I've gone back and forth between Mac and Windows boxes for years. I have a MacBook Pro and a Dell XPS 12 with Win8.1 and I use them interchangeably. They're both perfectly usable and both have their pros and cons.
I want to see what Microsoft has to offer--especially curious to see if they can leverage their desktop size to resuscitate their mobile platform.
I was an MS person for about 18 years but the range of hardware for high end laptops running MS has become poor. I finally eat my own hat and bought a Macbook Pro, with Parallels...have to say, it's a very impressive integration and experience. Not sure would I go back.
Then Windows isn't standard enough for you. The traditional UNIX toolset does not work on Windows - something as simple as chmod, or the concept of files being owned by users, works entirely differently. Things as simple as mv have entirely different semantics - there isn't a guaranteed atomic file rename function (well, actually, looks like one was implemented in Windows Vista... which doesn't work on network drives, including redirected folders which are used to map your home directory transparently to a network drive in many companies).
In administering Windows systems, practically nothing is implemented as text mangling, so text mangling isn't a core part of the system's interface.
Once you've thrown out all the stuff that works differently or can't be implemented reliably, you don't have a terrible amount left. If you want some subset of the GNU toolset for development, there's MSYS and a few other projects.
Or you could learn how to use a system that doesn't buy into the UNIX monoculture, which has been a detriment to operating system research and development for the past couple of decades.
My first computer was a ZX Spectrum. It didn't run UNIX.
> which has been a detriment to operating system research and development for the past couple of decades.
You're claiming that having access to free Operating Systems, with free tools and access to the source for them all has stifled OS research? That claim appears nonsensical on the face of it. Care to expand?
Certainly. It's not access to free OSes that's the problem - it's that both the major one and most of the minor ones are derivatives of either UNIX or the POSIX specification. (Haiku is the only semi-popular one which attempts to do something different.) There's little chance of stepping outside that box in any major way.
For example, a slowly-moving research project of mine is to build a fully functional OS that uses capabilities, per-application sandboxing, a generic object store instead of a filesystem, a built-in intra- and inter-computer RPC mechanism, standardised configuration (from the network admin level downwards), and a powerful Smalltalk-based GUI for managing all of this, on the idea that today's information workers need better ability to manage and script their system, including building new applications out of existing ones. The Linux ecosystem doesn't provide a meaningful, standardised interface for doing so for many office-y applications or complex formats.
While you could theoretically layer all this on top of POSIX (and in fact, that's the first implementation of my system), you are at the same time throwing away 99% of POSIX, and you are highly expected to maintain compatibility with apps for the system you're building on top of - which likely don't fit in with your system's design, and doesn't encourage the creation of applications for, or modification of existing applications to fit, your new system design.
This sort of greenfield R&D is what's been missing. Even universities are primarily stuck getting POSIX running on various kernel architectures, avoiding the topic of OS design entirely. You could point towards Android as a counter-example, but that's not a desktop OS - its primary competitors were proprietary OSes made by the smartphone vendors, and it's still not really capable of being used as a primary OS.
How is that the problem? How does that stop you from doing anything?
> you are at the same time throwing away 99% of POSIX, and you are highly expected to maintain compatibility with apps for the system you're building on top of
Expected by whom? Who has any expectations for your own personal research project? I'd fully expect an experimental OS not to have any apps at all, besides basic utilities.
I'm not going to point to any OS as a counter example, because you haven't made clear how the existence of any other UNIX-like OS prevents you from doing anything. If you want to do "greenfield R&D" then go ahead. No-one is stopping you.
But why do you need it to take off in a meaningful way? Open Source software doesn't need a particular market share to keep going, it just needs a certain absolute number of people (which differs depending on the software). Is having a small committed core of users not enough for you? If your research is truly useful then that number will grow over time.
Unless you're talking about a commercial OS, in which case Microsoft is your obstacle, not POSIX. Good luck with that.
I also note that Microsoft built a capabilities-based OS (Singularity - it's open source, have you considered building on something like this?) and that one of the most important modern contributors to the space (J. Shapiro) now works at MS Research last I read. Given his lifetime interest and work in the area it's not a stretch to imagine what they may have hired him to work on.
As for the shell, they did have a (barely) halfway decent clone of the OS/2 Workplace Shell in Windows 95, but by Windows 98 they had already screwed it up (trying to make a spatial file manager also be a browser) and every version since then has been a regression. :/
These days you don't get a Office copy to use, you get 1 year free...
It's not just a Windows phenomenon. I'm sure 90% of Android users would never pay for and actively install an Android version upgrade. Even OS X upgrades are now free, supposedly for the same reason.
So if Microsoft makes very little money on consumer version upgrades anyway, they could just as well let everyone use the latest version for free and make life a lot easier for themselves and for millions of developers.
It's a very welcome move that is long overdue.
This looks to be an embrace and extend :) of their own idea.... Now free for a whole year.
Obviously more details once it is closer to release but sounds great so far.
"Once a device is upgraded to Windows 10, we'll be keeping it current for the supported lifetime for the device."
