac OS X’-like icons.

      1. @UBUNTARD
        I think you’re correct. I have U9 and U10.04 installed on my MacBook Pro [in Paralells 5]. In a side-by-side comparison there is nothing new, except for theme and some useless freeware.

  8. No. And your understanding of the “Mac Vision and Spirit” is, at best, misguided.

  9. Ubuntu is still far from Mac OS X and Canonical is dreaming if they think is not. I have a special distaste for its typographical render engine. To me, most text feels wrong in Ubuntu, like in all linux.

    1. Oooh, that’s soo nice… Did you know that default text rendering is subpixel smoothing? And do you know who owns that patent? Oooh… yes it’s Apple… so stop bsing and get some facts straight!

      1. Raffael Erhart Thursday, May 13, 2010

        The font rendering in Linux IS horrible. Have a look yourself.

  10. Most average users in the real world don’t have time to babysit an operating system, which is what you have to do if you are running Linux as a desktop OS. It doesn’t matter what window manager you are running or how pretty the GUI is, some of the most mundane tasks inevitably don’t work. You’ll be forced to read MAN pages and google around for the most obscure answers to questions you shouldn’t even be having to ask (try hooking up a digital camera and just downloading pictures, or installing a scanner/printer/fax combo and having everything work, for instance).

    Linux is an amazing server platform and certainly has its strengths, but it’s not as a desktop OS for the average computer user.

    1. I’m a perfectly average computer user with no special knowledge and I have been exclusively using various Linux distros for the last 4 years. In that time I have never had to look at a single MAN page and all of my peripherals such as scanner/printer/fax and web cams have just worked straight away. I’ve never had any problem downloading photographs and never had to google any information regarding how to do anything with the OS. Your comment seems to come from at best out dated knowledge and at worst pure ignorance. I suggest you try Ubuntu 10.4 before you carry on making such misinformed statements.

      1. I am a rather average computer user as well and decided to try out 9.10. After needing to sift through the internet to figure out how to install an application and what happens after it is installed I gave it a resounding “NO THANK YOU” and never bothered with it again.

        I think it’s humorous that people try to make the argument that Ubuntu is fine for average computer users. If i made my parents use this they would disown me.

      2. William Carr Friday, May 7, 2010

        I think you under-rate yourself. If you’ve been using Linux for four years you aren’t average.

        Don’t get me wrong: the Enemy of my Enemy is my friend.

        I look forward to the day when Linux is so bulletproof that NOBODY needs to know how to compile anything: on that day, I hope Linux chokes the life out of Windows.

        But it’s not there yet.

      3. @clearzero: That’s specious reasoning. Just because you have to learn how to do something doesn’t mean it’s hard, it simply means that it’s outside of your usual frame of reference. I once spent half an hour trying to figure out how to uninstall a program on OSX, couldn’t find Add/Remove Programs anywhere…I came from a Windows environment and didn’t dream you could just drop an app in the trash. Does that mean OSX is harder to use? Of course it doesn’t, it’s actually much easier.

        Package management on Ubuntu is worlds easier than Windows or OSX. You open the install program, you search for the program name or a set of keywords, and you click Install. It’s a hell of a lot easier than having to poke around on the Web looking for an installer program, and it’s a more consistent experience than exes versus zips on Windows and StuffIt versus dmg on OSX.

        Now, if you actually find yourself wanting to install something that’s not in the repos, yeah, that can be tricky. But I haven’t had to do that in ages.

  11. I’m not sure I could disagree with you more. For Linux, as far as it goes, Ubuntu is a great desktop. However, it is not nearly in the same class as OS X. I wrote about my problems with Ubuntu on my blog a couple years ago: http://jonathanbuys.com/post/576520125/the-coffee-cup and I still dual boot my work laptop. I won’t go so far as to say that the two systems will never be equals, but a Mac is more than the OS, as you well know. It’s the combination of the OS and the bundled applications tightly bonded with the hardware, as well as an amazing developer community who care more deeply about their products than any group of programmers I’ve ever met.

    I understand where you are coming from. However, if Ubuntu is ever going to compete with the Mac, Canonical needs to start building their own hardware and completely controlling the development process of Linux. Which probably isn’t going to happen.

    1. there you said it. The main difference is that MacOSX is build to support a specific range of hardware. There is no guessing of what will happen if one has this really old card that wants to use, or will my 15 year old PC will be able to run a linux kernel…
      With MacOSX there is a solid way of getting things done that starts from specific hardware to an OS written to support only this hardware and so on.
      Try to install MacOSX to a standart PC and see what you’ll get. UNIX mayhem :)

    2. So basically what you are saying is that Canonical need to go into PC manufacture and drop linux to develop a proprietary OS?

      Or to put it another way, Canonical should copy Apple’s business model?


      1. It’s worked pretty well for Apple so far :)

        Also, I’m not saying they should drop Linux, I’m saying they should take control of the development process. And yea, “anyone serious about software should build their own hardware”.

      2. William Carr Friday, May 7, 2010

        No. Just pick a good configuration and build for that.

        Anybody who wants a zero-stress experience will know to buy PC X, with video card Y, and Z type of RAM.

        Everybody else can mix and match to their heart’s content.

        Even Microsoft would profit immensely by doing this. If they bought up a reputable hardware maker and tuned Windows just to those models, they could improve Windows performance and warp the PC industry into following their hardware specs.

        Come to think of it, don’t tell Ballmer about this. He wouldn’t read theappleblog, would he?

  12. Negative Ghost Rider, the pattern is full.

  13. I think some people are missing the point, Apple are quite evidently winding down their operations for MacOSX in favour of their more profitable iPhoneOS.

    This unfortunately means us OSX fans will soon have to decide between Linux and Windows should we wish to remain in the traditional computer world as we know it, because in a few years time Apple will abandon it.

    1. “This unfortunately means us OSX fans will soon have to decide between Linux and Windows should we wish to remain in the traditional computer world as we know it, because in a few years time Apple will abandon it.”

      A bit of a drama queen here, aren’t you, Daniel?

      First, since no one has mentioned it yet, let’s get something straight. In order to create software that runs on the iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad, you MUST USE A MAC. That’s right. You can’t develop using Windows nor Linux nor any other system. Want an iPhone app? You need to be using XCode. And XCode only runs on Mac OS X. So how exactly do you propose that “in a few years time Apple will abandon it”?

      While iPod Touches, iPhones, and iPads are wonderful, multi-touch devices that are great for CONSUMPTION of data, none makes for an even remotely usable development platform. Even hooking up a bluetooth or USB keyboard to an iPad isn’t going to make it a great piece of kit for doing software development.

      And even if the time does come in another 5-10 years when iPads are powerful enough to be a developer’s kit by connecting a keyboard and mouse to it, isn’t it just a form of OS X once again running on a slightly odd-looking laptop in that case?

      Since I started working with computers more than 30 years ago, all the talk and hype about graphical languages, building programs by simply snapping objects together like Lego blocks, and doing all these ooh-aaah kinds of software development simply hasn’t happened. Sure, we have frameworks out the tuckus. We now write software for GUIs vs. CLIs. We have IDEs and we work in pre-emptive multitasking, multiprocessing environments. Our editors do code completion and intellisense, etc. The steps for doing actual compilation, execution, and debugging are a little easier.

      But when the dust settles and you look at what it takes to actually write software, it’s still just a person sitting in front of a keyboard banging away on keys writing words into an editor. We have never escaped that 3rd generation language development yet. We’ve made things a little more “shiny”, but honestly, software development isn’t THAT different from what it was 20 years ago, with the one exception being tools like Interface Builder which do, at least, make the initial creation of GUI screens much easier than having to code them by hand.

      Sorry, but that Star Trek universe is still a good ways off.

      And in the real world, even if Apple’s intention is, for the moment, to focus on the consumer electronics end of things with their smartphones, portable music/video players, and tablet machines, the only way those devices continue to gain market share is if they offer software/apps that people want. And those programs will inevitably require using a Mac running Mac OS X and using XCode.

      I do understand the sentiment felt by the Mac developer (and user) community, which is feeling a bit slighted this year with WWDC focusing on iPhone/iPad development and not even offering an Apple Design Award category for Mac software. Heck, there’s not even an IT track for those who support Mac environments in schools/enterprises!

      And they have every reason to feel a bit slighted. But Apple is anything but a stupid company. Right now they’re ramping up their usual marketing machine to sell their latest/greatest device. That’s just business.

