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Mac OS X = UNIX with a GUI? - Page 4

post #121 of 186
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by llthomps View Post

Your assessment is correct, but like all flavors of UNIX, it's evolved from the base since its inception. The original 10.0 used mostly UNIX systems and utilities, but since then Apple has evolved the Darwin core. So, for example, Apple no longer uses UNIX mail, chron, and has never used the UNIX file system.

I think the biggest improvements aren't to the actual Darwin core, nor to the GUI. Apple has improved the experience beyond that, writing powerful libraries and optimizations into their programming language, Objective-C. Core data, core animation, webkit, quicktime, etc... all allow you to write software for the Macintosh platform that looks great, runs fast, and is stable.

Additionally, the new version of OS X server offers its own departures. It's really the first version of server that does significant things that you couldn't do on your normal mac. Previously, they were both using the same UNIX libraries, and server offered a GUI for the management and metrics (and trimmed away some of the frill). It's now capable of offering collaboration services out to other macs and macintosh applications. Just a small offering now - wikiserver, podcast producer, and iCal server - but I'd look for more of this in the future if it's successful. And, of course, all these libraries are accessible to app programmers, and as such, they can be integrated into your applications.

So, I think you're right to insist that OS X is basically a UNIX derivative, but that your friend is also right to point out that you're getting a lot more out of it than just it's UNIX core and GUI. Although if what you're saying is true, he may not truly appreciate what exactly Apple has done for him.

This is the type of stuff I am interested in knowing, as a matter of fact. HFS+ vs standard UNIX's HFS (although other UNIX-es also have their own FS's, HP-UX's vxfs = Veritas FS for instance is more than 10 years old, although for sometime the file system of the kernel could be only HFS not VxFS), etc.

And as I pointed out earlier, its UNIX roots offers new interesting market opportunities for Apple in the enterprise space. RedHat and Sun should be seriously worried if Apple tried to make a dent at their expense.

Cheers!
post #122 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by curious_about_mac View Post

This is the type of stuff I am interested in knowing, as a matter of fact. HFS+ vs standard UNIX's HFS (although other UNIX-es also have their own FS's, HP-UX's vxfs = Veritas FS for instance is more than 10 years old, although for sometime the file system of the kernel could be only HFS not VxFS), etc.

And as I pointed out earlier, its UNIX roots offers new interesting market opportunities for Apple in the enterprise space. RedHat and Sun should be seriously worried if Apple tried to make a dent at their expense.

Cheers!

Correction: UNIX UFS. HFS has forever been an Apple Filesystem technology.

ZFS compliant filesystem with Mac OS X sprinkles to extend it will be clearly show it's spots in upcoming releases.
post #123 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by curious_about_mac View Post

I think I have been very clear for those who were willing to listen.
As a system that is essentially a UNIX + GUI, there are plenty of positive things that I see in Mac OS X. All the other fancy stuff, although I acknowledge they might be useful for some people, it's unlikely to be of use to me since it's the UNIX +GUI aspects that I care about.
Put it in another way: if Mac OS X didn't have a UNIX core/roots (say it had a Windows NT kernel as was suggested by somebody) but it still had all the UI fancy stuff, it would be a no brainer to me: no way I am going to switch to Mac OS X: I wouldn't care about the fancy stuff and I'd be happy with the Windows UI bacause it allows me to do all I need to do and it runs on way cheaper HW. Is prescisely because it's UNIX, that I have second thoughts. And that's the genune question that I had at the begining. My friend was convinced that the UNIX roots of Mac OS X is a very tiny aspect of Mac OS X. Well, I said, if Mac OS X isn't ~ UNIX + GUI, then what is it? From listening to people, it seems clear that Mac OS X's UNIX roots is 90% of what makes Mac OS X a good OS (all the other features that people have been talking about, wouldn't run as nice in a non-UNIX kernel, you might even amuse yourself painting the Desktop when the kernel was unable to effectively handle multi CPU / multi threaded processes, as it is possible to do with Windows). It might all end up being a "question of taste". Some people wouldn't give a damn for the internals of the OS in order to have the most tasteful/nicest GUI/UI while others, like me, don't give a damn for a nice GUI/UI if the internals are crappy. It turns out that Mac OS X, in my view, seems to be a great OS not because of its fancy GUI but because its UNIX internals.

Which takes me to



This aspect seems to be ignored by most Apple followers, but it's an important one. From the Apple website, a basic 13 inch, 1GB RAM, 80 GB disk, 2.0 GHz dual proc Mac has a base value of $1099. The more or less equivalent config from HP (it has 14 inch screen and a 120 GB instead) costs $874 at HP. That's $225 less (and you even get a slightly larger screen and a larger hard disk). If you begin to add other stuff (like more memory/harddisk and applications), the price difference keeps increasing. Say the final price difference is $400 or even more for higher end models (larger screens, etc). For Silicon Valley engineers (who belong to the economic elite of the planet) that might not be a lot of money, but for other people it is. At the end of the day, the average consumer doesn't have any vested interest in making Apple rich vs making MS rich (or vice versa) but in addressing his computer needs. A cheap HW running MS software seems to be doing the job for most people. And the argument, pay me $400 more and you'll get a way fancier GUI doesn't seem to resonate much among the average consumer.

And finally,



Yes, I have learned a lot too. I am way more prepared now to argue my UNIX + GUI point than I was before the thread started.

Merry Christmas to all of you!

I'd reduce your assessment of 90% being UNIX to 70% and it's the 30% that was oddly argued which NeXT built into and on top of UNIX which makes OS X such a compelling environment for developing rich applications on the client and server.

Take CoreData as an example: it's roots come from Enterprise Object Frameworks (EOF) but much simpler, yet at a sweet spot of capabilities to address most of the current developer needs. Whether Apple decides to role out a new EOF that covers the gaps is to still to be seen.

CoreImage and CoreAudio were logical expectations of previously private frameworks which after addressing, again, most current developer needs it was unleashed to the developer community on OS X.

The CoreAnimation aides in working with OpenGL, etc.

This approach is being added to GNUstep for those who want a Cocoa solution in Linux and other *nix platforms.

KDE 4 is doing similar approaches with Phonon, Solid, Plasma, etc.
post #124 of 186
I don't know if anyone offered this opinion, but from what I read a lot of this is really hardcore discussion of the intricate aspects of OS X's implementation and use of UNIX. I have a different reason I'd like to present:


OS X is Unix with a GUI. So what's the reason to get an Mac and not just use a Linux box for all your UNIX based computing?

Unlike every flavor of Linux I've tried (including ubuntu and all the other ones made easy to use), OS X has the distinct advantage of doing all its GUI-based actions in a very very easy and reliable way. You can basically be assured that, if you want to write some code, compile it, then print the code out over a networked printer, it's MUCH easier and more importantly FASTER to do that with OS X than linux. Sure, you can set up a printer with some CUPS knowledge and commandline chops, but i think that the time you'd save with all those repetitive tasks that are faster in GUI is worth OS X over Linux.

So, in summary, I think you should try a Mac for UNIX stuff because it does unix stuff great, but also does a lot of the GUI stuff easier than linux.

PS: It's also, honestly, fun to do a lot of stuff on macs that isn't very fun on linux/windows, and fun never hurts

Hope that helps!
post #125 of 186
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

I'd reduce your assessment of 90% being UNIX to 70% and it's the 30% that was oddly argued which NeXT built into and on top of UNIX which makes OS X such a compelling environment for developing rich applications on the client and server.

Yours have been among the most instructive postings in this whole thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quine View Post

....

OS X is Unix with a GUI. So what's the reason to get an Mac and not just use a Linux box for all your UNIX based computing?

.....

So, in summary, I think you should try a Mac for UNIX stuff because it does unix stuff great, but also does a lot of the GUI stuff easier than linux.

PS: It's also, honestly, fun to do a lot of stuff on macs that isn't very fun on linux/windows, and fun never hurts

Hope that helps!

Why didn't I get this type of answers at the very begining of the thread? We could have avoided all the hair splitting that went on in between.

Best to all of you!
post #126 of 186
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Correction: UNIX UFS. HFS has forever been an Apple Filesystem technology.

ZFS compliant filesystem with Mac OS X sprinkles to extend it will be clearly show it's spots in upcoming releases.

Sorry! HP-UX had its own derivative of UFS also called HFS (and most of my dealings with commercial UNIX was with HP's!),

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hi_Performance_FileSystem
http://www.osdata.com/system/logical/logical.htm
"hfs: HP-UX’s Hi Performance FileSystem; native in older versions of HP-UXe20; “HFS has been the native file system since the mid 80s.”e42; operating systems that can handle hfs: HP-UX (NRWF) (NOTE: This is the second hfs that appears in the chart)"

That's where the confusion came from . Both HP's HFS and Apple's HFS have the same acronym but stand for different things.

Cheers!
post #127 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by curious_about_mac View Post

Why didn't I get this type of answers at the very begining of the thread? We could have avoided all the hair splitting that went on in between.

