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MacAddict.com: Linux promises, Apple delivers

Mar 23, 2001, 08:05 (65 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by David Reynolds)

"After spending several months with various builds of Mac OS X as well as a few different Linux distros, one thing has become crystal clear: Mac OS X delivers on a promise made by Linux--Namely, that Linux is Unix for the masses, and it's the next killer operating system destined for the hard drives of geeks and regular folks alike. When Mac OS X ships on Saturday, it's going to deliver on that promise--Apple will become the highest-volume vendor of Unix in the world, and it'll bring all that *Nixy power to folks who don't know a thing about command line terminals--in other words, most of us."

"When the Linux hype hit its height about a year ago, there were predictions that it was going to take market share from every operating system out there, including from the Mac but especially from Windows. Regular people were going to be able to install their favorite Linux variant and have a powerful, customizable, infinitely tweakable operating system at their command, complete with a stable of software that could be freely downloaded and compiled."

"Well, things didn't work out quite that way. While Linux is a tremendously powerful operating system and it makes a killer server, it's nowhere near ready for prime time as a consumer operating system. Ever try to print from Linux or add a new hard drive? Forget it. These tasks take a deep understanding of how Unix works plus the willingness to dig through pages and pages of obscure documentation, and then you have to munge some text files to get things working properly. And to get X Windows--the Unix graphical user interface--functioning, brace yourself. It can be a real adventure to get the color depth, resolution, and refresh rate you want on your computer."

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