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In Which OS Do You Feel More Productive? 1391

HTMLChecker asks: "I found an article in which the author talks about how she is more productive using Mac OS X. What about the people of Slashdot? Where do you feel more productive, in Linux? Windows? DOS? Mac OS X? Also, what is the best way to rate productivity in an OS?"
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In Which OS Do You Feel More Productive?

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  • Easy. (Score:5, Funny)

    by Maradine ( 194191 ) * on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @07:58PM (#11818249) Homepage
    Also, what is the best way to rate productivity in a OS?"

    By the sheer number of FPS titles available native to the platform.

    Inversely, of course.


    • Re:Easy. (Score:5, Funny)

      by Rei ( 128717 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @08:04PM (#11818361) Homepage
      Also, what is the best way to rate productivity in a OS?

      By whether or not it comes by default with a firewall that blocks TCP connections to Slashdot?
      • Re:Easy. (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @08:37PM (#11818797)
        No, seriously.

        My productivity (as a programmer) has almost nothing to do with how easy it is to move the mouse around and hit key combos. Even imagining the worst environment - unfamiliar key combos, no copy/paste etc. - I think typing is very quick compared to deciding what to type.

        The key to productivity really is: not reading email, not browsing the web, just firing up the editor and just getting down to reading, thinking, and finally writing code.
        • Re:Easy. (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Fuzzle ( 590327 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @10:16PM (#11819656) Homepage Journal
          This is assuming that what you're doing is coding. If you're writing a music review, you may need iTunes/XMMS/Winamp playing. If you're blogging, you may need Omniweb/Epiphany/Firefox open. It all depends on what you're doing.
          • Re:Easy. (Score:5, Funny)

            by jericho4.0 ( 565125 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @10:36PM (#11819803)
            That is assuming that something that is not writing code is producitive.

    • Re:Easy. (Score:5, Funny)

      by qewl ( 671495 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @08:05PM (#11818376)
      It's all subjective-

      Linux user:
      "Soo.. bored of being 'productive'.. must entertain.. self.. I know, I'll recompile my OS with a test kernel again.. it'll only take.. a little while.. yea.. that's being productive!"

      Windows user:
      "Soo.. bored of being 'productive'.. must entertain.. self.. I know, I'll play solitaire for the next.. little while.. and then blow up a hundred monsters in Doom.. yea.. that's being productive!"
    • MSDOS... seriously (Score:4, Interesting)

      by EmbeddedJanitor ( 597831 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @08:10PM (#11818447)
      For a couple of reasons:

      1)No www etc to eat away time.

      2)I quite often need to write and test out code in a test-bed like environment for later inclusion into some other, typically embedded, software. The most productive way I've found to do this is Borland C with MSDOS. I can edit/compile/test small code bodies faster using MSDOS and Borland C than a cute GUI interface with mouse clicking etc. Bummer though when a bad bointer crashes the whole box. Still, a reboot only takes approx 20 sec. I can do almost the same thing under *nix, but it isn't quite as snappy. *nix does same me from nasty ptrs and give better core dumps etc though.

    • Re:Easy. (Score:5, Funny)

      by InadequateCamel ( 515839 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @09:00PM (#11819042)
      FPS my ass. There are no (well, WERE no) video cards capable of doing that in the typical office.

      No my friend, thou had best be wary of the Terrible Time-wasting Triumvirate.

      Doom, you say?

      Solitaire. Freecell. Minesweeper.

      Hands-down the most destructive weapons ever wielded by the Hell-Spawned Demons of Computer Procrastination, these Three sit atop the Procrastination empire, answering only to Alcoholicus, Girlfriendlor and the Weed & Pizza twins.
    • Re:Easy. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Xyrus ( 755017 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @09:51PM (#11819449) Journal
      Loaded question. You are always more productive in the environment you are familiar with.

    • Re:Easy. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by demachina ( 71715 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @10:47PM (#11819897)
      Don't suppose anyone noticed this article is just a way to launch an entirely predictable religious war, with the submitter insuring that OSX launched the first salvo, in something of a preemptive strike, increasing it chances for victory were this particular war not an unwinnable exercise in futility.

      I'm not even gonna read any further because everything that will be said has been said a million times before, every other time this jihad has been launched. Thanks /. editors for launching a pointless religious war instead of putting something new and interesting on the front page.

      OSX and Linux are both wonderfully productive for me, I see no reason to have these two kindred spirits turn on each other in internecine strife when we all know who the one true enemy is.
  • OS X (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BWJones ( 18351 ) * on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @07:58PM (#11818253) Homepage Journal
    To those of us that have either been on the platform for a while (or since the beginning), or have already switched from another platform to OS X, this article will not provide much that we do not already know. However, for those not familiar with OS X, it is a pretty good read. I have used many platforms in parallel for years from the early days of the PC revolution (Apple ][, Macintosh, TRS-80, Commodore, Amiga, Atari, Compaq, Windows) to the later workstations (Sun, SGI, NeXT) and have my likes and dislikes for all of them. Having said that however, my preference has fallen on OS X. It is sooo easy to use, is truly plug and play, is more stable, more secure, has most of the GUI and CLI integration a geek could want as well as a pretty good selection of software that makes things either 1) more enjoyable and/or 2) more productive.