Because you started out combative AND you already knew that OSX has a superior UI to any other unix (or unix like os) on the market. So stating that the UI is the distinct advantage that you repeatedly claim you don't care about isn't useful right?

For you that OSX is Unix + GUI is a mantra. The Unix aspects are competent but nothing particularly special from a user perspective. Well, a little bit with scripting and Spotlight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

I'd reduce your assessment of 90% being UNIX to 70% and it's the 30% that was oddly argued which NeXT built into and on top of UNIX which makes OS X such a compelling environment for developing rich applications on the client and server.

I don't think its a compelling advantage to switch even for a developer. From an enterprise, rich client perspective I would say that Java is the superior platform. Likewise I consider .NET to be equal to Apple's Core capabilities overall (some areas better, some areas worse).

That said, I did switch from Linux for all of my unix development simply because the environment IS nicer and for back end development (LAMP) there's little disadvantage other than Apple is slow with Java updates.

For folks that go straight to the command line because every other UNIX UI has sucked and won't consider the UI as a useful advantage for them there is no practical advantage of OSX over BSD or Linux from a user perspective. You see little of the Core capabilities. From a developer perspective, J2EE or LAMP are typically the Unix target environments.

For him, Solaris is the platform of choice. Superior unix capabilities better than OSX or Linux (VFS, threading, etc), commodity PC hardware (limited choices but many Dell or HP machines should work) and free. The GUI is pretty bog standard for a unix these days but he keeps saying he doesn't care about ease of use, GUI, user experience or any of the OSX specific software (iLife, iWork, etc).

He doesn't want what anyone (nearly everyone) else wants in a Unix DESKTOP. Namely a GUI and user experience that is superior to that of XP/Vista/KDE/Gnome with world class user applications. No other unix or unix-like OS provides that (IMO of course).

As a plain unix, ignoring UI, IMO Solaris is best of breed. Done, go switch to solaris and enjoy.
post #128 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by curious_about_mac View Post

... HP-UX had its own derivative of UFS also called HFS (and most of my dealings with commercial UNIX was with HP's!),

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hi_Performance_FileSystem
http://www.osdata.com/system/logical/logical.htm ...

Curious. You give links that state without equivocation that HFS (Heirarchial File System) is an Apple file system which was developed by our favorite fruit company in 1985.

Your links also clearly show that HP's file system is hfs (Hi Performance FileSystem).

hfs ≠ HFS

Because UNIX is case-sensitive, there is no confusion. As a UNIX expert, you should know that.
post #129 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

Because you started out combative AND you already knew that OSX has a superior UI to any other unix (or unix like os) on the market. So stating that the UI is the distinct advantage that you repeatedly claim you don't care about isn't useful right?

For you that OSX is Unix + GUI is a mantra. The Unix aspects are competent but nothing particularly special from a user perspective. Well, a little bit with scripting and Spotlight.



I don't think its a compelling advantage to switch even for a developer. From an enterprise, rich client perspective I would say that Java is the superior platform. Likewise I consider .NET to be equal to Apple's Core capabilities overall (some areas better, some areas worse).

That said, I did switch from Linux for all of my unix development simply because the environment IS nicer and for back end development (LAMP) there's little disadvantage other than Apple is slow with Java updates.

For folks that go straight to the command line because every other UNIX UI has sucked and won't consider the UI as a useful advantage for them there is no practical advantage of OSX over BSD or Linux from a user perspective. You see little of the Core capabilities. From a developer perspective, J2EE or LAMP are typically the Unix target environments.

For him, Solaris is the platform of choice. Superior unix capabilities better than OSX or Linux (VFS, threading, etc), commodity PC hardware (limited choices but many Dell or HP machines should work) and free. The GUI is pretty bog standard for a unix these days but he keeps saying he doesn't care about ease of use, GUI, user experience or any of the OSX specific software (iLife, iWork, etc).

He doesn't want what anyone (nearly everyone) else wants in a Unix DESKTOP. Namely a GUI and user experience that is superior to that of XP/Vista/KDE/Gnome with world class user applications. No other unix or unix-like OS provides that (IMO of course).

As a plain unix, ignoring UI, IMO Solaris is best of breed. Done, go switch to solaris and enjoy.

From an enterprise, rich server perspective I would say that Java is the superior platform.

I fixed it for you.

LAMP is the environment for Linux folks working with Blogs, Web Services and dynamically driven content that do not need to scale on levels remotely close to J2EE. However, LAMP doesn't require one to have the in-depth knowledge of Java to meet the general consumer markets.

J2EE at the enterprise server/web services market is still king. And that is due to third parties like JBoss and especially IBM who made huge investements in its use.

Neither is a superior solution to what once was the market leader (WebObjects 2.x - 4.x) which until they switched to Java was constantly being knocked for not being Java [since the industry seemed to have such a hard-on, at the time, similar to C++ on traditional client/server applications space (3-tier) and just couldn't be bothered to learn a second language], yet somehow after they switched other languages stepped in.

Apple has learned a valuable lesson: Screw the market when it comes to dictating which language rules them all. Focus on what language and frameworks gives you the edge and incorporate other languages that work in conjunction without compromising your vision [Ruby, Python].

In the end: To remain viable and be able to develop with some of the most advanced technologies it's wise to be well-versed in Linux and OS X. Depending on what areas you plan on writing solutions you have to know which platformm best serves both your short-term and long-term needs in business and solutions; and plan accordingly.

The compelling reason for OS X beyond Linux doesn't start and end with being the most seemless UNIX + GUI operating system currently in existence. It extends to the capabilities that the rich client APIs of ObjC2.0/Cocoa frameworks offer in conjunction with their ability to be extended through Ruby and Python cross-platform.
post #130 of 186
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Me View Post

Curious. You give links that state without equivocation that HFS (Heirarchial File System) is an Apple file system which was developed by our favorite fruit company in 1985.

Your links also clearly show that HP's file system is hfs (Hi Performance FileSystem).

hfs ≠ HFS

Because UNIX is case-sensitive, there is no confusion. As a UNIX expert, you should know that.

Well, from my own posting,

Quote:
Originally Posted by curious_about_mac


"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hi_Performance_FileSystem
http://www.osdata.com/system/logical/logical.htm
"hfs: HP-UX’s Hi Performance FileSystem; native in older versions of HP-UXe20; “HFS has been the native file system since the mid 80s.”e42; operating systems that can handle hfs: HP-UX (NRWF) (NOTE: This is the second hfs that appears in the chart)""

At HP, we referred to HP's proprietary FS by hfs or HFS without distinction. HP today still refers to it as hfs/HFS in its technical doc:

http://docs.hp.com/en/B3921-60631/ne...reg_R1002_USEN


Quote:
newfs recognizes the following options:

-F hfs

Specify the HFS file system type.

As to who copied whom with respect to the name, I don't care. And apparently neither do HP or Apple because I haven't seen any copyright/priority lawsuit filed by either company.


Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

Because you started out combative AND you already knew that OSX has a superior UI to any other unix (or unix like os) on the market. So stating that the UI is the distinct advantage that you repeatedly claim you don't care about isn't useful right?

As I have stated I don't know how many times already, this whole thing started after a friend of mine offered to lend me one of his extra Mac's for testing for 1 month or so. I told him, well, that's great, from my experience of using Macs with OS X at Stanford's clusters, it seems like Mac OS X is a UNIX + GUI with a very nice UI, probably the best GUI among UNIX+GUI OS-es. When I made that remark, my friend hit the ceiling because according to him Mac OS X was an OS of its own whose relationship with UNIX was minimal. So I set myself to figure out the truth and that's why I posted this thread.

Please keep the dialog going because I am learning a lot!
post #131 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by curious_about_mac View Post

As I have stated I don't know how many times already, this whole thing started after a friend of mine offered to lend me one of his extra Mac's for testing for 1 month or so.

For which you absolutely needed to characterize it as him being a "mac preacher searching for converts" where you "don't see anything in Mac OS X that I cannot get from either Windows or Linux" but would like to stay "completely away from religious OS wars" despite the previous inflammatory statements. Mkay.

Quote:
When I made that remark, my friend hit the ceiling because according to him Mac OS X was an OS of its own whose relationship with UNIX was minimal. So I set myself to figure out the truth and that's why I posted this thread.

A single google on OSX and Unix would have been sufficient to prove your friend wrong. The very first hit is Apple's site that describes that Leopard achieved UNIX 03 certification.
post #132 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

From an enterprise, rich server perspective I would say that Java is the superior platform.

I fixed it for you.

And on the client side you have Java Web Start and Applets (ugh) for client side deployment and updates for high end rich clients that work across the enterprise whether it be Windows, Linux and sometimes Mac (if you still with a slightly older Java anyway).

Quote:
LAMP is the environment for Linux folks working with Blogs, Web Services and dynamically driven content that do not need to scale on levels remotely close to J2EE. However, LAMP doesn't require one to have the in-depth knowledge of Java to meet the general consumer markets.

Sorry if I implied any Java requirements for LAMP. I'm just saying at the user facing enterprise level LAMP + Ajax is the thin client stack often used.

