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Does anyone else find that each successive release of Mac OS X gets worse, more Windows-like in its obscurity, its tendency to hide affordances that were once a joy to the advanced user, more buggy, more user-hostile, with more attempts to lock you into Apple's own apps. I'm starting to hate Mac OS X, and thinking there's starting to be an opportunity for a new, simple, clean OS to come along.

Right now, since I've switched to Gmail, I'm trying to back up and remove from my machine years of accumulated mail storage from First obstacle: a user's library files are now hidden. Finally find them (thanks Matt Silver), back up the files to an external disk, and then delete them. But then when I empty the trash, an ungodly number of files--going back years--claim they are "in use" and can't be deleted. So here I am having to click "continue" every few thousand files (if I'm lucky) as I page through more than 400,00 files to be deleted. I know this is actually an old mis-feature - but why the devil wouldn't they give you an "ignore" checkbox or a "delete whatever you can checkbox"? This has been a problem for years, but never fixed, while they add new gloss all the time.

But that's just the latest frustration. There are so many things that are worse in Lion than in Snow Leopard, just as there were many things worse in Snow Leopard than in Leopard, and on back.

Time to start over, guys.
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Erm.... Ubuntu is here already....
Ha, he said "simple, clean" OS. That rules out Linux so far. I have recently installed Windows 7 and I really enjoy it. I don't think I could switch from OS X yet, but if the trends in each operating system continue it's not inconceivable in the future.
Maybe it's time for someone with some design sense to make a linux variant suitable for non-geeks...
Not really. Linux is not something 'hard to use' for an advanced user. And lately it isnt so hard for a regular user either.
+Luís Duarte, egads. Ubuntu is even worse. After I had updated, I can't even unlock my screen.
José Sá
+Luís Duarte simple? In order to remove the startup sound I had to edit a configuration file .. only to show me the option to disable the sound. #ubuntu
Simple, clean OS - I think BeOS tried that a while back.
I won't be upgrading to Lion. I'm not a fan of the iPhone like closed feature set and missing features that I love in Snow Leopard (if I wanted an IOS experience I'd buy a mobile device - I use my laptop for different things, and for WORK)
+Craig Perko There have been many attempts to make Linux variants suitable for non-geeks. Whether any of them have suceeded in their goal, I don't know, being a geek myself.
I was just thinking this the other day. In a world where simplicity in tech is booming, the pillars of how we experience that tech are being polluted more and more. Thanks for the thought.
Apple's releases tend to start this way and improve with incremental minor releases. Snow Leapoard didnt start out that great either and now its wonderful. Give it time to age
@Brian Ramsay, i bet u never tried Ubuntu 11 ...
Brian, obviously you haven't used Ubuntu in a while. Give it a try...
+Noel Yap We're talking advanced users - which means remembering your password, at least :)

I'm an Ubuntu user but I've heard a lot of good things about Mint lately.
Gnome 3 is awesome. Unity is also nice. Both deserve a look.
Chrome OS. Simple. Clean. Easy. Fast. 
Leslie, is your current flavor of OS X less-closed? I like Lion - it works well and as an iOS user, I do like some aspects of that OS that are now part of Lion.
yeah, Linux might not be THAT perfect as Mac OSX in terms of user experience, but given the relationship openess/simplesness of use, nothing beats it imho
+Scott Ellis, umm, my screen stays blank after locking it. Also, what happened to the right click in order to add something. And why can't I redefine certain keys the way I used to in 11.4?

Finally, why should someone be an advanced user in order to have something easy to use? Isn't that Tim's point entirely?
I believe Pinguy OS has the best out-of-the-box user exprience on linux.
I think it don't get more user friendly than it's current state. Agree with +Dan Horowitz . Linux Distro's are also great, like Ubuntu & Linux Mint. Lack of professional applications for Photography makes it fall behind.
At least Linux (Gnome / Unity / KDE) are getting better all the time. OS X just isn't.
This is one of the reasons I gave up on Mac.
+ubuntu #ubuntu or kubuntu or how about lubuntu for your older hardware. Has +chrome and +Firefox and all free goodies that you pay top dollar for on windows and osx. Was ubuntu what you meant to imply +Tim O'Reilly
I tend to agree as well, +Tim O'Reilly It seems everything is driven by Apple integration: that is if you don't use iCal,, etc you are in trouble. I have been using gmail for year and have >9GB of mail and thinking of downgrading to is just a joke. Same for iCal. To make matters worse, I think this is also happening on iOS...
I did like Snow Leopard, however I keep hearing people moan about Lion
+Tim O'Reilly Yes, its my observation too. Snow Leopard never killed Mail app, using Lion, I have Mail crashes several times. But I do like the philosophy of Lion
Not just OSX, KDE and Gnome on Linux has tended to get better looking and harder to configure into a useable state.
I love a lot of things about it. I feel like Mail app is terrible though.
yeah, it's true... proprietary OSs are getting worser everyday. I suggest you try Ubuntu, it's great!
+Will Gillen can you really use it as your main computing platform? 
Agreed. The other day I simply tried to make a file executable. Good luck with that. I live in the command line/terminal world on OS X a lot of the time so chmod'ng the file was no problem but I'm shocked this isn't possible from the Finder. (someone correct me if I'm mistaken.) :)
I have always found Mac OS to be restrictive, channelling the user into one way of doing things (then again, I came to computers by way of unix). So I find it interesting to see this complaint come from a long time user...

Bloat seems to be an inevitable feature of any popular software given enough time (how do you keep topping yourself? never mind that many users are perfectly happy that you not do so...)
I am an Ubuntu user because I find Windows difficult to use for web development. (django, python etc) I don't think Linux variants like Ubuntu and Mint are too complicated for the average user. But, its the lack of peripheral support and quality apps that is the biggest weakness of linux. I wish Windows could completely redo its command prompt and work aggressively to make developers feel at home on terminal.
+Daniel Cardenas I don't really care what the options are. Personally, I've been using Linux for more than a decade. But ultimately, it's a matter of personal preference. I'm just a bit tired of people arguing that one is clearly better than another one.
How can you expect an operating system to be simple and elegant while including features from what should be left in the application stack like email?
I've been postponing upgrading to Lion because of the issues I continue to read about its flaws on a weekly basis. The only reason I'll even consider upgrading to Lion is so that I can use iCloud which will once and for all -- hopefully -- get rid of the awful experience of using MobileMe Mail. But, I agree with +Tim O'Reilly that the OS X series have not been evolving in a increasingly user-friendly direction.
+Tim O'Reilly this made me shuckle and think, "next year could be the year for linux on the desktop". RMS is probably right.
+Christian von Kietzell agree. Operating System should be a personal preference. If you're on Linux and u need to run Windows, there's always VirtualBox or VMWare :P. Same thing applies for Windows users.
Rohit: I have a co-worker who's very excited about PowerShell. It exposes nearly all of the functions of Windows to the CLI. I observed that it might be Microsoft's attempt to make Windows more palatable to Linux fans.
The Gnome desktop is not a problem for non-geeks I switched my parents to Ubuntu years back because I tired of dealing with their Windows infections and they get on fine with their simple needs catered for. The advanced user will also have no problem. The group who struggle with Linux adoption are the "power user" class who know enough to be dangerous and need very particular pieces of quite advanced software that aren't catered for Photoshop being the prime example.
+Robin Green I think one big barrier is the installation process, but this definitely isn't the place to talk about that. I forgot I was replying to a celebrity.
I figured this out a few years and got all my junk off my OS X machine before they padlocked it. Same way with my iPod. I loved the original, but now I've divorced myself from it.
I miss the old expose and spaces.
To see simple, fast, clean (pristine boot every time), and more secure ( no executables allowed and advanced sandboxing) that brings the power of the entire web to users in action, see ChromeOS
Chromium OS Security
perhaps you should just download the secrets pref pane:

can't comment on i switched to gmail in 2004. i can't imagine the mess i'd have with my 5 gigs of email sitting locally.
With all due respect, dont' call yourself an "advanced user" if you can't use the terminal. Which I assume you can't since you complained that the "Library" was hidden, since it trivial to access and not hidden at all when accessed via a shell.
Not sure what you are referring to when you say "more attempts to lock you into Apple's own apps", I haven't seen anything remotely along those lines. For the novice user, the Mac App Store is a clear example of making non-apple software easier than ever to find/install/use.
I have OS X Lion on my MacBook (circa 2009) and Snow Leopard on my iMac (circa 2010). I use Google apps for email/calendar and prefer Chrome as my primary browser. I keep my files in sync using for business files and DropBox for personal. My phone is an Android although I think I'm going to replace the MacBook with an iPad 3 at some point next year. I don't like using Gmail in IMAP and I can't stand Address Book or iCal. Making it pretty doesn't make it more functional.

That said, I can't stand OS X Lion and will never upgrade my iMac to it if I can help it. The Finder is painfully slow. It solves problems I don't have and introduces instability and overall drag to everything else.

I'm sure Lion is fabulous for someone who uses iWork, iLife, iCloud, Safari,, iCal, and Address Book for everything. That someone is not me.
Always stuns me how people get annoyed the closed system they supported for years, only tends to get more and more closed.
It's like complaining at 60 years old that you can't jump hurdles anymore.
Keep buying proprietary Nespresso caps...
Linux is an OS kernel. It doesn't offer a "user experience". You pick a shell you like. Most people are leaving Ubuntu because they don't like the new Unity shell, either philosophically or because it is TOO simple. They could quite easily change to another. Linus has! The fact is, Linux gives you choice and Apple denies it.
My wife calls me an e-mail horde since I I have kept my e-mail and move. The worse experience was moving it out of Mac. This was a few years ago but I had to get a program to covert my e-mail from the mail app style into one that outlook supported. I then had to use the Google mail converter they offer but it only works for e-mail in your outlook to move it their gmail.

The move sucked but was now well worth it. Because with IMAP support my e-mail works / is updated regardless if I use my Mac Air, Windows, Gmail, or iOS.
I'm increasingly of the opinion Apple has lost touch with how people really work, focusing on self-preservation and constant upgrading for profit over end-user wants and needs. There are plenty of people that do indeed care about the way their data and applications are stored and maintained. Just because Apple can convince them what they want is how Apple's doing it, doesn't mean that's what they need. Apple's-way-or-the-highway isn't what everyone--anyone, really--needs. Moving forward, as we continue to lose control of everything technological and identity-related and previously-private in our lives, this gets even more important.

I'm kind of tired of the constant apologists saying "hey, Apple's first round is always rough, give them time. It will eventually be AMAZING." People are paying for this stuff! Making software deliberately obtuse only to de-obtuse it on a per-complaint basis isn't advancing the state of personal computing--at least not in a pro-consumer kinda way. The Apple goal seems to be an increasingly closed, iOS-variety experience. Just say no. It ruins what is otherwise fairly decent hardware (with its own closed issues that also need resolved, imo).

The above goes for all apologists and any platform, system, OS, or hardware that keeps trying to close itself off and take away control and ownership of data from its users.
Anyone who complains that Linux is too hard to install hasn't installed Linux in a very long time.
It seems that with every 'release' of a new Windows OS - some move away from it to Mac with a few moving over to Linux (usually Mandriva/Fedora/Ubuntu/Mint as there new OS).
It also seems that every time Mac has a 'release' people move back to Windows with a few moving to Linux.
What I find most interesting however - is when there is a distro upgrade with Linux - the people that don't like it don't run to Windows or Mac - they either roll back to the older version or try another variant of Linux.
just sayin'
I already hate all of the iOS devices because of how locked down they are. I've always loved OSX but Really hate the trend. The announcement last week that all appstore apps will have to run sandbox without access to the system just about wraps up my fears for OSX.. If they lock you into the appstore eventually, it's all over and I'll be looking to move onas well
You should certainly give Ubuntu Linux with the Unity interface a serious look. Unity has a lot of haters in the Linux community, but I think Ubuntu is taking the UI in the right direction, and someone like you would respond well to it. I have several friends who jumped ship from Linux desktop years ago in favor of MacOS X who have recently returned to Linux running Ubuntu for the desktop and been quite pleased with their experience. And it goes without saying -- you know me -- I've been a happy Linux desktop user since the 1.0.8 kernel.
Ha! Tell us how you really feel Tim.

