Discovering Crippled Hardware

Today I found out that you cannot set up a wireless wpa network from the mac mini to anything other than Apple hardware. WPA encryption from a Mac only works with Apple hardware…go figure? What’s up with that? Why would anyone put up with it?

My wants were simple…set up a secure ad-hoc wireless connection from the Mac to share internet with my pda. Lesson number one: Nope, can’t do it…Apple’s built in wireless can be configured as a client or it wants to act as a base…no ad-hoc allowed. Lesson number two: Only 40 bit WEP will work with anything that is not Apple hardware…you can only use a 5 digit password to protect your network….unless you use only apple hardware. Lesson number three: Apple’s help offers no help…only ads for their hardware.

From searching the web–and from trial and error–I learned the only way it works with non-Apple hardware is 40 bit WEP…and you can’t stop it from broadcasting its name…might as well leave it wide open. Useless. Why did they include the wireless card? Only to sell their airport base I guess.
And there are those that believe that it is only bias keeping the Mac out of the business world? I think we are way more likely to see Linspire on the corporate desktop than we are to see OS X.

To learn the above lessons took about 90 minutes…

I just assumed that it would be easy in the Mac. And it would be; If Apple had not purposely crippled their hardware. I was already aware that their software was purposely crippled, the crippling of hardware is new to me.

Now, to me, it seems illogical that Apple would cripple their hardware. Am I mistaken? If you think that I am…show me that I am wrong…just blasting me with denials won’t cut it. I got my info from personal experience and from O’Reilly. If I am wrong, show me. If I am correct, then it cannot be denied that OS X is the Linspire of the BSD world.

And don’t get me wrong, I think Linspire is a fine beginner’s OS. Just accept the way that it works and don’t try to force it to work in any but the most standard of conditions.


Fake Mac v PC comparisons

Mac vs. PC System Shootouts – $3,200 Workstations 08/09/06

The above link claims to be a fair comparison of the new Power Mac and the Dell Precision 690. Why is it that the Mac fanboys are always wanting to make these”comparisons”? The same thing that makes Steve Jobs play dog and pony show with Apple releases, the same thing that makes Mac fanboys so vituperative…Insecurity.

Go peruse the article linked above. Then go to Apple and Dell and price a typical configuration.

For typical I used, dual 3Ghz, 4GB RAM (4 dimm), dual 500GB drives, comparable video cards, 20 inch LCDs, etc…

My pricing came up with the Apple being $5698 and the Dell being $4975.

Don’t trust my numbers? Draw up your own config and go check it out. But draw it up beforehand, don’t try to make the Dell match the Apple default…how about be creative and make the Apple match the Dell default?

Nobody configs a new machine on what one company offers as default.  First you figure your needs, then you go price shop based on those needs.  I wonder how many of these work horses will be bought by fanboys and used only to surf the net?
Did I mention the free shipping with the Dell? Include that and you can up your CPU’s to 3.73 GHz and still break even with the Mac as configured.

The Mac is probably better in many ways…but Apple can not price compete with Dell. Why don’t these people take the sane road? You can probably show the Mac beating the Dell on styling, noise levels, software…

But to claim that Apple can undercut Dell on price is assinine. Just because Poppa Steve made the same assinine comment on stage does not make it less assinine. Get over it, you insecure fucks.

At last…

I got linux running on the mac mini (sort of).

After a mere 30 hours of intensive hacking, the attempted use of many distros…Fedora, opensuse, yellowdog, kubuntu, kubuntu alt, ubuntu alt…I got Ubuntu up and running.  I had to do an IBM tutorial on working with bash, I had to hack away at my xorg.conf file, I had to fret and swear….but ….

Did it.  Wireless and sound work, bluetooth is untested but supposed to work…  The problem is that so far I have been unable to install updates…the box sees them, tells me about them…but won’t install them.  Ugh!
This is the first time that I have ever gotten Ubuntu installed except under VM.  I know people swear by it, but it never supports my hardware…

I left the box dual boot, as I am not that enamored with Ubuntu/gnome.  To me Ubuntu seems a lot like OS X, a sort of lite version of a real OS.  But talk about accomplishment….major strides for john on working with the command line.  Major strides.

My current computing environment goes like this:

My main workstation (a Dell Optiplex) is pure opensuse 10.1.

My Mac test box (ppc Mini) is dual boot with OSX 10.4 and Ubuntu 6.06.

My laptop/tablet is dual boot XP Tablet and Xandros 4.

My HP Media Center is still XP MCE.

In my reckoning that is 3 out of 4!  And it informs me that I will never pay the Windows tax again!

When I started, I thought the Mac would be easy, a subset of hardware…but nope, nothing easy here.  Literally 30 hours of hacking away at config files and following error and log files.  And this from a guy who does not like the command line, who sees it as a throwback to the 80’s.   Linux has come a long way since I first tried it about 7 years ago, but this experience shows how far it still has to go…  I am a Windows power user, I can do pretty much anything I set my mind to in Windows, still this was hard…and only a basic thing.

But I do not mean to bash the Linux community….you guys and gals are the coolest, the slickest…  Thanks to all you developers, I was able to make it happen.  Kudos to you folks!

While I can scream “I did it”.  I was only able to do it because of you.  HURRAY for YOU!!!

Value Added?

I just ordered Xandros desktop deluxe 4. I am waiting for it to arrive so I can replace my vista beta 2 with it. Vista does seem to be a major update to XP, but it is evolutionary not revolutionary. Since I destroyed my XP install, and since Vista is not ready for prime time, I am going to replace my main desktop with Xandros.

What I would really like is something like Xandros for my Mac Mini (ppc). As a Win Power User, I find OSX too limiting. There is no fun in it, no (meaningful) tweaking, OSS requires X Windows to run….making it not worth the bother.

I tried Ubuntu, I tried Fedora Core, I tried Yellow Dog….none of these would support the graphics card in the Mac. Ugh…

Here I have a subset of hardware and still get no support…..

My question is, what is the value added of OS X? How is it better than XP or Xandros? I know that many love OS X, I just don’t know why. Many MacPhiles claim that if you tried OS X then you would understand. I’ve been trying it for a year, I don’t understand. It seems to me that these people are delusional…or stupid. Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt and call them delusional.

Can anyone tell me how OS X is better than Xandros or XP? And please do not compare OS X to Win9x. Most people who love their macs use reasons that have not been true in 10 years to justify why it is better….rubbish. Give me a reason.