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macktheknife
Jan 30, 2002, 09:42 PM
The Return of the Prodigal Son

For years, I had been skeptical about hearing Apple’s plans to convince PC users to the Mac, when in reality I had witnessed the exact opposite—legions of Mac users, tired of living with incompatibility with the PC world, throwing in the towel and taking home another beige box. However, I am finally beginning to believe that Steve Jobs’ strategy of making the Mac a “digital hub” in a bid to attract PC users is working after meeting such a convert—me.

The original iMac and Apple’s boast of a better user-friendly interface didn’t exactly wow me. But the recent introduction of the iPod—a gorgeous piece of machinery by any standard—forced me to give Apple a second look. And that’s when I discovered the innovations and strides Apple has made to pull itself away from Windows: OS X, the digital hub, and finally, the TiBook, which I ordered on Monday. The more I examined OS X’s stability and architecture, the more I became convinced that blue screens of death, hardware incompatibility, and Microsoft’s aggressive marketing muscle to make a PC user use its all of its crappy software need not be a natural state of life when using a PC.

I had entitled this statement as “The Return of the Prodigal Son,” because I, too, was a former Mac user who still fondly remembers his father’s Mac Plus and IIsi. I am very excited about returning to the community that I had abandoned when I received my Gateway P133 as a graduation gift back in 96. I am also excited about, well, feeling excited—using a machine that really is worth caring about is truly heartwarming.

Here are some thoughts concerning different types of users who may or may not follow my lead and switch to the Mac. Please note that some users may overlap:

Price-sensitive causal user: These are users who only want the bare minimum for surfing, e-mailing, word processing, and perhaps some games. They are not technically savvy enough to appreciate or care about the advance state of OS X and Mac hardware—the only thing that they care for is price and price alone. Apple will probably never capture this market, but it is perhaps better that way since the company can’t achieve its margins catering to price-conscious users.

Hard-core and technically savvy PC users: This is a mixed bag. For one, these users are intimately familiar with their PCs and may be hard-pressed to switch. However, they are technically savvy enough to understand that benefits and technical superiority of OS X.

UNIX and LINUX power users: Great potential here. OS X’s UNIX kernel could be a great attraction. Apple should also focus their efforts here.

Six
Jan 30, 2002, 09:58 PM
Welcome back! Which model of TiBook did ya get? How does it feel to be home again? :)

voicegy
Jan 30, 2002, 10:01 PM
Welcome back. ;)

macktheknife
Jan 30, 2002, 10:49 PM
I got a 550 MHz with 512 MB of RAM and 30 GB of HD. I was very tempted to wait until MacWorld Tokyo for the supposedly new models, but I just couldn't wait any longer--I had been dreaming titanium since December! I was also tempted to shell out some bucks for the 660, but I'd rather take the extra $400 and spending on an iPod. ;):D

islygon
Jan 30, 2002, 11:01 PM
I actually did switch back with the original iMac design. It took me a while, but the first slot loading DV model with airport won me over. I am jelous of your TIBook, I hope you enjoy it!

My new iMac 2 should ship soon! My second Mac!

(By the way, if you want to put people in catagories, I am one of the "technically savy" users you mentioned. I am a MCSE, I beta test OS's for Microsoft, I do not hate Microsoft like some Mac users, but after 40+ hours a week fighting Windows issues, it is nice to come home and use my Mac!

Once again, Welcome BACK!!!

ThlayliTheFierce
Jan 30, 2002, 11:59 PM
I hope to be ordering a TiBook in early Summer. Hopefully they'll have Apollo chips by then.

Six
Jan 31, 2002, 12:04 AM
Assuming it's still around, which there seems to be no reason why there wont be... I hope for my TiBook in the summer of 2003 (after the last expo) Yes yes, my graduation money will go for something worthwhile.. G5 by then? Oh how sweet that would be.. That's gonna be my college computer :)

macktheknife
Jan 31, 2002, 01:53 AM
It's nice to hear "Welcome Back" or "Good For You." You guys can't imagine the torture I went through when I tried to explain to some of my coworkers and friends why I was going back to a Mac. ("Macs? Isn't Windows better?")

