[TriLUG] Macs ... I just don't get it
Sun, 7 Jul 2002 01:50:34 -0400
On Saturday, July 6, 2002, at 10:10 PM, Chris Hedemark wrote:
> I know there are a number of Mac fans here, so I'm hoping they might
> tell me what I'm missing.
> I'm in the market for a laptop pretty soon, and will have about $1500 to
> $2000 to spend. I went to the Apple Store today to check out the
> various portable Mac offerings and left very disappointed. The fastest
> one I saw was only 800MHz. I know, I know, 800MHz on PowerPC cannot
> directly compare to 800MHz on Intel. Or so the argument goes. I left
> tonight feeling like an 800MHz Duron (which I do have here) is a faster
> processor than an 800MHz PowerPC. Nothing scientific, just the
Well as this is somewhat off topic, I will be somewhat brief. I
personally have an iBook 600 and a Duron 900 (which has run Windows,
Linux, and OpenBSD) out of my computer room just to give you a frame of
reference. I do not believe that speed is an issue for 99.9% of the
things I do. Application opening speed is useless to me as I usually
keep all my apps that I regularly use open. Speed of execution is
subjective, but for the most part, most apps don't really push your
processor any way except games and 3d which I use a playstation 2 for
the most part for games :) In raw power most Intel/AMD processors are
going to give more bang for the buck to be sure. However, I get more
work done in an hour on my iBook than in 3 hours on my Duron 900
(irregardless of which OS it is running). This is because Mac OS X just
works. Things work the way I would expect and I don't have to push the
OS out of my way (in the case of Windows) or deal with idiosyncracies
and horrific UI design (in the case of Windows and some open source
apps). Mac OS X gets out of my way and lets me work (Now this is
subjective as it depends on the work you are doing). BTW, Linux on my
iBook is much faster due to the fact that it doesn't have as much
graphic intensive windowing as Mac OS X.
> The web browser on the first Mac I touched crashed hard bringing up
Try either a newer IE (gasp!) or Navigator (think galeon for Mac OS X).
They probably had a screwy setup. Apps can crash in OS X of course but
it isn't often...
> The user interface was unintuitive and in some cases pretty inconsistent
> (like the iMac that was running Photoshop and had no clear way out).
> Yes, a familiar UNIX prompt was available if you dug for it and some
> familiar applications were there. But all in all this did not feel as
> nice as running KDE or Gnome on similarly clocked x86 hardware.
I tend to disagree with the above assessment. Apple UI while having
it's faults is the best I have ever seen. GNOME and KDE are still very
much a hodge-podge of sometimes messy UI that has no clear overriding
organization or structure. Apple tends to make designs that will follow
with what most people tend to feel is natural (subjective? yes) GNOME
2.0 is starting to get good, but KDE still seems to lag somewhat.
BTW, this is not to say I am not impressed with GNOME or KDE. I am and
I have high hopes for the future. But, I don't think the quality of the
experience is up to the snuff of the likes of Apple, but hey Apple has
been doing this for QUITE A WHILE. GNOME and KDE are still growing and
maturing and obviously keep getting better.
> I'll never get used to the one mouse button thing either.
KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid). It really does work and is very easy, but
I do have a 3 button mouse hooked up right now, so it isn't much of an
> What am I missing? What is the justification for spending twice as much
> on a computer that is half as fast? I'm very open minded to non-x86
> hardware, as evidenced by all the sparc stuff surrounding me at the
> moment, but I'm not going to buy it just *because* it is not x86.
You are paying for an experience. I personally will say that the iBook
is the best machine I have ever owned. Mac OS X gets better and faster
and I can run most UN*X apps easily with fink. However, if the above
ideas don't impress you then maybe the machines aren't right for you.
Apple delivered what I hoped Linux would (I still do hope for a great
desktop from GNOME, KDE, or something else). Open Source GUIs are still
growing up and in many cases seem to be moving in the right direction,
but for now OS X has filled the niche for me... If I can get the money
I want to buy a dual GHz system for video editing and graphics work, but
that is in the future :)