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March 22, 2009


Past time ...

Time for Linux! Do not chain yourself to the Apple Empire!

Macs are pretty. cool little buttons all over. so easy to use. no viruses. i have one myself and it's all i've ever used. so how does that explain the fact i just bought a Dell!? i'm waiting for it now. it's loaded. just hope my drives don't disappear. what is a 'drive' anyway? being a Mac guy i have no clue about Windows.

You may have a hardware issue, btw. How old is your machine? When the power supply starts to fail, the hard drive is one of the first things to become unreliable.

I don't use Windows on a regular basis but I do know that hard drives can be flaky pastry things when the power is on the fritz. I used to fix computers for money. Long time back, though.

Ohhh, ghi, I hope you're a masochist.....

If Apple is an empire what is Dell, Microsoft and all the other PC giants?

I used to be an MS-hata, and kind of still am, but they've overplayed their hand on some fronts and are now behind the curve.

Apple is problematic because it wants to own and control you, and it wants to do this while co-opting some of the better aspects of the open-source movement. A better strategy than M$ had, back in the day. I was annoyed that M$ phones home when you install it, but Apple induces you to phone home constantly, and shuts out every other player so that you become an Apple slave. To write apps for the iPhone, for instance, there are things Apple apparently just does not let you do.

And Dell is just a clone hardware maker. It's not the size that makes you the Borg, it's the control freakery. And there's no one more control-freaky than Apple.

Mandos- the computer isn't old... I think we got it last summer.

I'm glad to find out that Dell is not the Borg!!

The drives are showing up again. I rebooted a couple of times yesterday, but they still wouldn't show up. If I put a memory card in, etc, nothing would show up... just C and D. Today, for whatever reason. They're back.

Ghi- being the digital artiste you are, I'm surprised you're venturing into Dell territory.

ZRM- Ghi does appear to be a tortured soul so maybe this is his way of self-flagellating.

Dell may not be the Borg, but...its quality as a manufacturer has sometimes been an object of mockery.

That could still be a failing power supply issue, or it could be a crazy windows driver issue, if it's dependent on the memory card to make the difference.

Mandos, I mostly agree with what you are saying.

But I was a Mac user during the pre-re-Jobs, cloneMac era, and I would say that Apple's control over the third party market comes from learning hard lessons about reliability and performance. A more open environment a la Linux comes with its own baggage, and I have never gotten paid for geeking my systems.

I used to proselytize for Macs, but don't too much anymore. But really, what's the problem? Nowadays, you got Windows for the corporate, lowest common denominator off the WalMart shelf standards, Apple gives you one stop ease of use, and Linux for the tinkerers and High end customizers. At least there are choices, and the Mac is mine. It's worked out OK for me.

Microsoft didn't want it this way, you know.

Apple Borgs and slaves ... the stuff you learn from blogging! And here I thought I was using my Apple computers because I like how they work, how they look and the fun I'm having not having crashes, bugs and or having to learn a bunch of techie code words and letters. Not a proselytizer but I've been pleased with Apple since the mid 80s.

O me too, Bill. But the more people who learn how much fun Macs are, the more Apple will be like Microsoft.

On a more serious note, I've used an first gen iMac as a server for years in my office, running 24/7, and had virtually no downtime on it. Can't complain about that.

Actually, I increasingly face Mac users among friends and colleagues because Apple actually *has* adopted the command line, although of course you don't have to use it if you don't want to. But that pulled in a segment of the geek crowd, the "cool gadgets" crowd. But that just makes it more insidious. Apple has a better strategy than M$ currently to erode computational liberty, and that's pretty important to me as an end in itself.

As for Linux, well, for most desktop computers, on Ubuntu Linux 8.10 at least, you don't even really have to touch the command prompt either. MacOS and Linux are kind of converging in the user experience from both directions, except that the former suffers from controlfreakery...

Anyway, enough nerd seriouspantsing.

well, Mandos, the horse always bucks at the saddle. At first.

Join us. JOIN US.......

It may also be pointed out that a Mac can run both Linux and Windows as well.