The one real annoyance I have with Lion is the loss of "Save As" in Apple apps. I frequently want to create a new document from the bones of an old one. It used to be quick but now I have to go to finder and duplicate the doc there.
Well there are several apps for that, Linux or BSD for example.
Welcome to the fad.

It's the latest fashion in some tech circles to state how much you hate Apple and OS X.

Until there is something better, I'm sticking with it.

And no, Ubuntu and Windows 8 don't cut it.
No +Matej Ľach they aren't. The 'jury may still be out' for Google but their attempt to own Cloud ID with G+ Circles isn't making them look good either. If an open source provider upsets people (Canonical/Ubuntu/Unity ?) people move - because they can.
Oh, and by the way:

"""Does anyone else find that each successive release of Mac OS X gets worse, more Windows-like in its obscurity, its tendency to hide affordances that were once a joy to the advanced user, more buggy, more user-hostile, with more attempts to lock you into Apple's own apps. """

Not me.

Whatever that even means.
To all of those who said "Chromebook", you might be right if the hardware wasn't so heavy. I do love Apple hardware. But I don't love the bloat in the OS.

As to those who recommend the command line - you're right. I should just have gone there first. I was just surprised to find it missing from the Finder. The new Finder "all files" thing is totally useless if you have lots of files. So I went back to the old view, looked where I remembered the mail files being, and they weren't there. I assumed they'd been moved, not hidden. The whole idea of "hidden" files is a non-starter to me.
"""It's not just about Mac but also iPhone and it's not just about it being more buggy it's also about Apple not innovating AT ALL anymore."""

Yeah, not at all anymore. They only added a TON of APIs for Snow Leopard, produced two new platforms copied by EVERYONE ELSE in the industry since 2007 (iPhone and iPad), and put out iCloud, a major cloud undertaking.

Gee, if only the innovated more. Like Microsoft, HP, Dell, Sony et al...
vi rulez! emacs sux!
Oh wait, wrong room. Then again, maybe not ....
One further thought: the biggest determinants of what operating system you'll be happy with seem to be what you use for email, and what you use for a calendar. For personal use I made the switch to Gmail and Google Calendar years ago, freeing me to choose any OS (I still choose Linux). But at work, I have no choice but Windows 7. Exchange, and everything Microsoft builds around it, really takes away all choice once a company standardizes on Exchange. And I find that Windows 7 is "not terrible". A huge improvement over Vista. You've already said you've made the switch to Gmail. So I guess the other question to think about is what you use for calendaring, and how central that is to your desktop experience.
I started way back when on an IBM mainframe, moved across and down through DEC minis, PCs when they were first taking over the corporate desktop running MS-DOS, and Unix back before Linux was a gleam in Linus's eye. I'm used to dealing with whatever is on the machine I have to use.

I can't speak for OS/X, as I basically don't use it, but I'm amused at the Linux commentary. Properly speaking, Linux is the Linux kernel. If i uses a Linux kernel, it's a Linux system. My wifi router is a Linux system.

Most of the complaint doesn't seem to be about the OS itself, but rather about the UI.

I run Ubuntu here alongside Windows for a simple reason. Ubuntu does the best job I've seen in a Linux distro of installing with minimal user interaction, figuring out what my hardware is, setting itself up, and Just Working. Computers are tools to do wok, and I want to do work, not spend time under the hood.

Lots of folks on Ubuntu don't like the new Unity interface. Neither do I, because I don't think a UI is one-size-fits-all. Unity shows strong signs of being developed with netbooks in mind, where the dritical resource is scarce screen real estate. For a netbook, it looks like it might be nice. On a desktop with a big monitor, it falls down.

Other folks don't like Gnome 3 (including Linus Torvalds) because it changed things they were used to.

No problem - Linux has a plethora of window managers, from so-minimal-they-almost-aren't-there to everything-including_the_kitchen sink. I use XFCE4, because it does what I want. You can probably find one that does what you want, too.

I'm willing to bet there are fixes for or was around the things in OS/X Lion people dislike. Hey, Tim? When are we going to see an O-Reilly book on OS/X Annoyances? :-)
maybe because they are making so much money from iphone and ipad they have sort of neglected mac OS, im still snow lep.

still i use windows 7 at work, and that freezes a lot especially with chrome browser. other issues with lync and outlook and windows explorer. As for linux, good luck trying to install the dam thing.

closed is good, overall, give them more control over the end user experience (less bugs, more security).
I love it. Now, with about 135,000 files to go, it refuses to further empty the trash... Or rather, it's just stopped reporting the number of files to go. In Activity Monitor, I can watch the free space going up (and down, as various system processes pile other shit into it - the reason I need to delete all these files in the first place is because of the huge amount of space Lion uses for its own purposes, leaving me far less room on the disk than advertised.)
Sans the "heavy hardware" issue, I'll add my recommendation for Chrome OS. I've been using a Cr-48 (very light) since December 2010, and I love it. Clean, simple. One has to make sure they don't add bloat to the OS by adding too many extensions. But I love it.
+Vlad Nistor could be right. The reason I don't like Unity and Gnome 3 is that it looks like the Mac interface :-) Chrome OS is just Linux with a browser and less choice. I thought it was going to be more than that but it isn't.
We will all be running IOS Mac Pros before we know it. OS developers take note.
To be honest, the only time that OSX (or anything from post-1998 Apple) really impressed me was when the first-generation MacBooks were released with the x86 fork of Tiger. It's been downhill from there. Windows 7, on the other hand, is incredibly stable (if boring and still groaning under the weight of 15 years) and mostly keeps getting better. Yes Gnome 3 / Unity are really impressive, but still they're increasingly fragmented. I think Microsoft is closer to winning this one than anyone cares to acknowledge.
Force empty the trash by holding the option key when you click the button.
try ubuntu or linux. it is quite good though it has some bugs. best of all it is free ;)
+Tim O'Reilly What would you say about everything but e-mail? Is e-mail still the main determinant of what's good and bad in an OS?
Tim, perhaps you're one of the best people to jump in and help make linux usable. Like many geeks, it's been usable to me since 1995 -- so our input is less-than-useful on this issue.
I expect we'll see a MacBook Air powered by iOS soon. It makes sense for the average user. I'm pretty sure I could get away with one for most of what I do.

I already find myself using my iPad over my MacBook Pro around the house and when I travel.
You might as well learn to use rm. I hear that rm -rf works wonders :-)
On a more serious note, yes, I generally agree with your view.
I definitely agree. I think Leopard was probably the most stable OSX released. Snow Leopard was all right, but it had lots of bugs initially. I think Lion has the worst start. Apple should really test their software first, before giving it out. I don't care if it takes a long time, I like quality, not quantity.
ubuntu 11.10 is broken for power users, canonical ditched them for gloss.
time for the Linux Desktop , unfortunately the best candidate, Ubuntu, is making mistakes creating his own desktop manager Unity.
How about giving Google Chrome a spin.
I use Linux everyday from servers to desktop versions. If Ubuntu or Kubuntu had a decent color management system built in, I would dump Windows, but I need a platform I can edit in Photoshop effectively.
I always bothered about Finder. Such a sucky file browser, it can't even Cut files, so you have to copy them, paste them and go back to delete them...
+Eloy Sanchez If Google has the patience to keep on developing ChromeOS for another three years, I think we could see a pretty good success.
I think MacOSX Lion is absolutely brilliant (Mission Control alone would make it brilliant). Thinking about switching back to Linux/*BSD/Solaris or Windows makes me shiver.
Tim. I like your comments but in this instance you should provide a (linked) objective analysis of the things that are giving you grief. Those things relative to the previous release would be a good start for the less technical and more business use focused individuals to assess weaknesses. All I can say that in a house with seven PC's and laptops plus other devices, a complete move three years ago to all things Apple has given me my life back. I no longer need to be a daily system administrator. Additionally utilization has increased along with more advanced skill improvements. Apple still gets my vote over antyhing that requires constant technical knowledge refreshing. 
+Matej Ľach Android is far more open because you get real hardware choice, not just color and memory. With Microsoft, you can build your own machine from parts and install the OS - Apple wants to own the whole ecosystem. When I got my iPad I was excited to download the SDK and try developing an app, until I found out I had to buy a Mac in order to use it. That's closed.
Just as an FYI about Ubuntu, since everyone is harping on about Unity (which, I agree, really sucks for power users), all you have to do is log in to Unity once and install "Gnome" from the software center. Log out and you will then be able to select "Gnome" as your desktop permanently.
I have been a mac user since 2003. i tend to agree with some of your points.Once Windows 8 comes along will there be much diference between the 2 major O/S's?
I've started having to support a Mac in addition to our Windows machines at work, and it's giving me far more grief than I bargained for. My personal machines are Windows 7, Linux, or Snow Leopard and I love them all, but Lion (which is what the work machine runs) seems to be much buggier than other "polish" releases like Snow Leopard. It's not really revolutionary, and if it were a certain amount of annoyance would be acceptable. Especially from Apple I expected more refinement, but I can see that their mobile OS ethic is starting to take over the desktop too. Basically, if you don't like the way they do it, too bad.
I wont say everything is bad, but I second your opinion looks like for ever now. I think the biggest problem is unstable build& too many features which not used. Apple should build analytics into their OSX and take out every crap which is not used. Stabilize everything which is loved but is unstable.
I agree osx has become more and more buggy and unstable. I have now moved off of osx after 2 years to foresightlinux and happy for now.
+Rajiv Vyas Personally I would like for Google to officially support Chromium OS so that more people are able to install it into their old PCs. That way people can expose themselves to it and then they'll buy the dedicated hardware, Chromebooks, but as it stand the majority of people aren't willing to buy a product they are unfamiliar with.

Second part of including the majority. There is this start up by the name Rooz that lets people use a program through their browser. This gives people that don't want to switch in order to not lose a program no longer have the need to decide whether to be with the program or without.

But ultimately the fact that Google based their business on the cloud from the start sets them a level apart from the companies now trying to get into cloud business so I do hope they take steps to broaden exposure acceptance and want for their products.
I have not had the privilege of using the Chrome OS yet, but it looks the most promising to replace the bloat that all systems seem to have added over the years. I would be interested to see it "grow up" and develop into a real competitor.
"more Windows-like in its obscurity, its tendency to hide affordances that were once a joy to the advanced user"

What does "in it's obscurity" mean? Also, can you give us an example of how Windows has hidden things from advanced user more often than OS X? I was under the impression that if OS X always hid advanced functionality and "advanced" APIs whereas Microsoft pretty much gives you all the options. (EDIT: Maybe I'm missing something.)
dev lim
Not agree, and it still better than ubuntu and window. well, hope someone release new OS better than MAC
If anything new emerges and gets any kind of traction in this area... here are a few of my predictions about it...

1) It'll be funded by someone (someones?) who didn't have to ask anyone else for money. Example: Someone with (hopefully) a deep (not user, not programmer, not developer, but Computer Science level) understanding of the domain space who made (hopefully) more than sufficient funds from some other biz.

The project will have a few fundamental premises. Among them:

2) GUI and OS are not synonyms.
3) Monetization is not an afterthought.
4) Identity is not an afterthought.
5) After 50+ years of history under our belts, a computer simply "operating" is no longer a sufficient much less impressive feat.

I'll keep the other key elements to myself, for now.
(I intend it to be me. :-)

+George Station I'm not complaining about email. I'm complaining about the Finder (at least right now), and the file system.

There's a lot of unexpected behavior in the UI, and many of the changes seem very poorly thought-out. It's no longer intuitive. Things happen for mysterious reasons.

