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Author Topic: Switched from OSX to Ubuntu 10.10  (Read 7985 times)
kurdt
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« on: December 02, 2010, 06:50:02 AM »

I can't believe I'm saying this but I think Ubuntu 10.10 has finally nailed it. It all started as a test with VMWare and now I'm using Ubuntu full-time as my primary OS. Only thing I have needed to do with Terminal was to change 1 line in a conf file to get sound working on my MacPro but I suspect it has got more to do with weird hardware than Ubuntu's support. So basically you don't need to use Terminal anymore if you don't want to which was the biggest drag earlier with Linux as primary operating system.

I still think OSX is the way to go for folks who just want to surf on their computers but as a full-time developer I felt it was time to try something more powerful than OSX. I have to say that Ubuntu has come a long-way. Installing applications with Ubuntu Software Center is actually as easy as using Appstore in iPhone. Which reminds me that only thing that's currently pissing me off is iDevice support. Banshee (iTunes alternative) supports iPhone out-of-the-box but it's not as smooth as with iTunes. However I was prepared for this no surprise there.

Another thing that hit me was the speed and share responsiveness compared to OSX. It feels like iPhone touch compared to Windows touch. Windows touch has that little lag that makes it feel little unnatural and "laggy". Now that I boot up OSX, I notice the same effect in OSX after using Linux. Or should I say Linux with Gnome & Compiz. Another funny thing is that OSX is actually now worse with visual stuff than Compiz. There's a lot of unusable just plain eyecandy but some of the stuff you can do with Compiz is just amazing and makes OSX look so last year Cheesy Those 3D spinning desktop cube thingies are completely useless but there's a lot more.. check out http://wiki.compiz.org/CCSM.

Oh and I have customized my Gnome quite a lot. First thing you want to do is to change the font and get some better looking themes. There's something in the traditional Linux look that I just don't like, I prefer OSX style much better. So my Ubuntu looks little bit like OSX but with some modern twists Smiley
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« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2010, 02:21:27 PM »

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My main gripe with linux on the desktop is that there is still no decent desktop productivity software (eg. office, biz software, photoshop etc) that runs as well and as seamlessly as the stuff on Mac and M$.  Now I know that you can struggle away with OO, gimp etc but let's face it, that shit still sucks if you're trying to make money running a business (and you have to deal with people in the real world who use all MS, quicken etc) rather than just being a nerd.  To me the main advantage of OS X is that you can set up a full unix dev environment and still have all the nice commercial desktop software to play with, AND everything still just works.

I recently went back to university and finished my degree and MS Office was mandatory and there was some document conversion that OO just wouldn't do (lots of people complained about... that's 40,000 people at my uni theoretically forced to shell out for Office).  Office on Mac sucks, but not as much as using some shitty virtualization solution on linux.  Interestingly I'd say 80% of the laptops on campus were Macs, although part of that is a trend thing.

I agree that OS X is annoyingly slow though.
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« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2010, 09:29:18 PM »

I'm curious what is slow. I don't experience much of that at all, and my Linux boxes don't show any indication of being any faster. What, specifically, sucks for you?

I also agree that the standardized business solutions are WAY less cool on *nix than on M$ or OS-X. And frankly, they only work reasonably well on M$, even OS-X is imperfect at best. At least for M$ software. Some stuff (Keynote, particularly) works WAY great on the Mac. But try telling anyone that is a standard business app  ROFLMAO
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« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2010, 12:09:21 AM »

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My main gripe with linux on the desktop is that there is still no decent desktop productivity software (eg. office, biz software, photoshop etc) that runs as well and as seamlessly as the stuff on Mac and M$.  Now I know that you can struggle away with OO, gimp etc but let's face it, that shit still sucks if you're trying to make money running a business (and you have to deal with people in the real world who use all MS, quicken etc) rather than just being a nerd.  To me the main advantage of OS X is that you can set up a full unix dev environment and still have all the nice commercial desktop software to play with, AND everything still just works.

I recently went back to university and finished my degree and MS Office was mandatory and there was some document conversion that OO just wouldn't do (lots of people complained about... that's 40,000 people at my uni theoretically forced to shell out for Office).  Office on Mac sucks, but not as much as using some shitty virtualization solution on linux.  Interestingly I'd say 80% of the laptops on campus were Macs, although part of that is a trend thing.

