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Slashdot: Confessions of a Mac OS X User
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Big Mac
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Feb 11, 2004, 05:13 AM
 
This may have already come up, but while doing metamoderating I came across an interesting Slashdot article entitled Confessions of a Mac OS X User. Now I only read the abstract (which by itself didn't seem to positive), but what really interested me was the tone of the comments. Most wrote very highly of OS X and how much of a joy it is compared to Linux.

And I only found one truly negative comment about our beloved OS, which others disputed. I suppose I was also intrigued by the fact that none of the comments dwelled on some of the minor UI issues that all of us find so important. That doesn't change my outlook in any substantive way, though, because it seems that those who come from Linux are so thankful for a nearly perfect GUI that they'll overlook the minor details.

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
Chris O'Brien
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Feb 11, 2004, 05:44 AM
 
There's some very interesting comments on there. I'm surprised that it's stayed so calm, considering it is slashdot. There wasn't even one troll that I could find. I was rather dissappointed actually...

There is one comment I agree with whole-heartedly, and that's about terminal.app being so sluggish. I quite often find my self using the terminal in X11 (xterm) because it is so much more responsive. Which is weird.
     
entrox
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Feb 11, 2004, 05:51 AM
 
I can give you 5 anti-Mac comments for every pro-Mac comment on Slashdot.

"The upper layers are proprietary! It sucks!"
"It is not GNU/Free! It sucks!"
"The window management sucks! My FVWM/IceWM/Ion/Whatever is much better!"
"Apple is overpriced! I can build a much faster box for a tenth of the price for a Mac."
"Vendor lock-in! You can only buy hardware from Apple."
"Apple is dying (together with *BSD)"

The list goes on and on. Slashdot is a nerdy hellhole for paranoid, tinfoil hat wearing Free Software fanatics, who flame each other over whether it should be "GNU/Linux" or only "Linux".

I hate /. (but read it every day anyway).
     
pimephalis
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Feb 11, 2004, 07:21 AM
 
Originally posted by entrox:
I can give you 5 anti-Mac comments for every pro-Mac comment on Slashdot.

"The upper layers are proprietary! It sucks!"
"It is not GNU/Free! It sucks!"
"The window management sucks! My FVWM/IceWM/Ion/Whatever is much better!"
"Apple is overpriced! I can build a much faster box for a tenth of the price for a Mac."
"Vendor lock-in! You can only buy hardware from Apple."
"Apple is dying (together with *BSD)"

The list goes on and on. Slashdot is a nerdy hellhole for paranoid, tinfoil hat wearing Free Software fanatics, who flame each other over whether it should be "GNU/Linux" or only "Linux".

I hate /. (but read it every day anyway).

Yeah, well, that's what you get when you read at -1 ...
Swimming upstream since 1994.
     
Big Mac  (op)
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Feb 11, 2004, 07:22 AM
 
I guess I overlooked many of those posts, entrox. But I thought the thread was notable because much of that negative sentiment wasn't found. I'll respond to th comments of trolls you relayed:

1. Yes, some will be disappointed by OS X because it's not completely open source. I didn't see too many comments like that in that thread, but perhaps they had all been moderated down.

2. See above.

3. I didn't see one post contend that any of the various Linux GUIs are superior to OS X. In fact, most of those nerds will admit that the windowing systems of Linux are likely the weakest part of the OS.

4. Macs are overpriced, since Apple enjoys a monopoly of the hardware market. That is something we've come to accept, but that doesn't mean it's necessarily a wonderful thing. I saw the merits to cloning, and I think it would have worked had it been handled intelligently. The lack of vendor choice definitely discourages enterprise investments, and it probably scares off an appreciable number of other customers as well.

5. See above.

6. I've never heard any nerd say Apple is dying. And diehard Linux partisans don't hate BSD. Any comments similar to what you've posted are written purely for troll value.

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
mitchell_pgh
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Feb 11, 2004, 07:32 AM
 
I think the real issue is... in time, Linux will absorb most of the cool parts of OS X in the same way that it has absorbed the few cool things in Windows. They are behind, but are catching up FAST.

I'm in love with OS X, but the idea of having a majority of the functionality of OS X on a VERY inexpensive box does appeal to me.
     
Big Mac  (op)
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Feb 11, 2004, 08:04 AM
 
I don't think Linux will ever approach the usability of OS X, simply because of nature of the OS and the culture associated with it. The fact is if you're going to make Linux or Unix as usable as OS X, then you basically have to build OS X -- and that has already been done. A cheap box is appealing, but it won't ever be the Mac.