I've also had terrible battery life problems on my new Macbook Air. Part of it, I suspect, is that the "disk" is too full, and so the system does more thrashing. Which is what set me off on this quest to free up space, and made me aware just how much system space the OS requires. I started out with 20G free, and thought that would be enough. But no way. I need to reboot every couple of days to free up space. So I decided to go more radical, and finally remove all my mail archives, which led me to the current bad experience of file deletion.
Windows 7 gives you options to:
Delete all, with a check box to ignore errors.
Replace all files if they match,
Rename the file to Filename (1)

It also gives you a file size, and date creation/modify/last used.
Sadly, I would have to agree. Many of the new features of Lion are somewhat obscure in their functionality. I support Mac users and I'm hesitant to rollout Lion for them--they're not going to get it. Finder, launchPad, full screen, etc., have all changed the metaphor in ways average users aren't going to get. And what about changing apps when using a projector? the display has to resync each time, yuck. I find the iCloud implementation on iPhone and Mac less than obvious. Even before iTunes Match was up and running, and I was using wireless iTunes Sync on a beta version of iOS5, my non-iTunes store purchases stopped transferring. I have a feeling if you don't pay for Match, managing your iTunes music collection is going to get a lot worse.
I haven't even moved to Lion yet (still on Snow Leopard), and I've been bitching for a year or so about how OS X has become a parody of what it once was. Either Apple needs to fix it, or someone else will. Maybe that is Ubuntu... or even Win 8. That would be one of the biggest ironies in the history of this business (though I don't think Microsoft really has what it takes to fix years of fail). Apple has been putting too much effort into the iPhone--which, I suppose, is the core business. But hacker love made OS X (and in turn, Apple as a whole) what it is today; what happens to the company if that love moves elsewhere? Can Apple afford to lose the users who put them back on the map?

I've said a number of times that Apple has been characterized by fits of pure genius separated by long stretches of mediocrity. The last fit of genius was exceptional; it lasted a full 10 years. But it may be about to end, and with respect to their core operating system product, it has already ended.
+Tim O'Reilly "To all of those who said "Chromebook", you might be right if the hardware wasn't so heavy."
The Samsung weighs 3.3 lbs. The Acer weighs 3.2. Compare a 13" MacBook Air at 3.0 lbs.
Just getting to hidden files -- an operation that's trivially easy on Linux or Windows -- requires a google search and an abracadabra script. This quote from the Isaacson book about Jobs's planned 3-million-square-foot Cupertino corporate palace, says it all: "The architects wanted the windows to open. Jobs said no. He “had never liked the idea of people being able to open things. ‘That would just allow people to screw things up.' " (Quote lifted from Malcolm Gladwell's NYer piece)
Yeah, like every OS, it is getting bloated, and the idea of making it more iOS-like is foolish. I abandoned years ago because it's just awful; I use Thunderbird and the native Gmail interface.

+Wayne Bloss he didn't say it hid advanced things, but that it hid "affordances," ie, clear and simple pathways to doing what you need to do. Want to scroll your document? Relean how. Want to delete a photo from your photostream? You can't. Want to delete an application? You can do it with iOS-style gestures, except when you can't. Hate the stupid design of iCal? Too bad, it's not modifiable. And so on.

MacOS and iOS are essentially autocratic. There are many advantages to dictatorships. Things tend to be more efficient. Everyone gets along. But as the old saying goes, power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Apple has gone from making computers "for the rest of us" to being the big guy on the screen that someone needs to throw a hammer at.
The best and most useful tool in Mac OS X is the Terminal.
But what if they remove it?
Then I'll download iTerm2.
But what they ban it from the Mac App Store because of stability issues?

I have been very KDE-friendly lately, as I started to compare the latest Mac, Windows (8) and Linux workstations.
By the way, does anyone know why virtual desktops sometimes get reordered behind your back, in Lion?
More so with Safari compatibility... lot of unnecessary caching implemented to boost performance but its half baked with lot of css issues.
Chrome OS is not yet ready for primetime. {{-_-}}
I'm noting similar issues and, in fact, I reverted to Snow Leopard after my Lion upgrade brought my iMac to its knees performance-wise. (Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz, 4GB RAM)

More and more of the very details that have made OS X and other Apple products a joy to use seem to be missing or sub-par in each successive iteration of the OS. And some claimed improvements have, in fact, broken older, tried and true aspects of functionality.

Case in point: In the Leopard version of Mail you used to be able to drag and drop an email address from an email message into the search box and it would only add the naked address without the brackets, or the name and the search would instantly show the desired results. In Snow Leopard they broke it so that when you dropped the address, it retained the name and brackets which you then had to spend extra time and effort stripping away (I actually counted the clicks and swipes at one point out of frustration) before the search would work properly.

And in Lion, the drag and drop still doesn't work, but there are additional features which are well intentioned and work in part, but on balance result in more time and clicking and effort expended to achieve the same results.

Isn't it the obsessive attention to detail that made Apple the successful company it is today?

Here's hoping they spend some time on the next iteration going back and tying up some of these loose ends.
+Tim O'Reilly Tiger was definitely better than Panther, and Panther was much better than Jaguar... And let's not even talk about OSX.1. But I know what you mean about releases after Tiger. Oh and finder still sucks and has since the first version.

Windows is definitely getting worse as well. Take for example the network properties. Now to assign a windows machine a static IP you need to go through 3 or 4 separate screens to get to those options, whereas on XP you could do it in 2 clicks.

The way both have been lately has contributed in large part to why I use Linux full time, and have since 2005 (I used it before, just not as my main OS on my desktop/laptop). Vista was the big deciding factor for that one.
Ubuntu complicated???? Pls come home and tell that to my 11 and 13 year old daughters, each of them have configured their login window, desktop theme, mouse gestures and make sure they have the latest version of OO. 
Lubuntu. I had been using Ubuntu to keep my 8 year old laptop going, but that distro is getting horribly bloated. After updating to 11.10, it would take ten seconds to move my cursor across the screen. I found Lubuntu, and it's as if I have a brand-new computer. I still can't edit video or very large images, but for day to day use, this ancient Celeron laptop works just fine.

As for ease of use, it doesn't get much easier. I've been using Gmail since it was in beta, so I don't worry about local email storage anyway. Lubuntu runs Abiword and Gnumeric for basic office functionality (lightning fast), and you can install Libre Office for more functionality and some degree of MS Office compatibility (or you can run Google Docs and not need an installed Office app at all). The system informs you of important updates automatically, and you use the Synaptic Package Manager to find more software.

The best part is, there are no ridiculous license renewals or upgrade fees. It's a free OS (in both senses), and there are thousands of free programs that will meet most people's general computing needs.
Try OpenSuse. I use and love it! And btw, I never really liked Apple. They were always like this. You can't install any other system in their hardware and they're not compatible with anything from their competitors. I never liked them because of that. I just hope Google make their Chrome OS better with native desktop support.
Yes, Tim, someone else also finds that (oh, that's not a surprise anymore?) - my personal theory being that Apple switched focus from the computer as a tool to telephony (emphasize "phony").

Right up to the release of the iPhone (which, in fairness, was a remarkable feat of tech) each new iteration of OSX came with an overall improvement plus one or a few jaw-droppingly useful and cool features (exposé, anyone? remember the time before spotlight?).
After, though - and I've been paying very close attention - each upgrade seems to focus only on further integration with the mobile platform and whatever it is that people are expected to do with it.

Seriously, I have no idea, beyond now replying to emails from the iPhone with "I will look right into it when I get to my office"-type messages (which of course translate to "wow, look, I have an iPhone that will in no way help me do the stuff you ask but will remove your message from the unread pile, thus making sure I forget it when I'm back at the workstation/office/workshop/store").

I also tried Ubuntu and must chime in with the reports that it, while an interesting project, is even further away from what OSX used to be than Windows - understand that the beauty of OSX always was that A) the user experience was hyper-intuitive (or at least very), and B) everything just worked on it.
Any peripheral, any program, printing routines, utilities, nothing ever just refused to work for some arbirtrary technical reason. Almost, anyway, and far closer to "ever" than Windows and Ubuntu, the latter of which requires you to be Hugh Jackman from "Swordfish" just to activate the wireless dongle...
Gnome Shell anyone? Preferably with Linux Mint for novice users!
Wow, +Tim O'Reilly such a trolly post from you. Why are you using the Finder to archive your mail? Apple has been encouraging application developers to handle file system manipulation internally since the early days of Mac OS X. In Mail, one can do what you're doing without the pain of the Finder idiosyncrasies:

Option 1. Select all of the mail you want to move and drag it from Mail to the external drive

Option 2. Select all of the mail you want to move and then Control (or right)-Click it and select the archive option which opens a standard dialog for saving

Then once you're satisfied that the mail you wanted is saved elsewhere, select it again if not still selected and move it to Mail's trash and empty said trash.
I mildly suspect not having a mad perfectionist at he helm contributes to the interface problems, but the lock-in was a Jobs-ism inherited from the smaller Apple devices...
+Tim O'Reilly I wanted to start over with Time Machine and had trouble with OS X refusing to empty the Trash to clear the space on the external hard drive and after researching and trying various options I ended up downloading and using Trash It!:! That worked when nothing else I tried succeeded. (Be aware it may take a surprisingly long time.)

As for the OS discussion, I appreciated +Raymond McGinlay's suggested three-level typology. I cut my computing teeth on Mac OS 7.1 and have been using Macs since then both at home and at work, but with increasing unease about the walled garden approach. I also use Ubuntu on a ThinkPad and an Acer laptop and in many ways prefer it to OS X, but I'm in that awkward middle category of power user: I want to do more than watch cat videos and read email (e.g., I want a TeX Live installation that's current, which requires building it from source) but I'm definitely not an expert at the command line. I personally like Ubuntu with Unity but I don't think between the (diminishing) rough edges and problems with hardware support it's quite at the point where I'd recommend the platform without reservations to coworkers or friends.
I may not like Lion but it sucks less than everything else except, perhaps, Snow Leopard. As a simple, efficient, clean OS UI, I haven't tried a *nix UI that compares. Windows? Not so much.
Note: just because you can "see" the Library directory with terminal doesn't mean you ought to have to.
I agree, Apple is headed down the wrong/bad road by forcing users more and more into a ecosystem. It's not going to end well for them if they continue that direction. I was afraid of all this when their market share started growing. As we all start using iCloud, iMessage, Match, etc., think about how hard it will be to stop, when you finally can't take Apple's arrogance anymore. I feel the same way about cellular providers these days, but that's another story...
i use command line to delete trash goto .Trash file then use the command " rm -rf * " that will take care of things in few seconds without any fuss
Growing pains while slipping their focus to mobile? I bet it comes around or becomes irrelevant sooner than we all think it will, but not sooner than we wish. ;)
+Vasilis Giokaris I gave Unity a try in Ubuntu 11.04 and 11.10. I finally switched to Gnome Shell a few weeks ago and love it. It is a lot snappier and I'm more productive now.
I am feeling the same frustration, Tim. I am finding Lion to be antagonistic toward OSS developers. Packages don't install correctly or sometimes at all. Apple continues to make my development decisions for me ("thou shalt use XCode, thou shalt use LLVM, thou shalt not use X-Windows"). My intermediate step is to set up Linux VM's for development (using VirtualBox and Vagrant), so that I can regain control of my dev environment. Longer term, I am looking to break my dependency on Mac OS X so that I can leave Apple behind.

FWIW, I'm feeling the same pain on the iPad and iPhone. I've ended up leaving my iPad at home and I will be switching to Android as soon as the Google Nexus is actually available to purchase.

It is incredibly disappointing to me that things have ended up where they are, being an avid Mac user since Mac System 7. Even though 20 years is a great run, I was still hoping it would last longer.
Ups - iPhone finger...
Anyway - you can't have a simple, yet geek friendly OS.
Linux is geek-friendly, WIN and OSX tend to be friendly to less advanced users.
With all the devices and usecases, you have to concentrate on the mass market if you want to create/strengthen your mass OS.
For everyone else - there are the Linux variants and maybe Chrome... 
Ron W
I am going to stick to Snow Leopard and will not upgrade to Lion because of issues. Hopefully the next version will be good. Lion has too many issues at this time.
I hope Apple does a better job next time. I am happy with Snow Leopard. 
I disagree with you on each version getting worse. Although, I'm not a fan of lion because I don't think the features benefit me as a power user. You can still tweak the system. Apple is nice because things just work, and that is because they are specific about how things are done.
Easy way to access hidden folders that one has read access to: Finder's Go to Folder command under Go menu or shift-command-g
Ironically enough, "growing pains while slipping their focus to mobile" seems to accurately describe Ubuntu/Unity these days, which is pretty clearly targeted long-term at touch --- which may be why they don't seem to care that the multi-screen experience with it is very poor. This seems to be one of the things driving people to yet another Debian derivative, Linux Mint...
Ubuntu Maverick (last year's model) was near perfect. Elegant. Simple. Easy. Reliable. Elderly relatives, kids ... it Just Worked for everybody. I got everybody liberated from Windows, and liberated myself from hours of wrestling with Windows problems.

