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Linux user reviews Mac Mini

updated 08:55 pm EST, Mon November 28, 2005

Linux user reviews Mac

One German linux user recently , offering in-depth thoughts about his experience using Mac OS X along with the Mac Mini's hardware. Among the many topics covered, asthetics of the computer itself was first in line: "the Mac mini is the most sexy box I have ever owned." Hardware followed close behind, "Apple just gets it right every time." When commenting on Apple's iSight camera, the reviewer said "this thing is not only beautifully designed, it also comes with features not found on those cheap USB cams, such as a real autofocus and a directional microphone. Video chats are a joy with this thing." And despite some minor interface annoyances, the reviewer says he will use Mac OS X for his GUI-intensive.

"Apple filled an important gap in the Unix/Linux world, by providing an extremely well-designed GUI that makes it a pleasure to use." Complaints about the GUI include the confusion between double and single clicking the mouse at various times, window focus annoyances, drag-and-drop inconsistencies, moving and resizing windows, poor file type identification with enormous trust placed in file extensions, the lack of built-in desktop switching, and the operating system's lack of included codecs.

When speaking about closed source code and standardization, the reviewer said "Apple misses the boat quite regularly. End of story." The linux user is used to getting software for free, and is dissapointed by the "change of culture."

"I encourage people to give Apple a try," the user said in conclusion.

by MacNN Staff




  1. Jeff75

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Interesting review. I don't agree with some of the windowing issues he had. I think he got at least two of them wrong. But the issues he had with the OS were new to me. He made it sound like Apple made some fundamental errors with the OS that reduce performance especially when networked. I'd like to see what the experts here have to say about this part of his review.

  1. chas_m



    Free software ...

    ... isn't really free. Until the Linux/Unix/Windows users of the world actually understand that, they'll continue to tread water or sink.

    Because of the smallish user base and unusually smart audience, Mac developers have a ridiculously direct relationship with their customers. This is a big part of the "Mac Mystique," and has proven scalable as Apple has grown. Mac users can, if they wish, see the DIRECT relationship between them BUYING the software and them getting support and feature requests/improvements, which is what motivates Mac users to be the most honest software users around.

    You can argue about how "information wants to be free" until you're blue in the face, but it's a lot like saying "we shouldn't use plastic in anything, it's harmful." Yeah right, it's only the basis of our entire economy. Likewise, puttng cash in developers' pockets in a very communal way draws direct benefits -- Mac software is demonstratably better than most Linux and Windows software, at least on the consumer and shareware/freeware sides.

    So whether you charge for software or don't (and make your living on support instead), that's just two slightly different ways of getting money (not a big deal). Between Windows pirating and Linux "entitlement," there's a growing disconnect between those OS's devs and their users. The reviewer is fundamentally right -- the Unix/Linux world could GREATLY benefit from using -- and adopting -- the philosophy of OS X.

  1. Targon

    Joined: Dec 1969


    kernel disaster

    I agree with ALL the comments made about the kernel, file extensions and networking. Apple needs to sort out this Kernel, it really is a performance disaster, BeOS performed so much better!! The OS should never beachball and spin into oblivion leaving the system completely unresponsive for more than 2 seconds. Stop spending so much time creating Ripple effects and sort the fricken guts of the OS out PLEASE!!!

  1. ibugv4

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Making a lean system DOES NOT SELL NEW HARDWARE. Give them glitz, give them glam, DO NOT give them something that'll run for decades.

  1. Peter Bonte

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Maybe hard to believe but the kernel optimization will be at his best on the Macintel's. FreeBSD, Next and the osX Mach kernel perform best on Intel, PPC is much harder and no use putting a years work into it now.

  1. JulesLt

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Hmm. So basically, Apple should just be providing a nice GUI desktop on top of Linux.

    I think there's some fair points in there - about Finder and active windows - those are irritations we all spot. The kernel locking on disk access is another (I can freeze my Mac with a damaged CD - that should not happen in this day and age).

    The criticisms of Apple as a proprietary platform are well off though - Objective-C is bad because it's unpopular (a criticism many throw at Linux desktops and OS alternatives to popular software). The C++ comment is way off - it was actually a different, simpler, solution to the problem of turning C into an OO language, and was actually more influential on Java than C++.

    Also XCode can be used to develop Java bound to the core APIs, or you could use Ruby - but of course they're proprietary so you wouldn't want to use them.

    Quartz should have been built on top of X11 . . . erm, why? It's the constant mistake of thinking it's just Unix + a 'GUI layer' or even an OS rather than a platform - and one that's best exploited by developing FOR it, rather than porting to it and using as few proprietary features as possible.

    In addition, if you refuse to pay for software - again, you're not really seeing a good comparison between Mac native apps and freeware equivalents - I've got a lot of the standard Linux apps installed (OpenOffice, Gimp, Inkscape, etc) but I like the fact that Mac native apps can all share the same colour picker.

    It's a very trivial point, but it's the accumulation of trivial points that makes the platform 'easier'.

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