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MacBytes
Nov 30, 2006, 05:21 PM
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Category: Reviews
Link: Windows vs. Linux vs. OS X (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20061130182102)
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Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
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lorductape
Nov 30, 2006, 05:30 PM
interesting article.

a summary:

1st: osX
2nd:Linux
3rd:windows

and if that's not what the article said, I might have a slight bias...:rolleyes:

Smileyguy
Nov 30, 2006, 05:34 PM
Guys, in all seriousness, what's Linux like? I've been thinking about getting a PC as my new laptop but I'm really put off by Windows. If Linux was a considerable amount better I'd consider it, but I've been put off by all the different versions and lack of clear and simple information on it.

gekko513
Nov 30, 2006, 05:38 PM
To be quite honest, there's nothing clear and simple about Linux. It requires a lot of effort if you plan to set it up yourself and make it do anything more than surf the web and check e-mail.

Queso
Nov 30, 2006, 05:52 PM
If you're planning on trying Linux for the first time, download and run the Ubuntu (http://www.ubuntu.com/) distro. Although far from perfect it's a good entry point and one from which you can expand your knowledge. There's also excellent support forums run by the user base. As gekko513 mentions, it comes with some software but you have to find and add repositories for other items, such as MP3 codecs etc. You'll also find that some hardware and peripherals are a long way from being supported.

I use Linux when I need to build a machine for a specific purpose, so it's perfect for a server. For more of an all rounder computer, you'd be better off with Windows or a Mac. Others will disagree, but then they've probably got more Desktop Linux experience than I have.

killmoms
Nov 30, 2006, 05:54 PM
I use Linux when I need to build a machine for a specific purpose, so it's perfect for a server. For more of an all rounder computer, you'd be better off with Windows or a Mac. Others will disagree, but then they've probably got more Desktop Linux experience than I have.

Of course, the fact that you'd NEED "experience" to disagree with that assessment is the whole problem. ;) I agree—Desktop Linux is there for people who are already technically inclined and have a propensity for tinkering, but for the average user (or anyone who doesn't want to have to BOTHER), it's still too "needy."

Rocksaurus
Nov 30, 2006, 06:17 PM
My favorite part was one of his very last sentences:

"If Apple comes up with a 2- or 2.5-pound 12-inch-screen laptop that runs cool, has better integration with Exchange, and if Vista turns out to be the beast it could be, then I probably will move to a Mac."

For all of you out there wishing for a 12" MPB... You're not alone.

wmmk
Nov 30, 2006, 06:17 PM
Guys, in all seriousness, what's Linux like? I've been thinking about getting a PC as my new laptop but I'm really put off by Windows. If Linux was a considerable amount better I'd consider it, but I've been put off by all the different versions and lack of clear and simple information on it.

kubuntu+ThinkPad=PC Happiness

-::ubermann::-
Nov 30, 2006, 06:24 PM
I like to use linux, its free and there are tons of more free software
i would recommend suse linux for beginners, it comes with a lot of bundled software and its easy to install/manage a little buggy... though

thewhitehart
Nov 30, 2006, 06:33 PM
Of course, the fact that you'd NEED "experience" to disagree with that assessment is the whole problem. ;) I agree—Desktop Linux is there for people who are already technically inclined and have a propensity for tinkering, but for the average user (or anyone who doesn't want to have to BOTHER), it's still too "needy."

I agree completely. I'm computer-savvy, but not very "command line" savvy. I think you need a little more than basic experience with the unix (in this case linux) command line interface in order to get linux working for you as a desktop. I tried following word by word instructions for setting up a wireless USB adapter with Ubuntu, and I just wasn't skilled enough to get it to work. I installed Kubuntu on a friend's pc, and I couldn't get it to play sound at all.

While ubuntu and its flavors are great to start with compared to other distributions, it still doesn't work "out of the box" like mac does, or even like *gasp* windows does.

ChrisA
Nov 30, 2006, 06:34 PM
Guys, in all seriousness, what's Linux like? I've been thinking about getting a PC as my new laptop but I'm really put off by Windows. If Linux was a considerable amount better I'd consider it, but I've been put off by all the different versions and lack of clear and simple information on it.

Typing this on a Linux system. The first thing that Linux can do that Mac OS can't is run on ANY hardware you might have. And i mean ANY. Linux can run on an old M68000 powered Mac or on a G4 or on a Little wrist watch sized device (Linux has been ported to the iPod) and, yes on a PC too. This is it's biggest feature. I once developed some firmware to control a specialized camera. I chose Linux as the camera's OS and was able to do most of the development on a Linux powered PC and the code moved easily into the controller. So while you can't run Mac OSX on a Dell, yu CAN run Linux on the Dell.

