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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good and detailed article. 10 pages - this is just the lead in to the "hands on"

Linux Vs. Mac: Which Is The Better Alternative To Microsoft Windows?

If you're a Vista-wary Windows user who would rather switch than fight, should you move to a Linux distro or Apple's OS X? We asked a Mac fan and a Linux advocate to lead a guided tour of each OS.

By Serdar Yegulalp Mitch Wagner
InformationWeek
August 1, 2007 12:00 AM

The switch from Windows XP to Vista has created a world of opportunity -- not only for Microsoft, but for supporters of competing operating systems. While Microsoft is hoping it can move its customers easily to a new version of Windows, Apple and the Linux community see the transition as a chance to demonstrate the advancement and advantages of their OSes -- and maybe steal some customers.

If you're one of those Windows users who are less than enchanted by what you've seen of Vista and you're thinking about switching, you face some tough choices that can make you feel like a pioneer. Is it a good idea to move to a Mac, with its easy interface, high level of safety and stability -- and higher prices? Or is it better to adopt a Linux distro, which is free (or, at least, inexpensive), supported by a range of imaginative developers -- and not quite newbie-friendly? Either decision forces you into new, unfamiliar territory.

For answers, we went to two writers who have a great deal of experience with Windows PCs but have recently experimented with moving to either a Mac or Linux. Mitch Wagner is an executive editor here at InformationWeek who has become an enthusiastic Mac convert, while Serdar Yegulalp, who has written extensively about Microsoft Windows, is now exploring the world of Linux and Linux distros. In other words, while both like to tout the advantages of their newly chosen operating systems, they are also well aware of the drawbacks.

In the following pages, they lead a guided tour of the two OSes, paying particular attention to eight important areas: Installation & Migration; Hardware Support & Power Management; Networking, Web & Wireless; Productivity; Entertainment; Security; Working With Windows (because we couldn't completely ignore Microsoft); and Stability, Backup & Disaster Recovery.

Which is the better OS? Only you can decide --but you'll make a more informed decision after you've taken this tour, and you'll discover you have some companions on your journey.
Linux Vs. Mac: Which Is The Better Alternative To Microsoft Windows? -- OS X, Linux
 

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Yeah. I read this today myself. It's a great article. When you tie it with this one, the article gets even BETTER :)
 

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Next time you're at your local library, get a PC world magazine. It made me feel so superior to read all the windows people admitting that little bits were stolen from mac.
 

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Okay, I read the whole article that MacDoc posted, and I think it validates what I feel about Linux vs Apple.

I always had the feeling that Linux was more for people who have a high level of computer knowledge, and almost certainly the ability to write code to fix or change the Linux things that didn't work or that they didn't like. Linux is for advanced users who like to tinker under the hood.
Macs just work, they're elegant, powerful, and very easy to use.
Is this a fair assessment of the two OSes?

What I still can't figure out is why regular users, anyone other than advanced computer users, would want to use Linux instead of the Apple OS.
Is that a fair question?

Will Linux always be for the geeks with lots of time on their hands, and Apple for the rest of us?
 

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Linux is for advanced users who like to tinker under the hood. Macs just work, they're elegant, powerful, and very easy to use.
Is this a fair assessment of the two OSes?
Well, it's close imho :) At the risk of sounding like a fanboi (too late!), I'd say that Apple pulled off the best of both worlds by successfully mating an great, friendly user interface on top of an industrial strength command line OS. This has drawn geeks from both the Windows, Linux camps... and yet, some of the simplest of users I have switched never call me for help -- and I myself don't even know A SINGLE UNIX COMMAND. That is how well Apple pulled it off!

What I still can't figure out is why regular users, anyone other than advanced computer users, would want to use Linux instead of the Apple OS.
Is that a fair question?
Because they are suggested to do so by geeks within whom they trust. But honestly... are there many casual users going Linux??

