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Old Jun 26, 2006, 10:28 PM   #11
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I've used both. I started out on a MAC in 1989. Believe me, there was quite a difference between MAC and PC back then, especially with things like Photoshop and Pagemaker. Now I don't see that much of a difference. I think Apple pushed the edge for operating system innovation for a long time, but the PC has finally caught up. I ended up using XP all the time as I run GIS software that is no longer available for the MAC. I haven't bought a MAC in a while, so this all may have changed. I think the MACs were more expensive because they had better hardware. The boards have a front-side bus that matches the processor(many mainstream PCs have whatever was most available at the time and sometimes not a good match). It why, a few years ago, MACs with a 1.5 g processor were out performing the PCs with a 2.3 g.

I like MAC hardware, I think they have high standards. I like the OS. I like the style. If I had a lot of money I would replace my old G3 in a heartbeat(10 years old and still going strong), but I have to work on PC/XP most of the time( had to build my own to get the quality I would expect of a MAC).
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Old Jun 27, 2006, 8:13 AM   #12
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I think Macs are great (my wife has one, and I had a Powerbook for about a year until it was stolen) but I mostly use PCs.

The range of software available is much greater on the PC, for some things this is a killer and knocks Mac out of the game.

My experience with OSX is that the GUI is very slick and easy to use up to a point. Then it becomes really hard to do "intermediate level" stuff but "advanced stuff is easy because you can just use the unix terminal. Largely the problem with the middling difficult stuff is because there are so few 3rd party tools and utilities compared to the PC. Now I know that if you use the newsgroups then people will be able to recommend a program or utility (which might turn out to be quite expensive) for the Mac. But on windows finding that stuff is really easy and usually its open source or shareware.

I think OSX is pretty much fantastic except for the Finder which I cannot get on with. I find it incredibly annoying and clunky and cutesy for the sake of it. Not a tool to get actual work done. I know there are some better file explorers available - at a cost, and if I ever go back to OSX I will use one. For now though I just use the terminal when I have to do any file management.

My feeling with the PC is that the easy stuff is a bit harder, but the learning curve is very progressive until you get to the expert stuff.

I have seen both OSX and XP crash, but only because of faulty hardware drivers. Both are very solid and mature operating systems.

As for Linux, well it's great for servers (which we use) but for the desktop I'd only suggest it for IT types, and of course it has far less software available than the Mac, never mind the PC. Great fun if you're into opensource, less fun if you just want to get something done NOW. Not for aunt Minnie IMO.

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Old Jun 27, 2006, 8:48 AM   #13
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peripatetic wrote:
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As for Linux, well it's great for servers (which we use) but for the desktop I'd only suggest it for IT types. Not for aunt Minnie IMO.
It's getting there.

The biggest problem with most Linux distros is lack of commercial plugins (in an effort to include only open source software).

So, if you want support for MP3, Windows Media, QuickTime, Java, Flash, Real Player, ATI drivers, nVidia drivers, Adobe Acrobat Reader, proprietary WiFi drivers, fonts, and so on, you have to install these yourself (which can be more difficult in most Linux distributions compared to Windows).

There are a few exceptions... Some of the commercial Linux offerings like Xandros and Linspire have most of what users need already installed.

Another product that includes some proprietary plugins and codecs is SimplyMEPIS

I switched my wife to it quite a while back, and she prefers it to Windows. I usually keep a copy of it on my PC (setup dual boot with Windows XP). I've got SimplyMEPIS 6.0 Release Candidate 1 running on it right now (6.0 went through some Alphas, 5 Betas and it's in the Release Candidate Stage now). Here is a short review of the first Release Candidate:

http://www.tuxmachines.org/node/7665

When it goes final (RC2 is out and another Release Candidate should be hittting any day), I'll probably upgrade my wife to it if it looks stable (she's running an older version of it). Here is an old screenshot from her laptop running an older 3.x version of SimplyMEPIS:

SimplyMEPIS running on old Laptop

I've installed it for a few relatives, too; and even though they are not "PC literate", they seem to like it just fine. It's actually much easier to install compared to Windows XP with very good hardware support (and if you're running older hardware, it takes a lot less resources compared to Windows, too).

Chances are, I'll ditch Windows at some point in favor of Linux, too. Right now, I spend more time in XP. But, as more software becomes available for Linux, it's becoming more attractive. I've also been surprised at how easy it is to get some Windows specific software running in Wine (an open source project that allows a number of Windows applications to run under Linux -- sometimes faster than they do under Windows)..

For example, I've had the FastStone Image Viewer running under Wine with no problems (installed just as easily as it did under Windows). You just need to make sure MS Truetype fonts are installed for best menu readability (only one command line to install them from most Linux distro repositories).

Even Google has come out with a Linux version of Picasa based on a run time version of Wine.

http://picasa.google.com/linux/

Krita (an image editor that's part of KOffice) also seems to be heading in the right direction (support for 16 bit editing, ICC Profiles, support for layers, and more). It's not quite "there" yet. But, I've been surprised at how much progress is being made, and it's well integrated into the free KOffice suite:

http://www.koffice.org/tours/1.5/

Of course, you've got more sophisticated products like Open Office and The Gimp that a lot of users prefer to office needs and image editing.

Eric Hyman's Bibble is also available for Linux if you want a powerful commercial raw converter (although there are a number of free solutions based on David Coffin's dcraw.c, and chances are, some raw conversion plugins for Gimp based on it are already installed in many Linux Distributions.