Both Mac OS and Linux are "UNIX-like" systems. Mac OS actually is "real UNIX" and so n teory Mac's can do anyhting Linux can do. If you have Apple hardware you may as well run Mac OSX. The only reason to run Linux is if your very old Apple can't run OSX.

As a desktop OS "Gnome" feels a lot more like OSX then Windows. But Linux can't run iLife. can't rn Final Cut Pro or Aperture. I bought a Mac to run those applications. In fact that ONLY reason to buy a computer at all is to run applications. If you Apps are iLife and FCP you need a Mac. Likewaise I'd not run an Oracle DBMS server of a mac. Llinux or (better) Solaris is a better OS.

I run Linux here in the office because I spend al day doing UNIX software development. I could do that on a Mac but I'd need a Mac Pro to run the software I write andthere was no Mac Pro when I bought this dual Xeon box. (an HP xw8200, SCSI u360 disks, 4GB RAM)

Chef Medeski
Nov 30, 2006, 07:05 PM
My favorite part was one of his very last sentences:

"If Apple comes up with a 2- or 2.5-pound 12-inch-screen laptop that runs cool, has better integration with Exchange, and if Vista turns out to be the beast it could be, then I probably will move to a Mac."

For all of you out there wishing for a 12" MPB... You're not alone.

Seriously. There needs to be a petition to bring back the 12" laptop from apple. I don't care MB or MBP. It was the perfect size and they cant doubt that. Weighed light. If you just dropped in an Intel chip. You would have a killer laptop. You don't know how many times I've been asked where can I get your 12" PB.... only to sadly say you can't anymore.

mkrishnan
Nov 30, 2006, 07:18 PM
kubuntu+ThinkPad=PC Happiness

I think it really depends on your needs and expectations. Like Linux has made amazing bounds in terms of out-of-the-box usability. You can have a great install with GIMP and OpenOffice and so on running out of the box. BUT. In terms of *integration* it's not so great. Like if your expectations are that you can pull it out of the box, sync a phone via Bluetooth to your calendar and contacts, plug your iPod in, etc... that part is not realistic in Linux today.

ChrisA
Nov 30, 2006, 07:37 PM
The reason Windows and Macs simply "work" out of the box is because the hardware vendors have pre-installed the OS on the system for you. If you gave the average person a generic retail boxed copy of Windows and a random notebook PC with a clean un-formated disk I doubt he'd get Windows working let alone working and connected to the corporate email and LDAP servers Likewise if you bought a notebook PC with Linux pre-installed and configured it would certainly "just work".

To make the test fair you need to buy three pre-configured machine and buy support from the vendor for each machine. Comparing a home-built Linux machine to a Dell with Windows pre-installed is not fair.

x86isslow
Nov 30, 2006, 07:54 PM
My favorite part was one of his very last sentences:

"If Apple comes up with a 2- or 2.5-pound 12-inch-screen laptop that runs cool, has better integration with Exchange, and if Vista turns out to be the beast it could be, then I probably will move to a Mac."

For all of you out there wishing for a 12" MPB... You're not alone.

2 Pounds!!! A 12" PowerBook was 4.6 lbs. I don't see how Apple could make something that has all the same features of a PowerBook and get it down to 2 lbs. I think Sony does it by making the CD drive optional.

Chef Medeski
Nov 30, 2006, 08:35 PM
The reason Windows and Macs simply "work" out of the box is because the hardware vendors have pre-installed the OS on the system for you. If you gave the average person a generic retail boxed copy of Windows and a random notebook PC with a clean un-formated disk I doubt he'd get Windows working let alone working and connected to the corporate email and LDAP servers Likewise if you bought a notebook PC with Linux pre-installed and configured it would certainly "just work".

To make the test fair you need to buy three pre-configured machine and buy support from the vendor for each machine. Comparing a home-built Linux machine to a Dell with Windows pre-installed is not fair.

HAH! Are you joking. Its not that hard to install Windows. And on top of that, most Linux distros need to be updated almost every month which is just as hard as the Windows installation, so I wouldn't call it anywhere near the same level.

bousozoku
Nov 30, 2006, 09:15 PM
2 Pounds!!! A 12" PowerBook was 4.6 lbs. I don't see how Apple could make something that has all the same features of a PowerBook and get it down to 2 lbs. I think Sony does it by making the CD drive optional.

