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An OS X odyssey

Spent some time with the MacBook and OS X Lion. No, it wasn’t a misprint, your truly used Mac software on the MacBook. I know… scary, right? I wanted to see if I would get better battery life using the native software versus Xubuntu and I while I was able to squeeze out an hour more work without being tethered to a power cord, I find myself reaching for the Xubuntu install disk. But I have a confession. I liked OS X more than I thought I would. Had I used Macs instead of PCs growing up and had I not discovered Linux, Who knows where I would be.

I like how the system flows together. It’s the little things, the way apps transition between having a full screen or a window. The little chime when a download completes. How install software is as easy (or maybe even easier) than in Linux. The more I use the OS X, the better I can understand why it has its fans. (Put down the pitchforks, it’s okay to give out a compliment when it’s deserved.) However, I would need to speed at least a week with OS X, before I can judge it any more than I have.

I can hear some of you now; “You have spent years in the crusade against Macs. You sold out!”

My response to you is to bite your tongue. I haven’t sold out and I am not again Macs. If I am against anything (and I am) it is against Apple charging insane prices and then each year giving its users small upgrades in hardware so they can keep charging those insane prices. I believe Apple rips off the consumer by holding just enough back to be able to charge more money for basically the same product next year. Are they the only company guilty of such an offense? No, but they do it well and they do it often.

Let me go on record. I think there is a lot of positive things Linux developers can learn from OS X, be in Lion, Mountain Lion or Mavericks. I think there is a lot Apple can learn from the Windows community about making its software (and hardware) more accessible to the masses. If I could put on my rose-colored specs for a second, I would love to see the best of each operating system incorporated into one distro. But even then, while I am sure it would come as close to geek nirvana as a freshly built Arch box, there will be those out there bitching about something.

Published in Technology

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