    For a long while, I had multiple systems on or under my desk, peaking at one time with an SGI Octane, PowerMac 9600, Windows NT, and a Linux box to perform my scientific work, serve a website, do graphics work and general productivity. All of that functionality now exists beautifully in one OS X machine freeing up considerable desktop space. Also, thank goodness for flat panel displays! I serve a couple of websites up on my workstation as well as use it for computational calculations, a front for distributed computing, writing papers, doing graphics for figures and illustrations, preparing presentations etc...etc...etc...

    No other platform offers this degree of ease of use combined with flexibility and functionality.

    • Re:OS X (Score:3, Interesting)

      I'm a programmer. I like OS X, but every time I've used it I am amazed that Home/End doesn't work properly. What the fuck was Jobs thinking?
    • Re:OS X (Score:3, Interesting)

      by stallard ( 747036 )
      I have to agree that I am simply more porductive in OS X. I admit that part the reason for this is that OS X is what I have used at home for the past three years. However, I do frequently use XP at work, school, and at a few relatives homes so it's not as if I'm unfamiliar with the operating system. To me OS X is simply layed out in a more logical manner and as such I don't have to think about the operating system and I can focus on my work (even if it is just posting comments on /.). I think the important
    • by Bastian ( 66383 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @09:04PM (#11819071)
      I rate how productive I feel on an OS based on how much effort it takes to do simple tasks and to jack around with the filesystem - everything else is more a question of applications. (Yeah yeah, I know that the culture provides different experiences with the apps, too, but I have enough of a problem with keyboard dysentery withou having to talk about that, too.)

      I regularly work with OS X, Windows, KDE, and WindowMaker, and here is what I think of the first three. (For the sake of disclosure, I was definite Mac hater three years ago, I have had vague feelings of annoyance with Windows going back at least 7 years, and I have never been a fan of Gnome or KDE - I use WindowMaker on my home PC.)

      On Windows, it takes a lot of effort to do simple things. Even bringing up an extra Explorer window seems to take a lot of time, because I can't seem to find a good keyboard command or menu item for it. (If there are, Windows fails at making them easy to find.) Navigating the filesystem takes time, because there doesn't seem to be a way to make the places I go most accessible from anywhere. "My Computer" seems to be in a different place (sometimes the Start menu, sometimes the desktop) on every @#$@% computer in the office. Functionality is hidden in random places, and menu items seem to never be hidden under the most appropriate menu. I can't drag and drop things I think I should logically be able to drag and drop, and the alt-tab twitcher completely fails to allow me to switch between applications quickly and seamlessly. Worst of all, it pops up dialogs for things that I don't think should require dialog pop-ups - I hate it when I eject my USB key (which takes too many clicks) and go back to some task (which takes too many clicks) and am just starting to re-orient my attention when Windows throws it all away by throwing up a dialog that tells me my USB key has been unmounted and requires a click to close. The overall effect makes me feel like Windows is hell-bent on wasting my time a second or two at a time and slowly destroying my ability to concentrate.

      KDE and GNOME aren't much better. In fact, they're worse - they feel a lot like Windows, only even more disorganized, less consistent, and less logically arranged. The file managers are all half-implemented, and drag-and-drop is barely given a nod. It doesn't help that I find myself constantly dropping to the command line to do simple things that should have an easy GUI equivalent - kill and ps, for example.

      OS X isn't perfect, but it's shangri-la compared to the rest. I love that document-oriented apps give you an icon in the window's title bar that acts as a proxy for the file that is open in that window, meaning I can send a document I'm working on to someone else via e-mail without having to waste my time hunting for it in the filesystem. There are keyboard commands for EVERYTHING, and it is easy to find them, I love that. The shelf is a thing of beauty - I think that it is a bit half-implemented, but it's far and away better than anything that any other popular GUI can provide. Expose took some getting used to, but now I can say that it rocks my butt off, and I miss it when I am using other OSes. (I used to use Codetek VirtualDesktop. I still run it, but I rarely use it unless I decide that I need to grab a clean sandbox real quick.) The Dock isn't without its problems either (its handling of placing files in the Dock is just completely broken), but it crams a lot of useful information into a small space, and takes a lot less staring and thinking to figure out what you want to know from it than a taskbar. It doesn't tell you about individual windows, and I have grown to like that - when I work, my mental state tree goes application first, window second, and OS X follows this mental flow. Besides, the window I want is usually on the top of the display after I click on an app's icon, because it is usually the window in that app that I was using the most recently. By contrast, the Windows Taskbar feels like it is jumping the gun. And when I want a window instead of an app, I use Expose, and it's easier and faster than having to deal with the taskbar, which gets real cluttered real fast.

