[nSLUG] MacOS was: Dell Inspiron 1525N w/ Ubuntu 8.04?

Stephen Gregory nslug at kernelpanic.ca
Thu Aug 14 13:43:23 ADT 2008

On Thu, Aug 14, 2008 at 11:01:03AM -0400, Joe Dunn wrote:
> The opensource tools on OS X are great, especially when combined with ports
> or Fink.

The opensource tools are the same as on Linux so of course they are
great. However when running the open source tools often feel like a
seperate OS running on top of MacOS. It often might as well be
software running in Unity mode on VMware.

> I'm not sure what issues you ran into that Apple put up the big red
> stop light but it hasn't happened to be yet.

There were no big red stop lights. Just lots of little
annoyances. Like all operating systems MacOS has annoyances. To claim
otherwise is foolish. I find the MacOS annoyances more annoying then
the Ubuntu annoyances.

> Out of box you have terminal

The terminal is one of the annoyances. It is all but impossible to get
Backspace/Del to work properly do to a bug in the
terminfo/termcap. They may have fixed this in the latest version.

> Can you elaborate as to what you were missing? I'm truly interested.

I did not claim to be missing anything. There are some annoyances that
convinced me to switch.

The terminal issue is one of them. I actually used XTerm as it both
works and looks better (with TTF fonts). This raised another
annoyance. X11 apps are treated differently the Aqua apps. When
switching between apps differnt keystrokes are used.

The MacOS downloads directory (by default the desktop) becomes quickly
cluttered. Click on a pdf file and there is yet another file
downloaded that I will have to delete by hand later. The rest of the
*nix word downloads these temperary files to /tmp. I often will open a
pdf doc from the web to quickly skim it to determine if the file is
relavent or not. I don't need these files to stick around once I close

The MacOS Finder (file manager) stinks. So much has been written about
this by others you can google it. (see FTFF)

MacOS is mouse heavy. Despite on the fancy shortcuts I often found
myself grabbing the mouse to get anything done.

Mail.app had sucky imap support. Sure it supported imap, but it did a
poor job of it. My emails kept magically resetting to unread. Mail.app
would often hang for no good reason.

The documentation was as good as Microsoft's. Actually this is not
100% factual: Microsoft's online documentation (TechNet) is
better. Searching the Apple online documentation often returns pages
of unrelated results.

Apple is the worst offender of Apple's user interface guidelines.

Some annoyances were small but drove me nuts. The "zoom" or "maximize"
button is supposed to make the window "as big as it needs to be."
Except when it didn't. The pdf viwerer was naterious for not enlarging
big enough, and never remembering the size or position I set it to.

I don't hate MacOS. I just don't think it is all that great. I don't
love Ubuntu either. Ubuntu with Gnome just gets in my way less often
then MacOS every did.


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