      However, in the end, Apple needs Mac OS X to continue succeeding, because there is a symbiotic relationship between their products. (And let’s be honest: iPhone OS and iPad OS are nothing but modified versions of Mac OS X.) My guess: this time next year you’ll once again see focus returned to OS X as 10.7 comes closer to release. It may be that Apple has to start splitting WWDC into two separate conferences: one for Mac devs and another for iPhone/iPod/iPad devs. But I don’t honestly see OS X going away any time soon.

      And as for this article, while I will say that Ubuntu 10.04 is the slickest version of Ubuntu Linux I’ve setup (and I’ve got two boxes running it already at work), it’s still Linux.

      I’m sorry, but Linux and Mac OS X just occupy very different spaces in the operating system universe. With Linux it’s hard not to hit that underbelly where you have to use the Terminal or do some CLI work. By contrast, with Mac OS X, most average Mac users never have to see the UNIX underpinnings. (Heck, I’d venture most typical Mac users don’t even realize it’s there.) But for those like me who LIKE to, we have access to all the great things that UNIX provides when we want it, and all the fun of the lickable UI when we don’t. It’s the best of both worlds.

      And last but not least, from a programming point of view, the Linux folks still need to make doing true GUI software development on Linux as easy as using XCode and Interface Builder on Mac OS X, or using Visual Studio/VisualBasic/etc. on Windows if that’s your thing. Not sure if they’re there yet.

  14. I think you’re on to something. Ubuntu continues to grow and innovate, introducing things like the “Me Menu” that cooks social networking right into the OS via the excellent Gwibber and the (couldn’t-have-come-soon-enough) abandonment of the brown look really made me take another look.

    For me, the real roadblock between dropping my Mac and going full time Ubuntu is the quality of software coming out of 3rd party developers. With applications like Transmit, TextMate, Things, Tweetie, Notational Velocity, iStat Menus and Aperture (to name a few) I can’t imagine switching to Ubuntu full time (which I have in the past and come back to my Mac) because I can’t get the same experience on Ubuntu. It’s not because these apps look better (though they do), they work better too. They do what they do so well it’s creepy and I can’t find anything like that on Ubuntu that also takes the GUI into account (I’m looking at you Vim).

    P.S. If you can point me to an honest-to-god TextMate alternative for Ubuntu I’ll be your friend forever. And no, Gedit won’t cut it though it’s really close with Gmate (http://github.com/gmate/gmate).

    1. Am using Geany. Excellent editor based on Scintila. You can really adapt it to your needs.

    2. OS X coder Friday, May 7, 2010

      Code::Blocks and Monkey Studio rock. Infact, I use them on OS X instead of TextMate.

      I’ve tried the TextMate demo, and while it’s all that, these two are more than plenty for what I need.

      NetBeans isn’t bad either, but it wastes far more memory than I’d like.

  15. piminnowcheez Thursday, May 6, 2010

    Apple are quite evidently winding down their operations for MacOSX in favour of their more profitable iPhoneOS.

    Um, this is not evident to me at all. Apple is clearly pushing aggressively into mobile computing, yes, but the premise of this article — that they are “ignoring” their desktop OS — does not follow as a result. What, I wonder, do believers in this premise expect from Apple that they’re not getting? What would OS X look like if Apple weren’t “ignoring” it? In what ways have updates to the OS fallen egregiously behind? Is Apple no longer making money selling desktops and laptops?

  16. Ubuntu won’t be a threat to core of mac content creators until a linux os can support hardware from the likes of motu, metric halo, or AVID.. can run software that takes advantage of said hardware, and offers the kind of usability that os x delivers..

    maybe in a strict personal, mainstream, email, word processing, pictures, and basic media playback sense, it can compete… think of it this way, both are great athletes and performers in their specific roles.. and they might practice or work out at the same gym.. but linux can’t fill an arena, or a stadium like os x can… and neither have what it takes to snag top honors in the enterprise world from microsoft. but be real.. aside from their seemingly *nix like origins.. they are unrelated os’s, [Linux = jack of all trades, master of none, OS X specific software for specific hardware] and to pretend that linux can even play ball in the same arena as osx is ludicrous.

  17. Well, as someone who has switched from the Mac to Ubuntu about 2 years ago, I can certainly say that I now feel the same kind of enjoyment of using my computer as I did with the Mac in the 1990s. Once you get used to using different applications etc, you start seeing that the real difference between the 2 operating systems is that the Mac OS is closed, and Linux is open. My wife still uses a Mac; I would probably never go back.

  18. @Marin: You picked the wrong two Mac OS X attributes to pimp. Sorry, but Ubuntu is both more stable and fast than Mac.It requires less system resources than Snow Leopard and has a much larger compatible hardware pool. It boots faster and runs longer without application lock-ups or crashes. And whether or not it delivers is also a personal call.

    I run a mixed lab of Mac OS and Linux (scientific visualization stuff). Sorry, but Mac doesn’t deliver. Its Unix underpinnings are just different enough that software quite often refuses to compile or install. Moreover, getting a full open stack properly setup and configured is a huge pain. And Apple doesn’t play very nicely with cross-platform development; Qt, for example, has been broken for nearly a year and there is no real date for when it is supposed to be working.

    Linux, in contrast, just works. I can download my whole stack from a package manager and things get configured automatically. And since our servers run Linux, it integrates better into the environment.

    Glad that Mac works for you, but it doesn’t work for me. Saying that Ubuntu will “never” arrive is simply wrong. For some of us, it already has.

    1. Trying to shoehorn a Mac into a Unix environment is frustrating, to say the least. There was a great article written a few years ago, “What is Mac OS X”, where it talks about the underpinnings and how the OS differs from it’s BSD roots. I’m not surprised in the least that the Macs are difficult in your situation, I simply don’t think thats what they are designed for anymore.

      Here’s the site I was referencing: http://osxbook.com/book/bonus/ancient/whatismacosx/

      1. “Trying to shoehorn a Mac into a Unix environment is frustrating …”

        Are you serious? OS-X is one of the very few certified actual Unix operating systems. It is Unix, whereas Linux is “Unix-like,” and not actually based on Unix at all.

        I know you didn’t actually mention Linux in your post, but the saying you are trying to “fit” OS-X into a Unix environment when it’s actually Unix, is just weird.

      2. @GAZOOBEE Good point, substitute “Linux” for “Unix” in my response. :)

      3. @Gazoobee: Ever tried it? It doesn’t matter if Mac is a certified “Unix”, it doesn’t work very well. My environment includes both Linux servers and several HP Unix and Solaris boxes. Mac doesn’t get along with any of them very well. It’s Samba config has problems, the way that 32/64 bit has been implemented in Snow Leopard screws everything up, and the tendency for system updates to wipe out installed software and break things is very frustrating. Other Unix systems simply do not have problems.

        I agree with the original statement: “Trying to shoehorn a Mac into a Unix environment is frustrating, to say the least.”

  19. Can I run iTunes on Ubuntu?

    1. iTunes sucks, just a fat, clumsy and slow application. Switching to Ubuntu would be great just for getting rid of it

      PD: oh, I also think Ubuntu is a GREAT OS, I hope my MacBook still works for a couple of years more, but then I will seriously consider switching, ’cause OS X keeps getting worse and worse every day, SL is way worse than Leopard, and yes OS X does hang.

      PD: I was going to link to some Mac OS X hang pics, but Safari was unable to upload them to Flickr and my Mac ran out of RAM. Yeah Mac OS X sucks too

    2. No, so Ubuntu wins on that score.

  20. I’d be glad to switch to an open source OS, but as long as I am required to dig into that tech speak, or configure stuff to get the machine going, no thanks. I have no interest at all to play with OS, I want to get my work done and every distraction is annoying.

    Comparing OSX to Ubuntu is ridiculous – unfortunately.

    It really seems that coherent and elegant solutions require one strong will with an outstanding endurance.

    It’s a shame that Apple has no real concurrence and that most users settle for that poor Windows.

    1. Hi Thomas. Well “digging into tech stuff” is really thing of the past. For other distros yeah, maybe. But Ubuntu has gone a long way and put in a huge effort so their users could start using everything out of the box.

      Additionally you can run Ubuntu from CD or USB drive without installing. Try it, play around… and if something is not working… well :D there’s always alternative for you!