BTW, I am still using my old Toshiba laptop running Windows 98 until my TiBook arrives. IE has just popped up the "This program has performed an illegal operation" warning. And guess what? I didn't do a single thing to provoke it. Does surfing the web cause IE to crash? <sarcasm>

I can't wait to put the torture that is Windows behind me! (Better shut down before my computer sinks further into the toilet.)

tadpole
Jan 31, 2002, 04:20 AM
hey fellas,


OSX ain't got no Unix under the hood. Its got a BSD based Mach kernel derivative, which is based on ancient SVR2 (system five, revision 2, a standard from the original AT&T Bell Lab's Unix written by Dennis Ritchie) modern unixes are POSIX compatible sweeties based at least on SVR5. If you don't believe me, try running shell scripts that were written with the Unix95 or Unix98 standards in mind, chances are some will run, and some will definitely choke up a pipe. i am a tech savvy pc/mac/unix box user, i maintain them, i install them, i nurse them back to life.

before you flame me and send me messages of why OSX kicks winsuck's rear, look, i agree. but before you claim that OSX is a unix, check she has under the hood. mac hardware has only one thing going for it, its highly integrated from the ground up. cupertino is a vertically integrated operation, they spec everything on their machines. pc's are more or less jury rigged from different oem parts.

for a more meaningful comparision of brawniness, i challenge you guys to install Linux on the top of the line mac with the dual proc. kernel, and linux on the top of the line AMD with dual proc. run some high bandwidth comparisions with server apps- test for peak and sustained TPU's see what happens. the AMD MPX chipset's high memory bandwidth and 64bit 66mhz PCI supporting southbridge will give it a good advantage in terms of I/O performance. this is particularly important if you have huge graphic files or in my case protein/dna/rna complex sequences, faster pci bus equates to more efficient file transfers, etc. the mac pci bus is 64 bit but handicapped by a 33mhz rate. however i am assuming that the HD's are SCSI160's running off a PCI controller.

later

irmongoose
Jan 31, 2002, 05:17 AM
So its not UNIX based?

:confused:


irmongoose

Falleron
Jan 31, 2002, 07:16 AM
Of course its UNIX. Its just a different version of what is being described above.

TazGuido
Jan 31, 2002, 09:02 AM
I just want to let everyone know, that as a previous pc user that everything that I have done up to this point with my new g4 is way beyond what I thought it would be... and believe me this is coming from someone that didn't know a hole from his head in the ground 2 years ago when I was trying to learn the pc operating system. I have been looking at buying a mac for the last two months and believe me I made up my mind in half the time that a mac was exactly what I wanted, I just didn't know which one. Now I have my new G4 867 and it took me less than 20 minutes to be up and running on the internet. I have to hand it to forums like this that really helped me in my decision. Thanks-- I will be around for a long time to come and eagerly awaiting all the new things that mac has to offer-- good and bad, because this is so much better than the dark side ever was---Period!:D :p

sturm375
Jan 31, 2002, 01:09 PM
After many years of being a PC guy, as of the first of Oct. 2001, I officially entered the world of Mac. That is when I purchased my G4 Ti Powerbook 500 MHz. You may ask: "What finally sold me?" It was several things.

1) I needed a notebook computer.

2) As far as I was concerned, Apple made the best

3) Apple finally released OS X.1

4) Finally had the money to spend

Don't get me wrong, I still own and love my PCs. I built them, so I know exactly what is in each of them. I am a hardware nut, and just can't bring myself to puchase a non-mobile computer that I can't tinker with. So the iMac is out of the question, and so far even with the new PowerMacs out I can't bring myself to pay that much money for something less than my Dual Athlon Desktop. (I know I will get flamed for that.) Built it from scratch reusing only a network card, and a sound card and still paid less than half of the mid-range powermac. Even if I had to buy new sound card and network cards and a new monitor I would still be well under half of the powermac. By the way, I will never again use anything less than Windows NT(2000), or OS X. The stability of both is a thing of beauty compared to Win9x or OS 9,8,7,6.x

macktheknife
Jan 31, 2002, 01:39 PM
Unless a tsunami of PC users convert to Macs, we will still be living in a PC-dominated world. I think the previous post strikes the right compromise for some--use the system that best suits you. Despite the fact that I will probably not go back to buying a PC for myself again, I STILL have to use them when I'm at work or other non-Mac environments.

Apple doesn't necessarily need to convince people to abandon their PCs. They just need to convince a few to buy a Mac as a part of their digital lifestyles.

That said, I am still very happy to have returned to the community. I will continue to use a PC at work (I wish I didn't have to), but I am *very* excited at the prospect of using a cool computer.

agreenster
Jan 31, 2002, 02:20 PM
I really like Apple portables as well. I think thats where they really shine. The desktops are nice, and the new dual 1gHz Im sure are really fast, but there is something really freakin cool about their TiBooks. I love mine. (Plus, when you flip them over, they're great to cook steak and eggs on! - he he)

Anyway, I think Apple has done very well not only offering an alternative to PC's, but as a second, more personal computer as well. Many people have their home computer, and if they knew that nearly everything they did on it can also be done on a mac portable (MSOffice, Adobe, DVD, Internet, iTunes, iPhoto) they would get a laptop for all of their 'fun' computing.

