An Academic Perspective on Windows vs. Mac

Discussion in 'macOS' started by stevento, Jan 28, 2009.

  1. stevento macrumors 6502


    Dec 10, 2006
    Los Angeles
    I am a Computer Science major now currently enrolled at LMU, in a course called Operating Systems. Last semester, i finished a course called Interaction Design, the study of human computer interaction and how to build a good interface. This is a professional look at how operating systems are built, and the differences between them. At the end of the course, we will write our own OS's.
    Anyways, I have a new perspective on the debate between which is better PC or Mac.
    Macs tend to have more cache memory, which is expensive to build. That's why the cheapest new mac you can buy goes for over $1000. The cheapest new PC you can get varies by the manufacturer and goes for around $250. Apple pours much more effort in R &D, design and usability metrics and it shows in the retail price.
    Therefore, I came to the conclusion that Apple is a luxury computer manufacturer (just like a luxury car).
    So when you say, "I love my apple computer, and I laugh at anyone using Windows", that's the same pretty much as saying "I love driving my Mercedes-Benz, and I laugh at anyone driving a cheap Hyundai." (or some other no-frills economy car).
    Because when you get down to it, there's nothing a Mac can do that a PC can't potentially do -because both are written in C- its just that Macs are a lot nicer to use and have more cool features.
  2. Alan Taylor macrumors 6502

    Alan Taylor

    May 14, 2006
    Um, good luck with your course and all, but I think there are fairly significant differences between the two OS's that make things possible or extremely hard on both.
  3. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    Wow! You have it all figured out.
  4. applefan69 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 9, 2007
    im sure judging from the intelligence of your post you are aware there is alot more factors to take into consideration.

    Such as apple also enjoys a larger profit margin, because apple got us all hooked on OS X, and they know we will pay higher prices to use apples exclusive OS.

    Although, i guess that still fits in the luxury car analogy, the people who spend way more on a mecerdez-benz, are doing it even though they are aware the manufacturer isnt giving a great deal and is recieiving a good profit margin.
  5. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    Marvelous reasoning; cache memory is the reason Macs are expensive to build. What is your proof that a Mac costs more than a PC? Are you comparing the actual parts costs? The parts inside the Apple are pretty much the same as the parts inside any Intel Windows PC.

    "At the end of the course we will write our own OS's"...To what purpose? Are you seriously saying one person can write an entire OS? Have you ever looked at the internals of ANY OS? Any reasonabe OS has hundreds of thousands of lines of code.

    (demented laughter..)
  6. Tomorrow macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    Sounds like an interesting course - let us know how things turn out with your new OS when you're finished!
  7. VPrime macrumors 68000


    Dec 19, 2008
    London Ontario
  8. darkcurse macrumors 6502a


    Nov 5, 2005
    Let us not forget, Linus Trovalds wrote his own OS :D
  9. NT1440 macrumors G4


    May 18, 2008
    I thought he just wrote a kernel (still DAUNTING for one man).

    TS, do you seriously make your own OS???
  10. lordthistle macrumors 6502

    Feb 29, 2008
    Well, I am sure you are a funny computer scientist. Thanks for the laugh you made me have.

    If it's true you're at LMU (acronym I ignore), I would remove it before the university lawyers find out what you wrote.

  11. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Pardon me if I take your assessment with a grain of salt. Do you honestly think that, as a beginning student, with no real-world technical experience and without even completing the course you described, that you suddenly have the entire Mac vs Windows thing figured out? That's pretty naïve! This thread should be entitled "A not yet fully-educated opinion on Windows vs Mac". :rolleyes:
  12. Aea macrumors 6502a


    May 23, 2007
    Denver, Colorado
    *S******* (Wow, the word filter is a bit too greedy I see.)

    The Difference Between Windows & Mac

    Mac is a combination of a closed operating system operating on closed hardware and thus has a high focus on highly refined implementations both on the software and hardware (i.e. The aesthetic aspect). Primary lack over opposition is lack of a strong focus on gaming due to Microsoft's DirectX API which has become the defacto standard.

    Windows is a combination of a closed operating system operating on an open hardware and thus has a high focus on wide spread compatibility. Primary lack over opposition is strong system integration and issues caused by the ever present need to stay compatible with older versions and a VERY wide range of hardware.

    Edit: Open vs. Closed Hardware has nothing to do with there being concrete differences, but rather that OSX is explicitly designed not to run on over the counter hardware without low level hacking.
  13. stevento thread starter macrumors 6502


    Dec 10, 2006
    Los Angeles
    for the purpose of academic exercise. by the technical definition of Operating System, yes anyone who knows some good C can write an entire OS.
    obviously the one we write in an undergraduate class isn't going be anything like a large commercial OS, but it will be an OS.
  14. beavc macrumors newbie

    Oct 18, 2007

    and yes negating the other stuff on the functionality and the usability of such an "academic" exercise....

    similarly I could also build my own car in a day...but by my own definition of course.