Quote:
Apple has learned a valuable lesson: Screw the market when it comes to dictating which language rules them all. Focus on what language and frameworks gives you the edge and incorporate other languages that work in conjunction without compromising your vision [Ruby, Python].

Apple has never really compromised on ObjectiveC being the core language of the OS. The superiority of ObjectiveC vs C++ really wasn't worth the hassle of a new langage especially since automatic memory management existed in Java. Had ObjectiveC had automatic memory management like in 2.0 it might have made more an impact when language wars were the thing to argue about in technology.

Quote:
The compelling reason for OS X beyond Linux doesn't start and end with being the most seemless UNIX + GUI operating system currently in existence. It extends to the capabilities that the rich client APIs of ObjC2.0/Cocoa frameworks offer in conjunction with their ability to be extended through Ruby and Python cross-platform.

If you "extend it" "cross-plateform" you don't get the rich client APIs of Cocoa. Which are awesome if you're developing for the Mac platform but not too useful anywhere else. This is why Java is the enterprise CLIENT platform of choice when you have a heterogeneous environment. If you're purely windows you go .NET. If you're purely mac you go Cocoa. If you're purely linux you go Qt or GTK+.

More enterprise devs are stuck with multiple platforms when its not just windows so you go either Web based applications using Ajax, Flash, whatever followed by Java.
post #133 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

OpenDoc? Get real. This strategy of OOP Reuse is Purely Openstep 5.0. And when Apple finally provides a proper Services interaction it once had under NeXTSTEP/Openstep then we'll see how much these separate frameworks and applications can benefit each other.

Do you think they will?

I'm not so sure. They seem to be cutting off the vestigial tails left over from NeXT or spending a long time screwing about in the meantime with old Mac apps that should have been shot many years ago (iTunes, I'm looking at you).
post #134 of 186
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

For which you absolutely needed to characterize it as him being a "mac preacher searching for converts" where you "don't see anything in Mac OS X that I cannot get from either Windows or Linux" but would like to stay "completely away from religious OS wars" despite the previous inflammatory statements. Mkay.

First of all, I always referred to him as "mac preacher searching for converts" in an affectionate manner. He knows that (and if he is reading this, I assure him that I never meant to be disrespecful). One of the creators of the Mac religion seems to agree that there is a strong parallel between the feelings that many Mac users have towards their machines and religious feeling,

http://www.applematters.com/index.ph...i_talks_apple/

Quote:
You more or less invented the notion of the Mac evangelist, why do you think Apple users have such zeal? After all, there aren’t too many Dell sites out there.

Because people see their Macintoshes as an extension of themselves. Macintoshes increase their owner�s productivity and creativity. They are not merely appliances. You don’t see many web sites for washing machines either.

Is Apple a religion?

In the sense that you’re asking, yes it is. In the bigger picture of true religions (salvation, etc), it isn’t.

And for those who are not members of the Mac religion (like myself), the way Mac zealots talk about their computers makes us suspicious. I was just interested in the technical reality of Mac OS X.

In fact, this is an important aspect where those of us who were passionate about the Amiga computer during the its heyday and Mac zealots of all time differ. Ours (the Amiga) was truly several years ahead of its competition in the technical aspects (micro-kernel, preemtive multitasking, custom chips for music, graphics, animation and IO, DMA access). It didn't appeal to us, at least not to me, because its UI was fancier, which wasn't, or had nicer gadgets, which didn't since most Amiga extension HW was intended to make it even more powerful with 16 million color cards; acceleration cards 680X0 and so on, but because it was a technology breakthrough in home computer architecture that was matched only several years after by the PC and the Mac. The Amiga passion was never about faith or religious attachment but about technology which was both years ahead of its time and affordable for the average consumer.

Hadn't it been because of the incompetent management at Commodore (and I say this to you after researching extensively on the matter), the home computer market might have been quite different today. Even Apple was so impressed (and fearful) that it hired some members of the original Amiga team to work in the Mac.

Fortunately, these days there is a reborn interest in telling the history of the personal computer the way it happened, not the way the winners (MS/PC manufacturers/Apple) have been telling it since the mid nineties. Ars Technica is publishing a series of articles on the Amiga. Its last one says,

http://arstechnica.com/articles/cult...re-years.ars/4

Quote:
Reactions to the show

While the crowd attending the show went away extremely impressed with what they had seen, the reaction from the rest of the world was mixed. Articles about the demo were published in magazines such as Popular Computing, Fortune, Byte, and Compute. The Fortune article both praised and dismissed the Amiga at the same time: "While initial reviews praised the technical capabilities of the Amiga, a shell-shocked PC industry has learned to resist the seductive glitter of advanced technology for its own sake."

Think about that last line for a few moments. Can any computer user today honestly say that color, animation, multichannel sound, and multitasking are merely seductive glitter that exists only for its own sake? Like Doug Engelbart's revolutionary demonstration of the first mouse-driven graphical user interface back in 1968, many of the ideas shown in the Amiga unveiling were a little too far ahead of their time, at least for some people.

Nevertheless, Commodore had some great buzz leading up to the introduction of the Amiga 1000. The machine had great hardware and software. It had features that no other computer could even hope to emulate. Freelance writer Louis Wallace described it thusly: "To give you an idea of its capabilities, imagine taking all that is good about the Macintosh, combine it with the power of the IBM PC-AT, improve it, and then cut the price by 75 percent." This last part was a bit of an exaggeration, but not by much: the final price of the Amiga 1000 was set at $1,295 for the 256KB version and $1,495 for the 512KB one. This compared favorably to the Macintosh, which had only 128KB and sold for $2,495.

Commodore looked like it had everything going for it. The new Amiga computer was years ahead of the competition,
......
Unbeknownst to him, however, larger forces were at work that would turn these dreams into nightmares.

Anybody who whitnessed the first "Shadow of the Beast" when it first came out in 1989 clearly understood that no home computer of its time could match such display of graphics, animation and sound in a hardware which was essentially from 1985, with minor changes done in 1987.

NOTE: For those who didn't this is your opportunity; if you were around in 1989 and can remember the state of home computing at the time you'll be able to appreciate what I am talking about,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qipWqOwkceg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHU2guYH7Og
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6isyjVTQWUg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2b5VoCl2fw

And no, this is not some dedicated console/gaming machine. The Amiga had its own suite of business software (even WordPerfect ran on Amiga). It could be used both as a great gaming machine (which in full honesty that's what most Amiga users had it for) and a home/business computer with multimedia capabilities. All that long before the word multimedia was coined in the context of home computing. It's no exaggeration to claim that the Amiga launched the whole Desktop Video thing in the same way the Mac launched Desktop Publishing.

To hear such religious fervor on today's Mac users about a machine which is to a large degree built on a 30 year old OS (with its own implementation of course), which runs on standard industry HW and which has a multimedia architecture that has been the industry standard for ~ 15 years (and which in many ways was pioneered by the Amiga back in the mid eighties) made me very curious about what the hell were they seeing in Mac OS X, other than the very nice UI, that I wasn't seeing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

A single google on OSX and Unix would have been sufficient to prove your friend wrong. The very first hit is Apple's site that describes that Leopard achieved UNIX 03 certification.

Believe me, it didn't work and that's one of the reasons why I started this thread.
post #135 of 186
Quote:
The more or less equivalent config from HP (it has 14 inch screen and a 120 GB instead) costs $874 at HP

Please post a link to this config. I will show you why the HP is less expensive.
--Johnny
Reply
--Johnny
Reply
post #136 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by curious_about_mac View Post

First of all, I always referred to him as "mac preacher searching for converts" in an affectionate manner. He knows that (and if he is reading this, I assure him that I never meant to be disrespecful). One of the creators of the Mac religion seems to agree that there is a strong parallel between the feelings that many Mac users have towards their machines and religious feeling,

http://www.applematters.com/index.ph...i_talks_apple/



And for those who are not members of the Mac religion (like myself), the way Mac zealots talk about their computers makes us suspicious. I was just interested in the technical reality of Mac OS X.

In fact, this is an important aspect where those of us who were passionate about the Amiga computer during the its heyday and Mac zealots of all time differ. Ours (the Amiga) was truly several years ahead of its competition in the technical aspects (micro-kernel, preemtive multitasking, custom chips for music, graphics, animation and IO, DMA access). It didn't appeal to us, at least not to me, because its UI was fancier, which wasn't, or had nicer gadgets, which didn't since most Amiga extension HW was intended to make it even more powerful with 16 million color cards; acceleration cards 680X0 and so on, but because it was a technology breakthrough in home computer architecture that was matched only several years after by the PC and the Mac. The Amiga passion was never about faith or religious attachment but about technology which was both years ahead of its time and affordable for the average consumer.

Hadn't it been because of the incompetent management at Commodore (and I say this to you after researching extensively on the matter), the home computer market might have been quite different today. Even Apple was so impressed (and fearful) that it hired some members of the original Amiga team to work in the Mac.

