Market Share Pales In Importance To Smugness For Mac Zealots

from the cool-kids'-club dept

In the runup to Apple's 30th birthday, a tech columnist notes that the company's market share for PC operating systems has dropped by half since Steve Jobs returned to the company in 1997. He then goes on to explain how Apple -- with booming iPod sales -- doesn't mind, while its hardcore userbase takes more pride in the "knowledge that, by George, it is a better computer," as one zealot puts it, than any share figures. Seriously, though -- who cares? Few people really care about their computer operating system -- and even fewer care enough to rely on it to make themselves feel superior. The question of what OS is "best" is a subjective one (I'm sure plenty of you will line up in the comments to argue about it and call me a Windoze sheep, though I do use a Mac), and really is a pretty pointless thing to feel so strongly about. And, even if the Mac OS is superior to Windows, if everybody had it, the Mac zealots really wouldn't be so "special" any more.


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  1.  
    identicon
    dorpus, Mar 27th, 2006 @ 12:03pm

    One Pump Chump

    Love them one-buttoned mac mousies, don't you? Those fucking things are in my classroom, which doesn't use them anyway.

     

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  2.  
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    BlindSide, Mar 27th, 2006 @ 12:08pm

    Re: One Pump Chump

    Good job, dorpus, you just made Carlo's point abundantly clear.

    And FYI, you can plug in any USB 2-button mouse to a Mac and it'll work just fine. Right-click even brings up a task menu like windows.

     

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  3.  
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    dorpus, Mar 27th, 2006 @ 12:18pm

    Re: Re: One Pump Chump

    Why make inferior equipment the standard? Or is there supposed to be snob value in making modifications, comparable to the way Harley Davidson purposefully builds terrible motorcycles so that hobbyists can take it apart and weld together a new bike? Not surprisingly, Harley Davidson has a low market share, the Macintosh of the motorcycle world.

     

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  4.  
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    ELS, Mar 27th, 2006 @ 12:26pm

    Um... macs come standard with multibutton mice with built in scroll balls.

    http://www.apple.com/imac/design.html

    Try to keep up, would you...

     

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  5.  
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    dorpus, Mar 27th, 2006 @ 12:31pm

    So they caved in to market forces now? The one-button mice were purposefully introduced long after two-button mice were standard on other machines, because Mac marketed machines to computer-illiterate people who were afraid of mice with more than one button. Few people are afraid of computers anymore, so Mac has dropped the "ease of use" angle. Now they are just a funny alternative vendor, proud of its closed-source model.

     

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  6.  
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    Joe Smith, Mar 27th, 2006 @ 12:38pm

    Re: clsoed source

    Now they are just a funny alternative vendor, proud of its closed-source model.

    You can buy a Windows machine with an operating system from any vendor you want so long as the Vendor is Microsoft. :-)

     

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  7.  
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    ELS, Mar 27th, 2006 @ 12:38pm

    " proud of its closed-source model."

    Um... You know macs run UNIX right.

     

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  8.  
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    Chris Maresca, Mar 27th, 2006 @ 12:46pm

    Funny...

    ... how this generated way more comments than a vastly more important story about the democratic process....

    Chris.

     

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  9.  
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    Michael, Mar 27th, 2006 @ 1:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: One Pump Chump

    If you are going to point out similarities between Mac Computers and Harley Davidson motorcycles you should at least get your facts right, yes they both have very little market share, but both of them have the highest average profit per unit sold. It goes to set the old one liner true; " You get what you pay for".

     

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  10.  
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    azrael470, Mar 27th, 2006 @ 1:30pm

    The only good OS

    Go Linux. I have a Mac in a school system of about 95% Mac's and the computers I have at home are PC's. I use the same distribution on all of them. This windows/mac pissing contest is worn out. Both are retarded the only thing that makes a difference is what software you need, and what it runs on. And I think there's an OSS solution for damn near anything. That's why Microsoft is so scared of OpenSource. Mac sucks, Dell sucks, most any of them suck, unless you pay the cost to get decent hardware. Which is more expensive regardless of what side you're on. So just build your own, stick Linux on it, and stick it to the over zealous, corporate, money hungry whores that are Microsoft and Apple (or any of the other mainstream vendors).