I'm not sure what they mean by "lifetime for the device", but I think it means you have a year to decide to upgrade to Windows 8, and then it'll be supported for as long as your device is working.
So "Yes, for good reason" is the answer to your question.
However, I'm all for new tech so I want there to be room for everyone. I'm excited to see the future of windows.
Ironically, the more that Windows tries to be like OS X the less I like it. Thankfully, it's still possible to turn much of that stuff off.
>Outside of the "real" shell the entire UI doesn't seem to be designed for software professionals
Interesting, any specific examples? I'm genuinely curious. For me, the more I use OSX, the more I'm frustrated with Windows. The one thing I do miss from Windows is better full screen support. Yosemite kinda helped with that (but it's still kinda clunky).
Other than that, I feel like there's a little more logic behind OSX with common operations, off the top of my head:
Option/alt to modify existing commands. The keyboard kungfu on OSX seems easier on the hands, too, since the combos typically rely on thumb keys vs a Windows pinky reach of Ctrl. Especially noticeable because the thumbs seem pretty underutilized vs pinkies, which already have plenty of keyboard duties.
File renaming: "Enter" to rename a file vs "F2" (something I happily accepted as random dogma, but now it's "??")
Folder/file nav: unified drill down in the file browser (cmd+up/down to navigate levels, with the file level simply opening the file, vs arrow keys, then enter to open)
Window management: being able to close all windows without exiting the app itself (handy when I'm clearing clutter but I don't want to pay a cost for restarting a big application, or if I simply just didn't realize it was the last window when I closed it, and now I have to relaunch the application)
*Scrolling: Being able to scroll any window whether or not it's the active application, so long as the mouse cursor is hovering over content.
Not to say everything is more logical, just common things I do. The screen capture shortcut is totally bizarre to me, I have to google it every time.
I actually meant the desktop parts, no metro. For example, the taskbar is becoming more dock-like in every release.
> Interesting, any specific examples? I'm genuinely curious.
It's somewhat hard to nail down. I find it much more mouse heavy. I find the window management to be annoying; I prefer full-screen apps with dockable panels to the mess of random windows normally found in OS X apps. I definitely feel having one menu bar WAY at the top of a single screen to be insane. I'm sitting in front of 2 24" monitors kinda makes OS X seem a bit underwhelming. On Windows, I have two task bars showing different tasks for each window. Two start menus (thanks Classicshell) and my apps have their own menus.
It seems like the apps have a lot of style-over-substance going on. Code editors with pop-out drawers which are both stupid and a waste of pixels.
> File renaming: "Enter" to rename a file vs "F2" (something I happily accepted as random dogma, but now it's "??")
F2 works but I never use it. I always just click twice to rename.
> Window management: being able to close all windows without exiting the app itself (handy when I'm clearing clutter but I don't want to pay a cost for restarting a big application, or if I simply just didn't realize it was the last window when I closed it, and now I have to relaunch the application)
Most Windows applications are MDI or tabbed so this seems like less of issue. Even a lot of OS X apps are tabbed. I actually hate what you like: nothing but the menu bar open indicating that the app is in focus and running. I've been confused by that a few times.
> Scrolling: Being able to scroll any window whether or not it's the active application, so long as the mouse cursor is hovering over content.
Yeah, you got me there. For the longest time, OS X was missing some really obvious stuff though. Like resizing windows from any corner! I found nothing more annoying than having to move a window around to then resize it.
> Not to say everything is more logical, just common things I do. The screen capture shortcut is totally bizarre to me, I have to google it every time.
SHIFT-PRNTSCN? It's got a labeled key on the keyboard!
>SHIFT-PRNTSCN? It's got a labeled key on the keyboard!
Right. I meant it was less logical on OSX. Cmd-shift-3? Bizarre. And yeah, I had to google it again. http://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201361
>I actually hate what you like: nothing but the menu bar open indicating that the app is in focus and running. I've been confused by that a few times.
Haha, I'm glad we can civilly hate each other's preferences. To me, repeating the menu strip for each window is a waste of real-estate, but i'm a huge desktop space whore. I don't need "File, Edit, etc" on every program window. I know it's there, so I prefer it to be in a common area. Actually, I find myself getting confused the other way around. In Windows, if I step away from my desk, and come back, it's not clear to me which program is currently active because they're all showing their menu bars just like all the other programs (now that we discuss it, I feel like the root of our different workflows has as lot to do with the fact that I prefer to autohide my taskbars). This combined with the unified window/program closing has lead to gnashing of teeth more than once.
>Most Windows applications are MDI or tabbed so this seems like less of issue.Even a lot of OS X apps are tabbed.
I appreciate the shift with some programs, but it doesn't seem as prevalent as I feel it should be, or we're not talking about the same thing. IE and Office are definitely guilty of this. Ctrl+w your tabs enough, and it'll simply close out the program. Or if you choose to X out your windows via mouse, if it's the last window, it will exit out the program. "Window" and "program" seem to be synonymous, so this requires I do a time-wasting check whether it's the last instance or not. Whereas in OSX, exiting the program is a discrete cmd+q vs closing a window (cmd+w). As long as those two remain intertwined concepts in Windows, it's going to feel less logical to me (in my opinion of course).