Fortunately, these days there is a reborn interest in telling the history of the personal computer the way it happened, not the way the winners (MS/PC manufacturers/Apple) have been telling it since the mid nineties. Ars Technica is publishing a series of articles on the Amiga. Its last one says,

http://arstechnica.com/articles/cult...re-years.ars/4



Anybody who whitnessed the first "Shadow of the Beast" when it first came out in 1989 clearly understood that no home computer of its time could match such display of graphics, animation and sound in a hardware which was essentially from 1985, with minor changes done in 1987.

NOTE: For those who didn't this is your opportunity; if you were around in 1989 and can remember the state of home computing at the time you'll be able to appreciate what I am talking about,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qipWqOwkceg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHU2guYH7Og
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6isyjVTQWUg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2b5VoCl2fw

And no, this is not some dedicated console/gaming machine. The Amiga had its own suite of business software (even WordPerfect ran on Amiga). It could be used both as a great gaming machine (which in full honesty that's what most Amiga users had it for) and a home/business computer with multimedia capabilities. All that long before the word multimedia was coined in the context of home computing. It's no exaggeration to claim that the Amiga launched the whole Desktop Video thing in the same way the Mac launched Desktop Publishing.

To hear such religious fervor on today's Mac users about a machine which is to a large degree built on a 30 year old OS (with its own implementation of course), which runs on standard industry HW and which has a multimedia architecture that has been the industry standard for ~ 15 years (and which in many ways was pioneered by the Amiga back in the mid eighties) made me very curious about what the hell were they seeing in Mac OS X, other than the very nice UI, that I wasn't seeing.



Believe me, it didn't work and that's one of the reasons why I started this thread.

Let's be clear on the comments regarding 30 year old OS. The point of leveraging theories and implementations tried and true with a rich proven history of testing is to give this as the foundation for any rational approach to building an operating system.

If I were to apply [as what Bill Joy wishes would happen] a level of Engineering that is found in Mechanical Engineering one would find solace in knowing a system was verified by sound science and any additions to this "core" would be the area of Art and Science, ultimately being refined once again to another module of Science.

The innovations even in this 30 year history of UNIX officially 36 years and counting if we ignore the work done in the 60s] aren't at a state of immutable laws of engineering. They are still an Art. Certain tools like lookupd, dtrace and other low-level utilitarian tools only make a UNIX core more solid and able to withstand the instability introduced through revision after revision every operating system endures on the road to maturation.

The abstraction knows as the GUI is the single most recent innovation that allows Human Interaction to reach much deeper levels of immediate change.

We will continue to expand upon the levels of Human Factors as we become more symbiotic with man and machine. The fact is there is still mountains of advancement that still has gone undeveloped at the base level and the GUI levels we currently have in common use.

Amiga was ahead of the game and did some amazing stuff. NeXTSTEP moved the bar forward again and was easily a decade ahead of it's time.

What makes Steve and Apple so effective is in his learned recognition from past mistakes that solvency lies in moving the bar beyond the immediate reaches of consumers, but not too far as to turn something practical into something seemingly fantastical.

The yearly vision updates we see in a "maturing" OS is much more acceptable to buyers than the every three or four year "evolutionary" OS.

People like change in small doses.
post #137 of 186
HP dv2700t series Notebook

14.1"/120 GB/1 GB

Add:

Windows 64-bit
Norton Antivirus
A/B/G/N networking (free upgrade)
CPU to 2.0 gHz

$1,104.98


Apple Macbook

13.3"/120 GB/1 GB/2.0 gHz

Add: nothing
Extras: DVI-out, gig E,

$1,174.00

Thickness:
Macbook: 1.08"
HP: not stated

Weight:
Macbook: 5.0 pounds
HP: not stated

Add the cost of the equivalent (if any) of the iLife suite and you have it. Yes, the screen is 0.8" bigger in diagonal, but the resolution is the same.

I can't find the specs on thickness and weight, but if it is like all the other comparisons I have done, the HP will be thicker and heavier.
--Johnny
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--Johnny
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post #138 of 186
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Let's be clear on the comments regarding 30 year old OS. The point of leveraging theories and implementations tried and true with a rich proven history of testing is to give this as the foundation for any rational approach to building an operating system.

............

The innovations even in this 30 year history of UNIX officially 36 years and counting if we ignore the work done in the 60s] aren't at a state of immutable laws of engineering. They are still an Art. Certain tools like lookupd, dtrace and other low-level utilitarian tools only make a UNIX core more solid and able to withstand the instability introduced through revision after revision every operating system endures on the road to maturation.

I agree. The reference to the 30 years was in no way demeaning. And in fact, is one of the great things that makes Mac OS X good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Amiga was ahead of the game and did some amazing stuff. NeXTSTEP moved the bar forward again and was easily a decade ahead of it's time.

I remember reading about NeXT during the late eighties. Wikipedia says that the first release of NeXTSTEP is from 1989. My first contact with a UNIX workstation was in 1995, an HP 700 running HP-UX 9.X. Unfortunately, I never got to use a NeXT workstation, although the screenshot that wikipedia shows (it seems from 1995, v 3.3) is indeed very impressive. If it was like that right from release 1.0 (assuming of course all the other things we have been talking about the system stability because of its UNIX roots, etc were present), it was a very deep innovation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

What makes Steve and Apple so effective is in his learned recognition from past mistakes that solvency lies in moving the bar beyond the immediate reaches of consumers, but not too far as to turn something practical into something seemingly fantastical.

Yep! And that the guy (Jobs) has an incredible ability to turn technology into useful products. A concept, product, that seems to be forgotten in these days of web 2.0 and web-service talking. Except for his lack of contributions to charity (which I don't know if he does in private, although when he was explicitly asked about it earlier during the year during his co-interview with Gates he kind of hinted that philanthropy is not one of his priorities), I have deep respect for Jobs. And that he was able to rise so high from such humble origins is simply astonishing.

Anyway, I am still unable to relate to the Mac religion. It doesn't turn me on.

Maybe the way you describe is better for Apple, but for geeks like me the feeling of owning an A500 during the late eighties (and I assume that the same can be said for those who were able to afford a NeXT WS in 1989 or 1990) doesn't match the feeling of owning an iPhone today, despite the fact that the iPhone is, in my view, the most "ahead of its time" product that Apple has in the market at this time. Let alone the the thing of owning a Mac OS X computer vs owning its equivalent running Windows XP or Vista.

Cheers!
post #139 of 186
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lundy View Post

HP dv2700t series Notebook

14.1"/120 GB/1 GB

Add:

Windows 64-bit
Norton Antivirus
A/B/G/N networking (free upgrade)
CPU to 2.0 gHz

$1,104.98


Apple Macbook

13.3"/120 GB/1 GB/2.0 gHz

Add: nothing
Extras: DVI-out, gig E,

$1,174.00

Thickness:
Macbook: 1.08"
HP: not stated

Weight:
Macbook: 5.0 pounds
HP: not stated

Add the cost of the equivalent (if any) of the iLife suite and you have it. Yes, the screen is 0.8" bigger in diagonal, but the resolution is the same.

I can't find the specs on thickness and weight, but if it is like all the other comparisons I have done, the HP will be thicker and heavier.

Two things,

Yeah! this is the one, but I didn't include the 64 bit version of Windows (which is an extra) nor the antivirus (which is also an extra). Without those two, you get 874.99.

I have to make several comments to your comparison:

- First the fact that you can get an even cheaper Notebook if you are willing to accept a thicker PC like the Compaq Presario C700T series, is not bad per se. Just because Apple doesn't offer that option, it doesn't mean that it wouldn't be welcome by those who want to spend the minimum money possible for given CPU/GHz/RAM/HD specs. Which is one of the reasons why competition is good. You want to go the premium way, great, pick the low end Mac or the HP dv2700t. You want to go cheap, then Apple doesn't give you a choice, today you can look elsewhere. In a world dominated by Apple, you couldn't.

- Second, the fact that you included the antivirus. I would strongly recommend it but I would not put it included in the price for a fair comparison. Thanks to its UNIX roots, Mac OS X is less exposed to the type of virus/malware that affects Windows. However, DUE to its UNIX roots, Mac OS X has security issues of its own, like security exploits/holes that would allow an expert hacker to gain root control of the machine. One of my best friends at HP left the company and became a freelance security consultant (SANS certified). His expertise is in Windows and UNIX systems, a domain where he's mostly worked with HP-UX and Linux. When he was given a Mac running Mac OS X recently this summer to test his ability with UNIX systems with which he wasn't familiar (in fact it was the first time he used one), he was able to get root access in ~ 2 hours based on his knowledge of Linux/UNIX exploits / security holes (which BTW shows that certain source code of certain UNIX commands in Mac OS X is even the same as in other UNIX-es). Does this mean that you would need to include the services of a security consultant in the price of your Mac, just in case, for fair comparison purposes? I don't think so.

- Third 32 bit Vista vs 64 bit Leopard. I don't think it's fair. Again, just because Apple doesn't give you a cheap version of Leopard to chose from, it doesn't mean that every single desktop consumer will need a 64 bit OS.

