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Buying a Mac First ,Then Deciding to ‘Leave’ GNU/Linux (on the Mac)

Posted in Apple, FUD, GNU/Linux, KDE at 6:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Update: as pointed out in the discussion in the comments, there were some misunderstandings and corrections/clarifications have been made since the original post was published.

Macbook owner is ‘leaving’ GNU/Linux, but did he ever come to GNU/Linux?


Summary: A protest against GNU/Linux comes from an unexpected place — someone who already bought an Apple Mac and then decided to try GNU/Linux on it

INCREASINGLY, Apple becomes a problem which directly harms software freedom. “[A]pple is attacking Linux AGAIN,” said to us someone this afternoon, “and, they’re using kdeplanet again… there’s only rhetoric and guy is deleting non apple friendly comments… there’s pure FUD…”

“To suggest that KDE is hard to use because of versatility is not correct based on these experiences. It’s more of a stigma.”Interestingly enough, the page appears to have just been deleted (it worked earlier and the front page still has the content). Could backlash have caused it? It starts by saying “I originally bought a Macbook to use as a nice Linux laptop and for some iPhone and Qt OSX development.” The funny thing is that this person bought an overpriced Mac and then said he was “Moving to OSX” (which is what’s already installed on the computer to begin with).

Earlier this week I spent hours installing PCLinuxOS (with KDE 4.4) for some other people and they found it very simply to use, even as former XP users with no GNU/Linux experience at all. No guidance was needed. To suggest that KDE is hard to use because of versatility is not correct based on these experiences. It’s more of a stigma.

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  1. Mike McQuaid said,

    September 24, 2010 at 2:23 am


    Don’t worry, the page is up again. I upgraded my blog’s caching plugin and this broke that page for some reason.

    I have no financial connection with Apple other than that I buy their products. I was on Planet KDE because I’m a KDE developer and KDE doesn’t just run on Linux any more, I contributed previously mostly to KDEPIM and now contribute to KDE on Mac. I only delete rude and openly abusive comments. I tried to email the person who contacted you to explain this and answer his questions but he didn’t reply as I think he was using a fake email address.

    I didn’t mention KDE once in the post. I didn’t mention the distro because I’ve found the same problem recur across every one I’ve used (Fedora, Gentoo, Debian, Ubuntu, Kubuntu, OpenSUSE, Arch Linux).

    I bought a Mac as I’m primarily a Qt developer and I wanted to have a platform to test Qt versions of software on OSX. I bought a Mac as the hardware is nice and a friend who is a full-time kernel hacker has one and highly recommended the hardware.

    I’m not saying Linux isn’t easy to use for some people, it’s just for my use case I’ve found OSX makes me significantly more productive and causes me to write far more open-source code than I did before. Go look at my Ohloh page to examine my open-source credibility and my continued contributions. You might also notice I’ve contributed to KDE and the Linux kernel so I think this can help show I’m not completely ignorant of them.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Thanks, Mike. I hope you will consider trying another distro some time in the future. It would be helpful for developer autonomy, too.

    Mike McQuaid Reply:

    I still have Linux installed in a VM and use it for work fairly regularly. Most of my coworkers and fellow open-source developers use Linux so when the various issues that I care about seem to be fixed, I’ll try it out again. As the post says, I still run Linux on various systems, just not my primary machine.

    I understand that this site cares more about the free software aspect than I do so on that we’ll just agree to disagree here. Have a good day!

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    This post expressed concern after someone told us that a defection post passed through the Planet, not exactly making it obvious from the title that it was a Macbook reverting back to Mac OS X.

    Mike McQuaid Reply:

    Yeh, I understand that, fair enough. The post could have been written clearer.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    If you offer amendments, I can ensure it suits your side better. It was intended to rebut rather than belittle. GNU/Linux and edge cases never stand in the way of people whom I put on KDE (advanced options are hidden in distant menus).

    Mike McQuaid Reply:

    I’ve made a few updates and fixed the cache plugin. The page should be back up and have some amendments to clarify the main critiques.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Thanks, that helps clarify.

    You write:

    UPDATE: I didn’t mention the distribution I’ve used because the above applied to every one I had used at the stage I left. Even on well supported Dell hardware (Latitude D620) I never had 100% reliable suspend on Fedora, Debian, Kubuntu, OpenSUSE, Arch Linux or Gentoo. I bought the laptop for Linux as a friend had a Macbook; it was really well supported and worked great and he’s a kernel hacker so I thought it was a good bet. Turns out the newer version I bought had the above mentioned kernel bugs causing only one core to be usable (ACPI bug).

    Remember that Apple hardware works ‘hand in glove’ with OS X by design, so the comparison is not exactly fair. System 76 and ZaReason can offer you the comparable experience you are after.


    Mike McQuaid Reply:

    I do realise it’s not a fair comparison really, if I was judging only the OS (which, admittedly, the title does suggest that comparison) rather than the whole experience. Fair points though and I’d consider buying a Linux-only netbook for that reason.

    My Linux based Android phone, NAS, webserver and TV all work great for exactly that reason: the hardware and software were designed hand-in-hand.

    Apologies for being a bit cheeky but would you be so kind as to slightly update your post with the new information in mind? Thanks :)

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I would be.

    Mike McQuaid Reply:

    Thanks for the update.

    twitter Reply:

    Your problem is ACPI a system that is defective by design. Thanks for sharing your troubles, I will continue to avoid buying a Mac and stick to used Thinkpads and other computers known to work with gnu/linux.

    I see that your page has been visited by a lot of trolls that dumped on kde and free software applications. They follow the posts here and do that to people.

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