     

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  11.  
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    Mark, Mar 27th, 2006 @ 1:39pm

    market share

    As a longtime Mac user, I'm all for low market share. Sure, I want Apple to do well enough in the marketplace to bring a reliable profit, but the last thing I want is for them to grow as big as Microsoft and, as a direct consequence, have to deal with the sort of legacy issues that forces Microsoft to take five-plus years developing a next-generation operating system. Small, lean, and mean is much better, at least for us consumers.

     

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  12.  
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    Smacky Mouse, Mar 27th, 2006 @ 1:43pm

    Mac Users

    Smacky would like to point out that, according to studies done at CalTech, the average Mac user has an IQ of 73, and at least 3 extra fingers/toes.

     

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  13.  
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    Jake B, Mar 27th, 2006 @ 1:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: One Pump Chump

    The real problem with Macs is that they are not easily configurable. I don't know about you guys, but I'm not rich and I try not to spend a lot of money. I go PC because after a couple of years I can spend only a few hundred dollars upgrading my old system, instead of having to go buy a whole new Mac. Adapt or die.

     

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  14.  
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    KGordon, Mar 27th, 2006 @ 1:49pm

    Re: market share

    have to deal with the sort of legacy issues that forces Microsoft to take five-plus years developing a next-generation operating system

    Apple doesn't have to deal with legacy software issues becuase there is no software available for MacOS. Probably the only 3rd party software that was used was Photoshop, and comically enough, it doesn't work on the new macs until Adobe can get an Intel version released.

    If the company I purchased my machines from hung me out to dry by releasing a new set of hardware that the one useful program wouldn't run on.... I'd be a bit upset. But I guess Apple can convince it's users that ANYTHING is a good idea.

    And to the guy that asked abuot the mice, the brand new fancy MacBookPro laptop still only has one button. Who would pay 2000 for a laptop with one button?

     

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  15.  
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    proxy318, Mar 27th, 2006 @ 1:52pm

    Re:

    ELS,

    I can't believe how many people swallow Apple's marketing BS. Macs DO NOT run UNIX. They run Mac OS, which has a UNIX subsystem, which you can choose not to install and your Mac will run just fine. You just won't be able to do certain things on it. There are UNIX subsytems for Windows too, but that doesn't make Windows a UNIX machine.

     

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  16.  
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    SoftwareDeveloper, Mar 27th, 2006 @ 2:08pm

    Try writing great software...

    Spend a few years writing software on the Win32 platform and the Mac Cocoa frameworks and see which is better. Windows is a mess to write for/on and the Mac OS X environment is clean and powerful. The Mac operating system just handles so much and does it so elegantly that I hate having to switch back to Windows for my day job.

    And Darwin is a UNIX as much as any other UNIX and it's open source. There is no standard "UNIX" and that was why it never took off in the PC market. I can grab almost any UNIX source code and recompile it for OS X.

    You don't have be be a zealot to like OS X, just someone who understands elegant, stable design.

     

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  17.  
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    A. Lloyd Flanagan, Mar 27th, 2006 @ 2:09pm

    Re:

    Macs run UNIX? Well, sort of. Really you're running a lot of proprietary crap on top of a UNIX kernel. It's actually as closed-source as Windows.

    Open-source would be if they were running a true open-source kernel, and made the code for their user interface freely available. They're not even close to doing that.

     

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  18.  
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    birdDog, Mar 27th, 2006 @ 2:11pm

    You don't know what you are saying

    Hey Proxy318,

    That drivel you wrote just demonstrates your incomprehension of how the Mac is set up. Parts of what you say is correct, and it sounds like you are speaking truth, but then you quickly veer into wrongness.


    http://developer.apple.com/opensource/overview.html

     

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  19.  
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    proxy318, Mar 27th, 2006 @ 2:17pm

    Re: You don't know what you are saying

    And where, pray tell, am I wrong? Macs do run a UNIX subsystem on top of the Mach kernel. You can choose to not install it when you install OS X. If you can choose not to install any UNIX features on your operating system, then how is it a UNIX operating system, exactly?

