The VNC client situation on Mac OS X has never been very good. I’m hoping that JollysFastVNC changes all that.
When I posted a brief comparison to Amazon S3 and Dreamhost one thing I didn’t do was suggest how one could actually use Dreamhost in a similar way as S3, like backups. For S3 Jungle Disk is one option for backups. Now there is a how to on backing up your Mac to Dreamhost (part 2).
What this approach doesn’t do that Jungle Disk does is encrypt the files on your remote backup. But on the other hand S3 has a file size limit of 5GB, as long as it isn’t between 2GB and 4GB. So really S3 on supports files sizes from 1-2GB and 4-5GB. Each method has pros and cons.
It would be really great if Apple would integrate into this OS X. It has a BSD license so that shouldn’t prevent them from using it. Making it work with the Finder would be helpful though.
Late last month there was a post on the zfs-discuss email list indicating that Apple may be porting ZFS to Mac OS X. Having read some of docs on ZFS this seems like a great idea. With the ability to easily purchase an Xserve RAID unit up to 7TB, having advanced file system abilities would be a major plus.
A fully loaded Xserve RAID unit runs just over $17k for 7TB. To hit that they use 14 500GB drives. It doesn’t seem like much of a stretch to see them using the new Seagate 750GB drive (or something like it) in the future. Using 14 of those would put you at 10.5TB. Given the announced retail price of about $560 for these drives I’d guess that prices for such an Xserve RAID unit could come in around $21k.
There is one more piece to this puzzle that would be really great, an easy to use graphical UI for managing ZFS on OS X. This would be in addition to the CLI tools, not a replacement. So I’m going to wish upon a star for the Apple triple play: ZFS on OS X, a 10TB (or higher) Xserve RAID unit and simple easy to use graphical UI for managing ZFS. And since I have nothing else to do, I’ll predict that this will happen with in the next 12 to 18 months.
I’ve got to get this out of my system first: This Is So Freaking Cool! Okay, I feel better now.
With Boot Camp you can dual boot between Windows XP and Mac OS X. Details are still coming out, but I’m going to guess that this contains updates to EFI to support BIOS dependent operating systems. If that is the case then you should be able to multi-boot between other operating systems also (like FreeBSD or Ubuntu). Perhaps even Windows Vista when it is released. If you combined this with something like Mac Drive 6, which allows Windows to read/write to HFS/HFS+ (the Mac OS X file system), you’ll have a pretty reasonable setup.
Boot Camp will be included in the next version of Mac OS X (10.5) Leopard. I don’t believe that a release date has been talked about yet for Leopard, but we are supposed to hear more this summer (August). This also brings into question the rumors about virtualisation software being included in Leopard. How far with Apple really go with allowing/supporting other operating systems on their hardware? As much as I’d like to see this rumor be true, part of me things that it isn’t likely that Apple as a company would be thrilled with the idea. They have to draw the line some where on encouraging people to use non-OS X software.
At this point I see Boot Camp as good news for Apple and consumers. For die hard Apple fans this won’t change anything, but it makes for one more reason for Windows users to make their next computer a Mac instead of a traditional PC.
Perhaps the most anticipated news was the move to Intel CPUs. Lots of speculation was going on about which systems would be the first to make use of these CPUs and would they be announced today. Two Apple systems are now available with Intel CPUs: an updated iMac and the new MacBook Pro. Both of these system sport the new Intel Core Duo, which by the way has to be one of the worst product names to come out of Intel.
The notebook line certainly was in need of an update, the MacBook Pro has a built in iSight camera and a much needed graphics card update to an ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 with 256MB of GDDR3 memory. One thing that was removed from the new notebook was the Firewire 800 connector. They still have a Firewire 400 jack, but that point you may as well use USB 2.0. The lack of a Firewire 800 port is real bummer, but not likely to be a deal breaker for most folks.
A fully loaded MacBook Pro will set you back about $3,350. That is with 2gig of RAM, a 7200 RPM 100gig hard drive, iWork 06 and the Apple Care Protection Program (ups the warranty to 3 years). When combined with the standard specs this seems like a well priced system. Because they are using recently announced CPUs we’ll have to wait until other vendors start shipping updated products to get a reasonable comparison. Until then I expect to see reports of people attempting to install Microsoft Windows as soon as the new MacBook Pros start shipping. I would very much like to see these things dual boot between Windows and Mac OS X without having to jump through too many hoops.
The Mac OS X shipping on these sytems is apparently all native for the Intel CPUs, down to the bundled applications. A new version, 10.4.4, is supposed to be available today, but I haven’t seen it show up in the Software Updates yet.
UPDATE 1:45pm 10 Jan 2006: Apple now has the keynote address on their website.
So Russell has a rather long list of reasons why he might switch back to Windows from Mac OS X. Given that I use Windows, FreeBSD and Mac OS X on a daily basis I don’t really consider my self a zealot, but I’ll discuss his points anyway. So you’ll know where I’m coming from the Apple systems that I use include a G4 PowerBook (for the last 18 months or so) and an Xserve + Xserve RAID server. Although I have complaints about how I’d do things differently, that is true for Windows as well. Overall I’ve found the systems to be stable and have worked well, although I don’t have nearly the array of mobile devices to test that Russ does. About the only time I reboot is when an update requires me to.