Will Linux always be for the geeks with lots of time on their hands, and Apple for the rest of us?
I think so, because Linux doesn't have the cohesive vision that Mac OS X or even Windows has. While allowing for "flexibility" and low cost, its open, "headless" nature is its own worst enemy. MAYBE Linux has the potential to make headway in corporate enterprise if the Linux distro and software systems are properly installed, co-ordinated properly upon EACH workstation and deployed properly. The software suite would have to be really tested, making sure that workflow is acceptably cohesive.
 

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because Linux doesn't have the cohesive vision that Mac OS X or even Windows has. While allowing for "flexibility" and low cost, its open, "headless" nature is its own worst enemy.
Exactly why I dislike Adium so much. But OpenOffice is ok.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I posted it as general info but also to point out the squeeze Microsoft is in from different sides.

Vista is a change - and perhaps not a successful one - so now users have 3 choices all of which have valid points - dominance by MS is looking far less secure.

••

Dell has a similar problem - squeezed by Apple from above and Lenovo from below.

No where near the maneuvering room MS has.
 

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A person has to love clueless articles written by clueless morons!

1. OSX is not just 'preinstalled', but actually is available retail. If I had to run what was preinstalled, I'd be running OS 9.22. Preinstalled OSX is actually usable, unlike 'Doze which comes with useless crippleware, which is ironic seeing that 'Doze itself is crippleware (always was and always shall be).

2. Linux is not for sissies and clueless morons. It is a hacker's OS written for and by hackers, and as such, one needs to put some time into hacking in order to have it run in a satisfying manner. Any software written in C can be recompiled for Linux - any flavour of Linux, given some modicum of effort. Linux is not for clueless authors who write aimless articles about what they know little of. Any bugs have to be pursued and ruthlessly hacked to bits. I always thought the sissies should be relegated to Amigas, where they could do little damage. Come to think about it, Linux and OSX have C language - 'Doze has Visual BASIC...

3. If it was not for Unix / Linux, the modern world would not be so modern because we would not have the Internet! When Unix and VMS were bring used to spread and operate a worldwide communication network - 'Doze couldn't handle a simple ZModem download on a modem, or even VT100 emulation. Even the old Apples could speak AppleTalk, which interoperated with the big boys courtesy of DEC.

4. Most Linux distros come with a modicum of handy software, and OpenOffice is certainly capable of the multiple tasks. OSX comes with real, working software, so that you can immediately get down to some business. Even TextEdit can hammer out documents, which you couldn't dream of doing with NotePad. Emacs & TeX always ruled! 'Doze comes with what, a registry editor?

5. People switching rather than running Vista! What a load!!! 'Doze users are lemmings, and though they may complain a bit, they will continue to be ripped off by the Redmond Bandits. It's like Canadians and the weather - they complain but they normally do not move to better climates. Vista is a winner, a very big winner because that is the way it is. All the talk about Safari and Forefox taking over - it's only because the Evil Empire gave up on MSIE. (They have a vastly inferior product called WIE now which is entirely proprietary. Don't confuse that with the inferior product formerly peddled by the Nerd Empire).

6. No one is going to give up the safety and security of the 'Doze world. Neither viruses, bugs, glitches, reboots, BSODs, upgrade ripoffs nor poor design will keep the lemmings from their appointed duty to be unproductive in the face of their 'Doze Boxen. Listen, OSX does not have any appreciable viruses, adbot infestations, macro worms, unexpected crashes, immediate system lockups, or daily core dumps. Even the equivalent of a 'BSOD' looks classy and issues it's message in multiple languages. There is not one 'Doze user that wants any of the OSX flim-flam like that!

7. No one is going to give up the Holy Grail of M$ Orfice, what, with it's inferior grade 'word processor', a spreadsheet that used to be MultiPlan, and the fact that it is entirely bloatware the size of a Zepplin. People love it, and will never give it up; just like some nutters will surely go out and buy a Pontiac made from inferior parts assembled in China, but think it is more 'North American' than a Toyota or Honda made right here in Ontario.