So far, I feel pretty keyboard-warrior-y just as much as I was on Windows. Which probably comes back to workflows. As you pointed out, you use the mouse to rename files, whereas I don't. I figure if I'm renaming a file, I need to type a new name, so my hands can be in the classic "home" position instead of moving around to the mouse or F2.
I can see your point about the taskbar, but after a month of use (which admittedly was painful), I honestly stopped missing it. The OS X dock does show what apps are open as well with a lit up effect. Though in both OSes, I end up autohiding them. And worst case scenario, the OS X version of aero tab/Winkey+tab groups together all your active windows by program (though the feature kind of chugged when it first released, but I'd argue aero tab was pretty clunky on older machines when it first came out as well).
>For the longest time, OS X was missing some really obvious stuff though. Like resizing windows from any corner!
So true. And they finally ditched the bizarre "green" button behavior.
Yeah, stupid, have an upvote!
> Haha, I'm glad we can civilly hate each other's preferences. To me, repeating the menu strip for each window is a waste of real-estate, but i'm a huge desktop space whore. I don't need "File, Edit, etc" on every program window.
Well a lot of programs are ditching having a menu bar at all. This Firefox window I'm typing this into is really minimal -- no menu at all. If you're a desktop space whore than this is better than both options. I feel like the Mac way makes sense when desktop space is at a premium (like with the original Mac) but I have more desktop space than I know what to do with!
> Actually, I find myself getting confused the other way around. In Windows, if I step away from my desk, and come back, it's not clear to me which program is currently active
That's a valid point. After getting distracted, I've typed into the wrong window in my multi-monitor desktop because the wrong app has focus. But I don't think I'd be any more likely to look in the very top left corner of one monitor to see which one is active either. In a single monitor situation, this is almost a non-issue.
> I feel like the root of our different workflows has as lot to do with the fact that I prefer to autohide my taskbars
Yeah, I don't autohide but I do make them smaller than the current Windows default.
> As long as those two remain intertwined concepts in Windows, it's going to feel less logical to me (in my opinion of course).
This is a totally valid point and I don't have a good argument against it. But I think it comes with the baggage of having that single top menu bar which I think is much less logical. But I'm not sure if it's possible to reconcile these things. I will say that Office has probably the worst window management of any application on Windows but thankfully I usually only have one document open at a time. Ironically, NextStep has menus in each app and this was removed when it became OS X to make the transition easier for users.
> So far, I feel pretty keyboard-warrior-y just as much as I was on Windows.
I'm actually more of a mouse person or perhaps more accurately a combo mouse/keyboard. But strangely enough, my file management workflow is weirdly hampered on OS X. I found a few apps that just wouldn't let me CTRL-C CTRL-V a file into them, for example. I'm willing to concede if I used nothing but the keyboard, the Finder might be better but in my usage I just find it frustrating.
- Keyboard acceleration for application menus is more consistent and robust under Windows. Press Alt + the underlined letter of any menu to activate it and then hunt around using the arrow keys. Press underlined letter of menu item to activate it. No memorizing arcane shortcuts.
- Windows' Taskbar is much, much more flexible than OS X's Dock because it does everything the Dock does in it's default mode and it's got other modes that the Dock does not such as having one "entry per window" instead of one "entry per application that displays a list of windows when clicked". I like entry per window mode. The Taskbar is also highly customizable via something like 7+ taskbar tweaker where you can make "taskbar entries" act like browser tabs (middle click to close). Apple never gives anyone access to the proper APIs to customize the Dock. Developers can't even change NSScreen.visibleFrame so even if you wanted to replace the Dock you couldn't do it properly and windows end up behind your replacement (a bug all dock replacement software shares).
- Apple seems to prefer buttons that have icons with no labels everywhere. Also, they seem to like little tiny buttons for things like Add/Delete an item in a list, where a Windows app would have a nice big button with an icon and a label. Windows is just more utilitarian over all and Microsoft generally seems to value function over style, which matches my own preferences.
- The Windows Explorer is much more flexible and extensible than the OS X Finder. Extending the Explorer context menu is a matter of course on Windows. There's a very robust API for it. Overall, the Finder is vastly inferior to Explorer which is also easier to navigate with a keyboard.
- Save/Open dialogs in OS X are limited. One example: I go to save a file and create a folder. Ooops, I want to delete that folder but I can't do it from the dialog, I have to go and open a Finder instance. Windows generally lets you do anything in an Open/Save dialog that you can do from a Windows Explorer instance. There's a plugin for OS X that attempts to fix some of these issues called "Default Folder X".
- Display management: OS X doesn't have handy features to quickly turn off external displays like Windows where I just hit Win+P. If I want to get rid of a monitor in OS X I have to turn it off or unplug the video cable. Maybe in Yosemite they added the ability to disable a monitor via control panel. OS X also wants to go to sleep if I close a Macbook/Pro lid, even if an external monitor is plugged in.