The really lightweight machines I've seen have really low clock speeds, so they also run cooler but mostly they have small displays. A 10.x inch display has a lot less surface area so the weight comes down. The PowerBook Duo machines had a lot of external bits and pieces so that they were lighter than the standard PowerBooks.

Even if Apple produced a machine of that size again, would anyone really buy it? It's one thing to say "Oh yeah, I'd buy that." but in reality, a lot of desirable machines come with compromises that people don't like.

I'm surprised that CIO printed a 3-way test article. I'd always thought them quite detached from the real world. The concern about compatibility with Exchange Server is typical though. No one should think about using software that doesn't lock you into other software to make it work, especially in this age.

stcanard
Nov 30, 2006, 09:25 PM
HAH! Are you joking. Its not that hard to install Windows.

Honestly, I've never had a Windows install under 2 hours, and afterward have to download drivers, install, update. It is a nightmare.

Ubuntu is great, nearly plug-and-play. But it suffers from the same problem all Linux systems do -- if you want something that's not provided in the package lists (which with licensing issues is pretty frequent), it can be very difficult to get it to work properly, and hardware support is always difficult.

Nothing beats the mount disk image -> drag .app into /Applications install.

But if you want to try Linux Ubuntu is the way to go -- KUbuntu is probably better for Mac people (you can even get expose like and quicksilver functionality).

Ubuntu is a far smoother install than Windows, and you can even surf MacRumours while installing -- _that_ is cool

mac pro
Nov 30, 2006, 09:27 PM
ya...im thinking about installing uBuntu, but im starting to double guess myself as to whether its worth it.

Snowy_River
Dec 1, 2006, 02:26 AM
... The concern about compatibility with Exchange Server is typical though. No one should think about using software that doesn't lock you into other software to make it work, especially in this age.

This points to one of the things that bugged me about the article. In the article, he refers to the compatibility (or deficiency there of) between Exchange Server and "Apple's Entourage". Uh... Entourage is a MicroSoft product? So, if there is a compatibility issue, it is all in MicroSoft's hands, yes?

Boy, what message does that send. "Hey, MS! So long as you don't fix the compatibility of Entourage, you won't loose me as a Windows customer" :rolleyes:

bousozoku
Dec 1, 2006, 05:31 AM
This points to one of the things that bugged me about the article. In the article, he refers to the compatibility (or deficiency there of) between Exchange Server and "Apple's Entourage". Uh... Entourage is a MicroSoft product? So, if there is a compatibility issue, it is all in MicroSoft's hands, yes?

Boy, what message does that send. "Hey, MS! So long as you don't fix the compatibility of Entourage, you won't loose me as a Windows customer" :rolleyes:

Isn't it amazing how Microsoft products rarely work well together?

Before Windows NT and Microsoft "Back Office", people were complaining about the lock-in that Microsoft was proposing. Calendaring products were pretty unsuccessful at the time. It took a while for companies to buy WinNT and load Exchange Server but since they did, they won't choose anything else because some executive is holding onto 2000+ e-mails that his secretary was forced to read and handle that he never really noticed.

lmalave
Dec 1, 2006, 08:23 AM
interesting article.

a summary:

1st: osX
2nd:Linux
3rd:windows

and if that's not what the article said, I might have a slight bias...:rolleyes:

Yup, you're biased :rolleyes:

The article pretty clearly panned Linux as not ready for primetime. The guy who wrote this article freaking WROTE A BOOK on Unix, and yet he struggled daily with Linux. He described how it was a relief to go back to XP and not have to spend 1 hour a day troubleshooting Linux.

So it's more like (and this is just on the desktop, mind you):

1st: OS X
2nd: Windows XP
3rd: Linux

lmalave
Dec 1, 2006, 08:53 AM
2 Pounds!!! A 12" PowerBook was 4.6 lbs. I don't see how Apple could make something that has all the same features of a PowerBook and get it down to 2 lbs. I think Sony does it by making the CD drive optional.

You're thinking of the original 3 lb. Vaios from 6 or 7 years ago. Sony's latest ultramobiles DO integrate an optical drive, though they are not quite at the 2 - 2.5 lb level.

For example, my girlfriend just bought a Sony Vaio SZ 13.3" laptop that was just 3.8 lbs, which is light enough to be shockingly lighter than my 5.2 lb MacBook.

