Apple Macs, opinions from the Internet

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by rainbowmagik, Jan 5, 2014.

  1. rainbowmagik macrumors newbie

    rainbowmagik

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2014
    #1
    This is my first post on these forums, as having used virtually every platform and always woriking on mac/linux/windows I thought I would share my thoughts on apple macs in the context of modern operating systems and UIs and a little rant on hardware. I really have no bias for or against apple these are just my experiences.

    mac, the good parts:
    • Xcode (for the special price of free) and apple having the best developer support IMO.
    • decent virus imunity.
    • consistent UX.
    • stable hardware and well constructed chassis and keyboard.
    • The magic mouse gestures and scrolling are awesome.
    • Your outdated hardware can be sold at a good price on ebay.
    • The built in ebook reader is really nice. I only read ebooks on my mac.
    • OS updates getting cheaper and recently free.
    • Full screen mode on apps is a good feature that no one else is doing right.

    mac, the bad parts:
    • Obj-C is apple only which can make it difficult to port apps.
    • Somewhat expensive.(especially laptops, whose price like other vendors seems difficult to justify with wonderful AMD A-Series laptops for half the price, of course some prefer or need to use apple and wouldn't be swayed by this.)
    • The UK keyboard is really frustrating, it uses a layout similar to a US one, the @ and " are the wrong way round and there is no # (replaced by a £).
    • The magic mouse is tiny, also the battery enclosure is badly designed sometimes a slight tap will disconect a terminal(I use a piece of cardboard to keep it working and I expect a little more for £40)
    • Hardware compatability (I have a really nice mechanical cherry keyboard that doesnt work right)
    • Pointless dashboard.
    • cmd/ctrl why do we need both, other platforms have been doing fine with ctrl.
    • The worst file manager of any modern OS.

    comparison with other UIs
    • Windows 7 - A really good interface, some people say its a copy of osX but honestly the UX on w7 is different from osX, it's like they distilled the best parts of vista added some neat tricks and made a UI that is still the best conventional desktop.
    • Windows 8 - ... why bother.
    • Ubuntu Unity- This is a copy of osX but the docker is on the left, because the app launcher is in a corner its easier to open an app. I originally didn't like it but I'm used to it now. Also it doesnt have some of the nice tricks that osX has but has a more useful file manager and the usual linuxy things.
    • Gnome 3 - sort of like marmite, you either love it or hate it. I think its the best UI ever. When I use gnome I dont really have to look at what I'm doing. "dont think, feeeeel!". They did charms properly unlike m$. If you can let go of the conventional desktop paradigms and think about how you would like to do most things in constant time then you will see the wisdom of this interface.

    Although osX looks nice and everything I think its really falling behind with its UI, but rather than forcing these changes on people they should allow new features to be easily disabled or disabled by default. At the very least window snapping.

    Also apple should keep in mind that people sometimes work on other computers and most computers are not macs. A keyboard layout that matches up to the regional layout is really in the interest of users. At the very least they could offer it as their "alternate" layout.

    What do other mac users think?
     
  2. tech4all macrumors 68040

    tech4all

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2004
    Location:
    NorCal
    #2
    Apple Tax ;)


    Gotta disagree with you there. Dashboard is a great feature to have with useful widgets to aid in many things.

    Maybe PCs should use CMD?

    Works great for me. :confused:

    I'm still on Snow Leopard so I can't comment on recent versions of OS X.
     
  3. rainbowmagik thread starter macrumors newbie

    rainbowmagik

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2014
    #3
    My point was that cmd is basically ctrl on other platforms so why not lose ctrl and have cmd as the mac ctrl. most shortcuts that use it could probably use some option combination anyway. I suppose its not a big deal really...:eek:
     
  4. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #4
    Do you touch type? Where do you put all your fingers?

    Your thumbs are closer to the CMD key than the CTRL key. Less time wasted with CMD key.
     
  5. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #5
    I own Macs but also use Windows (XP and 7) and Linux (Debian, Ubuntu, and Xubuntu) at work on a daily basis.

    The free versions of Visual Studio (Windows) I would argue are better. Netbeans and Eclipse are best for cross platform (except OS X to iOS) and embedded programming which I do mostly.

    Maybe. Fewer attacks -- certainly.

    As long as authors meet the standards. There have also been some changes from OS version to version that have upset people, especially from Snow Leopard to Lion.

    I'm just annoyed that it took them so long after entering the ebook business to provide this.
    I sense you have only one display. Multi-display users might beg to differ! And even though things have improved immensely with Mavericks, multi-display support is still riddled with problems.