This was also a great annoyance for me on Linux (or more specifically, with the GTK file save/open dialog).
I'm honestly not ecstatic about any of the desktop OS choices today, but I have hope that will change one day!
Definitely true. Although, the "common core" keyboard shortcuts are represented enough for me. I don't care to remember each individual program's hot letters. But it definitely is a lifesaver when you don't have access to a mouse.
> Apple seems to prefer buttons that have icons with no labels...Also, they seem to like...
That's beyond debatable subjectivity and well into the realm of "I just don't like it", so I'll just leave it at that (though I will say Chrome for windows is pretty icon heavy, and Visual Studio is moving that way as well). And to be fair, I think API and extensions are beyond the scope of what we were talking about.
> Ooops, I want to delete that folder but I can't do it from the dialog,
That's definitely not true. I just walked over to an OSX machine and verified it wasn't my imagination. Perhaps it was a recent addition, I'll give you that, but I don't recall it being an issue for quite some time.
Sometimes I do miss the full power of a file explorer in my Save/Open dialog, but it's not all heaven on earth. If I'm working in directories in active instances of Explorer, and then I decide I want to save a file from a program to one of those directories, the dialog will use a default (typically My Documents) or the last used path that the application remembers you using. This means I have to drill down or seek out the aforementioned directories either through mouse or typing in the path manually. I find that to be an annoying waste of time, especially if I was deep in a directory tree in a totally different "forest" if you will.
With OSX, I can drag over the folder from Finder to the Save dialog, and it knows that, since the context is "you want to save something", that it should switch to that directory. The Windows save dialog will act like a special Explorer instance, as you said, and copy the dragged directory instead. Sure, there are a few times where that's handy, but I prefer the more logical contextual use.
- Display management
I agree with that, OS X is definitely lagging on multi-monitor features (although I personally rarely need to shut off or unplug my second monitor).
Funny, because one of my big peeves with Windows and Linux is that certain developer-handy UI/UX features are missing and/or a pain in the ass to set up (even aside from the terminal).
* Emacs editing and movement shortcuts are built into OSX system-wide. (Ctrl+A and Ctrl+P collide on Win, Linux and keyboard management in ubuntu is messy and unreliable)
* Modifier-remapping is easy and solid on OSX (Need to run the download.com gauntlet on Windows, Linux is again an unreliable mess)
* Opening a document's parent folder(s) is easy and universal on OSX (command click on document icon in title bar), good luck finding this outside an IDE anywhere else.
* Turning off a laptop's screen on demand is easy and reliable on OSX. It's frustrating on windows (I need 2 apps and a couple lines of code, wtf) and a nightmare on linux (where you're lucky to get working brightness control at all, let alone one that goes all the way to 0).
* Thermal management is solid on OSX. I can let my laptop build at night and sleep in the same room because the fan controller actually works. Meanwhile, Linux doesn't recognize the fans (you know what that means: max rpm all the time) and windows revs up like a NASCAR driver in rush hour traffic (it bluescreened both custom fan control apps I've tried, naturally).
* It's easy to get a file from Finder into "Open..." dialogs: just drag and drop (e.g. attach file), as opposed to re-navigating through the entire filesystem. Windows has one especially braindead "open" dialog type that almost seems to be designed for the particular purpose of making this difficult (you know, the one that doesn't let you Ctrl+L, doesn't scroll sideways, doesn't remember the last directory you were in, etc).
* Finder knows how to sort alphabetically. For some reason the closest that Windows is willing to do is "Sort by File/Folder status, and THEN alphabetically by name." This has the very frustrating effect that unzipped folders are often very far (both in screen space and keyboard space) from their .zip files. When you have to deal with a lot of them, this gets frustrating FAST.
I'll give Microsoft one thing: the Windows+X menu is a fine piece of work. But I imagine you have a list similar to my own of things that you like about Windows and can't find anywhere else. I'd appreciate a trick swap seeing as I'm stuck in the Windows ecosystem at the moment :)
Not everyone likes emacs. Like the vast majority of PC users, I grew up with CUA programs and I loath emacs keybindings.
>Modifier-remapping is easy and solid on OSX (Need to run the download.com gauntlet on Windows, Linux is again an unreliable mess)
Autohotkey on Windows. I'll give you Linux, I don't remember exactly what song and dance involving .xmodmap and .xinitrc or some other shit I've forgotten that I had to go through last time.
>Opening a document's parent folder(s) is easy and universal on OSX (command click on document icon in title bar), good luck finding this outside an IDE anywhere else.
Most programs I've used support a "right click->open containing folder" option.
>Turning off a laptop's screen on demand is easy and reliable on OSX. It's frustrating on windows (I need 2 apps and a couple lines of code, wtf) and a nightmare on linux (where you're lucky to get working brightness control at all, let alone one that goes all the way to 0).
I could have sworn this "just worked" with my Thinkpad, but maybe it's different for Macbooks. Ditto for thermal management. Linux of course is a nightmare.
