paul at iconoplex.co.uk
Tue Oct 19 03:19:40 PDT 2004
On Mon, Oct 18, 2004 at 10:29:07PM -0400, John Baldwin wrote:
> FWIW, I'm reading and replying to this e-mail via kmail running over an X11
> ssh tunnel on my powerbook. My Dell laptop just about falls apart in my
> hands now due to cheaper construction and cannot be safely used as a mobile
> machine anymore.
I could have told you before you bought it not to buy a Dell. Did my
original post say buy a Dell? Or any other Intel-laptop other than
Thinkpad? It did not. Thinkpads are solid, last well beyond their years
and can take a far greater kicking than any other laptop I've dealt
with. I've owned about 8 lpatops over the years, and the last 3 were
Thinkpads. I'm not planning on changing any time soon.
Don't buy cheap Korean/Taiwanese imports, Dells, Toshibas, Fujitsus or
Panasonics. I haven't tried Sony, but the build quality worries me.
> This powerbook, OTOH, seems to be the best constructed
> notebook I've ever used. (My newer PC laptop from Alienware is also starting
> to show some physical stress fractures and what not and it's the same age as
> the powerbook.) The powerbook is also much lighter than my "luggables" while
> mostly giving me what I want most out of my "luggables": screen real estate.
How long you had it? You'll notice it starting to come to pieces about 6
months after your warranty runs out. But that won't matter, because by
then Apple will have made sure the resale value of your existing laptop
is near zero by adding an exra $100 of hardware to what you already have
to a new frame that all the websites rave about, and you simply *must*
buy it immediately.
Let me say this clearly - I have a *lot* of experience with Apple. I was
a beta developer on OS X, I've worked with virtually every model since
the Quadras were first released. You're going backwards, I'm sticking
with FreeBSD and moving forwards. Trust me on this, before you make any
more expensive mistakes. OS X looks appealing, but if you want open
source, open standards, progression, over the LONG TERM, Apple have a
lot to prove in comparison to FreeBSD.
If anybody tries to argue that Apple have contributed more to open
source, open standards and progression than FreeBSD, they're trolling.
> As far as OS X goes, it's handling of multiple displays (like TV out or VGA
> out plus LCD) is phenomenal and very intuitive. The power management is also
> quite good and actually works. (The BIOSen on both of my PC laptops is
> busted such that they report capacity but don't properly report the usage and
> charge rates so I never get remaining battery time in FreeBSD.) Also,
> suspend/resume just works.
All of that "just works" on my FreeBSD machines as well, but that might
be because I know what I'm doing with XF86Config. I know what I'm doing
because I took the 20 minutes it required to read the documentation. As
a result, my laptop can do everything yours can, but cost me less than a
five hundred dollars(*) and I have free software upgrades to the OS for life.
> As far as the "brain drain" claim: I'd be very careful what you say about
> that. One of the biggest "drains" has probably been Mike Smith. However, he
> still participates in side conversations every once in a while and still
> shows up for the occasional conference in which he still provides excellent
> input. Also, FWIW, if it weren't for Mike (and a few others) talking me into
> coming out to California to give WC/BSDi a try, I would probably have spent
> the last few years working on industrial monitoring embedded systems instead
> of the FreeBSD kernel. Granted, if I weren't around the work would still
> have gotten done, but I think its a fair statement that my (and others')
> current contributions are due at least in part to Mike, Jordan, and others.
OK, here's a big part of my beef. Apple wants to be the MS of Unix. As a
community, we appear to be helping them. I don't want to pay for OS
upgrades, nor do I want to hear about how much "better" OS X is. I want
people to find the flaws in what we have and work toward fixing them. I
don't see the flaws much, so I suppose I'm not the best person to try,
but if people just jump ship to OS X as an easy way out, potentially
we're losing the impetus and momentum to fix what it is we have. If
somebody sees a flaw in FreeBSD, I think most of us would prefer they
became involved in trying to address that flaw instead of change OS.
> Also, Apple has given back to the BSDs. Their modifications to existing BSD
> code have been released under the BSD license resulting in bug fixes to
> msdosfs and smbfs for example being merged back into FreeBSD. There is lots
> more in Darwin for enterprising individuals to merge back if they wish as
Last guy I spoke to who looked at Darwin started looking pale. I don't
know why, and I'm not sure I want to know why. Perhaps a productive
swing to this conversation would be if people can identify those bits of
Darwin that would be useful to have merged back into FBSD. Have you
(*) - the Thinkpad market on eBay is wonderful for bargains. A T22 can
be picked up in the UK now for less than 300 quid which is about $500.
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world in different ways;
the point, however, is to change it." - Karl Marx
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