  21. My parents can use a mac and not get overly confused. Installing stuff, managing stuff, and working with apps is relatively easy. Ubuntu is still not quite to that point yet, but more importantly, Ubuntu is not as cohesive an experience as OS X and iLife provide. On a Mac, stuff just works. On Linux, and Windows to a large extent, you have to know more than you want to in order to get stuff to work (if it even can).

    There is no comparison because Ubuntu, like every linux, is still a collection of divergent pieces of software, and it shows.

  22. Um, yeah, let me answer that question as soon as I check out Ubuntu Linux at my neighborhood Linux Retail Store, call the toll-free LinuxCare number for technical support, and get my mom up & running on her all-in-one Linux machine right out of the box in 10 minutes that just works.

    1. Dominic Amann Friday, May 7, 2010

      I got my mother in law up and running with a one-cd 25 minute install of Ubuntu on her hosed Windows XP HP laptop. It has been running for over a year now, and I have only had to touch a couple of times since – once to get her Zen music player working with it, and once because she needed to set up e-mail due to an ISP change.

      That sure beat the twice a month servicing for viruses and malware that Windows was causing.

  23. Pleeease!
    Mac Vision And Spirit? – Ok if you long for the old days, pre OS X you’ll be all right with Ubuntu 10. First impressions just scream System 9, but the pure crappyness of the preinstalled software is really not up to Mac OS 9 standards (check out the ridiculous PiTiVi Video Editor).
    This is OS 9, even down to the doubleclick-titlebar-to-roll-up action. What ruins the old days, gray-box Macintosh feeling is that you can see the ugly Linux underpinnings shining trough.

    Vision and Spirit — please, give me strength…

    1. Sorry, I think I was totally wrong, this is not Mac OS 9, this is Windows 98 with some OS 9 features — who on earth would flip from OS X to this? Even from Windows 7 to this?

  24. I love Ubuntu. I tried and tried to become an Ubuntu guy before buying my first Mac last year. Until itunes runs on it natively and they develop something like uMovie and uDVD, you know apps that just work, I’ll keep my iMac.

  25. What a load of crap. Utter bunk.

  26. Raffael Erhart Thursday, May 6, 2010

    If Ubuntu would really look nearly as good as MacOS X I would happily adapt it.

  27. OSX’s blue scrollbars and buttons are plain fugly. Kids and average users may find it attractive but I always hated it. Windows 7’s Aero interface is IMO, the best UI design made for desktops. Dear fanbois, I am not an Apple hater or anything and I like Apple’s hardware, but their software simply sucks. Even Steve Jobs admit that running flash plugin could crash OSX. Ubuntu should keep away from imitating Apple if they want to go mainstream.

    1. William Carr Friday, May 7, 2010

      “Even Steve Jobs admit that running flash plugin could crash OSX. ”

      Technically, running Flash tends to crash Safari.

      Which is because Flash is a POS. Adobe has been infested by pro-Windows engineers for about ten years: working on either OS/X or Linux is beneath them.

      I read one report that said Flash support for the Mac at Adobe HQ is ONE guy, part-time.

      It shows.

      If Adobe had spent the time to perfect Flash and evolve it faster, Steve Jobs wouldn’t have had to give it thumbs down.

      After all, it would be a LOT simpler to put in a Click-To-Flash functionality. That would preserve battery life and mollify Adobe.

      They could put scrolling text ads in place of the blank plugin icon to attract business.

      But Flash is buggy, and unreliable without major hand-holding.

      And Apple just can’t be bothered to clean up Adobe’s mess.

  28. Ubuntu is another product of the Google World Group. The media will try to promote it but OSX is much better in any aspect.

    1. Whaaat?

      1. I think it is the other way around. Google used the underpinnings from Ubuntu and slapped their useless adware Chromium OS on top of it [...correct me if I'm wrong].

  29. Charles Moore Thursday, May 6, 2010

    Hi Folks;

    Thanks for all the interesting and thought-provoking comment.

    For the record, I’m running Snow Leopard 10.6.3, and I love the Mac OS. I just wish I felt convinced that Apple still loves it.

    What I’m really getting at, though is what I referred to as the “original Mac essence” and the “traditional ‘Mac’ spirit and vision” – more of a je ne sais quoi attribute or community vibe than a point by point, or even general comparison of the two operating systems. One analogy would be the way British sports car owners back in the ’50s and ’60s would flash their headlights and wave when encountering another MG (I owned a ’57 MGA and a ’67 MGB) or Triumph TRs on the highway. The Mac ambience was something like that way back in the ’80s and ’90s old days.

    Not so much now, although I’m still a Mac fanboy. I do think the Lucid Lynx UI is drop-dead gorgeous,though.


  30. Well, on a site like this it’s obvious that most of the commenters aren’t going to agree…
    But I actually do agree with a lot of this. Compare the latest version of the Mac OS to the Mac OS of 5 years ago- there’s not much of a difference actually; compare the Linux of today with the Linux of 5 years ago- the difference is HUGE. Apple really seem to be happy with how the Mac OS is, and have stopped innovating in this domain. As a result, it’s hard to say now which of the 3 major operating system is better from a purely practical point of view- each has its advantages and disadvantages, there’s no clear winner. 10 years ago when I played with Windows and Linux I went back home to the Mac OS; 3 years ago I played again with Linux and decided to switch, and I don’t regret it. At first I missed some of the apps I had on the Mac; now it’s the other way around- when I’m using a Mac, I miss some of my favorite Linux apps. iTunes? I wouldn’t use it even if there was a native Linux version- there are so many great (and better, imo) alternatives on Linux.
    And that’s the main point of Linux: choice, and freedom. On Linux, it’s really YOUR computer. Don’t like the default apps? use others. don’t like the default appearance (I actually can’t stand the new default Ubuntu theme)? change it. curious to know what’s planned in the next version of your favorite app or part of the OS, or have a great idea about how to make it better? join the forum or mailing list and discuss this with the developers. and so on.
    With Linux, you’re not buying a product- you’re actively involved in making your computer what you want it to be. You’re in charge of your computer. For some people this is a scary thing- and Linux isn’t for everyone; but for some, this is the way to work. So there will always be a place for the Mac OS, and there will always be a place for Linux. If you’re happy with your Mac OS- great, keep using it. But if you’re not happy with what Apple has been doing recently and you want to really ‘think different’ (remember the days when that was a good slogan for Apple?), then you should give Linux a try.

  31. Apple just works and it has iTunes and Photoshop, etc.

    Linux has a great package management and software updating scheme which manages both the OS and the applications together. It has all open source software and a venerable software development environment. Many windows applications have been developed under Linux, like Doom and Quakel for this reason. Linux is a licensing dream. You can install it and use it to your hearts content. It currently rules the supercomputer, webserver, and small wifi router world. It is likely to rule the cell phone world soon too. For me, a Linux systems administrator, Linux close to always just works. I have had driver trouble in the recent past but currently the system is absolutely smooth.

  32. Time my friends, Time is the answer.
    In time, Mac OS X will be a joke. Linux will rule the world (I think that this fact is becoming clear to everyone).
    So go cry to your Daddy Jobs to do something about it.

    1. Mac OS X has been growing and improving all the time. I can’t see how it’s going to be a joke. Also, I fail to see how Linux is going to rule the world. That’s no fact, that’s your guess. Theoretically, it might even be correct, but it’s just a guess.
      Also, I believe not everybody here is a child of Steve Jobs. After all, he’s got only four kids, and there is way more posters here. Anybody capable of counting at least to five can see that.

  33. One question to all open source freaks (no offense intended, I call myself an “Apple freak”): How is closed source a disadvantage? OK, not everybody can edit the OS to his/her own liking, but that’s about it. What’s wrong with Apple’s people developing an operating system? How are they worse than an open source community working on it on their spare time, and not always following a plan or roadmap? See, both types of license have their advantages and disadvantages, but, as long as the people working on the product are motivated, skilled, and possess the required knowledge, everything else doesn’t really matter.
    What I mean is, it all comes down to the result. A license applies only to the development. The resulting release shows whether the product is good. And Mac OS X is good. So might be Ubuntu. (I say might be because I haven’t got my hands on the latest release yet.) That just shows both licenses are capable of having good products developed under them. Would something be different (better or worse) if, for example, Mac OS X would have been open source? Nobody knows. It’s all speculation. Nothing more. Nothing less.

