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Apple's Planned Obsolescence
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Kassen
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 6:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

BobTheDog wrote:
v-un-v wrote:

a minus sign? Well I admit Kas, I'm completely baffled- honestly. I don't know about Chuck, because I never use it, but absolutely everything else on the above list is completely and utterly possible on Mac OS X.


I hate to agree with you but I do.


Then you can help Tom explain how I could do these things. It'll be fun and educational. Any time you can start is fine with me.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 6:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

OSX Is very stable for me, I think I have only had one system hang since I started using it over a year ago.

The Kernel while not being really a RTOS will allow you to run at ring 0 on the processor allowing RT type processing.

Cheers

Andy
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 6:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Kassen wrote:
What tends to happen is that I highlight a set of files (I think), try to make sure the finder is the active one (but I don't know where to look)


Make sure the finder is the active one before selecting the files. (You might be selecting the files in another application, then expecting the finder to respond.)

In OSX, the current application is always shown at the top left next to the Apple menu. To my mind, this is even more foolproof than the Windows or Linux/gnome approach. It's always right there in the same place all the time.

Kassen wrote:
then hit [cttrl] (well, "apple") + [x] or [c] and something else will happen... some program will try to open the files (which is annoying if they are large) or something else will go wrong.


Copy and paste (cmd-c and cmd-v) work in the finder as you would expect. Cut (cmd-x) doesn't -- to move files, you do have to use the mouse (which I'm not always crazy about) -- but that keystroke should be disabled. It shouldn't cause other weird stuff to happen. Unless, maybe there's a third party extension on the machine that you were using?

Kassen wrote:
Well, how do you think I feel about it? It's very strange to me but it just keeps happening.


If I may say with tongue firmly in cheek -- One definition of insanity is to keep doing the same things over and over again, expecting the results to change magically... Razz

Kassen wrote:
I also keep double clicking (according to the computer) when I really intended to single-click. With TOS/GEM (which comes from the same XEROX/parc inspiration, OS/2 and Windows I never had any issues with this but OSX has a personal hatred for me.


System Preferences > Keyboard and Mouse > Mouse > Double-click speed

Anyway, I've got more pressing matters to attend to...
James

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 6:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

BobTheDog wrote:
OSX Is very stable for me, I think I have only had one system hang since I started using it over a year ago.


Ok, this can go back&forth like that forever. Let's try to get some actual proof. What steps could I take to actually see a stable Mac? I tried looking at ones that my friends own (they crash) and I went to a large demonstration by Apple themselves where I got to see one crashed in text-mode suggesting it get a reboot before I got to explain to the local expert what words like "Aqua", "Cocoa" and "carbon" mean. Any other suggestions?

Quote:

The Kernel while not being really a RTOS will allow you to run at ring 0 on the processor allowing RT type processing.


And no other kernels are available? Ok, then that's one point you guys said could be done covered, we'll leave the minus sign there. Let's go into the next one; replacing the Finder and doc with something I can understand while retaining the ability to launch OSX native applications from it. How would I do this?

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 7:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

dewdrop_world wrote:

If I may say with tongue firmly in cheek -- One definition of insanity is to keep doing the same things over and over again, expecting the results to change magically... Razz


The same thing occurred to me so I switched to asking other people to do such things for me or if this isn't possible using the terminal. Both work but they hardly give me the feeling I'm dealing with something "intuitive".

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 7:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi Kassen,

Honestly my two apple machines running OSX are very stable.

Really only things running at the kernel level should be able to bring a machine to its knees, this tends to be bad drivers. But any software that installs into the kernel can cause problems as can hardware failures.

The lower level kernel in OSX is based on a microkernel called Mach, Mach was originally developed in 1985 to get around the fact that UNIX and BSD kernels where getting too complex and unstable, this is one of the reasons why OSX is so stable. This is also open source (as are all components os OSX apart from the GUI).

