Aliotroph? said:

People say Macs are intuitive because doing things is always accomplished the way a stupid Windows newbie might try: drag a whole program somewhere, move drives to the trash, etc.

I don't think that's really the case. I don't see Macs as "easier to use" as such - if we're talking someone almost completely computer illiterate, it's going to be a case of "click on this icon to do this", which is the same whether you're using OS X or Windows.

What I'd say I personally find attractive about OS X is the attention to detail, or the careful design behind the interface. When you look at systems like Windows or the various Linux desktops, it's obvious that they've been designed by engineers, whereas with OS X you get the feeling that there's been a lot more care and attention paid to the design of the interface - both in terms of aesthetics and functionality.

I think I'm doing a terrible job of putting my point across, so I'll link to a very good essay that I read a few years ago. The summary is that designing good user interfaces isn't a matter of designing "for idiots", and good design is way more difficult than most people realise. Apple are pretty good at it. Google have been trying to replicate it in recent years - they've had some limited success but they're still no Apple.

By the way, the "dragging a drive to the trash to eject it" thing is actually a legacy thing. You don't need to do it any more, haven't needed to for a long time now, and I doubt many people even still do it. For physical drives, Macs have a dedicated eject button on the keyboard, and for ejecting virtual drives (.dmg files) you get an eject button in the finder to unmount them. The historical background to why you can drag a drive to the trash to eject it is interesting though.

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There are a few quirks that make it illogical. For example, (DON'T) try copying a folder into another, because the target folder will get obliterated (if you confirm, at a warning message box that looks like an afterthought)! Pretty sure many people have lost their GBs of music because of this!!

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Aliotroph? said:

Macs drive me crazy, but it is nice not to have to hack registry settings for everything.

Huh?
I'd say out of the three main OS groups, Windows has the most complete GUI environment for anything you might need to adjust. I'd say there hasn't been a need to go poking around the registry since Windows 2000.

But I agree that MacOS has Windows beat in the "we won't let you do any system-level tweaking" department.

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Bucket said:

Huh?
I'd say out of the three main OS groups, Windows has the most complete GUI environment for anything you might need to adjust. I'd say there hasn't been a need to go poking around the registry since Windows 2000.

But I agree that MacOS has Windows beat in the "we won't let you do any system-level tweaking" department.


On Windows you get to hack the registry whenever your apps don't work, which is often because they were designed with Windows 2000 in mind half the time. A common one with Windows 7 is your app not having permission to modify relevant registry settings unless you either run as Administrator or go and change the permissions on the keys involved.

The difference with Mac apps is they don't use a registry. In most cases they work or you get the new version. But you can just throw apps in the trash to delete them because all the settings are contained within the folder.

To address what fraggle said, people who aren't good with computers say Macs are more intuitive for the reasons I mentioned. They aren't always. I find sometimes Apple has the same problem Linux has: it's easy for a complete n00b, and it's easy for a 1337 h4x0r, but the users in the middle get confused by a lot of things.

Apple's tendency to hide functionality or complexity appears to work better on their phones than it does on computers. It's true they put a lot of thought into designing UIs, but the lack of a walled garden means things don't always work the way the defaults are set and they don't provide help for all those weird cases.

However, PCs would benefit greatly by just copying some of the simple Apple UI guidelines. A good example is buttons. Apple's buttons never say, yes/no, ok/cancel if they can avoid it. They always have the verb on it. The button itself states exactly what you're about to do. Maybe that helps computers seems less confusing to new users and maybe it doesn't, but it sure keeps things a bit more consistent.

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Bucket said:

But I agree that MacOS has Windows beat in the "we won't let you do any system-level tweaking" department.

Not entirely true. There's a terminal command to disable the mouse acceleration by setting it to a negative value. Unfortunately that also means having the mouse at the slowest speed (not unbearable though), so I still recommend using Microsoft's driver.

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Aliotroph? said:

On Windows you get to hack the registry whenever your apps don't work, which is often because they were designed with Windows 2000 in mind half the time.

Try using software that isn't 13 years old.

A common one with Windows 7 is your app not having permission to modify relevant registry settings unless you either run as Administrator or go and change the permissions on the keys involved.

So Win7 has different permissions for protected folders. Either run the programs in Compatibility Mode or install them to another folder. I do the latter. No registry required.

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Ragnor said:

I misread this as Mars. Then I misread it again as Maes. I really need to stop staying up till 4 am.

Horseburgers was the first thing that popped into my mind.

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I hate the registry. Changing settings directly in files you can easily locate and browse to is much better.

