Mac OS Vs. Linux: The confrentation!

Hello dear readers,

I’m going to make this message relatively short. Ha, thought there’s a review coming down the pipe? No, sadly not yet, since I’ve lost all of my reviews over a course of computer reformatting. I always kept writing them, they got erased… And no, they wern’t backed up–sadly.

I now have my own Macbook pro that I purchased using the student discount. I also have my hackintosh fully working, it runs Mac OS 10.6.4 without any major issues. The fan speed-which was my main problem: The fans would spin constantly-also works now, using a kext (kernel extension) called voodoPstate.kext .

So really, it’s a functional (AMD, not Intel!) Mac computer. Voiceover works, internet, sound, everything. It took me about 250 re-installs (and I’m being serious with that), but I have it up and running.

Thanks to my hackintosh, I purchased the Macbook pro. It allowed me to experience an OS which is oh so much simpler than Windows. I can tab through the image browser of Finder;Not worry about removing this or that program;Or defragmenting. Voiceover is so much more natural than eloquence or E-speak, the ladder of which I hate the voiceof. Different strokes for different folks, though, I suppose.

Simply put, Mac OS is, for me, the best system. I’m not an Apple fanboy. That Macbook Pro 13″ I purchased for like $1100 (though, $900 if you consider that I could sell the free iPod Touch 8 gb I got with it), is outdated. The hardware in it is at least 2 years old. Granted, the 15″ macbook pro is in a better shape;Still, 15″ and dear Lord 17″ is just gigantic for a laptop, on top of weighing more.

Now let’s discuss Linux for a bit.

Anyway. Vinux is good, though a bit quirky. For example, when navigating to a new firefox page, like, and hitting control to stop Orca from reading the page, it keeps reading it anyway. Control just stops it from reading that paragraph, but not the entire page.

The straw “snapped” for me with Vinux when I messed up the entire system by installing Voxin. For those who aren’t familiar, Voxin is an ETI-Eloquence driver for Linux, which costs– wait for it! — $5. Yes, for five dollars, you get eloquence in the English Language (each language costs an additional $5). When I tried to install it, the system rebooted and wouldn’t load. I later found out that Voxin still relies on Alsa (an audio subsystem Linux has) and not Pulseaudio (a newer audio system for Linux). To make it use Pulseaudio I’d of needed to edit some config files.

I know I should be, but I’m *NOT* a fan of the command line or editing cryptic code where capitals have to go exactly right and spaces can’t be put somewhere where it feels natural to put them. This is what ultimately made me stop using Linux. For example, to get my Windows 7 partition to be in the Linux boot menu (grub 2), I had to edit some weird configuration file and update grub settings. (This wasn’t present for me in the final Vinux build though, so I think Grub updates properly now, though it did pop up from time to time on some of my other machines).

What I want in this topic is an intelligent discussion on Mac OS VS Linux. Feel free to talk about Orca and Voiceover. Orca is a great screen reader, and I really applaud the efforts the team has put in it, despite evil Oracle’s plan to stop the project. However it doesn’t work with some applications, and still the most usable Twitter client under Orca remains to be TTItter, again, a command-line Twitter client that runs in the terminal.
Voiceover also has it’s flaws. I find interacting to be a bit tedius from time to time, for example. The web rotor, while a nice and unique feature design, can be tough to use since you always have to cycle through all the options in the rotor to get to the one you want. (E.G. To get from headers to form controls, I have to go through all the other settings in between). I understand that there are the command+option+control navigation sequences, and I’m getting more accustomed to using those in conjuction with the rotor. Having the multi-touch trackpad on the Macbook is also a bonus.

So, gentlewomen and gentlemen, please provide your views on the subject. What is the difference between Linux and Mac OS? (remember for the technically minded: Mac OS uses Darwin, Apple’s open-source implementation of a mach kernel that’s about 20 years old now. It also has the FreeBSD subsystem. To translate, because it is Unix-based, it and Linux are very much alike.). Do you feel that Mac OS is more closed than Windows or Linux? Thank God Apple doesn’t lock it down like it locks down the iPhone OS.
On the screen reader front, if you’ve used both voiceover and Orca, which one do you feel is “better”? Please don’t start a war here on “better” or “worse”. I want to focus more on which one you find easier to use. So please, if you can, avoid such judgemental words. 🙂

Ok. I’m interested in what everyone has to say.

Leave a Comment