    • by saha ( 615847 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @09:51PM (#11819445)
      A few years ago I dabbled with OS X beta and the two workstations in my office I used all the time where a SGI O2 and a dual-CPU SGI 320 NT (running Win2000). I didn't take the plunge until 10.2 Jaguar came and today both desktop workstations are turned off a majority of the time and do all my primary work on a Powerbook G4. I still have to administrate all the Windows, Macs, Linux, Irix, Solaris, HP-UX and QNX machines from a single laptop thanks to Apple Remote Desktop, Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection and X11. I have all my Microsoft Office + Adobe apps, and many other commercial tools plus a majority of the open source tools using Fink. It beautifully integrated with my Handspring Treo 180 with iSync (+ Palm conduit) and miss only a few features from the many other OSes I've used in the past. With the imminent release of Tiger live searching the filesystem is back from the BeOS days and finally a built in dictionary/thesaurus is back from the old NeXT days. Basically I have 90% of what I need from the Windows world and 90% of what I want from the Unix/Linux world.

      Right now its probably right the best marriage of the two worlds and it helps that Apples iLife suite make using my music, digital photos and movies enjoyable to use (although an elegant its missing a Tivo PVR solution). The other factor I enjoy about Mac OS X is its ease of software installations, simple security updates and very little maintenance. I don't have to struggle to find drivers for my hardware and I can plug and play without wrestle the operating system to cajole it to work. Apple's elegant aesthetics and well thought out operating system (but not perfect) pretty much was the deal closer for me.


      Little things like the pervasive spell checker where I don't have to use another application to check spelling of my Slashdot posts are some of the niceties that help me be more productive. Also not having to dual boot Windows/Linux also helps when both applications from different worlds can coexist on one operating system.

      For Mac OS X fans out there. I stumbled across this gem of a plug in the other day. GMAP [] plug in for [] to invoke Google Maps and automatically get directions from your home. The script can be modified to work with Firefox (which it originally did). Very Cool!

  • by searleb ( 168974 ) * on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @07:58PM (#11818258) Homepage
    As a programmer, I am much more productive in Linux because I can tie almost everything I do in Gnome (or KDE) to a key command. I don't use the mouse very much (or at all) while programming in gvim or Eclipse, and it really slows me down when I need to, say, launch a terminal or a browser.

    As a scientist, where I do most of my work in MS Office, I am much more productive in Windows. I basically have to use MS Office because I need to interoperate with my peers and coworkers. Furthermore, Excel (every scientists best friend), is still far and away the best spreadsheet application and to me is Window's so called "killer app". MS Office for the Mac is still wildly unstable, and although it's an option, it's not a very good one.

    As a hobbiest or a general user, I'm more productive in Mac OS X, which sort of bridges both worlds. Because Macintosh enforces a pretty strict interface guideline, all the general purpose apps are easier to use on the first go. This is not really critical for stuff I use every day (as a programmer or a scientist) but is really useful when I'm trying out a new chess app or whatever.

    If I had only one choice, I would use Mac OS X. At work I have both a Linux computer and a Windows computer on my desk (it's a pretty big desk). At home I use my iBook. I don't have to make that choice.
    • Wow, what kind of science do you do? I've seen people in astronomy plot with a lot of things (I'm a pgplot guy myself), but I've never seen anyone use Excel. If you need to do any real plotting (or god forbid actual number crunching, Excel would be terribly lacking. Not to mention that it isn't on the Suns or GNU/Linux machines where lots of actual science gets done (although it is on the OSX laptops a lot of people seem to be moving to).

      And, if you do science with any math, MS Office is totally worthle
      • by Ed_Moyse ( 171820 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @08:37PM (#11818795) Homepage
        Exactly what (s)he said. I find it amazing/scary that anyone in science would use Excel as a primary tool (I am a physicist working at CERN myself... not that we have much to analyse right now ;-)

        Anyway, back to the main topic, I am a recent convert to OSX, and as an OS I love it (in a way that I find a little alarming)

        When it comes to coding frankly, the Kate/Kdevelop is just *way* better than anything Xcode can do (even if Interface builder is truly lovely). We're trying to port our code to OSX now, so probably my perspective will change once OSX is really as usable as Linux (for us)...