I think the biggest reason people dont get an Apple is because they are too 'afraid' that it wont be compatible with what they have already done, or wont know how to use it. The first question I get when people ask me about my TiBook is if it runs Windows. They are just the typical consumer, and like someone said, will probably not be willing to spend the money when they cant get a Vaio or something.

Its all about familiarity. People, by nature, (and primarily US citizens) dont want to learn new things, and expand their horizons. Its their way or the highway, and if you dont like it, get outta the way. Sometimes its cool to think of Apple and OSX as a fancier, more expensive (albiet not always AS powerful), yet stable foreign country. Those who are willing to explore get to experience the riches and beauty, but others always stay home to the uglier, more familiar country. Why do you think we, as Americans, only know English? We miss out in a lot of things. But I digress......

UNIX-
Yeah, I have heard all of this before too. My animation prof at school has all of our SGI's and Apple's talking, but he says that the Unix in Apple isnt the same. There are a lot of scripts that require tons of extra work, and run-arounds. However, I still like OSX. Its stable enough for me, the semi-power user.

macktheknife
Jan 31, 2002, 02:39 PM
It is true that a major reason PC users don't give Mac a thought is that they are afraid to switch. However, I also want to point out that there are costs--both time and financial--involved in the switch. Before I sold my Dell Inspiron, I had to back up my important files and MP3 on CDs. Since I still don't have my TiBook, I can still imagine that it will take some time for me to get used to its interface and little ins-and-outs. This is in addition to the higher premium one must pay for a Mac. How do you convince people that they should undergo a one-time hassle as a price for reaching computing nirvana?

But then, I am confident that the switch will be worth it. As for the high price, you get what you pay for.

Gelfin
Jan 31, 2002, 02:41 PM
Originally posted by tadpole
OSX ain't got no Unix under the hood. Its got a BSD based Mach kernel derivative, [...]

You... don't really know what the Mach kernel is, do you? Hint: it's not "BSD-based," although BSD implementations may be built on top of it.

which is based on ancient SVR2 (system five, revision 2, a standard from the original AT&T Bell Lab's Unix written by Dennis Ritchie)

Saying that something is BSD-based, then immediately saying it's based on System V earlier than R4.2 or so is just a really clever-sounding way of saying you don't know what you're talking about.

modern unixes are POSIX compatible [...]

Nit-picking, but the word you're looking for is "compliant," not "compatible."

...based at least on SVR5.

SVR5-based? That limits it to pretty much UnixWare ("true" SVR5) and very recent releases of AIX. You've really narrowed your definition of "modern UNIX" a lot here.

If you don't believe me, try running shell scripts that were written with the Unix95 or Unix98 standards in mind,

You're not talking about whether or not it's UNIX, but whether or not it qualifies for X/Open certification. Currently certified implementations are Solaris 7 and 8 (SPARC or x86), AIX 4.3 and later, and Tru64 UNIX (formerly Digital Unix / OSF/1). Again, this is a very narrow field.

for a more meaningful comparision of brawniness, i challenge you guys to install Linux on the top of the line mac with the dual proc. kernel, and linux on the top of the line AMD with dual proc.

Okay, where to start with this... You talk about "real UNIX" implementations, and then make reference to Linux, which is far less "real UNIX" than Darwin, historically speaking. Furthermore, the MkLinux ALSO has a Mach microkernel under the hood. Mac Linux ports are well known to lag far behind their x86 counterparts, so it would be hard to establish a fair comparison on this basis.

...run some high bandwidth comparisions with server apps- test for peak and sustained TPU's see what happens.

...which would prove what with regard to the question of whether OS X is or is not a flavor of UNIX? [Note: it is.]

later

Much.

eyelikeart
Jan 31, 2002, 02:42 PM
I love hearing when the grass is greener on the other side....

he he he.... :p

keithcobbett
Jan 31, 2002, 02:42 PM
Welcome Back!!!

Funny story (ok not too funny), I showed one of my IT co-workers here a mac and he fell in love with it. He went out and bought one that weekend (an iBook to be exact). When our boss found out, he was b***s***!!!! He did nothing but harrass this guy for weeks. He unfortunately gave in and sold it on EBay and bought a Sony :( Well, atleast I am no convert. My wallpaper at work (which I am forced to work on a Dell workstation) states "It's still not a Mac". My boss don't like me much anymore!!! :) He'll hate me more come July when I pick up my new PB!!!! I will never give in to the DarkSide of Wintel!!!!! NEVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Squidly
Jan 31, 2002, 03:02 PM
Not sure if this qualifies as a "conversion" - you decide...

