Re: [dev] How do you cope with OSX? (if at all)

From: Ethan Grammatikidis <>
Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2011 21:19:25 +0100

On 18 Mar 2011, at 9:23 am, Anselm R Garbe wrote:

> Hi there,
> at work I have to use OSX (on a MacBook Pro 13") for various reasons
> and wonder if anyone is using dwm in conjunction with OSX?
> I tried different approaches so far, but all are really PITA.
> The only approach I can envision is running arch in VirtualBox and
> having a saner Linux environment to work with. But I have no idea what
> performance penalty that will be in regular use.

Probably a negative penalty. :) I know I'm a bit late, but I don't
think anyone's covered this. I used OS X as my primary OS for 6
months and found the kernel is *very* poor for unix-like tasks. If
you depend heavily on shell scripts and generally like to put small
simple tools together I think you'll actually get much better
performance from a guest OS in a decent virtualizer.

As to getting "a decent virtualizer," I don't think you'll get one
for free. I never did; qemu was very slow. You'll want a commercial
virtulizer for OS X. VMWare and Parallels both have been reported to
run Plan 9 well, FWIW, but VMWare Player doesn't run on OS X, you
have to buy Fusion if you want it.

> At home I tend to leave the OSX machine untouched these days though.
> But using the braindamaged OSX UI feels more and more totally in the
> way and ineffecient.

I'm always astounded when people can tolerate the far more brain-
damaged WinGnoKDE bag of spanners, but the OS X UI is limited in an
'ivory tower' kind of way. If you work with it in the way it's meant
to be used it's really good, but "the way it's meant to be used"
doesn't really account for whole classes of tasks like web browsing
and terminal use.

Some of the problems can be ameliorated by the use of "Spaces", but
they barfed on Spaces; hiding and dock use both kinda clash with it.
Still, it's the only window system I've ever used which I could
really get used to. Even dwm frequently puts the focus where I least
expect it.

There was also some talk about trackpads in the thread... May I say
that OS X is the only system I've used on which trackpads were good
and usable? There's a little checkbox in the control panel - "Ignore
accidental trackpad input" and you know what? It works! I'm not quite
sure exactly how it works but it makes a huge difference.

My primary machine for the last few weeks has been a Linux-powered
netbook with the trackpad so close to the space bar it gets touched
by the side of my thumb as I type, and I've just been wondering over
and over again WHY can Linux not ignore accidental input?

Of course, having said that I'm sure half a dozen people will tell me
it DOES if ONLY you set this SO DEEPLY BURIED config option I could
never in a million years have found for myself. Such is my Linux
life, lol.
Received on Thu Mar 31 2011 - 22:19:25 CEST

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0 : Thu Mar 31 2011 - 22:36:02 CEST