     

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  20.  
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    crystalattice (profile), Mar 27th, 2006 @ 2:20pm

    No one cares about OS?

    If few people care about which OS they use but only about the programs, then why do so many people cringe at the idea of using Linux or OS X? Everytime someone asks me to help fix their computer, I tell them to install Linux or get a Mac. They give me the "deer in the headlights" look and say it's too difficult to learn something that isn't Windows. Apparently many people do care which OS they use.

    On a side note, don't these people realize they had to learn Windows before they became proficient? Same thing with a different OS. Not to mention that every Windows update makes enough changes to the UI that it takes upwards of a week to learn where everything is; think of the change from Classic Windows to the XP scheme.

     

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  21.  
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    DotMac77, Mar 27th, 2006 @ 2:38pm

    Re: One Pump Chump

    No wonder our kids from public schools are failing and average scores are so low compared with other developed and recently undeveloped countries. Our teachers seem to think the word "fucking" is of some educational value. I remember when teachers were exceptionally smart and had an excellent vocabulary. I guess we lowered the standards to lower IQ exceptance in teachers such as Mr Dorpus demonstrates. To bad he is so "fucking" dumb he couldn't teach his way out of a wet paper bag!

     

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  22.  
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    Jeremy, Mar 27th, 2006 @ 2:46pm

    Re: Re: You don't know what you are saying

    I believe your confusing the term UNIX with the Userland utitlities. The Mac OSX kernel provides the standard UNIX interfaces required by any functioning UNIX system. Therefore it IS by definition a UNIX kernel. It's not the shell, running Services, or Scripting environments that make a system Unix. It's the UNIX environment that makes those userland utilities possible. Windows does not yet offer those interfaces. Although there have been attempts that came close. Mac OSX on the other hand has "full UNIX" interfaces built in from the ground up. Therein lies the difference.

     

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  23.  
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    Weedrk, Mar 27th, 2006 @ 2:47pm

    Software

    It's all about the software. My sister uses her Mac for graphic design. I use my PC to game on. I don't tell her she's a snob and she doesn't tell me I'm an idiot. To my mind it is pretty simple: both platforms perform well in their given niche. Can't we all just get along? Guess not...

     

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  24.  
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    anon, Mar 27th, 2006 @ 3:08pm

    re: Software

    We'll never all be able to get along. However, I agree with you completely. I am a sysadmin for a printing/graphic arts company, and we have pc, mac, and linux here where I work. All three have their place, and people really should learn that.

    I do, however, use Linux at the house (Debian, Gentoo, and Slackware). It's mostly for fun though. I don't game, so I don't need a windows box.

     

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  25.  
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    kokorozashi, Mar 27th, 2006 @ 3:24pm

    Silliest. Post. Ever.

    This is by far the silliest post I've ever seen about Mac and Windows. Gee, I wonder if the "few" people who care about the operating system they run correlates at all with the "few" people who buy Macintosh. Could it be? No; there must be something else going on. Baw ha ha ha! I mean, really, there are all kinds of reasonable things one can say about this issue. For example, not every tool is right for every job. And not every person needs to have the same set of priorities. Treating this as a zero/sum game is an enormous blunder.

     

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  26.  
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    slacknerd, Mar 27th, 2006 @ 3:48pm

    Its a nail or a screw...

    ...depending on which tool you've got on hand. I have to say the comments here have been brilliant! My wife is looking at me like I'm insane just for reading this stuff! Doh! Maybe she has a point.
    Thanks for the humor y'all!

    BTW - If you aren't running Virtual PC on a Mac with Linux on VMWare inside that running FreeBSD in a virtual machine that serves all your webpages and runs your climate control system then you are just wasting time... ;) peace. out.
    (** yeah, this was useless, but that was the point.**)

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 27th, 2006 @ 3:59pm

    ...yes they both have very little market share, but both of them have the highest average profit per unit sold. It goes to set the old one liner true; " You get what you pay for".

    I would think it more likely demonstrates that both Harley Davidsons and Apple Computers are severely overpriced.

    Owners of both pay extra for the prestige of paying extra. Self esteem can be purchased, evidently.

