"The end of the Mac road"???

I was reading this entry on Ian Betteridge blog, where he talks about his switch from [stag]OSX[/stag] to Gnu/[stag]Linux[/stag] ([stag]Ubunto[/stag]), not that I have any specfic issues with that.

But one thing which stands out was this sentence: "First up, let’s look at what this move is not: It’s not a protest against Apple, or a of criticism of Mac OS X or Apple hardware. Mac OS X is great: if you’re a non-technical user, and want everything to just work out of the box, it is almost certainly the the right choice for you."

Wohhhh, most of the people I know who are using OSX are anything but non-technical, and yes he's right it works, and it works out of the box, well isn't that the reason why you would want something?? - I'm a geek (yes I finally did get around to admit to it), and I probably know more about Linux than any sane person should do, but that does not mean that I don't want something which works (day in, day out). I'm also a great beleiver in [stag]OpenSource[/stag], as it most of the MacHeads I know (there is always someone who did not get the drift).

So lets settle the score;

OSX: 9
- still you need to know for a fact that your installation partition should be journaled

Linux: 7
- well if you have the right hardware, and have a recognized controler, and ..... - getting better, but there are a few things which needs to get sorted out

Upgrade (from a previous version of the OS)
OSX: 9
- put in the DVD boot, select what you want - not perfect, as your programs might have stopped working, but that does not happen very often

Linux: 5
- works as long as you did not blow of your right leg and install program or libraries from a diffrent source, and if it actually works you still need to spend time trying to get these programs to work again as your dependencies will have disapeared

Installation of Programs
OSX: 10
- download a DMG and do a drag and drop, how difficult can it be

Linux: 5
- I still cannot get around the fact that there is no common package format, even if you use RPM's they are still only common to the specfic distribution

OSX: 10
- when ever I plug in an ethernet cabel it will stop using my wireless, if it finds a new wireless network when I travel (when it happens) it will ask me if I want to connect, never have to think about it, it just works

Linux: 6
- hummm, did you put your notebook to sleep, oh then you need to restart you network, oh you alread did that, have you tried to reboot, you did.... let me think about it.....

OSX: 11
- press powerbutton, press 's'..... open lid, type in password

Linux: -1
- don't try this a home, it might work, that is if you have supported hardware, and you did modfy that configuration file

Actually Linux is not as bad as it might come out here, there are excelent distributions OpenSUSE, Ubunto, etc. And one have to remember that Apple controls everything, which makes it easier for them to make sure that everything works.

But people you have to agree that Linux is not always something which just work, there are issues which needs to get fixed, and as a road user, these issues might not be something I am looking to solve everytime I want to do something as simple as read my email (or write my blog as I do now).

On the other hand, Linux on servers is a great thing, on the desktop where you want to change something on a regular basis, could get you into trouble, but servers run for years (my box have had the same version for the last 3 years, and an average uptime of 6 - 9 months), it simply works. Yes it might not be as easy as OSX Server or the equivilent from this 'small' company based in Seattle. But once you get your head around it, it's actually not that difficult.

Oh, thing I kind of forgot, more or less all the programs I used to use on my Linux desktop works on OSX, the very few which don't have been replaced with similar ones. On top of that I got access to a hugh amout of stuff which I did not have before like iTunes:-) make updating my iPod a dream.... Yes I know that a real OpenSource believer does not have an iPod as it is a closed source gadget....


Ian Betteridge said…
Actually, I'd say that scores are much more even these days. Installation? Easy with Ubuntu. Of course, you never really have to do installation on a Mac :) Upgrades? The same. Installation of programs? I just use Add/Remove - it has everything I need, pretty much. Connectivity/Sleep/Hibernation? They just work too - much to my surprise.

Yes, you have to watch which hardware you buy - but you still have a much wider choice of hardware than you do if you want to run Mac OS X. It's really got to the point where Linux is a viable alternative, and much closer than you think.
casper said…
Point taken.

But I still have an issue with dependencies, and that there still isn't a common package format between the distributions. Even with Redhat and SuSE which both uses RPM, the packages are still not interchangable, as they use different names for some of the base packages.

People have said a lot about buying into Apple (or Microsoft to be a bit extreme), but currently it's almost the same with Linux, choose a Linux distribution and you're more or less stuck with what that distribution offer you - yes you can build your own packages, and/or compile from source, but for the average user that is not an option.

I still standby that Linux on servers is the way forward.....
Alphast said…
Hi Casper,

I am not a quarter of the geek you are, but I know a very little bit my way around Linux. I am not sure if it is still the case nowodays, but I suspect the problem with Suse is that Suse uses a slightly different structure of Linux than Red Hat based distributions. Hence the problem with RPMs. That's why I always used Mandrake. On top of the fact that it is 100% RPM compliant, it has French as "native language"... ;-) And it is really working very well in terms of drivers and new hardware. Now, I have never tried Ubuntu and I don't know what the plus and minus are.
casper said…
These discussions always turn in to an either religions or political debate, where everyone lists what they like about what they use.

I would just simply like to see a way where things works across distributions, and sometimes also across diffrent OS'es.
[...] wrote “The end of the Mac road”???, as a response to Ian Betteridge, now it seams that things have happened in “choose your [...]

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