Welcome to the Mac club, Zooko. You’re one of the cool kids now.

Last night, I helped Bryce “Zooko” Wilcox-O’Hearn — Python hacker, computer language and security aficionado and all-round sweet guy — purchase a Mac. Like me, he was hoping to get one of the 15″ G4 PowerBooks, and like me, he found out that everyone’s been out of stock for the past few months. He purchased one like mine — a 12″ G4 Powerbook with the RAM maxed out to 640 MB. I walked him through the non-UNIXy stuff over dinner at Mel’s Montreal Deli.

Zooko feels a little odd about Mac OS X, coming from the Debian world. I showed him the Terminal app and said “Here go you, BSD with tcsh as the default shell. Zooko checked for the presence of bash and was pleased to find it there.

“I’d feel safer if I installed Linux on this thing,” he said. “Maybe I can have the best of both worlds by installing Linux, and then running Mac-on-Linux to get at the cool OS X stuff.”

I kept my own counsel, deciding to let him try it out over the next couple of weeks. A lot of the hardcore end up liking using OS X as their desktop UNIX. It’s the pleasant UI, the way the hardware the integrates so well with the software and most of all, the way things just work on the Mac that inspires such loyalty. try it. You’ll like it.

My own personal take, Zooko: buying a PowerBook and putting Linux on it is like winning a gold medal and then having it bronzed.

(Hmmm. Perhaps I’d better don the flame-proof accordion. Really guys, I run Linux too.)

Welcome to the club! Your Steve Jobs idol, to be worshipped several times a day, is in the mail.

(Tyler informs me that there’s a 1GB SODIMM now available, which would put my Mac at the 1.1 GB RAM mark. I checked the price, and it’s 5 times as much as the 512MB SODIMM’s. Really maxing out the RAM would be cool, but I can wait. I need new pants and dress shirts more.)

7 replies on “Welcome to the Mac club, Zooko. You’re one of the cool kids now.”

I just got a new 15″ G4 PowerBook, upgrading from Mac OS 9. I found David Pogue’s “Mac OS X: The Missing Manual” very helpful (and entertaining too) in laying out what’s where and why. Saved me a lot of time getting my bearings.


I tried, Joey, I really did – ran OS X on the G4 450MHz here at the office for almost a month. I grant that the machine is a little underpowered for the task, but it ran well enough. That said, I’m back to my Linux box (Thinkpad Celeron 500). OS X wasn’t awful, but just too many little irritations, esp.

the Dock – what exactly is this huge space-hog supposed to do again? just irritating, but I can ignore it (and I know you can make is very small).

That red button with the X in it? Sometimes it closes the app, sometimes the app just disappears but is still running in the backgroud – I thought it was supposed to be consistent…

Most of all was the lack of ability to customize the UI in any way – it’s Apple’s way or the highway (well, the 3rd party tool way, in some cases).

All that said, I’m certainly not a typical user (unix sysadmin) and I’ve been recommending Macs to people looking for new machines…

There were enough things I liked about it (esp. the level of integration) that I’ll take another look post Panther…


The Steve Jobs Idol link was VERY disappointing, Joey. Here I was hoping for a real shrine, with a Steve Jobs effigy and all, and you give us a resum�? This from the guy who introduced me to SinFest?

you can actually hide the dock and make it reappear when you move the pointer to the bottom of the screen. . .

i think the inconsistency with the red close button is due to programmers not following apple’s programming guidelines (could be wrong here tho’). . . pretty sure clicking the close button is supposed to keep the app running but some apps (e.g. windows media player) got it fucked up and close the app as well. . .

yeah, unless you get a 3rd party tool, customization is a bit lacking. . . personally i’ve never really cared ‘cuz i like having my UI consistent with other macs so that i don’t get all annoyed by little inconsistencies when i’ve gotta use someone else’s computer. . . but that’s just me. . .


Gideon – click here to grab yourself an account – this one’s on me.

Once you’ve got one, you can choose to set a cookie and then you don’t have to try and convince us who you are each time.

I know, small pain –> me working hard to make it unpainful. 😉

>I need new pants and dress shirts more.

You’re just cheap, aren’t you? Priorities Joe, priorites.

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