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Now that Apple is Windows-compatible, to switch or not to switch to Mac?

Discussion in 'Fine Living, Home, Design & Auto' started by von Rothbart, Apr 5, 2006.

  1. Tokyo Slim

    Tokyo Slim Senior member

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    A "sweeping generalization" would be me saying, "Mac users are overly sensitive about percieved criticism, whether real or imagined." What I DID say does not count as a sweeping generalization because I never stated that all Mac user do anything. I said MANY. Which, unless it strikes a nerve, may not even include you. It does not even indicate "most" or "a majority". If you are going to publicly vilify me for doing something, at least select a quote where I actually do it. The one time in THIS thread that I made a sweeping generalization is highlighted below.
    I agree that was probably out of line, and I apologize, but I felt it was appropriate within the context of the discussin. I tire of being bombarded with the"your computer is ugly and has viruses" argument. Because it is not, and it does not. This is a grossly false and invalid assumption on the part of people who I wouldnt trust to know the difference. Have you ever seen my computer? I happen to like it. I do not like the way Mac computers all share the same look and aesthetic.You can look at a computer from across the room and tell its a Macintosh. Deny it if you want, but they all look the same. They all conform to the same visual aesthetic. People who buy the Mac (at least in part) because of the styling, are conforming to the ideal that Apple designed. I have never met a Mac user who hates the way they look, so my assumption is that there aren't many. Have you ever thought about taking the guts out of your Mac and sticking in a black HTPC case? Why not? Would it even work? I'm not sure. Is it conformity? In my mind, yes it is.
    Exactly right. Like what happens in the clothing forum all day long. It's the suitmakers fault that it sucks, but its the person's fault for wearing it. Seriously.I feel like I'm having to protect myself against your biased viewpoint here. I can point out numerous times when Apple users have directed snide remarks and veiled insults at PC users,(on this board, its mostly been me) telling us that our computers are ugly, giving our OS cute but ultimately derogatory nicknames like windoze, insinuating that they are poorly built and that I am somehow lacking in taste or brainpower because I would rather own a PC and keep my options than switch to a pre-built closed system shiny peice of fluff who's OS annoys me and doesn't let me do what I want. I don't mind it at all, for the record, because there are many people out there who feel that way. And I recognize that it is their opinion. I can question whether the clever Apple marketing machine has influenced their opinions or not, filling their head with garbage like "Apples don't crash or get virii" But again, it is a discussion that I think is perfectly ok to have. Getting upset when I voice my opinion that Mac's are ugly and the OS sucks, taking it personally when I say something about "many people" that is undoubtably true IMO, vague in number, not directed specifically at you or anyone in particular, and may or may not even apply to you is overreacting. Relax. If anyone non-moderator wise has been offended by anything I've said directly to you, that you percieved as an insult, I apologize. In the future please feel free to PM me with your concerns about the particular post and we can address it like adults. To those of you out there who are offended by my attitude,viewpoint, or stance on politics, religion, or computers... I don't care. I am allowed to have different opinions than you, and we are allowed to disagree. We are also allowed to discuss it, which is sort of the purpose of public boards. If everyone agreed all the time we might as well just talk to ourselves in the mirror all day. If you don't like it or value my opinions and posts, ignore me. But in all honesty I would rather discuss it.
     
  2. mr_economy

    mr_economy Senior member

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    All quotes originally posted by Raley:


    I don't think that sounds right. Apple does not make ALL the software for the Mac, but it does make the OS. How does that limit innovation for software developers? That is the same open playing field as for the PC: Microsoft makes the OS, but does not make ALL the software for the PC. What 'limits' innovation is that software manufacturers may not want to spend much R&D resources developing software for a small market.


    The argument he made was valid for all versions of the Mac OS up until X (10). Prior to that, the OS was entirely proprietary, forcing developers to write two completely different sets of code to make an application multi-platform compatible. OSX, on the other hand, is based on a Unix variant, which means programming for it is identical to programming for a *nix OS. There was still a problem of the Power PC architecture, which did require separate coding from say *nix applications on an x86 architecture, but that problem is gone now with Apple's move to Intel.
     
  3. A Y

    A Y Senior member

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    OSX, on the other hand, is based on a Unix variant, which means programming for it is identical to programming for a *nix OS.

