One more reason to love OS X...

by Alan Graham

Another reason why I love OS X became apparent the other day when my DSL connection stopped working for the first time in two years and I called Tech Support:



Tech Staff: Hmmm...I don't see your modem showing up.

Me: Okay...

Tech Staff: Here's what I need you to do. I want you to boot into DOS.

Me: Whoa...hold on. I'm running OS X.

Tech Staff: Oh...okay...well then just unplug your modem, wait 30 seconds, and plug it back in.

Me: Okay...it's working.


Um...I know I only work in Windows a few times a week, but last time I checked it was 2003...are we still booting into DOS? To me this sounded like, "Take rock from cave. Smash Computer. Ug fix computer good!"

Similar experiences?


31 Comments

anonymous2
2003-12-03 07:22:50
Re: Booting into DOS
I think that the phrase "booting into DOS" has simply become a part of the Windows culture, and is being misapplied. I suspect that what the tech support person wanted you to do was to open a command prompt, so that you could execute "ipconfig" commands to release/renew the DHCP connection.


The Mac OS X equivalent, of course, is Terminal, which is still the easiest/fastest/only way to perform some low-level tasks.

anonymous2
2003-12-03 07:31:13
...Boot to DOS.
I'm as much a "you'll pry my Mac from my cold, dead fingers" as the next person... but on occasion, I'll read one of these blogs that just totally makes me throw my hands up in disbelief seriously question the intelligence of the idiot who wrote this particular blog!!! One of the very tools we (well, I'll say "alot of" - as it's obvious to me now by this blog that it certainly doesn't mean "all of us")as mac users longed for was a command line - as in our minds, "hell - even windows has one... - DOS!" We finally get one (terminal) and somebody goes and writes a blog about - - - Did you guess it? DOS (the command line equivalent for Windows)! Believe me or not, there are actually some very good reasons to have a "command line" or a "terminal app" - of which I won't waste my time with today... I will only say, that an easy educated guess during your tech support call would be to say that this "techie" wanted to try to "ping" your modem via the DOS console... While you may think that simply by having a mac, this wasn't necessary - you are soooo wrong! If you were in "classic Mac" it simply wasn't possible (not withstanding any 3rd party add-ons) If you were running any iteration of Mac OS X, it was quite possible, however your "techie" probably was a "first tier" tech support guy and had little to NO experience with a UNIX terminal app. When you guys blog about something as trivial and sometimes very useful DOS console, not only do you make yourselves look like idiots to the "majority PC world", but you further to alienate serious "would be" mac users who might be reading! For any "would be-ers" out there who are reading - - this blog is not representative of the majority of us "mac users"! Go to a local Apple store in your area ( or any one of the "stores within the store" - ie: Comp USA, Microtel, or any Apple Reseller, etc...) and try out the 'NIX tools in Mac OS X! The terminal App blows doors on anything you thought you could do with DOS!
Peace!
anonymous2
2003-12-03 08:00:59
...Boot to DOS.
Dude--chill pill! Take one! I would hardly say that the majority of Mac users are command-line geeks. The new ones who have come over from 'NIX, but you have to remember that Mac has always been the platform favored by those of us who just like things to work. I'll use terminal if I have to -- but only rarely and as a last resort.


One of the things I loved about OS X was when I had my cable modem installed. He came over with his software CD, and I said: "Hold on." I plugged in the ethernet cable and rebooted the machine, and turned on Safari and got a Web page. The Comcast technician was very impressed.


Yes, the terminal is useful, but to say that it would turn off would-be Mac users -- who are tired of all of the crap they have to go through in the Windows world -- is pure poppycock!

anonymous2
2003-12-03 08:05:03
...Boot to DOS.
Whoa. Slow down there. "Booting into DOS" is a very different thing then bringing up a command prompt. Maybe the Tech mis-spoke, but rebooting your computer into another OS to troubleshoot a network connection would be ridiculous. I think you misunderstand the blog's intent. I don't think it is meant to disparage the idea of a command-line at all.
anonymous2
2003-12-03 08:22:55
...Boot to DOS.
Quote:--