>It's easy to get a file from Finder into "Open..." dialogs: just drag and drop (e.g. attach file), as opposed to re-navigating through the entire filesystem. Windows has one especially braindead "open" dialog type that almost seems to be designed for the particular purpose of making this difficult (you know, the one that doesn't let you Ctrl+L, doesn't scroll sideways, doesn't remember the last directory you were in, etc).
Drag and drop is supported by almost every Windows program I've used. For attaching files in web forms, you're supposed to drag the file onto the "select file" button in the web page, not into the "open file" dialog.
>Finder knows how to sort alphabetically. For some reason the closest that Windows is willing to do is "Sort by File/Folder status, and THEN alphabetically by name." This has the very frustrating effect that unzipped folders are often very far (both in screen space and keyboard space) from their .zip files. When you have to deal with a lot of them, this gets frustrating FAST.
I prefer it that way, because 99% of the time I'm not unzipping a bunch of .zip files, and I'd rather see the directories first if I'm trying to navigate deep into a directory tree.
I am with you! It started with the default Taskbar configuration and "pinning" things. I find it completely useless and I always disable grouping. Furthermore, I use 7+ taskbar tweaker to make the Taskbar act exactly the way I want it to and I have actually written a couple Microsofties in an attempt to get them to buy this company and integrate it :)
The one thing that I'm really disappointed in though is the Ribbon. I just wish that I could hunt through it with the keyboard or mouse as easily as I can with regular menus. Hunting with the mouse is too clicky - you can scroll the middle wheel now, but I'd rather just activate each tab when I put the pointer over it. Hunting throught the Ribbon with the keyboard is ridiculous too because all of the tool-tips just get in the way of seeing what's there. I like classic menus and toolbars way, way better except when I'm on a touch device.
I was surprised how much I liked it. I installed Chrome, and boom, my browsing environment was set up. I installed SSH, GPG, git, IntelliJ, Java 8, and Pharo Smalltalk and I was all set up for Clojure and Smalltalk development. The only complaint I have is that this very low end laptop is not very fast, even with the SSD disk.
When my MacBook Air dies in the future, it is possible that I will get a higher performance Windows 10 laptop.
edit: I have been feeling more warmly towards Microsoft lately because I am in their BizSpark program (free Linux servers for 3 years! Yeah!) and recently switched from Dropbox to Office 365 (for the same $100/year, both my wife and I get 1 terrabyte of cloud storage, and all of the Office if we want it).
For those of us who actually use Windows for work (and not just write about it) the start button was an issue for all of 10 seconds.
I actually appreciate the new start menu approach. Instead of a "dumping ground" of icons, there's significantly less clutter, and a cleaner interface. Can't say I use my start menu much, as most of my commonly used applications are launched from the taskbar (pinned).
My goto is the prominent search (even in the Windows 7 start menu). The only time I like the menu us when I can't remember the specific name of an app and I need to look at the list of names or icons to trigger my memory (which is rare). Otherwise search is so much superior than hunting around with a mouse trying to remember whether a certain app is sorted by name or company or finding where a setting is hidden. It used to bother me when control panel settings moved, but with search honestly who cares?
It's not like we use yahoo's directory or dmoz anymore to browse the web...
My recent experience on OS X:
- Couldn't find an easy way to get windows side by side
- Installed a program, but it just kept crashing on launch until I rebooted the computer
- Challenging to figure out how to get Finder to actually show you the drive contents
It's the Apple way. They decide you don't want something and it's infuriating.
But the rest of Mac OS is quite good, I quite like Finder, and with bash, a JVM, a good browser and text editor, that's enough to overcome the frustration of "Apple knows best".
Maybe if windows offered gestures and was POSIX compliant I wouldn't mind switching. Then I would want a laptop that is about as thin/light as a retina with an equivalent display and trackpad plus a MagSafe style adaptor. Then I would want a proper package manager and a time machine style backup solution.
Then I could try to find a way to integrate iOS services into my workflow properly, but I still won't have iMessage, which is a bummer. I would consider that a point against apple if I didn't like iMessage/FaceTime so much. I guess that could be factored into switching cost. I just don't care to leave iOS at this point.
I will agree that finder is really unnecessarily frustrating and that there are a few drawbacks to OS X. Especially with a couple random bugs lately. However, the experience, for me, has been overwhelmingly net positive, and there are just so many things I would miss by switching right now that I don't see it happening.
As a veteran system builder, I was rather surprised when I looked into laptops recently to find macbooks very competitive.
I dislike Apple as an organization due to their marketing practices, closed ecosystem, and apparent lack of respect for their customers demonstrated in their reaction to bend/antenna gate. Apple even works hard to hide what processors their systems are actually running!
After much digging, though the hardware costs slightly more, MBPs come out far ahead as a package with OS X - a full featured OS with a healthy ecosystem and excellent battery life. I couldn't find a better option for my intended user.