I regret every "upgrade" since. Gnome 3 and Unity are both abominations. Horrible performance. Arrogant, arbitrary UI changes. Crude and ugly. Aping the worst annoyances of the Macintosh. Removing customizability. Breaking important tools. Total suckage.
This iteration has been the sloppiest so far, very buggy and unstable. Now, the real problem is that for us that like OSX the other stuff is just shit. So i feel trapped.
Can anybody tell me how this is new to Apple? As far as I know, it has always been like this.
That's a great explanation of how Mac has been for years now. Never liked their proprietary brain washing, and never liked their products.
Ubuntu 11.10 Rocks.... I would recommend installing Gnome-do. It is the equivalent of QuickSilver in Linux. Now more clicking around to launch an app..
I honestly dont see what the big deal is about?
Ive been using Mac OS since version 9, and quite frankly Lion is great. A lot of the former bugs have been fixed. Like the quick look, which froze a lot in SL, Trash stuck with files that cant be emptied etc etc...
What exactly is the problem with Lion that people are complaining about? Are there major issues with things not working or bugs?
The only issue Ive experienced thus far, has been auto update bombing out. That and I cant use MacPilot anymore.
These problems are really not end of the world. I can download the updates manually from the site, and I have found alternatives to MacPilot.

Gee's try force delete trash from command line.
Ive found a lot of the trash issues, have been due to swapping external drives between a Mac and Windows based machine. Or copying files from Windows onto an external drive, and then trying to delete from a Mac. Format the the drive in Mac OS Extended (Journaled) and you probably wont have this problem again.'s all part of the big plan to get you to want to move to iOS. In it's current iteration iOS is still a toddler, but wait till he grows up !
Well, since the goal of Lion is to make MacBook users feel like they're on an oversized smartphone, this is no surprise. I may just start spending my life in my Ubuntu VM.
+Andy Wootton Chrome OS and the Chromebook make an implicit assumption: you have a broadband connection, your apps and you data all live on the cloud, and you need enough of an OS to host a browser and reach the cloud. You don't keep stuff locally, or need to. If that's true for you it's a compelling model. If not...

The next step will be something we are seeing the beginnings of on mobile devices: specialized apps that connect to the internet to get or put specific kids of data. The user may not need to access the web or run a browser, and the OS will be essentially invisible.
Linux Mint is my favorite OS, but I do a lot of gaming on Steam and Wine does not cut it. I use a separate Windows 7 laptop for my gaming needs.
Jaime M
Still better than the alternatives but they really missed big opportunity for new filesystem with ZFS.
Couldn't agree more. It's gotten to the point where I'm dual-booting Linux for those times I just can't stand working in OSX.
Surprised to see this comment -- I'm enamored by the new features of Lion. Did someone get a hold of your G+ account? ;-) Aside from the longstanding problems with my appleID and that problem's now resurfacing with iCloud, I think some of what I and others are seeing as "broken" are actually competitive moves against Google. For instance, the iCloud setup dialog rejected my gmail account for service, but accepted a different account. I will say that should work better for its age; I could maybe get on board with rewriting the underneath bits. I recently switched to Mutt mainly because doesn't get it done.

As an aside, why doesn't G+ (this "forum") allow inline comments?
Hey +Tim O'Reilly, try Debian+awesome as Window Manager. You'll never regret it! (and also same money for mice)
Correct me if I'm wrong here, but wasn't apple's game plan to eliminate the need for knowledge of a file system? Every release definitely gets closer to that dream. At some point most people won't own desktops and only carry a mobile device. More advanced users (such as yourself and software devs. ) will still be using desktops to develop apps and content for those mobile devices. So we have a divergence.
I'm a Gnome 3 user myself. I really like it. Everyone's different. :-)
@Anthony Tordillos - Sounds like you should just get a pc then ;)
I've honestly never messed with OSX but after being frustrated with Windows XP/Vista, I wiped the hard drive clean, installed Ubuntu and I haven't looked back since then. I've been using ChromeOS with the test laptop for sometime since I love to give input on bugs and improvements but still go back to Ubuntu on my older laptop for some serious writing. I think it's great that we have other OS options out there other than Windows & Apple other than probably 20 years ago where that's all you had and you had to deal with it.
The problem is, no OS is simple and easy to use, Mac is better than Windows by far, but Apple's got to sit the fuck down, fix every god damn bug and annoyance, and i don't care how long or expensive it is. do it.
I mostly don't share this pain as I am still using Snow Leopard except the iCloud dev machine
Hail +Ubuntu, I'm only a child and I use Ubuntu. It's not complicated at all, and Wine tools make it tolerable. There is an intergrated App Store that has enough apps for my needs, and the only fidgeting you have to do is with Wine tools (for which there are tons of forums) it boots faster than a mac (unless your computer is older than me) and is starting to look nice too. Keep in mind it can run alonside anything you have so you can still change your mind after you get it.
Someone needs to do a parody of the evolution of man diagram that shows OSX evolving into iOS. That explains most things.
Mac OS X is fine, for the advanced user as well as the John Does out there.
To quote a blog post I wrote recently, "The overall value of countless computer illiterates gaining access to iOS is surely far greater than the cost of some graybeards occasionally yelling about stuff on their lawns. My desire for people to be able to handle larger amounts of complexity in their computing devices seems completely selfish in retrospect."

I think what we're observing is Mac OS X becoming more useful to regular people; not just power users and geeks. This involves changing things and occasionally invalidating old assumptions. Long-time users usually carry with them a bunch of old assumptions about how things work. Balancing the rate and scope of change seems like a big challenge, and it's not likely that everybody will be happy all the time. I'm not sure what the best measure of overall success is, but all the business-related metrics seem to look good, even looking just at Lion itself.

Back to the specific topic of Mail: would you expect that an average user would know to find ~/Library to delete mail? Or even that ~/Library exists? I wouldn't. I doubt Apple would. In fact, because it's hidden now seems like a very strong indication that users should not need to know about ~/Library (I know there are edge cases). Given that, ask yourself: how do you think Apple wants you to delete mail? What would be most obvious to a novice user?

Don't get me wrong... I'm a graybeard myself, and make my living doing sysadmin stuff. I've suffered some frustration similar to what you're describing, but in the larger picture, I try to remember that the world is constantly changing. The mac operating system has changed a ton over the years. My approach for maintaing a useful relationship with the Mac is to ask myself why a given change has occurred, to understand what it means for all types of users and the specific nature of any tradeoffs involved. Many times (not all), when I find myself frustrated, the frustration is based on my own assumptions which have been invalidated without me realizing it. Identifying and letting go of old assumptions is hard, but is absolutely necessary to remain productive and happy in a rapidly changing OS.
Ubuntu is a great OS, but is missing lots of apps.
The most useful app in OS X is the Terminal.
But what if they remove it in a future release?
Then I'll download iTerm2.
But what if it is banned from the Mac App Store, and there is no other way to get it?

One day, we'll all be screwed.
I think Apple is migrating us away from OS X to iOS by:

1) changing OS X to look and like iOS -- icon filled start pages, backwards scrolling, app store.
2) Make OS X so bad that iOS seems like a great alternative.
Sold my Mac for all the reasons above, I have a dual boot Linux Mint-Windows Vista desktop at home and a Win7-Mint notebook for travel. I mostly use Windows at home because I have a lot of peripherals that do not have Linux drivers that are as good as the Windows ones that came with them, which is the only reason I have for not using Linux all the time. I use Linux on the road because I believe it is more secure. So far so good.
after moving everything to trash reboot before emptying the trash that should cure this headache lol..
I think Ubuntu is going for the "new, simple, clean OS" niche with Unity.
I've only been using Lion for a week and I'm still having fun swiping this way and that just to see what happens. I'd doesn't help that I use a Mac at work and Linux at home, so I never really know which way is up or down. It IS somewhat discouraging that some things that worked well back in the days of System 7, are broken in Lion.
But its not just MacOS. Ubuntu did the same thing with Unity. Not nearly as good as what it replaced. And people have the same reaction to every 'new' Facebook, or new Gmail. Just wait till Windows 8 hits the screen.
We are always hungry for something new, and the OS makers try and feed that hunger. Sometime it's a hit, sometimes not. Personally I respect Apple for not being afraid to push us to change. When they said we don't need floppy drives we all freaked out. Now many people reading this may have never used a floppy. When they said we don't need Flash we revolted. Now even Adobe is getting with the program. So now they tell us up is down and down is up and its a big deal. But you can be sure that that will become the standard on all systems before long.
BeOS? At least they're not releasing frequent and costly upgrades...
People should use what they like. Some solutions for the mentioned problems, though:

1. The Library's where it's always been, it's just not visible. Hold option while the Finder's "Go" menu is open and "Library" will be there. Or "Go to Folder…" (⇧⌘G) and type "~/Library". Or make it visible again using the Terminal (type "chflags nohidden ~/Library"—though it may be hidden again with each OS update and you'll have to retype this command).

2. The inability to delete items in use via "Empty Trash…" is nothing new, but "Secure Empty Trash…" has always bypassed it (though it will slow down the process). Just cancel out of the deletion process on the first alert and use "Secure Empty Trash…" instead. Or, feel free to use the Terminal.
Nope, I haven't noticed, but that's probably only because I've just made the switch over from Windows. What I have noticed, however, is that Apple seems to purposely make their OS's to slowly but surely invalidate their aging hardware so that you are compelled to upgrade at least every 3-4 years, and I don't appreciate that.
... Yes. Mac OS is fine for power users, it's based on FreeBSD fer fucks sake. it's the bugs in the "it just works" that people bought into that's pissing everyone off.
I'm seeing the same thing. The overwhelming complexity of implementing the digital hub/iCloud is putting Mac OS on track to be just as obscure and unstable as Windows.
+Dan Farfan I believe that's pretty much a perfect description of what Chrome OS seeks to be.

1. Google+ integration [Google+ includes all services]
2. They are turning features simple and advance features easily accessible in a minimalist UI
3. Eventually all settings would be cloud stored meaning anyone could log into any Chromebook and have the environment they created.
By the way: the canonical way to remove stored data for a Mail account is deleting it from Mail > Preferences > Account. You can also set Mail not to keep downloads for an account without deleting in the Advanced pane of the same.

"I can't delete my mail in an unsupported way hence the OS sucks" on the Internet has never helped.
Have to Apple seems to be coming more proprietary as Windows becomes less...Apple is now 'forcing' you to use some of their apps, building them into the OS and making them difficult, if not impossible, to remove...not that they might be some wonderful apps, but may not not be ideal in all situations, such as when deploying to a corporate enterprise environment...even their most recent release of Final Cut Pro was admittedly not ready for use in a high-end production environment...spurred by more profits, assume Apple is deserting the enterprise environment for the more profitable consumer market...
No, but seriously Ubuntu's great, just doesn't have much support. I've had my share of time with both Window's and Mac, I just can't stand Mac.
I tend to agree. I am the IT department for a company in Sebastopol that is a mixed Mac/PC environment. Slowly, over the past few years, service calls have shifted from being PC dominant to being Mac dominant.
wait till i graduate from my college...
i have a pleasant surprise planned for the world...
I found Lion to be a much more accessible release for first time or inexperienced users (yes, there are a lot of people who have never had a Personal computer: they have used them but never had one they could call their own and bend to their will).

+1000 to the support for BeOS, +Howard C. Shaw III I had high hopes for that, remembering how well it worked on the hardware of the day. I wish there was a law/rule/convention that abandoned software projects had to revert to the public domain. I don't know how much of Be made into Palm's products… +Tim O'Reilly would get a better response than I would: how about a wish list of abandoned projects (HyperCard is one I have heard mentioned, as well as the Newton OS, though we see more and more of it's functionality in iOS with each release)?

