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Author Topic: Canaries in the Mac OS X and Red Hat Coal Mines?  (Read 2105 times)


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Canaries in the Mac OS X and Red Hat Coal Mines?
« on: July 06, 2006, 03:02 AM »

Canaries in the Mac OS X and Red Hat Coal Mines?

O'Reilly editor Brian Sawyer pointed to an interesting observation over at "If I were Apple, I'd be worried about this. Two lifelong Mac fans are switching away from Macs to PCs running Ubuntu Linux



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Re: Canaries in the Mac OS X and Red Hat Coal Mines?
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2006, 11:33 PM »
I frankly don't think the majority of Mac users are these crazy super techie types - they're just the most visible kind (bloggers, techno-artists, etc.). Linux is still far, far from a replacement for most Mac users in terms of the user experience and most people aren't going to care about these open standard arguments until it's too late (i.e. they want to move to a new program and find they can't take their hard-entered data with them).

Still it's interesting to watch these people who clearly do "real work" moving over to Linux. I've always had the distinct impression that Linux is good for 2 things - 1, being a server (of some type - these days that could mean a media server) and 2, being a tinker box. Most of the people I have ever known who "use" Linux either run and administer servers on it *or* they don't do much "real work" on it and they just tinker with it, spending most of their time actually playing with the OS itself. That's not to say that Linux can't do real work, but it's hard to deny that for most people who are producers - people making the content we enjoy daily (film, TV, digital art, etc.) - Linux is just not as functional and enabling as Windows *or* OSX. So yes it's interesting to see these people moving over to Linux to do "real work".

- Oshyan

Carol Haynes

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Re: Canaries in the Mac OS X and Red Hat Coal Mines?
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2006, 04:25 AM »
The big problem with Linux is lack of software for graphics, music production and video production - all areas where Mac has traditionally been seen to lead the field (actually I don't think it is true any more as most apps are now also available on Windows and are more cost effective on a Windows box).

There are huge issues for publishing about what software you use as most print houses will only accept files in formats readily generated by Adobe and QuarkExpress but not by apps on Linux.

The other huge factor is cost of change - if you have a company (or individual) where there has been huge investment in software both in terms of money and training/learning why would people want to move to system that doesn't support software of similar quality and flexibility.

On a personal note (and I have said this before) the biggest problem in Linux is still the lack of support for many hardware items ...

- printer support is lamentable (IME Canon and Lexmark printers either don't work or are so poorly supported that you have little or no control over how pages are output)

- WiFi is only supported if you are very lucky (and even then usually by hacks)

- hardly any USB devices have Linux drivers

- sound cards have very patchy and incomplete support (Creative SoundBlasters - the most common sound card has only very incomplete support)

- scanner have patchy and incomplete support (I have owned 3 scanners, and haven't got any of them to work under Linux)

The other big problems are:

- the whole Linux system is designed only for people who want to spend hours reading manuals and playing with excessively obscure commandline options to do anything

- even installing software is non-trivial (you may have to recompile software for your 'flavour' of Linux

- there is too much variation in Linux flavours so that it becomes very difficult to sit down at a Linux box and troubleshoot anything without some degree of learning curve.

In contrast MacOS X is written entirely to run software for end users. There is virtually no 'techie' access to the underlying OS unless you are really determined. I have worked and been friends with many Mac fans, and have yet to meet one who has any idea of (or interest in) what is going on behind the GUI.