- I personally have found to my OS X systems to be much closer in stability to FreeBSD (very good) than Windows (so so). I can count the number of times my OS X systems have gone wacky on one hand over the last year and half. I won’t dispute that Russ is having problems, but I can attest that that isn’t the case for everyone.
- I’ve had mixed feelings about this. For instance Java tends to run much faster on my PowerBook than on my older Windows systems. For recent (3+ Ghz) Windows systems it is probably a close tie. This is kind of a toss up though, somethings certainly run faster on even older Windows systems, and other things run faster on my PowerBook.
- I don’t use my PowerBook for too many graphically intensive tasks (like games) so I don’t have much of a comparison there.
- For the most part I really like Mail, especially the ability to have a unified inbox across my IMAP accounts, I wish Thunderbird supported that for more than just POP3. I like Firefox and Camino because of the community of plugins that are available. But there is always one thing that I miss in Safari, built in spell check! I know there are plugins for Firefox, but it just isn’t the same. I tend to mostly use Safari and Camino with some Firefox thrown in. When Firefox 1.5 becomes official I’m going to consider moving to only Firefox.
- Okay, I can not stand Windows thumbnails! It drives me nuts. It really gets me when it decides to automatically switch my view to thumbnail mode just because it found one jpeg in a directory full off hundreds of other files. Arg! I use iPhoto sometimes.
- In general I like the Windows explorer is better, but not for everything. There are some specific features in Finder that make me go duh, why doesn’t everybody do it this way?
- I’m not a big chatter, but I will go with Skype on this one. I’ve used Fire and iChat and been okay with them too.
- Only spent a few minutes with Garageband, looks like it is extremely cool for folks into making music, but I’m not one of those.
- The built in screen shot feature uses PDF in OS X so I’m not sure what Russ is using that generates Quicktime tiffs.
- I’ve never used Keynote or Pages.
- This is a rather self serving argument, but it does have some validity.
- This depends on what “most stuff” is. I’m pretty sure that Subethaedit comes out on Mac first
- Never used .Mac
- Wide screen is awesome. Yes web pages are generally long and not wide, so what, do you want your notebook to have a 14″ tall screen?
- True, I carry my adapter around a fair bit just in case.
- I’m sorry, you are complaining about the install process on OS X vs. Windows? You’ve got to be kidding me. I’d be thrilled to have it so easy on Windows when installing and uninstalling.
- Why complain about the .DS_Store files if you enjoy Windows adding dot files when viewing directories in thumbnail mode.
- I’ve got a DVD burner on my PowerBook, I’ve used iMovie a couple times.
- So don’t buy the Apple mice. The old Microsoft mouse that I’ve had on my desk works fine from the first day I plugged it (USB), didn’t even have to install any additional drivers.
- Being a FreeBSD user/admin for awhile (over 7 years) I’m thrilled with the Unix guts on OS X. Sure I’d like to systat (from FreeBSD) on my OS X systems, but without Unix guts OS X wouldn’t be OS X (to me). man ps.
- I don’t use Expose very often, instead Desktop Manager allows me to have virtual desktops, which pretty much does the trick for me.
- I would like Command+tab to cycle through multiple windows of the same app also. For the most part I like the dock.
- Like I mentioned above I don’t have the huge set of mobile devices that Russ has. Everything I’ve plugged into my PowerBook works, often better than it does on Windows.
- I haven’t used iSync. Perhaps if I get around to buying a mobile phone with Bluetooth that will change.
- Flip a coin on this one, I could argue for either side I think.
- I haven’t used Spotlight as much as I thought I would. When I have though it has worked okay.
- This arguement sounds too much like a sales pitch
- I’ve found the virtually everything looks better on an OS X system than Windows, including fonts and especially colors.
- I’ve never had to install drivers for the various mice that I’ve plugged in, so I’m not sure why Russ has.
- Rendezvous/Bonjour is awesome! Many of the new network printer cards support, which makes adding a printer to my PowerBook a snap. I wish there was wider support for Bonjour, especially in Windows.
- I’ve forgotten what the default function is for F11, what’s the problem?
I’m fairly excited about the move to Intel for OS X systems. But then again, if Windows Vista were revealed to be built upon Unix guts I’d be excited about that too. I spend a huge amount of my time on my PowerBook in iTerm and the Windows shell doesn’t even come close, not by a long shot. I could switch back to a Windows notebook though, it wouldn’t kill me. But if I had an x86 PowerBook I could triple boot between OS X, Windows and FreeBSD with a FAT32 shared data partition, the best of all worlds!
In the last month or so there has been lots of discussion about running the x86 version of Mac OS X on non-Apple x86 systems. www.osx86project.org has lots of information, with plenty of resources on their wiki. I’ve read some of the articles on how to make this work and watched some of the videos that demo a working install, but I never really got into it too much beyond that.
