Switchers

by Volker Weber

John Robb of Userland:

OK. That's it. My next computer is going to be an Apple. After 18 years on a PC, I am ready to call it quits. Windows is waaaay too much of a hassle for me to maintain.

David Heinemeier Hansson from Copenhagen, Denmark:

Even my girl friend, who used to bash the Mac, is getting there. Safari's SnapBack feature and the iPod link seems to be the turn-around for her. We're thinking about letting her adopt my iBook as I jump on the 12" TiBook.

You no understand? Look at this and this.

Comments

It seems like everyone is suddenly interested in Apple's products again. I rented an Apple Powerbook once and loved the looks of the machine but was only too glad to turn it in when I realised I would never get a shell and that I would be married to the mouse. For example.

I think Nielsen had something to say about the charms of designing an interface for advanced users as well. For example, the number of buttons on the mouse:
- Mac = 1
- PC = 2
- UNIX = 3 (Maybe one too many. I can never remember what the middle one is really supposed to do.)

Sometimes I worry that Macs are intended for the visual-only user and will retain limitations in other aspects. Maybe OS X will change that but it appears that will come slowly.

Joel Patrick, 2003-01-08

I don't know what kind of Macintosh you're talking about, but it sure can't be the OS X-powered machines of this century. OS X puts a powerful shell in your hands with the Terminal and allows of plenty of scripting and keyboard movements to keep most happy.

And of course, you can just plug in a three-buttoned mouse and use it flawlessly in OS X. In Chimera I have my third button set to opening a new tab from a link.

Macs are certainly not just for the visual-only user. It's the marriage of a developer's dream (unix, scripting, free dev-tools, an OS all about standards) and everybody's saviour (shipping apps that actually is worth using, killer looks in both hardware and software, a company bend on giving the wintel platform a real competitor).

Your views of the Mac reflect that of the old century. Do give the Macs of today a run. They're nothing like they used to be and all like they should be.

David, 2003-01-08

Hmm. David, your comment somewhat lowers my interest in a Mac. That's because my major motivation for taking a look at a Mac actually was that I was hoping to get a system that wouldn't allow me to play with it as much as I can do with a PC.

I constantly find myself installing new operating systems, trying to get some very strange hard hardware to work and while I'm doing this I obviously don't have the time to get some work done :) I really did hope that a Mac would fix that.

Well, I guess I have to buy an old one then Still leaves me with the problem that I have too many Intel PCs around, waiting for me to again play with them. But then, we're not living in a perfect world anyway.

Stefan Rubner, 2003-01-08

I'm a long time Mac user. I was originally attracted to them over 10 years ago because they "just worked." No mucking around.

But I'm also a coder, and I like to "play". I used to have OS 8.6 on my Mac, and went straight to OS X 10.2 when it came out. Wow. No regrets. It suits me down to the ground and is a real pleasure to use, even on my aged (~4 years) Mac...

I think where Apple did well with this OS is combining the needs of two very different groups:

The casual user has to be going it some to "break" OS X — this is in sharp contrast to Windoze or Linux.

The "power user" has all kinds of stuff at their disposal. Want Fink? You got it. Want good dev tools "out of the box"? You got them. Want to switch shells, use a decent CLI, and so on? You got it.

I'll stop now ;-)

Ben Poole, 2003-01-08

OK vowe, you've started us thinking about whether the replacement for Ruth's Dell notebook should be anohter Dell (plan "A" until now) or a Mac.

Two questions, which maybe you or one of the other local Mac fans can answer, which would help in the decision process:

1. do the Mac notebooks have a hardware password, like Thinkpads, Dell notebooks, etc.? I don't see any mention of it under "security" on the Apple product spec...

2. what is Apple's hardware repair service like in Europe? (I'm thinking we'd never buy Sony notebooks for example, having heard nzumerous stories of having to send defective hardware to Belgium (I think) and waiting months only to get it returned ... defective!)

With thanks in advance...

John Keys, 2003-01-10

john, about your two questions:

the repair service is quite great, i have had numerous apple notebooks, some of them had some flaws, but repairing was always fast and very well done....

some time ago, apple switched from allowing authorized repair centers to repair the powerbooks to repairing themonly in osterhout / belgium. they had huge problems with shipping the powerbooks, some of them were lost on the way back to the owner (like for example a tangerine ibook from my girlfriend) so they allowed the repair centers again to get training on these products and to order spare parts.... so they can be repaired in the centers as well... one of the biggest is card services in frankfurt /main

another of apple policies is, that if your notebook is defective and the sparepart is not availiable in a certain time they even give you a new powerbook... :-)

i would strongly recommend on getting a so called apple care protection plan, if you plan on keeping your notebook for a longer time....

as far as i know, the powerbooks do not have a hardware password...

Tobias Pree, 2003-01-10

OK Tobias, thanks very much for the info. It sounds like we will be taking a serious look at the Mac notebooks!

John Keys, 2003-01-10

Hi John,

you are welcome. If you do have any further questions, feel free to contact me.

Kind regards

Toby

toby, 2003-01-10

John,

You can set a hardware password on the Macintosh. This page should give you the details.

http://www.themacmind.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=548

Benjamin C. Kite, 2004-11-01

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I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.

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