The first and the third issue underscore the need of having competition in both HW and SW. If Apple was willing to sell Mac OS X on non Apple HW, the game would be very interesting. Until then, I am very suspicious of Apple's intentions.

Best!
post #140 of 186
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by curious_about_mac View Post

Yep! And that the guy (Jobs) has an incredible ability to turn technology into useful products. A concept, product, that seems to be forgotten in these days of web 2.0 and web-service talking. Except for his lack of contributions to charity (which I don't know if he does in private, although when he was explicitly asked about it earlier during the year during his co-interview with Gates he kind of hinted that philanthropy is not one of his priorities), I have deep respect for Jobs. And that he was able to rise so high from such humble origins is simply astonishing.

I want to elaborate a bit more about this because it might seem from the heated exchange that I have something personal against Jobs and Apple. Nothing could be farther from the truth. I have been living in the Valley since December 2000. It wasn't until 2005 that I learned more about him in the most unexpected way. Of course I had heard his name here and there, specially in this Valley where so many people love him (truth to be told, many hate him too) but Steve Jobs is not as known by the general public as Gates (though thanks to Apple's impressive performance since early 2000, especially after 2005 with the introduction of iPod/iTunes for Windows and the 2007 introduction of the iPhone things are beginning to change). In June 2005, I was sitting at home on a Sunday morning pondering whether it was worth to get dressed to go and see this Steve something who was giving the commencement speech at Stanford, where I had just completed my first year of the PhD in EE program. It seemed a lot of people where making a great deal that this guy was going to give the speech, so I ended up going. It cost me sending to the trashcan a pair of trousers (because I seated at the very back of the stadium under some trees in order to have some protection from the sun, I ended up seating on top of some resin that was falling from the tree: bye bye trousers). It was one of the best decisions of my life as student . His now famous commencement speech was extremely powerful and I have listened to it many times (I almost know it by heart).

But that said, the Apple of today is very different from the Apple of 2005. In this "just 2 years" timeframe, it has almost doubled its revenues, almost tripled its profit and its market cap has multiplied by 5 (it sucks that I didn't buy Apple stock back then). Few companies (in fact I don't know about any) that have experienced such an incredible growth in such a short period of time haven't turned evil. And if the way Apple has been dealing with the iPhone is any indication, consumers should be very suspicious of Apple's dominance. At least I am.

Cheers!
post #141 of 186
1.64-bit Ultimate is the only Ultimate offered by HP. If there is a 32-bit Ultimate, I would accept that. If you are going to claim that an HP is less expensive than a Macbook, then you have to equip the HP with the maximum OS you can get, since that is what the Macbook comes with (the Macbook also comes with a full development environment.)

2. If the question is "Is the cheapest HP less expensive than the cheapest Apple notebook?" then obviously the answer is yes - Apple is not interested in Celeron-based $500 notebooks, probably because there is no profit in them. I wager that if you could listen in on marketing meetings at HP, they aren't really interested in selling them either.

However, the remark is not made that way - it is always "Apple hardware is more expensive." I am merely showing that it is not more expensive for the same features and same thickness and weight. This USED not to be true, so it is important that people understand that today it IS true.

And the guy getting root on a machine that he has physical access to - ....
--Johnny
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--Johnny
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post #142 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by curious_about_mac View Post

I agree. The reference to the 30 years was in no way demeaning. And in fact, is one of the great things that makes Mac OS X good.



I remember reading about NeXT during the late eighties. Wikipedia says that the first release of NeXTSTEP is from 1989. My first contact with a UNIX workstation was in 1995, an HP 700 running HP-UX 9.X. Unfortunately, I never got to use a NeXT workstation, although the screenshot that wikipedia shows (it seems from 1995, v 3.3) is indeed very impressive. If it was like that right from release 1.0 (assuming of course all the other things we have been talking about the system stability because of its UNIX roots, etc were present), it was a very deep innovation.



Yep! And that the guy (Jobs) has an incredible ability to turn technology into useful products. A concept, product, that seems to be forgotten in these days of web 2.0 and web-service talking. Except for his lack of contributions to charity (which I don't know if he does in private, although when he was explicitly asked about it earlier during the year during his co-interview with Gates he kind of hinted that philanthropy is not one of his priorities), I have deep respect for Jobs. And that he was able to rise so high from such humble origins is simply astonishing.

Anyway, I am still unable to relate to the Mac religion. It doesn't turn me on.

Maybe the way you describe is better for Apple, but for geeks like me the feeling of owning an A500 during the late eighties (and I assume that the same can be said for those who were able to afford a NeXT WS in 1989 or 1990) doesn't match the feeling of owning an iPhone today, despite the fact that the iPhone is, in my view, the most "ahead of its time" product that Apple has in the market at this time. Let alone the the thing of owning a Mac OS X computer vs owning its equivalent running Windows XP or Vista.

Cheers!

Charity is overrated. His presence has allowed Apple to grow by over 12,000 more full-time employees. Jobs created alone should be considered a Charity, but that's not the case.

Donating money in bulk to write down future taxes and seeing most of it go to administrative costs has always given me very little respect for the notion of charity.

Take that $30 Billion Buffett and put it into replacing the Oil Industry. Invest in arid lands where algae bio fuel can prosper [Africa has tons of arid land], create jobs giving people confidence and security, produce a solution to resolve hundreds of billions yearly wasted on "fear and terror" and then I'd say someone that rich has done the world justice.
post #143 of 186
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lundy View Post

1.64-bit Ultimate is the only Ultimate offered by HP. If there is a 32-bit Ultimate, I would accept that. If you are going to claim that an HP is less expensive than a Macbook, then you have to equip the HP with the maximum OS you can get, since that is what the Macbook comes with (the Macbook also comes with a full development environment.)

I disagree. I always made the comparison from the consumer point of view, not from the seller point of view. For a consumer deciding between buying a low end mac or its equivalent HP, the 32 bit Windows Vista Home Premium is an acceptable option. He/She doesn't need to pay the extra to have the 64 bit OS just to make the marketing guys at Apple happy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lundy View Post

2. If the question is "Is the cheapest HP less expensive than the cheapest Apple notebook?" then obviously the answer is yes - Apple is not interested in Celeron-based $500 notebooks, probably because there is no profit in them. I wager that if you could listen in on marketing meetings at HP, they aren't really interested in selling them either.

Well, the fact that they are selling them, shows otherwise. And besides, wasn't it the whole point of the comparison? My contention was, and sorry if I didn't make it clear, that for a given spec in proc/hd/ram/screen, the standard PC hardware sold by HP /Dell is cheaper. And there are many consumers who benefit from that, which are forgotten by both Apple and the economic elite who don't care about paying the premium.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lundy View Post

However, the remark is not made that way - it is always "Apple hardware is more expensive." I am merely showing that it is not more expensive for the same features and same thickness and weight. This USED not to be true, so it is important that people understand that today it IS true.

Well, I didn't make the remark in that sense. Hope it's clear now. Even at the same (or slightly similar) price for the high end configs, choosing Apple over HP or Dell locks you into Apple's SW and HW, something that doesn't happen with either HP or Dell.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lundy View Post

And the guy getting root on a machine that he has physical access to - ....

Yes, but as soon as you have your computer connected to the internet, you have an IP interface connected to an IP network and you are exposed to the UNIX exploits/security holes which focus on the vulnerabilities of the TCP/IP stack and the inetd/xinetd services. Nobody uses a computer standalone anymore. Plus, if you disconnect a Windows PC from the network, the system is almost as secure as a Mac, so you don't need the antivirus either.

To summarize, I stand by my $874 vs $1099 claim. And, as I said, you even have 50% more HD and a slightly larger screen.

Best!
post #144 of 186
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Charity is overrated. His presence has allowed Apple to grow by over 12,000 more full-time employees. Jobs created alone should be considered a Charity, but that's not the case.

I never questioned the benefit to Apple's employees of his presence :-). And you can even go further. Since most manufacturing at Apple is contracted, Apple's contractors have also benefited from Apple's growth.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Donating money in bulk to write down future taxes and seeing most of it go to administrative costs has always given me very little respect for the notion of charity.

I respect that but, the same happens in so many areas, including the industry or fundamental research. At Stanford for instance, for each grant awarded to an academic, there is a percentage of it which goes to administrative costs. In fact, a few years ago, Stanford had to settle a dispute with the Federal Government for charging too much administrative overhead.

http://www.stanford.edu/home/stanfor.../indirect.html

Yet, the benefit for society and high tech, including Apple (one of my professors co-designed the first sound subsystem of the NeXT computer, http://ccrma.stanford.edu/~jos/joscv...xperience.html ) of the innovations that span out of Stanford has been immense. I like to think about charity the same way. I have a modest monthly pledge to UNICEF. I am well aware that half of that money is going nowhere, especially given the corrupt nature of the UN, but it's the other half which makes me keep doing it despite being a student.

