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We from Virtual Pet Rock regularly get requests to port the program to Windows. We seldom get a request for a Linux version. But today we got one, complete with bad spelling and a whiney tone. I thought part of my reply would be of interest to the readers of this site too as it touches on an essential point about Mac OS X, it's ease of use compared to the ease of use of current Linux distributions. Even if you're using Windows (and I know a lot of my readers are) the points are quite valid.

Original post:
1. macs suck osX is good becuse maintosh didn't realy write it they stole it from freebsd

My reply:
Allow me to retort.

1a. Macs are quite good hardware wise. You simply pay a premium for high-quality materials that Apple has verified thoroughly work well together. This might mean less options on low end stuff like crappy video-cards and dodgy CD-Rewriters but if you're into cheap hardware you shouldn't be looking at a Mac anyway.

1b. Mac OS X was not stolen from FreeBSD. The BSD license specifically states that the kernel and component parts can be modified and redistributed.
True, it's not as viral as the GNU license and therefore probably not of interest to the Windows-using Slashdot whiners who only like GNU because it sounds like an animal, not because they actually know how to program a single line of code. Apple has simply done what no Linux distributor has ever done: write an intuitive, easy on the eyes window manager, with hardware acceleration to boot and loads of features that make it easy to work with. As an added bonus the system will work out of the box with nearly every third party digital lifestyle component (digital (video)camera's, printers, bluetooth phones, MP3 players etc.)
The fact that Apple makes the hardware and the system software (thereby supplying the whole package) simply means that hardware and system work together seamlessly.

True, the marriage between open source utilities and a proprietary system might feel strained to someone who doesn't like to pay for anything if there's a free alternative but that's your choice.
Me: I like to just have a machine that works. I don't have the time to compile kernels and configure obscure drivers every three months. And I'm a self-confessed geek. What's more: neither my parents nor a lot of my friends would ever consider compiling even the simplest utility from source, no matter how free it is.

Why do you think stuff like apt-get, ports and rpm were invented and are so popular? it's because a lot of this stuff is way above the heads (and time-investment) of most people.
This is not a bad thing in my opinion, it just shows that there is a market for an easier *nix based machine, one in which even stuff like apt-get looks insanely complicated and out of the dark ages. Apple is filling that niche.


I believe I wrote in January of this year that I didn't think this would be the year for a desktop Linux to break through. From what I've seen so far of the enhancements to KDE and Gnome this still holds. The systems may rapidly become more usable but there's a long way to go until 'Aunt Tilly' can use these systems comfortably. Heck, even Windows is more usable than a lot of this stuff.

Don't get me wrong: I like Linux. Debian is my preferred OS for web-serving because of it's stability and performance, but I'd never use it as a desktop environment. Hell, I wouldn't even want to maintain a Debian system.

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