I don't know specifically what you need from Time Machine, but File History in 8.1 (and somewhat, Windows Backup on 7) does full image backups and incremental backups. It could be integrated better, but you can go back and see your files and folders at whatever point in time you desire. I have it setup on my FreeNAS and it works well enough.
But it does crash on me every ~6 weeks. A - halfway - modern operating system should not crash, unless the hardware is faulty. I really like badmouthing Windows, But my work laptop running Windows 7 has crashed only two or three times in nearly two years.
Also, as a former GNU/Linux user, I am unhappy about the poor integration of X11. Cygwin's X server is a lot smoother in that regard.
(Let me repeat, I do like OS X, and yes, Windows has plenty of things I intensely dislike, which is why I do not use it on my private computers.)
Obvious follow-up question: are you sure your hardware isn't faulty?
I found an app a couple of months back that lets me monitor the CPU temperature and adjust the fan speed (at least the minimum fan speed) - I upped it from 1800rpm to 4000rpm (above 4000, it gets noisy), and crashes have become somewhat less common. So maybe it was just a heat problem.
But I did notice that most crashes happened when I was trying to watch something on YouTube, so it could also be a problem with Flash or the graphics driver. (Then again, YouTube has worked fine for me recently, so maybe it really was a heating/cooling problem.)
For the most part, it doesn't really matter what OS I use, since the tools I use are pretty much available everywhere. Before I made the switch, however, I was really worried that I'd have a much inferior user experience on Windows than OSX. But that turned out to be a non-issue.
I thought I'd be concerned about being stuck with cmd.exe, but Cmder is awesome. I don't really need to change any of my OSX terminal habits at all.
I thought I'd miss Gitbox. I still do, but SourceTree does enough of a good job that I can get by.
The one thing I like about OSX is the level of polish of the UI and of apps that run in the OS. Things on Windows aren't at OSX's level, but they are generally way better than they were when I switched to OSX. Faint praise, I guess.
The Windows 8 Start Menu thing. I thought I would hate it. But here's the thing, I switched to using Spotlight to launch everything in OSX, and it's pretty much the same thing on Windows, just hit Windows key, and type the name of the app I want to launch. Having said that, Windows local search is horrible vs. Spotlight. There is a (paid) fix - Listary is a great substitute for Spotlight on Windows.
I hated Windows Explorer post Windows 2000 (but I still hate Windows Explorer less than Finder). It still sucks. But Classic Explorer restores things to the way I preferred back in the day.
My day to day tools are pretty much cross platform, Sublime, DBVisualizer, PGAdmin, Evernote, Postbox, etc. So there were very few hiccups there.
Windows is far from perfect (although Windows 10 definitely looks like it addresses my biggest annoyances), but it's not a huge downgrade from OSX in the way a lot of people think about it. I still prefer Windows over Linux Desktops, probably because the way it works is a lot more familiar to me than Linux.
Modern Windows is decidedly not POSIX-compliant.
Anyway, I sense an argument drift from "Windows" to "Modern Windows". Nice. I guess earlier versions of Windows stopped being Windows once version 8.1 was released.
Well, yeah. We're (presumably) talking about software architecture choices here. Are you telling me you'd purposefully build a new system on top of an old version of Windows, and specifically on old features that have since been deprecated+removed? If not, then it doesn't matter what old Windows does; "Windows is not POSIX-compliant" is the fact that you are making a choice based upon when you design a system right now.
BTW, I can purchase a copy of windows 8 today (which is going to be supported by Microsoft till 2023) that is POSIX compliant. So the argument is moot anyway.
Still, I can't wait to see Windows do a comeback... I don't know if W10 will be the answer, but I sure hope they make a come back for consumers' sake.
I don't think I've ever had to reboot OS X for similar reasons.
* Window management in OSX is a complete joke (docking and sizing), I've lost all faith that Apple will ever get that right.
* The shell and terminal support is better in OSX (yes, powershell is there, but not by default, and the standard DOS shell sucks)
* I have to reboot both systems once a month to keep them working. Others disagree here, but I find OSX no more stable than Windows.
* OSX Sound Drivers (WTF! -- I constantly lose sound support on my MacBook Pro)
* Microsoft is much faster at fixing issues than Apple (I have a bunch of long standing OSX bugs that span multiple versions, and a couple of new ones with the current release)
* I no longer feel the love for Apple hardware. Every iteration is made harder to upgrade than the last.
* The Apple App Store is so much better than Microsoft's Store.
* Safari is IE: they are both browsers you should only use to download a better browser.
Safari's great for battery life. I've switched from Chrome for that reason. Judging from the system-wide beachballs and frequent fan spin-ups for no obvious reason back when I used Firefox, I assume it would be even worse than Chrome.
Its developer tools aren't that different from Chrome's, either, and it's got a decent selection of plugins. I have Chrome installed and occasionally use it, but close it ASAP.
FWIW I've never had to reboot windows beyond once a month for the updates, if at all. I run Win8 and it runs well, pretty much like my other machines - OSX on my MBPro7,1 (Snow Leopard b/c anything else degrades the performance and/or has bugs) & CentOS 6.4 which has been rock solid on my 8 year old repurposed desktop-as-server.
