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The OS Wars are over

November 7th, 2009

The right-left Culture Wars have sputtered to a halt, and now, one of the longest-running of culture wars, that of Mac vs PC (or rather, Mac OS vs MS-DOS and then Windows) can finally be declared at an end. After this piece by Charlie Brooker, nothing more need ever be written on the subject (hat tip, Nancy Wallace).

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  1. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    November 7th, 2009 at 15:08 | #1

    What’s the government going to do about it?

  2. gerard
    November 7th, 2009 at 15:18 | #2

    hopefully the government will switch to Linux and stop pissing away money into either Microsoft’s rip-off software or Apple’s rip-off hardware

    All of Vietnam’s Government Computers To Use Linux, By Fiat

    now if they could just get MS Office 2007 to work on Wine (or god-forbid a half-decent version of Open Office), then the OS wars really will be over

  3. Alice
    November 7th, 2009 at 15:44 | #3

    @TerjeP (say tay-a)
    Terjeeeeeee……was that really necessary?

  4. November 7th, 2009 at 15:51 | #4

    The only thing worse than a Windows user is an Internet Explorer user. I can forgive people for using Windows, but I can’t forgive people for consistently making such a ridiculous choice in opening IE, rather than Firefox or Chrome.

    That said, I feel vaguely like a Baha’ii evangelist, preaching the gospel of Ubuntu. Open office works fine, Gerard. Besides, real men write in latex, and make presentations in beamer 🙂

  5. Darryl Rosin
    November 7th, 2009 at 16:22 | #5

    “Open office works fine, Gerard. Besides, real men write in latex, and make presentations in beamer ”

    And use an official OpenOffice 18-button mouse



  6. gerard
    November 7th, 2009 at 17:26 | #6

    Open Office is crap, although good enough for the basics I suppose. I use latex and beamer for anything important (although sometimes it’s hard to get pictures to come out right in latex, and googling “latex pictures” brings many unhelpful results). the new PP can make some nice graphics, but it’s mainly Excel I miss, I got it half-working under wine but it often crashes and the add-on features like SOLVER don’t work!

  7. nanks
    November 7th, 2009 at 17:31 | #7

    Darryl Rosin :
    “Open office works fine, Gerard. Besides, real men write in latex, and make presentations in beamer ”
    And use an official OpenOffice 18-button mouse

    is there a left handed one? 🙂

  8. Ikonoclast
    November 7th, 2009 at 19:50 | #8

    What’s private enterprise going to do about it? Oh yeah, that’s right, they’ve already done it! Created 27 different operating systems, 270 applications and 2,700 utilities, which are all inelegant bloatware and won’t talk to each other unless run with 27,000 drivers and associated pieces of middleware.

  9. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    November 7th, 2009 at 20:28 | #9

    Ikonoclast – ban the lot I say.

  10. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    November 7th, 2009 at 20:28 | #10

    Alice :@TerjeP (say tay-a) Terjeeeeeee……was that really necessary?

    Couldn’t help myself. 😉

  11. Sea-bass
    November 7th, 2009 at 22:37 | #11

    What is this Charlie Booker fellow on about? Everybody knows that Macs are for people who lack the mental ability to operate two separate mouse buttons. They are the same people who can’t button up their shirts or tie their shoelaces.

    I bet you’re the type of person who goes into a supermarket and curses the free market for putting 65 different types of pasta on sale. Why can’t the government step in and make the choice easier by nationalising the pasta industry? Who needs penne and fusilli and rigattoni and linguine and fettuccine and tagliatelle, the masses are more than content with simple no.3 spaghetti!

  12. plaasmatron
    November 7th, 2009 at 22:43 | #12

    “real men write in latex”

    I only write in latex at home; it embarrassing and uncomfortable to wear it to work. Am I still a real man?

  13. Alice
    November 8th, 2009 at 00:43 | #13

    @TerjeP (say tay-a)
    I detected your missing alerts Terje…lol!