    I think all the Unix vendors would like to think that, but in practice it isn't true. There is some basic API compatibility, and in some cases even binary compatibility, but the one legacy of Unix is that there are many Unixes, and they're all frustratingly incompatible with each other, even after many unification attempts (eg. SVR4). If you look at any open source program that was supported on many Unix platforms, like gcc or emacs, you will see thousands of little hacks everywhere to support a particular Unix platform. Even POSIX compliance today doesn't guarantee straight recompilation compatibility, much less binary compatibility as you imply in your earlier post.

    --Andre
     
  4. mr_economy

    mr_economy Senior member

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    I think all the Unix vendors would like to think that, but in practice it isn't true. There is some basic API compatibility, and in some cases even binary compatibility, but the one legacy of Unix is that there are many Unixes, and they're all frustratingly incompatible with each other, even after many unification attempts (eg. SVR4). If you look at any open source program that was supported on many Unix platforms, like gcc or emacs, you will see thousands of little hacks everywhere to support a particular Unix platform. Even POSIX compliance today doesn't guarantee straight recompilation compatibility, much less binary compatibility as you imply in your earlier post.

    --Andre


    I'll be the first to admit my knowledge of Linux and Unix is fairly limited, though I have experienced what I believe is called "dependency hell" on the occasions I've seen fit to try out a Linux distro or two.

    Would OSX's being based on BSD have any impact in terms of compatibility? I think ideally it would mean most software designed for the BSD environment should work on OSX, though there are always issues that seem to come up.
     
  5. oman

    oman Senior member

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    i read this entire thread, and i gotta voice my opinion that osx.4 is the most usable OS currently on the market

    windows xp doesn't even come close. even ubuntu (the most user-friendly linux build) is a couple steps below osx.

    i've seen screens of vista, and i don't like what i see. i haven't heard anything about os10.5 (leopard) or 10.6 (lion), but current builds of ubuntu are probably better than post-release vista will be. it looks to me like windows is a dead end

    also - tokyo slim, you're a good guy but c'mon, man, take the heat. how can you say this:

    ...and in the same breath, call the mac aesthetic ugly?
     
  6. Tokyo Slim

    Tokyo Slim Senior member

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    also - tokyo slim, you're a good guy but c'mon, man, take the heat. how can you say this: ...and in the same breath, call the mac aesthetic ugly?
    I just don't like it. The designs are too bland and minimalist, the colors are ugly, and what little discernable character it has reminds me of a crappy plastic toy. I'm not a big fan of white or silver electronics. Silver cameras for example scream "amature" to me. Silver stereo equipment is about as gauche as you can get. White is almost as bad, I want to punch whoever thought white electronics was a good idea. I also hate Microsoft for buying into it with the X-Box 360. I will be getting a piano black PS3 this fall instead. One peice computers are nigh unto useless, and I hate the entire idea behind them. The brushed G5 aluminum tower I have to use occasionally is the least offensive, but would be 1000 x better with some accents, but then it would look just like my Lian-Li brushed aluminum case with black bezeled drives and carbon fiber accent. I like my black Ahanix D4 HTPC case in my bedroom too, it looks like a piece of stereo equipment and doesn't draw attention to itself sitting at the bottom of my Denon rack system. My computers are NOT ugly. I'm sorry to dissapoint you.
     
  7. imageWIS

    imageWIS Senior member

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    jeez, imagine what his post count would be then

    Less than all the trolls combined.

    Jon.
     
  8. ken

    ken Senior member

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    Now this is something we can all agree on.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. raley

    raley Senior member

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    What I do not like about these arguments is they mostly no longer apply to the Apple of today. In fact, now that Apple has shifted to the x86 platform, literally the only proprietary components in its system are the case, power supply, and motherboard. Moreover, this makes Apple no different than the world's most popular PC manufacturer - Dell.

    Dell, at least in its mainstream systems, uses a propietary motherboard and power supply design, which means the user does not have the ability to upgrade those components. They are free to upgrade any other component, but so are Apple users. Any PCI/AGP/PCI-Express card that works on a PC will work on a Mac, provided the hardware vendor makes the necessary drivers. Hard drives, RAM, and just about any USB/Firewire (IEEE 1394) are upgradeable and interchangable in both Macs and PCs.



