[rescue] Why is everyone so OSX happy?

Chris Hedemark chris at yonderway.com
Fri Apr 11 12:39:50 CDT 2003

On Thursday, April 10, 2003, at 10:58 PM, Kevin wrote:

> I don't mean to offend anyone here (with the possible
> exception of Steve Jobs) but i am curious as to why so many
> people here seem to love OSX, especially people who understand
> and are familiar with other unices?  In my eyes, OSX is an
> unpolished, tacky, eye candy bloated mess.

Have you tried it?

I mean beyond the 5 minute messing around at the Apple store?

> 3. OSX has several issues with USB devices on boot, especially
> if you are booting from SCSI devices and not IDE.  That circle
> with a slash through it, "prohibited" sign gets annoying when
> it comes up once out of every four or five reboots (yes the
> SCSI chain is properly terminated.)

Most people won't run into this because most OS X boxes don't run SCSI 
(and most of those that do don't boot off of SCSI).

In general, I've had no problems with USB devices (tested printer, 
digital camera, camcorder, keyboard, mouse, jog wheel) or Firewire 
(including hard disks, DVD-R/RW, camcorder).

> 4. There are several places where the code is just simply not
> finished.  The file manager for instance.

I've been using OS X for almost a year now.  No real complaints on that 
front (then again I use the command line interface for most of my file 

> So please someone, let me know what is so @%$&*@#! great about
> it?  Then perhaps i will see the light too....

This is something you will hear a lot:  It Just Works.

More importantly, for me, it is the most graceful OS I know of at 
handling portable operation with lots of sleep/wake cycles, often 
waking up on a different network than it went to sleep in, or having 
new devices attached, etc.  I plug shit in and it works.

The experience goes beyond the software.  The hardware gets me giddy, 
too.  I've got this very conveniently sized portable UNIX computer with 
gigabit ethernet, 802.11b, firewire, USB, S-Video out, audio in/out, 
56K modem, PC Card slot, DVD/CD-RW, DVI port (with SVGA dongle), nice 
wide screen, etc.  I get decent battery life.  I can put the thing in 
my lap without getting burned.  It handles my music collection 
competently.  It handles my video editing brilliantly.  I have a number 
of encrypted filesystems on the hard disk for each of my clients so if 
my machine gets jacked my most sensitive data is still safe.  I have 
full access to my UNIX hosts both by command line and GUI.  I can map 
drives easily on both UNIX and Windows servers.

Linux or FreeBSD on a PC laptop is capable of doing many of these 
things with a lot of slapped on hardware upgrades and a lot of time 
spent configuring software.  OS X works pretty well out of the box, and 
with a minimum of customizing is a damned good tool for a UNIX sysadmin 
to carry around.  This has been more useful to me than any other 
notebook I've had running any other OS.

My gripes?  Yes, I have some.

* - Mail.app can't competently deal with file attachments (outbound).
* - The one button mouse is annoying, though less so as you get used to 
it.  I do pack a real USB mouse in my bag for times that I really need 
to have those extra buttons.  Using the Control key with the mouse 
button to simulate a right-click has become almost subconscious now.
* - 802.11b reception sucks donkey rectum.  The iBooks are supposed to 
be better in this respect.
* - The paint does not hold up well to wear & tear. My TiBook looks 
like it has been to Baghdad.
* - Combo drive is busted & unusable.  I can't go without my notebook 
for the time it would take to send it off for repair.  Got a firewire 
attached drive which works a lot better.
* - One of my keys popped off the keyboard and could not be put back on 
(broken plastic).  I took it to the apple store and they fixed it for 
free while I waited.

You'll notice I've been blurring the line between hardware & software a 
lot.  One tends to do that after working with this kit for awhile.

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