    Your comments on the primary difference between the OS highlights either the inadequacy of your course or the stuff you learn

    More importantly, on the topic of cars, the difference between Mercs and a cheap car is more than just their similarity which is to get you from point A to B. You have conveniently, for the sake of your argument, negate speed, comfort and reliability which are key components of a good car (OS).
  15. stevento thread starter macrumors 6502


    Dec 10, 2006
    Los Angeles
    I think it's safe to say a Mercedes-Benz is more reliable than a hyundai.

    no, the course's purpose is not to learn the difference between one OS and another. the purpose is to learn how to build an OS and make it safer, faster and smarter.
    and I'm talking about the differences, from a user's standpoint, because they are the ones buying the machines.

    edit: let me reiterate: the point of the course is not to learn the differences between two examples of OS's, but to learn the principals of an engineering an OS.
  16. Tex-Twil macrumors 68020


    May 28, 2008

    I guess you meant Windows vs OSX otherwise it wouldn't make sense.

    Well you are "academically" and "professionally" comparing both OS but where is that comparison ? All you say is that Macs have better hardware hence they are superior to a cheap PC. I really don't see the point of your post.

    Good luck for your degree.

  17. student_trap macrumors 68000


    Mar 14, 2005
    'Ol Smokey, UK
    if thats the case, why has my £3000 mac pro (early 2008) broken four times, while my girlfriends £300 acer netbook works like a charm?;)
  18. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Then why do you cite cache size and cost? These have nothing to do with the OS.

    The average user doesn't know (or care) about cache memory, swap space, bus speed, or any of the technicalities of the machine they're using.

    Then you need to re-think your argument and make it relevant to the user interface. Citing hardware differences isn't going to get you there.

    This is borderline self-contradictory. If there is "nothing a Mac can do that a PC can't potentially do" then how can a Mac "have more cool features" ? There are some features of Windows I would argue are "cool" that OS X doesn't have, why isn't it a two way street?

    Any figures to back this up? Don't make claims you can't verify.

    So if a Windows machine had more cache memory, would it be better?

    What you're really saying is something along the lines of "I'm too immature to realize that both operating systems offer unique advantages and disadvantages to the end user. My ignorance should be a free pass for my elitism."
  19. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    I worked for 40 years in the computer business spending most of my time on the internals of several operating systems. I can remember computer science graduates who came to work and didn't have a clue about how to look inside the code for an OS and make sense out of it, much less fix problems or make changes. How could a one-semester course in OS qualify anyone to pontificate on such absurdities as cache size relative to the quality of an OS. And if you're talking about cache size, which cache are you talking about? the CPU L1 Cache, L2?, disk drive cache? You could try to write an OS on your own, but do you really think that one example would make you an expert on multi-threading, multi-processor issues, code deadlocks, hardware fault tolerance, etc. And to write your own OS from scratch you'd need to understand a BIOS, deal with hardware abstraction layers, and a host of other issues. Most users could care less what OS they are running; If they can use the computer to surf the web, write letters, do e-mail, spreadsheets, print, it doesn't make any real difference what OS is running. And why limit to OSx VS Windows. And WHICH Windows? Windows ME? Vista? XP? 2000? 3.1? DOS? What about Linux? The multiple flavors of *Nix? And what about the lesser known special purpose operating systems?

    Makes a nice humorous thread though.
  20. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Well at least even the lowest of the low of car makers are smart enough not to have user press START to turn off the car. ;)

    Yes, OSX / Apple Computers are nicer to use, some factors:
    - quiet
    - modern design
    - high usability
    - low maintenance

    If you compare to a pc, you have to compare to a QUIET pc, which are more expensive.
  21. pilotError macrumors 68020


    Apr 12, 2006
    Long Island
    This thread seems like its fishing for the correct answers. :D

    Got a paper due soon by any chance? :eek:
  22. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    I'd love to see how much of the paper gets lifted verbatim from this forum.

    or maybe he's just trolling to annoying people?
  23. theNEOone macrumors 6502

    Jun 28, 2007
    I like to browse this site during my lunch break and was initially excited about reading this post.

    I cannot begin to tell you how disappointed I am. You should think about changing your thread title to: A Superficial Perspective on Absolutely Nothing.

  24. admanimal macrumors 68040

    Apr 22, 2005
    DOS 1.0 and OS X are both implemented in C. So they are basically the same OS, right?

Share This Page