    1. The biggest problem with closed source is that if a change is made you don’t like, you generally have to put up with it. On Mac, this hasn’t really been a problem (since the OS is actually pretty open). On iPhone, it’s a different matter entirely. And as the article notes, Apple is evolving toward iPhone, not toward Mac. For that reason, I expect to see OS X also become much more closed and restrictive.

      On Linux, if someone doesn’t like something, they just fix it. And if it’s a good fix, it usually gets incorporated upstream. That kind of cooperation and exchange simply doesn’t happen with closed source software.

    2. I’ll give you two concrete examples:

      Many Mac users have been complaining about weaknesses of the Finder more or less since Mac OS X 10.0 came out; none of these problems has been addressed by Apple (but Apple did take the time to add coverflow). In a major open source project, this probably wouldn’t have been the case: if there are enough smart users who want a feature, someone will eventually implement it. (and by the way, there’s a very large number of great file managers for Linux- you just have to choose the one you like best, and you don’t have to settle for the one chosen for you if you don’t like it).
      Language support: Mac users in Middle Eastern countries have been complaining for years about lack of proper support for Hebrew and Arabic. Hebrew menus and dialogs were finally introduced less that 2 years ago; and there’s still no version of MS Office that supports right-to-left languages – but now at least there’s OpenOffice (an open source project, of course) that supports these languages. Why didn’t Apple and Microsoft bother adding support for these languages? Maybe they don’t care, maybe they don’t see any big money in it (where will you make more money- in the iPad or in Hebrew/Arabic dialogs?). At the same time, Linux has had great support for these languages (and many others not supported on the Mac) for years. Why? Because open source projects make it really easy for anyone to join in and help translate them into other languages; and because development of open source projects is driven not (only?) by the desire to make more money, but by the users’ needs (assuming some of these users want to get involved).

      These are just 2 examples off the top of my head. The main point is that in an open source system, what the users actually want plays a much larger role than in a commercial system. (You might argue that it’s what the power users want, whereas in a commercial system it’s what the majority of users want; personally, I’m happy with this).

  34. “Does Ubuntu capture the ‘Mac Vision and Spirit’ better than Mac OC X?”

    No, and thank goodness for that. I can’t stand the candy-coated, closed, “it should ‘just work’ but if it doesn’t good luck finding a way to configure it” Mac OS. If Ubuntu moves further in that direction, I’m finding a new distro.

  35. It’s all interesting food for thought. I’m a Mac guy (a photographer who can’t live without Aperture, if for no other reason), but I’ve gleaned nothing but positive things about Ubuntu. If a friend tells me they’re going to get into it, I always pass along everything positive that I’ve heard.

    And in my world view, it’s all *nix against Windows anyway, so I don’t feel partisan. Notably, the new iToys are all part of the *nix camp in that equation. I AM in the camp that thinks the iPad is truly going to be as much or more revolutionary than the original Mac was (even if, ultimately, majorities will end up buying cheaper knock-offs inspired by it).

    I’ll say this (to the article’s point): the people and friends I know who are into Ubuntu really seem to feel that they are thriving within that experience, and that’s what’s most important, right? And in that way, perhaps it does harken to an earlier era of Mac’s own evolution.

    However, against the article’s point, I hardly think OS X is going to wither on the vine. Snow Leopard was pointedly hyped as more of a maintenance release than “a bold new chapter,” and should not be supposed as evidence of Apple’s priorities at all. Hell, Apple even sold it for thirty dollars, right?

    Seems to be that Apple’s probably balancing priorities just about right (assuming that the iPad is “important” in the grand scheme of things, which I do), and that OS X.7 will really tell the tale about Apple’s commitment to it in a way that Snow Leopard cannot be credibly be used as a proper example.

    Meanwhile, for those people who wish to thrive within Linux/open environments, I wish Ubuntu nothing but well, and encourage anyone I know to investigate. This article may have somewhat of a point, a good one, though I think it’s obscured by a couple of faulty planks (like overhammering on the iToys point and pointing at Snow Leopard as a failure of progress that it was never intended to be in the first place).


  36. If Adobe would port CS to Linux (probably an established, corporate-supported distro in the enterprise space, such as Fedora or Suse, which is what Maya did), I rather suspect that Mac would be free to complete its transition into a reseller of made-in-China toys/gadgets. Win/win?

  37. I use Apple Computers since 1990, and I must say while I love the evolution of Mac OS X, Ubuntu 10.04 LTS is waaaaayyyy faster!!!!!!!!! Mac OS X was the best OS, but now, since 10.6.3, it is NOT, takes too much time to startup or even shutdown. I tried many linux ditros before, but none as good as Ubuntu 10.04, I installed it on my Macbook, and well, it blows Mac OS X away! It just starts up twice as fast and shut down in a eye blink, applications repository is so easy, Mac Spirit that’s for sure, but I can feel the speed, optimization of a better made code on Ubuntu that in Mac OS X, and we all know Apple is forgetting Mac OS X, so it can play with iPhones and all the istuff they think are the future, I am one of the article called original of the no longer Apple Computer, and now, I don’t feel the need to buy a Mac, Hardware is more expensive and Apple just hides to much code of their operating system, I remember that took more than a year for a version of JAVA 1.6 on MacBook first generation 32bits. This Lack of respect for costumers is putting me away, I bought a Nokia because it’s lot more open, and actually here in Europe is 1/3 of an iPhone price, but the real reason, it’s because it is lot better than iPhone, it has better screen resolution, it has video camera, it has better battery life, it’s lot more open, actually Symbian in open source these days, free GPS maps for life, etc. When I used one, I made my choice, Apple is getting some new costumers, but loosing their hard core ones, the ones that stood with them when they were deep in the pit. And other companies are learning that design sells, if Apple loose more attention to their Operating System, their will be no iGadgets that will save them in medium time future! Be Aware Apple “Inc”!

  38. Not impressed.

    I have a Mac laptop, with both Snow Leopard and windows 7 installed (via bootcamp), and I must say I am not impressed with Ubuntu

    While the Ubuntu detected the track pad and its multi-touch, it does not detect the click buttons. Where you press in the bottom left or bottom right corner and it clicked. Even Windows got this right.

    Ubuntu didn’t detect the lighted keyboard. Windows didn’t detect the light sensor, but I can set up the light level manually. With Snow Leopard, I don’t need to set the light level as it can use the light sensor.

    Ubuntu didn’t correctly detect the sound. It say it did, but no sound came from the speakers. Windows 7 correctly did it, but the sound was very quiet. Snow Leopard got it right.

    Yes, you can see go around look for drivers, etc. But the whole point is to have something that just work. Not expending hours and hours trying to make something work.

    Ubuntu took forever to start, and more important, it took forever to shutdown. This behavior is sort of ok if you are on a desktop that is rarely shutdown, but terrible if you are on a laptop.

    Overall, the best OS for mac, is still Snow Leopard. With Windows 7 as second best. On Snow Leopard I can start the laptop VERY FAST, and shutdown the laptop even faster. So I don’t need to think before I close the laptop or if I need to open it. Which means that my laptop battery last a lot longer as I can run it when I need it and close it when I don’t need it.

    Windows 7 took a bit more than Snow Leopard to start (even when using Hibernate). But didn’t take much time on shutdown.

    As for crashes. I haven’t had a crash on this laptop in a year of use. Both OSes seem to be very stable. And I suspect that Ubuntu is also stable. As long as you know what you put on your machine you are alright.

  39. Peter da Silva Friday, May 7, 2010

    It’s not the stylish look that makes a Mac a Mac. It’s the way it works.

    When I can install an application (not just a standalone executable, a whole app, all programs and libraries and support files in one bundle) on Ubuntu by dragging it from one folder to another, let me know. That’s kind of the starting point, though… there’s a whole boatload of stuff like that that “just works”.

  40. Here we go again. Another new version of Ubuntu, and the inevitable “is this better than OS X” soul search. Short answer – No. Great hobby platform, but that’s about it. Always keep one Ubuntu machine in my household (along with 3 windows pc’s and 2 Macs) – no one uses it. If it was really compelling they would. Articles like this really add no value – they don’t reveal anything new.

  41. One thing that that no one seems to mention is that Ubuntu is free of charge, and so is that software that is included with it. Maybe that doesn’t matter to most people who can afford Macs, but my impression is the average user in the proprietary world doesn’t buy nearly all the software they use (or else they’re much better than I was until recently).