Sony also offers an 11.1" Vaio TX model taht is 2.8 lbs and also has integrated optical drive and even an PCMCIA card slot. Very impressive engineering if you've seen them in person.


Sony has shown that it is possible, albeit for a price (both of the above models start at $2200 or $2300 dollars). 2.5 lbs or less I think is excessive, but I think Apple should release an ultraportable at 3.5 lbs or less, WITH integrated optical drive. If Sony can have an 13.3" Core 2 Duo laptop with optical drive and TWO expansion card slots (Express Card and PCMCIA) for 3.8 lbs and $2200, I think Apple can shake up this market and release 12" MBP with optical drive and single Express Card slot for 3.5 lbs. or less and starting at $1799. I think that would be a huge hit. It would probably cannibalize MacBook sales, but so what? The 12" MBP would have at least the profit margin of the MB. If anything, it would be a boon for apple because some people that would have been willing to spend more money for an MBP opted for a MacBook (usually the black one) because they wanted the smaller form factor.

Snowy_River
Dec 1, 2006, 10:11 AM
Isn't it amazing how Microsoft products rarely work well together?

Before Windows NT and Microsoft "Back Office", people were complaining about the lock-in that Microsoft was proposing. Calendaring products were pretty unsuccessful at the time. It took a while for companies to buy WinNT and load Exchange Server but since they did, they won't choose anything else because some executive is holding onto 2000+ e-mails that his secretary was forced to read and handle that he never really noticed.

Occasionally I wonder why MS doesn't support more formats. Why doesn't Word support import of, for example, AppleWorks files? (I'd say Pages, but it's newer on the playing field, so one could argue that there hasn't been time for that kind of interoperability to be implemented, whereas AppleWorks, formerly ClarisWorks has been around a long time.)

Normally, I'd put forward the argument that, being in the dominant position, MS doesn't have to try to play nice with the competition. They can leave the interoperability issues to the lesser players.

But then an issue like this comes up. As you say, MS has a fair bit of trouble getting their own products to play nice with each other. (Has anyone ever experienced difficulty opening a Windows Word file on the Mac, or vice-versa, despite the claim that these are supposed to be identical file formats?) So, if they have this much trouble getting two pieces of software to work effectively together, when the control the code at both ends, why would I think that they would even dream of trying to include interoperability with software that they don't control?

Some random ruminations from deep within my skull.... :D

Queso
Dec 1, 2006, 10:20 AM
The way I understand it, the Mac Word vs. Windows Word problems stem from the same internal politics issues within Microsoft as the Entourage problem. Outlook for Windows is developed with massive co-operation between the Office for Windows and Exchange teams. The MacBU don't have the same access to the Exchange team, so develop Entourage based on the internal development documentation. Same with the Word format.

If only Microsoft would give some direct internal support to their own Mac division, not only would Office:Mac be 100% compatible with both Exchange and its Windows-based cousin, but we'd probably have DRM-compatible Windows Media Player and MSN Messenger with video already too. Unfortunately with Ballmer in charge, this will never happen.

mkrishnan
Dec 1, 2006, 10:29 AM
(Has anyone ever experienced difficulty opening a Windows Word file on the Mac, or vice-versa, despite the claim that these are supposed to be identical file formats?)

To be honest, outside of issues where one computer did not have the same fonts as the other, no, I can't think of a time when I've had this problem with Word (or Excel). Really I only ever have it with Powerpoint. And I open an extensive number of files from all three. I can't call that "perfect." But to be honest it's not that bad, either.

As for Entourage and Mac Outlook before it, though I do have to admit that I have never really used either one, and so I can't comment on that. I've never simultaneously had an Outlook client that allowed my personal computer to connect to it and simultaneously had that computer be a Mac.

We use Groupwise here for mail, and I've got to say...if you think Microsoft is bad, be glad they are not Novell. Those people are frakkin' morons. :( Even their own client running on top of Windows is junk.

Queso
Dec 1, 2006, 10:36 AM
To be honest, outside of issues where one computer did not have the same fonts as the other, no, I can't think of a time when I've had this problem with Word (or Excel). Really I only ever have it with Powerpoint. And I open an extensive number of files from all three. I can't call that "perfect." But to be honest it's not that bad, either.
The main issue seems to be when you cut and paste graphics into a Word document. The document will show up fine on any Mac, but opening on Windows will give errors about QuickTime being required, like the graphics aren't actually in the file. Apart from that, it typically is just typeface issues unless you start going heavily into templates and such.

