OSX - I'm Not Feeling the Love (Updated!)

by Steve Mallett

I bought my ibook while at the O'Reilly Emerging Tech Conference a month or so ago. I was insanely jealous of everyone's wireless connectivity which was so ridiculously easy for them on their ibooks and windows laptops. I hacked on my Linux lappy for days banging my head against the keyboard in agony. "I want in on this wireless!" Argh.

Sure the ibook is a snazzy looking machine too! I was in.

I'm trying to love it. It is beautiful in its simplicity, its smooth fonts. It doesn't make a sound, My digital camera works like an extention of the ibook. It does everything.

Well, almost everything. I miss Linux. I miss the action in the Linux world. Even the mac magazines seem to showcase only how cool an app looks. Granted there is some action taking place here in the MacOSX world. It's getting started, but the really cool stuff, true hacker stuff belongs to Linux.

I'm going to keep the ibook. I'm downloading Gentoo Linux and Mandrake Linux for PPC as I write this. Maybe I'll came back when there is more 'hackerdome' here.

I can say one very positive thing about the OSX. If I were coming to OSX from the PC (windows), I'd be on it like an ant on candy.

But, my heart belongs to Linux. Well, lets see if I can get that wireless working....



There certainly is no lack of people feeling the love from OS X. I love and hate being the minority. Blast!

As I've been counseled, there's enough 'hackerdom' on the fringe and in the pipe that I should at least alter my course of action. Never let it be said that I don't listen to counsel and better judgement!

So, here is my new plan. I am going to stick with my ibook for sure and dual boot it (this should be interesting) with a Linux for PPC.

Ultimately this should be a fun exercise with the 'best of both worlds' as one commenter put it. If you run across any stable open source apps for OS X register them on OSDir.com I'll find them for sure. 8^)

Have you switched to OSX from Linux?


2002-07-03 11:15:08
OS X Hackerdom
Hi Steve,

I wonder if you've taken a gander at all the shareware/freeware at Versiontracker [http://www.versiontracker.com/macosx] and the like. How about all the yummy *nix goodness being ported by Fink [http://fink.sourceforge.net/index.php]. Or the Darwin project itself [http://www.opendarwin.org/].

There is so much hacking going on under the OS X hood, I'm surprised to see you missed it.


2002-07-03 11:23:01
The Love is there...
GNU-Darwin and Fink are your bridges between
OSX and hackerdom. The Linux-type hacking world
indeed exists on OSX.

I admit it isn't quite the same. Running X11 on
Aqua is quirky. But I'm thrilled that it works
and it's stable(!). I like to say, "I have the
best of *all* worlds."


2002-07-03 12:42:31
OS X Hackerdom
Hi Rael,

I did see it. Notice I wrote 'more' hackerdome.

I'm also not a huge fan of share/freeware myself though I know there will be a much larger base of open source software coming.

Aside from the spirit of the licenses it feels a bit like I'm cheating on my true love. 8^)

I'm sure I'll be checking in regularly with OS X as it develops.

2002-07-03 13:42:22
Some people like Linux....
and some people like blood sausage too. Seriously, I understand why hackers like Linux so much- it's the same reason that people buy junked cars and fix em up to drive around town. They enjoy a challenge, they get pride from toiling endlessly to make that Carburetor from a Honda work in a Dodge, and they get untold pleasure from telling folks..."I only paid 50 bucks for that car! I just can't get it to go into reverse, so at night I gotta park on a hill so I can roll back into the street in the morning." All kidding aside, I don't think *nix hackers will fully embrace OSX. Apple takes away too much of the fun for them. Stuff just works right the first time, it's easy to find drivers for things, there's hardly any challenge in it. Sounds like a real drag to me.
2002-07-03 14:16:32
Some people like Linux....
I'm actually not much of a hacker. I just really really like what comes from sooooo many people hacking on Linux.

I trust you read the part in my blog about 'if I came from Windows' (or something like that) I'd be on it like an ant on candy? It's still a lot better than you know what.

2002-07-03 17:58:39
Cool OSX stuff
Steve: if you're looking for cutting-edge technologies, OS X has many that linux lacks. For example, if you snagged one of the new 700mhz ibooks, you should look forward to a much accelerated version of the most advanced compositing engine on an os, i.e. Quartz Compositor. Quartz Extreme is super cool, for it renders the 2d elements as OpenGL scenes, accelerated by your 3d graphics accelerator. There was a WWDC demo involving a 3d object, animated, and floating on top of a playing dvd, all while casting a shadow next to a semi-transparent terminal window. This in itself is pretty nifty, but then they minimized the playing dvd, and it didn't drop a frame as it was warped with shadows and transparencies over it. OS X audio is neat too. Core audio has a pretty nifty ring buffer, which contributes to it's industry-leading low latencies, even under heavy loads. There are also a butt load of great apps and games available, which aren't on linux, and since the demise of loki, they probably won't be. Warcraft III just shipped for OS X! Buy it, and play it on you ibook. But if open source is your cup of tea, there are a hell of a lot of open source apps which compile just great on OS X. Even if this isn't good enough for you, do me a personal favor, and leave OS X on a partition, so you can dual-boot. Don't forget to give Jaguar a shot when it ships ahead of schedule next month!

PS - excuse my ramblings

2002-07-09 00:19:36
takes some time
I don't want to go into psycho talk now but what I believe is that it'll take some time to adapt.
Because OS X simply is a new style. Not necessarily lifestyle but sort of. And hyve you seen anybody just changing something like that without searching for differences/disadvantages?

I think you'll quickly discover the tons of *nix hacks under the hood of OS X ( incl. the gazillions of OpenSource/Shareware etc) and tell us there is no such big difference at all.
Takes couple of months.

If not, try to convert me to PPC-Linux, maybe....

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