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Old Jun 27, 2006, 9:33 AM   #14
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I used to build computers for friends and relatives, and computers in general used to be a big hobby for me. I dont care anymore, now its just a tool, probably has something to do with sitting at one all day at work.

I used to detest mac's, really fully hate them. This was based on some flawed observations I think, because the only macs I've used to this day were the ones at my school(s) which were very locked down. I hated that you couldn't see what was going on, or tinker with things. Everything was hidden behind a veil of secrecy. They werent very reliable either. The pc's were my playground.

Nowadays, I have a plain ole consumer HP laptop that I spent two or three days cleaning up when it was new. I've prepped several dell desktops at work and the low end ones are the same as my laptop, BUT the higher end precision workstations boot up clean as a whistle right off the bat. My workstation and its predacesor both run XP and have been the most reliable and fast computers I've ever used.

I'd switch to linux, mac, xp, or whatever without any reservations these days but for simplistic compatibility the path of least resistance is definatly windows. I cant really see any advantage to macs, they seem relatively higher priced and of more limited selection (hardware and software). But if I saw one that fit my needs I'd just as soon buy it as a new windows laptop.

I dont think I can live with a single mouse button, I'm used to a four button trackball...
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Old Jun 27, 2006, 9:35 AM   #15
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Well I use a Mac and I'm quite happy. Unfortunately I'm not a fanatic. In the early and Mid nineties this same discussion was going on, and the simple reality was that at THAT time the Mac was a much better machine. Or I should say, it was a computer with a much better OS. Windows, except to WIndows users was a joke.

At this time PC's have more than closed the gap and there's little to choose. I'll keep using a Mac for the simple reason that I'm used to it.

But if it was just a question of who had the better OS years ago, the Mac did, and yet most people bought PC's anyway.

Oddly enough the BEST OS was the last versions of the Atari OS. Made dust out of everyone else and had a one percent market share. It was so efficient that my present Atari Clone, powered by a Motorolla 68060 chip is just as fast as a G4, which theoretically should be ten times as fast!

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Old Jun 28, 2006, 9:52 AM   #16
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With the introduction of Intel based Macs, I think we are seeing the final appearance of dedicated Mac hardware. Aside from the fact that the first thing that people raced to do with the Intel Macs was to dump the Mac OS and get it to run Windows, Apple isn't making any money from selling Macs anymore especially when they have only4% marketshare. (If it wasn't for the iPod, Apple would have disappeared long ago.) In fact, it is Microsoft thathas beenpropping up Apple (in order to demonstrate that Windows is NOT the only operating system) financially for years.

I think we will soon see Apple abandon Mac hardware and begin to produce software only for Windows and Linux based machines. Hey, Microsoft doesn't make computers and Bill Gates seems to be doing OK.

So there is probably little point in moving to Mac hardware when you can do everything on Windows machines anyway. Is there any difference running Photoshop on Windows or a Mac?

I just came from a Microsoft demo of the latest Vista Beta 2...Mac OS is in TROUBLE!
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Old Jun 28, 2006, 10:28 AM   #17
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Quote:
Eric Hyman's Bibble is also available for Linux if you want a powerful commercial raw converter (although there are a number of free solutions based on David Coffin's dcraw.c, and chances are, some raw conversion plugins for Gimp based on it are already installed in many Linux Distributions.
YES!

I only recently discovered that Bibble ran on Linux. Add Gimp and you're pretty close to what you can do on aWindows or Mac. Either by itself wouldn't be up to much, but together it's not bad.

Of course there's no Photoshop and no DXO optics, and not much chance of Lightroom ever making it to Linux. And now that Adobe has bought Bibble Linux support may disappear. *shrugs*




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Old Jun 28, 2006, 10:44 AM   #18
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peripatetic wrote:
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And now that Adobe has bought Bibble Linux support may disappear. *shrugs*
Unless you know something that I don't, Adobe did not buy Bibble (AFAIK, Eric Hyman has not sold out).

Adobe bought technology assets from Pixmantec (maker of RawShooter Essentials and RawShooter Premium).

BTW, Eric Hyman is now offering a discount to RawShooter Premium users that want to buy Bibble:

http://www.steves-digicams.com/diginews.html#bibb_pix


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Old Jun 28, 2006, 4:53 PM   #19
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Many people say good things about the Apple OS. So I have to wonder why Jobs is so adamant that it will never run on a plain vanilla Intel machine. If it really is so good, then why not just sell it as an alternative OS for Intel machines? Could this be some long ago restriction Microcrap placed on Apple when it 'invested' in Apple?
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Old Jun 28, 2006, 5:19 PM   #20
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One problem I've got with Apple is that they didn't make any attempt to allow their Operating Sytems to be backwards compatible as they went forward.

For example, programs developed for the Apple II won't run on a Mac. In contrast, Microsoft spent a lot of time making sure it's operating systems would support most older programs when they migrated from a text to gui interface (hence, one reason the code is somewhat bloated), and they've made an effort to do the same thing with newer operating systems (sometimes successfully, sometimes not, but at least they try).

Pros and Cons to both approaches. But, for a business, backwards compatibility is far more important.

Although they're better lately, Apple's hardware prices have historically been *way* out of line with competing products, too.

Apple wanted outrageous prices for some of their hardware originally. I've owned a couple of Apple computers, and I switched to "IBM compatibles" (as we used to call them) when I figured out that I could buy an entire system with 10 times the RAM of an Apple IIe, including a 5MB hard disk drive, for less than Apple wanted for a 5MB drive alone. IOW, they priced themselves out of the market.

But, if Apple did try to sell it's OS as a stand alone product that could be used on non-Apple hardware, I would probably give it a look.

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