     

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  28.  
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    eric, Mar 27th, 2006 @ 4:17pm

    Re: Silliest. Post. Ever.

    This is by far the silliest post I've ever seen about Mac and Windows.


    You need to get out more.


    Give me twm on freebsd any day.

     

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  29.  
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    eddie, Mar 27th, 2006 @ 4:30pm

    Macbook and OSX

    I've been a PC user for quite a while and have enjoyed building my own computers. I have fiddled with Linux and have tweaked WinXP to the point that I have very little problems with it.

    Now I don't write code or use a computer for work, but from my standpoint, the Mac OS is fantastic. I can pretty much do most of the things on my PC that I can do on Mac, but it's just easier. At the end of the day, it's just nice to be able to do it easier.

    Sure this isn't a scientific - I am not benchmarking the systems, etc. - but it's just a user friendly machine and paying extra for that would have been worth it, but compared machines with the exact same hardware configs, i don't think i did.

     

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  30.  
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    Huff_Paymover, Mar 27th, 2006 @ 5:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: One Pump Chump

    Uhh....Hardley has the largest market share in the USA...They may not have a large slice in the world market, but who wants to discuss Chinese bikes anyway

     

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  31.  
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    Research Advocate, Mar 27th, 2006 @ 5:39pm

    Wow. I think all of you need to just chill out and remember this: all of the hatred couched in inane comments that you all are flinging at each other is rather unnecessary. I can imagine that Bill Gates and Steve Jobs play golf every Sunday and laugh about how seriously everyone is taking this "rivalry." Truly, the one thing that separates a good computer from a bad one is the conceptual question: "Does it do what I need it to do?" If the answer is yes, then you have obtained a "good" machine. The fact that it may only last a year or so is indicative of the constantly changing nature of the business.

    10 years ago, if you went out and bought a piece of electronic equipment, you would probably be prepared to spend a lot of money for a good piece of equipment that would last you for a few years. Those days are gone. The cheapest walmart special may not have the best sound reproduction on the market, but it's got decent specs and it will play burned dvds when the latest techno marvel dvd player that runs about 3000 dollars and looks like it came out of a woody allen film has a single tray and won't even look at a burned dvd.

     

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  32.  
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    Entity, Mar 27th, 2006 @ 6:27pm

    Screw market share...
    Screw OS cults and fanatics...
    Screw Unix and kernels and shells...
    All I know is I play lots of games and I use lots of awesome peripherials and I have a kick ass PC that never gives me problems. my buddy has a MAC and he's always asking to come over and play on my PC, or XBox.

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 27th, 2006 @ 6:45pm

    Re: Try writing great software...

    if it's so elegant and great, why aren't vendors writing ports to it? I'm a Windoze user, unfortunately, until the day I can switch to an OS that runs all those different programs.

     

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  34.  
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    UR STUPID, Mar 27th, 2006 @ 8:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: One Pump Chump

    Um. Maybe you haven't hooked your Windows 3.1 machine up to the high tech thing they call the "internet" (apparently you posted at work, where, as the "facilities maintenance technician", you are allowed to use a computer on your 15min. lunch break), but Mac machines do use nice equipment out of the box and Harley (while they are not technically cutting edge, and I am not at all interested in them) sells more bikes every year in the US than any other motorcycle manufacturer.

    Also, it is highly likely that your work PC's case and peripherals, and most consumer products that you buy with your $6.15/hr. were designed on a Mac.

    P.S. Sorry to be so rude and personal, but you do seem to be kind of stupid.

    P.P.S. I run Linux

     

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  35.  
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    dorpus, Mar 27th, 2006 @ 8:32pm

    Re: Re: One Pump Chump

    No wonder our kids from public schools are failing and average scores are so low compared with other developed and recently undeveloped countries. Our teachers seem to think the word "fucking" is of some educational value. I remember when teachers were exceptionally smart and had an excellent vocabulary. I guess we lowered the standards to lower IQ exceptance in teachers such as Mr Dorpus demonstrates. To bad he is so "fucking" dumb he couldn't teach his way out of a wet paper bag!