A good read on the OSX kernel can be found at http://events.ccc.de/congress/2007/Fahrplan/attachments/986_inside_the_mac_osx_kernel.pdf

Concerning the finder I must admit I hate the bloody thing as well but have got used to it a bit, here is a link to some comparisons for replacements:

http://www.simplehelp.net/2006/10/08/10-os-x-finder-alternatives-compared-and-reviewed/

Also XWindows runs on OSX so if you have a favorite XWindows file manager you may be able it to work, macports is a good place to start for this kind of thing:

http://www.macports.org/

Cheers

Andy
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

P.S. You can run other kernels, I am running XP, Vista and Red Hat server 64
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 7:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Erm, none of those fix the issue. None of them that I can see have the File/Edit/etc menu as a part of the window instead of all windows sharing one.

I know I can run x11 on a Mac but I was under the impression I couldn't boot straight into it, disabling the default interface then still open OSX native applications. All I've seen was X11 running in a windows under the normal manager. I had to look into the X11 lists on Apple's dev site before I could find that simple bit of info.

If I can't run commercial Mac applications under it I see no advantage to that setup over simply running Linux which will also run X11 applications but which is more stable, has a way smaller footprint and runs on more and cheaper hardware.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 7:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

BobTheDog wrote:
P.S. You can run other kernels, I am running XP, Vista and Red Hat server 64


Those are different OS's that also have a different kernel as a part of them.

I mean like with Ubuntu you can install it with a normal kernel, then change the kernel to a realtime one while keeping all of your programs and settings intact (of course that does require a reboot).

A normal Unix kernel is meant to enable different users (and programs) to share the CPU in a fair way. That's good for some things (like servers and some desktops) but it makes it impossible to get realtime behaviour with hard guarantees about when some execution will be finished like AmigaOS or OS/2 can.."realtime" has a very specific meaning in computer science, it's not at all the same as "lots of priority". I'm really quite sure that if there was a realtime version of the OSX kernel I'd know about it.

XP, BTW, can't guarantee realtime responses either but it's easier (at least for me) to disable everything and make sure there's nothing that could possibly interrupt the CPU. Now do you see why I want to do things like disable most devices and delete their support and all scheduled tasks? For example, I ripped out the possibility of pop-up notices because those can allocate video ram which in turn can overflow into general ram which can clog a bus which isn't acceptable.

This kind of stripping, if it's possible on OSX at all, isn't documented for OSX while for XP there are many excellent pages on it.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 8:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Inventor wrote:
Kassen wrote:
I also keep double clicking (according to the computer) when I really intended to single-click.


After two and a half years, my Apple mouse started double-clicking most of it's clicks. I had to replace the mouse to fix it.

well I'm most impressed that it even lasted you that long! Out of all the Apple products, their mice are the worst. As a strange twist, my mice are either made by Logitech or Microsoft!

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 8:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

As far as real time goes I mostly run my Fireface 800 at 48K with a 32 sample buffersize on my MacPro, this will do me!

As a comparison the same machine running XP requires a 128 buffer, while Vista 64 needs a 1024 buffer.

Also what exact real time OS functionality do you require? OSX does support Soft Realtime, maybe this is good enough for you.

Also you can replace the OSX kernel if you so wish, Mach, BSD and IO kit are open source and can be changed, built and installed. Maybe a project for you?

Andy
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Kassen wrote:
You can claim it's stable all you want but I've never actually seen one run stably for over two hours or so. They drop like flies...


Mine doesn't. I don't reboot often. (Yes, there's the USB mic thing but I leave the mic plugged in most of the time so I almost never have that issue, unless I'm taking the computer somewhere.) Usually I put it to sleep when I'm not using it and wake it up again when it's time to work. I do log out at night and log back in the next morning, which might kill some session-specific processes but I haven't investigated that in depth.

My MBP running 10.4.11 stays up sometimes for weeks on end without needing a reboot. I'm not kidding. I've run SuperCollider for hours without interruption, no glitches.

You may not have seen a mac osx system behaving well, but they do exist. Likewise, I've never seen a black hole but that doesn't make me think they aren't there.

