Monday, April 17, 2006

X vs XP: My personal views

[Whatever that is stated here are my personal viewpoints and opinions and should not be taken as the true and most accurate advice. And I have no offence against Microsoft.]

It's a much heated debate amongst the multitude of operating systems which exist in our computing society to determine the best and most superior. Particularly, there are two major contenders in this very competetive environment: Microsoft's ubiquitous Windows XP platform and Apple's Macintosh OS X 10.4.3 and above.

Ok, some background knowledge here will be required to understand this discussion. Windows XP: need I explain more? The operating system very susceptible to viruses, system instability and over-popularity. Microsoft's next operating system called Vista slated for release around next year claims to be a drastic improvement than XP. In fact, Vista is released to do catching up with OS X. But whatever the case, MICROSOFT HAS GOT TO GET ITS SECURITY LOOPHOLES RIGHT. Yes, security must improve. No matter how much user-interface improvements, added software and better performance, if Microsoft does not fix the problematic security issues, the OS would not be any better than XP! What for throw in all the extra goodies in when the basics are not even established?! The consumers want reliability, security, assurance and trust first followed by anything else!

And it is for this particular reason that an increasing number of Windows users are migrating to other platforms, be it OS X or the very versatile Linux open source OS. I cannot speak and comment on Linux here, because my contextual knowledge is limited. I have never used Linux before, so I cannot say with certainty that it is better than XP or OS X. But I do know that Linux offers many confusing versions of so many weird names that it is hard for the average computer illiterate to completely know them all. But linux offers great opportunities for modification with the wide spectrum of Linux-based software available.

OS X, on the other hand, is based on the Unix platform. Previously, Apple's operating systems were nothing very fantastic, and in fact, almost on the verge of dying. Had it not been for Steve's Job's re-entry into Apple during its dying moments, the Mac wouldn't flourish today. OS X uses Aqua, which is responsible for the unique and futuristic OS X landscape and interface, something akin to Vista's upcoming Aero.

Indeed, I have been raised in an all-Windows environment, where the occasional sight of a Macintosh would be a treat to my eyes. But not anymore. I now use OS X 10.4.6 as my primary operating system. I still have my XP desktop, albeit it being very unstable and going to crash anytime due to some driver or hardware problems. And having used both operating systems, I can now testify that indeed, OS X reigns over XP.

But that is not to say that OS X is flawless. Every OS is not perfect; it will inevitably have problems and troubles. But what companies must do is to REDUCE these problems to the minimum. In that respect, X is better than XP. Each OS has its own set of strengths and weaknesses I must admit, but again the ulimate objective is to maximise these strengths and reduce to the very least these weaknesses. OS X is not void of disadvantages, I can testify. For example, enabling viewing thumbnails on the file icons would be more convenient. Having a 'home' and 'end' button would help in typing too.

Despite all these minor glitches, the amazing and jaw-dropping experience of using a Mac has spurred me on to type this post, and having used the Mac, I do love it now, and I have to tell you that it rocks. Many of us do not even bother about considering to switch OS, because we are so comfortable and used to the WIndows platform that we become oblivious to the better operating systems that do exist. It is our duty to find out more about them, and you will know that XP isn't the best thing you can find around here to run your machine. Even Linux might be a considerable alternative.

We always hear people proclaiming about the Mac and its greatness (like me), but have you ever wondered what is the underlying motivation that drives their campaign? It is because these Mac evangelists have been transformed by the power of OS X, and they cannot wait to share this joy with others! We Mac evangelists are actually emancipating you Windows users from the problems associated with XP. The same applies to me. But do note that this is not to say that Macintoshes should become a religion or something to be worshipped, or something whom one will give his life to wholeheartedly. I would only do that for the Lord.

Anyway, do you ever hear XP fanatics going around heralding that Windows XP rocks?! No! Nobody does that, simply because XP isn't that great when everyone's using it.

And it looks like there's been this long misconception that Apple is brainless and only makes mice with one button. Yes, there are mice with one button, but that is a thing of the past. The latest Mighty Mouse has two buttons integrated into its one-piece outer shell. This may not be so evident to the average Mac ignorant Windows user, but indeed Apple has responded to our insistent pleas for two button mice. Even if there is only one button as in the case of my iBook G4, there IS STILL A RIGHT CLICK FUNCTION. Just that it is more troublesome because you need to 'ctrl' and click to enable right click. To solve this problem, just hook up your USB PC mouse to the USB port of your Mac, and you'll be running with two buttons in no time. They are fully compatible. I have ever tried connecting my Mighty Mouse to my mother's Compaq laptop before and it works seamlessly, even without installing the CD.

So, after such a long post, I hope I've made it clear that XP is not the best solution there is around. So when you're about to purchase your next Dell, HP, Acer or IBM, think twice.

Oh but not to forget...if you are those die-hard hard core computer gamers who cannot live without a dose of Warcraft or DOTA for a single day, then I strongly advise you to stay clear from Macs lest you want to suffer the side effects of not playing computer games. Macs definitely are not your gaming devices...the poeple who use Macs do serious work: like photo editing, video editing, documents, surfing the net and stuff.

All but gaming. And I'm never in favour of that meaningless activity.

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