My first real dabble in Mac OS X

I’ve been telling myself for a long time that I need to take some time to get comfortable on a Mac. I used a Mac a long time ago. You know, one of those old clam shell Macs..

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.., but that was only for a short amount of time. It was running OS 9 and a bit slow, but it was a neat little computer. It would be cool to get it running again, but I’m sure it’s a bit behind the times these days.

Anyhoo, I’ve noticed that Ubuntu and OS X are a lot alike! Not that Gnome looks remotely similar to the Aqua OS X, but I’ve found that I knew my way around in OS X from all of the time that I’ve spent in Ubuntu from Feisty to Gutsy to Intrepid and now to Jaunty.

If I had to explain the differences between Mac OS X and Ubuntu then I would start by skipping the obvious…there is no dock by default in Ubuntu, however, it is possible to mimic the OS X dock and very easily.

Mac has a certain way of minimizing clutter in windows. I would say that Gnome is pretty good at the same, but not as intuitive with file browser views and scrolling options.

One of the biggest problems with Ubuntu, and Linux in general, is that most applications are not polished. Since most applications used in Linux are open source, the development can be slow (or sometimes fast, but rarely) and User Interfaces are not always almost never polished.

There are a couple of themes for Intrepid, one being Dust, that really improve the aesthetics in Ubuntu. If your interested in installing it, checkout this short list of things that I install each time I setup Ubuntu 8.10. You can copy and paste straight into the terminal to install the community themes then select it as usual. For an Opera skin to match the Dust theme in Ubuntu take a look at the two that I’ve developed (Dust in the names). They are Dusty Chrome and Opera Standard Dust.

One of the things I really love about the Mac OS X User Interface is the way the menus are displayed on the top panel instead of in each individual window. This makes each window get straight to the point of it’s being there and reduces clutter and messy appearances. It greatly simplifies every window and just makes things look that much more polished.

It is possible in Gnome to get the menu Items to appear in this fashion, but it is a great deal of trouble (or it was the last time I tried) and a nasty hack.

The icon sets alone in Mac OS X are worth bragging over. I’ve seen some good looking icons in Linux that some people like and some people don’t like, but for the most part I would say everyone likes the icons in OS X and that to me is hard work towards polishing the interface.

I think it will take me a little longer to get used to Mac OS X so I can be just as productive using a Mac as I can using Windows or Ubuntu, but now I know that I can get around pretty well. I think I’ll stick with my trusty installs of Ubuntu for now, but maybe one day I’ll be a Mac fan as well. 😉

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