    If apps are written keeping to C except for the user interface, then it isn't bad since IMHO the major problem going from target to target is that the user interface code needs to be completely rewritten. This is why most programs I write are either in Java or Qt framework. Of course that locks out the Apple store, but that isn't an issue for me.

    Mice seem to be personal taste. Frankly, I've found the Magic Mouse to be the best mouse I've ever had, however the previous Mighty Mouse was a piece of junk.

    YMMV. I use a 1989 Northgate Omnikey/102 keyboard. Works like a charm.

    I use it all the time.

    "Other" being Linux. Windows has it's meta key as well. My understanding was that the Command key was intended for system functions and the control key (when used with alpha keys) was for applications. The line seems to have become somewhat blurred. And don't forget the Option key as a modifier.

    I've found that I can get around better in it than Windows Explorer. It's just a bit different. And Linux file managers I've always found to be terrible.

    Always feels bulky/fat to me. Not at all a copy of OS X.

    I have to bother because I also teach and have students with these -- it's hard to buy a consumer computer without it. I hate it.

    We've dropped Ubuntu because of Unity. It's slower to get around than the older menus, has become finicky with low end graphic cards (we use Linux on the manufacturing floor and have very low end systems) and the commercial tie-ins have us frightened. It also seems to be going the Windows 8 route, thinking of touch screens.

    I've been using BetterTouchTool for snapping (and more flexibility with the Magic Mouse).

    Being in the US, "regional layout" isn't a concern. :) However I've been using computers for over 40 years and keyboards for over 50 and every one has some irritating difference. I've just gotten used to living with it!
     
  6. MyMac1976 macrumors 6502

    MyMac1976

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2013
  7. rainbowmagik thread starter macrumors newbie

    rainbowmagik

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2014
    #7
    I do but since I spend probably 75% of my time on other computers where the ctrl is placed in a different spot, its something I have to think twice about which slows me down. although your right it is easier to press.

    A lot of people do, but you can always use the classic interface if your stuck on a machine with it.

    I suppose IDEs are personal preference. I actually only code obj-c in xcode, and I think everything is nicely integrated for it. I also code python in pyCharm which is an eclipse like IDE. In the past I've just used vim for C and PERL but I found eclipse easier to keep things managed and then started using pyCharm which has some good python features since pyDev didn't seem to be keeping up a while ago.

    Thats why I said decent as apposed to perfect :)

    Yes I only use one display on the mac. I don't really do anything on it that would require multiple screens.

    I like the mouse, but its small for my hands and like I said it can stop working if it suffers the slightest jarring, needing the batteries to be repositioned. I've looked around and others have the same problem.

    That's a nice keyboard!

    More recent linuxs have pretty decent ones, better IMO than finder or explorer

    I thought they would add a start menu in 8.1 but m$ are determined to force metro on us. I think its only a matter of time before windows is replaced by linux as a workhorse and gaming platform but that should be natural if you don't listen to your users.

    I've been running 12.04 LTS for ages now without issues after deciding to just swallow the unity pill. The trick is to remove most of the icons from the ribbon so that it doesn't scroll. Of course you could install something like KDE.
    I know what you mean though, I've had similar issues with older machines graphics cards having poor support in ubuntu. What did you replace it with?

    Trust me the UK apple layout is really stupid, its like they couldn't be bothered to get it right. It's just the US layout with the # replaced by a £.
     
  8. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #8
    The Control key is needed for proper compatibility with OS X's UNIX subsystems. Trying to use a UNIX prompt without a control key isn't the easiest thing nor is it overly useful for much beyond the basics.
     
  9. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #9
    People have been saying "this will be the Year of Linux" for a couple decades now.

    Xubuntu, but it's been dropped (no more LTS versions). These go on a manufacturing floor, have to compile our proprietary software, which is basically the only thing they run. Mainly Intel Atom processors with embedded (and slow) graphics.
     
  10. rainbowmagik thread starter macrumors newbie

    rainbowmagik

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2014
    #10
    Well there's is some momentum here now with steam os giving device manufacturers a good reason to offer up to date linux support. Apparently developers will be targeting it as a platform for future releases. Thinking back 5 years, linux has a come a long way and is recently in a position where it can compete with windows for light desktop users. It may just be a drop in the bucket but I know a lot of non technical people who are recently aware of ubuntu as an alternative, some have even asked me how to install it, which is probably the biggest hurdle any alternative OS will have since most people are a bit clueless about computers.

