OS X Wants You To Take It Easy

from the slow-down,-and-enjoy-the-surf dept

Well, this article won’t do much to help my reputation concerning Apple, but since it’s a factual piece and not an opinion one, I don’t see how the Apple folks can complain. Anyway, it’s been pointed out (and confirmed) that the way Mac OS X currently is, it makes web surfing a slower experience than on a comparably equipped PC. It’s apparently annoying some new Mac owners. This was apparently a conscious decision by Apple to upgrade the user interface first, and the performance later.


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Comments on “OS X Wants You To Take It Easy”

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9 Comments
u2604ab says:

true true.

With the increasing performance gap between Apple and Wintel platforms (both hardware speeds and OS X optimization issues which slow stuff down even more) the only way I justify my continued loyalty to the mac is with the following argument:

1. Microsoft is evil. From screwing inter-city public schools on license violations on donated computers to forcing hardware manufacturers to load windows and only windows on new machines (evan after being punished for this) to using the desktop monopoly to crush competitors (Netscape, Lotus, Novell, etc) I fail to understand why informed people (i.e. Mike Masnick) don’t have serious issues with supporting microsoft by buying their products. Apple is not without similar failings (revoking OS licensing, their hyper-aggressive trademark lawyers etc.) but the difference in scale is like the difference between squishing rolly-polys and dumping agent orange on a rainforest.

2. If you don’t want to use Microsoft, Apple is the only alternative that lets you get stuff done. I’d love to switch to linux full time for the joy of building my own hardware from scratch and the ability to do the very rare software hack. Unfortunately, Linux is even further behind the curve for the average desktop user than Apple.

For example: If you plug a USB device into an Apple box, it works or it doesn’t. If it doesn’t work and you can’t find drivers for it in 10 minutes of internet searching, you take it back and get a different brand. I think hardware incompatabilities are more common for Wintel users than for Mac users because of the unity of the mac platform. (i.e. a colleague installed a USB 2.0 PCI card in his top-of-the-line Athlon yesterday. Plugging in any USB 2.0 device forced an instant-reboot. Nice.)

Back to the real point:
If you plug a USB device into a Linux box and it doesn’t work, you don’t waste only 10 minutes and then send it back. Rather, you start thinking about hacking the drivers written for similar linux devices. Two weeks later, your scanner scans 256 grays and you can’t figure out why it won’t scan full color like it will if you just used the manufacturer’s drivers in a wintel box.

So I tinker with Linux, marvel at how fast KDE is maturing and how quickly Konqueror renders, and do work on my mac.

The speed difference, though, is becoming absurd. With Intel pushing cheaper 2.4GHz processors running on 400MHz busses and apple stuck at expensive 1GHz on a 133 bus and a transitional (slow) OS, I’m waiting for Apple to pull a rabbit out of the hat as they always seem to do when backed against a wall.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: False False

For one thing, you obviously aren’t every savvy. Comparing a 32Bit CISC processor with a PowerPC processor is absurd. In fact, the 1GHz Alpha processors beat the fastest Intel processors despite the ridiculous clock speed difference.

Second, if you are willing to buy only a small specific set of hardware devices, Linux will be just as simple as a Mac. However, a Mac doesn’t give you the option of working around with it and getting it working after a while.

As has been stated before: “Unix doesn’t stop you from doing stupid things because it would also stop you from doing clever things.”

alternatives() says:

Re: 'the only alternitive'

Apple is the only alternative that lets you get stuff done.

Funny. I’m using the software (FreeBSD) that Apple has used as part of the Mac OS X Base. And I’m able to get stuff done.

Given the 190+ different Linux forks there are, its no wonder you are confused about getting stuff to work. You might find FreeBSD to be less of a problem than some linux fork of the week.

(FreeBSD announced USB support one week before Apple shipped its 1st mac’s with USB support, BTW)

mhh5 says:

overhype!

Anyway, I’m wondering where Masnick’s normally skeptical/critical eye went. Sure, it’s “factual” that OSX web browsers are slower. Um, but it’s a matter of opinion whether or not users care. Sure, some wintel converts are complaining now. But what about the Apple loyalists that prefer slower/stable to faster/buggy. Last time I checked, Masnick was rebooting his computer a couple times every day. I haven’t rebooted in a few months. I’ll take the slight performance hit when I’m surfing to the overall performance hit waiting for Wintel to reboot.

In any case, I think Apple’s choice was geared for its audience. This article is just MS’s PR engine at work.

msykes says:

Re: factual?

Hmmm, well the whole “article is factual” thing reamins to be seen. Many people report that Web Browsing under OSX is slower than on a PC. Read enough forum posts, and you’ll find people that discover the opposite to be true.

Overall though I’d say this is a trend.

However, Apple saying they’ve decided to focus on performance later, wel that “fact” remains to be proven. Sure, 10.0->10.1 was much faster, and we all hope 10.1->10.2 will show similar speed increases, but nobody really knows.

Heck, maybe when the G5 finally rears it’s ulgy head it will slaughter AMD and Pentium chips too.

msykes

Lee says:

The difference is like minutes

Well this story rendered on other web sites a day before it rendered here, so there may be some truth to the story 🙂

Okay, as an Apple user I took a keen interest i this story. How much slower, is it a significant time? The times differences I have seen quoted by people who have run tests seem to show that Windows boxes to be slightly faster, but not enough of a difference that I would consider switching.

Besides. there are factors other than raw speed that keep me in the Apple camp.

Austin Shau (user link) says:

No-win situation

The way I see it, I can’t stand any Mac OS. I’ve had to use it at the university’s newspaper office and at work. I’ve never had a speedy experience with Macs, and at work the iMac I’m at crashes at least twice a day if I keep more than two browsers and FileMaker Pro open. (The crashes escalate when running WinAmpMac)

Then again, I can’t stand Windows either. Blue screens dance around in my head. My registry is messier than my room, and well, it’s Microsoft. The only reason why I use Windows is because I know it better than other OSs. I figure when I graduate and have more time to learn (or less? will a work schedule be more hectic than 18 credits + other stuff…), I’ll switch over to a Unix-based system.

So far it’s a no-win situation as far as I’m concerned.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Mac OS X is a unix based solution

And you will note the browsing whine is about the Unix based solution.

Mozilla on my Dual 1 GigHz Intel processors:
Starts off eating 8 Meg of DRAM. By the time I crash the browser, it will eat 201 Meg.

If browsers on Mac OS X do this, and these Macs have ‘no memory’, of course its gonna suck.

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