A friend of mine was a bit more determined though. The first time he installed it he was using the VMWare image and all the limitations and hoops you have to jump through to make that work. Later on he discovered that some folks had bundled together the needed SSE2 hacks and drivers into a DVD image with the OS X for Intel. He burned the DVD and has tried out the install on a few systems, all of them seem to work in various degrees. Most of the problems seem to be with driver support for video, network and audio systems. But the install is for the most part a standard OS X install, with a few customization options for installing SSE2 or SSE3 hacks and drivers. I witnessed an entire install of OS X on an older Dell system running a P4 1.8Ghz CPU (with SSE2) and 512 MB RAM. The install went fine, audio and network both worked and the video works okay, but only supports 1024×768.
The applications seemed to work fine also. Safari, Quicktime, Dashboard, iPhoto, iTunes and Preview all started up and appeared to run just fine. Downloaded SubEthaEdit version 2.2, which is a universal binary, and it ran without complaint. Even the PPC version of FireFox 1.0.6 runs on it. Speed wise it seemed comparable to my PowerBook G4 with 1.25Ghz CPU and 2 GB RAM. I’d imagine that on a high end Intel system OS X would run very nicely. I can’t tell how strange that sounds Even stranger is the prospect of using Darwine to run Windows apps on Mac OS X.
So now I’m excited to see Apple hardware with Intel CPUs. I’d love to get a new PowerBook that I could split up 4 ways: Mac OS X, Windows, FreeBSD and FAT32 to share across the three operating systems. Of course I also want it to have great battery life. I don’t want to wait until next year (or longer), I want cool new toys from Apple now!
If you’ve read Scobleizer you know he works for and pushes Microsoft pretty much every chance he gets. Recently he’s been on a kick talking about buzz around the web, citing things like the announcement of Google Moon recently. He also compared Microsoft and Apple in blog buzz and a few wider market counts. His reference to Howard Dean seems on when it comes to blog buzz, it doesn’t necessarily correlate to popularity in the general population. Despite that Scoble still seems to have a touch jealousy about not getting more blog love buzz for Microsoft.
So today he tried to go on the offensive by responding to a MacDailyNews post. Scoble managed to not learn his own lesson here, and most folks will likely call him on it. First off the MacDailyNews article is nothing but name calling (think 2nd grade here), even those who use Apple products (of which I am one) recognize this and quickly move on or completely ignore in the first place. He would have been much better if he’d just left this alone or focused purely on features, not trying to return fire.
But since he did lets take a look at his response:
- Tablet PC: I haven’t seen anyone use a tablet system, and I see a fair number of notebook systems in use by people through out the year. Perhaps it is because I work at a university and that market isn’t interested in tablet systems. Perhaps I’m missing the boat here, but I don’t see this as being a big deal. Having said that though, he is correct on this point, Apple does not offer a tablet system. Neither does Microsoft, they only sell the OS. If I install FreeBSD or Linux on said tablet system then Microsoft is out of the picture. I also couldn’t find anywhere on Microsoft’s website where I could actually purchase a tablet system.
- Media Center: Again, I couldn’t find anywhere on Microsoft’s website to purchase such a thing. They sell an OS for such a thing, but then again I could also use MythTV and get the same thing. He is right on some level though, Apple doesn’t sell a system with Tivo features. Neither does Microsoft.
- Mobile Phone: Still couldn’t find any place on Microsoft’s website where I can buy said Windows phone. They make software for mobile devices, but so do other vendors.
- Mac on Intel: And I can’t get Windows for my PowerPC system. There is a developer system from Apple running on Intel hardware, but that doesn’t really meet the term shipping in this sense. So he does have a small point here, but again if I install FreeBSD/Linux on my Intel box Microsoft is out of the picture. And just like before, I couldn’t find such hardware offered for sale from Microsoft either.
- Integration with XBox: It isn’t clear exactly what he means by this, but if it is simply the ability to have your computer talk to your XBox then he is right Apple doesn’t sell such a thing. I don’t see what this has to do with releasing a new operating system.
- MSN Watches: I have to admit that I’ve never even heard of such a thing. I don’t suppose that it uses any sort of open or published standard so that other vendors can make use of it also? If not how is this Apple’s fault?
The constant theme here is that none of the issues that he brought up has to do with operating systems, specifically Mac OS X Tiger and Windows Vista (or XP for that matter). No where does Scoble actually address the issue of feature comparison between two operation systems. He completely dodged the question entirely, perhaps he should go into politics?
Scoble will likely see his post succeed on one point though, it will probably generate some blog buzz in response. Unfortunately I suspect that most of it will be negative.
Just to be clear, I deal with Windows (2000, XP and 2003), Mac OS X (10.3 and 10.4) and FreeBSD (4.x and 5.x) systems on pretty much a daily basis. Each has strong and weak points and I generally try to do my best to only use each one where their strong points shine and avoid each one where their weak points are most exposed.
UPDATE 23 Jul 2005 1:15pm: After seeing his initial response, I have to wonder if this goal was just to get people talking about Microsoft and Windows. What is that saying about and publicity is good publicity, as long as they spell your name right?