Then there is is whole confusion about which Mac he should have bought. He would have preferred a quad processor Mac Pro over the iMac - and so would I prefer a Cray IV over the Sharp calculator I have on my desk. Just like those car reviews that suggest that a loaded Rolls is a 'better car' than a Ford Focus... iMacs are for those that want a computer on their desk - Mac Pros are for those that want a computer as a desk.

That's my five cents, plus PST, GST, FST, HST, BCST, PQRST...
 

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What I still can't figure out is why regular users, anyone other than advanced computer users, would want to use Linux instead of the Apple OS.
Is that a fair question?
I know of a regular user who uses Ubuntu and he seemed happy enough that I gave it a good shot on my T20.

When I first ran Ubuntu earlier this year, it seemed so similar to OS X...eerily similar especially when it had that nagging "update" feature. For someone who just wants to do word processing, email, websurfing...just regular tasks...Linux can easily do the trick.

Where it really falls down is if the "regular" user starts to want to update and change things or if there is an incompatiblity issue. If you think that the Windows world has problems in this regard, it has nothing over Linux.

I'm sure that if I could live with being one minor version behind in OpenOffice then Linux will do almost everything that I do on the Mac. I just don't want to have to fight the OS when it comes time to getting new things to work.
 

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If my 2¢ is worth anything, I recently dowloaded Ubuntu for my PIII 867 PC that gave up on windows. Seriously.

That said, I found Ubuntu to be a mixed bag. I runs fine on my PC, with "windows wobble when moved" turned on, but installing software isnt as straightforward as it should be. Using the package manager, I found software to extend Ubunu's functionality, and wanted to install the packages necessary to view .wmv, .mov and .mpg files and happened to come across a couple games and emulators, one of them being Quake 3.

I have a legit version of Quake 3 for my PC, so I tried to download and install the Linux version using my Quake install disk (needed for the installation) and Synaptic (the package manager). After watching the progress of the intallation everything seemed to go fine, no error messages whatsoever, I tried to FIND the game so I could try it.

That was the hard part.

Synaptic sez that the game is installed, but to WHERE? Search finds nothing, and there are no folders/directories with user friendly names, such as APPLICATION, or even PROGRAMS. WTF? Same thing with the 2 other games I installed. I still havent been able to locate the game on my hard drive.

I am enjoying tinkering around and teaching myself the command line by Using Ubuntu (yeah I know OSX has a terminal too, but I have NEVER need to use it) but it is NOT for the faint of heart. You CAN get things to work they way you want, but it involves a whole lotta hunting, installing and trial and error. Although Linux has come a long way, I don't see this OS becoming mainstream anytime soon!
 

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My parents and their army of youngings had their computer freak out and it for some reason wouldn't complete a new XP install and just kept fragging, so I installed Ubuntu on their machine and said 'good luck!'.

I came back 3 months later to see that they had managed to make seperate login accounts, internet favorites, installed some programs through the add programs over the internet feature built into ubuntu, etc. and these people are absolute computer morons - as in, don't know the difference between a right click and a left click, and think that the entire computer exists within the monitor, etc. But they *never* stopped whining to get their precious windows back with office '03 (back in the day, I know).

I suggested they get a mac mini, but they resisted. They instead went for a low-ball Dell $300 POS and of course they hate it and regret it now. I really wish mac would put out a really cheap ass system for the low balling idiots.
 

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Synaptic sez that the game is installed, but to WHERE? Search finds nothing, and there are no folders/directories with user friendly names, such as APPLICATION, or even PROGRAMS. WTF? Same thing with the 2 other games I installed. I still havent been able to locate the game on my hard drive.
They will probably be installed in /usr/bin, where all of the user binaries are kept. This is standard on all UNIX derived filesystems, even Darwin that lurks beneath OS X. If you can get Midnight Commander running on Ubuntu, you shoudl do that. Oh, and remember that to run programs in the command prompt, you may need to put a ./ in front of the name. And if that doesn't work, make sure the file has the Execute flag turned on. (Unix uses attributes to know if a file is executable or not. .EXE or .COM are just parts of the file name that the OS is oblivious to.)
 

