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OS X Is No Longer On My Main System, But I Already Have Regrets

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  • #61
    Originally posted by schmidtbag View Post
    When was the last time you tried it?
    I currently have two hackintosh systems up an running. One with OSX server in the basement to run our groupware and consolidate our media, the other as our Semi-Public terminal (the PC in the guest room) because I'm too cheap to buy a mini. Aside from that we have a 27" iMac, 13" rMBP, iPad3, iPad mini, iPhone4s, and an iPhone5. The mackintosh simply does not compare in terms of stability and OS/Hardware integration.

    I did a 5 year investment, and we're about 1.5 years into it. My complaints are:

    iPhoto albums are single user. Attempting to put the iPhoto DB on a network drive and sharing it to have a single consolidated 'family' album is an exercise in futility (even if you access it one-at-a-time).
    Apple's groupware works fabulously with iCloud, and not so fabulously with google's offerings... which we had prior to converting. This has caused a few headaches.
    Apple Maps occasionally get things hilariously/tragically/seriously wrong.
    Safari's adblocking and privacy extensions are not as mature/robust as FFox.
    Developers think they can charge money for stupid/mundane shit (OCR'ing a scanned PDF document for example). Linux VM's FTW!

    Overall, It's been a nice experience. I've lost no love for linux in the process, and continue using and contributing to the FOSS ecosystem to the best of my ability.


    • #62
      Originally posted by jukkan View Post
      That's an universal truth, no OS does everything very well. However, for the average person with consumerish use cases, like watching netflix or playing the newest Battlefield, Windows is the obvious choice. To a software developer, Linux could be the obvious choice because of the good availability of tools. At this point the only OS that has good dpi scaling is OSX.
      Actually OS X does not have good dpi scaling when it comes to hidpi and the desktop. All they did was double the number of pixels of the Macbook screen (retina) in both x and y, and then scale the desktop and non-retina apps so that each pixel is scaled to 4 pixels. That's why you couldn't select an actual "retina resolution" desktop in OS X but instead have a default of 1280x800 (for 13" retina). If you choose a higher resolution in the Mac settings, OS X will do the same scaling but composite the windows into a larger buffer (say 3300x2100 for 1680x1050), but then scale the buffer back down to the actual screen resolution, so that everything looks smaller, but there is a performance hit and fonts and straight lines may appear blurred (because the scale factor is no longer integer).

      How the Retina Macbook Pro handles scaling

      (Obviously retina-enabled apps can render to the actual resolution of the display)

      I do wonder if a similar scaling approach could be used to hidpi enable old Linux desktops and applications that are unlikely to ever see official hidpi support anytime soon. I did see one of the Ubuntu developers blog about doing something similar.


      • #63
        XFCE is actually one of the better desktops for hidpi, because it at least has the option to change the dpi to something that you find acceptable. Generally people seem to be using around 150dpi on the retina displays. The big problem with XFCE is that it is struggles to keep up with new hardware - hidpi support is debatable whether it works (some people find a scale that they love, others don't), but the lack of an OpenGL compositor is causing huge problems with tearing on recent laptops (Sandy Bridge onwards require a compositor that does page-flipping otherwise there will be tearing - there is a "tearfree" option in xorg but it impacts performance, and I don't think that any distributions enable it).


        • #64
          Originally posted by schmidtbag View Post
          I've run snow leo on a socket 939 Opteron and the only recurring issues I encountered were incompatibility with 64-bit programs (something only AMD/P4/Atom users suffered) and video lag in flash (HTML5 videos worked fine). It also didn't support the integrated audio, so I installed a separate PCI sound card.
          So it was fine, apart from 64-bit programs not working, video not playing properly, and audio not working.


          • #65
            Originally posted by Spittie View Post
            I'm always surprised by the amount of shit that people bare with Windows, and yet at the single little problem Linux is the worst thing ever.
            Agreed. This does not necessarily downplay the issues people experience, but as a general rule it does their responses to these issues.


            • #66
              Originally posted by Cyber Killer View Post

              One more thing…*the most important thing about installing any operating system is making sure that the hardware supports it. Many ppl buy just any machine they think is fancy enough for them, try to install GNU and suddenly they find out that some hardware doesn't work. This is to be expected with such mindset, without doing research on which hardware manufacturer supports GNU properly, you only get a random chance on how will the GNU OS behave. This is not a GNU/Linux problem, this is a problem with ppl and with hardware manufacturers that do not support GNU.
              This is 2014, not 2000. People today expect to buy any hardware they desire and have what they want working on it. In this regard nothing comes close to Windows simply because with 80% of the desktop and notebook operating system pie, any hardware manufacturer must provide Windows drivers to get the device working.

