# Install MAC OS X on Intel PC

Discussion in 'Computer Science & Culture' started by Saint, Nov 9, 2010.

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1. ### ChipzBannedBanned

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I don't have any real probabilities. It's not a huge mind bending guess to say a company which was owned by Apple probably uses a lot of Mac computers.

3. ### Fraggle RockerStaff Member

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My wife and I have both been Mac users for years, and like everyone else I'm forced to use a Windows box at work so I'm keenly aware of the differences. Macs provide much greater convenience and reliability, and what you give up for that is options and the ability to be your own geek.

A PC-architecture computer is a toy, a science fair experiment, a delicate laboratory instrument, a prototype for something that might be really nice in about twenty more years. You can really have fun playing with it but you have to be a gearhead and not just know how to, but enjoy spending an average of half an hour every day troubleshooting. Finding lost files, rebuilding the ones you can't find, remembering to back up your work every fifteen minutes, figuring out where the command you want is hidden on a three-layer ribbon menu, then figuring out why it doesn't work the way you expected. And you have to have a friend on speed-dial who can come over and fix the problems that you can't figure out.

A Macintosh is an appliance. You push a button and perfectly toasted data pops out. That's all it does, but it does it right every time and it never burns your toast. Once or twice a year you have it tuned up by a professional mechanic.

My car is a Mercedes-Benz and my computer is a Macintosh. I don't have the time or the interest to open the hood on either one. When I feel like playing with something I pull out a musical instrument.
My wife has one of those spiky mace-mouse-trackball thingies that looks like it belongs on the control panel of a Klingon warship. It has more buttons than I can count (especially in Klingon) and it works just fine.

I don't mind the one-button mouse, but I really hate the missing forward-delete key. Yeah, you just hit Fn-Del but would it be that much trouble to at least make the keyboard intuitive to those of us who have to spend 8 hours a day on a PC keyboard?

5. ### ElectricFetusSanity going, going, goneValued Senior Member

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Yes linux, I like Linux Mint but Ubuntu is the standard.

Of course it only as superior as your computer skills.

We would think that, yet in videos of tours of pixie not one can be spotted! Evidence should defeat assumption.

at a bloated price tag and with a cult attached.

if this was 1980 I could understand this comment, but it clashes so obviously with physical reality today I'm not even going to directly reply to it.

Wow, just wow, going to be honest, if your having these kinds of problems it probably because of you!

Never been a problem I could not trouble shoot on my own. This is what I mean by yuppie-chimps, you need a mac because you can't handle a cheaper general purpose modifiable system like a PC.

My Linux laptop has been going strong for 2 years now and no one tunes it up but me. My hand built (by me) windows gaming desktop has taken all kinds of shit, right now I'm considering going back to a force air cooler and chucking the broken down water cooling system which is left hanging onto it with plastic ties. But aside for it hardware problems from a machine that could probably run circles around your mac and cost only ~$500 in parts off newegg and school purchase$7 win7 os, I have never experience software problems like the ones you claim, never!

Emphasis on "interest", you should have interest, interest is what separates the lazy and apathetic from the survivors and movers of the world.

7. ### Fraggle RockerStaff Member

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You call Mac users a cult? We don't even think about our computers when we're not using them or someone else starts a conversation about computers. We don't have to: that's why we like them!
But that's the problem with Windows. It's been patched and maintained since 1980. Everyone knows that software is the only artifact that degrades with maintenance, unlike elevators and aircraft. After it's been maintained long enough, by enough different software engineers, each with his own idiosyncrasies, it gets to the point where it doesn't work at all. It's a cliche in our profession that the best software is the result of a catastrophe in which everything was lost and it had to be rebuilt from scratch, with all the original mistakes remembered and avoided, rather than patched over.
How about all the other people I know who curse at Windows all day and can't wait to rush home and use a 21st-century computer? Many of them are old software engineers like me, who just can't believe the triumph of marketing over engineering that has made Windows the world standard. Forty years ago we didn't know what we were doing because we were marching out into unknown territory, so we could be forgiven for the abysmal quality of our products. Today we have forty years of experience in building software the wrong way, yet we still build it the wrong way.

We're absolutely petrified at the thought that we're on the verge of having the survival of civilization depend on the reliability of Windows.
I spent years troubleshooting software before you learned how to spell. I wrote an operating system for a mainframe. My crowning achievement was the development of a mission-critical utility that ran around the clock for thirteen years and only crashed twice--both times because nobody bothered to make it known that they were introducing a massively new input data format. Now that is software quality.

I would not hire Bill Gates to be the janitor in a computing center. He can't even spell "QA." He lets salesvermin establish the schedules for his software projects, not software engineers.

