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Fallows Article on Info Managers

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Posted by Stephen R. Diamond
Nov 19, 2006 at 09:11 AM


There’s some forthright discussion of speed and reliability issues in Mac OS X at http://www.atpm.com/12.08/paradigm.shtml. There seems to be general agreement that OS X through 10.3 was plagued by stability and speed problems. I pointed out that this had generally not been previously admitted in the Mac literature, as it isn’t recognized in your response here. There seems to have been improvement in 2005 and some regression in 2006. If the consensus represented in that unusually forthright discussion was that OS X just became usable recently, it is unlikely to have become a speed demon or to rival Windows XP in stability in the time since.

When I played with Omni Outliner on a Mac 6 months to a year ago in the Apple Store in LA, it was painfully slow. I don’t think Mac users on the whole are objective observers and commentators on their computers’ performance.

Franz Grieser wrote:
> >>and no one, including James,
>>mentions that OS X is painfully slow and not
>terribly stable, traits which
>>considerably diminishing any application it runs. 
> >
>Beg your pardon. That’s nonsense.
> >Over the last 2 years, we had 3 Macintosh
>machines (OS X 10.3 and 10.4) and 6 Windows XP machines here. Some of the machines were
>new when we bought them, some notebooks were second-hand. We use them mainly for
>writing, translating, email, web (browsing and design), info storage, desktop
>publishing, image editing and graphics (diagrams, flowcharts, sometimes
>illustration). All the tasks are done both on Windows and Macs (except for
>illustration as we only have Corel Draw).
> >And our Macs are more reliable than the
>Windows machines. We had only 2 crashes on the Macs - both on a Powerbook that was - I
>think - 4 years old. 2 of your Windows machines crash regularly, one at least once a
>week. The other PCs are fairly stable (but they restarted every morning, the Macs
>usually are not turned off at night).
> >In our experience OS X is only slow on machines
>it was not designed for or that are faulty.
> >We ran OS X 10.4 on the used Powerbook (800
>MHz, 512 MByte RAM) and could not complain about speed. Ulysses, Tinderbox,
>Devonthink and Scrivener are about as fast or slow as Microsoft Office or
>OpenOffice.org on a 800 MHz Thinkpad running Windows XP.
> >And that’s not only my
>personal experience. That’s the experience of a couple of Mac and Windows users I
> >Franz