Tags: mac os x

Gaming on a Macintosh, like the PC only worse, much worse*

*Assuming you can find games that even work on a Mac.

The Macintosh gaming scene received a boost earlier this year when Valve announced they were bringing Steam, along with their Source games like Half-Life 2, Team Fortress 2 and Portal over to Mac OS X.

I was expecting to see Adam (the only person I know with a Macintosh) on Steam a lot more, and maybe even playing games with me. Before he'd have to boot into Windows and so it was quite rare we'd ever have a game together. I was thinking great, now I'll see Adam on all the time and we can play some TF2. I was wrong however, I haven't seen him logged in on Steam once. Maybe he just doesn't feel like playing games he played on the PC 5 or 6 years ago.

Or maybe there's another reason. Anandtech recently did some benchmarks. Let's just say, the results aren't good for the Macintosh.

On a 2010 MacBook Pro, Half-Life Episode 2 runs 54% faster under Windows than on OS X. Now that's a fairly low-end system. Let's be honest, it's a laptop. Laptop = weak graphics.

How about on a high-end system? Something like a computer with 2 x 2.93Ghz Quad-Core (eight cores in total) Nehalem Xeon processors, 6GB of RAM and a GeForce GTX 285.

Windows destroys Mac OS X in benchmarks

Windows gets, quite literally over twice the framerate at some resolutions. Ouch. Maybe this explains why I've not seen Adam joining the Gamercast weekly TF2 matches, maybe it just runs too slow.

That's not all that's bad with the Mac OS X versions. The graphics are foggy and have quite obvious texture banding in some locations. So not only is it drastically slower, but it also looks worse.

If you wanna play games don't get a Macintosh.

Windows 7 surpasses Snow Leopard a month before release

I'm surprised I missed this before. But yes Windows 7, an operating system not even released has already surpassed the latest version of Mac OS.

During September Windows 7 usage accounted for 1.52% of traffic measured by Net Applications, and as of this last weekend it broke 2%.

During the same timeframe 10.6 (Snow Leopard) which was released the previous month, accounted for just 0.77% of traffic.

I'm willing to bet with a few weeks of launch Windows 7 will eclipse the entire Macintosh user base. I'll be very interested in October's figures too to see how close it gets.

Apple can't admit they're scared...

...So Cnet News decided to run an advert for them, written by known Apple fanboy Jim Dalrymple, who enjoys quoting Apple executives exclusively in his articles. This one details how Apple aren't scared of Windows 7, but are actually looking forward to it. Uh huh.

"Users are really growing tired of Windows and the headaches it brings," said Brian Croll, Apple's vice president of Mac OS X worldwide product marketing. "We've seen this with Vista, XP, and the other Windows operating systems going all the way back."

Oh really? There was me thinking an Apple vice president of marketing would say something nice about their own product. Oh wait of course not, this is Apple 90% of their marketing budget is spent bad mouthing the competition.

So has he got anything specific to say, or does he just like making vague subjective statements? No of course not.

Jim goes on to say:

The latest issue will be the amount of work that Windows XP users have to go through to upgrade to Windows 7. The need to erase the hard drive, install Windows 7, re-install applications, and update everything may be too much for some users to handle.

Factual error. You do not need to erase your hard drive to replace Windows XP with Windows 7. Seriously when was the last time you did an install of Windows? 1993? The Windows setup program moves the old Windows, Programs and user data into a folder called Windows.old. It doesn't erase them or even format the drive unless you tell it to. Oh and update everything? Yes because installing updates is so painful post-Vista, again when was the last time this guy used Windows?

If you wanna know about painful patching experience try telling your users about your $30 service packs, which are supposed to fix all the problems in the last release, but actually end up deleting all their data? Oh wait you're in marketing, sorry. Or what about the multi-hundred megabyte patches that are often pushed down, haven't you guys worked out how to just change the parts of a file instead of downloading all new ones yet? I really hope you don't plan on using 1GB mobile broadband with your Macintosh (assuming you can find one that'll work on a Macintosh) you'd use up your whole monthly allowance just keeping the thing patched.

Oh and as for installing applications, well at least if you get Windows 7 you can use your existing applications, if you move to Appleland you not only have to buy new applications, assuming there are equivalent applications for the Macintosh (there's only a tiny percentage of applications compared to Windows), but you still have to install them.

No matter how Apple try and spin it, moving to a Macintosh is more work, and way more expensive.

And at least in Windows land you have the option of using the latest operating system on your 5 year old machine, or even your 8 year old machine as long as its powerful enough. In Appleland if you have a machine that old, it doesn't even work with their new software at all, no matter how powerful it is. They force you to buy a machine because they drop support of old models so quickly. In fact some people who brought a Macintosh just three years ago can't use the latest version of Mac OS. Ouch. Another $2000 down the drain.

Apple is also betting that many XP users who will have to upgrade their computers in order to run Windows 7 will instead choose to check out a Mac. But the cost of the new computer isn't the only thing users have to look forward to; there's also the software price tag.