18. ### fedr8081100101Valued Senior Member

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I could make a computer that can beat the living sh*t out of any make and still remain at 60%-70% the price of said mac without breaking a sweat.

19. ### iceauraValued Senior Member

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I will be ditching this Windows box a job forced me to buy, and returning to whatever Mac has available, at the earliest opportunity.

The concerns about reliability and ease of use are not "technical" - they are a genuine pain in this non-geek's ass. I still have a '94 Powermac in the back room, and when I need reliability and speed but not internet, that's what I use. It has Wordperfect and Excel on it, plus some stats software, and it blows this Windows box away for anything I do except on the net.

It boots faster. It does not crash - not once, since '94, through two software upgrades and seven years on the net. When it was on the web, it picked up no viruses and needed almost nothing in the way of security drag.

My only objection to the newer Macs is their flash, the skool colored cartoon appearance of them and their interface, the pretty pretty. The price is OK, because I know from experience and observation I would be spending that money anyway, only on data recovery and de-worming and little "cards" and extra memory and security upgrades and help with software puzzles and malfunctioning hardware and shlepping the thing to the shop. Blow that for a goat.

It's like buying boots. I care not one whit about ease of modification. You buy cheap ones, you keep buying them, you keep repairing them, you run up minutes on the cell phone to India's finest shoelace advice center, you spend just as much money in the long run and your feet are wet and sore all the time. Because that's what fooling with a computer is, to me - walking around in wet socks. Sure, I can edit a registry. I fucking have to. I begrudge every stinking minute of the process.

20. ### ElectricFetusSanity going, going, goneValued Senior Member

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Dear god what kind of "Windows Boxes" do you use?

Lol, I've seen an old G3 iMac boot up, you couldn't possibly lie anymore blatantly!

I've seen an old G3 iMac, crash, repeatedly.

My linux laptop gets no viruses and has no security.

And I know from experience that if I can save +$1000 by making a PC on what would have been a +$2000 Mac, that money earned. Never needed to spend money on "data recovery" since I build my desktops with RAID 1, haven't had any serious virus problems even on the Windows machine. Also I never brought a computer to a shop, the concept boggles my mind.

Got a pair of $5 barn boots for the last 8 years. Also boot would need to be pretty fancy to have tech support? Lets see the 5 seconds it takes to call up regedit or$1000, hum, decisions decisions.

21. ### fedr8081100101Valued Senior Member

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I can name half a dozen things I can do on a windows computer that you can't even dream of being able to do.

Interesting note on keyboards. Did you know that the original designer actually designed it to be as innefficient as possible? Think about where exactly the keys are. Some of the most seldom used keys are right at the 'prime' spots. ie, j;f;g;h;k;l;d. And the vowelas are all located at the edge of the keyboard other than 'y' and 'u' which are both infrequent.

22. ### ElectricFetusSanity going, going, goneValued Senior Member

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Aaah the QWERTY myth, in competition Dvorak and QWERT with professional typist tie in typing speed, so no matter the origins QWERTY is no worse then Dvorak.

23. ### quadraphonicsBloodthirsty BarbarianValued Senior Member

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If you can afford the sticker price and prefer a Mac, well, more power to you. I personally don't see the value.

Since when is that exclusive of something being "technical?" Those are primary aspects of how a machine operates and interacts with a user - and so, explicitly technical - as opposed to how shiny the metal is, or how fancy the reflections on screen icons, or how much social cache the brand has.

And I've really never gotten the whole "ease of use" argument. I find Macs substantially harder to use. This seems to be because I am used to environments where I can easily rip the hood open and do things directly (Linux, Windows), while Mac forces me to go and figure out what collection of convoluted methods were designed into the system to do what I want to do. That latter approach is preferable if you are a vanilla user, using standard applications that the system has been designed around. But I'm as much a developer and power-user, and so that sort of thing just frustrates me and slows me down.

And the Mac approach is definitely the right one for embedded devices. Given the convergence of computing and telecomm technologies, we're getting very close to the point where nobody besides developers and power-users will have any reason to have a desktop computer at all. And to that, I note recent rumors that upcoming Mac laptops will have an OS that is more of an inflated version of iOS (the iPhone/iPad OS) than MACOS - anyone know more about this?

Speaking as someone who spent a lot of late nights on mid-90's vintage Powermacs (because such was mandated institutionally, as it happens), I do not share your outlook. A Mac that is used carefully by a single user who does nothing but vanilla applications may well last a long time without a hiccup. A Mac that is used by a variety of users for a variety of tasks, on the other hand, quickly becomes a boondoggle, and one that is nigh-impossible to address on one's own.

