Saturday, August 15, 2009

Summer Edition: Comparing Apples to Lemons (and The Penguins That Love Them)

By Casey
“What the heck does this guy mean!” you say. Well this is the first debate (not including the Electric Car story) here on An Aspie’s Thoughts. What about? Which Operating system, or OS, is best?

Apple’s contender is widely known for its few viruses: OS X! In the other corner, Microsoft’s two best OS’s. First, widely known for its many problems and Apple’s ad campaign: Vista! Also, its other OS: It’s widely adopted and often downgraded to from Vista: XP! Finally, last but not least, the shadow warrior, Linux! Now what is Linux? It’s an open-source, user-developed OS. Which will win? Read on!
First we’ll cover the info. At posting time, Apple has released OS X update 10.5.8 and has Snow Leopard on the way. OS X runs on Intel motherboards and many “clones” exist. As well there are many ― sometimes on the border between semi- or completely illegal ― ways to install OS X on a PC.
At posting time, Microsoft has released XP Service Pack 3 and Vista Service Pack 2. Microsoft’s OS’s run on any motherboard or anything else for that matter! Unlike Apple, Microsoft only makes software, not hardware, so many companies build Microsoft machines (Apple on the other hand, makes their own machines, but not motherboards). They also make Word and Internet Explorer, on version 8.
Finally, open source Linux. There are many types of Linux, called distributions, or distros for short. I prefer Ubuntu. They are not owned by companies (with the exclusion of ones like Google’s OS, not going to be covered here) but are open source. In plain English for you non total techno-geeks like myself, that means many people develop it independently. But they also work as a whole to make Linux better, free of company, language, and location barriers. It also comes with, a free text editor by the makers of Java, and Mozilla Firefox, another open-source web browser, the only one developed especially for Linux. Linux will run on any, I mean ANY hardware. Mac, PC, Intel, AMD, Nvdia, they even have a full Ubuntu OS for the PlayStation3! It’s also worth noting Linux is very similar to Apple’s Unix-based OS X
Now we’ve covered every OS, so the debate is on!
Windows. Ah Windows. They have a long history, including good ol’ MS-DOS (pronounced M-S doss), the first Home-user text based OS. Now they have most of the market, and they make the Office tools. But the first GUI ― or Graphical User Interface, the term for a non-text-based OS ― was Apple’s. And they once worked out of a garage. Linux is open source and is actually older: it was distributed in the 1960’s and 70’s. Microsoft was founded in 1975 and Apple in 1976. But to more modern times.
Apple has a diverse range of products, including the iPod, the iPhone, possibly soon the Mac Tablet, along with their notebook line. They also have iTunes, the famous Mp3 music store. But even it has flaws. It can be quite a hassle in Europe or Asia to get an iTunes account for example. Microsoft has Zune Pass, and they point out that it take $30,000 to fill a modern 120 Gig iPod. Here is the ad:
But this debate is about the OS’s, not products, so let’s get back on course. Microsoft is cheaper, as shown in their laptop hunter ads. This is a one where a mother and son go looking for a laptop:
But their OS is bad enough, I’d rather pay an extra $700 for OS X, which can dual boot XP anyway if I want to “return to the dark side”. I admit, I don’t really like that you can’t find many games for Mac but I have the solution: dual boot Linux with Wine, a free Linux program that lets you run Windows software. Neat, huh? Apple comes with so much more than Microsoft, so it’s worth the extra money. Microsoft is DEAD. But until then, the debate will go on…
We might find a verdict here at least. Me, I’ve made my decision. But there’s a little more info for you. While Windows has more games available, Apple comes with more tools, like GarageBand and iMovie. And Linux can run like Windows. So here comes the verdict.
The Verdict
I have a verdict: I’m dual-booting Linux and OS X. I hope I helped you reach a verdict. What is it? Comment on it! By the way, the title means this: Apple is good and Windows is Lemons, while Linux’s mascot is a Penguin.

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