How "tweakable" are Macs?

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by guitargeek, Feb 20, 2003.

  1. guitargeek macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2003
    #1
    I'm using only linux right now, where everything down to the source code is tweakable. Now, I'm sure that OSX isn't open source, but is it less restrictive than Windows as far as customizing? (Just an example: background processes. Windows makes sure that they're all interconnected, so killing one will usually crash the machine, whereas in linux you can select processes independently).

    I'm just trying to learn a little more about these systems, as they sound like they would be a great alternative for my father (and maybe I won't have to reinstall his printer every 4 days :) ).
     
  2. cc bcc macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2001
    Location:
    nl
    #2
    Never tweak your fathers pc.. :p

    I can't compare mac vs linux, but OS X is tweakable. Maybe not in the same way as you can tweak linux, but there are quite a few known hacks.
    But the really nice thing about OS X is that you don't have to tweak it, since it is already tweaked by Apple. Apple knows what hardware OS X runs on, opposed to windows and linux.
    Standard options are sufficient for your father I guess, he won't be needing advanced features if he can't even install a printer without your help! :D
     
  3. altivec 2003 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2003
    Location:
    Texas
    #3
    background processes

    As far as killing indidvidual processes you can do that using the terminal. just type "top" to get a list of processes running. to the left side, there is the pid (Process id). When you find what you wan't to kill, you just type "kill X" where X is the Pid. You wont be able to kill some processes if they are too closely involved with the operating system. For these you have to type "su" and then the root user's password. Be careful though, becuase you can mess things up :( . For example if you type kill 1 it will kill the operating system and go into a unix terminal mode, and quit all of your programs.
    Hope this answered your question :)
     
  4. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Location:
    Yahooville S.C.
    #4
    your father would do well with a mac and wont have to be a programmer to use it. Macs are the easiest freindliest computers and that why I use one. I want to have fun, not fart around trying to make it work. And yes they are tweakable but why does that even come into play?
     
  5. strider42 macrumors 65816

    strider42

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2002
    #5
    Re: How "tweakable" are Macs?

    OS X itself isn't open source, but its foundation is. Its called darwin. I'm not sure how useful it would be for such things as a lot of things are still closed off, but hey, its something.
     
  6. guitargeek thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2003
    #6
    Because I'm a geek :D

    Tweaking is just something I do... I've added SOMETHING to every one of my guitars, I've got a new ignition system on order for my car, and just put new performance oriented brakes on it today, and my computer is running exactly how I want it. Tweaking is in my blood : )

    Also, if there's ever a problem (which, I know, there rarely are any), I want to know that I can fix it rather than just reinstalling the OS (which becomes a common task under Windows).

    A-Ha! I understand that! The command line is something I'm familiar with, that's exactly how I would kill something in linux.

    Thanks for the responses guys.
     
  7. FattyMembrane macrumors 6502a

    FattyMembrane

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2002
    Location:
    bat country
    #7
    as strider said, darwin is opensource, but having access to only a low part like that is probably not what you want. i'm not sure exactly what type of "tweaking" you want, but cocoa is an incredibly tweakable application framework. once you install the developer tools, you can open up the interface files for any cocoa application and change them to your heart's content (without recompiling). take a look at www.fscript.org to see some amazing high level cocoa scripting you can apply to already existing applications (again, without a recompile). the unix back-end of osx should be just as "tweakable" as any other unix core, but the window server and other mac os goodies operate differently. of course, you can always just install x11 and run x and X side by side.
     
  8. guitargeek thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2003
    #8
    Hmm... I like the sound of this OS. Unix based, stable, easy to use... sounds like the perfect "Dad" solution.

    I just wish he hadn't bought a new PC recently.
     
  9. rainman::|:| macrumors 603

    rainman::|:|

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2002
    Location:
    iowa
    #9
    it's a perfect everyone solution. X is a hell of an OS, it's UNIX underpinnings are accessible in many ways... of course the command line, which is fully integrated and capable of interacting with the GUI; there are apps for the GUI with more advanced functionality like "Process Viewer" which is an app that lists processes and process ID's, Directory Access, the list goes on. It's all topped off with a GUI that's perfect for any kind of user-- for basic users, the permissions keep you as a limited user, so you can't delete things owned by Root... but you can change file permissions with the Administrator password, and you can even log into the GUI as root.

    :)
    pnw
     
  10. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Location:
    Yahooville S.C.
    #10
    OSX is the S _ _ t! no doubt about it. the sad fact for apple is you cant go to walmart and get one. So the world only see's Windblows. Never thought i would like OSX so much after using 9. Boy was i wrong.
     
  11. benixau macrumors 65816

    benixau

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2002
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #11
    can you customise the splash screens of you linux apps?? you can in OSX

    can you customise the menu names in linux?? you can in OSX

    can you turn it on and have i just work under linux or windows even?? you can in OSX

    -the best bit: you can do all of the above without needed to know what source code is or looks like. now aint that swell. if you ever need help, just ask us. :)
     
  12. guitargeek thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2003
    #12
    Actually, yeah. I just created one for my Window Manager. (see? ) It's crappy because I only spent a few minutes on it, but you get the idea :D Most linux aps are small enough though that a splash screen is not needed, because it loads fast enough that you'd never see it anyway (unless they halted the loading of the program just so you can see their pretty splash screen! :p)

    Yup, I can do that too!

    I'll be honest. I don't understand this statement.

    I have no doubt that OSX is easier to use, nor do I doubt its stability. But in all honesty I wouldn't switch just because I'm perfectly happy with my linux box. If I had never known linux existed was still using Windows, then I would be interested, but it's perfect for me right now. Like I said before, though, I'd like to get my dad to switch so I'm not doing tech support anymore.