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fraggle said:

I think I'm doing a terrible job of putting my point across, so I'll link to a very good essay that I read a few years ago. The summary is that designing good user interfaces isn't a matter of designing "for idiots", and good design is way more difficult than most people realise. Apple are pretty good at it. Google have been trying to replicate it in recent years - they've had some limited success but they're still no Apple.



It's all relative. Even the earliest Macs I have used had that little something that made me hate working with them - and it hasn't ever changed. I still don't like the Mac UI but I still haven't found out precisely what it is.

Of course Windows now has taken a major step backwards with that insane metro interface it uses for its start screen and has fallen way behind any competitor.

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Aliotroph? said:

On Windows you get to hack the registry whenever your apps don't work, which is often because they were designed with Windows 2000 in mind half the time.

I've never had to edit the registry in the last 10 years unless I wanted to, like when games without a language setting in their setup forced their shitty dubbing on me.

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I went from being a Mac-hater due to bad experiences with slow, ugly-ass girl iMacs around 2000-ish to using them almost exclusively at work since ~2008.

IMHO OSX is a far better OS than Windows. It gets out of your way, and lets you get shit done. No worries about crapware and malware.

The command line / under the hood is far less of a kludge than Windows is too. Being able to run *nix apps is really useful.

Maes said:

Perhaps the one single feature that makes me "hate" modern macs is that they are Intel based, and so actually nothing more than a PC in disguise. It's like paying for a Dell or a Compaq-made "home PC", but with twice the premium, and only a funny OS to set it apart from full-blown Wintel. Is it really worth it, I ask? OK, you can also run Windows on them...but what about the reverse situation, aka Hackintoshes? What are the Macfags' opinions on those?

That's right folks: no more super-duper exclusive Apple hardware, no mind-blowing custom chips, etc. quite the opposite, they seem to be bottom feeders with peripherals at the level of an entry-level office laptop (e.g. Intel integrated graphics and AC'97/HDA audio, maybe an integrated ATI if you're lucky).


The "Apple tax" is nowhere near as bad as it used to be. I don't like iMacs, but Macbooks have a lot of advantages when compared to non-Apple ones, like their huge trackpad and build quality.

Hackintoshes are excellent, I even built one for a friend.

Your last paragraph is not true. I will respond to it when you base it on facts instead of something you made up.

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[i]
The "Apple tax" is nowhere near as bad as it used to be. I don't like iMacs, but Macbooks have a lot of advantages when compared to non-Apple ones, like their huge trackpad and build quality.[/B]


The build quality is better now with the unibody design. However, the last few years the quality has been appalling!

All our mentors used MacBooks and they quite literally fell apart! First of all the plastic around the main rim went brittle and chunks of plastic broke apart exposing the insides, dust and crap got inside easily. Apple said these were 'hairline' cracks and said a batch of laptops went out with bad plastic. It was so bad Apple did actually replace these cases quite a few times 'free of charge'. However, after the first year they said 'buy' a new laptop they did not want to know us any longer! Also during this time the plastic strip that covers the edge of the LCD screen fell off. Basically the double sided sticky tape they used lost its 'stickiness' (Im not kidding about the tape, they used this to hold it together)

The track pad buttons quickly became sticky and stopped working (dirt must of easily got in there). Many of our external USB HDD did not power up, but did on all other laptops. After investigation this seemed to be because Apple broke the USB standard specification and not enough amps were spread across the ports.

Talking about power, I cant count how many charger cables I had to replace over 3 years. They broke so easily or burn out, I think I must have gone through about 20 chargers over 3 years for 12 laptops.

Finally 6 out of these 12 laptop batteries bulged due to some fault and had to be replaced. However the damage they causes to the trackpad by pushing up against it was "our" fault apparently!

Oh and I also forgot after the third year most of the inverter cables developed a break right by the hinge. This was a stupid price to get fixed, even buying second hand cables from ebay. Luckily I managed to fix the cables my self and got 4 of the 5 working.

I do admit these laptops got alot of use, but they certainly did not fair well against other non-apple laptops that many people have. I think for the price you buy an Apple product you hope it will last more then 3 years.

Good news is the unibody products are so much better, but the charger cables are still pants!


Its still early days, but so far 8 months in and no bits are falling off and no double sided sticky tape is used to hold things together - yay

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Mr. T said:

Your last paragraph is not true. I will respond to it when you base it on facts instead of something you made up.


Do we really have to do this? Other than the main CPU, the rest of the hardware cannot compare to ANY non-Mac notebook of HALF the price.

Macbook specs. Top graphics adapter used is an nVidia 9400M with FUCKING SHARED RAM. That's right folks. A 4-figure price gets you FUCKING SHARED RAM. My Dell Inspiron 1720 with its nVidia 8600M and 512 MB of DEDICATED VRAM smokes it anyday, and it's a late 2009 laptop. Got for 900 Eur new. So as we say in Greece "it fucks the Macbook at least once".