    You mean I ain't getting my PhD at a major university? Hahaha. I don't have to act like I'm in fucking school here, aight? I just wrote a long paper last night and have to do another homework set tonight.

     

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  36.  
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    I posted as UR STUPID earlier...but that seems a b, Mar 27th, 2006 @ 8:34pm

    Re:

    dorkpoop, I don't know where you were in the early 1980s. I have two quesses: A) You were not born yet. B) You just retired from a job as a "Pastry Chef" at Krispy Kreeme.

    Apple is the company that brought the mouse to the personal computer. (officially)

    Apple figured out how to accomplish the same tasks with 1 button, but everyone else needed 2.

    I don't think you'll ever hear anyone say "boy, I really wish my iPod had an extra button", but you will hear them say "man, my iPod is really easy with so few buttons."

    If we could have set the time on a VCR with only 1 button, VHS may have held on a little longer in the market.

    P.S. I have a 2 button mouse with a scroll wheel. Every since my Apple IIC I never did like a 1 button mouse.

    P.P.S. I run Linux.

     

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  37.  
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    dorpus, Mar 27th, 2006 @ 9:08pm

    Oh, I was around in the early 1980s all right. Apple stole the mouse idea from Xerox Parc, as well as the design of the Macintosh and everything else, and is proud of having stolen them. Back in the 1980s, Steve Jobs's favorite quote was "Great Artists Steal!", and Apple's headquarter lobby was decorated with his proud collection of counterfeit art. He was also fond of saying that he used to be a soft drink salesman who sold sugar water to people, and now he sells computers.

     

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  38.  
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    dorpus, Mar 27th, 2006 @ 9:12pm

    Or shall we talk about the way he dropped out of a no-name college in Oregon, but the most "profound" experience in his life was learning how to draw Japanese calligraphy with a black paint brush? He recently had the honor of addressing Stanford graduates, but his inferiority complex surfaced, and he made an embarrassing spectacle of himself by calling Stanford graduates worthless.

     

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  39.  
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    Daniel, Mar 27th, 2006 @ 10:06pm

    Unix, good marketing strategy for de pseudo-geeks

    After reading so much crap beeing writen about Mac OS X == Unix == Open-Source, ill try to clarify a bit.

    Mac OS X is made up of various technologies, some beeing opensource some beeing closedsource.

    Mac OS X in its raw form is based on three basic components, a heavily modified Mach-3 microkernel, various FreeBSD code bits and a new driver API built by Apple ( IOKit anyone ? ).

    This forms the basic structure of the OS, many components from various sources wrapped into a hybrid kernel ( wich is the type of kernel found in most modern OSes, including Linux and Windows NT x.x - kernel and NT Executive ).

    But this doesn't make it a full featured operating system as we know it, it still misses things like a GUI f ex.

    And so, the opensourceness of the OS ends here.

    Its native UI, Aqua, legacy API ( Carbon ), various fundamental kits like the Cocoa API. Quartz graphics layer, the Finder shell and so on are all very closed-source.

    Mac OS X cannot be considered a opensource just because it has bits of opensource software, yes they release de core system, Darwin, as opensource but thats beacause of license constrains.

    "And where, pray tell, am I wrong? Macs do run a UNIX subsystem on top of the Mach kernel. You can choose to not install it when you install OS X."

    You're confusing unix with X11, X11 is just a optional windowing server.

    "Spend a few years writing software on the Win32 platform and the Mac Cocoa frameworks and see which is better. Windows is a mess to write for/on and the Mac OS X environment is clean and powerful."

    If you still write software using Win32 API directly, maybe you shouldn't be writing software anyway. ATL or better yet WTL are far superior frameworks vs direct Win32. And the new Vista frameworks are VERY good.

    "Macs run UNIX? Well, sort of. Really you're running a lot of proprietary crap on top of a UNIX kernel. It's actually as closed-source as Windows."

    I wouldnt call it crap, Aqua e quite nice and 'well' built, but yes, Mac OS X is still very closed source. ( Don't mistake Darwin with Mac OS X, THEY ARE differente things ).