I just don't understand how somebody with the resources and influence that Jobs enjoys isn't more engaged given his leverage. These words, taken from Time Magazine's article about naming Bill G, Melinda G and Bono persons of the year underscore very well the type of impact he could have

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/ar...2278-2,00.html

Quote:
"For being shrewd about doing good, for rewiring politics and re-engineering justice, for making mercy smarter and hope strategic and then daring the rest of us to follow, Bill and Melinda Gates and Bono are TIME's Persons of the Year."


Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Take that $30 Billion Buffett and put it into replacing the Oil Industry. Invest in arid lands where algae bio fuel can prosper [Africa has tons of arid land], create jobs giving people confidence and security, produce a solution to resolve hundreds of billions yearly wasted on "fear and terror" and then I'd say someone that rich has done the world justice.

Jobs is not doing one or the other. Replacing the corrupt governments in subsaharan Africa with rule of law abiding democratic governments, which would be a prerequisite, is easier said than done. In the meanwhile, the Gates Foundation has the resources, the technology and the will, to tackle some the the most daunting problems Africa faces today. The millions who are alive thanks to Gates' generosity are a reminder of his good side (many of which would be dead due to the inability of international organizations/governments to deal with those issues) . As I said in a previous posting, I find the fact that Gates is not only putting the bulk of his wealth to charity but he himself will be focusing on the foundation full time in 6 months admirable. That by itself is a good reason to keep buying Windows to me .

Sure Steve Jobs has his reasons, and I respect them, but it doesn't prevent me from criticizing him for not doing more. In his 2005 commencement speech, he said that after he was fired from Apple back in 1985, he met with Dave Packard, and Bob Noyce, and apologized for screwing up so badly as an entrepreneur. I didn't have the chance to meet Dave Packard but if his life actions are any indication (Packard himself was strongly committed to philanthropic causes, setting a foundation in 1964 which inherited most of Packard's fortune after his death, http://www.packard.org/home.aspx ) he would be a little bit appalled that such a successful entrepreneur isn't more committed to giving back.

If Jobs plans to do it in a different manner (or he is doing it with nobody knowing), I am sorry for my baseless criticism .
post #145 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by curious_about_mac View Post

I never questioned the benefit to Apple's employees of his presence :-). And you can even go further. Since most manufacturing at Apple is contracted, Apple's contractors have also benefited from Apple's growth.



I respect that but, the same happens in so many areas, including the industry or fundamental research. At Stanford for instance, for each grant awarded to an academic, there is a percentage of it which goes to administrative costs. In fact, a few years ago, Stanford had to settle a dispute with the Federal Government for charging too much administrative overhead.

http://www.stanford.edu/home/stanfor.../indirect.html

Yet, the benefit for society and high tech, including Apple (one of my professors co-designed the first sound subsystem of the NeXT computer, http://ccrma.stanford.edu/~jos/joscv...xperience.html ) of the innovations that span out of Stanford has been immense. I like to think about charity the same way. I have a modest monthly pledge to UNICEF. I am well aware that half of that money is going nowhere, especially given the corrupt nature of the UN, but it's the other half which makes me keep doing it despite being a student.

I just don't understand how somebody with the resources and influence that Jobs enjoys isn't more engaged given his leverage. These words, taken from Time Magazine's article about naming Bill G, Melinda G and Bono persons of the year underscore very well the type of impact he could have

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/ar...2278-2,00.html






Jobs is not doing one or the other. Replacing the corrupt governments in subsaharan Africa with rule of law abiding democratic governments, which would be a prerequisite, is easier said than done. In the meanwhile, the Gates Foundation has the resources, the technology and the will, to tackle some the the most daunting problems Africa faces today. The millions who are alive thanks to Gates' generosity are a reminder of his good side (many of which would be dead due to the inability of international organizations/governments to deal with those issues) . As I said in a previous posting, I find the fact that Gates is not only putting the bulk of his wealth to charity but he himself will be focusing on the foundation full time in 6 months admirable. That by itself is a good reason to keep buying Windows to me .

Sure Steve Jobs has his reasons, and I respect them, but it doesn't prevent me from criticizing him for not doing more. In his 2005 commencement speech, he said that after he was fired from Apple back in 1985, he met with Dave Packard, and Bob Noyce, and apologized for screwing up so badly as an entrepreneur. I didn't have the chance to meet Dave Packard but if his life actions are any indication (Packard himself was strongly committed to philanthropic causes, setting a foundation in 1964 which inherited most of Packard's fortune after his death, http://www.packard.org/home.aspx ) he would be a little bit appalled that such a successful entrepreneur isn't more committed to giving back.

If Jobs plans to do it in a different manner (or he is doing it with nobody knowing), I am sorry for my baseless criticism .

Let's compare years of fortune. Steve Jobs didn't join the Billionaire Club until the late 1990s. Even then, most of his investment was back into PIXAR.

With the merger of Disney and PIXAR, jobs has finally seen a very large chunk of assets go his way.

Seeing as Larry Ellison is Mr. Job's closest friend, among Silicon Valley Executives, I won't be surprised that he will get into the focus of Philanthropy sooner rather than later.

Do you think he decided to ask former VP Al Gore on the board as a PR stunt?

Steve strikes me more as the guy whose decided to make a visionary leading impact in an Industry he helped create as a contribution back to Society and if he ever gets tired of doing the Apple gig will find something equally as engrossing to keep him going.

Hate to say it, but if you think monetary Philanthropy is a measure of one's greatness then you must truly admire men like Andrew Carnegie, Rockefeller, Rothschild and the rest of the Robber Barons who raped and pillaged the world throughout their entire life spans.

We have them to thank for the Great Depression, but heh! They were swell guys to set up some philanthropic pursuits and get museums and libraries named after them. Ignore that Rockefeller and others funded the Nazis! They cared about the 3rd world! Yeah they cared alright! They cared so they could exploit the hell out of it.

The History of the entire Rubber Industry is a case of mass human slavery due to greed. However, these tires still suck and wear out after 40k miles of heavy use.
post #146 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by curious_about_mac View Post

Even at the same (or slightly similar) price for the high end configs, choosing Apple over HP or Dell locks you into Apple's SW and HW, something that doesn't happen with either HP or Dell.

No, that's not true at all.

With Apple hardware you can run the same software as you can HP or Dell. And you can run OSX too.

Apple hardware takes the same memory, drives, CPUs and has the same external peripherals as HP and Dell so I fail to see how you're locked into Apple only hardware either.

The so-called 'lock in' hasn't been true for years.
post #147 of 186
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Seeing as Larry Ellison is Mr. Job's closest friend, among Silicon Valley Executives, I won't be surprised that he will get into the focus of Philanthropy sooner rather than later.

When that happens, I'll recognize that I am wrong. And I truly hope that I am wrong !

Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Do you think he decided to ask former VP Al Gore on the board as a PR stunt?

I don't know. However, I have always been very suspicious of former politicians who take prominent jobs at powerful companies and of the companies who hire them. Apple is far from alone in doing it (KPCB did it with both Collin Powell and Al Gore). For Al Gore I see the money factor as a big motivator of his recent moves: he went from $1 million cash in 2000 to a net worth of ~ $100 million in 2007 (http://www.newsweek.com/id/71011).

Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Steve strikes me more as the guy whose decided to make a visionary leading impact in an Industry he helped create as a contribution back to Society and if he ever gets tired of doing the Apple gig will find something equally as engrossing to keep him going.

I am not questioning Jobs contributions to the personal computer industry. But those type of contributions and philanthropic endeavors are not at odds with each other.

You have countless examples in the high tech industry of great innovators who turned out to be great philanthropists and who didn't really wait until they became billionaires to make a difference. My list of heroes in that respect is topped by Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard (even Gates strong turning to philanthropy was to a large degree motivated by the early death of his mother) . Not only they created Silicon Valley, its startup culture (today, HP's revenues are higher than Apple's, Cisco's, Google's and Sun's combined), they innovated the Silicon Valley workspace, they contributed in the communities where they operated (Europe, the Middle East and Asia are full of sites where HP maintains not only sales operations but also R&D facilities which help transfer high tech knowledge to those societies) and both men gave most of their wealth to charity. The combined value of the Packard and Hewlett family foundations is 14.3 billion http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...#United_States (those are last year's numbers, the growth of their endowments might have made them even bigger by now). Both men started their foundations in the late sixties, well before achieving the level of wealth you mention (even inflation adjusted). The impact of the two men's generosity is well felt here on campus (and I am sure it is felt in other places as well). Most research grad students, like myself, don't pay the tuition from their own pocket. Instead, we are supported by some type of grant (ie, we are not, for the most part, children of wealthy individuals). The Lucile and David Packard Foundation was part of the group of founding donors which endowed one of the most important of such programs, http://www.stanford.edu/dept/DoR/Fel...out/index.html. The Hewlett foundation made in 2001 the largest gift of its kind to any university to support professors and students in the humanities, a field that is often overlooked by the usual funding channels, http://news-service.stanford.edu/new...9/gift-59.html.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Hate to say it, but if you think monetary Philanthropy is a measure of one's greatness then you must truly admire men like Andrew Carnegie, Rockefeller, Rothschild

I do both! I am not familiar with Rothschild's life, so I'll speak for Carnegie and Rockefeller. Among the most important contributions of Andrew Carnegie was the establishment of what later became Carnegie Mellon University, which has trained a countless number of great computer scientists and pioneers who have impacted positively not only the computing industry but the world. As for Rockefeller, the university he founded, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rockefeller_University, is one of today's top contributors in biomedical research. The list of honors to past and present faculty because of their contributions to medicine is astonishing. Just as astonishing as the breakthroughs those same faculty made; from the wikipedia site:

Quote:
The university has been the site of many important scientific breakthroughs. Rockefeller scientists, for example, established that DNA is the chemical basis of heredity, discovered blood groups, showed that viruses can cause cancer, founded the modern field of cell biology, worked out the structure of antibodies, developed methadone maintenance for people addicted to heroin, devised the AIDS "cocktail" drug therapy, and identified the weight-regulating hormone leptin.