Pre-2009 MacBooks are utterly dire, "topping" with a FUCKING INTEL GMA X1300. Intel GMA was something that you found in 300 Eur bargain laptops and netbooks. Sorry, but I expect A LOT more than something with a 4-figure price (and with the most significant digit easily being a "2" instead of a "1").

MacBook Pros are undeniably better, but still, easily beatable at power parity by any non-Mac laptop, at least for what hardware is concerned.

The funniest thing however, and a thorn in the side of every "Mac musician" is the audio. Seeing how much those things are coveted, you'd think that each and every Mac comes with some form of super-duper wavetable syntesizer built in (an X-Fi, maybe?), or at least a built-in high-end DAC like the DragonFly. Nope. Depending on the model, you get either Intel HDA, Sigmatel or Cirrus Logic CS4206B (on Pros).

So there :-p

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My experience with Macs, and Apple products in general, is pretty infinitesimal. I haven't used a Mac desktop since ~1998. The only thing I remember about it was that the floppy drive had no eject button, and you had to do it through the software.

That said, nothing anybody says about them that's positive ever makes me think I'm missing out on anything.

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Hasn't that been the story of Apple recently?

They still live off their reputation as a 'quality brand' but ultimately the only reason they still can exist is that they created a massive ecosystem lock-in.

If it wasn't that so much would get lost if you jumped ship my guess is that they'd already experienced serious problems. Right now they still hold on but who knows for how long?

How else to interpret first reports that young people no longer consider the iPhone 'cool'. Right now it's not yet dangerous for their profitability but these tendencies have a way of amplifying themselves.

Apple may find themselves in trouble rather sooner than later if they do not correct their course. Let's not forget that Steve Jobs was the driving force behind Apple's innovations. Now, with bean counters at the helm I have my doubts that they can just continue on the same path.

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I wonder if by owning a MacBook (Pro), and using it for programming, I am missing the Delete key. Currently I have to press Fn+DEL (Fn+backspace) or Ctrl+D for forward-delete.

Also another thing missing is menu underline hotkeys. This means that outside of OS X you can easily access any command with Alt+hotkeys. Full keyboard access is possible here too (so as to be accessible for people without mouse), but is less obvious. In order to compensate, more menu commands seem to have shortcut keys, and you can add more, for any app, from System Preferences.

Regarding Retina displays, I found it slightly ironic that Windows 7 can benefit more from it than OS X. Windows 7 also has a DPI scaling setting in Control Panel, but apps have more freedom on how to interpret it. As an effect, cross-platform apps which haven't been fully optimized for Mac OS X Retina Displays happen to look stretched and blurry on OS X, but at the 1:1 pixel scale on Windows 7, for everything except the text, which is increased (though not always).

DoomUK said:

My experience with Macs, and Apple products in general, is pretty infinitesimal. I haven't used a Mac desktop since ~1998. The only thing I remember about it was that the floppy drive had no eject button, and you had to do it through the software.

I wonder what happened if the floppy software-jammed inside, or couldn't get ejected by normal means. Nowadays you can force-eject a CD (if your Mac has such a drive) from the Terminal. Did Mac OS 9- have any command-line console?

Graf Zahl said:

How else to interpret first reports that young people no longer consider the iPhone 'cool'. Right now it's not yet dangerous for their profitability but these tendencies have a way of amplifying themselves.

This thread is about Macintosh.

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I wonder what happened if the floppy software-jammed inside, or couldn't get ejected by normal means. Nowadays you can force-eject a CD (if your Mac has such a drive) from the Terminal. Did Mac OS 9- have any command-line console?
[/B]


Not sure what you did back then, but modern Apples also have no eject button on their CD-ROM drives.

If a CD gets stuck (it happens ALOT) you restart the Mac and hold down both the mouse buttons as it starts up, this forces anything inside to come out.

This does not always work becuase if for some reason it cant read the CD properly it sometimes keeps spinning all full power.....wwwhhheeeeeeezzzzzz!!! The mouse button trick does not work.

However, I have figured out that using a paperclip with a bit of cloth on it (like your T-shirt lol) and pop it in the CD slot, and slowly push down on the CD so its slows down (like a car break) and when it has stopped restart the Mac and hold down the mouse button. It usually ejects then.

Apple have charged many many people a nice hefty price to do this for them.

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kristus said:

I don't. They are just overpriced PCs with a worse and locked OS.


This. And while historically they were always considered "PCs" in the broadest sense of the word ("Personal Computers", a term which was sometimes used even for e.g. the C128, the Amiga 3000, the ATARI TT, the Acorn Archimedes etc.), today they are quite literally "Pee Cees": aka Wintel IBM-PC compatibles.