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••

Dell has a similar problem - squeezed by Apple from above and Lenovo from below.

No where near the maneuvering room MS has.
Lenovo? Don't think so. HP more like it. They leapfrogged over Dell as the number one PC maker in 2006 and since have aggressively gained more market-share. The think series branding is the only thing that's keeping them afloat in North America. In April, Acer came really close to overtaking Lenovo as the No.3 PC maker in the world. Lenovo is on a freefall.

Vista is just one of the star's aligning for Apple right now as a "Window" of opportunity. Much more credit has to go to the other factors and strategic moves that have been made over the past 5 years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
HP is not in the low end market - if anything it is replacing Dell.
Not sure where your Lenovo info is coming from but it's incorrect.

Published: 16:51 EST, August 02, 2007

Lenovo Group, the world's third-largest personal computer maker, recorded a near 13-fold increase in net profit for the first quarter as it reported strong growth in PC shipments.
The Chinese company posted a net profit of 66.84 million US dollars in the quarter to June, compared with 5.21 million dollars a year earlier as sales soared 13 percent year-on-year to about 4.0 billion dollars.

The company said the earnings result reflects a restructuring charge of about 45 million dollars taken in the first quarter and that it has finally showed signs of growth two years since it bought the IBM's PC unit.

"In the past two years, through the formulation of the right strategy and effective execution, Lenovo's performance is showing signs of growth," said Lenovo Chairman Yang Yuanqing.
Chinese PC maker Lenovo profits jump near 13-fold
 

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HP is not in the low end market - if anything it is replacing Dell.
Not sure where your Lenovo info is coming from but it's incorrect.


Chinese PC maker Lenovo profits jump near 13-fold
Low end market? I'm not sure what your point is. None of the companies you mentioned are competing in the low end market.

My information is from working with Lenovo and managing their risk inventory on a daily basis. I can explain more when you call me on Tuesday to place an order for WillCall Dave. ;)

Lenovo had a "solid" quarter - which is one of few since acquiring the IBM PC/mobile line. They are now playing a game of tug-o-war with a traditionally "low end" PC mfg - Acer. Hardly anything to boast about.

In any case.... back to your original post...
 

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HP tries to compete on most levels of the market with their lower end stuff being marketed under the Compaq brand. Best Buy is selling the Compaq 5010NX for $379.99, which is the least expensive non-refurbished computer on their site (next lowest is a $399 Acer desktop).

I just checked the Futureshop site and the 5010NX is the least expensive computer there as well. It is on sale for $299.

There is a mall not too far from where I live where a person could save $79 by walking a few steps from the Best Buy to the Futureshop...and they are both the same stupid company. :confused:
 

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HP tries to compete on most levels of the market with their lower end stuff being marketed under the Compaq brand. Best Buy is selling the Compaq 5010NX for $379.99, which is the least expensive non-refurbished computer on their site (next lowest is a $399 Acer desktop).

I just checked the Futureshop site and the 5010NX is the least expensive computer there as well. It is on sale for $299.

There is a mall not too far from where I live where a person could save $79 by walking a few steps from the Best Buy to the Futureshop...and they are both the same stupid company. :confused:
If "low-end" is being referred to "entry-level", sure, all companies have some product in their palette to compete in that market. HP's business line for example also has a no frills product to compete with Dell's pricing which are called SmartBuy. Mostly same as regular product but with less warranty. In my mind, low-end manufacturers are companies like eMachine, MDG, Acer (in the past) etc.
 

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HP's low end offering (under the Compaq brand) beats both eMachine and Acer in terms of price at Best Buy and Futureshop.

Clearly, I am not trying to put HP into the same category as eMachine but they do compete in that price range.
 
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