I switched! Though it didn't "just work"...

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by khammack, Mar 8, 2005.

  1. khammack macrumors regular

    Sep 28, 2004
    Portland, OR
    I bought a 15" powerbook last tuesday. Wahoo!!

    So far, it's simultaneously wonderful and slightly annoying. I also have a question, skip down if you feel like helping and don't want to hear my gripes.

    The annoying parts are mostly resolved. For that matter, they are really more unixy things that have nothing to do with pure OSX stuff. For example, the delete key now removes the character behind it no matter what machine I'm logged into.

    And when using emacs on a remote system, can't remember which one, the delete key brought up "help". I definitely haven't seen that in a while.

    The really annoying part involved figuring out where "meta" belongs; it seems really simple until you find yourself using carbonized emacs, emacs in a terminal, emacs on a remote linux machine in a terminal, emacs on a remote linux machine displayed via X11 on OSX. That took a solid week to sort out.

    Of course, those are just nits. And they really are inherent unix problems, part of the baggage apple signed up for when they tucked freebsd into their os. I'm really not complaining, I can deal with unix.

    There is one issue I haven't yet figured out. Can someone help with this?

    On unix, I type the physical dimentions of my screen (width and height) into a file (that is, if linux hasn't already detected my monitor and obtained the size from it's database). The X server uses this information to display a 10pt font correctly, meaning that onscreen a 10pt font is the same physical size as on a piece of paper. I'm sure that apple is doing this correctly in carbon/cocoa land, but 'xdpyinfo' tells me that apple's x11 took the lazy way out and just set it to 75x75. This is annoying, since the display is clearly 100dpi give or take a few d's per i, and hence a 10pt font in carbon is not the same size as a 10pt font in X11. And more importantly, it looks fine on linux, but the same app displayed back to osx has a font size that's too small.

    That drives me insane. And I haven't yet found a setting for it. Anyone? DPI for Apple's X11?

    Given all that, the non unixy stuff did in fact "just work". I'm pleased overall. My other option was linux on a centrino. The battery life would have been better, the hardware cheaper, the software much cheaper, and I probably would have been productive a couple days sooner.

    But while my few petty gripes may fill out a few paragraphs, I could write a novel on how cool this thing is. After one week, my gripes and annoyances are melting away.

    And after a week, I still hit F9 every once in a while just for fun. :cool:

  2. alex_ant macrumors 68020


    Feb 5, 2002
    All up in your bidness
    The glory of open standards!

    You don't have to apologize for Pee-Yewnix's problems. I don't have the X11 virus installed on my Mac, but if memory serves me correctly, dpi is set in a config file somewhere. When I ran XFree86 it was in /usr/X11R6/etc or /usr/etc/X11R6 or something. Maybe Apple's X11 doesn't have that file, or maybe it's somewhere else. Or maybe it's in .Xdefaults... or maybe it's in the X11.app package. I have no idea. I would refer you to the Apple X11 virus mailing list. Good luck soldier! :D

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