IMO this pretty much killed any arguments based on presumed hardware or architectural advantages (which were pretty weak even when they had their own, e.g. 68k or PowerPC), so any "sheen" they have left can only come from the OS and the brand name itself. And while I can concede that a better OS, firmware and software might make a better platform, brand name is no longer something that "flies", in a world where all electronics are made in Shenzhen, China. And as for software, Mac fanboys conveniently seem to forget that today cross-OS development is all the rage. It's not like in the early 90s, where indeed, Macs had exclusive DTP software.

In layman's terms: if you spend $2500 on a MacBook pro and then use it to run GIMP as well as a $300 PC, well, something is wrong.

Someone mentioned that Mac Apps do look better/have better usability etc. I can buy that, especially since some of those are actually RIGOROULSY ENFORCED aspects for application approval (and also extends to iOS, which is why iPhone apps have a superior perceived performance compared for "free for all" platforms). But that has nothing to do with the HARDWARE or SOFTWARE itself, it's purely a political decision. If Microsoft decided to be as anal with Windows 8 apps, you'd see the same consistency throughout.

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Maes said:

But that has nothing to do with the HARDWARE or SOFTWARE itself, it's purely a political decision.

Well, it's also the API implementing some features that individual apps don't need to invent. However, not all apps comply, especially not those which are cross-platform and happen to satisfy all APIs equally. Some are better than others, for example Chrome for OS X has horizontal trackpad scrolling which navigates webpages back and forth, which doesn't appear in Windows Chrome :( (because that's not the same event as scrolling, it just happens to have the same gesture).

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The one thing for certain is that I'm never going to defect to Mac.

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printz said:

This thread is about Macintosh.


Same manufacturer, different hardware, same problems.

What I was trying to say is that I have the feeling that Apple has regressed in general, not just with Macs.

They were better once.

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"Apple was cool before all those hipsters ruined it."

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I have a Mac OS X, and I haven't had a problem with it at all. It's just that it dose not have the capability to run various games. Steam for mac is pointless because almost everything in the game library is not capable to run on the mac. it's a nice thing to have business wise and learning things such as the arts or music (ex. Garage Band helps with that)...still prefer Windows any day though.

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Maes said:

Do we really have to do this? Other than the main CPU, the rest of the hardware cannot compare to ANY non-Mac notebook of HALF the price.

Macbook specs. Top graphics adapter used is an nVidia 9400M with FUCKING SHARED RAM. That's right folks. A 4-figure price gets you FUCKING SHARED RAM. My Dell Inspiron 1720 with its nVidia 8600M and 512 MB of DEDICATED VRAM smokes it anyday, and it's a late 2009 laptop. Got for 900 Eur new. So as we say in Greece "it fucks the Macbook at least once".

Pre-2009 MacBooks are utterly dire, "topping" with a FUCKING INTEL GMA X1300. Intel GMA was something that you found in 300 Eur bargain laptops and netbooks. Sorry, but I expect A LOT more than something with a 4-figure price (and with the most significant digit easily being a "2" instead of a "1").

MacBook Pros are undeniably better, but still, easily beatable at power parity by any non-Mac laptop, at least for what hardware is concerned.

The funniest thing however, and a thorn in the side of every "Mac musician" is the audio. Seeing how much those things are coveted, you'd think that each and every Mac comes with some form of super-duper wavetable syntesizer built in (an X-Fi, maybe?), or at least a built-in high-end DAC like the DragonFly. Nope. Depending on the model, you get either Intel HDA, Sigmatel or Cirrus Logic CS4206B (on Pros).

So there :-p


White Macbooks haven't been sold since 2011, and hadn't been updated before then for several years. Their price was always $999.

Macbook Pros are very nice laptops. Even the cheapest model has i5 + HD4000 and is upgradeable to 16GB of RAM last time I checked. Sure, you can get laptops for cheaper, but do they have 8hrs battery life, a case made out of aluminum, really nice trackpad, etc?

Every time I have tried to spec a Thinkpad (for example) close to a Mac laptop, the price has ended up about the same or more expensive.

I agree that the built-in audio is shitty and worse, has other BS problems (http://apple.stackexchange.com/questions/8039/how-can-i-make-my-macbook-pros-headphone-jack-stop-humming). That being said, anyone serious about audio production is going to have a nice soundcard anyway.

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Now that most of my Steam Library is on Mac these days, I would mind using it again.

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I'm still using Windows XP. I'll have to switch over to a new OS sometime soon though.

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I am very happy with my late 2010 iMac. Best rig I've ever had. Plus with Win7 Pro x64 bootcamped it's the best windows machine I've had as well.

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