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Operating Systems Thread
Vista is Microsoft force feeding us shit.
Linux - for jobless geeks only.
Macs might get you laid, but you'll have to pay and pay.

XP has a colour scheme for autistics, but is destined to live forever....
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I am a big fan of OS X.

As soon as they finish letting the HackBook people write drivers for everything that's not standard apple hardware I'll switch to the universal release (it'll happen, trust). 
Re: #25 
I agree except replace "nice aesthetics" with "clean, non-offensive, functional aesthetics" and I think OSX and XP's "windows classic" skin both provide this. OSX is probably a little more "nice" but in both cases, you can get used to the visual appearance and it doesn't get in your way with attempts to be flashy. 
Well Yeah 
Functionality is first consideration.

One thing I have a semi-irrational dislike of is when buttons have a circular image but sqaure contact area - why fucking bother?

Form should always follow function. <rant> 
Yes, and form following function is exactly what OSX does IMO. It does many nice looking effects but none of them get in the way of using the OS. The OS responds as if those effects weren't there. 
Oh Yes 
window wobbling streching fucktarding does so follow function. As do coloured balls. Oh, and reflections. Didn't some mac app practically DEFINE those? Ah, and slideshows that use all the mac mambo jambo 3d rotating cube effects, i love how the Mac designers hit the form follows function concept spot on with those. :P 
None of those things interfere with the function they are supporting. I'm not sure what the "mac mambo jambo 3D rotating cube effects" are but the rest of them are innocuous.

By "window wobbling streching fucktarding" I assuming you mean the genie effect when you minimize and restore windows. Non issue.

By "coloured balls" you either mean the buttons on the top left of the window or the busy cursor. Non issue.

"Reflections" is pretty clear as to the meaning but ... how is that a problem and how does it interfere with the function? The dock has reflections on it. It looks good and doesn't get in the way at all.

Is this just irrational Mac hating or do you have an actual issue here? 
I think he was disputing the form following from function rather than being merely (possibly ott) fx for the sake of fx.

tbh I go with It looks good and doesn't get in the way at all

And there are so many entirely rational reasons to hate on Macs that I fail to see the need for irrational hating... 
to be honest, the colored ball thing is legit -- the fact that the icons aren't visible all the time can't have any functional purpose, they hid it just to look more sleek at the cost of reinforcing user expectations.

Now, i do think it's pretty nice the way unsaved documents have a modified "close" icon, though. Better than the silly windows "put an asterisk after the document name in the title bar" hack. 
"to be honest, the colored ball thing is legit -- the fact that the icons aren't visible all the time can't have any functional purpose, they hid it just to look more sleek at the cost of reinforcing user expectations. "

How do you mean? The only thing I can see is when a window loses focus, the 3 balls turn grey. I've never seen them disappear entirely. 
Oh Apple Users And Their Coloured Balls... 
Do The Balls Touch? 
GUI Comparison 
Out of interest, I thought I'd do a quick comparison of Windows 7 Aero against classic mode. I think all I really proved is that Internet Explorer looks absolutely shocking.

Windows 7 Aero

Windows 7 Classic

XP Classic (ish) 
Windows Aero? 
Do you mean the translucent frams that the windows are in?

Whats wrong with that? Looks good, works fine on my missuses Atom processor, whats the problem with that? 
frams = frames 
Aero Is The Theme In General 
includes transparancy etc. I think it's a bit visually noisy and generally gash personally. Does seem more refined and clean than in Vista though, for what that's worth.

Transparancy isn't always bad though, I've seen it looking sexy in KDE, e.g. 
Does Windows 7 force that giant taskbar on you?

Part of the reason I rate OS X is the effecient use of screenspace. 10% of my screen as a bar is hardly maximal usage... 
Lol Starbuck 
my only problem with the 'coloured balls' on the mac ui is that there isn't a maximize button. at all.
i mean... why? i have to manually drag a frame into the top left corner, then drag the botton right corner all the way to the edge.

with Spaces, it makes working with maximized frames completely viable, but there's no way to actually maximize anything quickly.

besides that, my only other gripe is with the fucked up mouse acceleration that requires me to get 3rd party software to make the mouse useable. i don't really know what the big deal that everyone is making about the graphical effects. you can turn off most (or all?) of them if you want and they don't cause crashing or visual anomalies. the integration of the effects is done well. 
the balls stay visible, and keep their color, but the icons inside them ( x - + ) are only visible when you mouseover them. 
Metl & Nonentity Thanks 
for explaining this ;-) 
I can see how this is not "form-follows-function", but isn't that splitting hairs? It's not a big deal or usability disaster, in my opinion. There are far worse things than that, like for example the mouse accel curve that necros mentioned (although I believe they changed it in Leopard).

I for one prefer Mac OS over Windows because there are a lot of small things that make my life easier and allow me to work more productively. The two systems are pretty similar anyway, since they both use similar metaphors, but to me, working with the Mac OS feels more natural and simply quicker than working with Windows. Two examples of very useful features in the Mac OS are Spotlight (search function) and Expose (application switching).