    I have to agree a bit with Ikono – I heard a story just last week where an elderly man was charged hundreds for a copy key for his car (because the keys have immobilisers in them and you can probably only get a new key from Ford or some such nonsense.) I really have to agree I dont need or want 80% of the features Im sold these days…and I dont want to advance my home entertainment technological knowhow every two years. Im sliding down the learning curve quite happily but the technology isnt keeping up with me.

  14. Donald Oats
    November 8th, 2009 at 06:07 | #14

    Jim, to avoid giving Alice ideas, it is best to use the standard capitalisation for the noun “latex”, ie “LaTeX”, in your statement:

    “Besides, real men write in latex, and make presentations in beamer”

    We know what you mean though, I hope 🙂

  15. Donald Oats
    November 8th, 2009 at 06:19 | #15

    At the risk of igniting OS hostilities, I’ll add a comment. I’ll use any OS if it is the best one for a particular job, or if an application must be written to run on multiple OS. These days I’ll happily accept a cheap laptop with Windoze XXII+ on it and enough diskspace to set up a Linux partion. Or to use the odd Unix tool adapted to Windows console.

    Less seriously though, I am an OS atheist: I have never seen an actual Operating System, although I have heard many unsubstantiated claims of someone else having seen one; therefore I have no good reason to believe that they exist. On the other hand, I’ve plenty of experience with the existence of non-Operating Systems. And that is where I’ve left it.

  16. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    November 8th, 2009 at 09:19 | #16

    Alice – I don’t necessarily read all the articles in a newspaper but they still generally charge me full price. I’ve yet to find a newsagent that will let me have just the comic section of the Herald with a proportional discount for all the other features I don’t want. It’s all or nothing with these newsagent people.

  17. November 8th, 2009 at 09:23 | #17

    Wow, I think the Guardian ran that “story” over a month ago. And exactly what contribution to the story does the Age make? Exactly zero.

    Fairfax have been displaying a fairly significant pro-microsoft bias of late so its probably worth pointing out that Apple are continuing to profit from making systems that people want. Microsoft on the otherhand is desperately slashing costs in an attempt to stave of competition from the open-source community (like Ubuntu). This article is really just a flag flying exercise for Windows 7, god help anyone silly enough to keep paying Microsoft for a promise of better things to come.

  18. November 8th, 2009 at 11:20 | #18


    I’ve had thousands of problems with pictures in LaTeX, though I’ve recently discovered the best way to deal with them. Say I export a graph from gretl (or eviews, if that’s what floats your boat), as an .eps file. Now LaTeX doesn’t like those. So I just use the command “ps2pdf -dEPSCrop filename.eps” (pointed to the folder containing my .eps file, and it creates a .pdf file with the perfect bounding box. LaTeX loves those! If you have trouble with .jpg files (I do), just convert them to .png. Once again, it does the trick. Finally, if you want to use a good vector drawing package for linux, try IPE; it allows you to use LaTeX commands (like maths) in the text within your drawings.


  19. November 8th, 2009 at 11:22 | #19

    There was meant to be a closed bracket somewhere in there…

  20. Donald Oats
    November 8th, 2009 at 12:22 | #20

    Thanks for your comments on LaTeX, Jim. I didn’t know about IPE.

  21. Alice
    November 8th, 2009 at 14:42 | #21

    @Donald Oats
    Don – too late – I already got the idea!! I just wondered if it would cramp people’s writing style…

  22. Alice
    November 8th, 2009 at 14:49 | #22

    @TerjeP (say tay-a)
    LOL Terje…but they have forgotten about the boomers …what good are all those smaller and smaller gadgets when the eyes are going?….hey, the boomers are still at the top of the food chain in the demographic marketing game arent they?? Or have they been chucked out?

  23. Gerard
    November 8th, 2009 at 15:33 | #23

    Thanks Jim I’ll take a look, anything to stop those bloody bounding box errors

  24. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    November 9th, 2009 at 08:15 | #24

    If gadgets are not designed with boomers in mind then maybe it is because boomers are not as important as they think they are.

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