Maybe this is part of the evolution of the product line/market: it becomes simpler for new users, more obfuscated for advanced users, but the net is that there are more people being added to a connected base. That's a win, especially if someone does come up with a new clean and simple offering.
This is almost as bad as Pres. Bush's propaganda cloaked as legitimate news / journalism ... I wonder why unsolicited comments appearing on my google+ page attempt to discredit Mac OS, which, by default, then tend to extol the virtues of all things Google ... the only useful thing I got from this propagandized span was Christian Orawetz's commodore logo
Frankly, I like Apple for their hardware only. I run Chrome browser on Mac OS - that actually meets 99.9% of my needs.
I think the problem is with what you call a simple clean OS has no absolute definition. For the geek, we want an OS that gets out of our way and lets us do what we want when we want but still has a nice slick UI for day to day tasks. However, for my people like my Mom (who would say "What is an OS?) they just want the computer to do what they are thinking. OSX is trying to cater to my Mom and in the process is making less pleasant for people like me. However, OSX is still infinitely better than Windows because I can drop into bash.
For all those recommending Linux and Chrome. Most Mac users buy them for professional purposes eg. Retouchers, or graphic designers. Adobe is industry standard in these professions. How exactly is the Adobe creative suite going to run in either of these two OS's? Ive tried Wine in the past, and I could get Photoshop to run... like a snail in a tar pit. The Gimp is great, but not in the same league.
I recently tried Mac OS and I see no advantage whatsoever over Windows 7. Actually I see some disadvantages, but this might be because I'm not used to it, so I declared a tie. For now.
Most of the people I meet who love Mac and hate Windows have never tried Windows 7. I think that over the years Microsoft has improved and Apple has stagnated. If this trend continues (and I think it just might - Windows 8 looks great), then Apple will start losing some of its non-fanatic users.
+Tim O'Reilly why didn't you force delete the directory from the command line? and put it in the background? A Finder replacement would be good just about now
As an all-round* webdeveloper, I highly appreciate my current setup of OS X Lion.
As a base system, it just works most of the time: backups just work, sleep-wake just works, USB just works, detecting monitors and beamers just works, adding printers just works, connecting to networks just works... I could go on but most of these seemingly easy tasks are non-trivial in Ubuntu and Windows in my opinion.
The real power is that I can run Final Cut Pro, Photoshop, Illustrator, Omnigraffle, Textmate and some other fine pieces of closed-source (non-native-linux) software alongside a host of Unix tools. For actual development, I use Virtualbox, managed by Vagrant.

In OS X, one thing I miss is a package manager like Aptitude, but Homebrew and several packages (kyngchaos!) are available and sufficient.
I too worry about the iOS-like closing down of OS X in the future, but that future isn't here yet, and I can only hope that Apple will not turn its back on developers like myself. I will switch back to full time Ubuntu before they can say 'Hey Apple' .
(* Aren't all webdevelopers all-round?)
They all have problems. OSX probably has less than anyone else's. Man up and deal with a tiny frustration in your first world life.
But really, is it a factor of the Operating System, or more the applications we use ontop of that framework? I used the first Linux version all the way through the new ones, Solaris, Windows since Dos and all that, but the OS is only to boot the machine and give you basic I/O into the box. The applications we use on top, such as Thunderbird, Outlook, Explorer, "File Explorer" etc are the ones that need a "time out" and better interface. The OS should be minimal....and really it started that way, but companies like M$ saw erosion of their marketspace with all the applications that were being built that rode on they bought those companies and embedded them into the OS framework. Now when one of those apps crash they take the whole OS with it or cause serious lock ups because they are integrated. Remember OS/2? My favorite message was "The application "appname" has attempted to violate system integrity and is being terminated. OK". Program died, OS lived.
Wow, I switched everything to Gmail when it was in Beta, I was Beta-Testing Linux at the time and there was a ton of emails in relation to that and filling up my computer all the time. I am really always quite shocked to hear that it is taking so long for people to catch on.
Al Goss
With ANY OS there are going to be the quirks and issues that annoy some percentage of its users. Personally never used and Apple product; highly recommend Win7 (Win8), or a Linux flavor. And yes, they too have their issues, but hey, nobody is perfect. :)
+paul beard There is actually an open-source fork sort of thing of BeOS -

But it is still alpha after how many years now? But it does exist. Not sure whether any actual BeOS code is in there, or if it is a clean-room re-implementation.
Agreed Sir. There are "some" nice touches in Lion and it's stable, but it's the first release where I've had to actively start hacking the default O/S behaviour because it is too annoying to live with. I mean why would anyone want a bland column of grey icons in their Finder bar is beyond me?!?
Being forced into creating a duplicate lossless file just so I can listen to a file on an Ipod instead of the FLAC file that I can use anywhere was annoying enough to just toss it in the garbage. I paid for the product. I should be able to use it how I want with whatever format I choose.
Apple has never had any appeal to me for their dictator like handling of hardware they expect people to overpay for.
Whenever I asked an apple fanboi what was so good about it, and they just regurgitated some line from the ad campaigns, the light bulb went off that they will never get my $$
I thought about Ubuntu for a lot of years and I finally decided to change. Installed 10.10 and loved it. Them I upgraded to 11.04 and to 11.10. Unfortunately with new versions of Unity or Gnome we are being thrown back a few years regarding system administration GUI tools. I will remain on Ubuntu for time being, but only until I find a new substitute. Windows?! NO! Apple! Hell NO! Heard about Linux Mint. I may try as soon as possible.
@Leonard Schiff Installing Tar balls is not everyone's cup of tea, and because of this, it will never become mainstream in this particular industry. Ive tried a few Linux distros, Red Hat, Suse, BeOS, Ubunthu... I experienced problems with all of them. Trying to navigate BASH or GRUB is for programmers. After many years I have yet to have any serious issues with MacOS. Lion is awesome imho.
I have nothing against Linux, but its still a hobbyists OS. Personally I think its the best OS for servers. Possibly better than MacOS server... but not a practical alternative for a professional in the graphics industry.
Tim, please meet ChromeOS!

And PS. you should consider migrating all of your legacy email into Gmail...why settle for backing them up to an external disk?
The Mint way sounds interesting, Next version will be Gnome3 with look & feel more like Gnome2.
+Ry4an Brase how do you do it in OS X? In Windows, it's: SETX PATH "%PATH%;C:\Apps" /M - (Be careful if you have 2 path variables. It's best to check what's in your path variable before using %PATH% because it expands to both the user and system path. The easiest way is to print out the PATH (with PATH command), copy it and set a literal using SETX instead of using the expanding var.) Honestly, I think that this is better than OS X. Here look -
+José Sá Yes but I don't think (at least not anymore) that the Ubuntu way is necessarily the Linux way. That is why I left Ubuntu, it too is becoming too much like Windows is much the same way that Tim wrote about OS X. If you've been using Linux for a while you'll be constantly frustrated to find that the tasks you've been doing the same way on multiple distributions for many years is now performed entirely differently on Ubuntu, and not in a better way, only a different way.
I also don't like where Apple is going. They threw out the old operating system and the old chips opting for a highly modified Linux kernel and Intel. I am a long time Apple user (since OS7) but I really don't like the new operating systems. One of the problems, like Tim mentions, is the hidden libraries. I too have encountered problems deleting files, like Tim, being told they were in use when they really weren't. It's frustrating but I still like the Mac better than the PC. I started using PCs from the command line (remember DOS?) and Windows from version 3.1. The first Apples I tried were amazingly liberating. What abut Linux? I like CentOS, a Red Hat flavor. You can have a GUI or work from the command line — hey, a choice, what could be better?
i take notice of the OS (win7) so little these days that it has become largely invisible (good) in my daily routine. looking forward to the OS losing even more of its significance as we move everything to web/cloud where everything is simple, beautiful, and increasingly more powerful. yay!
I admittedly haven't used any Linux desktop in the past 4 years, so possibly it's not "so bad" now. But I mostly agree with Jason Ish's comments about the incessant Linux fiddling (at least in my admittedly not "up-to-date" experience).

Compared to Windows (like my husband's Win7 machine that makes me want to pull my hair out), OS X Lion is an oasis in the desert. Honestly, there is nothing that has changed in OS X Lion that has made me think it's less friendly, or anywhere near "Windows-like".
well i am a new user of Mac...& i found there is lots of compatibilities issue in Mac as compared to Windows..
Kubuntu or Linux Mint may be an alternative for you. Mac is for the 90%, and you are in the 10%.
Just restart your then empty the bin, alternatively get hold of Onyx and that will empty the bin for you. You could learn a little command line unix for Terminal. But In general i think your sentiments are correct. As a design using the mac since the late eighties i find apple focus on the power user is waining in favour of the general consumer. With cost of apple high end hardware on the rise it would be nice if some one could come out with a range of products and an os dedicated to those that need strong stable environment to work in.
On another note, I find all the *nix variant suggestions a clear indication of just how geeky Google+ is, which I absolutely Love!
Oh man, how often will you delete so many files? One time in a decade? Yes there are problems with the OS, since it is a HUGE system, and huge systems are bound to contain more errors (due to higher entropy), but IMHO it's running surprisingly well. Ranting is easy (and not good for your own health).
It used to be Ubuntu, but that is getting more Mac and Windows-like with every revision. Now maybe Linux Mint is the optimum OS.
I hate apple mail and had trouble removing it on Lion, but it can be removed with Mackeeper.
+Rohit Mishra Yes, you are correct I keep Windows on my laptop for one reason (well really sort of two). I have so many gadgets and services that require Windows, some also support Mac OS X, but not Linux, never Linux. I find myself almost constantly posting to some forum the obligatory "Please support Linux" post but it usually falls on deaf ears.

I don't understand why gadget software and online service software aren't always developed to be platform agnostic in the first place and drivers should automatically be built for every possible consumer platform or, if you don't want to support that, at least provide the community the ability to do it for themselves. I'm talking to you Garmin, Fitbit, Netflix, Omron, Sansa, Logitech, MagicJack, Barnes & Noble, and on and on to include just about every manufacture of consumer tech or online services.

I do intend to eventually dual-boot but I haven't yet attempted to install Fedora 15 onto another partition because I don't feel like dealing with the weird partition structure of my laptop's default configuration and/or violating the conditions of my warranty.
Tyler M
Seems like this trend started when NeXT got folded into Apple and many of the old guard UI/UX people got ousted or left in disgust.

FYI: Finder -> Secure Empty Trash ignores the "in use" flag. takes longer due to the write/overwrite of secure delete, but you can walk away... (at least this worked in 10.6.8, haven't tried it in 10.7 yet).
I hate Mac OS X since 2008. And now i'm starting to hate Ubuntu as well because is turning a Mac OS X desktop emulator (Gnome 3, Unity). I would suggest Mint (beginner) or Debian (Advanced).
Why should Apple focus on the "power user"? It's not their core market. No big statements needed, just switch.
I will have to admit that the trend of "making the OS easy" was started by M$ and continues with all the different OS's, be it MAc or Win or Linux. Linux distro's have, for the most part, kept the expertise level fairly high, but developers have gone through great strides to make it usable for all. But taking away the tools that can benifit the experts but can damage the beginner will hurt the beginner in more way. Without the chance to make a mistake, where do we learn? And on that note, GIVE ME BACK ROOT LOGIN DAMMIT!
+Andy Wootton This is a big reason why I left Ubuntu, I mean it isn't quite as simple as that but more or less in a nutshell.
+Tim O'Reilly I'm using Chrome and suffering with absolutely none of those issues... open my laptop and I'm ready to go. What a pleasure it is to use something that lets you do your job and not have to be a geek.
Your first problem is that you started deleting stuff from a folder that Apple now deems wise to hide. With all due respect, why on earth would you start from the ~/Library folder? Why not delete these from the Mail client?

You can even "backup" from inside (Right click a folder > Export)
Also, if you really want the Library folder, you can just go to Finder > Go > (Hold option) Library

There are real criticisms to be aired, this is not one of them.
Yes. It's beginning to look like they want to take it completely to the ipad interface. Most computers will be locked down to that extent. I don't like it.
With every OS update Apple also keeps dropping support for older components forcing me to migrate documents to new applications. (OS Classic, PowerPC, Appleworks etc). What a waste of time and energy.
+Mark Stone and +Mohammad Nauman , I'm surprised to see so many comments that are positive for the newer Ubuntu and Unity. Personally, I hate both Unity and the direction that Ubuntu has taken its Linux, but it reminds me that the good and bad thing about Linux is that there is a Linux distribution for everyone.
I too am still using Leopard 10.5.8 for all the reasons stated above. I'm not missing out on anything important in Snow Leopard or Lion, just ephemeral social apps and games that hold none of my interest.
I really haven't found a unix/linux alternative that I can actually like as a desktop. The only one I occasionally will use as a desktop is Gentoo, but it's a pain to set up without any linux knowledge, even with it I found it painfull to get it up and running with a desktop environment. I love linux/unix for servers because they don't require a desktop environment.