And the Mac OS is based on a mutant strain of Unix....

Am I suppose to understand what Mandos is writing ("computational liberty ... Ubuntu Linux 8.10 ... command prompt")? If so, it's too late for me!

You know, I wrote a 65,000 word book on a Mac SE - that tiny screen seems silly now but the computer was easy to use, portable and it gave the feeling that the future was only going to get better with Apple products.

With regards to "control freakery" ... If I need parts for my Porter Cable tools, I go to Porter Cable. When my Honda needs a tune-up I go to Honda ...

When I buy things I have a hierarchy of values I drag along with me. Quality - Design - User friendliness - Delivers the goods - Innovative or same-o same-o. My iMac is ... here comes a non computer word ... delightful!

As for Linux, well, for most desktop computers, on Ubuntu Linux 8.10 at least, you don't even really have to touch the command prompt either.

Except for the 20 hours of debugging on every piece of your open source software you install, and every new piece of hardware you add.

While I totally applaud the anti-corporate, pro-freedom stance of open source, I have no patience for a buggy, aesthetically challenged user experience. Apple is a control freak yes. The end result is everything works the first (or occasionally the second) time I try. That is worth a lot of my money.

When Ubuntu hits 20.0, give me a call (I will probably answer on my iPhone).

OK, fine, I'll put the nerdpants back on for a bit.

Let me say at the outset that I unabashedly consider technology to be political. Take it from someone who has participated in inventing technologies that have definite political implications, some possibly quite negative (but I have a naive unexamined techno-utopian faith that the implications will ultimately be positive). With computers more ubiquitous than cars in the lives of everyone reading this, consequently, I do feel justified in expecting consumers to take an interest in the ramifications of the technology they use.

But that's kind of like me expecting people to drink fair-trade coffee all the time. I know most of them (and I) will at least occasionally get something from starbucks. I just munched a square of Ghirardelli's "Intense Dark" 72% beaten-7-year-old cacao chocolate, after all.

With regards to "control freakery" ... If I need parts for my Porter Cable tools, I go to Porter Cable. When my Honda needs a tune-up I go to Honda ...

So, but especially as it goes for cars, I'm not sure we've been well-served by manufacturer control and lack of standardization. I'm just not swayed by "it works" or "it does the job" arguments, and even less so for computers. (I've become increasingly swayed by them in matters of political mechanics, but that's another story.)

ZRM - if I'm not mistaken, Apple is still doing the hardware control-freakery, right, modulo USB plug-and-play (which everyone has now anyway)? This is what first turned me off Apple way back when. I want the power to install the hardware I want, not the hardware they license. So what if I had to go through PC driver annoyance in the 90s?

Computers are not like hammers.

Fish: has not been my experience, and I've installed Ubuntu on a number of machines (I finally replaced OS/2 on my parents machines---now that was an OS ahead of its time). For the most part, it installs and works seamlessly. I'm given to understand that it installs very nicely on Dell machines, in particular, since Canonical has some contract or something with them in Europe.

There is one major problem that will may not be fixed even at Ubuntu 20.0---which is that some hardware manufacturers are slow in producing Linux drivers. The community is now surprisingly fast at reverse-engineering and generating its own drivers. But this has so far only affected one machine I've worked with (new 3D graphics accelerator---can't play movies).

For the record, I use a crackberry rather than an iPhone for all my mobile internet needs. I prefer being able to download random Java apps at will than be a slave to the Apple App Store. I also dislike touch screen keyboards but that's another story.

Anyway this is probably enough seriouspantsing of Jennifer's blog :)

Anyway this is probably enough seriouspantsing of Jennifer's blog :)

You have my permission to get down with your seriouspantsing as often as you like. All kinds of pantsings are welcome for that matter, even pantslessings... just make sure no lamblets are in view.

You won't get as much slack for this: Ghirardelli's "Intense Dark" 72% beaten-7-year-old cacao chocolate... although I understand the occasional slip as I inadvertently bought slave tomatoes last week. :(

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