The Night Of The Panther. A Macintosh Primer In Loathing.

I hear that MacOS X has a really pretty multi-language “blue screen or death” that pops up whenever the computer does a really hard crash.

I wouldn’t know. I’ve been using MacOS X since 10.1, and have yet to see the poor thing. I think it’s all a myth perpetuated by jealous Windows users. If it wasn’t for the reboots when I install nifty new 'n improved software, I’d have 700+ days of continuous uptime on my lowly 450 MHz iMac.

MacOS X has horrible bugs and crashes all night? Sheah, right. Next you’ll be telling me there are WMDs in Iraq… :wink:

You what, look at the binary file? I can’t imagine that’s very entertaining.

Do you know what an .exe file is?

First, MacOS X is a modified BSD. Not Linux. Linux has nothing to do with MacOS X, for good or ill. They share a common ancestry, but they’re no closer than third cousins.

Second, well, realize that Windows NT 4.0 has been officially declared dead by Microsoft. They’ve stated that it’s too bug-ridden to fix, that any more Service Packs would, essentially, be duct-taping over the hole in the Titanic. Anyone still using NT 4.0 is SOL, and they have no way to save themselves without buying a new OS. (No, Microsoft doesn’t care about massive software and human-resources investments. They’re a monopoly in their little niches, and they can’t, or won’t, see the major threat Linux poses in exactly the realm NT 4.0 used to reign.)

Then remember that Windows XP is a direct descendent of Windows NT.

Finally, remember this: The BSDs (and there are at least three main branches now: NetBSD, FreeBSD, and OpenBSD) are open-source. A significant percentage of the software for MacOS X is, too. Not the big, flashy applications you’re thinking of (when Adobe goes open source is the day I salt my chapeau), but the essential programs that keep the OS running. If Apple decides to cut MacOS X free, there’s enough support out there to keep it going for a good while. Even if the kernel is kept a secret (and it is closed-source), you won’t be put in the same boat Windows 95 users will be in in 5 years, and Windows NT 4.0 users are in now. There’s enough cultural momentum to keep things going, and enough cultural knowledge to keep things working.

Cartooniverse, I understand if you just wanna rant, but if there’s something we can help you with, by all means, please let us.

Specifically, what kinds of problems are you having? Is it a problem with a specific application, or action? Are you trying to install something?

What you’re experiencing might not have to do with the OS at all and could be fixed without upgrading or buying anything.

That’s not what the Microsoft representative I personally talked to who came to our company to discuss our servers said, nor do I think it characterizes properly the situation that we’ve seen with our 100+ NT servers. Windows NT is OLD, and there’s only so long that it can be supported by them. Microsoft no longer supports DOS either, nor Windows 3.1 - and IIRC, not Win95 either. I thought the newest Direct X and WMP didn’t work on Win95 any more…? It’s the evolution of things.

And while there are some new exploits that can impact NT systems, there are workarounds and manual fixes that a truly competant admin/PC person should know about. In some cases it’s as simple as blocking a port or two, in others it requires manually changing the registy or turning off a service. It’s nothing that’s affected our servers, which were the only things running when the last “services worm” wiped out nearly all of our XP and 2000 machines (except for mine, which were unaffected…another vote for hardware firewalls over software, if anyone’s still keeping score) It’s a moot point in many of the security issues, as NT doesn’t run some of the vulnerable things in the first place.

Don’t forget OS/2 in that lineage (looks at badly faded OS/2 Developer’s Coffee Mug…).

I can’t verify your dollar figure, but I wouldn’t be suprised if Apple used some of its cash reserves on R&D … you know, that thing that Microsoft doesn’t do?

We are a mac family here.
We also own a Mini Cooper.

What this says about me, I don’t know…


Just wanted to pop in and add my 2¢ as another jaguar user who has never had a single problem.

Hey hey,

Some news about apple today:

Apple dropped the price of their emacs so now the lowest one is $799. And while that isn’t as cheap as DougC’s $400 box, it does include a monitor - somthing his box doesn’t. This makes the emac cheaper for those who are looking to get a low-end apple at a decent price.

Also, apple upgraded their ibook like to the G4 processor.

New specs and prices can be found at

Probably less than you’d think; a big part of the reason Apple’s stuff is more expensive than the cheap boxes from Dell el al is because they’re funnelling profits into R&D. The $4 billion is more of an emergency reserve, IIRC.

Microsoft does put money into R&D – some have said about 50x more than what Apple does – but has anyone really seen any tangible benefits to their effots? :wink:

Cartooniverse, I’m sorry to hear about your problems. I’m glad that you at least have some type of system that works reliably for you, and that you aren’t entirely reliant on your dud mac. But, I have to throw in my 2 cents and say that I’ve never yet had a problem with Jaguar. In fact, I love love love it.