I personally dislike ubuntu, they seem to be making it look more and more like a windows/mac desktop by default. Also I don't have the freedom to customize it at run time as much as I do with others like Gentoo and Free BSD.

I actually won't use anything but mac for day to day use, as much as they do change stuff it just takes getting use to.
+Tim O'Reilly Maybe there should be some sort of global option for users that will affect the behavior of the UI for the entire OS. "Select your level of expertise: Beginner, Intermediate, Expert, Developer" That would solve the problem, however, that option would depend on Apple caring about anything other than the novice market.
@eonard Schiff From a productivity POV, this doesnt work imho.
You may well be correct, but industry people done to want to F around with "making it work" they want to install the applications and get started working. What malware are you speaking of which Lion is vulnearble to?
I honestly still dont see what all the gripes with Lion is :-/ It seems the complaints are coming from the home users? Maybe Im missing something
+Tim O'Reilly I don't find that it gets that way, no.

Also, I'm going to assume that the trend doesn't go back to 10.2; elsewise, good sir, I might just have to accuse you of being intellectually dishonest. ; )
+Tim O'Reilly to remove all the file from your trash, use Onyx! There is a feature allowing you to do that! But I agree with you overall!
+Jay Deiman I tried that but it was flaky and I found I was spending more time going back and forth between Gnome 3 and Unity desktops to research how to fix Gnome 3 on Ubuntu when I realized that I should just do the sensible thing and use a distribution that does Gnome 3 correctly, by default.
..... with more attempts to lock you into Apple's own apps....., this is what i dislike. Used Apple Air Play and like it, but don't like the restriction that it can be done only thru Apple Products.
Anyone who's done technical support understands why Apple hid the ~/Library folder—users delete stuff from there all the time. Apple gets that trade-offs have to be made so newbies can't shoot themselves in the foot as easily. For advanced users, get into the Terminal and do: chflags nohidden ~/Library. No big deal.
Apple had been in the process of fixing some of the issues with their Mac OS X file system offering, but then Oracle bought Sun and Apple decided that the file system it wanted to adopt was no longer available. The current file system has a lot of issues, Apple doesn't typically resolve such issues using a half-measure.

Working around the specific problem of dealing with apps flagged to not delete for one reason or another, I typically drop into the Terminal window and use the rm command. Some people just reboot the machine and then delete, but I usually have too many things running for that to be sensible.

Apple's philosophy until now has been to use the OS to make the current hardware look marvelous. I am pleased with being able to use Mac OS X 10.7 Lion with my vintage 2006 MacBook Pro, but it is obvious that I'm trying to run too many development-related apps on a machine limited to 3 GB.

The one problem with 10.7 for me has been that it forced me to change how I do some things because a few apps I had been using from the PowerPC days, no longer supported, wouldn't run without Rosetta. Jobs felt that the Mac platform had to be proactively forward-moving to stay viable: unsupported legacy apps must get out of the way of new supported ones that need revenue.
@Srinivas Kolli - What do you mean by "lock you into Apple's own apps."
Fedora 16 is amazing. If your an advanced user this is a no-brainer. At the very least stick with *nix systems as they will give you some familiarity with the terminal commands that you have to issue every once and while. Ubuntu is nice, but I prefer Fedora (Gnome) over Unity. At the very least install these on a VM and test them out. I have not had to use windows once, although since I have a key i have installed windows on a VM and utilized that when I need it.
Tim - OSX is for the normal person - that's why Apple has been so successful. Reverse that trend? No way. Create 2 options on first sign in (normal or very small text - power user)... Absolutely
Jigar P
Completely agree. I am glad to hear other people feel the same way. Every subsequent release of OS X is moving away from what it used to be and seems to have more features that are over engineered. Not to mention this path leads places only within the apple ecosystem.
Hi Tim,

I have two mac minis here at home -- both running Snow Leopard -- but all my "real" desktops are Fedora Linux. That's with some development done in win7 in a kvm virtual machine, for which Fedora has all the components in their distro. (No need for VMWare or VirtualBox or whatever.)

But I'm writing to let you know about live CD's. Most Linux distros have iso images you can download and burn to CD -- then you boot the CD, and can try out the OS. If you like it, they have an option to install the CD's minimal system on your hard drive, where you can then use the package manager to install the software you'd like to run.

Also, if +Matt Silver is reading this, would be nice to see what he thinks about Lion.
The only reason why they won't give you such features as an ignore button, is because Apple engineers or whomever decides to make those meaningless changes, thinks she/he knows better what you, the user, want.
It's always been Apple's strategy to create a boxed like product, whether it's an App or a Gadget.
At first, it was fun and easy to use. Now, with all the narrowed features added and the lack of democracy where what Apple does or changes becomes a standard that shouldn't be changed and must be followed, the user simply disappeared from Apple's mind.
It doesn't matter what you want as long as Apple knows what should be done/changed.
This became a little bit ridiculous...
Arch Linux. You build it yourself from binaries. That way you don't have a buncha crap choking your system and it just works.
Just think of all the time you waste fighting the old one...and you could have learned it by now.
It's not that hard and you don't have to be a programmer to edit a few files.
Agreed. They have opened the door (widely) for a Google monopoly. At this point, if Google were to make anything I'd buy it. Even if Apple had the "exact same" gadget or app. I am a die hard apple fan myself, keeping myself exclusive to the brand for YEARS now. If I could only have gotten a referral fee for all of the PC zombies I have converted to Mac I'd be retired. But at this point, with all of the great releases from Google, I'm switching hats. Google all the way, I can care less if they take over the world. Especially when considering that the world would be better place if they did.
I switched back to linux with the snow leopard release... (and had been thinking about doing so ever since matte displays were no longer an option)
Even the simple things, like creating a new folder, is more work now. On Tiger, I created the new folder and the name of the folder was automatically highlighted so I could re-name it. With Lion, I create the new folder, then double click on the name to open the re-naming feature. Small problem, but a pain nonetheless.

Also, on Tiger (I skipped over Leopard) when I inserted a USB it would automatically appear on the desktop. Now I have to open any folder, then click on the USB icon to open it. It's a few more steps, a waste of time, a step backwards, and much more like Windows.

I've just started exploring Lion, and this is not a good start. I'm starting to think that Apple is trying to be Windows as opposed to thinking of the user and making operating a Mac a user-friendly computer. So far, I'm not impressed
There was a time when I would've suggested that you switch to Ubuntu, but now it's doing the same damn thing. :^/
Windows man. Stick with the enemy everyone has defeated already.
As others have mentioned linux mint is a good choice if you dont want the mobile like interface in the new ubuntu.
I use VLC, or I did. I now receive this message that says "You cannot use the application with this version of Mac OS X. I stayed on Tiger 10.4.11 because I did not want to become a captured consumer. Now, Apple has made a retroactive change to my operating system which interferes with my use of VLC. I am likely to install Ubuntu for this reason.
For someone with such a good reputation as a writer, man... that post could have used some proof reading. For someone who has the reputation of being a Power User of IT related stuff, the fact that your main OS isn't Linux based is weak. Sure OS X runs on a UNIX kernel is great and all, but that's like putting training wheels on a Ducati. Plus, your supporting one of the most money grubbing, proprietary , thieving, un-innovative company in the world (anyone to tell you otherwise is simply IT retarded). SHAME ON YOU!
To me, OS X is being designed solely for laptops. I work on a Mac Pro and have a 27" iMac at home. Many of the features touted in Lion are lost on me. Full screen apps, mission control, freakin' launch pad, etc. are of no use to me. In fact, my inability to easily move windows between spaces drives me crazy! Used to be very easy through a combination of Expose and Spaces. 
+Janet Symmons, when I create a folder using the Finder, I see the same behavior in Lion that you describe for Tiger which is the same behavior that has always occured in the Mac OS (X or otherwise).

Also, regarding the appearing on the desktop issue check your Finder preferences sounds like the Appear on Desktop option got turned off.

The cognitive dissonance for most of the people responding to this post seems to be that of the "advanced" user. Both Apple and Microsoft are trying to address the needs of the major of users who are what are better thought of as perpetual intermediates.

I get advanced users feel neglected in that scenario and we all need a good kvetch now and again.
I was part of the public Lion test team, and they trashed Spaces. I'm a s/w developer. At present I'm working in RHEL with KDE and 8 virtual desktops. I know where everything is. In Snow Leopard I also run 8 virtual desktops, again, knowing where everything is. Spaces worked fine for me. I've used multiple virtual desktops since fvwm in Red Hat 4.2. Lion takes away my ability to arrange and manage my workspace.

Yes I tested Lion and could have kept running it for free. Why?
This trend towards more obscurity was supposed to be in the sake of security. Power users would rebel of course, since they know which library files they can delete and which not.

Then again, there's always Linux.
Just wait until you try using the new Address Book.
Not overly impressed with Gnome 3, as I just got done with an install of Fedora 15. Just a mess all around, though I do like the dynamic desktop space management. They still don't have audio working (line in audio is just broken for reasons unknown).
Tip to force empty the trash (not exactly suitable for "regular" users though) - Open up, cd into ~/.Trash, and rm -rf * (careful with the spaces there!). This forgoes all the Finder crap and just deletes everything in the folder.
Ubuntu FTW!

Let's face it. Apple makes some of the best looking hardware. But when it comes to the OS and software try are trying harder then ever to lock you in, and why? Because when some PC maker fines a way to make good looking hardware at a better price, then party is over. How to you slow people from jumping ship? Ecosystem lock in! Maybe I'm wrong, it's just my opinion.
I personally am pissed about the binding to active directory and creation of a mobile profile bug in lion. Plus, OD randomly dropping offline. Also, mac os x seems to have more difficulty traversing vlan's than other machines out there.
it's just crazy b/c the things that get worse are basic functionality features (like wi-fi in snow leopard inexplicably bugging out)
My last new laptop came with Windows 7 and I spent more time updating security stuff,anti-virus and spyware programs so I installed Sabayon Linux alongside windows and since I did not use Windows anymore, after a while, I deleted it and added a couple more Linux distros.
Lots of flavors of Linux to try and enjoy. Download and burn several different ISO images to cd or dvd. Try them out and choose your favorite. I use Sabayon, Linux Mint and Artist X on my old laptop. Computing is fun again. Enjoy!
So say we all. I bailed on OS X a while back for reasons that included your list. R.I.P. OS X.
The real question is why have Mac Os X to begin with.
Windows 7 is the best OS I've ever used. Everything works and looks nice. I mostly use 3rd party apps except for Explorer for file management.
Well geez. all this talk about which OS is better. Use Win7, use Ubuntu, use Mac OS, use FreeBSD. use this,use that. Well LISTEN UP PEOPLE, if you really want an OS that is simple to use and configure (no configuration necessary). I have been using PCLinuxOS for the last few years. There is nothing better. Easy for Windoze users to adapt to, more reliable than M$ anything and it's FREE. Try it!!! I have tried just about every Linux distro mentioned in the posts above and there is nothing in any of them that can hold a candle to PCLOS. Drop all the proprietary MS and Mac stuff and come to where computing is actually a pleasure again. Free software will rule the planet in the very near future.... MARK MY WORDS... and PCLOS will be at the forefront. has always been rubbish. Lion's not so bad once you tweak it to your liking. At least we can finally resize by any window corner now.
Any software product can hit an iceberg; the secret of the energy and longevity of many open-source projects is that someone can throw them a lifejacket by forking them, while close-source products remain lashed to the mast of their sinking owners.
20+ years as a Mac user, and I too dislike the direction Apple is going. The success of the iPhone made them (even more) greedy and arrogant, and I suspect they will move to iOS for regular users, with a really expensive OS X Pro for developers and professionals. As soon as I find some good video editing software for Linux, I'll probably jump ship.
I found it ominous that, to me at least, the first +1 listed under this seismic comment belonged to +Andy Hertzfeld
As +David Henderson said, just drag and drop and copy items- which is why a UI ha been designed. Copying files from a library folder when the has a UI for that does not make someone an advanced user.

