# Why Macs Suck BALLS

Discussion in 'Computer Science & Culture' started by amark317, Sep 26, 2008.

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1. ### river-windValued Senior Member

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What is a "source code monopoly"?

3. ### SkinWalkerArchaeology / AnthropologyModerator

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So, tell me genius: what can't I do? I haven't booted into Windows in over 2 months. I even figured out how to sync my blackberry's contacts in Linux. I'm writing two books, editing journal articles, writing book reviews, managing three spreadsheets, and using GIS for a graduate project.

Which software monopoly is keeping from doing ALL that without spending a dime? I'm just curious.

5. ### lixlukeRefined ReinventionValued Senior Member

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It is when source code gets pattented instead of applications. I think it's like when you write a book. Instead of copyrighting the book, I copyright the each word and sentance. Therefore, nobody can publish a book without my permission if their book contains any words or sentances that I have already copyrighted.

If a developer develops a great application or OS, they do not have the freedom to release/patent the application if it contains source code that has already been patented by the monopolists. This is unethical and unfair to developers. That is why developers hate Microsoft.

It is not necessarily that MS products are that horrible. It's that MS is an asshole that unfairly prevents other companies from fully profiting from software that the other company has fully develop.

7. ### lixlukeRefined ReinventionValued Senior Member

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What you cannot do is publish software that you develop and deserve full profit from because some monopolist likely has a patent on the source code. Patenting source code is the same thing as patenting words and sentances in a book.

8. ### SkinWalkerArchaeology / AnthropologyModerator

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You can if you write your own source code. There are thousands of independent coders. Many of them make a good living.

9. ### lixlukeRefined ReinventionValued Senior Member

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Yes. There are as many developers out there who write their own source code, and cannot use it because it has been patented by a monopolist who claims ownership over it. I write a sentance in a book. Oh but I cannot publish the book freely because somebody else wrote the same sentance, and copyrighted it.

10. ### SkinWalkerArchaeology / AnthropologyModerator

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That's bollocks.

11. ### EntropyAlwaysWinsTANSTAAFL.Registered Senior Member

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lixluke, you are doing little else but demonstrating your lack of knowledge about software development.

12. ### Enterprise-DI'm back! Warp 8 Mr. Worf!Registered Senior Member

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Microsoft cannot have a monopoly on a language. They may have patented the order in which some source code is executed...and I am not sure that I disagree with that strategy of protecting intellectual property.

How do you arrive at this conclusion?
What exactly is 'more' and 'better' software? Compared to what?

Then you have a choice between Windows and MacOS.
Further, I have not anywhere stated that Linux is crap...I've stated that the associated headaches are not worth it for me even as a technically minded person (far less for many non-tech savvy users).
IMO Mandriva Linux is an decent desktop OS, if it gives you no technical issues. Solaris is an excellent server option, supported by Sun.

There are choices.

I am proposing that it is better that end users do not unfairly inherit the cost of over-development.

I assert that there are many OS choices. They may not all be suitable for the regular end user, but they DO have choices.

They do not. They have majority market share.

This is correct.

This is an inaccurate conclusion. MacOS, Ubuntu, Mandriva are all choices. Merely because they hold less market share does not invalidate them as a choice...it simply means that Apple et al need to gear up their marketing and add features.

Incorrect. It entirely depends on applications.

My point was that out of 300 distros, no one seemed to get the support model or a good marketing strategy right to make a significant dent in the MS leadership.

Not quite...however most users consider it because there is no compelling reason to switch. Linux and MacOS have given users nothing that cannot be done on Windows which, to Microsoft's credit, is simply ubiquitous through a mean marketing engine.

More compared to what? Do you not have enough? Why would the majority of the world want any more OSs? Is there a market demand for more applications?

There's always pros and cons to every strategy, the consideration is which list is more significant. And I've stated a few cons already, is there really a need to go over them again?

13. ### Enterprise-DI'm back! Warp 8 Mr. Worf!Registered Senior Member

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No. The patent on the source code will prevent a different programmer from recreating Windows by using code in the same sequence as Microsoft. MS cannot patent a single code word, only the sequence of the program. (Lawyers/Developers am I correct?)

If this were illegal, MS would have been prevented from doing such a thing.

I don't see how. Adobe for example is a graphics application giant, fully profiting from their Windows flagship products.

It seems to me that it's simply sour grapes. Failing software companies use the MS patent as a scapegoat when they can't compete. Hey, it's as you said:

14. ### river-windValued Senior Member

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Agreed Enterprise-D, though I think there is some confusion of terms going on.

NO ONE owns a patent on source code here in the US. The law does not allow for such a thing.

The closest thing to a source code patent is the copyright protection granted to any novel work; fiction, painting, movie, or programming code.

