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disadvantages/advantages of a mac/macosx

I'm not a mac person, but I'm just wondering what the advantages and disadvantages for a mac. I can only think of a disadvantage.

Mac is expensive, for the same money you buy a mac you can buy a pc with better hardware specs. But macosx does look really nice,

but on the other hand who cares about looks if you can do all the stuff you need/want to do? And how different is it using the macosx

terminal from using a linux terminal? And really don't feel like learning a whole new os while I'm still learning linux, even though mac is

unix based too it would think it isn't that much different?


Quote:... for the same money you buy a mac you can buy a pc with better hardware specs
This is a mistake many people make - they look at hardware specs in terms of clock speed and memory capacity, and overlook factors like:
  • the company that built the hardware also built the software - so there's no incompatibility issue

  • the hardware is generally of much higher quality - so costs more but lasts longer

  • the operating system makes full use of the known hardware configuration - there's no probing or guesswork involved

(I'm no snob, but I've known someone who sneered at just how much faster their processor was than mine, until I pointed out that installing windows on their platform was like buying a Ferrari engine then making a bodyshell out of concrete).


Perhaps the question should be about what you intend to use it for. My other half has a Macbook and she uses VLC/Firefox/GIMP on that because she can use the same on our Ubuntu workstation. She's become accustomed to the way in which it works, but in terms of longevity - I paid slightly over a grand for her laptop and it's still going strong after 7 years or so (I've worked through 4 intel-based laptops in that time).


Part of the appeal of MacOS for me is that I can SSH into it and fix problems remotely. The way things are going, the only Windows machine in this home will be my works laptop - everything else is Unix/Linux/MacOS

Thanks for that information. I checked out a friend's macbook and it looks so nice. I've decided I want to get one to replace my current laptop. Will hopefully get one at the end of the year. And I did take a look at the terminal and looks like a lot of the commands are the same as in linux cuz macosx is unix based too if I am correct?

I'm completely in agreement with what Dave has said. Many people do a technical comparison between a Mac and a similarly specified PC and decide that the Mac is expensive. What they are not factoring in is the intangible -- the experience you have with the machine, not just in using it, but throughout its lifecycle with the Apple Store (my experiences of service and the way they treat their customers have all been really good). It's not just a question of looking good -- it's also the fact that everything is put together with care and love, meticulous attention to detail and the seamless integration, from the veneer of the user interface, to the technical aspects that you don't have to think about at all, and everything in between.


And then there's the community. I have virtually 'met' (as well as physically met) many great people who are fellow Mac users as well as listened to, and participated in some great Mac podcasts. Many of the people who buy Macs do so because they love them, which means you find other people passionate about the products, even if they weren't really 'computer people' before. My experience of the Mac community over the four and a half years I have been a part of it is that it is vibrant, helpful and friendly.


If you're a Linux geek, or Linux geek in training, Mac OS X is fantastic because it gives you a strong graphical operating system and almost everything you'd come to expect from a Linux command line world too. (It's actually closer to BSD, so there will be slight differences, but a large number of skills are transferrable). For me, the Mac is my primary system exactly because it saves me from many a headache with things that otherwise need fiddling and configuring, but when I want to get geeky, it's all there.


There are disadvantages too, and you should be aware of them. The Mac is, primarily, a 'closed' hardware platform. The benefits of this are that everything often works beautifully, but it means you do have less control and flexibility over your own stuff. You will be much more dependent on Apple and authorised resellers to fix your Mac if it goes wrong, which can be expensive out of the warranty period. Upgrading things yourself is more difficult, and you take more risks in doing so. Sometimes it's a right pain -- try swapping out a hard drive in a recent iMac (you have to take the whole screen off!).


The software is also heading in the direction of becoming more closed too. With Mac OS X Lion, it is moving into a direction where, like the iPhone and iPad, Apple have control over software. Right now, you're still completely free to do what you want in terms of installing stuff on your Mac, but in the future, I suspect new applications may only get new operating system features by going through Apple's Mac App Store -- and in doing so, agreeing to Apple's rules. This is just me speculating -- but it's an issue that must be remembered for the future of the Mac platform.


Be aware as well of what data you're putting into a proprietary format. I think you should always be reasonably well prepared to jump ship back to a different platform if you suddenly need to. I export Apple Pages documents, for example, so I can use my data elsewhere should I need to (even if that means that some of the fancy features won't be available to me if I did).


I bought a Mac in early 2007, and I've been very very happy with joining that community. I haven't given up Linux, or indeed given up on Linux. It has changed the way I use computers, and changed my primary OS, but I have always had an interest in keeping up-to-date with everything, so my love of Linux has stayed. An investment for the Mac doesn't have to mean a loss for the Linux world. :)


Ultimately, weigh it up, think carefully and make an informed decision. I did exactly that some years ago and I have not regretted it.


Quote:And I did take a look at the terminal and looks like a lot of the commands are the same as in linux cuz macosx is unix based too if I am correct?
MacOS derives from Darwin, which has its roots more in BSD Unix. Most Linux distributions are based upon SVR4 Unix.


... but that's a technically pedantic way of looking at it. Other than that... you're pretty much right. Given your level of Linux familiarity, I don't think you'll have too much trouble picking up commands. What I found:
  • it's "useradd" in Linux. "adduser" in MacOS. And some Linux distros, too.

  • users are in /usr in BSD and /home in Linux/SVR4. Mostly.

  • Some utilities have slightly different options. "ps -ef" versus "ps aux".

One other point: many "mac v PC" arguments *really* are about "macos v windows", rather than the H/W comparison.(I dislike seeing games marked "for PC" when they really mean "for windows". feh!)

Thanks for all the information here about macosx :)I'm going to try and go for a macbook pro 13 inch. Which I'll hopefully be able to get near the end of the year. But that's still a while away so I'll have something to look foward to if I'm able to get it.

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