What???
Hey, I think you totally missed my point! I wasn't trying to say that a "command line" would be a mac user's "turn off"! How'd you come up with that? I was trying to say that IMHO, more and more technically savvy people (whether from the UNIX, LINUX, or Windows variety) are now looking at the Mac- mainly because of OS X, and THEY might be turned off reading a blog about an atypical mac user's ignorance with regard to command line interfaces and their significance. BTW... I expected to get flamed from a few readers - - I'm tired of being "lobbed" into the same boat as "mac user's in general"... Contrary to popular belief, there are those of us "among the mac brethren" who do use a mac because of specific "tooling" and not just because "it works"!
Peace-

anonymous2
2003-12-03 08:54:05
Duh
I thought everyone with cable or DSL modems knew that if it's not working you should unplug it, wait, and plug it in again. This almost always fixes the problem. Secondlyas someone else sadi I'm sure he did not want you to actually boot inot dos especially since DOS is emulated in XP. It's just a command line tool for you to either try to ping your router or make sure you have an IP address and dns assigned.
anonymous2
2003-12-03 09:07:26
Re: Booting into DOS
ipconfig on a modem? Never heard of a modem have a DHCP server in it.
anonymous2
2003-12-03 09:27:37
One more reason....
Thank you for posting this eloquent and insightful blog! It gives me one more reason I'm glad not to have spent thousands of dollars on a computer that could be purchased for mere hundreds! Maybe one day you will come out of your shell a little, but until that day, I hope you enjoy your Bliss.
anonymous2
2003-12-03 09:40:03
Dos Tools
I am just guessing here but having worked with windoes networking to some degree the tech did not want him to boot to dos but launch the Command window which lets your run DOS commands. The reason for this is so that you can use such tools as the ping command and renew DHCP. So that is understandable right? We all use the terminal to do this right? The blog is correct it is 2003 and there are was to do this very simply in OS X without having to use the terminal. Same tools with ease of use. Thank you have a nice day.
anonymous2
2003-12-03 09:46:16
Having worked for an ISP once...
...we always told our customers to simply reboot their DSL or even their cable modems, or just replug the cables, and everything just sync'ed up again. If that didn't work, we never assumed a particular OS, we always asked what they were using. If they didn't know what an OS was, we usually just asked to describe their screen and we could infer what OS it was from that.
anonymous2
2003-12-03 09:52:13
Dos Tools
...there's another tool... It's called a "spell-checker"... USE IT!
BTW, what's this about?



As I'm going to assume you mean a direct reference to the "techie" in the blog deferring what we'll assume to be a "ping" initiation suggestion to the "non-techie" who called in, I'd like for you to show me how to "ping" anything without a "terminal app" of some kind... Somehow because we use OS X, we gain a superior "ease of use" factor in accessing our command line??? That's comparable to telling a mechanic that he should use a 1/2" wrench for everything! - as you so eloquently suggest in your statement above. After all- it is 2003!
Get off of the "mac peace pipe" and lets discuss or "blog" parity features, or true "tit for tat" such as the lack of anything remotely close to Mac OS 10.3 "Expose" feature in anything Windows...
Peace-



"If I were the King of The Forest"...
*Cowardly Lion* / The Wizard of Oz

anonymous2
2003-12-03 09:56:25
Having worked for an ISP once...
FINALLY! SOMEONE WITH SOME PRACTICAL EXPERIENCE, COMMON SENSE, AND GENUINE INGENUITY!


Thank you!
Peace-

anonymous2
2003-12-03 10:22:22
...Boot to DOS.
There seems to be a mystical misconception that typing commands rather than using a GUI confers God-like powers. You're still running a PROGRAM; just one for which no one has taken the trouble to write a proper interface.


The real, original Mac OS wasn't "missing" its command line; it just wasn't designed to be used that way. OS X simply allows the programmers to save time by not coding for little known/needed features.


