__/ [r.e.ballard@xxxxxxx] on Friday 18 November 2005 14:18 \__
> Peter Köhlmann wrote:
>> begin virus.txt.scr wd wrote:
>> > Why would someone who is pro-Mac waste their time trying to convert
>> > people
>> > who use Linux? A normal Mac-evangelist would go after Windows users not
>> > Linux users.
> I love it when the debates revolve around Mac and Linux.
> For almost 20 years, since Microsoft first sold their rights to Xenix
> to SCO, Microsoft has insisted that Unix is far too complicated and far
> to difficult for mere mortals to use. They claim that Unix is too hard
> to maintain. I was particularly amused when Microsoft was saying that
> Unix was too insecure and unstable - compared to Windows 3.0.
> When we get into the Mac vs Linux debate, all of that disappears. Mac
> shows how easily one can use a *nix box. Microsoft can't continue it's
> claims of superiority when people can walk into a CompUSA or Best Buy
> or Apple Store, and take a Mac for a "test drive" and see for
> themselves exactly how easy it is to use OS/X.
Au contraire. While it is true that Macs have been made easier-to-use, power
of habit often dominates. Sadly, a large proportion of the population
perceives things as either "right" or "wrong" where "right" is the way
Windows does it and "wrong" is so-called unconventional approach.
Windows piracy should be attributed for spreading and forging habits.
Meanwhile, Microsoft capitalise on the /static/ state of their O/S, which as
a result, has not and does not evolve. Windows 95 is still similar to
Windows XP. If not 'under the hood', then it terms of its facet.
> The irony is that as good as Mac is, they have found that their own
> customers are demanding that it become more "Linux-like". Originally
> there wasn't a great deal of support for X11 and GNU libraries. The
> Tiger release has much better support for Open Source.
Some Mac users wind up using (if not requiring) X11, even if only to log on
to a remote server or work machine.
> Henry Ford clung to his Model T design even after competitors had
> rendered it obsolete. He didn't want to have to retool the factory and
> retrain the workers, and as long as people were buying enough T's to
> keep the company profitable, Ford was willing to keep producing them.
> Remember that driving a model T required that the driver manually
> adjust the throttle, mixture, spark advance, and the brake - all by
> hand. The foot had a clutch and a shifter. The T even required that
> someone manually crank it to start it. The T's were notoriously
> dangerous and noisy, especially on city streets where rapid maneuvers
> resulted in backfires, lurches, and late stops. There were even
> incedents where people had not properly set the clutch and brake and
> were run over by their own cars as they tried to crank it up.
> Ford was actually a victim of it's own success. While competitors had
> introduced innovations such as self adjusting carburetors, vacuum spark
> advance, and had moved the accellerator and brake to the floor, so that
> one hand could be dedicated to steering and the other to shifting, Ford
> drivers were still juggling with the manual controls. Furthermore, the
> roads were getting much better, but the T was still designed for
> cobblestone roads and cart paths. And "You can get it in any color you
> want as long as it's black".
> Finally, when the Great Depression dried up the demand for cars
> entirely, Ford redesigned their car, retrained their workers, and
> introduced the Model A which FINALLY adopted the modern design.
> Ironically, by the time Ford made this transition, most of the patents
> on these marvellous innovations used by his competitors - had expired.
> Windows is much like that Model T. Microsoft has clung to a particular
> design, the core of which was laid in the 1990s. Microsoft has made
> many enhancements, but has refused to accept the innovations coming
> from the *nix community. The biggest irony is that while Microsoft was
> trying to get two windows to fully function simultaniously (if you
> opened two "Command Windows" only the window that had focus would
> actually run), UNIX had a fully functional X11 Windows environment
> which was doing everything that Windows 2000 and Windows XP do today.
> Unix had full-time preemptive multitasking with assured run-time for
> all tasks, efficient context switching, remote access, a full suite of
> internet protocols including e-mail, remote GUI based applications, and
> remote procedure calls. In fact, it wasn't unusual for a workgroup to
> have a couple of "real" workstations and attach a couple of X11
> terminals to them (often PCs with X11 packages such as hummingbird).
> Even though these might have been classified as 'Servers', they
> actually provided desktop functionality.
> Linux was first introduced in November of 1991 and it took about 1 year
> for the team working on HURD to transform it into a fully functional
> and very powerful operating system with all of the capabilities of Unix
> systems costing $25,000. In fact, you could install SCO Unix or
> Interactive Unix - for $3,000 onto an 80386 based PC with 8 meg of RAM.
> If you were willing to shuffle through almost 100 floppy disks.
> By February of 1993, SLS was offering Linux via an FTP download site.
> They offered "packages", with most packages being just small enough to
> fit onto a floppy drive (most modern Linux packages are now too big for
> floppies). The complete SLS package was about 80-90 floppies, but the
> result for those who had the patience for the download was astonishing.
> Sun had contributed their OpenLook and OpenView toolkits, most of the
> BSD code had been released and had been ported. The full X11R5 suite
> had been ported to Linux.
> There were even features which were ONLY available to Linux, such as
> Xerox's virtual desktop which let users manipulate applications on a
> virtual desktop which was about 4 times larger than the display
> resolution. Most VGA displays had either 640x480 or 800x600 displays.
> The virtual desktop was 1600x1200. Users could then move applications
> to diffferent parts of the desktop using a virtual desktop viewer tool.
> Xerox has offered a number of enhancements - which are still ONLY
> available on Linux and FreeBSD. The current virtual desktops used in
> GNOME and KDE can offer up to something like 20 desktops and the user
> can flip between them by clicking or using keystrokes.
There was a third-party application for Windows which handled virtual
desktop. I believe Windows Vista will incorporate it at its core.
