And a happy Canada Day to everyone. It's late and the fireworks are over. I've been playing with my new toy the iBook. I've managed to install Yellow Dog Linux v2.0 on it, and am now happily dual booting. I've ditched OSX for now. It's just too bloody slow.Very very pretty but it's like the ship in Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. Looks like a fish, moves like a fish, steers like a cow. I found it unusable. Yellow Dog Linux however, screams. It's been interesting comparing and contrasting the various OS'es.LinuxonPPCis lightning fast. It will take me a while to get everything working the way I want it, but I know that once it works, it will keep working. The interface isn't as elegant as either of the Mac OS'es, but it's familiar to me, so I know what's going on. The filesystem is logical, and once you're familiar with it, you never have problems finding what you're looking for. The desktop applications have matured tremendously since I first used Linux in 1996. There are however some big holes. First and foremost is a low end business accounting software package like MYOBor Quickbooks. Gnucashdoes an admirable job of taking the place of Quicken, but without A/P, A/R, Inventory, and Payroll, it just doesn't cut it.
I finally got a chance to use Konqueror, and it has now surpassed IE5-Mac as my favourite browser. It is fast, and it renders things properly. I liked it. The fact that it uses the same bookmarks as Netscape is a bonus (you may have noticed that this page is built using netscape bookmarks; it's a pain when your primary browser has a goofy bookmarks format. (yes I AM ashamed)
MacOSX is beautiful! Absolutely gorgeous. When it matures, I will probably migrate to it. For now, I'll fiddle with it, but there are too may goofy things, and not enough native apps. My biggest beef is the lack of support for some things that are essential to work. Lack of support for USB print sharing, even as a client is number one, but printing in general. One of the main reasons for choosing Apple is print design. If I can't print to anything but PDF, then I'm going to get frustrated. Believe it or not, but networking was another frustrating issue. I have an Airport, and I expect to be able to browse the network for shared drives. Whether it's because I am an idiot or not, I couldn't browse. I could connect to servers by IP, but not browse. I've already mentioned speed, so the final issue is the filesystem. Somehow Apple has figured out a way to combine the worst of UNIX, and MacOS filesystems. It's just familiar enough to users of either that you never feel quite comfortable. It's like visiting a house that you used to live in, and the new people have painted the living room orange and put in a lime green shag carpet. It's just wrong. It would have been better to have stuck with one or the other. I like the OS9 ability to put stuff pretty much wherever and have it work. It's pretty cool when you realize that you can move this whole directory somewhere else, and all the symbolic links follow it. OSX changes that, but doesn't seem to understand the thinking behind the UNIX file system either. I wish they had put the OSX specific stuff in /opt where it belongs, and created a standard filesystem. It doesn't help that the filesystem is different depending on whether you are using a GUI or the command line. Did I mention how pretty it was?
I'm writing this under MacOS 9.1 using BBEdit 6.1 . I've gotten used to MacOS as my desktop. It may not be stable. It may be flaky as all get out. But I get work done with it. It looks good. It plays nicely with my linux server boxes. With the linux boxen running netatalk, I can print to linux, mount linux drives, and with fetch, nifty telnet, and bbedit, I can do pretty much what I want with them. Heck, I can run linux apps via VNC or using the free Xserver ftom MicroImages.
It dissapoints me that MacOS is better for my business than Linux so far. I know Linux will catch up, but for now, I'll be working on a proprietary closed system for my desktop, until Linux catches up, and playing on the system I love, helping make it better.