Mac iBook and Networking with Vista

by Terry 5/25/2008 11:08:00 AM

Michael and Conny have two laptops, an older iBook with OS X and a new Toshiba laptop with Vista. Some time back I gave them my spare Linksys router for network and Wi-Fi access. They were never able to get the Mac to use the network properly, so I played with the Mac until it relented and connected to the network.

I am not a big Mac user, but I do like OS X. As Jerry Pournelle has written before, a task on a Mac is either easy or impossible. I did not take detailed notes, as I did not plan on doing any computer work at all while I was there, so I did not record dialogs and steps taken to get the successful results. However I did note two things that flat out irritated me about the Mac.

Configuring the network settings in one chain of dialogs gave me no way to cancel the operation. I eventually found the Force-Quit menu option, but this was anything but obvious to me. I will chock that up to being primarily a Windows user. I am sure what I was trying to do was obvious to any experienced Mac user.

I used the Mac Finder, with Help, to successfully connect to the Vista laptop on the network; having already configured a share on the laptop for the Mac to see. What was irritating was how the Mac behaved after I shutdown the Vista laptop. The Mac really did not like not finding the configured share. After several long delays to attempt to connect the Mac would repeatedly display a dialog that it could not connect to the share and I should consider disconnecting the share from Finder or I will be most unhappy, thank you. This is Michael’s laptop, and he is definitely not a power-user. It will take some training for him to reconnect the share when he needs it and leaving the connection defined will cause more headaches. This is not an optimum condition for a typical scenario. One day I will have a Mac and if this condition still exists, it will drive me to a minor fury.

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Attack of the Mac Clones

by Terry 4/15/2008 4:42:00 PM

Defiant Psystar back selling Leopard computers
As you might recall, Psystar's Web site was overwhelmed Monday after it was found to be selling cheap computers with Mac OS X Leopard preinstalled. This caused quite the commotion, as Apple does not license its operating system to other hardware makers, and specifically prohibits (PDF) end users from installing Mac OS X on anything other than an "Apple labeled" computer.

Time is always a crunch, I wish I had more time to research this. Psystar is, in fact, making headlines selling full-on Mac clones. This is interesting. It reminds me of the Franklin clones from the 1980’s. I wonder how this will turn out. I am inclined to say that Apple may be more in the right. Apple has no obligation to sell their software for use on anyone’s hardware but their own. Some pundits are claiming that breach of contract of the End User License Agreement is the weekest of legal bindings. I do not claim to know law in any way. I would still bet that Apple's money is a pretty big stick non-the-less.

The legal issue is more interesting than the clone-machine sales. If I already own OS X, and my Apple hardware burned in a freak accident, is it truly illegal for me to reconstruct new hardware from third-party vendors to install the operating system on?

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About Terry Losansky

Terry Dee Losansky

I am a software architect, actively practice and teach martial arts and live in Snoqualmie, Washington. I have an amazing daughter who is the jewel of my life.

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