It's about 95% there, but it really should be 100% with the software coming from the same company. As I posted though, with the current man at the top in Microsoft obviously detesting anything he didn't think of first himself, I can't see it improving until Gates and Allen lose faith and replace him.

mkrishnan
Dec 1, 2006, 10:48 AM
The main issue seems to be when you cut and paste graphics into a Word document. The document will show up fine on any Mac, but opening on Windows will give errors about QuickTime being required, like the graphics aren't actually in the file. Apart from that, it typically is just typeface issues unless you start going heavily into templates and such.

Actually, I'm not entirely sure whose fault this one is. There's a very clear pattern with this particular issue. I still really have only encountered it in PPT, but I'll believe it is also in Word without argument.

I'm almost certain that the pattern is that this happens when one drags and drops (or copies and pastes) an image into a document, but does not happen when one uses the menus to import the picture. I think the reason this happens has to do with how OS X's coreservices provide the image data to the application when it is coming in via drag/drop, since when drag and drop is used, the system APIs "own" the image file and the application never sees the actual image file. In contrast, when the menus are used, the application actually accesses the image file itself and not just the image object that gets passed through the APIs.

Granted that MS could be smart and work around this, but I think it's a problem that has to do with the way the image is formatted by the coreservices -- I think they tag the image as being readable by QT, because QT is the OS service that understands the image files, and the MS app just "believes" the OS. Whereas when the app accesses the files directly, it uses its own import filters to convert the image file into an object that can live inside the document.

gekko513
Dec 1, 2006, 11:07 AM
I'm almost certain that the pattern is that this happens when one drags and drops (or copies and pastes) an image into a document, but does not happen when one uses the menus to import the picture. I think the reason this happens has to do with how OS X's coreservices provide the image data to the application when it is coming in via drag/drop, since when drag and drop is used, the system APIs "own" the image file and the application never sees the actual image file. In contrast, when the menus are used, the application actually accesses the image file itself and not just the image object that gets passed through the APIs.
The application is very much in control of the drag and drop process. It gets a list of the formats the drag content can be provided in and can select the one it wants. It is also obviously free to do what it wants with the data after it's received. If drag and drop doesn't work while import works, it's Microsoft's own fault.

bousozoku
Dec 1, 2006, 11:40 AM
Occasionally I wonder why MS doesn't support more formats. Why doesn't Word support import of, for example, AppleWorks files? (I'd say Pages, but it's newer on the playing field, so one could argue that there hasn't been time for that kind of interoperability to be implemented, whereas AppleWorks, formerly ClarisWorks has been around a long time.)

Normally, I'd put forward the argument that, being in the dominant position, MS doesn't have to try to play nice with the competition. They can leave the interoperability issues to the lesser players.

But then an issue like this comes up. As you say, MS has a fair bit of trouble getting their own products to play nice with each other. (Has anyone ever experienced difficulty opening a Windows Word file on the Mac, or vice-versa, despite the claim that these are supposed to be identical file formats?) So, if they have this much trouble getting two pieces of software to work effectively together, when the control the code at both ends, why would I think that they would even dream of trying to include interoperability with software that they don't control?

Some random ruminations from deep within my skull.... :D

Since the original version of MS Word, they've not managed to import/export reliably to Rich Text Format. It seems rude (not necessarily evil) to me that they make you regret that you changed your company from someone else's word processor to Microsoft's. The fact that Quark XPress could read files from MacWrite, MS Word, and even ClarisWorks says loads about what's possible.

The file formats aren't indentical between Word for Windows and Mac but they're supposed to read the other product's file perfectly. Of course, what they do with it after that is another story.

The way I understand it, the Mac Word vs. Windows Word problems stem from the same internal politics issues within Microsoft as the Entourage problem. Outlook for Windows is developed with massive co-operation between the Office for Windows and Exchange teams. The MacBU don't have the same access to the Exchange team, so develop Entourage based on the internal development documentation. Same with the Word format.

If only Microsoft would give some direct internal support to their own Mac division, not only would Office:Mac be 100% compatible with both Exchange and its Windows-based cousin, but we'd probably have DRM-compatible Windows Media Player and MSN Messenger with video already too. Unfortunately with Ballmer in charge, this will never happen.

It seems that MS makes everyone not working in Redmond a third party. They'd probably like to restrict more of the things that happen at MacBU but they're concerned that they'd have to find other Mac OS X developers.

Supposedly, a more fully-featured Messenger is coming despite being held back but it will probably take a while and Yahoo! Messenger will probably be further along by then.