Btw, I hear the no-maximize-button complaint frequently from Windows users and switchers, but personally I never missed that function. I hardly use maximized windows, and those programs that I feel make sense to have maximized windows do actually use the entire screen when you press that button (XCode and the Eclipse IDE for example). 
sleepy: i didn't bring it up, but it is something that i've noticed, so i was just clarifying the point someone else made. I don't consider it a big problem.

For me the main complaint with osx is that everything seems designed for a desktop full of overlapping, non-maximized windows, and it's not easy to do my preferred organization, which is every window maximized and alt-tab between them. First, apps like photoshop don't have a container window for documents on mac, so you either hide all other apps or you have a visual clutter of background apps. Second, the inability to easily maximize windows in some apps. Third, alt-tab (apple-tab in mac) only selects apps, not windows, and the dock likewise doesn't show multiple windows in the way that the windows taskbar does. (this is why tabbed browsing is actually pretty awesome; it's less of a big deal in windows.) Fourth, the fact that the menu bar is not attached to windows is especially problematic on dual monitors, if you have the app window on the second monitor, but still have to go to the other monitor to use the menus.

I'm not a mac hater, there are a lot of little things that mac gets right and windows fucks up. For example, mousewheel functionality should always affect the window/control that is directly under the mouse cursor, not the one that currently has focus, that's the whole point of having it physically on the mouse. Mac does this right, windows doesn't (though windows firefox seems to hack it to work correctly.) Also, filename editing in save dialogs defaults to not selecting the file extension, which is nice. The little dot in the close button when a file has unsaved changes. The F11 "show desktop" feature is toggleable, unlike in windows where it's an irreversible "minimize all" feature. The F9 windows selector is nice, and actually does a lot to help find document windows considering the problems i mentioned above. I use it instead of apple-tab most of the time because of this. The only issue with it is it relies on each window having a distincive appearance even when shrunk down, which is not always true (some apps are just white boxes with faint text and light grey toolbars, not very recognizable. Adding a watermark of the app icon might help with this.) The security approach where you have to enter a password to install software or change certain control panel settings is nice, it seems like a good balance of security and user ease-of-use.

Other things to complain about on macs? I am always dissatisfied with the "finder" window. Windows explorer makes it much easier to keep track of multiple locations in the file hierarchy, and move files between cousins rather than just ancestors and descendants. The mouse thing has been covered, there are paid apps available to tinker with acceleration to the point where it's not a big problem, though it sucks that I haven't found a free one. Also, you can't customize the dock very much. For example, it seems you can't put a shortcut to a file or folder on there. Hmm, the fact that modal dialogs appear attached to the parent window's title bar is kind of nice, but I have seen this backfire when the modal dialog is too big to see something important on the document itself, and even when the modal dialog is too long to see the bottom of it. And, there's no easy way to lock your workstation, other than turning on screensaver or putting it to sleep. Oh, and open/save dialogs disable most of the features of a folder view, so you can't delete or rename documents from inside those dialogs. It's too bad because that's a pretty convenient way to do some clean-up work in windows without actually re-navigating to the same folder in explorer.

So there's my quasi-rant on OSX. I think it's still got fewer things wrong with it than windows, but both OSes have problems and I wish they would just make some uber-OS that did everthing right. 
I agree with some of your points, esp. menu bar + multiple monitors, the finder (although I think that the column view is a great feature), sheets (modal dialogs attached to the window (it has some advantages though; you always see which window the dialog belongs to and it's much more clear why an application is currently blocked than with floating dialogs), locking (this is really idiotic).

Other things you mention don't bother me so much because I have a different workflow than you have.

Btw, you can get Windows-like Alt-Tab behaviour using witch: 
those things i mentioned might not be big usability hurdles, but it shows that the mac designers aren't what every other mac fan thinks they are.

It's interesting how different user experiences seem to be:

On my (slow) linux laptop, i seldom use anything besides emacs/console/opera, so all the mac features would be lost on me. tab switching with 1/2 in opera and alt + number in a terminal is essential though. Also, i really like my mouse enabling the window it moves over without bringing it to front, very handy with a small resolution. All visual effects disabled.

On my main rig (windows), i also use maximised apps like ps, gtkr, modeling. For navigating the fs i use the norton commander style total commander, as the shell/terminal in windows sucks so much (and totalcmd really has loads of useful features). I can't stand using explorer, it feels so goddamn slow compared to shell/totalcmd ;). I seldom use the startmenu, mostly it's the quickstart and another quickstart toolbar in totalcmd. My task bar is on the left of the left screen as small as it gets, so it only displays icons. Mouse wheel not scrolling window it's over is annoying. Windows classic skin, most visual effects disabled besides cursor shadow.

I've always been a very alt-tab based user. 
technically the windows "show desktop" feature is togglable. I was using windows-M, which is literally "minimize all" and not reversible, but windows-D does toggle the way you want, like mac's F11. 
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