    I don't know why so many people chose those over the amd embedded, I'm surprised you get any work done on them. Maybe something more lightweight like centos would be better, even more so without an LTS. You could even compile your own distro based on an LTS version if it has to be ubuntu.
     
  11. MyMac1976 macrumors 6502

    MyMac1976

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2013
    #11
    steam OS is seriously bad right now. When steam released it it had ludicrous requirements and was EFI only. People have recompiled for BIOS and AMD support but even then it's slower that pickadistro with steam installed. It was released too early and is really and alpha product. I wish Gabe and Steam would not get into a pissing contest with MS they just can't win.
     
  12. rainbowmagik thread starter macrumors newbie

    rainbowmagik

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2014
    #12
    It doesn't matter if steam OS is good or not, what matters is that amd/nvidia and other hardware manufacturers will stop being lazy with linux and make drivers more frequently. Also if developers start making games and apps with linux in mind because of steam OS, the end result is more native apps that can be run on linux.

    Also steam OS is still in beta, the final release is not ready yet for the average user.
     
  13. MyMac1976 macrumors 6502

    MyMac1976

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2013
    #13
    nVidia does make drivers frequently for Linux. The linux driver is the same as the Windows driver, AMD is committed to not releasing on Linux sooo..

    Steam OS is a Beta that is actually an alpha the amount of work that needed to be done to get it function on any sort of HW that is not directly comparable to the steam box was asinine. Steam bombed this release they needed to release and showed the world that open source is rushed and not thought through. Steam OS will be viable next year as it stands right now it's a cluster ****. The Steam game catalog has been growing well over the last 18 months but it's still less than 4% of Steam users but it has put to be the myth that Linux types won't pay for software. There are two big issues in the Linux world market share and fragmentation. The Fragmentation is about to get all kinds of bad when Canonical drops Mir, that'll leave Xorg, Wayland, and Mir draw screens. We already have issues with inits upstart, systemd, and sysvinit. As a dev who do you write for? Canonical with upstart and Mir, Debian that uses Wayland and xorg and sysvinit and systemd, RH with xorg and likely systemd, slack with sysvinit and xorg do you just throw source out there and hope for the best? Linux will go no where on the desktop until here is open standards that all adhere to but the ego's are just too big for that. I'm happy as a clam in Linux but I live in the Linux sphere and understand where I can't go.

    I'm not trying to be negative I want Linux to succeed but it's going to take more than Steam OS for that to happen
     
  14. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #14
    The "work" consists of controlling test equipment on the manufacturing floor. Performance is not an issue. We still have some computers that are nearly 20 years old. The new ones are all 1U rack mount with SSDs and no fans. Frankly, Linux is used because when the company started (in the 90's) they didn't want to pay for all the Windows licenses! Half of the company's manufacturing does use Windows now with coding in C#. Just not my half!

    We could be doing this with Raspberry Pis, but the computer is now just a small percentage of the cost of the tester so it doesn't really matter what we put there.
     
  15. MyMac1976 macrumors 6502

    MyMac1976

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2013
    #15
    I always thought controlling machines would be a good use for Pi's no fans to suck in junk virtually no power completely set and forget.
     
  16. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #16
    I need to put a wattmeter on one of the 1U computers. I expect they don't draw much. Doing code development (C++) directly on these systems (typically using VNC from another computer) runs reasonably fast with the SSD.
     
  17. roadbloc macrumors G3

    roadbloc

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #17
    Personally, I've never had an issue with Windows 8. Been using it since its release and once you've learnt the ropes and the changes, you become to realise that it is much better than Windows 7. Its faster, more stable, requires less resources and can be used easily on a much wider range of hardware including tablets without the need of a single driver.

    Microsoft haven't been doing a great job of explaining their intentions with the new interface. The simplest way is to pin the right type of apps on the Start Screen for the device you're on. IE. Desktop apps for laptops and desktops and the new Metro apps for tablets. By simply doing that, Windows 8 becomes a breeze to use.

    I do understand learning a new(ish) interface can be a little daunting when its been mostly the same since Windows 95. And Microsoft need to pull their finger out and accurately communicate to the consumer what the deal is rather than just dumping it on us and expecting people to just figure it out.
     
  18. A Hebrew macrumors 6502a

    A Hebrew

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2012
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #18
    I must say I agree about the dashboard on OSX being fairly useless....I haven't used it in ages and cannot think of a valid reason to other than to pass boredom.
     