    I’ve been using Linux for about 12-15 years (lost track), and the reason I got started (besides it being Unix-like and my being a CS student) is that I had no money and actually cared about not breaking copyright law by using pirated copies of software.

    I wonder how much more interest there would be in project like Ubuntu, which besides being technically great, and offering power to users, are generally also gratis and legal, if copyright holders in the proprietary world actually had any hope of preventing illegal use of their software?

  42. One Word: Tuxbooks.

  43. I think the bottom line is that the whole philosophy is very different between linux in general and any apple product.

    Apple forces a high level of control on every aspect of their products. So, basically, to use their products, you will have to go the apple way and accept the rules enforced by apple on you.

    On another hand, linux is all about freedom.
    For me, I mostly don’t accept the level of control apple always enforces. I like to be able to do what I want when I want it.
    I don’t want to use an IPhone, it is too controlled. So, I don’t need iTunes.

    I think the bottom line is that it is a philosophy and it depends on what you do with the machine.

    Besides, a common mistake when moving from an os to another is trying to do things the way you are used to, that doesn’t work, you have to actually spend some time learning how things are properly done.

  44. ubuntu is the best os out there.

  45. Peter da Silva Saturday, May 8, 2010

    To the person who said that linux gives you freedom while OS X restricts you… in practice, it’s often the other way around. I’ve been a UNIX geek since 1979, and I’ve built my own RPMs for real live corporate customers, and I still find myself in RPM hell trying to find packages to satisfy dependencies on other packages to get something installed an working. It’s often easier to grab a fresh tarball, configure, and compile it yourself… but if you do that too much you end up having other packages that depend on it missing.

    On the Mac installing a program is usually a matter of dragging the folder containing the program to an applications directory. The NeXTstep-based application and framework bundle mechanism finds dependencies the first time you run it. You can get that kind of freedom on Linux, if you use GNUstep and GNUstep bundles, but everyone abandoned GNUstep 10 years ago in favor of the Windows-alikes Gnome and KDE.

    Yes, I know Ubuntu is based on Debian, not Red Hat, but the packaging model is fundamentally the same for both.

    You want to get Linux on everyone’s desktop? Get GNUstep going again!

    1. Hate to break it to you but RPM hell doesn’t exist on Debian-based distros (unless you do things like a mixed testing/unstable system, but then that’s a special case) because the apt package manager takes care of the dependencies for you (or Synaptic, or any of the Ubuntu package thingies).

      In practice on a pure stable Debian system, or pure particular release on Ubuntu, meeting package dependencies isn’t a problem. There are occasional packages that can’t be installed together, but that’s because the package really can’t be installed on the same system even by hand.

      I’ve got to say I though even RedHat had solved RPM hell years ago, but apparently yum isn’t used by all RH people? In any event, Ubuntu’s package manager is not fundamentally the same as RH’s….that was one of the big selling points of Debian for a long time.

    2. “trying to find packages to satisfy dependencies on other packages to get something installed an working. It’s often easier to grab a fresh tarball, configure, and compile it yourself… but if you do that too much you end up having other packages that depend on it missing.”

      O brother, I feel your pain ! (seriously !)

  46. I have been using Ubuntu since 7.04 on my Mac, and just recently removed OS X completely in favor of Ubuntu. But it took about 2 years for me to feel comfortable enough to make the switch. And I’m only able to do it because I no longer need the Adobe Suite…if I had to work with Adobe products I’d still be using OS X.

    I don’t think Apple has ignored OS X at all…they’ve improved it alot with Snow Leopard…and they can afford to spend some time optimizing it because they are that far ahead of any competitor, including Ubuntu.

    In the past 2 years Canonical has grow Ubuntu by leaps and bounds, but they have alot of work to do. The encouraging part is that they are doing it and I believe they will one day accomplish their goal. The fact that they are second best motivates them to work harder, and they have been.

    Ubuntu does have a “Mac Vision and Spirit” in the sense that it has many very loyal users, just as the Mac has for many years. That the two groups have some overlap automatically breeds comparisons akin to apples and oranges. As a Mac user for many years, I find many things about Ubuntu that I like, and many that bug me.

    I like the passion and consistency of Canonical/Ubuntu/Linux, and feel that, long term, it’s a better OS and platform to invest in than OS X.

  47. Peter da Silva Saturday, May 8, 2010

    To the guy who said “RPM hell doesn’t exist in Ubuntu”, I don’t believe it. RPM has YUM and you can set up local repositories and it usually works pretty well. But sometimes it doesn’t. And that’s when you end up in hell.

    I’m pretty damn sure that it doesn’t always work with apt, either. In fact I want a certified damn letter signed by Bruce Schnier before I’ll believe it. Even the BSD ports system (which works better than anything I’ve used on Linux) doesn’t work right all the time.

    1. Dominic Amann Sunday, May 9, 2010

      Come on – the fact is that apt (through the graphical interface synaptic) just works. I haven’t had issues with it ever. It is much easier to install stuff using it than even a Windows Installer setup.

      As for Bruce Schneir – what does he have to do with your accepting a fact? When I want to ascertain the truth about an OS I TRY IT FOR MYSELF. I don’t trust the opinions of others about such things, because most people are very religious about such things. Especially Mac lovers.

  48. The problem is that Apple users are fashion consumers. How you can convince a person ready to spend 3 times the money for a normal computer, just to possess a stylish Apple, that Linux PC is equal to his/her’s machine?. Could you convince a lady that a Prada or Armani purse, is equal to a China made plastic bag?. Linux is not plastic bag, but Canonical should fish clients in another place. There are millions of exhausted Windows users, ready to buy a cheaper and better PC, with Linux pre-installed, getting rid of Win problems. Apple is another thing. Has to do with society status. The owner doesn’t care if the Mac is working at all. Just to have the polished machine, to show to the people around that he/she can afford such an expensive crap.

    1. “The owner doesn’t care if the Mac is working at all.”

      That statement alone reveals what a load your thoughts are above. I don’t give a damn about society status. I DO give a damn that my computer lets me get work done with a minimum of hassle (and my MP3 player plays music with a minimum of hassle, and my phone installs apps and uses them with a minimum of hassle). If you want to consider that the problem with Mac people, and write some reasoning about why that’s a problem, go right ahead, and maybe you’ll even be right in some credible ways.

      But “minimum of hassle” is THE Apple selling point, and if you think it’s something about social status, it reflects some sensitivity of your own, not the reason more and more people are spending more money to use Apple gear.

  49. Peter da Silva Sunday, May 9, 2010

    To the guy who claims that Macs cost three times as much as comparable PCs: the “Mac Tax” is actually closer to 40%. That’s the surcharge you have to pay for a stable UNIX system with actual applications. Would I rather avoid it? Sure, I don’t actually like Apple hardware. I’d rather get comparable software on a Thinkpad instead of a Macbook. But nobody is selling that at any price.

  50. In my mind, the insurmountable obstacle preventing Linux from reaching Mac levels of quality and usability is… the respective communities.

    I’ve been a Unix guy since ’79, a heavy-duty Linux user and developer since the Hallowe’en Release (remember that, kiddies?); I’m sitting in front of a system that has 40 (that’s forty, decimal) Linux VMs of various distributions and configurations on it. A half-dozen of these I use regularly for development, and the rest for testing. But it’s been well over a year since I’ve fired up a Linux-based editor or IDE, except for a few configuration-script quick sessions with elvis. Why is that?

    The VMs are hosted on my iMac, and when I need to develop using any of them, I mount its filesystem via sshfs and use my Mac UI-based tools, some of which I paid good money for (and are worth every cent and then some) to do the work in less time and effort than it would take to run the distro in question on a dedicated PC.

    I’ve been doing this for two years now, after four years of using various Linuxes (Debian, Sidux, Ubuntu, Fedora) as my primary desktop system. With a Linux PC, there’s always going to be something that I get sidetracked onto, some “customization” research project that winds up taking six or sixteen hours away from whatever the real mission is. (It got so bad, that the last dedicated Linux box I had was given the hostname ‘yakshave’. Google that if you don’t remember.) On the Mac, I CAN customize things to a fare-thee-well, but I rarely bother because what I have is already five-nines or better of what I could really use, and I’m more focused on actually doing neat things than on continuous research projects.

