Windows vs. Linux vs. OS X

Discussion in 'MacBytes.com News Discussion' started by MacBytes, Nov 30, 2006.

  1. macrumors bot

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    #1
  2. macrumors 6502

    lorductape

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    #2
    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:
     
  3. macrumors 6502

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    #3
    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.
     
  4. macrumors 603

    gekko513

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    #4
    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.
     
  5. macrumors G4

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    #5
    If you're planning on trying Linux for the first time, download and run the Ubuntu 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.
     
  6. macrumors 68040

    killmoms

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    #6
    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."
     
  7. macrumors 6502a

    Rocksaurus

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    #7
    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.
     
  8. macrumors 68020

    wmmk

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    #8
    kubuntu+ThinkPad=PC Happiness
     
  9. macrumors regular

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    #9
    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
     
  10. macrumors 6502a

    thewhitehart

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    #10
    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.
     
  11. macrumors G4

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    #11
    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)
     
  12. macrumors 6502a

    Chef Medeski

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    #12
    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.
     
  13. Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #13
    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.
     
  14. macrumors G4

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    #14
    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.
     
  15. macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    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.
     
  16. macrumors 6502a

    Chef Medeski

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    #16
    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.
     
  17. Moderator emeritus

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    #17
    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.
     
  18. macrumors 65816

    stcanard

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    #18
    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
     
  19. macrumors member

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    #19
    ya...im thinking about installing uBuntu, but im starting to double guess myself as to whether its worth it.
     
  20. macrumors 68030

    Snowy_River

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    #20
    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:
     
  21. Moderator emeritus

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    #21
    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.
     
  22. macrumors 68000

    lmalave

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    #22
    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
     
  23. macrumors 68000

    lmalave

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    #23
    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.
     
  24. macrumors 68030

    Snowy_River

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    #24
    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
     
  25. macrumors G4

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    Mar 4, 2006
    #25
    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.
     

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