64-bit Insanity

The world feels extra insane today. 64-bit insane, even. My mice that are supposed to be all knock-outs have suddenly acquired het or wt DNA. No one tried to run me over on my morning commute. I’m even finally feeling better almost a week after El Pato’s.

But the really insane thing is that I actually agree with Fake Steve on something. This actually causes me physical pain, since I think FSJ is rather annoying, not to mention a lunatic. (He was also funnier when it really could have been Steve Jobs.) But he’s right, this guy is a hack.

I mean really… Leopard the new Vista? Them’s fightin’ words, Tex.

Leopard has its own issues, but they’re unique to Leopard, just like Vista’s are unique to Vista.  I happen to think that Vista’s flaws were and are more grievous, but that’s beside the point.  I can’t and shan’t really comment on the Vista side, because 1) I don’t have extensive experience with Vista and 2) I don’t care about it.  The parallels this joker drew between the two are either anecdotal, or based on personal preferences.  So let’s begin.

 1.  Leopard crashes all the time.  Anecdotal.  Even my assertion that Leopard is perfectly stable while my Tiger machine at work has a penchant for turning itself off is anecdotal.  (B would make a similar assertion about Vista’s stability, for what it’s worth.)  For any sort of definitive statement on comparative stability, you need a study.  A properly designed one, that will take into account variables such as any troublesome software, the hardware running the OS, and the manipulations of the user, all done on enough randomly selected users of the OS to give it proper statistical power.  An n of one is meaningless.

2.  Leopard is too shiny.  This is Apple we’re talking about, people.  Complaining about Apple using visual flashiness is like complaining water is wet, or your Shaltanacian joopleberry shrub is a mauvey shade of pinky russet.

3.  Leopard screwed up it’s UI.  First, one can’t reasonably equate cosmetic visual changes to fundamentally changing for the worse the way you access network settings.  You are free to love or loathe the visual changes in Leopard, but complaints about them properly belong to #2, Re: Shiny.  The visual changes do not take away any functionality.  Second, only one actual loss of functionality – ‘Stacks’ – was mentioned at all, even though the inconvenience of Stacks is most comparable to the Vista network settings and would have constituted the best parallel in five whole pages of whiny drivel if he’d bothered to think about it.  Third, if you don’t find QuickLook useful, that’s nice for you, but that’s a matter of personal preference, and it doesn’t take anything away from the UI, so it can hardly be said to screw it up.  Fourth, if anyone is really profoundly upset by rounded menu corners, please comment so that I may mock you more thoroughly.  Dude.

4.   Leopard’s networking doesn’t work.  Again, anecdotal.  I see people say it’s busted, I see people say it isn’t.  Who do I believe?  You can’t really compare the nonfunction until you know the true extent of it, and for that, again, you need a study.

5.  Bundled apps that suck.  Again, this is a matter of personal opinion.  A bundled program of optional use (or in Vista’s case, optional hardware implementation) can’t really be said to screw up the OS.  I happen to like Time Machine a whole bunch even if it doesn’t make a bootable copy, or block level backups, or work over a network.  It’s easy to set up.  It’s easy to restore files from backups.  This is all that matters.  And I don’t care how much fun the developers had playing with Core Animation, either.

On a whole, this comparison between Leopard and Vista seems to be based the premise that 1) the OSes are both broken in similar ways, without demonstrating the actual extent of either’s brokenness, and 2) that there are broad facets of ‘similar’ features in both OSes that the author dislikes and must therefore die.  Neither of these is particularly useful for people with their own opinions, or helpful in pointing out Leopard’s actual problems.  Nor do they support the idea that Leopard is like Vista.  On the first point, this is due to lack of data.  On the second, I maintain that possessing the same feature (say, a GUI) doesn’t make the implementation of that feature de facto similar.

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