When my customers ask why they have to use Terminal to do certain things, I simply tell them it's because Apple hasn't finished that part of the interface yet.

anonymous2
2003-12-03 10:42:50
...Boot to DOS.
...You cannot possibly expect ALL OF US to believe the CRAP you just posted, right?!? I've read every blog entry here, and until YOU - Nobody had mentioned anything about "typing commands rather than using a GUI confers God-like powers"! Such opinionated horsesh*%t! A terminal app of any kind is not used or "purpose driven" until the "lacking GUI" apps can or might be built! Where's the logic in your statement? The GUI serves a distinct purpose that leverages that particular or set of particulars to deliver ease of use to the masses... The terminal app or command line is not there strictly to take care of "certain things Apple hasn't finished yet"! In all fairness, your assessment of what the "original mac" was intended for is MOSTLY correct, albeit lacking because it served an intended purpose and function for it's specific time period. Your discounted opinionated belief concerning the purpose for the <2001-2003> addendum of the "terminal" to the antiquated "original Mac OS" is at odds with not only your statement, but other developers like myself who use it's function and purpose on a daily basis, and without it would develop on and most likely for another OS. I, and others like myself do not dirive any "God-Like Powers" from using the terminal, or any shell - Quite the contrary: It's simply a tool (a very powerful one at that) that provides a means to an end that COULD NOT have otherwise been achieved through a GUI tool!!! You can talk all day about providing a GUI tool to provide the functionality of what I can achieve through the command line, and your argument is moot! Command lines are even used on the GUI side (ever heard of or used a "script"?) Ask a photoshop power user to explain to you what an Adobe Action is!
Peace-
anonymous2
2003-12-03 11:25:22
Dos Tools
"Cycling" external devices is useful for other external devices too -- its a common fix to many issues with PostScript(TM) printers and conventional external modems.


By the way, you *don't* have to use terminal to ping, etc. in OS X. There is a utility application called Network Utility for network diagnostics which includes ping among other things.

anonymous2
2003-12-03 12:20:36
...Boot to DOS.
>When my customers ask why they have to use Terminal to do certain things, I simply tell them it's because Apple hasn't finished that part of the interface yet.


This has to be one of the dumbest things I have read here. Apple hasn't "finished" that part of the interface? How about, there are some tasks for which a snazzy GUI *isn't* the best for presentation nor required or desired? UNIX users have known this for years.


And I interpreted the blog entry simply to mean that he had to do nothing other than cycle his modem, whereas if he had been running Windows he might have had to through a longer diagnosis and resolution period. I didn't see it as anything to do with the pros and cons of CLI.

anonymous2
2003-12-03 13:17:44
Re: Booting into DOS
man...reading these comments has probably been the worst stuff since switching to mac....


running ipconfig does not imply that the device (modem, ethenet, whatever) contains a dhcp server...ipconfig -renew tells the device to CONTACt the dhcp for a new ip address....really common in dial ups...
back to sleep...

anonymous2
2003-12-03 13:48:56
SmurfTower
thanks for the laugh.
anonymous2
2003-12-03 15:35:51
...Boot to DOS.
>How about, there are some tasks for which a snazzy GUI *isn't* the best for presentation nor required or desired? UNIX users have known this for years.



Perhaps he wouldn't say this, because you are wrong?

anonymous2
2003-12-03 15:41:01
Re: Booting into DOS
Actually my DSL modem does have a DHCP server in it. Its makes the connection to the DSL provider and supplies IPs to any device connected to it. Unfortunately, said provider is now using MAC auth to insure I only use one computer at a time on the device and NAT with a WAP configured to spoof the MAC isn't working properly either (it appears ports the NAT likes to use have been turned off).
anonymous2
2003-12-03 17:51:15
...Boot to DOS.
>One of the things I loved about OS X was when I >had my cable modem installed. He came over with >his software CD, and I said: "Hold on." I >plugged in the ethernet cable and rebooted the >machine, and turned on Safari and got a Web >page. The Comcast technician was very impressed.


This is different in Windows XP? I did the same. It works.

anonymous2
2003-12-03 21:54:06
...Boot to DOS.
"When my customers ask why they have to use Terminal to do certain things, I simply tell them it's because Apple hasn't finished that part of the interface yet."


Nonsense. One of the great things of OS-X is that it marries the CLI with the GUI to a system in which the user can use whichever interface is appropriate for the task at hand.