It makes you advanced but not a user.

It is surprising that someone has 400,000 mails lying around on a local hard disk. Smart users have most them online, or archived offline, as there is a good probabilty that every email is not equally important.

Macs are designed for users who want to use the computer- not fiddle around with it. And If you are advanced, you can fiddle/hack, with a few extra steps- which an advanced user should put the effort to figure out, as the basic design is for common users- or rather, just users.
Totally agree with a lot of what is being said here. I switch between Win and OS X constantly for development, more and more I am leaning towards Linux as my next goto OS particularly Ubuntu. We'll see what Win8 will bring, that will be my final decision point.
@ Brian Ramsay, Craig Perko, José Sá; Have you guys even tried Linux recently? You sure don't sound like it. I can install Ubuntu in about 20 minutes, and everything works. And by the way Jose, I certainly do not need to configure a setup file to turn off the startup sound.
If you don't know how to find a hidden file or directory, should you really be messing around in it?
Apple is moving OS X in the direction of iOS. The user interface, app store, sandboxing, etc. I fully expect to see removed and a certification system put in place that requires apps be purchased from the Mac App Store. OS X is going to be a jail just like iOS. Know it. Move on to something else now, before they yank the rug out from under you.
+Jeff Adamson Yeah, because there aren't any advanced users or power users that prefer a GUI. Let's see how well your no-lock-in argument holds up in the near future when Apple decides that they want to give you no choice of where to shop for Apps, so they can get their 30% cut. Your favorite desktop OS is slowly turning into iOS. Enjoy that.
Sort of off topic with this and I may ruffle some feathers... Ubuntu is a fine commnity OS, but I despise the fact that Ubuntu forgets where they originated from. (A small team of developers from one of the most established Linux projects – Debian - set out to create an easy-to-use Linux desktop, Ubuntu.) You will be hardpressed to find any mention of Linux on the Ubuntu website. Unbuntu give credit where credit is due. I have no respect for Linux distros that pretend to be something else other than who they really are Linux. Just saying. Linux rules
Lock-in is quite possibly the blight of all proprietary software - usually Apple fans say that Apple lock-in is its best feature though, as it reduces choice, which they can't apparently cope with.
+Mark Faine I didn't use Ubuntu for 3 years and this week i finally got to install it again. I don't agree in Ubuntu becoming too much like Windows. I prefer and use windows daily and is still much easier to use then the new Ubuntu interface. I understand where they are trying to go, but I don't think its the solution. I think that they are actually regressing and making it less user friendly.
When I was still using OSX, things like emptying the trash were best done at the command-line with an `rm` invocation. :p
It becomes a fashion that people seem to be shameful to even mention Windows, but I find that Windows 7 serves me well. I was coming from ubuntu. I use virtualbox to host my ubuntu (the way I setup) for the need of developing work. If you have enough memory, you may like the combo win7/virtualbox/ubuntu. Virtualbox does a good job to make the switching between the os's as simple as switching between windows.

Anyway, an operating system is merely a tool, not you wife who you have a commitment with. Try another if you don't like one. Really in love with one? Great! But it is still a tool.
It sounds about right for every successful product until they are dead. I am glad Coke reverted its revolutionary New Coke. Seriously, it is really frustrating.
Leopard was the best. Better than Tiger, IMO. Especially Spotlight. I had an unrecoverable issue with Tiger's Spotlight. Reinstall did not help, since it was choking on my data, but would not tell what data. I could not trace it back to what file it was choking on. Deleting/rebuilding my index would not help. Since spotlight is used by Finder and Open/Save dialogs, I had 2 min hangups every time I used those. Had to disable Spotlight and used Google Desktop (which was slow) until I moved on from Tiger to Leopard. Having said that, Tiger is best on G4, while Leopard is for G5/Intel.
Mac screwed up when they abandoned the Motorola architecture for Intel. It was all downhill from there.
I think that the goal of an operating over the years is that you should haven't to manage files and underlying processes. Although it does bother me to know that it does take a up a whole lot of space on my harddrive, I think it is a byproduct of not having to worry about where to look for files.

Take a look at Sparrow. I think in someways it should have been the Mail application.
+Rich Deeson I suggest reading up on the paradox of choice in respect to psychology, but by all means, go ahead with the usual cheap shots at Apple users being apparent idiots.

Me, I find that over the years I grew a little disillusioned with Linux distros after all the tinkering around with one forcing me to move to another until, eventually, that distro went and bugged me e.g. going from SUSE and Mandrake to Ubuntu and Mint. Sure, you can ditch one distro for another, but why should I have to go through the rigmarole of having to do that whenever I find I have a qualm with their software's direction?

Windows, well, it'd been all I'd used since I retired my Commodores. I still regard XP as the pinnacle of Windows (and so does business globally). While Win7 did surprise me after the debacle that was Vista, I have found that even Win7 is now lacking in stability and is horribly bloated and slow on my less than two-year-old machine these days, to the point of barely booting up to a usable desktop in under five minutes with only anti-virus and malware protection as start-up programs. My seven-year-old XP desktop manages it far better.

So I moved to Mac and took the plunge. I'm certainly liking Lion, but as I've never really used previous iterations of OS X, I can't be an accurate gauger of just how much has changed. To me, this is stable, fast and has all I need. The lack of driver issues is a blessing, given the countless hours I threw away with Windows and Linux sorting out display or wireless hardware clashes.

In any case, I think the bigger problem is that desktop operating systems are essentially done. They were since XP, near enough, with only the token flourish being added these days to justify new sales, much like with Office, which you could say was "complete" circa 1997.

The move now seems to be to the portable market, with merging the newer smartphone and tablet OSes with those of the desktop. I am rather apprehensive about Windows 8, which, as some have mentioned, seems to be going about it wrong with treating a desktop or laptop as a tablet or mobile phone, but it may prove to be a good all-rounder even so. It reminds me of all those asking for a touchscreen Mac and I was left wondering "Why?". You don't want a laptop or desktop to be controlled by finger input on the display. It makes no sense whatsoever, yet we seem to have Microsoft pushing this with PCs that came with horribly clunky touch interfaces in Windows 7, though Windows 7 was never meant to accomodate touchscreen control until new APIs were devised in an almost ad hoc manner. It certainly wasn't as fluid as using an iOS or Android device.

I also don't buy the locking in arguments, which can really be seen in ANY platform (because we all know Microsoft doesn't hold a monopolistic stance, right?). So long as the systems work and offer the choice within their ecosystem, as Windows has, then there's no problem. I don't have a lesser experience in iOS because I have to use iTunes and the App Store. In fact, the dawning of more use of HTML 5 for applications means, along with Java and Air, it adds more platform agnostic experiences. And that can only be a good thing.
So +Dale Stanton you'd be okay with 0 advancement of the Apple notebook CPUs for nearly a decade? Neither IBM nor Motorola were particularly interested in fixing the power consumption and heat dissipation issues of the 5th generation PowerPC chips for use in portables. The G4s were introduced in 2001, the G5s in 2003, and other than incremental speed bumps the notebooks remained with G4 only processors from 2001 until their discontinuation in 2006. Are you seriously contending that you'd be okay with 10 year old architecture?
My MBP failed on me last Friday and I found being constrained to Linux / BSD strangely liberating. Next machine I'll be getting will be a Lenovo X series; I just can't justify paying 2 grand for a text editor. Macs constitute around a quarter of Apple's revenue right now. You expect them to care about die-hard devs / creatives with that kind of figure? Jump ship while you still can is my advice.
in the vacuum of success comes ignorance
I have to admit, I was awfully confused years ago when the whole "Mac OSX" thing came out. Suddenly I had no idea where my fonts were, why things were buried under layers of "users," etc. I've never bothered to really learn the system since then.

I've been happily tottering along with 10.5 the past three or four years, and had no desire to update the OS - a good thing since an Apple Tech screwed up and formatted my hard drive incorrectly, which means I'll have to reformat my entire drive before I can install a new OS. Now, however, Adobe is releasing software that only works on 10.6 or greater, so now by means of third-party software demands I must either buy a new machine altogether or bite the bullet and reformat my drive, hoping NOT to lose any of my customer's files, file associations, preferences, software serial numbers, etc. (Yes, I'm running Time Machine, but reformatting a drive is still a nerve-wracking thing for me.)
Hi. Yeah. I'm with you. I'm so old that I remember when Apple was for the rest of us; but no more.

Trying to download 'Skitch' the other day nearly drove me over the edge.

Despite all that I just replaced my MacBookPro with another but not because it's insanely great anymore because in truth the operating system is crap; the reason I stick with it is that it's still probably better than the convenient alternative.
Its what happens when the only things that are allowed to be done are the things that marketing and upper management identify as good ideas and nice. I am struggling with this with my current employer where there are tons of areas where things are just not good and are really bad for our users. When upper management regards the core product as best in class and you point out things that are actually very very wrong it bursts their bubbles and they don't want to hear it.
So you're telling me that the head of O'Reilly doesn't know how to find ~/Library and doesn't know how to delete files from the command-line?

I think you might be able to find some kind of reference book to tell you that...*somewhere*...
The thing to remember here is that if these are real, significant problems, then the consumer will vote by walking away.
Kubuntu or KDE is actually very nice after setting up the proper fonts and adjusting the CPU settings in the settings manager. These are just minor annoyances that I've found and only take a minute or two to set up.
Reboot your machine and delete again. Should fix the delete issue. But I hear you on the change of the Mac OS. That's why I haven't switched from OS X 10.6.8. I'm completely happy with Snow Leopard. Why fix what isn't broke I always say. Lion is still new, in terms of a major upgrade. Just like 10.0, 10.1, 10.4, 10.5 and 10.6. They all had their quirks in the beginning. I'm guessing Apple will get many feed backs and refine Lion. Until then, I'm staying with 10.6.8. My only, and biggest concern right now with OS X, is that they are trying to make a DESKTOP OS more into a Mobile type OS. Mimicing the iPhone/iPad. I'm a fan of Apple, have been for 20+ years, and I understand the "move forward" mentality. But somethings, on some machines, just don't need to happen. The Mac OS has been so successful because of it's reliability and simplicity. Why mess with that winning formula? Just so it looks cooler or does things cooler? Glitz and glam, should never out weigh functionality, and the ease of use that the Mac has always been known for.
+George Hood "a highly modified Linux kernel and Intel?" Wait, what?

Did someone switch my regular Mach/BSD kernel for something else? And I think the CPU switch was both necessary and extremely well-managed — just like the last one from the 680x0 line to PowerPC. Add in emulation hooks so (the majority of) people don't lose any workflow and carry on. OS X was running on x86 hardware for years before we saw it and I wouldn't be at all surprised to find that it is running on ARM hardware as well as their own A4/A5 family of chips.

As +Jonathan Simms slyly notes, maybe there is a hook for a new ORA book in this thread…
+Chris Radloff that's the kind of horror stories I hear daily, and are the reason that many client IT peeps are now trying to get away asap from all kinds of proprietry and licensed software. Even when they have to change a disk in a server they might end up paying 10's of thousands in licence-fee's because of forced upgrade's. It is not so much the money they hate spending, but the headaches and frustration and constant feel of being framed and cornered.

To anyone here thinking that Linux is 'too complicated' or 'too limited' for your purposes, if you have never tried it, please do so. You can boot most Linux's in Live-mode (from external disk eg.) without changing your current system, just to try before you 'buy'. Installing it for real is easier than Windows and in general is about 5 times faster than Windows 7 on the same hardware (20 m instead of 2 h).
This is about the right time to switch trains, do yourself a favor, seriously
+john petherick How exactly is OS X "crap" now? I've yet to hear any actual decent reasons in this whole thread other than personal preferences for things that are actually still doable, or are readily replaceable using another service anyway. Seriously, this reeks of the "Microsoft won't get any more money off me now they've changed the GUI" arguments from years back. They were bullshit back then; they're bullshit now. The people complained, then they dealt with it and no doubt nitpick other foibles of total inconsequence. I've tried every major OS out there at some point, and if there's one thing I detect in every Windows/Mac/Linux/BSD user, it's the grass is always greener meme whenever something changes, however small, that upsets the status quo. The bitching over Windows XP's Teletubbie GUI, the issues moving to Ext4 FS from Ext3 or non-support for outdated hardware. Every system has had some change that has either been for the better, or entirely neutral, that gets fanboys all worked up and declaring they'll never use the system again. Again.

