Friday, August 03, 2007

KDE 4.0 Beta Released...

You've seen the commercials:

Tragically Hip Emergent-type Dude: Hi, I'm a Mac.

Über-geek in a suit: And I'm a PC.

Emergent Mac Dude: Hey, PC, did you know that I'm way cooler-er than you and nobody likes you because you're a dweeb?


Now, I say that all tongue-in-cheek. I readily admit that the Mac platform is, and always has been, inherently superior. The kernel of the OS is UNIX; can't go wrong there. The software "just works." It's very stable. And the canard that "there's just more out there for the PC" is exactly that. Especially with the new Intel-based Macs which can run the Evil Empire's OS and software better than Wintel boxes can.

Macs are better than PCs.

If I didn't have to take out a second mortgage on my small yet tiny house to buy one, I would.

But since I can't, I can get the next best thing (which many would argue is actually the actual best thing, since it's open source - I am sympathetic to that argument). Linux is a UNIX-like OS which is also über-stable, and has the advantage of having an entire cornucopia of options for windowing managers, desktop environments, and far broader hardware support (which can also be its Achilles' Heel, given the closed-system approach of Macs, which contribute greatly to the systems' stability, but I partially digress).

The Linux distro that I use is Mandriva... but I'm likely going to be making the leap to Ubuntu shortly.

Very shortly.

In the mean time, my Bloglines feed notified me that Slashdot has announced that the KDE Group has released a beta version of their K Desktop Environment - which is my favorite (I'm no huge fan of GNOME). In many ways, I like KDE better than the MacOS interface - way better.

So, this is hugely good news for me.

It's like CHRISTmas... in August...


Craigar said...

Ah, my favorite area of contention, which I've had for years with my own pastor, I'm now able to add my favorite blog pastor.
"If I didn't have to take out a second mortgage on my small yet tiny house to buy one, I would."

This is the biggest myth of the PC versus Mac (add Linux) wars.
Let me tell you my 7 years and running story. I purchase a new Mac every 6 months (sometimes more often). I always buy a Brand New second generation machine just as a new one is announced, usually for about $300 less than it sold just a month earlier. I sell my now 3rd generation machine on ebay, usually for about $150 less than the one I just bought. End result: for 6 months of use I spend about $250 (including ebay and PayPal fees). Two times I've sold my computer for more than I paid for it! All this means is I have basically the latest (almost) machine all the time for about $41.00 a month. Try that with any PC or Linux, the resale value will prove it's impossible with any other machine. Can you spend $500.00 a year (and only $500) and have the most secure and most reliable computer available year after year? I don't think so. But I'd love to be proven wrong. Yes you can spend less to begin with (that argument is almost mute these days), but in the long run there is no better economic decision you can make than to go with a Mac.

Don't keep it too long though, because the resale value will drop too much after 2 generations of machines. The key is selling the 3rd generation machine before most people are aware of the latest version.

For clarity, I now have a MacBook Pro 15". My current version is the 2.16Ghz Core 2 Duo with 2GB Ram.
Here's a link to my last ebay sale where I sold the machine for more than I paid for it:

mike macon said...

Oh, I agree; I've long said before, the TCO of a Mac, over time, is way lower than a comparable PC. Among other things, "old" Macs remain technologically viable a lot longer than comparably-featured PCs. I know people that still chug away with older PowerPC Macs & the like, and are perfectly fine with that.

The big hurdle for me is the initial buy-in. To get a Mac that will do what I want/need it to do (among other things, given that I've invested a truckload of money over the years building up my Logos library, and Logos for Mac isn't out yet - plus, for tentmaking I need to be able to run progs like Autodesk Inventor and LICOM systems AlphaCAM - both of which are Windows progs) I'm looking at $4k-plus - when I can get a comparable (though vastly less stable and indescribably less cool) PC.

Now, to be fair, I can't run any of my needed progs in Linux yet, either; WINE's just not "there" - and I haven't tested any of the VWMs that are available for Linux, either. So I'm stuck with a Wintel box - and even on a Mac, I'd need to run either Boot Camp (::snoring::) or Parallels (much, much more cooler-er) and XP ('cause Inventor doesn't do Vista yet).

For me, I spend about $500/year on my PC systems to keep relatively up with the Joneses and the ever-increasing system resource demands of the software I use.

In conclusion, I can't argue your point; my only caveat is that initial buy-in cost. Even if I got a 2nd-generation Mac, with what I need it to have, I'm looking at $2.5k-3k as a baseline.


mike macon said...

The point with the whole "running Boot Camp or Parallels" thing is that with Boot Camp, I'd still need to purchase a license of XP-Pro... with Parallels, I'd need to purchase Parellels (which I believe is in teh $70-$80 range) and a license of XP-Pro... so add around $300-$400 to the $4k baseline for the hardware I'd need and... and... and...

It's the initial buy-in that would beggar me.

And since we're currently in the process of trying to adopt a little boy who's about to be born here at the end of the month, and it turns out it's awfully expensive to do so... I'm not getting a Mac any time soon.

...more's the pity, too.