I agree that OS X is annoyingly slow though.
Like I said, your OS should be the one you need and not the one you just use because you have always used it or some other bs reason. Your productivity software obvious differs from mine because I make a living by "being a nerd". The capabilities of Linux software are pretty much equal to Mac/Windows equivalents, they just usually don't look as pretty and tools have different names. One funny thing about Linux world is that mostly everything is truly free and open-source. After switching to Ubuntu, I haven't had to buy one single license to replace everything I had in OSX.

However there's actually one thing that keeps pushing me back to OSX and that's dual monitor support. Right now I have MacPro and I'm dual booting. My MacPro has ATI graphics card and it seems that ATI has a really crappy drivers for Linux. You really want to have Nvidia card if you are planning to run Linux.

Quote
I'm curious what is slow. I don't experience much of that at all, and my Linux boxes don't show any indication of being any faster. What, specifically, sucks for you?
Like I said above, I have very high-end Apple machine, 8-core MacPro with 8GB of memory and Raptor harddisk where OSX is installed - so I expect top-notch performance from OSX naturally. Of course I could still improve with SSD and faster RAM but still, it's supposed to be pretty fucking fast binary crunching beast. I mean if you can't run smoothly with 8 cores each providing about 3Ghz and 8 gigabytes of memory, you are doing something wrong. There's something fundamentally slow in OSX and I really don't know what it is or where the problem lies. I really can't give you any good benchmarks or anything more than my subjective experiences from OSX with 5 different Apple computers. For example after you have let's say 20 windows open and you do Expose, it takes 5-10 seconds. Spotlight is pain to use because every time I initiate it with keyboard shortcut, it first doesn't take any input (but it buffers) and when it finally think it's ready, it usually takes the letters from the buffer and fucks up the order of the letters... arduino might come out something like ruaino. Many times I want to use Spotlight for simple 5*23 calculation but because it always takes like 15 seconds to actually get the spotlight to response, it's faster to use Launchbar to start calculator.

A lot of my problems comes from the fact that I don't like to shutdown my computer and only time I restart is when there's an update that requires it. It seems that it's just too much for OSX to properly manage the memory and clean out the garbage from inactive programs.

Then there's these random thinking sessions that my OSX likes to take. When I do something trivial it might decide that it wants to play with the beach ball and start running that for sometime. And you know the worst part, when I look at Activity monitor, I rarely see even 1 core maxed out. That tells me that it's not crunching numbers, it's just doing something inefficient and stupid with either memory or harddrive. I usually have something like 1-2GB free memory so if OS is not swapping, it's not doing heavy calculations, can you please tell me why I'm still waiting for something to happen?
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« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2010, 12:27:49 PM »

Hmmm... I get a little of that stuff now and again. Definitely when I've gone a long time between reboots and even moreso on my MacPro (2x4 also w/10G) as opposed to PinkHat's. I think mine is more prone because, probably, I've installed about a bazillion things and reininstalled and uninstalled and even upgraded from the first version of 10.5 to the latest 10.6, so I've always chocked it up to general bad practice on my own, and have flirted with the idea of cleaning it all off and going with a fresh install. My music production components are particularly heavy and integrated, so I think they've had a lot to do with little stuff like that.

But I have a 2x4 RedHat box I use as well and get different, but similar waits now and again, less so but I barely use the thing. UI apps particularly give me trouble. I do not have *any* difficulty with CLI apps or daemons on the Mac nor Linux - and in Gnome and Finder I get some. Nothing like Windows though.

I also agree that there's something weird going on when it does hang a bit, because the processor chart (open full time) never shows anything pegged. And I know it's reasonably accurate because it behaves the way I'd expect it almost all of the time. The thing I don't have open is disk performance, and most specifically, I wonder if I have a lack-of-cache issue on my RAID or something, because it SEEMS to be during heavier than usual disk activity. Just a thought.
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« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2010, 12:11:53 PM »

Heathen   Shocked

My main gripe with linux on the desktop is that there is still no decent desktop productivity software (eg. office, biz software, photoshop etc) that runs as well and as seamlessly as the stuff on Mac and M$.  Now I know that you can struggle away with OO, gimp etc but let's face it, that shit still sucks if you're trying to make money running a business (and you have to deal with people in the real world who use all MS, quicken etc) rather than just being a nerd.  To me the main advantage of OS X is that you can set up a full unix dev environment and still have all the nice commercial desktop software to play with, AND everything still just works.