    You are sort of making the same point here as I was trying to make. Apple is no different than Dell. The problem is you can buy PC's from Dell, HP/Compaq, Sony, or any of the other hundred PC makers, or build your own. You don't have this kind of versatility with the mac.

    Unless I am wrong you can't go out and pick up a MB, CPU, HD, Video Card, PSU and install OSX, or can you?

    Again I could be wrong but it seems like the wider variety of manufacturers in the PC side of things would create more competition that would lead to better products/faster computers/better graphics/whatever. But then again I am thinking of things mostly from a gaming perspective.

    Honestly, it doesn't quite matter which platform you are using if you are just word processing and browsing forums, since any computer 5 years old or newer can do that just fine as long as you keep it clean and format every year or so.
     
  10. Matt

    Matt Senior member

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    Apple is no different than Dell.

    I see Apple as a combination of Dell/HP et al, Microsoft and an assortment of different software and componentry vendors.

    you could make a very strong counter-case by point out that by designing both hardware, OS and software all built from the ground up to work together, you end up with better machines, faster, more stable etc etc etc.

    but hasten to add if gaming is your interest, dont buy a Mac. I dont think there is anything inherently inferior about the Mac's ability to handle games, but the lack of games available for the platform is, understandably, paltry.
     
  11. A Y

    A Y Senior member

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    The brushed G5 aluminum tower I have to use occasionally is the least offensive, but would be 1000 x better with some accents, but then it would look just like my Lian-Li brushed aluminum case with black bezeled drives and carbon fiber accent. I like my black Ahanix D4 HTPC case in my bedroom too, it looks like a piece of stereo equipment and doesn't draw attention to itself sitting at the bottom of my Denon rack system.

    Wow. I have to disagree. PC cases have always struck me as cheap, mostly badly designed, and not very well thought out. They're not very structurally sound, and I feel like I could cut my fingers on some of their edges. Having examined a G5 case in detail, I am amazed that they can sell that computer for the price that they do --- the case is very nicely designed and implemented in so many ways that a normal user would never see in day-to-day use.

    PCs have lots of advantages over Macs, but case design is definitely not one of them.

    --Andre
     
  12. A Y

    A Y Senior member

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    Would OSX's being based on BSD have any impact in terms of compatibility? I think ideally it would mean most software designed for the BSD environment should work on OSX, though there are always issues that seem to come up.

    The bigger issue with porting to the Mac is not the BSD API layer (even Windows has a rough approximation of many UNIX and BSD-style calls), but instead the graphical user interface: designing the user interface so that it follows normal Mac conventions, instead of just being a straight translation of a Windows or X application. Having ported very large (more than a million lines of code) UNIX applications to Win32, it's been my observation that the system-level issues, eg. the BSD stuff you refer to, is often resolved within a week. What takes forever is the user interface, and making a program feel like a native application rather than a crude translation.

    --Andre
     
  13. Tokyo Slim

    Tokyo Slim Senior member

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    Then you have probably never seen inside a quality PC case. My Lian Li's internal surfaces are all rolled aluminum with vinyl channel edges to protect the soft handed techie. And I could probably place 100+ lbs of stuff on top of it without a problem. As far as design goes, it gets great airflow, the power supply has no problems reaching the components, The hard drive enclosure can be completely removed in a matter of seconds, and the drives and etc are all thumb screwed for quick assembly/dissasembly.

    I couldn't ask for anything more from the case itself.
     
  14. Brian SD

    Brian SD Senior member

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    Then you have probably never seen inside a quality PC case. My Lian Li's internal surfaces are all rolled aluminum with vinyl channel edges to protect the soft handed techie. And I could probably place 100+ lbs of stuff on top of it without a problem. As far as design goes, it gets great airflow, the power supply has no problems reaching the components, The hard drive enclosure can be completely removed in a matter of seconds, and the drives and etc are all thumb screwed for quick assembly/dissasembly.

    I couldn't ask for anything more from the case itself.


    Nice looking PC cases are few and far between, at least what's available to the semi-informed PC-building masses. Look at what they sell at Fry's, they're all pieces of shit - even the most expensive ones are ugly as sin, with excessive plastic flaps and pieces and pointless glowing lights. That said, I really like the Lian Li cases that they have on their website, but I find them to be incredibly similar to the Jonathon Ive's design, and not just that it's a minimalistic metal box - the meshing looks very similar as well. This only makes it more attractive to me personally because as I've preached time and time again I love the designs that Apple puts out.