        But what it boils down to: OSX is the best OS I have ever used. It is simply wonderful... and even though I still miss a few tools/functionality the closeness to *NIX means that this isn't an issue (apart from the APPLE-C / CTRL-C mess that I sometimes get in when running X apps in OSX)

        Bottom line: I cannot imagine ever buying a non-OSX machine again (and two years ago I'd have laughed in your face if you told me I'd ever say that ;-)
        • by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @09:01PM (#11819050) Journal
          Exactly what (s)he said. I find it amazing/scary that anyone in science would use Excel as a primary tool (I am a physicist working at CERN myself... not that we have much to analyse right now ;-)

          He's undoubtably a biologist of some sort. The kind of analysis needed in biology, biochemistry, molecular biology, etc is not anything like that in physics. Basic stats are often all that's needed. Unless you're into things like protein folding, Excel is pretty capable. The integration with powerpoint is especially nice. Not that *I* use it, I prefer R and LaTeX. But I don't know anyone else who does.
    • by Noksagt ( 69097 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @08:16PM (#11818526) Homepage
      As a scientist, where I do most of my work in MS Office...I basically have to use MS Office because I need to interoperate with my peers and coworkers.
      This is sad, but true. If I am primary author, I do it in LaTeX & get it done in a tenth of the time. But people are locked into Word & Powerpoint and my life is occasionally made a little more painful because of that. OO.o [] and abiword [] go a long way, as does latex2rtf []. Depending on how much content I am creating, it is often faster to use my preferred tools: LaTeX and vim.
      Furthermore, Excel (every scientists best friend), is still far and away the best spreadsheet application and to me is Window's so called "killer app".
      While Excel is a fine enough spreadsheet (I can't think of anything I like from it that Gnumeric and OO.o don't do), most scientists need much more than a spreadsheet. They need an industrial strength plotting program, a'la Microcal Origin, Kaleidagraph, grace, gnuplot, Matlab, Igor, hippodraw, etc. It isn't my best friend & even the people who are stuck on Word that I collaborate with discourage anyone from using Excel for anything other than quick & dirty.
  • Linux (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @07:59PM (#11818260)
    My productivity shoots up as soon as I see a Bash prompt.
  • Any OS (Score:5, Funny)

    by sport_160 ( 650020 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @07:59PM (#11818265) Homepage
    that does not allow me to read slashdot all day.
  • XP wins. (Score:5, Funny)

    by tarquin_fim_bim ( 649994 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @07:59PM (#11818267)
    I can open an average of 14 infected mails every minute, click on the atatchments and have them procreating in seconds, without having to save them, make them executable, then fiddle about trying to get them to run under Wine. Match that on any other OS.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @07:59PM (#11818274)
    I'm actually more productive in Windows, since in Linux I tend to fiddle with things and have fun :)
  • by spun ( 1352 ) <> on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @07:59PM (#11818278) Journal
    In windows and DOS, I play games too much. In Linux, I futz around compiling things over and over and getting my configuration files just right. In Mac OS X I just stare slack-jawed at the purty eye candy.
  • by the_Librarian ( 17089 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @07:59PM (#11818281)
    No, really, Slashdot doesn't have enough rabid platform advocacy and name-calling. By all means let's put this on the front page and drum up some more.

    Serious research is one thing, trolling for a flamewar is another.
  • KISS (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @08:00PM (#11818287) Homepage Journal
    PalmOS 5. On my Treo 650 smartphone. The total integration, mobility, and preconfig'd apps for specific tasks - along with the dearth of options when things go wrong, except trying again, make it the perfect tool. It's practically invisible, while I'm communicating with people around the world, who don't need to have any equipment more special than a regular phone, or maybe any kind of email or web browser.
  • It depends (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dretay ( 583646 ) <> on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @08:00PM (#11818299) Homepage
    Personally it is not so much the operating system as the window manager. I use fluxbox becase I like being able to scoll between virtual desktops with my mouse scroll wheel. The advantage of Linux is that you have tons of window managers to choose from, as opposed to Windoze of OSX where you are limited to the one provided.

    • You're not stuck with one desktop if you're using Windows XP. Go
      here to download the Virtual Desktop for Windows XP which allows your to manage four desktops. er toys/xppowertoys.mspx
    • Window managers (Score:3, Informative)

      by Noksagt ( 69097 )

      Personally it is not so much the operating system as the window manager.

      This can go a long way, but switching between applications less can actually make a lot of people more productive, so you may overstate the importance

      I use fluxbox becase I like being able to scoll between virtual desktops with my mouse scroll wheel.

      Fantastic feature, but this is hardly unique to Fluxbox.The advantage of Linux is that you have tons of window managers to choose from, as opposed to Windoze of OSX where you are limited to

    • Re:It depends (Score:4, Informative)

      by Porter Doran ( 854749 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @08:39PM (#11818824)
      There is no real limitation to the window managers you can run in OS X, using X11.
  • Windows (Score:5, Funny)

    by th1ckasabr1ck ( 752151 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @08:00PM (#11818301)
    Because it has Visual Studio, which is the best IDE out there (in my opinion, of course).
    • Re:Windows (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Umbral Blot ( 737704 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @08:07PM (#11818405) Homepage
      Yes, any operating system that can run Visual Studio will be the most productive. The autocompletion featrure for member functions/varaibles is to die for. Whenever I program in another environement I end up using short and unhelpful names for member variables, simply because I don't want something difficult to spell/remember. Also the integreated help system is nice. Now if only more people tried to incorperate its good features, but for the most part the only thing special about most development IDEs are systax highlighting/auto tabbing/in program compilation/degugging. Sigh.
  • Nintendo. (Score:5, Funny)

    by Eric_Cartman_South_P ( 594330 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @08:01PM (#11818309)
    I have achieved more accomplishments on a Nintendo then anywhere else. Including real life.