    And to all calling it a UNIX operating system .... IT IS NOT AN UNIX SYSTEM! At best you can call it "based on a _unix-like_ kernel".

    Cause if u dont know, for something to be called Unix it must conform to the Single UNIX Specification.
    Unix IS a trademark.
    An operating system can call itself as Unix only if it has an UNIX Certification.

    PS: I own many computers, some running Windows, some running GNU/Linux distro's, and yes, i also use Mac OS X :)

    PSS: And remember even Microsoft had one unix OS, Microsoft Xenix, you now know it as SCO UNIX ;)

     

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  40.  
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    alex, Mar 27th, 2006 @ 10:52pm

    it seems people are obsessed with pointing out the most inane reasons to hate macs, trying to say mac users have low IQs and extra appendages, when all thats really going on is that the average PC user has a small dick and a budget to match.

    screw the rivalry. USE WHAT YOU LIKE. i dont care if you use windows, osx, or linux. i'll use mine, and you use yours. my computer suits my needs, and yours does the same.

    just dont hate me when your piece of shit dell running virus infested windows crashes while my powerbook runs for another three years.

     

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  41.  
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    ELS, Mar 28th, 2006 @ 5:16am

    "He was also fond of saying that he used to be a soft drink salesman who sold sugar water to people, and now he sells computers."

    that waqs Scully, not Jobs.

     

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  42.  
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    dourpuss, Mar 28th, 2006 @ 5:46am

    One button mice

    So they caved in to market forces now? The one-button mice were purposefully introduced long after two-button mice were standard on other machines,


    WHAT 'other machines'?


    Or is this gonna be another of you hit and run, where you make a claim, then run away?

     

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  43.  
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    alternatives, Mar 28th, 2006 @ 5:48am

    Put a kernel on it?

    stick Linux on it,

    You know, Linux is JUST a kernel, right? And kernels are rather non-user friendly, right?

     

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  44.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 28th, 2006 @ 10:08am

    Re: Re:

    >>Apple is the company that brought the mouse to the personal computer. (officially)
    Wrong, Apple and Microsoft stole that nugget from Xerox.

    >>Apple figured out how to accomplish the same tasks with 1 button, but everyone else needed 2.
    That sounds pretty Orwellian to me.

    >>I don't think you'll ever hear anyone say "boy, I really wish my iPod had an extra button", but you will hear them say "man, my iPod is really easy with so few buttons."
    But then, aren't most of those "few buttons" multi-function?

    >>If we could have set the time on a VCR with only 1 button, VHS may have held on a little longer in the market.
    So, does your $59 Wal-Mart DVD player have one-button time set?

    >>P.P.S. I run Linux.
    Good for you.

     

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  45.  
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    Linguistical, Mar 28th, 2006 @ 11:03am

    Fear

    This subject always brings up the same broken record. "Windows sucks because it's unstable and insecure." "Mac sucks because it's proprietary and expensive." "Linux sucks because it's complicated and you can't get any good software." All of these OS's have their benefits and their weaknesses and what you do with it should determine which one you use. So, why do we bash others for not using the same computer we do? Fear, plain and simple. The same reason all mobs get together and bash other groups. People like to belong to a group to feel like what they do is right. They also like to make themselves feel better by making others look stupid. So, that being said...don't be scared of other technology. If you like something, be secure enough in your own choices to stand on your own and let everyone else choose what they want. It's why we have choices in the first place.

     

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  46.  
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    pwb, Mar 28th, 2006 @ 4:19pm

    I think caring about your computer is legitimate considering how much use it gets and that it frequently is used to support a livlihood.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    identicon
    Hallie, Mar 28th, 2006 @ 7:43pm

    I'll stick with my Amiga, thanks...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 29th, 2006 @ 10:02pm

    Re:

    you=Loser.

    Seriously, what is the point of what you just said? it was bullshit.


    I bet I could kick your ass, and I'm a girl.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 29th, 2006 @ 10:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: One Pump Chump

    Nope. You DON'T have to act like your in school.

    We can tell your not.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2006 @ 10:25am

    Re:

    Screw you Hallie!
    Amiga sucks!
    Atari ST is where it's at!

    That was satire - I think...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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