    The IT-management shop joke at a multinational I used to run support for was, “A Windows usee will tell you everything he had to do to get his work done. A Mac user will show you all the great work she got done.” To which I would add, from direct personal experience, “And a Linux geek will tell you about all the fantastic but irrelevant stuff he learned that distracted him from getting his work done.”

  51. If major app developers would port their products to Linux it may one day happen. But i have been hearing that for more than 10 years now.

  52. I switched to OS X 4 years ago from Linux. OS X so utterly destroys Linux as a desktop OS that this whole debate is a total bore to me. The only reason I write here is out of a feeling of obligation to warn others because the stakes are so high. The OS you use significantly affects your quality of life. Many people cling to Linux for various reasons, propagandize for it, and live in denial about its deficiencies. They are harming people by doing so.

    In the months before my switch, I began logging the hours I spent each day fiddling with the OS, tweaking, applying patches, researching problems and software options, etc. What I found was staggering. Anyone using Linux MUST DO THIS, so you know just how much of your life is being drained by your OS. After the switch to OS X, I could do everything I had done under Linux, and much more, but with dramatically fewer problems, dramatically more pleasant usability, and dramatically less wasted time.

    I still use Linux when I have to for work. I program for it occasionally. This is often a nightmare because of the lack of organization, standards, documentation, etc.

    I first encountered Linux in 1994 and used it as my primary OS for much of the next 10 years. During that time, I heard countless declarations that the next version of Linux, just around the corner, was going to be user friendly, easy to install, rock solid, elegant, brilliant, powerful, fast, etc. For instance, in 2000, Eric Raymond declared that within 6 months Linux would be easy enough for Aunt Tilly to use and the major PC companies would be preinstalling it on most of their machines.

    I also used Eazel, from the very first public beta to the final version. Like most attempts at user interface innovation under Linux, Eazel was totally pointless and almost unusable. Unlike most such Linux fiascos, Eazel actually burned through many millions of dollars of investment money.

    Now I read this nonsense that sounds like what ESR was saying 10 years ago, and they even remind me of that abominable Eazel project.

    This cycle never stops and it never will. In 2000, I predicted that Linux would not break out in 6 months, nor in 6 years. Fellow Linux users scoffed. I make the same prediction today, only I’ll be a little bolder, since the past 20 years of Linux have pretty well established the pattern beyond doubt. LINUX WILL NOT BREAK OUT ON THE DESKTOP IN THE NEXT 20 YEARS. I’ll put as much money on that wager as anyone wants.

    1. Quoting RMMM Tuesday, May 11 2010

      “I switched to OS X 4 years ago from Linux. OS X so utterly destroys Linux as a desktop OS that this whole debate is a total bore to me. The only reason I write here is out of a feeling of obligation to warn others because the stakes are so high. The OS you use significantly affects your quality of life. Many people cling to Linux for various reasons, propagandize for it, and live in denial about its deficiencies. They are harming people by doing so.”

      This post has to be false. I just cannot accept the statements made here on any level. The poster is simply using some historical facts and adding in their opinions freely. He/she is clearly not a Linux desktop user by choice for any length of time.

      Also selective in its choice of comparisions. Linux is not a single OS. We are specifically looking at Ubuntu, and even a specific version here. Should we perhaps compare Snow Leopard with the 1994 MacOS? or even the 2004 MacOS? I think people would prefer Snow Leopard obviously. The same way the poster is comparing Snow Leopard with their experiences of non-Ubuntu OSes from 6 years ago.

      BTW – your Aunt Tilly may well be using Linux – on her smart phone!

      1. Peter da Silva Tuesday, May 11, 2010

        If anything he’s understating the case.

        Sure, let’s compare the latest version of Ubuntu with Mac OS X 10.2 (Jaguar) in 2004. 10.2 was when I switched from a Free UNIX desktop to a Mac as my primary desktop. In 2004 it was already far more polished and complete than the latest Gnome and KDE desktops I use and support every day at work, and given a choice of using Jaguar and today’s Linux, I’ll go with Jaguar.

        Before Jaguar, sure, Mac OS X 10.0 and 10.1 were pretty much experimental, with an OS base that was about as stable as Slackware in 1994. Oh, the UI and application support was already better than Linux, but they were still making incompatible API changes throught the 10.0 (Cheetah) and 10.1 (Puma) eras… And Mac OS before OS X was an appalling mess. But 10.2 was a sea change. That’s what really brought Apple out of the pit. All the UNIX goodness under the hood, and actual third-party applications and a consistent user interface.

        So even if the latest Ubuntu gave us everything Jaguar did, I’d still be six years ahead of you. And no, Ubuntu doesn’t do that.

      2. I think a follow up is in order here, because in this small discussion we see first hand one of the primary reasons Linux progresses so poorly: the Linux user is the Linux advocate. It’s in fact the same with most OSS and it’s a devastating flaw. The problem is that whenever you bring up a criticism of Linux, it’s taken as an affront, something to be disputed and denied, rather than a challenge to embrace.

        My advice: stop advocating for Linux, stop making excuses for it, and demand that it improve. The idea, I think, is that if you fool people into thinking Linux is great, you’ll attract a large user base, and then support will follow, etc. Well folks, take a look around. It’s not working.
        People have been advocating for Linux for 20 years, pretending it’s already great, and look where it’s gotten you. Linux is a distant third in most measures of quality.

        When I’d point out deficiencies of OSS projects in forums, or features from commercial software that should be emulated, people would often attack me, accuse me of lying, being a shill for Bill Gates, they’d declare that they’d never dumb down their software with Windows-think, etc. In most cases, this arrogance is totally unwarranted. Most OSS programmers couldn’t dream of the kind of professionalism and technical depth of Microsoft. These people make childish boasts and false comparisons and cannot tolerate criticism.

        By contrast, when you point out a deficiency in a commercial product, the vendor does not respond with attacks and accusations. They generally makes a show of humility, they note the demand, plan for adopting it in a future release, etc. Even if they decline your suggestion, they do so with respect.

        I’ve known a couple of the Linux bigshots, including the founder of one of the major distros. I remember once in 1998 I had a discussion with one of them in which I stated that Linux needed to put a lot of support behind the desktops. This person became so agitated, he couldn’t hold his voice steady and his face started quivering. He claimed Windows-like desktops were irrelevant; he’d never stoop to using them even if they were developed.

        I opened a discussion in forum in 1998 over a feature I thought was lacking in an OSS project. I was met with attacks as described above. The feature was dismissed as a stupid idea from the Windows world. This project just this year finally caught up to where Windows was decades ago, and released the feature with some fanfare. It’s actually a good thing I was too exasperated to argue with these dolts in the intervening years. If I’d brought the issue up again more recently, it would probably have dissuaded them from implementing it, rather than encouraged them.

        The other side of the coin is that Linux users don’t complain; they praise. Instead of admitting that something is broken and they’re angry about it, a Linux user will spend 10 hours fixing it, and “forget” or hide the fact that they had a problem, when propagandizing the OS. Do you think Windows and Mac users would put up with that kind of crap?

        I used to try to make the point, the best thing in the world for Linux would be criticism. It would be vastly better if instead of patting themselves on the back for mediocre work, the Linux community came out and declared loudly that things are woefully lacking and much higher standards are required.

      3. @RMMM, you are exactly, precisely right. Linux at the moment is held back by two existential-class handicaps: one, as you mention, is the user-as-advocate who can’t tolerate the slightest disagreement or criticism; this leaves the entire ecosystem/would-be movement in a perpetual “Great Leap Forward” phase (and look how well the original turned out).

        The other major problem is with the developer culture, that only values code contributions as meaningful. Find a bug, rewrite some documentation, use (gasp!) actual design skills to fix some of the truly egregious interface failures, and you instantly unpersonify yourself. I understand where that mentality comes from; the Pioneers™ hated “marketing spin” and FUD and anything that did not bring code-jock bragging rights to their fave project. That was a useful attitude back in the very early days….say, up until Fedora Core 1. Linux — and its users — have grown a LOT since then, in almost every conceivable way — EXCEPT for the developer-geek attitude. Not everybody uses, or wants to learn, emacs, and that’s a GOOD thing for everybody. (How many programmer’s editors does YOUR fave distro have in its repositories?) But when the development community gets segregated between those who just want to contribute and those who say “only the Kool Kids Kan Kode,” then the system that is being developed has at least one foot in the grave.