  • Mac OS X (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SpiffyMarc ( 590301 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @08:02PM (#11818329)
    I use Windows at work, but I feel like my brain spends most of its time processing how to move around in the user interface, which things to press, what to click where and which button to use. When I'm using Mac OS X, my brain works in a more task oriented way. Instead of opening this program and right-clicking on that thing, I'm editing a video, or I'm working on a graphic. It's somehow less intrusive and allows me to focus on whatever I'm trying to do instead of focusing on how to do it.
  • OSX vs Linux (Score:3, Insightful)

    by FLAGGR ( 800770 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @08:03PM (#11818346)
    I jsut got a MacMini awhile ago, great computer. Installed the bsd tools and developer crap, and half a billion other things. Right now linux is much more productive for my programming, but once I learn xcode on OSX im guessing that will change.
  • by hawkbug ( 94280 ) <psx AT fimble DOT com> on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @08:04PM (#11818357) Homepage
    Where do you feel more productive?

    Behind a firewall that blocks port 80 :)
  • Unpopular opinion (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FrenZon ( 65408 ) * on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @08:05PM (#11818372) Homepage

    The funny thing about comparing operating systems is that frequent users of each OS are blind to the failings of their own, and are driven insane by the failings of others. For example, I find scrolling in even the latest OSX to be painful, but I love it on Windows. People get driven nuts by explorer pausing when it tries to find things that aren't there, but I don't notice it and instead go batty when Finder wastes time panning to the right in column view.

    On Windows, I have a small set of utilities (notably strokeit [], trip []* and remote desktop) that I rely on heavily, and while other platforms have their equivalents, I just don't find them anywhere near as good (remote desktop, in particular).

    Now don't get me too wrong - I would rather use default OSX over default Windows, but give me a customised Windows, and I'll take it over any other OS. It's the same reason I use an IE shell (iRider []) over FireFox - one may be the technically 'better' solution, but the other just does exactly what I need it to, and lets me do it faster.

    I guess my point is the obvious - people are most productive in whatever they're used to, and whatever suits them.

  • by intensity ( 118733 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @08:05PM (#11818374) Homepage
    ...especially since I need solid video editing (FCP 4) and I also need X, gcc (for embedded systems design work) and security. I bought my first OS X laptop about a year ago and since then I have gotten rid of everything Windows that I owned. My Mac, honestly, has been the most reliable and usable computer I've ever owned. I don't get involved in the whole DEFEND YOUR OS nonsense, my motto is USE WHAT WORKS FOR YOU, and for me, thats Mac OS X.
  • by cfalcon ( 779563 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @08:06PM (#11818392)
    A sense of accomplishment is *usually* tied in with accomplishment (especially among us engineers)... but it's possible that if an OS gives you "busy work" so to speak, that you will "feel more productive" using it than another that actually boasts higher productivity. I would *think* this would be more likely to affect the unices, but the abysmal bonus tasks I have to perform in Windows makes me personally feel most productive in Linux, followed by Solaris, followed by Windows. Only one of these OSes has made me dink around for hours because something deep inside broke utterly. I think we all know which one that is. The closest Linux has come is this mysterious thing where it wouldn't fsck the disk while complaining about it, but that was actually my bad. Solaris misbehaves at work routinely, but it's not their happy-joy-love install, so it's probably not representative of the "real" Solaris.
  • by NoodleSlayer ( 603762 ) <ryan AT severeboredom DOT com> on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @08:08PM (#11818413) Homepage
    More then just GUI wise. Although there were a number of significant improvements in Panther over Jaguar. Expose and network browsing to name a couple. But OS X is one of the few OSes I've used where I've felt where the command line was just as functional as the GUI. Windows often feels lacking in that respect, not to mention some of the clunkiness found in the DOS/Windows command line over *nix variants.

    Although the biggest thing for me on a mac is still a one-button mouse. While most functionality is on the left button, if you plug in a two+ button mouse into a mac you'll find that the right mouse button behaves more or less like how you would expect it to, and not having it makes you feel like you're missing something, even though you can control-click still. Seeing how many mac users hook up PC mice to their Macs now I don't see why Apple can't just start shipping Macs with two-button mice.
  • by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @08:08PM (#11818414)
    First it would depend on what a person does. I'd imagine someone working in prepress would be rather unproductive in Linux, given the lack of tools, but the same would not be true of a PERL developer.

