As most of you know, Apple's Mac OS X uses a custom version of Unix (more specifically, a BSD variant). This makes much of the operating system feel like home to many Unix and Linux people. (For example, you can compile code using gcc, and have full acess to a console which accepts many *nix commands).

However, Apple has recently released X11 - the XFree86 xwindow system - for the operating system. People who wish to use this as opposed to the native OS X desktop/window manager will have access to a broad range of Linux/Unix software. According to Apple, it's now very simple to port all of the free Linux software into OS X.

I was just wondering what you all thought of this? Do you think it'll tip the scales a bit against Microsoft. Because now all this free software available to Linux users on the x86 platform is now available on the Mac platform as well.

I really love the Mac - even tho i use pc's 99% of the time - but i don't see how this is really going to impact Microsoft that much. Don't get me wrong, i think this is a great move, especially considering Gx processors are RISC based to boot, but Mac's are (historically) more expensive than similar performing pc's. Since the whole movement towards Linux is based on coupling stability with a significantly lower total-cost-of-ownship it's not likely to make many inroads in that paradigm. Another major segment would be in the staid world of AIX/BSD/Solaris etc *nix variations and IBM/Sun/Toshiba etc Big Iron, but the players in this segment are all about track record, which Apple would have to work VERY hard to establish - in time. Third segment would be that niche area where companies/departments are reliant on integrating Mac's & *nix boxes, which Apple may very well be able to lock up. Just don't see Microsoft in most of this...then again, i was thinking of setting up Linux & Apple centric LANs to go with my Win2K workgroup @ home.... ;-)

You mentioned the well-known fact that Apple's are less performing machines than their Intel/AMD counterparts. Why is it that there is so less bang for the buck?

I still don't understand how Apple can be even as popular as it is while maxed out at 1.25 ghz?

Well, that's a bit deceptive, since your mixing CISCs with RISCs machines, and they really DON'T compare directly. Most ppl use the almighty xHz as a measuring stick, when it really hasn't been valid since early on in the introduction of so-called x586 machines. Truth of the matter is that each architecture - or should i say the execution of each architecture - is significantly different in what they do EFFICIENTLY. Going back "a bit" the Amiga was the preeminent video production machine, the Macintosh the apple int the eye of all computer graphic artists (sorry, couldn't resist the apple thing!) and the ubiquitous PC the king of the rest. With the exception of the Amiga platform, that still holds pretty much true through today, whereby pc's are historically much more efficient at cpu intensive tasks and file storage, while being relative poor with ram and video intensive tasks - the very fortes of the Mac. So, we really shouldn't be asking which machine is "better" per buck spent, per se, but rather what it is that the machine needs to accomplish and which one makes a better match for the appointed task(s). After all, you could buy a cheap box and throw a coupla nics in it and have a poor man's router, or you could go out and get a CISCO piece, which would cost more up front but which would be a much more suitable device for network management.

we dont leanr if we dont ask - and boy do *i* ever need to ask! ;-)

ok, I'm thinking this is my cue to stop trying to talk about what I don't know much about before I make too big of a fool out of myself ;)

I've finally been lucky enuf to get my hand on a mac and I've been playing around a bit ... maybe not enuf ;)

I think my problem is that I'm holding a grudge b/c at home I have all those nice P4s and AMD Athlon XPs and here at school I've got an iMac ;) (not even a G4 tower :( )

this is cool and all but xfree sucks. directfb is so much coooler :P

I heard on TechTV that Apple has OSX running on some PCs...any ideas on how that could be done?

Apple ports every version of mac os X to the PC...its called makklar or something like that. its never released tho.

Late post.

The boss on my ex job picked up a Gateway 1.5 gig machine with a gig of ram. I have a G3 500 beige desktop. My machine is easily twice as fast in real time. Where do people get the idea that wintell is faster than mac? The two machines arnt even close in ghz or ram?! What a myth.



Speed is a function of OS overhead, CPU power, and motherboard speed. Too many people think that raw MHz is the sole power of how fast a computer operates, and that is just not the case. Also, do not forget to factor the computer's subsystems.... for example, SCSI devices do not need much CPU attention as IDE devices do... thus that processing is offloaded from the main CPU.

As for the Free86 idea, I think that is great! Us OS X users can compile things together from sourceforge and other sources, and have a lot less porting stress. I like the fact I can run OpenOffice 1.1 and get further and further from Microsoft dominated software, and exposures to weakness. I do not see your average Mac User reaching out for the Free86 environment though... the look and feel is much different, and all of the typical preference files will be out of whack.

As for Free86 making a dent against Microsoft, perhaps a little bit. The techies are sure to notice, but I think that dogmatic college programs, and people in seduction with Microsoft rebates, will prevail.

Nice topic.


right, but not quite. linux software has to be in source code, to compile it into BSD on the fly. Hey try FINK. and for these all to work you have to install the developer tools that came with your original OSX.

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