> Keep in mind that there are many technologies which have been licensed
> to Linux under terms which are not available or acceptable to Apple or
> Microsoft. This includes certain patent rights, which are available to
> Linux but not Apple or Microsoft - unless or until Microsoft and Apple
> offer terms which make up for technology taken from PARC, MIT, and
> other contributors.
>> > I wonder if Apple sees potential converts in Linux desktop users.
>> > Dislike
>> > of Microsoft. Unix-based OS. Etc. When a Linux-user has to pull out
>> > a copy of Illustrator CS2 Apple would prefer that you load it on a Mac
>> > and
>> > not a PC. Some new Linux users are looking for an alternative and if
>> > they don't find that Linux works for them maybe Apple would like for
>> > them to fall back to a Mac instead of to Windows.
> Bottom line, Mac is a "one stop solution". A user can walk into
> CompUSA, BestBuy, or an Apple Store, test drive the Mac, and pick up a
> computer that has been fully configured and optimized to run *nix the
> minute it's turned on.
> Ironically, Mac still only offers about 40% of the functionality of a
> commercial UNIX release such as SUSE Linux Professional or SUSE Linux
> 10.0 from Novell. This is partly because many of these packages simply
> aren't available - except under Linux emulation. This is one of the
> reasons that Apple has begun to offer better support for GNU libraries
> and X11.
SuSE's core (i.e. out-of-the-box functionality) is possibly on par with or
equivalent to a Windows image that would cost $2000. Unfortunately, few
people in the world realise that, at least for the time being.
> On the other hand, it's probably OK that Apple doesn't include SWG
> Prolog in their core installation offering. It's not such a big deal
> that Apple doesn't offer Fig, LaTeX, and some of those older
> applications in their "out of the box" offering. Many of these
> applications can be built from Linux source code, others can be
> downloaded from Apple repositories.
> Linux is for people born after 1955 what the 1953 chevy was to people
> born in the 1920s and early 1930s. In the late 1950s and early 1960s,
> America loved their cars. They wanted cars that could go faster and
> further. GM made certain cars that could easily be "hot rodded".
> End-users could add superchargers, custom suspension, fancy wheels, a
> much better transmission, and other "customizations". When GM switched
> to Unibody construction in the late 1960s, people began jazzing up
> Volkswagons, making "Dune Buggies". These could travel really crazy
> roads, sand dunes, beaches, and many other recreational driving
> experiences. By the 1970s, the Gas shortages created demands for
> different kinds of innovations, and it was Honda, Toyota, and Datsun
> who were offering low milage fuel injected engines which were
> essentially optimized motorcycle engines that had been put into cars.
> By the 1980s, cars were getting too complicated to repair without
> specialized training. The interests of young people shifted to
> computers. Many of those kids just getting out of college in the late
> 1970s were intriqued by the prospect of owning their own computer. The
> early machines were primitive by todays standards. They had toggle
> switches and LEDs and barely enough RAM to run simple BASIC
> interpreters and something simple like blackjack. Soon computers like
> the TRS-80, the Commodore PET, and the Atari 800 were making it
> possible to run some pretty sophisticated graphics on some very cheap
> hardware. Unfortunately, if you wanted to make a profession of
> computers, you either had to go into accounting - where you would learn
> COBOL, VSE, and eventually CICS, or you could go into electrical
> engineering, where you would learn Fortran, UNIX, and C. The BSEE was
> a 5 year degree, and early graduates needed the extra education. Many
> early UNIX systems required a pretty good understanding of the computer
> all the way from the AND and OR gates all the way up to the Operating
> System and Network protocols.
> BSD was a huge boon to these BSEE students, who enjoyed having
> unrestricted access to the source code. Before long, BSEEs were
> designing our modern servers and the Internet. The BSEEs loved UNIX
> and were quite happy to introduce it to employers. UNIX administrators
> communicated with each other via usenet, and when the traffic got too
> heavy for e-mail, they created "newsgroups". Eventually, the DOD
> decided to make ARPAnet available to colleges and the colleges made
> ARPAnet available to their alumni, many of whom were now working in
> nearby companies.
> Meanwhile, Microsoft was introducing the PC, which ran MS-DOS. PC's
> were expensive compared to simple terminals, but not significantly more
> expensive. As PC "clones" became more popular, and the prices of PCs
> dropped, more effort was put into using a PC as a "Terminal". IBM
> offered 3270 terminal emulation, including TN3270 emulation which could
> be combined with a UNIX server which connected to the PC using an
> "ANSII" terminal emulation similar to the VT-100.
>> > Just speculating on why the Mac-troll is here. Is he just insane with
>> > some kind of condition that makes him want to harass Linux users? Or is
>> > it an experiment by Apple? This guy spouts out genuine Apple
>> > advertisements.
> Microsoft double-crossed Apple numerous times. Both Jobs and Gates
> believe in the "keep your friends close, keep your enemies closer"
> strategy for dealing with each other. Linux is actually a good way to
> transition a Windows user toward the future purchase of a Mac, and Mac
> provides the "in store" experience which can be used to help users
> experience UNIX and explore the possibility of using Linux. Microsoft
> has a monopoly it obtained by stealing code and technology from Apple.
> Had Xerox realized how valuable ther technology would become, they
> might have been less willing to "give it away" Today, Xerox retailates
> by offering features for Linux that they refuse to license to Apple or
> [snip personal attack]
> I would encourage comparisons between Linux and Mac. In fact, we
> should really focus on the common features, and why they are superior
> to the Microsoft offerings. Microsoft would love to see us quibble
> over minor features that make us different, and take the focus away
> from all of the features available in both Linux and OS/X that are not
> available in Windows.
I agree. Any discussion which involves cutting-edge features will at least
raise awareness of what non-Microsoft systems can offer.