It is slow as a turtle, but rebooting does not really help with that. (To be fair, it slow at least in part because it is five years old, has only three GB of RAM (remember the days when we would have drooled at the thought of that?), and I installed way too much software on it, a good part of it usually running when I use it.)
There are times when the system slows down, but normally that's temporary and due to a misbehaving program rather than a system wide issue.
I feel the same way. I recently started using a MacBook at work. It's a mid-2014 MacBook Pro w/Retina display and there is a lot I like about using it.
But it seems rather hostile to developers. The keyboard shortcuts don't make a lot of sense -- most of it really is just about what I'm used to, but for example ⌘+SHIFT+3/4 to take a screenshot? And the CTRL+SHIFT+POWER KEY combination to lock the screen is a very odd choice.
⌘+C and ⌘+V work on files/folders, but not ⌘+X?
I only had to setup MAMP here so far, but it wasn't quite as smooth as LAMP on my Ubuntu machine.
I am in the market for a new laptop -- I considered everything from Chromebooks to even getting my own MacBook. But I keep going back to a Ubuntu/Windows dual-boot setup. There are just too many little annoyances with OSX for me.
I constantly struggle with right clicking items on Apple trackpads (and the PC trackpads that attempt to copy Apple's).
I would prefer to have two distinct buttons below the pad. To me, the new trend of pivoting pads as buttons don't work for my clumsy hands.
I ask because I work in the console space at Microsoft and am keen on understanding the features you're looking for and what scenarios you're attempting to satisfy.
We also have a user voice going where we've been fortunate enough to gather a lot of passionate feedback.
The reason I switched to linux, then OS X, was as a web developer there's no substitute for a real bash environment integrated with the OS.
I was a cygwin user when I was on Windows, but many things just didn't work or only worked with a lot of messing around with configuration. I believe most of this is due to the lack of POSIX compliance on Windows.
Many things were funky, such as "cd c:", symlink vs junctions, and interplay between dos utilities and cygwin utilities (the find and locate commands come to mind). A lot of things worked, and I commend the developers who hacked it together, but when you wanted to do anything remotely complicated, it became evident it was just a veneer.
Thanks for giving me the feedback that you're using the environment for web-development.
I've often wondered as I look over feedback like yours if one of the reasons some web developers prefer NIX is because a good many tutorials are written assuming a NIX environment. Would love to know your thoughts.
I think it's because most web developers are going to be using Linux or a BSD on their servers, so they'd rather use the same environment on their dev machines. However, a good console/terminal emulator, support for popular shells, all the common UNIX utils, a better package manager and repository than nuget and chocolatey (perhaps Microsoft needs to start pulling from and communicating with the upstreams of certain projects?), and most importantly, the ability to use all of this out of the box without having to deal with myriad incompatible toolchains, would IMO capture most of that benefit for the average web developer.
Disclaimer: I'm a game developer, so I'm probably not your target here. I like having a UNIX environment around for writing scripts and munging data, and just think it'd be great if I could have one out of the box without needing to mess around with msys/cygwin/gow/etc.
EDIT: I should add, there are quite a few projects that could easily be ported to Windows, but haven't, because the developers don't care enough to write POSIX wrappers for i.e. mmap vs MapViewOfFile. Short of a full POSIX implementation, having official wrappers for some of these basic APIs could make Windows support too trivial for them to ignore.
I don't want to have to relearn commands that I know work in *nix land, is the big point -- I don't want to have to remember to change the directions of my slashes, for example.
I'm not an expert, merely a user, in this space, so I can't really articulate precisely what it is I want in the best terms possible, but I can say I get a lot closer to where I want to be with Cygwin than I get with anything that comes native on Windows.
Once I feel I can buy into the shell, I'll probably go all in. Until then, I try to use Cygwin to avoid having to switch to a *nix box when I just want to use a simple admin utility or maybe test something out in the Python REPL, but otherwise I just tend to switch when I want to spend a work day on something.
I want a package manager for everything, something like nuget (which is great), but for the entire OS like brew/apt/yum.
I want a ssh client/alternative, I should be able to administer a windows box without having to RDP in.
These are my main issues but i'm sure there are plenty of other small ones. My workflow is typically web development but I work for a smallish company and do a bit of Ops as well.
Reduce vulnerability. No system is invulnerable, but sadly we run Windows in a sandbox or not at all.
And portability, I don't care if you fake it as long as it works. Don't require weird stuff. C:\AUTOEXEC.BAT, bash and zsh are "just interfaces." I don't usually interact directly with mach or the linux kernel that would be weird. For instance, over time OS X has had a line of dispatch mechanisms, launchd, Grand Central Dispatch, ... They all work, but they are different (weird.) Don't even get people started about systemd on Linux. crontab should work on OS X, and Windows because it's "just an interface." The underlying layers are Microsoft's kernel and services. We're just using an interface.
Don't require weird stuff. At the same time, don't break things.