I recently went back to university and finished my degree and MS Office was mandatory and there was some document conversion that OO just wouldn't do (lots of people complained about... that's 40,000 people at my uni theoretically forced to shell out for Office).  Office on Mac sucks, but not as much as using some shitty virtualization solution on linux.  Interestingly I'd say 80% of the laptops on campus were Macs, although part of that is a trend thing.

I agree that OS X is annoyingly slow though.

Well sure, if you're still trying to be a suit then Linux might not cut it. This has been a common gripe for a while, but what I think people misunderstand is this:

GIMP and OOo do not do what you need them to do not because it's hard or because they can't. Personally, I feel gimped (pardon the pun) in Photoshop since I can't code scripts for the effects that I would like. As far as openoffice...I don't use proprietary bullshit document formats. Send me a PDF if you want, or a word doc, I'll open it. But what you get back will be a flat text file unless specified. For spreadsheets, it's a CSV. Why? I can bang out a bash one-liner to do *anything I could conceivably need to do* with a set of data in a matter of seconds, and it would take me EONS to write the Excel formulae to do the same thing. I use Linux because it plays to my strengths and doesn't get in my way.
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« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2010, 12:17:29 PM »

Example: I needed to grab all the URLs out of an HTML file (a newsletter) to post the HTML to a blog. All the URLs were 302 redirects through tracking software, so I want to retrieve the direct URLs. I could copy and paste out all the links by hand, but instead I banged this bad larry out
Code:
cat nl_12-3-2010.html | grep -Po 'http://\S+' | xargs wget -o /dev/null | grep -Po 'Location: (http://\S+)' | xargs sed s/{$1}/{$2}/g nl_12-3-2010.html > nl_12-3-2010_clean.html
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« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2010, 12:19:22 PM »

And I retrieved the above command by typing

Code:
history | grep 'nl_12-3'

See how much easier it is to just use the CLI?
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« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2010, 02:08:25 PM »

You're preaching to the converted... I used Slack as my main desktop OS for 3+ years before I started using Macs, and use / enjoy using all those highly productive CLI tools on a daily basis both on the desktop and the server.

However if you have any run ins with large / corporate organizations you're eventually going to run into instances where OO especially just won't cut it.  Even in 2010, MS still builds Office that way deliberately and most large orgs are heavily M$ dependent.  Two recent examples for me are uni and a recent semi-nightmare with the IRD, where lots of stuff was released in the latest shitty M$ formats that the latest version of OO will barely open, let alone format or save properly.  If you ask these people to send you a copy in a more open format they'll either stare at you blankly or laugh at you.  If you have no say then you have to play by their rules.

Don't get me wrong, I love *nix and spend most of my day working with open source unix tools... but I can say from having played both sides of the fence that compared to a more polished offering, Linux still sucks on the desktop if you're doing anything other than being a server geek.  I'm no designer, so why should I spend hours of hair pulling working out the Gimp's terrible UI (and believe me I have) when I can open Photoshop and do the same thing intuitively in five minutes and get a great result?  Because Gimp is "Free?"  Photoshop is also "free..."

Also you can't just accuse someone of being a suit and write off all of the other myriad cool things you can do with a desktop computer.  For example I am an avid drum n bass producer when I'm not doing blackhat automation, and music production on Linux is still in the dark ages.  But being able to run my favourite music tools on a stable *nix platform is great.  I'm technology agnostic and to me a computer is a just a tool to get the required result with the minimum amount of effort.
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« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2010, 02:33:54 PM »

That's what a computer is to me, too.

That's why I have computers that run Windows all the time, so I can game on them or open MS formatted documents.