    However, generally, people are the most productive in the environment they are the most comfortable in. They know it, understand it, and thus can use it effectively. So Linux people will be the most productive in Linux, Mac people in OS-X, and so on. I'm also willing to bet that any of those people, properly retrained and acclimated to a new OS, would be basically equally productive, provided the new OS provided the same quality of tools.

    For most jobs, a computer is just a tool that gets things done. When you get down to it, the OS holy-wars don't matter since most of what is talked about doesn't affect normal user productivity in a noticable way.

    It's different than saying what OS is the best technical solution for a given problem. For example UNIX/Linux have a better text-mode remote access soltuion. An SSH terminal is nearly as good as being at the console. Not so with Windows, you need a graphical remote desktop session, there's a lot you can't do command line. Thus if text mode access is technicly better for a soltuion (perhaps bandwidth is extremely limited), then clearly a UNIX base is a better idea, for that factor at least.

    But trying to ask which OS is generally more productive is just flamebait. All the zealots are going to say their OS is the fastest/easiest/most powerful and will probably have irrelivant personal anecdotes about how they can't deal with other OSes. In reality they are all different ways of doing thigns, with good points and bad points, and it's mostly just learning one and becomming proficient with it.

    Riding a bike isn't a natural activity. You don't just sit down and do it. None the less, once learned and practised, it's literally second nature. Likewise no OS is so intuitive that all people can use it isntantly as though they'd been doing it their whole life, in part because what is intuitive vaires by person. However once you are used to the methods, you can get quite productive with all the majors.
  • Console mode Linux. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by crankyspice ( 63953 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @08:08PM (#11818418)
    Seriously. I got more done in five uninterrupted hours of staring at white letters on a black screen (especially now with vi's color syntax highlighting and dangling } identifiers; where was this stuff when I was hacking code on VT220s?) than I ever possibly could in *any* GUI. With a GUI you've got Outlook's siren call (when forced to use Windows) or the Mac icon and it's little red "you've got XX pieces of new mail!" appendage, the effortless ability to click over to a web browser "just for a few seconds," etc. ARGH.

    Grab three O'Reilly books, fire up the console, and get codin'! I did cheat a little bit, keeping a virtual console open that I used for:

    - `man strncasecmp`
    - telnet localhost 1390 (was working on, and debugging, a network app)
    - ssh @ for the occasional pine session
    - lynx (for digging for sample code when I got stuck)

    Just finished a "estimated time: 1 week" piece of a project this morning. Five hours. Console mode.

    *That's* productive. ;)

  • by soft_guy ( 534437 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @08:10PM (#11818444)
    I would define productivity as the ability to get your work done quickly with the least effort. For any given individual, this will be whatever system they are already familiar with. If that's Windows, Mac, or Linux for you, then that's what it is.

    In absolute terms, I think the best productivity would be whatever OS or environment where the tools are forgotten about and your attention is solely focused on the task you are trying to accomplish. I think this might also be tempered by how long it takes to become an expert on the system (and how much effort is required to maintain that status).

    Probably command line Unix type environments used by experts who really know the system are the have the highest level of productivity (most useful results for the least efforts). However, it takes a long time and lots of effort to become extremely proficient on the Unix command line.

    Plus, comparing them like that is only valuable if you have no experience with computers or else want to maximize your efficiency in the long term at the cost of learning a new system.
  • by sandman935 ( 228586 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @08:11PM (#11818459) Homepage

    Who cares what OS you use?

    It seems to me that most users choose their applications first and then find an OS that supports them, not the other way around.

  • by bsandersen ( 835481 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @08:11PM (#11818461) Homepage

    I started on 360s and have run the gammut since then. I've worked extensively on LINUX, Solaris, DOS, Windows (all), MacOS since 1985, and many, many more. I can say without hesitation that MacOS X has been the most productive non-programming environment for me.

    Development environments vary and, of course, it is impractical to do Windows development on anything other than Windows. But, for development where you really do have a choice, like with Java, you can see a strong gravitation towards MacOS X. In fact, a couple of JavaONEs ago there was such an observation in the daily rag put out by the conference: WHERE DID ALL THESE POWERBOOKS COME FROM?!

    Apple did what many said could not be done: making a UNIX that could be used by mere mortals. They put a GUI on UNIX that even covers all the nasty sys admin stuff. And, it isn't just functional, it is beautiful. When you spend 12 hours a day on something, having it be beautiful goes from optional to manditory. JMHO.
    -- Scott

  • by M$ Mole ( 158889 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @08:14PM (#11818503)
    I mean, she makes the argument that OSX is a more productive environment because it has better icons.
  • Love my Mac, but ... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Chuckstar ( 799005 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @08:17PM (#11818546)
    I think that Mac and Windows are both good enough now that the most important thing is which one you are used to. I use Mac at home and Windows at work. I am much faster at Office for Windows, because I use it all day and am used to the keyboard shortcuts in Windows. I can surf the internet faster [I almsot typed "more efficiently", but didn't think that made sense] at home because I am familiar with the Safari shortcuts and have a mouse with extra buttons that I configured for forward, backward and open in new window.