  19. rainbowmagik thread starter macrumors newbie

    rainbowmagik

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2014
    #19
    I agree with most of what you said, for a while now I've been a little anoyed with the direction ubuntu has been heading in. But I still think steam os will in the end deliver some kind of benefit to linux users.

    ----------

    I know windows 8 and has some useful features and is faster but the problem is the interface is completely un-intuitive, 8.1 solved some issues but they really should have just given users what they wanted. Personally I think windows 8 is just a big scam to get people to upgrade to windows 9 when it eventually comes out which will probably be windows 8 with a start menu, since I can think of no one who actually likes the metro interface a ton of people will upgrade. Think about all those laptops that come with win8...
     
  20. chown33 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    #20
    You can remap the Mac's modifier keys so their action differs from the legend printed on their surface.

    System Preferences > Keyboard > Keyboard tab.

    Click the "Modifier Keys..." pushbutton at lower right.

    Remap modifiers to suit your preferred touch-typing layout.

    The above description is on a 10.8.4 Mtn Lion system, but modifier-key remapping hasn't changed significantly in some time.
     
  21. And macrumors 6502

    And

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2009
    Location:
    92 ft above sea level, UK
    #21
    1. Alt-3 = #. It really isn't a big deal.
    2. This could be a quirk of the battery, try a different manufacturer. Failing that, sounds like the mouse was duff, so take it back?
    3. Yes, no Cmd on a windows pc. But what's with the windows key...?
    4. I've not seen anything better personally. I have less frustration on my mac than on my work pc (windows 7) moving files around.

    ----------

    Apols... I think I would agree with you re dashboard. It has been reducing in visibility in the OS over various iterations and I think it will disappear soon. I don't know anyone who uses it.
     
  22. Sym0 macrumors 6502

    Sym0

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2013
    #22
    Have to disagree about price. A similarly spec'd laptop to the top model 15 costs the same. But is twice as think, haas a poor screen, and flexes and creaks of cheap plastic. I ended up buying the PC equivalent if the rMBP15 and it was dearer and no where near as good, on par for performance but indistinguishable from a $599 entry level POS from office works.

    The mac looks like a million bucks and walks the walk!!
     
  23. MyMac1976 macrumors 6502

    MyMac1976

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2013
    #23
    No similarly spec'ed and priced PC latops tend not to me plastic, thick, or have poorer resolution.
     
  24. roadbloc macrumors G3

    roadbloc

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #24
    I like the Metro interface. I find launching apps off a fullscreen menu (known as the Start Screen) much easier than navigating the tiny Start Menus we had before. I highly doubt Microsoft will be returning to the Start Menu. The Start Screen is far superior and with some luck, 8.2 will include drag and drop support which is just about the only feature it lacks.

    I also doubt we'll be seeing Windows 9 anytime soon since we're getting incremental updates every year. Fail to see how Windows 8 is a scam though. It works perfectly for me. As I said, once you've learned how to use it (put more than half an hour toying around and actually put some effort getting to grips with how the tablet and desktop interfaces work together), you find it actually isn't as bad as anybody is making out and if much much faster and more stable than Windows 7.
     
  25. rainbowmagik thread starter macrumors newbie

    rainbowmagik

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2014
    #25
    As an example case:
    A 13" MBP retails at £999
    An Acer Aspire V5-552P retails at £599

    The MBP is a third of the thickness of the acer but the acer does have better specs thanks to the amd A10, the acer also has more ram.
    Stylistically they seem fairly equivalent to me.

    I actually have a better spec version of the acer I bought last year for I think £450 but it must have been reduced in price at the time.
    The point I was making is that amd powered laptops right now are a lot cheaper and pretty powerful. The intels on the other hand are fairly equivalent price wise to macs but you have to pay a lot for anything approaching capable graphics hardware.
    The amd A series on the other hand has integrated graphics approaching the performance of a mid range graphics card.

    I often run cad and simulation software on an amd A10 laptop, I would not be able to do the same on a mbp that would have cost twice as much at the time.

    I don't agree that apple laptops are in a class of their own, there are other premium laptops out there of good build quality, some of them with better hardware, and depending on what your using it for may be more ideal for some application like my previous example.

    Of course price isn't the only factor that will influence which laptop you use, but if I wanted to use an apple laptop right now for this I would have to go for the £2199 15" MBP and also purchase some windows to run on it, since most of the software I need to run doesn't have a mac version. Which really defeats the point of using a mac.

    Anyway I stand by my original argument on laptops.
     

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