They're betting that most people don't upgrade and will buy a new computer? Wow talk about making a safe bet, normal computer users don't upgrade the operating system on their computer, they just buy a new one and get a new version with that. Nothing new here folks.

For many consumers, Apple feels it has that covered too, especially with iLife, its suite of applications that includes iPhoto, iMovie, GarageBand, iWeb, and iDVD. iLife is included for free with every Mac.

Amazing stuff there, how about Windows Live Essentials, its free, not free with every (insert specific machine here) just free. That means those people using Windows XP machines from 2001, well its free. You don't need to buy it like equivalent people in the Macintoshland need to do.

And before I get any Apple fanboys saying Windows doesn't have anything like Garageband. I suggest you check out Mixcraft, for those who want really advanced stuff there's always Sony Music Studio too, or for those who want something basic that pretty much does everything automatically there's always Songsmith too.

Yeah we know Apple shareholders and executives are nervous about the next few months, but you don't need to try and spin it so much. And at least Windows doesn't delete your data if you login to the guest account. :-) Ooops.

Major Mac OS X flaw involving data loss

It looks like the new version of Mac OS X has shipped with a rather major flaw.

Users of the new Apple operating system Snow Leopard are experiencing massive data losses when logging into their machines under a guest account.

The problem appears to affect those who had a guest account enabled before upgrading to Snow Leopard.

Users have in some cases lost their entire main profile, including sites, pictures, videos and documents.

[...]

Indications are that the Snow Leopard bug simply treats the principal account like a guest account - meaning that the account profile is wiped clean when logging out.

Users who first log into a guest account and then into their normal account have found it to be completely reset to factory default settings, with none of their personal data or files visible.

I'd advise not letting somebody log into that guest account just yet, and having a backup.

Mac OS 10.6 "Snow Leopard" takes 72 seconds to boot! Bwuahaha!

David Pogue well known Steve Jobs fanboy has wrote a gushing article on the New York Times over Apple's new pay-ware service pack.

He writes:

In any case, Snow Leopard truly is an optimized version of Leopard. It starts up faster (72 seconds on a MacBook Air, versus 100 seconds in Leopard). It opens programs faster (Web browser, 3 seconds; calendar, 5 seconds; iTunes, 7 seconds), and the second time you open the same program, the time is halved.

Nice, let's sum that up.

  • 72 seconds to boot
  • 3 seconds to open a web browser
  • 5 seconds to open a calendar and
  • 7 seconds to open iTunes.

I'll now run similar tests on the slowest computer I have. A Dell Mini 9 which was going for 199 when I got mine, about 7 times cheaper than the MacBook Air the above tests were carried out on, its also running the final version of Windows 7.

  • 37 seconds to boot*
  • 2 seconds to open Internet Explorer
  • 4 seconds to open the Outlook Calendar**
  • 4 seconds to open Windows Media Player***

Re-opening applications a second time typically takes a second, even on this netbook (Outlook excluded as on my setup it has to go and talk to Exchange). On a Windows desktop, often they'll be open before you finish letting go of the mouse.

*As David didn't define exactly what boot is, my figure of 37 seconds isn't just boot time until the login screen is displayed, or the time to show the desktop, this is when I could open the Start Menu.

**This test was carried out using the technical preview of Outlook 2010, which is considerably slower than the release version Outlook 2007, plus being hooked up to Exchange costs about a second.

***The player opened in about 2 seconds and playback would start, this also includes opening the Library and waiting for all albums and artwork to be loaded.

Conclusion:

Mac OS X is still slower than hell, even with the new optimized service pack.

Mac OS X cracked inside of 2 minutes - Vista & Ubuntu stand firm

I can't say I'm honestly surprised judging on how crappy Apple's record is at patching vulnerabilities over the last few years. Windows Vista has consistently out performed all other major operating systems in this regard and Microsoft have spent a considerable sum on improving their development process in regard to security.

So anyway at the PWN to OWN contest held over the last three days crackers have been competing for a $10,000, and $5,000 prize. Their task was to crack a computer, there were three computers all running different operating systems. One running Mac OS X.5 (Leopard), one running Ubuntu 7.10 and one running Windows Vista SP1.

The first day was limited only to attacks over the network. All three machines survived.

The second day, the participants were allowed to open web pages, or e-mails. Mac OS X was compromised inside of two minutes.

Both Ubuntu and Windows Vista survived the day, and now the crackers can request that the judges allow "popular" 3rd party software onto the machines. As of this moment I believe both machines are still standing.

Both Linux and Windows have their fair share of crappy 3rd software, but I think Linux generally has more privilege escalation exploits, so we'll have to see how it goes.

So anyway, the next time some smug Apple fanboy comes up to you and goes on about security, politely remind them that they are full of it. And also consider reporting Apple to advertising regulators over their utterly misleading and down right false adverts.