Kassen wrote:
I've literally seen Apple's needing a reboot because a dirty dvd had been inserted and somehow that could bring the entire OS to it's knees. That's not acceptable behaviour.


Correct -- that is definitely not acceptable.

Out of curiosity, what OSX version was it? The bug could have been fixed a long time ago (in which case, no fair blaming current OSX releases for sins of the ancestors).

I've heard of this (years ago, much earlier OSX version) but never saw it for myself (by which I mean, I don't dispute that it occurs [occurred?], and I agree fully that it's a horrible bug -- just pointing out that you can run OSX for long periods of time without encountering this problem).
James

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

BobTheDog wrote:
Honestly my two apple machines running OSX are very stable.


I have problems now and then with all of the GUI on my Macbook Pro locking up (or at least that's the impression I get - I'm usually too lazy to start up my XP machine and log in externally to kill processes), with the multocoloured spinning ball instead of a mouse pointer. I usually hold down the power button to shut down and restart in these cases. Generally, I wish they had modularized the GUI some more, so that even if some windows or apps lock up and stop responding to user input, the whole desktop doesn't lock up. Or at least some hard bailout thing like Stop-A on a Sun SPARC that would enable me to log out and start over. So while I feel that the OS deep down is running OK, the desktop/window handler gets in the way. Maybe you can fix these situations, I just don't know about it?

I feel that there is a slightly better degree of being able to save similar situations on a Windows can (explorer dies or something, but you can still do a ctrl-alt-delete), but not always. That feature in some Linuxes where you can get 5 (or something) low level command prompts via some command key and f1 to f5 (or some such, it was some time ago I did this) is great for releasing these kind of graphics lockups.

Besides this I like my Mac better than my other computers for non-gaming stuff. But it is a big nuisance.

/Stefan

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

If one app fails the desktop should not lock up.

The spinning ball is application based and shows that the event queue for that app is not being processed quickly enough.

If you are seeing this system wide it may be being caused by a virtual memory problem. Do you have you disks set to sleep at all?

Cheers

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

BobTheDog wrote:
As far as real time goes I mostly run my Fireface 800 at 48K with a 32 sample buffersize on my MacPro, this will do me!


Yeah, that's good.

The big question is not how low you can get though but how low you can get and be sure it's not interrupted.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

dewdrop_world wrote:

You may not have seen a mac osx system behaving well, but they do exist. Likewise, I've never seen a black hole but that doesn't make me think they aren't there.


Yes, that's true, but there is very little information available on how to get a Mac in that state, compared to Windows.


Quote:
Out of curiosity, what OSX version was it? The bug could have been fixed a long time ago (in which case, no fair blaming current OSX releases for sins of the ancestors).


I saw this happen roughly two months ago at a screening of short animation movies in a squatted (I think) gallery. The install didn't strike me as ancient but I'll be the first to admit I'm no expert.

I didn't ask, I was already repressing the urge to explain that if a DVD has hickups the last thing you should do is rub it against your jeans... (the movies were great).

Generally I feel a application on a modern OS should never be able to bring the whole thing down. On other occasions where I saw that happen to OSX I think one factor was a lack of swap space so that's not as bad to me.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Antimon wrote:

I have problems now and then with all of the GUI on my Macbook Pro locking up (or at least that's the impression I get - I'm usually too lazy to start up my XP machine and log in externally to kill processes),<snip>


That's one thing I miss on OSX (or where I don't know where it is); the ability to kick out all of the graphical shell and start over.

On XP you have the task manager which is insanely low level (lower then explorer, for example) and which can kill basically anything and has a huge priority. On Linux you have CTRL + ALT + backspace which will nearly always let you recover but I noticed that sometimes you can crash just one of the desktops, switch to another one, kill stuff from there and go back. That's good modular design, I think.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

apple/command + ctrl + escape. Very Happy

(alternatively- right click application icon in the dock/ choose force quit).

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

It depends a bit on how you understand a modern windowing environment.