My wife and I own a Linux server, a couple of WinNT laptops and a couple of desktops.

We pre-ordered an iMac about a week after they were announced. This will be the first Apple computer for either of us. We love the iPod (already have it working with a WinXP machine), and are looking forward to learning OSX, playing around with the video editing and making a photo-book or three.

We aren't giving up PCs, we're just adding a Mac. Until recently, such a thing wouldn't even be conceivable for us, but the recent releases by Apple have definitely drawn us in.

TazGuido
Jan 31, 2002, 03:59 PM
just to let you know -- the new iMac is just one of the reasons that I made me switch from pc to mac-- I was so blown away by the tech that went into it, that I had to go see and I have been hooked ever since and I bought my first mac yesterday-- a new G4-- I firmly believe that things are only going to get better for Apple as well-- look out pee cees!!:eek:

eyelikeart
Jan 31, 2002, 04:30 PM
that was, by far, the longest list of quotes in a single post I have ever seen! :p

me hate windows
Jan 31, 2002, 05:50 PM
go gelfin:rolleyes: :cool: :D

crassusad44
Jan 31, 2002, 06:24 PM
OS X not UNIX.... What a load of crap. So you can't run XFree86 on OS X? (ps, you can...). BH!

Well, what I really wanted to say with my post:

WELCOME BACK macktheknife!!!
Hope you enjoy your (2nd) stay! :p

:D

pcdoctor
Feb 1, 2002, 07:43 AM
Well, maybe I'm not a mac convert but I just purchased Mandrake Linux 8.1.
I'm going to install it on my pc.
I'm going to try hard not to purchase anymore versions of windows.

nahaliel
Feb 1, 2002, 08:05 AM
I just convinced my mommy's friend the other day to forget the $2400 dell and get the $1799 iMac, can't wait to go show them how to use it :)

It was easier to talk them into it than expected, she had a mac back in the 80s and loved it.. then microsoft took over.. she's coming home!

Also, another friend of mine just ordered a middle class dell, I flipped on him and now he wishes he had got the iMac.. oh well, next purchase for him is a TiG5 in a few years ;)

..sounds like apple is maintaining there current fan base and adding a few pc users to it..

(somewhere I read microsoft is and ALWAYS will be the giant... stupid stupid stupid! nothing lasts forever!!! except apple :cool: )

moby1
Feb 1, 2002, 10:04 AM
http://perso.wanadoo.fr/levenez/unix/history.html#14

Looks like one big happy family.

Doesn't it take like a few years to get an OS officially UNIX certified anyway?

All of these support Open Source. At MS all the Windows are closed.

_______________
Know Thine Enemy
(Currrently taking W2K Networking classes)

agreenster
Feb 1, 2002, 10:34 AM
That is the most complicated thing I have ever seen.

But absolutely fascinating. Its interesting to see that everything, including Unix, Linux, and OSX all come from 'UNICS,' back in the 60's. Linux was released in '91, and OSX just last year.

Hmmmm......No Windows.........hmmmmmm.

If they (windows) dont switch soon, I think they could be in trouble. It would be a smart move for M$ to switch to Unix, and Im sure they have already considered it....but I just cant imagine them doing it because they pride themselvses so much in controlling their software development (not open source) so that they can make money off of it. Hopefully this will be the downfall of windows.

I wouldnt mind seeing just Linux and OSX remaining. People would naturally switch to OSX because Apple does a much better job in making it useable, and friendly. But, the minds behind Linux arent stupid either. They could make a pretty schnazzy GUI if they wanted to.

But then again...Microsoft is very very very wealthy. Its hard for a company of that magnitude to crumble. But then again, there's always Enron.....

Falleron
Feb 1, 2002, 10:41 AM
Originally posted by nahaliel
I just convinced my mommy's friend the other day to forget the $2400 dell and get the $1799 iMac, can't wait to go show them how to use it :)

It was easier to talk them into it than expected, she had a mac back in the 80s and loved it.. then microsoft took over.. she's coming home!

Also, another friend of mine just ordered a middle class dell, I flipped on him and now he wishes he had got the iMac.. oh well, next purchase for him is a TiG5 in a few years ;)

..sounds like apple is maintaining there current fan base and adding a few pc users to it..