    Neither machine crashes very often. Neither has required maintenance voodoo. Each has certain OS features that I prefere over the other. [I hate window-in-window style of Windows applications. I prefer Windows Taskbar to the Dock.] The work machine has some weird remote access settings that IT occassionally tweaks when they modify our network.

    I don't use Linux. [I know, what am I doing on Slashdot? :) ]
  • OS X by far (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Chanc_Gorkon ( 94133 ) <> on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @08:23PM (#11818612)
    OSX is what I am most proficient with. When I want to do something where the GUI is not powerful enough like downloading a file and move it from one place to another on a regular basis as well as other things you can have cron do for you on a regular basis, you have BASH, Applescript and anything Linux can run. When I want to edit a video for my family, I use iLife '05 or Final Cut Pro. When I need to type a document, I can do it with Word. It has all the best things of UNIX wrapped with a purty GUI. What more can I ask for?
  • I'm a switcher, (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MasterOfUniverse ( 812371 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @08:25PM (#11818647)
    I finally switched from windows to Mac OS recently (thanks to mac mini). I absolutely love it. Here are few things that I noticed.

    1)No popups from background windows poping up in the front, like in firefox or safari. If there is a popup in a different tab's page, it will not popup in front if im not focused on that page.

    2) Faster bootup time.

    3) when I shut down my computer, I can just click shut down and go away. In windows sometimes there would be a popup waiting for me to click. So I can't leave unless I the blue windows screen.

    4) Expose..enough said

    5) I have been using this for more than a month now and my Mini only got stuck once. Once! take that windows!

    6) No need to install anti-virus software (yet)

    7) No worries about the registry hell!

    8) I donno why but all the programs (not just apples) works the way they are suppose to work! This is a very strange feeling. In windows world, I never expected programs to run the way they are suppose to.

    9) this is just a small thing I noticed, but in real player ( sorry I have to use it), suppose I'm watching a video and shut it down in the middle. The next time i start that video I will see a mark where I left off the last time. This is a small thing but, if you are regular video watch like I, this is very very helpful.

    I can keep going and going and going, but seriously, I can't imagine why I did not switched sooner . I'm planning on getting imac pretty soon (and give my mac mini to my dad or something)

  • by mr.newt ( 244023 ) <xxnewt34@yahoo.COLAcom minus caffeine> on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @08:32PM (#11818724)
    First off, the main problem she cites with GNU/Linux is her constant urge to upgrade, and how upgrading in the particular distribution she chose breaks things. By the time we reach the OS X-fawning section of the article, her urge to constantly upgrade seems to have completely vanished. If she's ok with sitting still on a single version of her desktop manager, the problems she mentioned with KDE simply vanish.

    Second, the majority of the issues she complains about with Windows are settings. That means, if you don't like the way it's set up, you can just change it. Since many people obviously don't share her (somewhat bizarre) preferences, this can only be a good thing.

    Lastly, I think I'll simply mention the fact that she refers to GUI design choices (which happen to align with her own ideas) as "logical." What a joke.

    It so happens that the very features she's so gleeful about annoy me to no end. I wouldn't give up GNU/Linux running XFCE 4 for anything, but I certainly wouldn't spew a load of crap onto the internet about how "logical" the design choices in XFCE are, because that is, in itself, illogical.
  • OS/2.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Atomic Frog ( 28268 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @08:33PM (#11818739)
    Really. I daily swap in and out between Solaris, WinXP, Linux and OS/2.

    By far, OS/2 stays out of the way the most so I can focus on how to do the job within a particular application or task.
    OS/2 is equally comfortable and useable either by pure command-line or pure GUI. Currently all the *NIX really suck if you wanted to go pure GUI.
    (Go ahead, try one week without ever opening up a command-line prompt in *NIX and see how far you get).

    WinXP, on the other hand, is a bitch when I go command-line, for whatever reason. Mostly because most of the tools, and Billy, don't expect the user to go there. Or something.

    If I had to jump ship, I'd go OS X.
  • by JohnA ( 131062 ) <(johnanderson) (at) (> on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @08:37PM (#11818800) Homepage
    I am far more productive under MacOS X than Windows XP. I also run Linux on my X86 box, but am not quite as productive since I spend a lot more time doing sysadmin and such than I do on the Mac.

    One of the most telling factors is that I find myself trying to use my Exposé gestures on my X86 platform... :-)
  • Ugh (Score:5, Funny)

    by Mshift2x ( 686015 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @09:00PM (#11819046)
    I hate my mac. I set the thing up, power it on and it just works. I don't need to install all kinds of software, upgrade drivers and put on millions of security updates? I mean, without those, what's the point?
  • by rcpitt ( 711863 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @09:17PM (#11819170) Homepage Journal
    It's the application!