On the mac, the GUI is related to the Finder application and this application can be shut down or restarted or whatever. However, each application will also use the OS supplied windowing, and this means that if you have app A1 up, you may shut down/restart Finder but app A1 will still have its windows intact.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Kassen wrote:
example of roughly what OSX should look like by the time we're done. Notice the distinct lack of ugly and confusing elements.


Shocked

Laughing Laughing Laughing

Man! Ubuntu is UGLY!!! Laughing

err- weird cryptic boxes filled with icons an no text below.....does not compute....zzzt....crackle...spurttt..... Laughing

I'm sorry. I'm just amazed that you find that the opposite of what I find it! Laughing

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I used to get the spinny beach ball all the time, sometimes necessitating a hard reboot. The problem turned out to be not enough memory. Back when I bought this Mac, the minimum system configuration was 256 MB, which is an amazingly low amount of memory for a modern operating system to live within, so my hat's off to OSX efficiency. I added another 512 MB, which was a sweetly easy install procedure and well documented too. The spinny beach ball no longer threatens to appear on my screen - or not that often anyway. A fully loaded ChucK program can slow it down to the point that the spinny beach ball appears once again. But that's generally with iTunes and Firefox running at the same time. So I just scale down my ChucK programs and things are fine.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Kassen wrote:
BobTheDog wrote:
As far as real time goes I mostly run my Fireface 800 at 48K with a 32 sample buffersize on my MacPro, this will do me!


Yeah, that's good.

The big question is not how low you can get though but how low you can get and be sure it's not interrupted.


It's not interrupted, I get no audio dropouts.

The only reason I usually use a larger buffer size is that some plugins need a higher buffer size to work correctly and even then a buffer of 64 works fine, also large Logic projects (>200% cpu) need a buffer size of 64. Most my projects are not that complex though!

This is the main reason I like the MacPro/OSX, the core audio and drivers offer very good performance for audio work with no need to arse around removing parts of the operating system in order to get good performance.

Cheers

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Inventor wrote:
I used to get the spinny beach ball all the time, sometimes necessitating a hard reboot. The problem turned out to be not enough memory.


Ah yes I forgot that one! Laughing

I've max'ed out to 3 gigs and I rarely get spinning balls (If I do it's from not-so-good software). Rosie had this problem too on her iMac- but she also threw in as much ram as possible. Everything really flies now. I suppose yes- gone are the days when the the OS only needed 256mb to run. But also remember the price of memory. Memory for Akai samplers used to be a horrendous price for just for a few mb's, and that was only 10 years back. Now 3 gigs cost me just £30!

edit; fwiw, all the beachball is, is an indication that the machine is computing. Many times when I think that something has failed, leaving it a while and the problem sorts itself out, but sometimes not. But again it's usually the bad ports from windows (or ever worse- linux I'm afraid) that I get that problem.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

v-un-v wrote:

Man! Ubuntu is UGLY!!! Laughing


Erm, those aren't default Ubuntu settings, I changed them because the defaults were too Mac-like. All rounded corners and weird colours and moving windows and stuff, looked a bit like a circus.


Quote:
err- weird cryptic boxes filled with icons an no text below.....does not compute....zzzt....crackle...spurttt..... Laughing


Those system monitors? Why do those need a text? You could have a text with them as well, if you'd like, I just elected not to. I'm not particularly attached to those, I just have them up ATM to see where bottle necks are. If you like there are skins and applets to make Ubuntu look nearly exactly like OSX, with a animated dock and so on.

Quote:
I'm sorry. I'm just amazed that you find that the opposite of what I find it! Laughing


Well, I didn't "find" this, I configured it. There are plenty of examples online of the default settings. I just like B&W colour schemes with square corners (in fact I'm a bit annoyed that there are shades of grey in Firefox I can't seem to get out of it). It's not that I find that "beautiful" but it's non-ugly and nicely non-distracting. I also turned off all "visual effects" I find those very distracting. It's not a example for you to like, it a example of how I like to configure my graphical shell. My Windows install looks basically just like it. The question is whether one could get OSX to behave like that.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Kassen wrote:
The question is whether one could get OSX to behave like that.


Indeed Very Happy

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