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
sniffer
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Feb 11, 2004, 08:07 AM
 
Originally posted by Big Mac:

4. Macs are overpriced, since Apple enjoys a monopoly of the hardware market. That is something we've come to accept, but that doesn't mean it's necessarily a wonderful thing. I saw the merits to cloning, and I think it would have worked had it been handled intelligently. The lack of vendor choice definitely discourages enterprise investments, and it probably scares off an appreciable number of other customers as well.
Off topic, but everytime I see someone put monopoly and Apple in the same sentence I grin. It's not like they are the only Pee-Cee vendor in the world, right? As long as you get comparable services through other solutions it's not a monopoly. It's like calling Nike shoes or BMW cars monopol gears as the firms (nike and BMW) are the only ones entitled to produce their stuff. Open architecture like x86 is a very unique thing, and it doesn't make Apple a monopolly just because Apple doesn't follow the same pattern. It's like calling NeXT / OS/2 / OS X a monopol OS just because Linux is open source. But it's not.
There are other reasons for why Apple hardware costs more than the price dumped Dell hardware, but your assumption is not it.

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Big Mac  (op)
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Feb 11, 2004, 08:19 AM
 
My friend, sniffer, please give me a bit more credit than that. Of course Apple doesn't have a computing monopoly. It has a monopoly over Mac hardware. To wit, Apple is the only producer of Mac hardware and has been since the second reign of Jobs. Apple is a monopoly producer of hardware in the Mac market. I assure you I'm not confused about such an elementary point.

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
mitchell_pgh
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Feb 11, 2004, 08:20 AM
 
Originally posted by sniffer:
Off topic, but everytime I see someone put monopoly and Apple in the same sentence I grin. It's not like they are the only Pee-Cee vendor in the world, right? As long as you get comparable services through other solutions it's not a monopoly. It's like calling Nike shoes or BMW cars monopol gears as the firms (nike and BMW) are the only ones entitled to produce their stuff. Open architecture like x86 is a very unique thing, and it doesn't make Apple a monopolly just because Apple doesn't follow the same pattern. It's like calling NeXT / OS/2 / OS X a monopol OS just because Linux is open source. But it's not.
There are other reasons for why Apple hardware costs more than the price dumped Dell hardware, but your assumption is not it.
The major difference between many of the items you named here is the fact that OS X ties you in to an OS and hardware.

It would be like buying a BMW and ONLY being able to buy BMW tires or gas... I could buy a BMW and put a tractor motor if I wanted to...

It would be like buying Nike shoes and only being able to buy Nike insoles and shoelaces...

With OS X, you are tied in to buying Apple hardware (technically their motherboards as everything else is basically off the shelf components) Very few other operating systems do that and NONE do at the consumer level.

I'll reiterate that I love OS X, but until the day when Apple makes more money off of the OS/Applications and less off the hardware, we won't see much change.

I'll agree that Monopoly is a poor word to use when talking about a Mac. It would be if Apple had 90% of the market...
     
sniffer
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Feb 11, 2004, 08:46 AM
 
The thing you guys are missing is that there is a difference between providing your own closed solutions and having monopoly in a marked. So technically Apple is not even near to be called a monopoly. There are just to many examples of this.
Take a cell phone for instance. Can you swap parts (or software) in it with other cell phones from other brands? No you can't. Does that make Nokia a monopolly? No it don't. And you are still able to use it with any cell-phone service network like any other brand. The same thing is it with BMW. You can use it on any other road like any car from other brands. And what about Macs? Yes, it's all the same thing.
And Big Mac, I am not question you or your knowledge, it's just that I've had this discussion over and over with PC trolls so many times that.. Well you know.. You get tired hearing about it.
Point is. Monopoly is not the correct term. Calling it a closed platform or something might be more correct OTOH.
( Last edited by sniffer; Feb 11, 2004 at 08:58 AM. )

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Apple Pro Underwear
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Feb 11, 2004, 09:06 AM
 
Apple doesn't have a monopoly over Mac hardware.

THEY ARE MAC HARDWARE.

it is their business. they created it, they manufacture it and develop it. what do you expect?

to bring up the NIke anology — Nike has Shox™ shoes. Reebok cannot make Shox™ shoes. Nike invented Shox™ and therefore making Shox™ is their business. It is not a monopoly, it is a normal business product that the company is trying to sell.