    I might end up buying one of them. The PC-101 case would look great in my current room set-up - I love the power button on the side and thi hidden drives. My case is about 4 years old now and it was the closest thing to a Mac case I could find but it's still of poor quality and does a horrible job keeping my computer cooled. $195 is quite a chunk though.
     
  15. Tokyo Slim

    Tokyo Slim Senior member

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    Nice looking PC cases are few and far between, at least what's available to the semi-informed PC-building masses. Look at what they sell at Fry's, they're all pieces of shit - even the most expensive ones are ugly as sin, with excessive plastic flaps and pieces and pointless glowing lights. That said, I really like the Lian Li cases that they have on their website, but I find them to be incredibly similar to the Jonathon Ive's design, and not just that it's a minimalistic metal box - the meshing looks very similar as well. This only makes it more attractive to me personally because as I've preached time and time again I love the designs that Apple puts out.

    I might end up buying one of them. The PC-101 case would look great in my current room set-up - I love the power button on the side and thi hidden drives. My case is about 4 years old now and it was the closest thing to a Mac case I could find but it's still of poor quality and does a horrible job keeping my computer cooled. $195 is quite a chunk though.


    If they remind you of Ive's designs, its pure coincidence, since Lian-Li came out with their aluminum PC case line in 1993. Many of the designs haven't changed drastically since. Ive hadn't even designed his candy colored plastic iMac abomination at that time. I bought my PC-60 in '99.

    You might want to check directron.com or local computer stores for pricing, but you can occasionally get really good deals on them.
     
  16. A Y

    A Y Senior member

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    Then you have probably never seen inside a quality PC case.

    You may be right. Which Lian Li case would you suggest? I'm currently building an HTPC, and am set on the Antec P180.

    Have you examined the insides of a G5 case? It's pretty darn amazing: the cable, airflow, power and expansion management, as well as the nice little touches like rubber gaskets on the panels are very nice.

    --Andre
     
  17. SGladwell

    SGladwell Senior member

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    One peice computers are nigh unto useless
    Actually, for most people - i.e. people who don't necessarily care about computers but just want something on which they will be able to play their music and edit their photos and learn about the difference between roped and Neapolitan shirtsleeve jacket shoulders - you're exactly wrong. The all-in-one makes perfect sense. Especially a modern laptop such as the MacBook Pro or desktop AIO such as the iMac with a large, vibrant screen and a modern graphics card that allows use of a second monitor to extend the desktop beyond the built-in one. And by the time one needs to replace a good computer, after 5-7 years let's say, screen technology will have advanced so far that one might as well get a new monitor anyway. The difference between my TiBook's screen, which was by far the best in its day, and my MacBook Pro's screen, which is the best of today's screens, is such that if I had to use them both at the same time I would quickly get a headache. You seem to place a huge premium on upgradability, especially of things that matter very little like processors. But surely you realize what a minority position yours is. Even someone like me, who has swapped out RAM and/or hard drives in every computer he's owned, and uses external FireWire drives extensively, and doesn't sit down at a desk without connecting his Mac to a second monitor, is an outlier. The bottom line is, people rarely upgrade their computers, be they PC or Mac users. The number of people in either the Mac or other world who are going to do even something really easy, like plugging in a non-iPod FireWire hard drive or running a DVI cable to a second monitor and thereby extend the desktop, is minute. Yes, there is a Mac upgrade industry that goes beyond RAM and drives for enthusiasts. See OWC's website for an example. I would venture to guess that most Mac users, just like most PC users, have never found occasion to bother. And given that most of the important tasks (Safari, Mail, iCal, iTunes, Address Book, Quicken, MS Office; iPhoto and iMovie work but are kind of slow) run seamlessly and speedily on a 5+ year old 500mHz G4 using the latest version of the operating system (OSX 10.4.6) what's the use of messing with things like processors anyway?
    The brushed G5 aluminum tower I have to use occasionally is the least offensive, but would be 1000 x better with some accents, but then it would look just like my Lian-Li...My computers are NOT ugly.
    I'm sorry but if you think something like this: [​IMG] is more attractive than something like this that could fit into any one of those four drive bays: [​IMG] or something like this, which is no bigger than the monitor you'd have to attach to that other case anyway [​IMG] Well, I guess there's no accounting for taste. Given that several posters have invoking the name Lian Li I expected to find some style there. Maybe something like this computer that was blurbed in the current issue of dwell and is a rare non ugly non Mac (at least until you turn on the screen and have that garish blue and green crap on the bottom, or realize that it's probably both far more expensive than a mini and less capable): [​IMG] But instead of finding something that looks it that was consciously designed to fit into a modern living space unobtrusively - except when everyone who sees it effuses praise over how small and wonderful it is, which is the Mac mini owner's typical guest reaction - all I see is a huge giant rectangular box that has to be put somewhere. It might be built nicely - and not need a putty knife to change the RAM or HD, as the mini requires - but it's still a very very very large box that by sheer din of bulk commands attention to itself. To be fair, I don't like G5 towers, either. They're huge and ugly, though better looking than anything at lian-li.com. (And more ergonomic, because they have carrying handles.) Even Jonathan Ive can't make a huge box attractive. I understand that some technical or design fields might need that kind of hulking modularity, but most people with regular mainstream needs have no need for such a large ugly contraption cluttering up their rooms. Especially now, when you can buy an ultra-powerful computer in somewhat pricey fold-up format (MBP) or surprisingly inexpensive desktop format (iMac) that takes up no more space than most monitors alone. And, I hasten to add, with well-designed keyboards and mice (at least since the Mighty Mouse) that are part of a cohesive design theme instead of being dumb generic add-ons.
     