Wait a minute – I mean, it sucks!! Yeah, that’s it! Also, Macs are crap – you’d be lucky to unload yours for ten bucks.

P.S. – I’ll give you ten bucks for your iBook. :smiley:

FWIW, the majority of stability issues faced by Windows products tend to center around the plethera of third-party device drivers. I don’t know much about Apple, but I am assuming that with their licensing arrangements they have pretty tight control over the peripherals for the Apple systems.

That puts them in a much smaller world of hurt than the “run on almost any 8086 system on the planet” type of OS MS puts out.

This does not excuse MS for their security, and other such, issues, but it may explain some of the stability differences. You know, you can’t have video wonkiness if you don’t allow any and all video cards into the box.

Um. This may sound wonky, but I didn’t OP this in the Pit.

I’m not a participant of the BBQ Pit, and I have to keep it that way. Feel free to flame away at me for this, but since someone has moved my thread in here, I really cannot post in reply to anything written in here. I thank those who made positive suggestions on how best to work with the machine I bought.

Unfortunately, I can’t be back in here to further post. Thanks again. Carry on. :frowning:


This post happens to be written on a PowerBook G3 Series (“WallStreet”) running MacOS 9.0.4 but that’s because

a) I just happen to be booted in 9 today. Tomorrow I may be booted in 10.2.8. Or 8.1, I can and still do run 8.1 on this machine some of the time. And it still works. As soon as XPostFacto produces a hack that lets me load Panther on this now-elderly pre-USB computer, I’m putting Panther on it and I have every confidence that it will work too.

b) I’m too lazy to switch to the 7100 sitting next to me and reboot it in System 7.6 just so I could post to this thread and say I posted from a 7100 running System 7.6. I could though. It still works too. The computer’s only 8 years old after all, and System 7.6 is slightly younger than that. (It can run Photoshop, Bryce, FileMaker, Excel 2001, SoundEdit, Audion, Mozilla, Eudora, and Toast and it can support full color display on three monitors concurrently as an extended desktop, which ain’t half bad for an 8 year old computer with a completely abandoned hardware and software architecture – NuBus, ADB, Serial Port, 72 pin SIMMS, 40 MHz bus, classic MacOS).

Cartooniverse, sorry you got a buggy computer and/or buggy installed configuration. I have met old Colonel Panic a few times myself, but I’m one of those people who could crash an IBM 3090 from a remote terminal just by glaring at it. I fracture anvils. I’ve certainly hosed NT and XP a few times. (In fact 25 minutes after first sitting down to NT Workstation for the first time ever I did it in so bad they had to re-ghost the hard drive).

Mostly I must agree with those who say Mac operating systems are generally very solid. I can think of a few exceptions as well as few spectacularly robust releases, but the overall track record is pretty good.

“It’s a Mac. It just works” is the rule for most of us.

Una: Yes, Virginia, NT 4 is Dead. – And Microsoft isn’t claiming it’s just sleeping.

True, there are workarounds. But the fundamental question remains: Had Microsoft designed it well in the first place, would it have had to state that it is `too flawed to fix’? This isn’t a company deciding to cut support for an obsolete version of an OS. This is a company deciding that a specific product is so flawed that it cannot be fixed.

If you use Outlook with an Exchange server, it looks like you may be out of luck. The rumor is Microsoft is giving up that goat and going strictly with Entourage. That sucks for me. Has anyone else heard this rumor?


Be nice if it were so, but it ain’t. Apple publishes info about the hardware to encourage the development of 3rd-party markets, and as a consequence we are at the mercy of 3rd-party drivers as much as PCs are. The fact that the hardware itself is under Apple’s control (rather than being produced by dozens of different board and chip vendors constantly looking for cheaper workarounds and substitutes) makes it easier for them to release non-sucky 3rd-party drivers, but there have still been some lemons. Occasionally I’ll read in MacWorld or MacAddict about wireless mice that give you sluggish/jumping cursor arrow syndrome at any range more than 7 inches and screw with your WiFi or something like that. It’s comparatively rare (many things you just plug them in and they work without even needing a driver; most hardware drivers are simple things that don’t conflict with other things) but it does happen.

Want to learn more about MS security issues? Try this:

IIRC, one of the issues of Mac Addict wrote a blurb about this. They also mentioned that Internet explorer will no longer be supported for the Mac platform.

I have heard that, too. Still, there is an update for Entourage which allows you to connect with an Exchange server. I like the Outlook client better, but an updated Entourage does give you access to your calendar and folders on Exchange.