Presenting Mac OS X
by James Duncan Davidson
I've added a new presentation to my repertoire: "Mac OS X, Why the Alpha Geeks are Using It." It's an obvious tip of the hat to Tim O'Reilly's thoughts on OS X, with a focus on showing to people why OS X works for Unix weenies and giving a hands on exploration of the system.
At this last weekend's Rocky Mountain Software Symposium in Denver, I gave this talk to a pretty sizeable group of people. Questions ranged all over the map, but included:
- Does emacs run on it? (yes, it comes with)
- How about vi? (yep)
- SSH? (yep)
- X windows? (yep, you gotta get it separately though)
- vim? (compiles fine)
- Do you really use it as your primary machine? (yes)
- Is it stable? (yes, x180.net runs 24/7 on it)
The part of the talk that always gets a lot of applause is when I show top and point out Microsoft PowerPoint running as a process. Where else can you see that?
But the most telling part is how I spent the last 15 minutes of the presentation. I was answering questions about what my recommendations were for hardware configurations. They boiled down to:
- How fast should I get? (as fast as possible)
- No, but really, what's the minimum? (600Mhz, in my opinion even though my PowerBook is a 400)
- How much memory? (348 is where things get smooth, I use 640MB on the laptop, 1.5GB on the desktop)
- What kind of hard drives? (ide, get whatever you want)
Obviously, people are looking to buy. I wish I knew how many Macs I've helped sell over the last few years, but I know its a fair number at this point.