(clones were just a license they let some companies have)
     
John C. Smith
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Feb 11, 2004, 09:24 AM
 
Originally posted by Apple Pro Underwear:
Apple doesn't have a monopoly over Mac hardware.

THEY ARE MAC HARDWARE.

it is their business. they created it, they manufacture it and develop it. what do you expect?

to bring up the NIke anology — Nike has Shox™ shoes. Reebok cannot make Shox™ shoes. Nike invented Shox™ and therefore making Shox™ is their business. It is not a monopoly, it is a normal business product that the company is trying to sell.


(clones were just a license they let some companies have)
what about all the rebranded items nike sells? like the watches or mp3 players?

okay enough caffeine for me.

tall and tan and young and lovely
     
sniffer
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Feb 11, 2004, 09:54 AM
 
Originally posted by Apple Pro Underwear:
Apple doesn't have a monopoly over Mac hardware.

THEY ARE MAC HARDWARE.
Exa©tly!™ Well said.

Sniffer gone old-school sig
     
Big Mac  (op)
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Feb 11, 2004, 10:36 AM
 
I suppose I have to be pedantic here. Let's look at the definition of monopoly:

mo•nop•o•ly - exclusive control of a commodity or service in a given market, or control that makes possible the fixing of prices and the virtual elimination of free competition

Well, this certainly applies to Mac hardware. Does anyone else have the privilege to sell it? No. Can Apple fix the prices of Mac hardware? Yes. Is there any competition against Apple for Mac hardware? Nope.

If you want to run the Mac OS, there's only one place from which you may buy your hardware. There's only one game in town. Apple is a monopoly in the Mac hardware market, as I said before. Now I'm definitely not saying Apple has no competition in the computer market. If you want to, you may buy a PC and run any one of a multitude of OSs. But you won't be able to run Mac OS X.

Phrased in a different manner, people often say Microsoft is a monopoly because ~97% of market is owned by MS. Now using logic analogous to those who contest my terminology, I could state MS is not a monopoly. You can buy a PC running Linux, right? You can buy a PC and run BSD, right? But is it Windows? Of course not. If you want Windows you play with MS. And if you want the Mac, you speak to Apple. Both are monopolistic players, just to vastly contrasting degrees. MS' monopoly is so much more powerful than Apple's, but Apple enjoys a monopoly in the confines of the Mac market.

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
hayesk
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Feb 11, 2004, 10:49 AM
 
Originally posted by Big Mac:
I suppose I have to be pedantic here. Let's look at the definition of monopoly:

mo•nop•o•ly - exclusive control of a commodity or service in a given market, or control that makes possible the fixing of prices and the virtual elimination of free competition

Well, this certainly applies to Mac hardware. Does anyone else have the privilege to sell it? No. Can Apple fix the prices of Mac hardware? Yes. Is there any competition against Apple for Mac hardware? Nope.
Apple cannot use their marketing clout affect competition. MS can and has (e.g. "if you include Netscape on your PCs, we'll charge you more for Windows" or "you must include Windows on *all* of your PCs or we'll charge you much more for the Windows that you include on *some* PCs"). Apple is not in a position to do this because they make and sell the entire system.

Apple does not have a computer monopoly. If Apple screws me over, I can go out and buy a PC and still read my email, serve web pages, etc. To say they have a Mac monopoly is as stupid as saying Coca-Cola has a Coca-Cola monopoly or Audi has an Audi monopoly.
     
quandarry
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Feb 11, 2004, 11:18 AM
 
Originally posted by John C. Smith:
what about all the rebranded items nike sells? like the watches or mp3 players?

okay enough caffeine for me.
nike does not manufacture anything. there are no nike factories anywhere on this planet.
     
sniffer
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Feb 11, 2004, 11:47 AM
 
Originally posted by Big Mac:
mo•nop•o•ly - exclusive control of a commodity or service in a given market, or control that makes possible the fixing of prices and the virtual elimination of free competition

Well, this certainly applies to Mac hardware.
Market: A geographical area of demand for commodities or services. Key word is demand, and as long as other providers can fill that demand, Apple can't be isolated as a marked. It could only happen if Mac wasn't a PC, or no other PC's existed. Thereby it doesn't fill the requirements for being a monopoly no way or another.

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Feb 11, 2004, 12:28 PM
 
Dear Sniffer,

I think we should shut up at this point or we'll have to meet up at a Apple store and bang our heads against the wall.
     
   
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