Good bye

Michael A. Peters mpeters at
Sun Feb 3 04:30:25 UTC 2008

Les Mikesell wrote:
> Michael A. Peters wrote:
>>> As an OS, I'd pick OS X as the best mix of unix compatibility, user 
>>> friendliness, and supplying everything you need, including patented 
>>> technology and vendor written drivers.
>> Have fun with OS X when the only machine that has any expansion slots 
>> is their considerably overpriced pro tower. And when you buy that 
>> considerably overpriced pro tower, have fun putting your existing PCI 
>> cards into it.
>> Whoops! Just like they jacked users when they dropped scsi and serial 
>> ports, now they've jacked users by dropping normal pci slots.
> Can't think of anything offhand that I wouldn't prefer to connect via 
> firewire, USB, or network (with the associated portability and 
> OS-independence of the devices).

Connecting devices via firewire that could be installed inside the 
machine isn't very elegant and adds to the rats nest that starts to 
accumulate around your PC. It also adds to the complexity of moving your 
PC, and adds additional points of failure (FireWire cables can and do go 

>> Also have fun with your third party sound cards when the OS updates - 
>> due to their closed source nature, sometimes you have to wait months 
>> before the vendor updates their drivers - even for the expensive high 
>> end sound cards, like m-audio.
> What forces you to update the OS before the drivers you need are 
> available?  And why bring up closed source here?  Is there an open 
> source driver for your card at all?

I bring up closed source because when you embrace an OS that embraces 
closed source drivers, you are at the mercy of the drivers.

I can use my HollyWood+ DXR3 card in latest x86_64 linux. They never 
released drivers for XP or Vista (or OS X for that matter) but because 
open source drivers exist (though reverse engineered) I don't have to 
wait for the vendors to get their act together when I want to move my OS 

>> Of course, moving your expensive high end m-audio card into your new 
>> Pro Tower will be kind of difficult, due to the complete lack of pci 
>> slots. I guess with a hammer you might be able to make it fit ...
> Firewire is the right answer for audio, especially if you plan to move 
> it around.  I'm too cheap for that so the only thing I've added is a USB 
> sound adapter to have a software-selectable alternate output over copper 
> SPDF to feed a receiver.  It doesn't specifically have a Mac driver but 
> works as a standard USB audio device anyway.

PCI cards in a PC are less likely to be stolen by someone in a busy 
recording environment because you either have to take the whole PC or 
open it up. FireWire audio devices can be disconnected and stuffed into 
a jacket pocket.

If you move your recording equipment around, theft most certainly is a 
consideration (and internal means less things to carry). If you don't 
move it around, having it internal is one less wire in the rats nest.

I don't mind the pro having pci express slots, but when there are NO pci 
slots - you either stick with your old slower computer or have to buy 
new hardware. ISA slots were available in PCs for a long time after PCI 
replaced it just for that reason - but Apple has done the same thing 
they did when they ditched NuBus - no backwards compatibility at all.

Another example - when they ditched the floppy drive with the 
introduction of the iMac, the shop I worked at made a killing. First the 
customers would buy a USB floppy drive. Then they would come in asking 
how to get those drives to read the 800k floppies (which they couldn't). 
There was no serial port, so they couldn't LocalTalk with their old mac 
- they either had to buy a NuBus nic from us for the old mac, sometimes 
the old mac had a nic but they needed to buy and adapter, they could do 
a lot of copying to get the data onto 1440k floppies, they could pay us 
to replace the iMac modem with a serial port (losing their modem, but 
they then got a serial port which did work with LocalTalk - the USB to 
serial adapters didn't) or pay us to transfer the 800k floppies to a cdr 
(usually what happened - we had a Beige G3 with a sony CD burner and an 
AppleScript that pretty much automated it, except of course feeding the 

This lack of PCI slots in the pro tower isn't the first time Apple has 
done something to screw the users, it's the Apple Way. osx86 project 
wouldn't be so popular if Apple did things properly.

Lot of people bought FireWire iPod docks and then the new iPods came out 
that can only charge by FireWire, not transfer data - so they were SOL 
and had to replace their docks.

There are plenty more examples.


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