I think lixluke may be thinking of software patents (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_patent) , which do not patent the code itself (the implementation), but the actual logical method to be used. These, IMO, are a legal mess, and do limit competition and innovation in damaging ways. Most software patents fail the non-obvious test, and should never have been granted in the first place - and the rest are far too broad to have been granted either.

For example, Amazon owns the 1-click patent in the US, which allows a user to store purchasing information with an online retailer, thereafter allowing them to click a single button in order to purchase something without having to re-enter all that data. The problem was, the broadness of the patent prevented other companies for implementing this obvious feature even with a different method, and Amazon sued Barnes and Noble in the early 2000's for attempting to implement their own version version of the idea.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1-Click

In this case, Amazon's *code* was copyrighted, not patented, but even more dangerously, the *method* and the *concept* were patented. I think the USPTO grants these patents because they don't understand computers, and fail to realize the nature of the patents they are granting.

Bringing this back on topic, MS owns a ton of software patents, and uses those patents to strong arm smaller competitors out of the market. So does Apple. So does Amazon and Google.

HOWEVER, there is some good news. As of last month, software patents in the US may be dead. A US appeals court ruled that the current method for granting software patents was not legal (woo-hoo!). It's too soon to see where this goes, but it's a step in the right direction.
http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20081030150903555

edit: a somewhat clearer review of the Bilski decision: http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/pos...-limits-software-business-method-patents.html

Last edited: Dec 5, 2008
15. ### Enterprise-DI'm back! Warp 8 Mr. Worf!Registered Senior Member

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Thanks for the clarification. I kinda thought it may have been copyright rather than patent, but I hadn't looked it up, I just went with it for the sake of argument.

Yet another user error that Microsoft is being blamed for. Administrative error of the various law offices of the US may be what is responsible for "limiting" innovation. I'm sure legal savants can word patents in such a way to make them relevant only to a single piece of software, and not restrict similar development.

I stand on my original point however...there have been many applications developed, I see no reason to behave like developers are imprisoned fauna that need to roam the digital wilds.

I also stand behind my points that too many OS choices would cause an increase in the commodity prices and a dramatic decrease in support focus and quality control.

16. ### lixlukeRefined ReinventionValued Senior Member

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There is no choice in terms of OS. Linux distros whether you think they are crap or great are in no way comprable to Windows. End-users do not have a choice between mainstream OS systems. If they did, your whole arguement about that {MS should be the only dominant OS out for reasons you provided} holds no relevance.

If there were other dominant OS to choose from in the same calibur as MS, developers have ability to develop more and better software than what we have now. You are misinterpreting that statement to claim that I am stating that such software would be develop. I am only saying they will have the ability to do so, but not necessarily do so. We cannot see the outcome of whether or not more and better software will be developed unless developers are free to develop without dealing with bullshit cockblocking.

Over-development is not an issue. Even with one dominant OS, consumers have a multitude of Windows apps to choose from. Consumers get support for these apps from the companies that develop them. With many comprable OS to choose from, end-users can get support from said developers. Monopoly leads to greater costs because the monopolist has more room to set high price of their OS. With more competition out there, prices must be more competative. Without MS monopoly on source code, developers are open to develop. Therefore, there is actual probabilty for the end-user to see one or more software companies compete for OS dominance by developing/marketing better and apps to the point that MS can get tossed out of the picture.

For example, if I am the dominator. I am going to do whatever I can to prevent others from rising to power. It doesn't mean my leadership is good or bad. However:
If - there are others who are free to compete with me, and
If - they excel over me in terms of ability and quality in leadership,
Then - my domination is threated to the point there is a chance they could honestly put me out of my misery.

Now is it for you or I or anybody to say this is a good thing or bad thing? MS is dominant not because of their quality. They are dominant because they use underhanded methods to prevent any significant competition.

17. ### weed_eater_guyIt ain't broke, don't fix it!Registered Senior Member

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---Windows
my bread and butter, they run the engineering software I need to run and run them well

---Macs
something my grandmother could figure out, very stable and not much can go wrong. in light of this forum I decided to go to a mac lab at my college and give them a try again. Did you know they can RIGHT CLICK now?!?! Blew My Mind! like, WOW! But seriously, not a bad little package, nothing I'd buy or have use for, but it's elegant.

We'll call them "cute".

---Linux
I tried to put Ubuntu on my old laptop recently. After tinkering for a week to try and get the wifi running with my particular laptop, the display fried so bad that even in BIOS the screen is littered with symbols and crap.

Linux can go to hell, and I will NOT be entertaining anymore "have you tried..." and "can you run this in terminal and show me what it says...". So help me god if anyone tries!

*pant... pant... pant...* whew, I'm okay now.

But yeah, macs are cute. Linux is the bane of my existence and cost me a laptop.

18. ### w1z4rdCry the beloved countryValued Senior Member

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Mac... simple software for simple minds.

19. ### river-windValued Senior Member

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2,671
I find it hilarious that macs get the "simple software for simple minds" label, given the recent upswing in use in both science lab settings and computer programming conventions.