(somewhere I read microsoft is and ALWAYS will be the giant... stupid stupid stupid! nothing lasts forever!!! except apple :cool: )

Your right nothing stays the same. These large companies go in cycles (proven fact), last cycle it was IBM, now its Microsoft, who know who be next?? APPLE Hopefully!!

Macmaniac
Feb 1, 2002, 12:39 PM
Welcome to our world. Please feal free to turn on your mac and enjoy. As you will notice your OS has not crashed on you since you bought it. On the Apple website you will see great free downloads for programs like iTunes, iPhoto and many others:)
Welcome to the world of Apple.
Or as my Perfoma would say, "Welcome to Macintosh Perfoma."

___________________________
Not all who wander are lost.

Gelfin
Feb 1, 2002, 01:26 PM
Originally posted by agreenster
It would be a smart move for M$ to switch to Unix, and Im sure they have already considered it....

Yes, they already have. They sold it, in fact. It was called Xenix because at the time AT&T would license people the code, but not the right to use the "UNIX" brand name. Microsoft (then a smaller company whose financial assets were still comprehensible by the mind of man) dumped Xenix so they wouldn't have to keep paying royalties to AT&T and decided they could roll their own server OS. That project eventually became Windows NT. Xenix was picked up by the Santa Cruz Operation (SCO), which later earned the right to use the "UNX" label, and much later owned the UNIX label and so forth.

Microsoft, though, has invested a lot of time, effort and money into NT, both in development and in marketing to try to convince people that NT is a superior server OS to UNIX-based OSes. To switch over now would be an admission they don't want to make, and would also give UNIX-based competitors a foothold for direct head-to-head comparisons, which they also don't want.

gregorypierce
Feb 1, 2002, 10:59 PM
I too am returning. The last time I used a Mac it was an Apple IIc. I've returned and actually haven't been happier. I drew my line in the sand with Windows 2000. I swore I wouldn't pick up XP. Recently I decided that this was as good as time as any to pick up a Mac but figured that if I was going to do it, it would be a mobild platform and would be fast enough to really show me what the Mac platform was capable of. So now here I am some 3-4 hours into my reunion with Apple.... and UNIX (OSX is a Unix variant just as much as Linux or Solaris is). I work for CNN in a heavily PC oriented group. When I came back from lunch with my TiBook, the first thing people remarked was how light it was and how easy it was to get into. Who knows maybe there'll be more converts there one day... but one thing's for sure... I got tired of dealing with my horrible Windows 2000 Dell with its nasty docking station and crappy random blue screening. Now that I'm here - its time to set up shop and start developing applications :) Time to see what this OS can *really* do.

Gelfin
Feb 2, 2002, 02:46 AM
You're with CNN? Christ, man, you're THE MEDIA. Start getting the word out! ;)

Remember, CNN == Time-Warner == AOL == Netscape == anti-Microsoft, which by my calculations means CNN oughta be pushing Macs anyway. :D

networkman
Feb 3, 2002, 12:35 AM
power users of pcs like their speed and the linux heads i met are on a crusade (and totally willing to do ANYTHING) to achieve their goal...kind of sounds like bill gates

the users who want cheap prices only have the celerons and duron pcs but if we could even capture a little bit of this market, then apple could really grow to 10 percent of the market share

the home users and new users are who apple makes their great strides from and we cannot ignore this 5 to 6 hundred dollar market...but we are the closest yet at 799, but no banana...699 then we are talking millions of dollars

steve jobs is thinking that way down the line because he wants to give mac os to the everyday computer user

too much targeting towards the high end and then you have a silicon graphics situation and that is really bad...remember high prices and margins and the lisa computer?

Kethoticus
Feb 3, 2002, 02:36 AM
Always been a bit of a multi-platform guy myself. Whenever the unthinkable happens and I'm able to find a job, I wanna get a new Mac (or at least a CPU upgrade for my current B&W 350), and a PC running Win 2000 and Linux. Currently own an aging SGI box that works just fine, but that is really behind the times now and incompatible with lotsa current software.

Saw this brushed aluminum case that Polywell uses for their PCs. Awesome look. Would use this to run XSI and the Mac to do video. Too bad XSI will not be ported to OS X anytime in the foreseeable future. Then I could save myself from having to buy 2 machines.

TazGuido
Feb 5, 2002, 07:33 AM
I just switched to a mac with OS X-- I am trying to transfer some files that I burned to disc on my pc (quicken files, print shop, etc...) the mac does not seem to have a problem reading them but I cannot get the files open at all-- I am sure there is something I am not doing or am is it just not going to happen-- I would really appreciate some help if all possible thanks!!!:)