      4. Peter da Silva Wednesday, May 12, 2010

        @RMMM: You just reminded me of a couple of experiences I had with open source projects where I brought up some “regular UNIX” feature I wanted to work on and was told even if I wrote the code it wouldn’t be accepted because they didn’t want to emulate System V (or whatever)… and a few years later they’d gone ahead and implemented it anyway, but in an obscurely incompatible way.

  53. Raffael Erhart Tuesday, May 11, 2010

    As Hylke Bons at http://www.bomahy.nl/hylke/blog/on-gnome-and-elegance/ points out, Ubuntu and Gnome have a long way to reach the top when it comes to design.

    1. Peter da Silva Tuesday, May 11, 2010

      I’m not sure that micro-optimizing the design to the level Hylke is concerned about is going to help all that much.

      Being able to adjust your screen resolution and handle things like nVidia Twinview in a standard place in all GNOME based distros and in a standard place in all KDE based distros, rather than having to edit xorg.conf directly, should be way higher on the list.

      1. Dominic Amann Tuesday, May 11, 2010

        But I can’t remember the last time I had to change my resolution by editing xorg.conf (in fact it was so long ago that it was called x86config).

        There /is/ a standard gnome tool to do this on Ubuntu (which links to the nVidida stuff if you have that display installed). It is under “System, Preferences, Display”. It is all set up for multiple monitors, drag and drop for placement etc.

        I strongly suspect there are some “over enthusiastic” mac lovers out here who are not as directly familiar with current linux as they profess.

  54. Peter da Silva Tuesday, May 11, 2010

    Dominic: I develop software for Linux, and support other Linux developers. That tool doesn’t work on RHEL5.5 if you’re using the nVidia driver. No matter what your video hardware, it only offers the options of 640×480 and 800×600. You also have to add Twinview to xorg.conf yourself, or use the nvidia-xconfig command line tool to do it.

    That’s why I said “a standard tool” that works “in all distros”. Until either (a) all the commercial software is supported on Ubuntu, or (b) I don’t have to start every trouble call on Linux hardware with “what distro?”, Linux is not going to be up to taking on Windows users hearts and minds, let alone Mac users.

    1. Dominic Amann Wednesday, May 12, 2010

      Again, this article was specifically referring to Ubuntu, and even a specific release. I am one release behind the one being quoted, and I have access to the feature you are complaining about. You are confusing people by talking about another distro – which I believe is RedHat? Made by a different company entirely?

      Perhaps it would be equally fair use NetBSD to criticise MacOS? After all, MacOS is just a BSD distro! I would argue that MacOS is more like a Linux distro than any other mainstream OS, except it works on only one hardware platform.

      Your last point is a completely unreasonable “call to perfection”. It is the equivalent of saying the Mac is useless until all commercial software works on it, yet even worse, you are saying the equivalent of the the Mac is useless until all commercial software works on all BSD *nixes.

      Once again, THE AUTHOR (and therefore the rest of us) is talking about Ubuntu. There is no need to defend the religion of Apple. No-one is taking away your superiority.

      The actual issue of debate is one of the mindset of the OS and its users, not the interface or the features. It used to be that Mac users and their OS were perceived to be free thinkers, not chained to a boring corporate hegemony that told its users they were stupid. The author is suggesting that some of that “moral high ground” may have shifted away from Apple towards Ubuntu.

      1. Peter da Silva Wednesday, May 12, 2010

        Dude, the comment you were correcting me on was to Raffael Erhart, about the article by Hylke Bons. Do try to keep up.

  55. David Moorhouse Tuesday, May 11, 2010

    Having tried Ubuntu back at version 6.06, I took the plunge last year and installed 9.10 onto a new Thinkpad. And what a pleasant surprise. Everything works, out of the box including all networking (LAN, Wifi, bluetooth, WWAN). The ACPI functions are all there.

    And even as a professional developer for Windows software, running Ubuntu on my own personal laptop has taught me a whole bunch of new stuff that 16 years in Windows development has not.

    1. Comparing Linux — even Ubuntu 6.06 — to (any) Windows isn’t fair; on the level of bringing a flamethrower to a knife fight. Having developed for Windows as long as there’s been a Windows and for Unix since it was knee-high to a GNAT, I can appreciate what makes Linux (or pretty near anything else) attractive to Windows refugees, particularly developers. But now, consider this: OS X has very closely-related roots (it IS Unix in all its glory) combined with the most usable, intelligently-designed software on the planet. KDevelop was my bestest friend for lo! those many years, but Xcode is the DC-3 to KDevelop’s Lockheed Electra; just an absolute delight to fly, and pretty indestructible besides.

      I was following a Tweetstorm over the last couple of days that basically was arguing whether the Mac’s relatively-newfound success is due to people (users and developers) deciding they just want to get things done with a minimum of hassle compared to Linux and to Windows, and I think there’s a lot to be said for that. Certainly I don’t recall any software on either Windows or Linux that I described as being enjoyable to use; that’s becoming breathtakingly routine in my Mac experience — again, both as a developer and a user. One of the most important freedoms, especially as we get older, is the freedom to sit down and just get what we want DONE. Nothing I’ve used in the last thirty years delivers that as consistently and reliably as the Mac.

  56. Ubuntu is fine. But it’s not elegant. It’s not great, and the project you mentioned with members of the Mac squad was missing a very important “TOG” in their wheel. Tognazzini as in Bruce as in the head of User Interface Design at Apple for a long time.

    The thing about creating an operating system and trying to mimic the one that does it best (OSX) is that you need not just a look, but a feel, and a simplicity of operation. Things have to flow a certain way and the user does not have to think about where things go, what keys do what, because it’s a Mac and you just know.

    NO other OS has that kind of pull with people. Not Windows, Not Unix, Not Linux, None of them have that feel, that intuition that comes from using MacOSx and every programmer, even those who worked at Apple that have tried to duplicate things have left out key elements and have failed in the duplication.

    Another thing is that every new OS coming out has to have this graphic and that graphic and this window form and that window form because they’re trying to achieve what? Distract the user from their core desire which is to work in a non-distracted fashion and actually get work done? Or do they think that people really want to see all those things dancing around sucking cycles when they really just want to get their work done?

    People don’t think when they develop these things, they leave out the simple elements because they think they have to be all things to all people and without the gadgets they say that MacOSX is falling behind…I don’t think so. Because what OSX has in simplicity and form as well as execution, all the fancy kids on the block LACK due to the oversaturation of gadgets and crap.

    Simplicity is Elegance

    Michael Murdock, CEO
    DocMurdock.com and a firm believer in “Don’t Make Me Think”

  57. All I can say, after reading most of the comments is that nearly everyone commenting is a blind as f**k Ubuntu or OSX fangirl.

    I can count the number of actual valid comments with one hand.

    Oh, I use Debian Sid and Arch on my boxes, so both Ubuntu and OSX are crap in my book =P

    1. Now that was a very mature and valid comment. With such devastating logic I am giving up on every previous installed OS that I have to become solely a Debian Sid and Arch fangirl and start writing ‘All The Other OSs = crap’ in my hate book…

  58. I can see how many might be thinking Apple is losing focus on the desktop and moving to mobile, but honestly, why do we need to stay stuck in the past? Everything evolves, everything improves. Cars were released over 100 years ago. Would people today prefer to drive open-top cars that went no faster than 15mph? THAT is the “vision and spirit” of what a car is. If we look at it that way, the real “vision and spirit” of cars (and Macs) is to continually improve on itself, to be easier to use, take advantage of newer technologies that will allow new ways of using it easier.

    On that note, when I saw the iPad the first vision what came to my mind was of a portable Mac… Yes, there’s already the MacBook and MacBook Pro, but what I see happening is Apple using all that experience with the iPad (just as they used the iPhone to get to the iPad), and use it to make an iMac or a full-sized MacBook (Pro) that is completely touch-based, instead of keyboard and trackpad/mouse. That’s just what I saw coming when I kept hearing about the iPad coming up. We’ll see if that comes true.

    1. Interesting comments I read. My original post was based on the article, and now this one is based on the comments.

      1) Like many here have mentioned, Mac OS and the apps just work. I have used Mac, Windows and Linux since 1995 and can tell you that hands down the Mac is the best of the three, both on the user level as well as the developer level.