Saying that one or the other is unconditionally better is a sign of incompetence.


-- Lars

anonymous2
2003-12-04 01:04:39
Re: Booting into DOS

The funny thing is everyone is posting anonymously so it appears to be a Dr Jeckyl and My Hyde battle between Terminal and Finder.


Personally I moved from the Amiga platform growing tired of the never ending attempt to turn it into a tangible product. I would however never have switched to the Mac if it wasn't for the fact OS X is a unix based OS. A dream came true and I still didn't have to use Windows :-)


Despite what you all argue, the Terminal is really a good thing.

anonymous2
2003-12-04 03:09:28
Connections
It's now possible to do trace routes in the Terminal without having to buy/install third party apps. (i.e. To see where a problem may be if your internet connections slow down, etc. It can then be more easily narrowed down for your ISP to contact the company's about their server.)
anonymous2
2003-12-04 05:26:46
Dos Tools


Use the Network Utility it is in your Utilites folder.

agraham999
2003-12-04 05:54:16
Geez...less coffee...more sunlight...
What was an innocuous post should not spark such vitriol and a debate over the value of the command line amongst people. First I'll just point out that I had pinged, poked, and prodded my machines to work. The modem and system hadn't changed in a year or two so...so it was a little unusual to not be working one day...and according to the modem (lights indicated all was well), everything was working...I didn't just call tech support. So the tech support guy knew that I had already tried just about everything from my side before I called him. In fact it is the first time I've called a tech support person in years.


I think folks are missing the humor of the situation...and taking a lot of this as if I called their brainy child average. I just found if funny that he takes this deep sigh and asks me to boot into DOS (his words), but when I tell him I use OS X...he just says unplug the modem.


It's funny...chill out.

anonymous2
2003-12-04 11:46:13
Geez...less coffee...more sunlight...
"And what do you do with witches?"


"WE Buuuuuuurrrrn them"


"What else do you do with them?"


"..."


"..."


"errrm, Drown them?"

anonymous2
2003-12-05 10:03:54
Geez...less coffee...more sunlight...
one Lesson in postings: if you ever in any way, shape, or form make light of, put down, or even merely mention command line/DOS/non-gui anything, someone somewhere will simply have to snivel about it. To them, it's more akin to calling them, their kids, and their mother morons, very personally.
I got the point at least. Not only that, but my wifi wasn't working, and voila, did the trick for me too!
anonymous2
2003-12-06 08:58:24
Could there be more a**holes on these boards???
What is with you people? Could you all possibly be more combative and inflexible? Could your opinions be more misguided and subjective? Could everyone pretend some more that they worked at Xerox/PARC and had the inside scoop on this brewing CLI/GUI jihad? All you asses make me long for the days when no one had computers so that you could all drop the 'informed tech-head' chip-on-the-shoulder bit and go back to your Super-Nintendos and spare us your hysterical commentary...Sheesh
Ballresin
2004-11-28 14:51:05
...Boot to DOS.
Actually, there's good reason to boot to DOS in Windows.
This coming from an AVID Mac user.


Windows, up until extremely recently, didn't handle internet connections very well ( in the manner of doing a manual disconnect of the hardware from the IRQ ) and DOS was capable of this.


On the Macs, there is almost no distinction from the BSD core (CLI) and the GUI because it is a variety of Unix, where the GUI is doing things using the CLI calls simultaneously as the user requests it by clicking or dragging or whatever.


DOS and Windows are close and very related, but remember: DOS is an operating system, Windows is an Operating System, but the BSD in Mac OS X is not a seperate OS from the GUI, the GUI is directly tied to the subsystem.


Thus, the reason the ISP 'techie' was probably having the customer boot into DOS was because no matter what release of Windows you have, the DOS commands remain the same regardless. And it works better and faster than the GUI.

brianredbeard
2005-03-16 09:38:38
Geez...less coffee...more sunlight...
no you fucking retard, you press witches with stones.


i realize that you're merely quoting some piece of petty mass media, but if you want some goddamn vitriol i'll be more than happy to dish it out.