It was exactly my experiences with exactly the models of Macs that you recommend that led me to swear off of them permanently. In the end, our years of wrangling the things, consulting every Mac wizard we knew, reinstalling everything, etc. were solved by scrounging together about $200 to assemble a FrankenPC out of second-hand parts. Sure, that one had plenty of hiccups, but they were never anything we couldn't remedy ourselves in short order. And so we actually got work done, instead of spending long nights ineffectually screaming obscenities at a CRT. Those Powermacs would refuse to even boot, half of the time (literally: we had two, and it was a rare day that we could manage to log in to more than one at a time). This is an area where my experiences again are at considerable variance with yours. Although, to be fair, the first thing I do when I get a new PC is to strip out all of the bloated garbage that the OEMs load onto it (and which I don't think should be counted as faults of Windows or Microsoft - it's all the garbage that Dell or whoever includes that is the real drag on boot times). And many of my experiences with Macs have been on machines that were similarly laden with extraneous crap by the large pool of users that had access to them, and so took ages to boot (supposing they'd boot at all). But Windows generally has come quite a ways in boot time in recent iterations - my Windows 7 machine (which is admittedly pretty stripped) boots faster than any I've ever used - something like 40 seconds from pressing the button to an idle desktop. Again, my experiences with mid-90's vintage PowerPCs were at considerable variance with that. Lost count of how many times I power-cycled those things - and they never returned to robust functionality, no matter what lengths we went to. PCs go slightly wrong all the time, but it's a fairly simple matter to bring them back in line (or just ignore the issue). Macs may take more pushing to go wrong, but once they do it's all over with. Using an OS that is so marginal as to be beneath the interest of malware authors does have that particular advantage (although my understanding is that MACOS is less and less privileged in this sense, in recent years). That said, my experience as a Windows user has led me to the point where I don't bother with the anti-virus stuff in general. Easier to just avoid doing stupid things like frequenting pirate sites, opening forwards from strangers, etc. The occasional blast with ComboFix seems to take care of my needs - although that approach is obviously not going to work in a business setting (my work machine has the usual always-on virus scanners - but the same is true of MACOS). Well, pay what meets your expectations. I'll just say that I don't share them. And, actually, avoiding the need to take the thing into a shop for maintenance is a primary reason for me avoiding a Mac - those things are not nearly so user-serviceable as a PC. If you expect that it won't ever need service, then, sure, that's an advantage. But that's not something I'd bet on, and it's worth remembering that ease of user-serviceability also works out to ease of user-upgradability (which matters a lot for me personally). I have never once needed to take any of my PCs anywhere for repairs - been able to keep all of them running smoothly myself (with a few pointers from knowledgeable friends). Meanwhile, I don't know any Mac owners that haven't had to take their machines into the shop for repairs at some point. Also there is no shortage of security updates required to keep a Mac current and safe these days. That's just modern operating system/security for you. I'd say that buying a car is a better comparison - you're guaranteed that the thing is going to need service regularly, the question is what terms that's going to be on. Also, given the pace of Moore's law, I view a certain amount of frequent re-purchasing as desirable (this also makes the boot analogy bad - boot performance doesn't double every 18 months, and so longevity is the same thing as quality/performance in that market). This is exactly why I build my own PCs, so I can throw in the latest components as desired, without having to pay for another DVD drive, power supply, case, keyboard, mouse, hard drive, video card, operating system, etc. Once the initial system has been set up, I can keep it cutting-edge for under$100 a year on average. I'd be going well over a decade between system refreshes if I spent that budget on Macs - which is totally unacceptable (especially for a MACOS machine, given their attitude towards backwards compatibility and legacy support).

But, again, my experience doesn't align with the characterizations of PC user experience. I haven't any real complaints about the reliability or longevity of my Windows systems in recent years.

I have had to edit a registry in many years, although I have done so by choice, in order to customize certain things for fun. But apparently most people still haven't heard of CCleaner? I've been saying that Microsoft ought to just buy them out and bundle that utility into Windows for years now...

Wait, on second thought, I did have to do some mucking about in the registry in order to install an older version of Visual Studio than I already had. And as far as that goes, I find the hamfisted jackassery that is compatability breaks between Visual Studio versions to be the most damning indictment of Microsoft, far and away worse than anything to do with Windows per se. I mean, this is a product that Microsoft is marketting to developers and other power users, for the purpose of creating all the software for the system, and they can't seem to avoid totally breaking compatibility every other year AND making it impossible to install appropriate legacy versions to work around that. It's to the point where serious developers don't even consider upgrading to the latest versions unless absolutely necessary, since it means re-doing everything they've worked on. Total facepalm nonsense, there...

Last edited: Nov 23, 2010