    Of course if the application only runs on one OS, and that OS has other problems that make it less than reliable or that demand time over and above the absolute minimum to get the system functional in the first place and back up application data ongoing, then that's another thing altogether.

    My favourite application over the past 20+ years is one called filePro (16+) which started off as Profile on Radio Shack micros, notably the Model II (8" floppies and a Z80 with 64K RAM)

    Over the intervening years I and my customers have migrated applications written with this system as well as data entered into them from TRS-dos to Xenix on RS model 16, to Xenix on Altos to Unix on Altos to Unix on x86 PC, to Linux on i686 and not had to re-enter anything or (with the exception of a couple of records in one customer's database that got missed in a record expansion) lost any records (or even worse, had to re-input them). One customer has records dating back to 1983 and still has access to them from his multi-location business now served by a Linux box - same data, same screen layouts, same back-end processing.

    The point is that the application is fast, useful, keyboard oriented, easy to use and modify, works on everything from old hardware to the latest (including DEC Vax) and even runs on Windows of various flavors if you are truly perverse ;)

    But the really great thing about it is that IT DOESN'T USE A GUI - it is text based.

    I recall another (accounting) application many of my customers have used for years - that shortly after Windows 3.1 came out added a GUI version - and has pretty much dropped all pretext of being backwards compatible with the older text "shortcuts". It used to be that you could sit with a pile of receipts and bang them into the program without even looking at the screen - never taking your hands off the keyboard.

    Now you have to take a hand away from the keyboard, grab the mouse and navigate to a button to store each and every transaction - getting only 10% or less productivity.

    Now that DOS compatibility is pretty much gone from Window they can't even run the old code (not supported though it is); except - - hey - - is dosemu [] still around on Linux????

  • by jht ( 5006 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @09:41PM (#11819344) Homepage Journal
    A productive OS for me is one where I can use all the tools I want to use for my work, and have access to everything I need. Since my work consists of delivering support for multiple platforms and such, my main desktop is a PowerBook running MacOS X 10.3.8. I can run all the basic tools I need, run Virtual PC for a lot of the Windows/Linux stuff, and I can connect remotely via RDP, ARD, VNC, or SSH to machines running other OS combos I have in my lab.

    So I'm a MacOS X person by choice and preference. But, with a little tweaking I can feel comfortable and productive on whatever OS I need to sit down with. For me, I think a more valid statement is "I use MacOS X because it lets me use less of my brain on the computer, and more on the task at hand". But if I'd been using Windows as my primary OS for my whole career, I'd probably feel the opposite way about Macs.
  • MacOS X, absolutely! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Archeopteryx ( 4648 ) < minus painter> on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @10:01PM (#11819537) Homepage
    I use it for my online media business,

    I record shows, process audio, edit HTML, and even serve files from this eMac here and two older iMacs.

    I not only have all of the Mac software available, but almost all Linux/BSD/Gnu programs can be compiled and run under MacOS X, and I do a lot of that. Plus some C development.
  • OS X ... hands down (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ellem ( 147712 ) * <> on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @10:25PM (#11819715) Homepage Journal
    Simply put it isn't the best UNIX, the best Windows or even the best MacOS but it is ALL of them at anytime and all the time.

    I can do anything from run an Windows AD to run nessus in Gtk. It is as close to perfect as it gets. And my wife and 5 year old son can use it and never notice all the "tweak" stuff it can do.

    And, look I know this isn't a popular sentiment but it's really pretty.
  • I think it is easy to say my productivity is worst in windows. Simply factoring in maintaince time, viruses, spyware, crashing, rebooting, formatting and reinstalling, etc. Now I'm sure some of you have no problems with windows and it works great blah blah blah, good for you, to each their own. Overall my best workspace is something with virtual desktops. I've used such a setup across more linux distros than I care to count and on my OpenBSD workstation that I presently type from as well as my FreeBSD laptop and work system. I use enlightment and that is simply because it was the first wm I used that was configurable such that I had 0 complaints with it. Now I can't say anything about OS X as I own no macs (something I hope to correct with a mini.) *bsd seems to give me the least amount of hassle and post-setup I can just use the computer instead of maintaining it. On the server side of the world it depends. Debian is by far the best to maintain due to apt-get and takes the least amount of time. For peace of mind on the shell server I run it is OpenBSD (stack overflow protection, heap corruption protection, etc. READ: even if an exploit exists worst case it should only be able to crash a program not let anyone gain access.)
  • by InfiniteWisdom ( 530090 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @11:05PM (#11820031) Homepage
    zcat trace.gz | grep miss | awk '{print $3}' | sort -n | uniq -c

    Try doing that in Windows without cygwin

Only God can make random selections.