But if I have my choice, I'm just going to C+P the contents of that pretty .xlsxasjdkjaskhaj file you just sent me and put them in a CSV so I can work with it. It's fucking 2010 and people still can't use open standards.
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« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2010, 02:37:42 PM »

Also I disagree WRT photoshop. Designers are good at using photoshop, I'm not. You have previous experience, good for you. I know a thing or two about image manipulation (hrrrr hrrrr captcha hi), but I do not do it with a little paintbrush icon on my mouse, I've only written image recognition software. So picture this: I've got all this knowledge of exactly what I want to do to an image (dither .3px out, 12 degrees around solid lines), but I have to spend 15 minutes poking through photoshop's tools and keyboard shortcuts...or, I can bang out a quick script to do it for me in GIMP. Or hell, I can just use imagemagick and any of a number of programming languages. I really don't/can't be arsed to use photoshop, if you do then good for you but realize it's because you already knew how to use photoshop, not because photoshop is more intuitive or can do things GIMP can't.
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« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2010, 10:52:16 PM »

Linux is a POS for 99% of non-geeks. Do you think someone that hands me an xls with some complicated formulas cares that my openoffice doesn't read it exactly like Ms excel ? Or that one specific 10 year old fox pro app that is critical to a particular business won't run in wine for unknown reasons? Or that PSD won't render the same in GIMP no matter what?

My background is that I first started with slackware about ten years or so ago, I moved on to debian, tried fedora and gentoo and the only thing that comes close to non-geek plain working OS is Ubuntu. I don't want to have to recompile Xorg because the latest patch is in the repository and without it my card won't work. I have a radeon 5770 that is pretty similar to that 2 mb video card I had ten years ago when it comes to 2d desktop performance under linux. Even videos have have problems displaying properly. It's basically unusable for anything but browsing the internet - without flash that is, because of course my new quad core uses 100% of a core when it runs flash. This card runs Starcraft 2 flawlessly under windows XP with details maxed out - this is the only reason I bought it. I don't have time to recompile and debug and patch. I have other things to do.

I've been using linux full time for the past five years. But I'm lucky because I only need lamp+editor+email client+browser and that's it.

I have strong opinions about it because I've been faced with the 'let's migrate our offices to linux'. There are things it just can't do yet.

Linux sucks at being pseudo-backwards compatible with windows 3.1 and MS DOS. And Flash. And graphics drivers. And running 99.999999999 of non open source apps that people actually need. Yes, people need Photoshop and MS Office. I know there are replacements, but why replace something that's already working with something that might work. There are standards and alternatives. I have to convert almost every single file that gets sent to someone to a windows friendly format, and don't even get me started on importing data from windows software.

Computers are a tool for the job, and linux only does the job for.. me, vsloathe, Kovacs and kurdt. It doesn't do it for my accountant and it doesn't do it for my neighbour that runs an online store. They need stuff to work, the stuff doesn't work on linux, end of story.
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« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2010, 11:14:57 PM »

Linux is a POS for 99% of non-geeks.
Computers are a tool for the job, and linux only does the job for.. me, vsloathe, Kovacs and kurdt. It doesn't do it for my accountant and it doesn't do it for my neighbour that runs an online store. They need stuff to work, the stuff doesn't work on linux, end of story.
I agree. I still recommend OSX for anybody who's not either interested in learning Linux or doing development work and wants to stop hunting OSX or Windows ports. Or is interested to go full open-source way. My wife has proven that Ubuntu 10.10 is easy enough for your average web surfing though Smiley

And funny thing is that I noticed that Redis benchmark gets about 20k SETs per second in OSX but in Ubuntu it goes up to 65k SETs per second. Linux is also much more efficient of squeezing the power out of your hardware. Well, what else can you expect from kernel where development is being led by a person who does everything with performance as a priority.
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« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2010, 01:20:19 PM »

I write my own kernel patches. Your excuses all ring hollow. I'm not arguing for why Joe Schmuck should use Linux, I'm arguing why anyone posting on this board should.
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« Reply #14 on: December 08, 2010, 01:36:41 PM »

Fair cop, everyone on this board should know and use it.

For the RIGHT jobs.

I have windows, *nix, Solaris and OSX systems in production. In each case they fit the job. My personal desktop (as is well known) is OSX. I find that, after spending 4 years with Linux as my desktop, OSX gets me around faster. It may very well be that a *nix kernel is essentially faster than OSX. I don't care, the really important thing is whether *I* am faster. OSX handles the spread of my concurrent tasks better than anything else I've used. Much like Delphi was: I could be at an extremely high level and verbose, almost script-like code in Object Pascal and drop to inline assembly with simply the command, "asm." The net result was that I could install code that was just right, no matter what I needed.
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