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Re: [Fsfe-uk] Mac OS X refund

From: Dave Crossland
Subject: Re: [Fsfe-uk] Mac OS X refund
Date: Thu, 17 Jan 2008 12:39:45 +0100

On 17/01/2008, Noah Slater <address@hidden> wrote:
> On Wed, Jan 16, 2008 at 09:55:10PM +0000, Jon Grant wrote:
> > Anyone know if it is possible to get a refund for Apple's Mac OS X..?
> > I'd love to buy one of their "Air" laptops if there is a way to get it
> > pre-loaded with GNU+Linux or a refund... got a USB stick with Kubuntu
> > ready to go.. ;)

You'd make major primetime TV network news if you get them to preload
GNU+Linux or even get a refund :-) You would probably also send their
stock down a few pegs :-)

> My advice is don't bother.

"Openness is not a cargo cult. Some get it, some don't. Apple doesn't."
- http://diveintomark.org/archives/2006/06/02/when-the-bough-breaks

> Apple hardware is:
>  1) VERY expensive,
>  2) not upgradable/tweekable,
>  3) not officially supported by Ubutnu
> The upshot of this is that:

0) It is very thin, 12-24 months before anyone else is selling laptops that thin

>  1) you could get a similar spec laptop for WAY under half the price,

The Air is pretty under-spec'd, and is expensive; Apple is going to
sell millions of these by making them secondary and another value
primary: beautiful product design.

To me, the free software movement is very clear that _freedom_ is a
more important primary value than the others. It always takes longer
to get the other values to a similar level as any proprietary
alternative while keeping our freedom.

>  2) when you want to upgrade or repare you HAVE to use an apple
>     registered repair shop using official apple parts

Laptops are generally more finicky about upgrades though, so I'm not
sure how specific this is to Apple.

>  3) all manner of subtle things will break with Ubuntu because the
>     hardware simple doesnt get as tested as regular i368 machines.

My experience is that most Apple users run Mac OS X and then run
GNU+Linux and Windows virtualised; with paravirtualisation, there is
no noticeable loss of speed, and it makes whole-filesystem backups
convenient and so on. (A G5 isn't powreful enough to do this though)

> To go into further details:
>  6) all kinds of problems with the keyboard/mouse (when I say
>     problems, I really mean differences with what is assumed to be a
>     standard setup by application designers) will cause you to become
>     fluent in the likes of `xmodmap' and `xrdb' just to get your
>     system usable to any standard degree.
>  7) you will be frustrated by little hardware tweeks apple have made
>     to make the thing look nicer while significantly breaking some
>     fundamental function of you computer. An example would be my Mac's
>     lack of a CD eject button.

(For people who've not owned an Apple computer recently:) The CD eject
button is on the keyboard - which is why you can't just plug in a
normal USB keyboard.


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