              Even Apple cannot boast that OS X "works with all hardware under the sun" because there are lots of hardware in the market which are not supported by the kernel and they only ship with Windows drivers. Though, this problem is almost as good as solved due to OS X having a critical enough mass in the desktop and notebook market that no hardware manufacturer can afford to neglect (except for USB wifi adapters; support for those are atrocious under OS X).

              By the way, one of my colleagues from China just came back from a holiday, so i couldn't resist asking her about how hard China is pushing to make Kylin Ubuntu the 'national OS' so to speak. The answer she gave? No one wants to use it; they'd rather pirate Windows than use Linux. So all those talk about China being a major adopter of Linux? Yeah, you know what to make of that.


              • #67
                Originally posted by TemplarGR View Post
                Linux on the Desktop sucks, it always sucked and it will always suck. I have put up with many problems over the years just because i wanted it to work, but overall, it was more trouble that it was worth...

                Linux is still good for server or embedded applications, but on the Desktop it will never catch on. It is too chaotic and too amateurish to present a decent experience for the average user.
                Depends entirely on your hardware, and also what you intend to do with the computer.

                I've been using RHEL 6 Workstation as my main desktop since 2010. Almost 4 years now. It has been exceptionally stable, fast, and does everything I ask of it. An impressive result for a 2.6 kernel and Gnome 2 desktop here in 2014.

                I attribute part of my great desktop Linux experience to careful hardware selection. I have only components that are either advertised by the vendor as being supported by RHEL6, or are known to work flawlessly. Supermicro H8SCM motherboard, Opteron 4386 processor, EVGA GTX 560ti-448 graphics, Dell Professional 19" 1280x1024 monitor, Audigy 4 PCI sound card, if you must know. All these work flawlessly with RHEL6, all features and functions work and are well supported. Do your homework on the hardware before you buy it, and you won't have nasty surprises. Linux is no different from Windows or OSX in this regard.

                The other part of my desktop experience is in the software I use. Aside from normal desktop productivity apps and internet communication apps, I mainly use the machine for audio video editing and transcoding. Linux excels at this. Handbrake, MakeMKV, ffmpeg, Audacity, etc. I also do some casual gaming, mostly Windows games via CrossOver. Of course I only play the games that get CrossOver's top "Gold" rating, and they all play flawlessly.

                Laptops, as the article author has discovered, are notorious for having wonky hardware. With any laptop computer, its doubly important to do the homework up front to identify any hardware support or compatibility issues. I'm willing to bet his Asus ultrabook does not list Xubuntu as an officially supported OS. My Supermicro H8SCM motherboard that my workstation is based on *does* list RHEL6 as an officially supported OS. How surprised can you really be when you buy unsupported hardware and it doesn't work perfectly? Mac OSX won't install and work perfectly on his Asus Ultrabook either. Seems awfully foolish to play amateur hacker and take such a gamble on your main productivity machine.
                Last edited by torsionbar28; 03-12-2014, 12:56 PM.


                • #68
                  Originally posted by chrisb View Post
                  So it was fine, apart from 64-bit programs not working, video not playing properly, and audio not working.
                  Most applications worked fine, only flash videos failed, and sound worked using the PCI card. Considering Macs and Flash have a bad relationship and the only HARDWARE issue was integrated audio, I'd say it was a very functional system. There were plenty of other issues along the way but I fixed them all - hackintoshes are pretty difficult to set up.


                  • #69
                    Originally posted by erendorn View Post
                    lucky you, I've been using Linux on netbooks, notebooks, htpc and high-end desktops, with several distros and several DEs, and it's not always been fine (although it mostly is).
                    My latest gripe is that Fedora does not always suspend and fails to resume on my netbook. So I'll try to debug and solve that, but it cannot really count as "fine".
                    "Fine" is a flexible word. I've also had problems with Linux over the years, but nothing worse than what I would have had if I had been using Windows. I provide occasional Windows support for family members, and I'm always happy to get back to the relative sanity of Linux.


                    • #70
                      Originally posted by bison View Post
                      "Fine" is a flexible word. I've also had problems with Linux over the years, but nothing worse than what I would have had if I had been using Windows. I provide occasional Windows support for family members, and I'm always happy to get back to the relative sanity of Linux.
                      Mind you, I'm not saying that all has always been fine on my windows machines
                      Most of the difference comes from the actual manufacturer support for the OS the machine is sold with. When you change it (upgrading windows on an old machine, or installing Linux) or when there's none (custom build, Win or Linux), you're a bit more on your own. So the a mainstream device with its original OS probably has less quirks (but this still depends on the initial manufacturer support, which can vary widely depending on what you paid).