      2) I have just downloaded Ubuntu 10.04 so I can run on my MacBook Pro using Fusion, and initially it wouldn’t install. I just started downloading the 32-bit version to see if it will work. I will add to this point in a bit.

      3) I last used Linux last year or the year before in the SuSE, Ubuntu and Fedora incarnations, as well as several others I was doing research on. It just doesn’t feel right. Makes me feel like I’m using Mac OS 9.

      4) For those that say that Mac OS is not open and you’re bound to whatever Apple feeds you, ok, if you want to look at it that way, you are correct. At least it’s coming from only one source, though. Some people I’ve met are not happy with the way Linux works (I’ve recommended different distros, and they just can’t figure it out: Winter Texans, school teachers, doctors, etc.) Give them a Mac, and they can start working from day one.

      5) For those of you who can’t remember, Microsoft and Office started on the Mac. Without the Mac, you wouldn’t have Windows, and thus you would not have Linux.

      6) Back to point 4, if you like control so much and being able to do your own programming and you’re not happy with the software that comes with or is available for Mac OS, XCode is included in every Mac system you buy. Get yourself a Mac mini ($500), hook it up to that extra monitor you have there, and you have a development workstation. Much cheaper than your $1500 souped-up Linux box you use…because I just KNOW you don’t have a bare-bones machine to develop on, right?

      7) If you REALLY want to mess with the kernel, sign up for the (free) Apple Developer Program and download Darwin. It has the OS barebones, no UI, and it’s just like you’re working on Linux…but better.

      In the end, it all comes down to opinion. If you feel comfortable with one, then stick with it. If you prefer the other, then by all means stay with that one. Just don’t be afraid of trying new things, because after all that’s exactly the reason we have so many good and new things now compared to 30 years ago. If someone had not TRIED something new, nothing would have changed. Experience has shown me that having things that simply work and having peace of mind works best for myself and MANY people. I’m sure Windows and Ubuntu (or any other Linux flavor for that matter) will catch up to the Mac one day; I’m also certain, though, that Apple is not resting on its laurels, and by the time Linux and Windows catch up to the Mac of today, the Mac OS will be 20 years ahead…much as it has been for the past 20 years.

  59. I can understand some of the notions from both side of the comments debate here, but there’s a lot of hyperbole, so as an avid Mac user with a lifelong Linux habit, who has had to Switch Back because I just can’t afford a new mac, here are some thoughts:

    (a) Yes, Apple has abandoned us, the keyboard / mouse users.

    (b) Ubuntu’s default desktop, GNOME, is not Aqua – sometimes this is good, and sometimes this is sad.

    (c) Those of you “Old School Mac Users” who up until recently, if not still, insist that Internet Explorer is fine, I have my eye on you.

    (d) I’m able to plug pretty much any USB camera I can get ahold of into my Ubuntu machine, which also doesnt have over 10GB of drivers which I cannot opt out of the installation of.

    (e) All major modern Linux distributions use the same printing system as Mac OS X, it’s called CUPS, the Common Unix Printing System, and it talks IPP as well.

    (f) All major modern, desktop-oriented at least afaik, Linux distributions use the same Windows-compatible filesharing as OSX, it’s called Samba.

    (g) Bundles are a great way to install user software, they are in fact often more failsafe than packaging systems on Linux/UNIX. They can also cause a great deal of wasted potential for shared memory, or even lead you to be susceptible to security holes that Apple has fixed, because it is easier to distribute an old version of a Framework than to distribute a Bundle for each OSX version. Also, speaking of, what gives with not being able to use any new software on old OSX?

    (h) MacPorts sucks. It is in fact simpler to wrestle with apt-get/dpkg or yum/rpm or pretty much anything else than to get a single library Apple did not include to build. It is more trouble to get software running as a developer on a laptop than production-quality on a Linux server, which means every fancy-pants web developer out there rocking a Mac is wasting crap tons of their employer / clients’ time, very likely, and very often.

    (i) For UNIX applications, MacOSX is PITIFULLY slower than Linux. This is on purpose, OSX and Linux are pawns in an age-old battle of microkernel vs. monolithic design, each with their own strengths. OSX more efficiently distributes the demands of a single-threaded application across multiple cores and some failures that would be a panic in Linux can be restarted. There is no Right Answer here, Linus was fighting with his Prof during his PhD in the early 90s when he created Linux, and clearly with the success and popularity of OSX, there is still some merit to microkernel designs, esp with the unforeseen proliferation of multiple core systems.

    At the end of the day, of course I would like my Linux box to be more like my Mac, and my Mac more like my Linux box. Neither is ever the right tool for the job, and Free Software user apps on OSX can lag YEARS behind what comes with Ubuntu. It’s all a joke.

    The fact is that, Steve Jobs has abandoned us all, and noone in Linux distros who thinks they are eclipsing the Mac is coming near it because none of them will just break down and use one for a year. And the Mac is so much better than Windows that many would-be Linux enthusiasts put their zeal into the Mac community. The Mac is largely open-source, but a lot of your favorite parts are owned by Adobe, and probably always will be.

    Few technical feats of the Mac or Linux haven’t been accomplished on the other, but the fact is, people who like using a Mac desktop are using Macs, instead of writing a Free Desktop that satisfies their personal needs. There’s no magic to it, 90% of the work was done at NeXT and the rest is published in the Apple HI guidelines. It’s probably been ten years since O’Reilly’s Cocoa book noted that you can use GNUStep to have nearly all the same frameworks.

    Why isn’t anyone trying to make Android phones run iPhone apps? The people driving this both at Apple and the competition are all deluded is why. Apple thinks they invented anything about OSX that is good, and the rest of the world does too.

    It’s like if BMW put a Slushie machine in their cars, and everyone just raves about “Oh they really showed us all” I just want to smack people, it’s like NO they didn’t invent the fucking slushy OK? They just put one in your car. You can put one in your old buick, but if your A/C doesn’t work it might not operate optimally.

  60. TechnoMonkey76 Monday, May 24, 2010

    Hey, ever heard of Avant Window Navigator or Mac4Lin? The truth is, most of any Linux OS (All of it for Ubuntu) is free, and most of that free stuff is open-source! Basically, it is possible to capture the essence of any OS on Ubuntu! It all depends on your needs. Here are some of the main differences between Mac, Win, and Lin:

    1) Mac: Made for aesthetics.
    Win: Made for power and productivity.
    Lin: Made for a mixture of the two.

    2) Mac: No driver problems; the hardware and software are both made by Apple.
    Win: Drivers usually must be installed for many devices.
    Lin: Many drivers included with distributions such as Ubuntu.

    3) Mac: Expensive hardware and software by Apple.
    Win: Somewhat expensive software by Microsoft.
    Lin: Almost all software is free (and sometimes open-source).

    4) Mac: Can run the full Windows OS out-of-the-box.
    Win: No provided emulation.
    Lin: No provided emulation.

    5) Mac: No user-serviceable hardware without voiding warranty.
    Win: Replacable hardware.
    Lin: Replacable hardware.

    6) Mac: Few but rising number of OS X applications.
    Win: Most applications are programmed for Windows.
    Lin: Many developers make similar apps to those on other OSs; constantly growing number of available apps.

    7) Mac: One GUI.
    Win: One GUI.
    Lin: Many GUIs, including GNOME, KDE, XFCE, Fluxbox, etc.

    8) Mac: Most stable OS; h/w and s/w made by same company.
    Win: Least stable OS; most viruses and different companies.
    Lin: Quite stable OS; some viruses and different companies.

    9) Mac: For the basic user
    Win: For the more business-oriented user.
    Lin: For the advanced user. (Ubuntu doesn’t really live up to this out-of-the-box; Ubuntu is really more for a basic user, unlike other Linux distros.)

    10) Mac: Spread-out community help.
    Win: Spread-out community help.
    Lin: Compiled and “forumized” community help.

    There are really many more differences; I just listed some of the more obvious and most helpful in deciding for an OS. It all depends on the user’s wants and needs what surpasses what. I personally use Ubuntu, sometimes Windows, and would LOOOVVEE a Snow Leopard Mac. (Of course, I AM a computer geek…) I can/could use each for a type of thing another cannot do. Therefore, all would meet my interest and requirements. I am currently running Ubuntu while posting this, using a “transformation pack” known as Win2-7. My desktop currently looks like Windows 7, which I still haven’t gotten, sadly. Anyway, it really DOES change what you use if you have different needs.


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