continued notes on the macbook experiment, week 3

Some more notes on running a mac (original post and explanation here):

  • installing new software is insanely nice. Yes, apt and yum are nice, but I don’t find out about software that way. I find out about software by reading something on the web (for me usually a blog post, but for others a news article) and from there installation on mac is a click, download, and drag away. That is it. That is insanely great.
  • suspend and resume is, like everyone says, perfect. It just works. Every kernel developer should be given a laptop and not allowed to do anything else until suspend and resume works this well.
  • one interesting side-effect that I’ve noticed of controlling the hardware is that you don’t need to fit the OS on a CD, so the OS preload is huge- 13-14 gigs. Which is insanely great!1 Instead, even when I tried to do something 99% of mac users will ever do (install a rails app locally) it Just Worked. Rails was there; gems was there; sqlite was there. That is specifically because they don’t have to worry about fitting everything on a CD and can instead rely on the humongous hard drives that every system comes with these days. A very nice luxury, that. (Or to put it another way: emacs is in the default install. And it isn’t in the default install on most linux distros anymore. I understand why it must be so for linux distros, but still, it is sad.)
  • I’ve long suspected that Dashboard + Expose is roughly 1,000x better as a user experience than panel applets. Now I know I’m right.
  • it is great that a lot of the libre software that I love is available on mac; having tomboy and tracks available is already making me more productive. (And obviously I’m using firefox. Sadly it is way more performant on mac than linux- someone who was serious about the linux desktop experience but didn’t know where to start hacking would be well advised to work on firefox performance.)
  • I just saw the following on Krissa’s fresh F12 install:

I am not yet an expert on Mac-style UI design, but I’m pretty sure anyone who put an error message like this in a product shipping from Cupertino would be flogged. Anyone who put it in in such a way that it (as far as I can tell) always comes up on a default install would be fired on the spot.

  1. First commenter who calls it bloat is shot. []

59 thoughts on “continued notes on the macbook experiment, week 3”

  1. Applecations: I agree, but I also need to know/understand what the rest of the world is doing. Part of why desktop linux is so uncompetitive right now is because so many core desktop linux developers have not used a competitive OS since Win98, so we think that is still the target.

  2. Can’t agree more on the first point; it depresses me how much we advocate for a bazaar in open-source software development but adopt the cathedral when it comes to distributing it, due to well-intended but internecine arguments not fully focused on the good of all users.

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