It's interesting that MS Office 2007 is coming for both platforms but of course, the Mac OS X version will be months behind the Windows version.

lorductape
Dec 1, 2006, 04:01 PM
Yup, you're biased :rolleyes:

The article pretty clearly panned Linux as not ready for primetime. The guy who wrote this article freaking WROTE A BOOK on Unix, and yet he struggled daily with Linux. He described how it was a relief to go back to XP and not have to spend 1 hour a day troubleshooting Linux.

So it's more like (and this is just on the desktop, mind you):

1st: OS X
2nd: Windows XP
3rd: Linux


the placement of linux in my chart would just be my baised interferring.

I am 100% anti microsoft (except for the 360)

thugpoet22
Dec 3, 2006, 01:48 AM
Im currently running Fedora 6 on my macbook and i cant get the wireless to work. When ever i want to use the internet with linux with my mac i have to plu the ethernet wire in. I think linux is a great system but i dont think it would be great for most mac users because most of them deal mostly with the command line. And even though you can reach the command line in mac os x very few people actually learn to use it.

There both based on Unix, so linux in itself is very stable, but when you try to run certain GUI apps at high FPS it will hickup on you. I truthfully wish i could simply delete this linux partition that i created and just add it back to my mac os x EFI partition. I have linux on my destop pc, it doesn't have to be on my macbook.

So for those who plan on installing linux, bare in mind that major tweaking is involved to get everything working the way you want it to.

vendettabass
Dec 3, 2006, 05:18 AM
So I could get OSX and Linux with no windows :O? sounds interesting!

geomes
Dec 3, 2006, 06:45 AM
I have run a Linux distribution as my only os at home for years. Linux does require major tweaking with just about every change.It used to be a major headache to install new programs due to dependencies and different directories for each distribution. Now there are automated tools such as yum, apt-get, etc, that solve most of the problems for you. Once you have it set up to your satisfaction it runs forever. With the advent of broadband internet there is a vast array of help and advice and a huge amount of free software available. The free programming tools are equal to most commercial tools,

Snowy_River
Dec 3, 2006, 11:10 AM
To be honest, outside of issues where one computer did not have the same fonts as the other, no, I can't think of a time when I've had this problem with Word (or Excel). Really I only ever have it with Powerpoint. And I open an extensive number of files from all three. I can't call that "perfect." But to be honest it's not that bad, either.

Font and cut-paste/drag-and-drop issues aside, I'm talking about a somewhat more insidious problem. I will routinely format documents to look "just so" when printed. I'll use nothing but standard fonts (i.e Times New Roman, etc.), and set it up so that page breaks fall in particular places, and so on. For example, think of a resume. A lot of places ask for electronic versions of resumes to be submitted in Word format (for some strange reason, they won't accept PDF format :rolleyes: ). But going back and forth between Word for Mac and Word for Windows messes up this formatting, and for no apparent reason.

I've actually had more success in a couple of instances getting Pages to open a Windows Word file and have it look the same as it does in Windows than I have getting Mac Word to open it.

0010101
Dec 4, 2006, 10:54 PM
Just before XP started to ship, I was sick of Windows, and quite tired of OS9, so I gave Linux a shot.. Mandrake was my favorite 'flavor'.

But it was glitchy, and geeky, and when you finally got everything to work (mostly) right, then you still didn't have the ability to run specific Windows applications unless you did a dual boot.. which kind of negated the purpose of installing Linux in the first place.

I got a hold of an XP Beta, and liked it.. and when XP was released, I went with it for several years.

I got my first real taste of OSX about a year ago, and I haven't looked back. To me, OSX really is the kind of OS i'd hoped Linux would be, but wasn't.

Windows is the most compatible, and has the widest range of available software.. but is clunky, buggy, and subject to lots of malware/spyware/adware/viruses/etc.

Linux, once you get it all configured, is rock solid and stable, and pretty exploit and virus free.. but is seriously lacking in commercial software availability.. without serious effort.

MacOS X, at least to me, is a perfect balance of both OS'es. Stable, reliable, malware/spyware/adware/virus free, AND it 'talks' with PC disks and networked computers with ease. No complex command line garbage or package managers to deal with.. no registry's to jack around with for hours on end, and the icing on the cake is that it looks great, and has numerous handy built in features (spell check, widgets, migration assistant, etc)

In the 26 years or so i've owned a computer.. OSX is the closest thing to a perfect OS i've ever had the pleasure of using.. and i've used everything from CP/M to OS/2 and Solaris.