POSIX API layer
Homebrew installs the stuff you need that Microsoft didn’t. http://brew.sh/
Obviously, don't install coreutils, homebrew, fill-in-the-blank by default. But make them easily installable and seamless once installed. Keep the core OS lean.
Adopt Linux, OS X, Google Play, and whoever else comes on the scene. If you do, then Microsoft OS is the killer OS because it runs ALL the programs. I should be able to run programs for different architectures in Windows. Virtual layers via VMs, compatibilty layers, simulators, and emulators are sweet. ie. "wine weirdProgramForWin32.Exe", running a Mac OS X PowerPC program on OS X Intel or Arm, or ...
Please lose the "CP/M" (MS-DOS) creatures. Here's a short wish list of things because they bother me:
* go with a single character newline: change from CR LF to LF
* make notepad play nice with newlines
* change \ to /
* mount umount: the drive letters are old and \\ is weird
* text files don't need the .TXT extension
* change .HTM to .html, or get rid of extensions.
* executables don't need the .EXE extension
* file permissions: hidden-extension.jpg.EXE should not be executable by default
* don't take over the boot block of my hard drive, allow grub or whatever to boot Windows
Basically, allow interoperability: make things work. OS X is good, Linux is better. Microsoft could be the best. People like using what they are used to. The Windows interface is familiar. A mobile interface intermixed with the familiar Windows interface is confusing. Again, it's "just an interface." I was hoping Windows 9 might be more like Windows 7. Hopefully, looking forward to Windows 10. Good luck.
My question for you is: How do you manage complexity?
Thanks for the well wishes, you're right there is a ton of complexity but that's what makes it fun. Just don't yell at me too much when there are some bumps along they way.
I am a multi-OS user and I just wish that I could easily use some simple Unix commands on Windows without having to learn a whole new shell.
A lot of unnecessary parsing and happens in unix tools. Programs generate a lot of structured data, dump as human-structured text, which is then parsed by the next tool, processed, dumped as more text, parsed again by the next tool, processed, etc. Right now I'm working with an SDK that does it and it actually needs Python code to parse the output from different tools to glue them together.
I understand that they want to have the same codebase on all three screen sizes, but simple 'responsive' approach is not perfect.
The WP10 platforms needs to make the best of its advantages, not become the second android mess where every app has different UX philosophy. MS should provide gudelines for tailoring apps to WP, but srsly atm they need to fix these office apps before releasing them.
The new Dell XPS 13. Lack of bezel on the screen puts it at MBA 11" size.
> 11" screen computers
Because I want to be able to throw it inside a small/medium backpack without it being kludgy. 13" is the maximum.
> with giant trackpads
That was actually the reason for why I bought my first Mac. Life changer.
> full aluminum casing
Now anything else feels cheap and brittle. Also, harder to clean.
> around 9 hours battery
Or more! But 9 hours is already enough for intercontinental flights once we take our the time spent sleeping, etc. Less time, however, won't do.
> backlit keyboard
Not necessary because I touch type, but still nice
> which go for less than $ 899
And that's the killer feature, because you can get any of the other features with zero hassle if you don't mind throwing money at it.
Sibling post mentioning the Dell that fulfills all of that is exciting for my pocket! :-)
And utility? If I were to rank operating systems according to my own subjective assessment of utility, Windows would be top. Because I develop on .NET to earn a living.
I would still under no conditions argue that Windows is a better operating system than a unix-based OS.
C# is more useful to me than C++, Erlang or Go but that doesn't mean I think C# is better than these languages. The fork is not worse than the knife overall. It's better for picking things up but it's not very good for cutting.
Can't say I'm going to take the words of somebody using a tech preview OS as their daily driver seriously, either.
I have another computer with Linux Mint KDE if Microsoft does something horrible at the end of tech preview.
And this tech preview os so far was more stable than Maverics, same Maverics upgraded to Yosemite, and fresh install of Yosemite which I still could use as a form of last resort solution if two my other computes go belly up.
If you are windows dev I recommend it even stronger. 10 sec boot and shutdown on almost 4 years old desktop (with SSD though). None of this flashing Start Screen crap.
Fortunately they've left by mistake an option to roll back to previous build. Which I promptly used to restore my wonderful Windows 10. Then I just as promptly I disabled automatic updates.
Maybe in few months from now I'll try latest Windows 10 build in a VM to see if they backpedaled a bit from the insanity they've served in this last build.
Or not having my files deleted if they are somewhere inside the target folder that I'm moving some other folder to.
Or not having to wonder where did my fullscreen app went when I accidentally flicked my fingers on the touchpad.
Or not wondering how to make app not fullscreen if there's no button for that (happened on Maverics upgraded to Yosemite, fresh Yosemite install didn't have this problem).
Or maybe Finder not hanging when I try to shut down the computer.
Or not having my network disk mount and unmount at random or disappearing from some applications while remaining happily visible in Finder.
Basically not getting in the way of what I want.
I'm no fan of putting blame with the audience, but I'm glad not be presenting in his place...
Also, you can see how big an influence was Steve Jobs for the tech world.
But I hope they saved the best for the end.