Gates, Hewlett, Packard, Carnegie and Rockefeller have made positive impact to the world both through their businesses (benefiting hundreds of thousands of employees) and the world at large through their philanthropic endeavors. Apple/Jobs so far have only contributed to the business side.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

and the rest of the Robber Barons who raped and pillaged the world throughout their entire life spans.

I don't think what you describe is very different from what Apple was denounced for here,

http://www.appleinsider.com/articles...factories.html

later clarified here,

http://www.apple.com/hotnews/ipodreport/

or here, http://www.greenpeace.org/internatio...le-news-020507 (the change of policy described was triggered by a Greenpeace denunciation which at the very minimum shows that Apple is not proactive dealing with these matters and, if I want to get paranoid, I could also call it a PR stunt).

Businesses, and in that respect Apple is no different, need to optimize profit (I stress I said optimize, not maximize) in order to survive, let alone thrive. A company which consistently loses money has only one way yo go: Chapter 11 (which is what was about to happen to Apple before Jobs' return). In making that optimization, most companies will sure incur in some evil practices. No high tech company today can stay competitive without outsourcing some of its less strategic areas to third world countries. And though there are clearly winners in those countries (think of the programmers in India or China who have an unbelievable high standard of living that they couldn't afford without the presence of those companies in their countries), there are also losers like the manufacturing workers who are being exploited so the iPod can sell in the US at $250 instead of say $1000 (it's just an example not based on any actual analysis).

Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

We have them to thank for the Great Depression, but heh! They were swell guys to set up some philanthropic pursuits and get museums and libraries named after them. Ignore that Rockefeller and others funded the Nazis! They cared about the 3rd world! Yeah they cared alright! They cared so they could exploit the hell out of it.
The History of the entire Rubber Industry is a case of mass human slavery due to greed. However, these tires still suck and wear out after 40k miles of heavy use.

As a Valley survivor of the 2000 .com bubble I can only say that what saved the US from another depression triggered by the greed of the high-tech executives were the safe guards put in place during the Great Depression. As for the comments about the Nazis... Well, today Yahoo helped jail political dissidents in China and Apple manufactures iPods in China. In addition to the working conditions at the Chinese manufacturing facility, which can only be described as a place where first world companies exploit third world workers, based on what Chinese friends tell me about how business is conducted in China, I doubt that Apple is accomplishing its objectives without bribing Chinese politicians and government officials directly or indirectly. And I hope I don't have to convince anybody of the evil nature of Chinese Communism and the Chinese government!!!

Cheers!
post #148 of 186
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post

No, that's not true at all.

With Apple hardware you can run the same software as you can HP or Dell. And you can run OSX too.

Apple hardware takes the same memory, drives, CPUs and has the same external peripherals as HP and Dell so I fail to see how you're locked into Apple only hardware either.

The so-called 'lock in' hasn't been true for years.

Correct me if I am wrong, but my understanding was that Apple's support for third party HW, like external HDs, if your Mac is running Mac OS X is pretty limited.

If your Mac is not intended to run primarily Mac OS X, but Windows, then I don't see the point of buying a Mac. Not only I am unwilling to pay the premium (for given specs I can get a cheaper HW elsewhere) but if I am to make somebody rich, I prefer to make HP (my former employer) richer than Apple.

Also, as far as I know, if I want to run Mac OS X in non Apple HW, is basically at my own risk because Apple will not support me unless I run it on Apple's HW (a decision that to me makes sense since Apple is primarily interested in selling you both HW and SW).

So to me buying a Mac is all about buying it to run primarily Mac OS X. When you make that decision, you are pretty much locked in to Apple for both HW and SW (although this locked in thing might be less severe than in the past).
post #149 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by curious_about_mac View Post

Correct me if I am wrong, but my understanding was that Apple's support for third party HW, like external HDs, if your Mac is running Mac OS X is pretty limited.

In what way do you think it is in any way limited? External drives are pretty much OS agnostic.
post #150 of 186
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post

In what way do you think it is in any way limited? External drives are pretty much OS agnostic.

Example,

http://www.macfixitforums.com/showfl...&Number=770630

The guy was able to make an external USB HD drive work with Widows but not with Mac OS X. Not sure if the guy would have had the problem with a Mac OS X running on Intel hw, although I doubt that's the problem. A USB driver is a USB driver. Besides according to him, the HD was intended to be used by both.

In HW, there is usually a difference between "official support" and "actual support". Third party HW manufacturers are more inclined to make sure their HW works flawlessly with the platform owned by 90%+ of the people than the rest. At the end of the day, this limits the available options from HW that should work well in theory to HW that actually works.

And that without getting with other type of HW like portable audio/video players which have none or limited Mac OS X support. I know, no Mac user would buy any thing different from an iPod!!!!
post #151 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by curious_about_mac View Post

Correct me if I am wrong, but my understanding was that Apple's support for third party HW, like external HDs, if your Mac is running Mac OS X is pretty limited.

Huh? Any HD will work with Macs.
Quote:
When you make that decision, you are pretty much locked in to Apple for both HW and SW (although this locked in thing might be less severe than in the past).

I don't see where you get that conclusion. Any IDE or SATA drive will work, USB or FireWire or ethernet.

Any USB device will work, including all USB mice. Any FireWire device will work. Any optical drive will work. Standard PCIe slots on the Mac Pro accept standard cards. Availability of graphics cards depends on the manufacturer due to the EFI nature of the Mac OS boot sequence.

Output is standard combined optical/digital audio, gig E, and DVI, even on the laptops.

And it runs all three major operating systems, as well as all BSD apps and X11 apps, and of course Python/Ruby/Perl. In fact, there is no software out there that it won't run.
--Johnny
Reply
--Johnny
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post #152 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by curious_about_mac View Post

Example,

http://www.macfixitforums.com/showfl...&Number=770630

The guy was able to make an external USB HD drive work with Widows but not with Mac OS X. Not sure if the guy would have had the problem with a Mac OS X running on Intel hw, although I doubt that's the problem. A USB driver is a USB driver. Besides according to him, the HD was intended to be used by both.

Your example is merely a power issue. USB ports aren't meant to supply enough power to power a large external hard drive. The problem would happen on a Windows PC too if it wasn't able to supply enough power.

Quote:
Originally Posted by curious_about_mac View Post

In HW, there is usually a difference between "official support" and "actual support". Third party HW manufacturers are more inclined to make sure their HW works flawlessly with the platform owned by 90%+ of the people than the rest. At the end of the day, this limits the available options from HW that should work well in theory to HW that actually works.

True. But these days all the major hardware suppliers also supply drivers for Macs. Go shopping in PC World or CompUSA or whatever you have as a high street PC retailer. Most of the hardware will be Mac compatible. Mac hardware is exactly the same hardware as Dell or HP. Same drives, same CPU, same memory. In all practicality there's no real limit on your options for hardware. The only place it might bite you is Windows specific printers or perhaps some graphics cards as Windows doesn't support EFI yet. A little bit of homework though before buying is no big deal.


Quote:
Originally Posted by curious_about_mac View Post

And that without getting with other type of HW like portable audio/video players which have none or limited Mac OS X support. I know, no Mac user would buy any thing different from an iPod!!!!

Why would we? For that matter why would Windows users either? most of them don't - they buy iPods in their masses.

Good hardware is good hardware. What does it matter if there's 100 different media players if 96 of them are shit.
post #153 of 186
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post

Why would we? For that matter why would Windows users either? most of them don't - they buy iPods in their masses.

Good hardware is good hardware. What does it matter if there's 100 different media players if 96 of them are shit.

I confess I am one of those Windows users. But! That said, I have friends who don't share my view and decide to buy other players. They (or I in the future if the situation changes) want the freedom of being able to use non Apple digital players. A Mac OS X dominated desktop would remove, I am pretty sure, that freedom from us.
post #154 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by curious_about_mac View Post

I confess I am one of those Windows users. But! That said, I have friends who don't share my view and decide to buy other players. They (or I in the future if the situation changes) want the freedom of being able to use non Apple digital players. A Mac OS X dominated desktop would remove, I am pretty sure, that freedom from us.

