Os X impressions

I installed it 5 days ago, and I’m a little dissapointed. ( I’ve also used the public beta and the developer preview; these are impressions from the boxed version.) But I’m probably a 1% outlier of the mac user base, so these are probably just the rants of a frustrated geek, and not the reflections of the general user community.

***The Good

It’s pretty. The Os is stable. Classic applications run well.

***The Bad.

It’s slow. Both the interface and the command line. the interface is helped by going to thousands of colors and renicing the window server to a higher priority. Menus take forever to pop down. Subjectively, the speed feels like a Duo 2300 running system 7. And that’s on a blueberry iMac. I’d put it on my G4 at work, but I’m not willing to take the productivity hit yet.

Preemptive multitasking doesn’t necessarily help. What people don’t realize was that parts of the old Mac OS were preemptive, and parts were cooperative. Parts of the UI were preemptive, which is what allowed user interaction to take control at some times.

Apps are terribly unstable. (MSIE won’t run at the same time as classic)

*** The Ugly

Bits are missing. The php libraries are installed, but I can’t get them to work. The openssl headers are missing, so I can’t build OpenSSH. I can’t find out how to get nfs working. Appleshare won’t connect to my linux appleshare server.

The interface feels like it’s taking monitors and making them smaller again. 1024×768 feels like 800×600, in terms of what information is availiable on screen.

*** The Fine Print.

I use linux and the mac on a daily basis. My desktop macs are relatively stable, enough so that I don’t immediately need the unix core. What I was hoping for was something that would consolidate my machines so that I only need one to do everything.

Unfortunately, my impression of the system is that it’s a ‘bad’ linux. There aren’t packages for my linux apps yet, and the file layout messes up most of the build systems. It’s a new gui, better than some, worse than others.

Ultimately, there’s nothing here that I can’t get right now with classic MacOs and an ssh window. And in a lot of cases, the old way is faster/better/cheaper.

And to top it off, it was hitting swap a lot so I bought a 256 meg stick for it. So now it doesn’t boot at all. I hate hardware.

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