    And, yeah, I had to use OS9 at school for video editing. I hated it. The computers couldn't stay on for more than 20 minutes at a time without a complete system crash (also killing whatever we had been editing). I'm smart enough to know that OSX isn't like that, though : )

    Also, please don't think I'm taking a dig at macs. I'm honestly just here to learn a little more about them.
     
  13. benixau macrumors 65816

    benixau

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2002
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #13
    did you read the last line of my comment?? what i was saying is that you can do all of that and it is really quite easy.

    I hack my mac quite a bit. sometimes i go wrong but mostly its fine. The only time i have a problem is when developers dont tell you all of the hacks outright (chimera anyone?).

    look, i have used linux and know what it is like. but when you can share a printer across a network - with all features for all clients - with about 3 clicks under linux then you may have a cause for linux.

    what i meant by that line you didnt get was: under winXPPro on my old pc it always asked me to install my printer drivers - even though they were already installed. Also linux just didnt recognise my printer until recently (HP710C) let alone give me al of the features that i am used to under windows. i got a new printer for my mac (HP5550C) and its USB. but how about we dont go into detail about linux's USB and Fwire support.

    a mac is now, with OSX one of the best machines to get. i also love my command line. i dont know where i would be without it (long live vi).

    i didnt think you were taking a dig at macs. i was just asking a few questions. and btw, open office/star office has a spalsh screen :eek:
     
  14. guitargeek thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2003
    #14
    Yeah, I know, but you used bad examples :D ;)

    Actually, I know many people complain about USB support in linux, but I haven't had any trouble yet. I've got a PSC 2110 sitting here next to me that connects only via USB, and it was a breeze to setup. I just went into the Mandrake control panel, clicked on "printers", and then chose "add new printer". After that, it's automated. It found it, already had the drivers loaded with Mandrake, and installed it. It prints and scans beautifully, just as nice as it did under Windows. My gamepad works great, too.

    I hear you about running windows, though, believe me! I remember all the little quirks that it had, like sutting off my sound after it had gone to sleep. I would have to click "digital output only" twice before it would work again.

    I also remember how no matter what, when I went to www.google.com in IE, I would get a BSOD.

    Oh, and we can't forget the wonderful memory leaks, can we? If I had been doing any recording under Cakewalk, I would have to restart about every two hours, because the thing would just run dog slow.

    Ahh... the good old days :rolleyes:

    Oh, and yeah, open office DOES have a splash screen, but I use Gnome's apps ;)
     
  15. benixau macrumors 65816

    benixau

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2002
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #15
    ahhhh. no worries. if you really want to make sure your making the right choice: rent a mac for a week. it may cost a bit but you will be gateful you did. but remember - give the hired mac a bit of slack, not everyone is nice to their computers.

    anyways, good luck.
     
  16. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2000
    #16

    after a hard day of work, who wants to tweak a machine so it could work?

    how would you like to tweak your toaster so it could make toast?...we just want the thing to work and be easy to use

    macs are easy to use for me and that's why i use it...my pc is so i can code and other not so fun stuff
     
  17. timbloom macrumors 6502a

    timbloom

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2002
    #17
    Hey, guitargeek, just for fun, I think you would be the perfect person for a test drive of a mac. I would really reccomend you go get a used mac, or a low-dollar one. Then pop the hood on it. The Unix base is completely accessable, if you want you can boot pretty much right up to the CLI if you want. Install KDE, Gnome, whatever... Fink is a great tool to get all your opensource programs for you and manage what you have.

    I think you should give it a spin, personally... then give it to your dad if you don't grow an attachment to it. Trying something out is 100x more effective to your understanding than asking us.

    What me and everyone else out there, is only the tip of the iceberg really... You might check out the book "OS X for Unix Geeks" I think that is what it is called.
     
  18. benixau macrumors 65816

    benixau

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2002
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #18
    i agree. here is a new analogy for macs: toasters - its like having a toaster where you have to install a different element for each different brand and type of bread you want to toast. every now and then you must pull them all out and start again to ensure that the toaster is always as close as possible to 100% efficient. Sometimes things go wrong, solution - turn off toaster, unplug, plug back in and begin cooking again.

    now if that seems stupid to you then so do pcs and aot of linux boxes. I expcet so far mandrake. it is the best of a good crop, not an excellent crop yet though.
     
  19. guitargeek thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2003
    #19
    Actually, the reason I use it because I don't have to fiddle with it if I don't want to. I haven't had a crash yet, and right out of the box everything works. I can't complain about that! I even put it on my girlfriend's computer, and it hasn't been shut down in three months now, and hasn't crashed.

    I would love to buy a mac, rent it, what have you , but I really don't have the money for it. My dad, on the other hand, does.

    Thanks for the input guys.
     
  20. Hepper macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2003
    #20
    an IMAC

    I gave my grandparents my old 266 Imac. But OS X 10.2 on it, set the dock with An internet browser, Mail, Word, and documents folder, and leave it so that's all they see, and they like it. It's also VERY easy for them to use.
     
  21. FattyMembrane macrumors 6502a

    FattyMembrane

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2002
    Location:
    bat country
    #21
    i think that this is a good idea. if you can find a cheap g3 tower, you can stick two hard drives in it (or maybe just 2 partitions), one plain vanilla osx for your dad and one that you can hack to your delight. if you ever get to the point where your drive will not boot, just restart holding down the option key and you're golden. as others have said, you should definitely check out fink.sf.net, it's one of the jewels of osx. if you are really into serious reprogramming of the system, you can browse some of the lower level topics in the cocoa documentation on apple's web site.
     

Share This Page