If companies other than Apple want to get on the Mac desktop then it's up to them to make their products Mac compatible. It's not Apple's fault they sometimes choose not to.

You can of course use non-Apple players on a Mac. Most just appear as USB drives. Just drop songs in the music folder or use one of the 3rd party apps to sync songs on non-ipods.

I don't see why Apple would remove Windows support from the iPod or block USB drive access for non Apple products. That would be mad. Most of their sales are on Windows.

On the other side of the equation you have Microsoft who have dropped their Media Player on Mac OSX and have never supported Windows DRM on the Mac. And then they go release the Zune that isn't even compatible with their PlaysForSure program. From where I'm sitting, you're much more likely to suffer lock in with Microsoft.
post #155 of 186
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post

If companies other than Apple want to get on the Mac desktop then it's up to them to make their products Mac compatible. It's not Apple's fault they sometimes choose not to.

Again, from the consumer perspective it matters.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post

You can of course use non-Apple players on a Mac. Most just appear as USB drives. Just drop songs in the music folder or use one of the 3rd party apps to sync songs on non-ipods.

Something that Apple/iTunes won't allow for the iPod. You need to go through iTunes. Don't you see a little bit of evil here?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post

I don't see why Apple would remove Windows support from the iPod or block USB drive access for non Apple products. That would be mad. Most of their sales are on Windows.

For historical remembrance, it wasn't until 2003 that Apple relased iTunes for Windows. The first Windows buyers of the iPod (very few indeed) were given a hard time. Now iPods are sold mostly to Windows users (according to an Apple representative that came to give a recruiting talk at Stanford; according to her too, the big acceleration in shipped iPods came in 2005 mostly due to the Windows users).

Quote:
Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post

On the other side of the equation you have Microsoft who have dropped their Media Player on Mac OSX and have never supported Windows DRM on the Mac. And then they go release the Zune that isn't even compatible with their PlaysForSure program. From where I'm sitting, you're much more likely to suffer lock in with Microsoft.

My comment wasn't mean to be a defense of Microsoft. There are way more MP3 player manufacturers out there besides MS and Apple.

As another poster commented earlier, Microsoft is at present under control due to its monopolistic trials both in the US and the EU. But Apple has still to be put under control. It's beginning to have legal issues of its own first with the iPod in France, then with the iPhone in Germany but it's far from being under control. The problem with monopolistic abusers is that by the time justice goes after them, the damage is already done.
post #156 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by curious_about_mac View Post

Something that Apple/iTunes won't allow for the iPod. You need to go through iTunes. Don't you see a little bit of evil here?

Not at all. Because the iPod doesn't just use a folder on the drive but a database to manage the tracks you get many features you can't do with plain old files in a folder.

IME managing files directly instead of syncing playlists is just silly. Why would you even want to do that?

Saying that, I've rescued an iPod drive once and dragged the files straight out of the /iPod_Control/Music/ folder into iTunes. Easy done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by curious_about_mac View Post

For historical remembrance, it wasn't until 2003 that Apple relased iTunes for Windows. The first Windows buyers of the iPod (very few indeed) were given a hard time.

Yep. Pretty awful software included before Apple wrote a Windows version of iTunes. I can't even remember what it was - blanked it out.

But that doesn't change the fact they have written iTunes and Quicktime for Windows when Microsoft has done nothing to make their media platform cross platform.


Quote:
Originally Posted by curious_about_mac View Post

Now iPods are sold mostly to Windows users (according to an Apple representative that came to give a recruiting talk at Stanford; according to her too, the big acceleration in shipped iPods came in 2005 mostly due to the Windows users).

About the time they went to USB instead of Firewire I suspect and reduced the price. How very evil... supporting inferior PC technology and making things cheaper.



Quote:
Originally Posted by curious_about_mac View Post

My comment wasn't mean to be a defense of Microsoft. There are way more MP3 player manufacturers out there besides MS and Apple.

Sure there are and I've got 4 or 5 now as well as an iPod, but IME they don't supply software anywhere near as good as iTunes and I'm saying that as someone who generally thinks iTunes needs to be trashed and rewritten, even on the Mac never mind Windows. The point with the iPod isn't just the hardware but the whole link through from the iPod to iTunes to the store in one easy to manage app.


Quote:
Originally Posted by curious_about_mac View Post

As another poster commented earlier, Microsoft is at present under control due to its monopolistic trials both in the US and the EU. But Apple has still to be put under control. It's beginning to have legal issues of its own first with the iPod in France, then with the iPhone in Germany but it's far from being under control. The problem with monopolistic abusers is that by the time justice goes after them, the damage is already done.

I've criticised Apple's business practices in the EU a lot in the past on this very forum but it pales by comparison with what Microsoft did and what the record companies get away with in Europe still.
post #157 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by curious_about_mac View Post

They (or I in the future if the situation changes) want the freedom of being able to use non Apple digital players. A Mac OS X dominated desktop would remove, I am pretty sure, that freedom from us.

I'm a Mac user, and I'm not using an iPod as my MP3 player. I even use iTunes to manage my music library, have it set to convert imported CDs to MP3 by default, and transfer my music library to the MP3 player directly. So I don't see the relevance of this statement.

I still run Windows, safe in its little, easily nuked and re-imaged virtualized environment. I will never have to reinstall Windows for any reason other than new versions, and my virtual machine is backed up daily by Time Machine, so I don't have to worry about losing anything. I keep a copy of the original VM image, with software installed and ready to go, on another external hard drive so I can easily start from a clean install if I ever need to.

As a former Windows user who's computing life has been liberated and improved by the switch to Apple hardware and Mac OS X, I implore you to not simply take a gander at OS X when you receive your friends machine, but rather to jump in and truly see the benefits of working, full time, with a superior OS.
post #158 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by curious_about_mac View Post

Something that Apple/iTunes won't allow for the iPod. You need to go through iTunes. Don't you see a little bit of evil here?

Why would providing a sync application be evil? Because it works better?
post #159 of 186
Thread Starter 
Guys, I think I am spending too much time here. Not that I dislike the arguing but I also need a life! I might be a bit slower answering postings from now on


Quote:
Originally Posted by iPeon View Post

Why would providing a sync application be evil? Because it works better?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post

Not at all. Because the iPod doesn't just use a folder on the drive but a database to manage the tracks you get many features you can't do with plain old files in a folder.

IME managing files directly instead of syncing playlists is just silly. Why would you even want to do that?

Saying that, I've rescued an iPod drive once and dragged the files straight out of the /iPod_Control/Music/ folder into iTunes. Easy done.

I think I already explained this before. I see two bad things with forcing this way of doing things:

- First is that of disk space. The fact that you cannot drag and drop on the mounted USB drive and then play makes you waste disk space at the very minimum.

- Second is the issue of privacy. In iTunes, you have a centralized application that tracks the type of music I put in my iPod. Whenever I buy a new song from iTunes, nothing prevents the iTunes client to tell the server what type of music I have been listening to lately, whether they come from iTunes purchases, CD's or digital files from other stores. Not sure if iTunes is using this to exploit consumer's privacy but the possibility is there and there is no way to work around it.

With the sync issue, the problem that I never had (since that by the time I bought my iPod it could be disabled and I did it) is that I don't trust automatic software to synchronize backups. Call me paranoid if you want, but this way of thinking comes from a few disagreeable experiences with such synchronization in the enterprise. While I understand that for the enterprise the amount of data to be backed up is so big that doing manual syncs is not an option, for my own data I rather do it manually.

Again, I don't see any problem that a user wants to use iTunes as its music central/tracker. But for those who don't want, Apple doesn't give you any option to load music into the iPod. If you trust that Apple can do no evil with knowing the type of music you listen to in your iPod, great. I don't. Not because it's Apple, but because it's a large corporation making billions of dollars in profit a year, mostly from knowing consumer preferences. Such monsters cannot be trusted under any circumstances. There have been lately two of those "I am not evil" companies exposing consumer privacy: Facebook a few weeks ago, http://blog.facebook.com/blog.php?post=2208562130, and Google this same week, http://www.fool.com/investing/genera...-facebook.aspx.

Fortunately, Apple today allows manual sync for those users who want to. And if it was truly committed to customer privacy, it would allow a way to put music in the iPod without going through iTunes.
post #160 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by curious_about_mac View Post

- First is that of disk space. The fact that you cannot drag and drop on the mounted USB drive and then play makes you waste disk space at the very minimum.

You lost me here. What wasted disk space?

Quote:
Fortunately, Apple today allows manual sync for those users who want to. And if it was truly committed to customer privacy, it would allow a way to put music in the iPod without going through iTunes.

iTunes has always allowed manual sync. I still don't understand your problem with iTunes. iTunes isn't the same as iTunes Store. You can use iTunes and not be connected to any server, you know that right? If you are that paranoid about a server seeing what music you have in your library, then don't connect to the server.
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