OSX is a BSD with the best UI currently available for a *NIX system. vi, awk, ed, and LaTeX simple?

Not to mention overall office/network cost - we've discussed workstation pricing, but have any of you looked at the cost of server licensing? An OSX server unlimited user license costs $999. Windows Server 2008 is$3,999 for 25 users, plus $200 for every 5 users more. 20. ### Enterprise-DI'm back! Warp 8 Mr. Worf!Registered Senior Member Messages: 1,898 Awww...while I have totally agreed that Linux is not yet worth the support nightmare...it couldn't have been the cause of your laptop failure. Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image! More likely the old laptop was already on its last legs. 21. ### Enterprise-DI'm back! Warp 8 Mr. Worf!Registered Senior Member Messages: 1,898 Excessively unfair comparison. Your Windows Server cost is for Windows Server Enterprise edition. Windows Server Standard is$1080 with a 10 user CAL.

I'm also pretty sure that various IT professionals have looked at the features and application offerings of OSX Server v Windows Server, and found Windows Server to be more beneficial beyond merely comparing the acquistion cost. How else do you explain the almost total disinterest in a Mac server?

Last edited: Dec 10, 2008

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Inertia.

23. ### river-windValued Senior Member

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ok, let me be more fair. Each system has its advantages and disadvantages (even the newest Amiga OS release has some nice aspects!). Windows' market share results in more software development for the platform, further adoption, more sales, and therefor greater resources to improve the OS - which gives Windows an advantage in many areas.

OSX has a better designed subsystem in nearly every way, though OSX's filesystem is nearing ancient - default zfs use can't happen fast enough. At the same time, not being able to set a Windows network user to be able to rename a file but not delete it (as Windows considers a rename to effectively be a delete/recreate) is just dumb.

Vista's UAC setup is in dire need of an overhaul - why they didn't just krib from unix's 30 years of real-world experience in this area I have no idea. Why they still load drivers in kernel space I do understand - backwards compatibility with legacy systems at the cost of stability - in other words, inertia.

Windows is better for gaming because of two things: game dev houses devote more time to the larger market (Windows), and the lack of good DirectX equivalents on other OSs. With the exception of Blizzard, most major developers are moving to half-assed solutions such as cedega to port their windows games to the mac platform. This larger market of games from 3rd party devs results in more pressure on Microsoft to develop better game dev tools. The result is that not only are there more games for Windows, developing games for Windows is easier, because the tools are more advanced.

DirectX was a pile of crap for years, but has been tweaked and upgraded to the point that OpenGL is barely even a competitor. OGL's development roadmap has too many hands trying to pull it in too many directions, and it's stagnated for nearly a decade. Given the recent results of the supposed revolution of OGL earlier this year, I don't expect this situation to be resolved anytime soon.

The majority of tools that the majority of users need are available on both Windows and OS X (and linux, and amiga, and even OS 9 and Windows 95); people most often buy Windows for two reasons:
1) cheap low-end machine availability - the \$400 Vostro that can do all the email and web-browsing you expect to do is a damn good deal.
2) Inertia. People buy what they know. They know windows, so they buy windows. Most people don't know that other options exist, or how those options even work. "What version of Windows does this mac run?" "Wait, Macs can run MS Office? What?" "It can do a right click???" on and on and on.

Linux also does what nearly everyone would need it to. But it fails the familiarity test most of the time, and doesn't do all of the configuration for the user - even one additional setup step will scare a vast portion of the computer-using public. It's a perfectly fine OS, but it's not ready for my Mom yet - not even Ubuntu (though getting close...). This isn't a technical limitation, it's a social limitation.

I like OSX because I don't have extensive need for things that Windows does better (name-based failover clustering of SMB servers, larger offering of software options in all venues, .net applications, Exchange Server), but I do use the things that OSX does better (file management, application install management, running lost of apps at the same time, multi-month up-time with daily heavy use of dozens of aps).

My office is a Windows and web-based software dev house. We have both macs and windows desktops, but only windows servers. Why? For the same reason we don't have any Linux servers. Not because Windows is better, but because it's more cost effective to support only one type of hardware/OS in the server room. That's all.

The head dev and I maintain our own separate OSX server to get around this problem, and it works wonderfully. We aren't running the company email off the machine, but a few dozen users off and on, accessing java server components for testing and remote development has been awesome. And "maintain" consists of looking at it occasionally.

The one thing Windows handles better than OSX that effects me? Virtualization. I program 7-10 hours a day, and having a virtualized test environment in software, rather than a room full of machines with different OS and software versions? Priceless. The VMWare and Parallels tools available for OSX are a vast improvement over the OrangePC, VirtualPC and SoftWindows options of the 1990's, but the lack of OS-level support for hypervisors is a negative check in the OS X column.

Last edited: Dec 10, 2008