  18. Brian SD

    Brian SD Senior member

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    While I found the rest of your post to be on point, I'm going to step in and say that I do like some big boxes. I love the G5 box for its commanding architectural yet ergonomically cute (tiny buttons, carrying handles) presence, and the sheer fact that something so huge with so much of the newest technology packed inside could be as quiet as a mouse. Also, as someone who uses pretty demanding software (design editing, mostly Adobe), something about a big box says, "yes. I can do everything," and I like that. Lastly, the fact that the drive bays are hidden from plain view without the use of an extra door (something I don't like about the Lian Li PC-101 tower, but what can you do?) is a really cool added touch.
     
  19. Brian SD

    Brian SD Senior member

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    You are sort of making the same point here as I was trying to make. Apple is no different than Dell. The problem is you can buy PC's from Dell, HP/Compaq, Sony, or any of the other hundred PC makers, or build your own. You don't have this kind of versatility with the mac.

    I'm not sure how this is a bad thing. The only conceivable problem here to me is someone who says, "I want the Mac OS but I don't want to buy a Mac." Unfortunately for them (seems to be a rare case - most people who want the OS also like the Mac computers), there's just nothing you can do.

    If Dell had their own fancy OS that people loved and critics acclaimed, do you think they would sell it out to other computer-building companies? I doubt it - they'd want people to be forced to buy their hardware for the OS to work.

    I understand your point entirely. You cannot go out and buy the pieces for your Mac, you have to go with Apple's configurations. I fail to see how this is a problem for anyone. If you want versatility, go with a Windows computer. If you want hardcore programming and open source, go for *nix. If you want OS X, go for a Mac.

    I personally don't understand why anyone would want boot camp on their computers except to run games. I have a Mac because I don't like Windows OS. I use Win as infrequently as possible. Why would I want to use up more of my pretty little PowerBook's HD with more crappy Microsoft software?
     
  20. Tokyo Slim

    Tokyo Slim Senior member

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    That little computer is the same one I posted in the design thread months ago.
    I think the general consensus was that it is practically useless. I DO like the ceramic shell though, an interesting idea that made me post it to begin with. I thought that people who like Mac Mini's would enjoy it. Unfortunately its white and I can't really see much of an upgrade path. So it might as well be a Mini to me. I won't be buying one.

    Well then I guess I have no taste.
    This is what the living room PC looks like BTW. Black keyboard, Klipsch speakers, silver and black printer/scanner, mouse. I do editing on this comp. Thus the CRT. I don't like using an LCD to photoshop/video edit. The only ones with true enough color representation, sharpness, and size are all REALLY pricey. The mini looks (and performs) like a toy in comparison. And to me, thats bad. But at least you can hide it in a drawer somewhere The iMac is gross looking and you CAN'T hide it in a drawer. Cause its all one friggin peice. My computer is shiny and professional looking. It fills my desk, but then again, ITS SUPPOSED TO.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     

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