If you read only one Tiger review, then read this one

by Volker Weber

Today Apple is releasing Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger, and you will be reading a lot of reviews, praising all the new features. I'd suggest you go to Apple for the adverts and then read John Siracusa's in-depth review at ars technica. There is a lot of stuff in there that I don't understand, but I have learned a lot about how Spotlight works internally. John shares the same gripe that I have about this upgrade:

Mac OS X ships with a complete integrated development environment that supports C, C++, Objective-C, Java, and and all of the APIs in Mac OS X (not to mention distributed compiling, a GUI design and layout tool, and a suite of performance monitoring applications). Tiger includes a free web browser, e-mail client, address book, dictionary, thesaurus, font manager, and AIM/Jabber instant message client. When you buy an iMac you get all of the above plus iLife: iPhoto, iMovie, Garage Band, and iDVD.

The total development cost of this software bundle is absolutely huge. The total retail cost of iLife alone is $80. And yet after spending $1,500 or more on a new Mac with this great software bundle, what's waiting for you when you fire it up for the first time and try to watch a QuickTime movie trailer in full-screen mode? Why, it's a nag screen asking you to pay $30 more for the "privilege" of calling the QuickTime APIs that are sitting right there in the library code on your disk.

This is just criminally stupid. It mars the otherwise exemplary out-of-box experience for buyers of consumer Macs especially.

More >


Good morning everyone,

I have a, probably "too simple", question to the audience here:

For years, I have now been using Windows PCs, at home and in the office, mainly due to the fact that "everyone has one" and that it is more or less "convenient".

Now, looking at the smart packaging that Apple does around its HW + SW, also mentioned in this article (and due to the experience of a rush of blood to the head since I have an ipod for about a month now...) I start wondering, if there are people out there, having been in the same situation as I am now, willing to consider a change.

Can you give advise wheather and in what circumstance it does "make sense" to change? What are possible limitations after a change?
Where is a good place to look for "absolute beginners" information.

Any piece of information is highly appreciated so I can make use of the week-end to draw my conclusion.

Best Regards and sunny wishes for a relaxing week-end:


Matthias Lorz, 2005-04-29


I myself, have been using mainly Macs (and apple //'s) from the very beginning hence, I might not be the best person to comment however, if I compare the two systems today, I can hardly understand people that are still buying PC's... ;)
(sure as hell I am triggering a "flame" here..)

If you are seriously considering "switching" from PC to Mac, as a starter I would suggest you visit this link at the Apple's site as you may find some good answers there.

Good luck!

Pieterjan Lansbergen, 2005-04-29


to my mind you can switch without problem except

- you need special hardware / interfaces that are only available on PCs,
- you want to play Games that only exist on PCs
- you want to sync your Phone / PocketPC which might be difficult for some models on the mac -- with Tiger most phones should be a lot better supported, but I didn't try yet
- you work with software only available for PCs

Moritz Petersen, 2005-04-29

I switched about 2 years ago, mainly because I saw that vowe was clearly impressed with the Apple platform. A short answer from my side is, if you have fairly standard requirements (browsing the internet, text processing, spreadsheet, etc.) then you should have no problems and will, after getting used to the slight differences between the Windows GUI and OS X, find that using the Mac is easier. Certainly I find things like setting up a home network much easier than under Windows.

If you don't need 100% compatibility with MS Office, (in which case you need the OS X version of MS Office), take a look at NeoOffice/J (http://www.neooffice.org/), which is pretty MS Office compatible and very easy to install and use under OS X. It is based on OpenOffice.org, but has a Java wrapper which makes it easier to install and use than OOo itself. Support from the developers is EXCELLENT.

If you have special programs under Windows (e.g. Act!, Wiso Börse, ...) you may have to find a similar program to run under OS X, and may have to think about how to migrate data. Or you can buy Virtual PC and emulate a PC under OS X. Virtual PC is a bit slow but quite stable and fine if you aren't going to spend >50% of your time in it, rather than OS X! If you go that way, get the cheapest version, rather than one that bundles Win 2000 or Win XP, and use your existing Windows CD to install under OS X. The windows installation is exactly as on a PC and you save around 100 Euro on the price of VPC.

Hope this helps...

John Keys, 2005-04-29

I added an iMac to my zoo last fall mainly because of the impressing hardware setup. The hardware proved to be really great - especially making no noise.
I still have to get used to the user interface. I bought the original 1-button mouse and hate it. But I don't want to buy an additional one. Now I'll have to decisde whether to upgrade to Tiger. But having to pay the full price for the upgrade after only half a year isn't the thing I like to do. What is the alternative? I might wait until I receive my Ubuntu Linux CD for PowerPC and give it a try. Any experiences on this?

An other reason for deciding for the iMac was to get away form the MS dominance. But for me Apple seems to play the lock-in game even worse. The applications are good, but there are many issues integrating 3rd party SW or HW.
I more and more get the idea that Linux is the way to get away from the vendor lock-in. current distributions seem to be very good for home desktops, thanks to Firefox and openOffice 2.

Arnd Layer, 2005-04-29


Buy a new mouse. It doesn't have to be a fancy 'looks just like the Apple mouse'-type thing, a simple Logitech Optical Wheel Mouse will do just fine. Trust me, it's worth it. Especially when the mice cost around CDN$7 retail. I work part-time as a Lab Advisor/Systems Administrator for a Mac lab on my campus and I bring a Logitech mouse to work with me. The ability to right click instead of Ctrl-click makes switching between OSes far more transparent, but the reason I carry a mouse around with me is the scroll wheel. It really does make that big of a difference. Pretty much any random USB mouse that works out of the box on Windows will work out of the box on OS X (and vice-versa).

Ubuntu is nice. I just switched my old Beige G3 server from OS X to Ubuntu and thus played around with it on my PowerBook G4 for a while. The hardware support is excellent (with the exception that Airport Extreme cards have no Linux driver) and it's the most usable Linux distribution I've tried. I'd recommend downloading (or ordering) their Live CD to anyone curious. It's really quite seamless (at least, as far as Linux goes).

As for the upgrade price, I agree it's a bit galling. But I'm usually mollified by the fact I'd be in the same boat if I'd purchased a new PC 6 months before a Windows update. That doesn't make a good practice, merely a common one. Side note to those who may have made very recent purchases: the Up-To-Date period for Tiger started on April 12th.

scott lewis, 2005-04-29

It's been almost two years now since I bought a powerbook G4, and I am still quite happy with it, although I'm getting to it's storage limits. It has become my primary workstation, where I store all my mails and personal documents. My next buy will be a mac mini (with a big external drive) and then probably a new (gaming) pc.

The powerbook can do everything I did on my pc, and is better integrated. Dragging a picture from a website you're visiting to the album art section in iTunes works perfectly.

However I find that some (certainly not all) software you could find for free on windows or linux you will need to buy on a mac. Perhaps out of the idea of the software developers that mac people buy expensive hardware, so they won't mind expensive software ? It certainly doesn't work with me.

If you look around however, you can usually compile or find 'linux' alternatives that work on Mac OS X, and face it, the Mac itself comes with quite a good selection of software.

However, I still use my pc for playing games. Since my pb is 2 years old, all new games converted to mac won't run on it, and the games are always a few months behind the PC release schedule. And even at 37 years old, I still want to game a few hours here and there.

Alex Boschmans, 2005-05-01

Old vowe.net archive pages

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


Paypal vowe