Finder may not be the most powerful file manager, and certainly Windows Explorer isn't either, which is why, cleverly, you can get third party programs to replace them, which I managed. Path Finder is a very useful suite, if you want capabilities that most people won't ever use. I refuse to believe that the "pro" users who complain about these changes in OS X are unaware of such featured programs like Forklift and Path Finder, or even the CLI. Either they're frauds, or they're lazy. I'm a total novice: how do I know about these things when seasoned veterans of the OS don't?

And installing Skitch was hard? Let's see. I've been using OS X for all of three weeks. I opened the Mac App Store. I searched "Skitch". I clicked download and typed my password to authorise it. That's it.

If you truly found that taxing, I either worry about your nous or there's something deeply flawed with your system that is most certainly not indicative of a wider fault.

Don't get me wrong. You're entitled to move to another OS if you genuinely believe it's the end of the (command) line for what you're using now. I can just do without the nerd rage over how everything about Lion, for example, sucks because they renamed Spaces to Desktops (y'know, like the rest of UNIX systems) and decided to make delicate system files harder to find and therefore mess up for non-computer science types, as if this invalidates all the good that Snow Leopard eventually became when it matured.
It's the company, it's the philosophy. All of this could have been known to an alert observer years in advance. Ever since the Newton debacle, in fact.
After 5 years of using Ubuntu, now I'm on OSX. Why?

I just bought a Thinkpad, the laptop that suppose to work great
with Ubuntu because it has Ubuntu-hardware-certified, but it doesn't!
- Can't sleep with external display attached.
- Sleep took a lot of battery power (About 20% over 24-hours)
- Can't sleep sometime, I have to keep my eyes on it for 5 sec or more
to check if it really sleeping. (always a problem in laptop running linux)
- Display went very crazy for few times over 3 months. (had to reboot).
- I want to use modern OS (anything newer than Gnome-2), but
non of them are usable, bad usability design and very unstable.
- Unity and Gnome-Shell is unfinished product. Lot of bugs and
features keep changing all the time. I hate to wait for fix and
also learn how to use my OS when they change stuffs.

Also, Linux is always third/fouth class citizen in non-opensource
software world. No linux version, or bugs fix come very late.
Of course it's because people who use linux is less than
1% worldwide.

I have been using Linux solely for 5 years now, and very
appreciated the work and afford that the hackers
around the world have put the make Linux free (both freedom
and free-beer). But may be it's only perfect for server
but not laptop OS.
Now I'm on OSX and I know it's locked down, but I'll try to take it
as it is. At least I don't have to spend days fixing things to get it work.
+Tim O'Reilly I've been looking for a new paradigm in desktop UIs for some time now. Mac, Windows, and all the flavors of Linux are all poking around the edges of the real problem: the WIMP interface is outmoded and can't handle the interaction demands of modern users.

I've been giving talks about potential solutions, hopefully to find a new way:

If there's anyone out there interested in working on a project like this, please hit me up.
Apple's target user base is the consumer market. As such, they will try to hide the things that shouldn't be of concern to the regular folk. It is an annoyance to us power users, but hey, how many are we in the population of Apple's user base?

If you're complaining about the way Trash works, what's stopping you from going to the terminal to execute rm -rf to remove everything in one sweep?

And please, don't compare it to Windows. Really. They. Don't. Know. What. They're. Doing.

I use Mac OS X because it allows me to keep things simple. In fact, I am forced to keep things simple. And if I need more power, there's always Arch Linux. :D
+Jayson Elliot Right on! Totally agree with the principles in your presentation. One pet peeve is the multiple file formats on all the different OSes. It would be great to have a system that would try its best to find the program it needs so I can view a file without any interaction from me. Of course for security purposes it should be sand boxed but that should be invisible on the users end. I'll be following the growth of Lightful.
MacOS has never been perfect right from the first release: You put a file in the trash to delete it (expected behavior), but you put a disk in the trash to eject it? Huh?

They corrected this around System 8 IIRC but it sure took a while.
As for the complaints you've not mentioned, maybe you're just getting old and its not OSX.
I find it ironic that people who value the freedom of Unix has chosen Macs. It doesn't even come with "Unix" installed, you need to download it...
Does holding "option" at least get rid of the dialog boxes when emptying the trash? That should suppress output and ignore file-locked settings at least.
I'd really recommend Linux Mint over Ubuntu. It's fresh, fast to load, built on Ubuntu but without the bloated Unity interface.
Lubuntu doesn't use Unity either. I'm about to install Linux on another old laptop and I'm wondering whether to go with Lubuntu again or try the LXDE Edition of Linux Mint. Either way, I'm keeping LXDE. It's really nice.
Just had a quick look at Linux Mint after all the comments on this post. It looks like WinXP meets OS X Panther. No thanks, I'm not looking at that every day.
Matt R
I must second +Joel Halbert 's suggestion of linux mint. It's much better than the horrible crap that Ubuntu has become. Also, linux(FOSS) really is where you have to go if you want to be able to do something about it and share it with others, +Tim O'Reilly. Nothing else, including BSD, gives you that choice. see for PJ's groklaw reply to you. It's accurate, if you can accept her recognition of the bitter pill you've already swallowed.

In case you don't go there, I'll copy it here:

" Well, now, if openness is what you want, you surely know where true North is. If your complaint is that it needs to be more user friendly while retaining uber-user abilities, add whatever you want to GNU/Linux, by all means, and make it exactly what you want it to be. Put your money where your mouth is. Welcome to the FOSS Universe. Now you get it. Openness and the ability to modify to suit yourself are two of the benefits of FOSS. And if you can't code, hire people who can and then contribute back to the project so everyone can benefit. Enjoy"
My primary interface to OSX hasn't changed for years: the bash command line.

Maybe you should use rm -rf?
only reason I come back to the MacBook is the hardware. I've tried every special edition Dell and the over priced Sony but they never have all the features. I could use ubuntu with compiz and be completely satisfied (if there was a reasonably priced laptop I wanted)
That's why I didn't upgrade yet, and probably won't until the softwares I depend on finally stop supporting 10.6.x.

OS X 10.8 and Windows 8 will probably be out by then, so I'll have time to reevaluate my OS choice (and, who knows, maybe 2013 will finally be the year of Linux on the desktop </sarcasm>).
Hopefully someone at Apple wakes up, and starts fixing their OS, which has been a real mess since Snow Leopard. Individual applications crash and hang the OS, and Force Quit is worthless in those situations. Real problems that show up on their message boards but are never fixed. I hate to say it, but I use Windows 8 hours a day at work, I haven't had an OS hang or crash in at least 5 years. OS hangs are a weekly occurrence with OSX, and that has got to stop. </rant>
I'm not sure I agree. I do agree Leopard was a big step backward in stability, but I've actually been pretty happy with Lion. I installed Ubuntu on my MacBook, but after using it for a little while, I was very happy to switch back (which may just be because I'm used to OSX now). However, battery life is way better on Lion than Ubuntu on this machine at least, even with all of the laptop power patches applied.
Hey +Tim O'Reilly to find out which program has files in your trash open run this in the terminal:
lsof ~/.Trash

Most likely isn't closed, but if that's not the problem, then you can find out which program it really is, and you may be surprised if it's not an Apple product. Although I have seen that some Apple products forget to close() their files.
its just sad to see people like him are so dumb at times. why would he want to back up his mail when it is online? like why?
and plus gives a GUI to do all that he wanted to do..
My problem with Lion is with older MacBooks and battery life. People with MacBook Pros that are even only 1 year old are having problems. See eighty pages of frustration in Apple Discussions.

So Apple is on the 2nd update of Lion - 10.7.2, still no love for battery life on older MBPs.
This write up by Tim O'Relly is annoying. It's a bad day post. Sounds like he just had a bad day and then threw Apple under the bus. I'm learning that such posts are immature and unwise. When you write one, my advice is to just close the browser window and walk away. Have a cup of tea or a glass of wine. Life is so much bigger than the latest technology annoyance. I've had bad days like when I tried installing and configuring Lion Server. I could not get a refund fast enough (Apple came through here, without hesitation by the way).

I'm seeing SOME signs of Apple struggling to hit the quality bar they did when Steve was around. Some of the polish in iOS 5 seems to be gone (fonts look out of place on some UI elements in Safari on our iPad). The Lion launch was rocky...the they could have just renamed "Save As..." to "Duplicate and Save" or just left well enough alone. A definite oversight in my book.

However, Apple remains aggressive about fixing issues. They do not linger if something is really wrong. I believe they will continue to listen.

Apple is struggling through a period of transition. I hope that they can come out of what I think is a slight funk.
To everyone who thinks Apple would dump the Terminal, what planet are you from exactly? There are TONS of people building software on the Mac for many platforms using a variety of tools (C, Python, Ruby, etc). How could Apple lose those people from their customer base? I just do not see how they could afford to upset such a diverse and affulent user base. Can someone expound upon that theory please?
Move the files to the trash. Log out. Log back in. Then delete.
dre g
Apple makes it very difficult to get Ubuntu single or dual booting on Lion based hardware. I also appreciate the hardware on the MacBook Air, but dislike the OS and Xcode. screen(1) and mdfind(1) make Terminal usable, but barely. Fortunately, there are starting to be feasible alternatives to Xcode, too.
what a douchebag. use Linux if you don't don't get your mail to work in OS X (after wanting to move it all to an external drive). It seems you're not familiar with Windows, otherwise we would not be reading this load of crap.
The tone of the comments reminds me of a funny YouTube spoof of the Mac vs. PC ads: Seems like there really is no nirvana, although my biggest concern is Apple dumping OS X and converting everything to iOS (with the attendant strangulation of user choice in pretty much everything).
we more then ever need people who think different, OSX, Win8, Unity on Ubuntu, gnome 3 all go the same way.
They want to move away from desktops and on to tablets, phones and touch screen devices. I guess they all see
money in that new market and hey they think in that way different, but to me personally it is not my way. I love my
keyboard and laptop.
Has anyone considered that the way Lion's retains open documents despite closing/re-opening the app is a huge screaming privacy/security hole? What if I'm reading private docs at home and open the macbook down the coffee shop and they all pop up for all to see?

I got so pissed with Lion breaking the law-of-least-surprise, I upgraded back to Snow Leopard. And my next upgrade will be to Arch linux, because unlike everyone here whining about ubuntu being hard work, I'm quite capable of doing it properly myself.
It looks like what we need is an open version of Mac OS which we can tune to our own needs and depart from the 'update hegemony'.
And open does not need to be a mess; Linux is not near yet.
Why would you want to copy the Mail app library files off? Just select what you want to save in the app and export it as a nice clean new mbox file.
I don't agree. Quite the opposite. With every release OS X is more and more bug free and more stable. The features are cleaner and simpler too. The system itself is shrinking in size too. Lion the latest release of OSX has the smallest footprint yet, which is great because more and more people use SSD which has limited storage space.
I love the Mac, Mr. O'Reilly, but I can't argue with you. Apple is the victim of its own success, as was Microsoft, IBM, and Democracy itself, now that I think about it. They've relied almost exclusively on the "My way or the Highway" school of leadership for years, simply because it worked so well with the leader they had. If God is right 100% of the time, and a gifted leader is right 85% of the time, it is difficult from a distance for some to distinguish between them, and a business with a line of clever products morphs into a cult that buries its mistakes and deifies both its creator and creations.

That being as it may, the reason Apple will continue to be popular and profitable (at least in comparison to Dell and HP) is not because its OS is so wonderful, but because its competition is so horrible. Grumble as you will about Lion, how eager are you to wake up to Windows 7 Home Premium tomorrow morning with your cornflakes?
Lion has been an absolute shocker on my Early 2011 MacbookPro . Wifi no longer starts immediately after suspend. Random dimming. Random blank screen. Had 0 issues under snow leopard . :(
Jenny A
I like Lion with a few features, but it seems like my computer is getting slower and slower. Has anyone put Linux, preferably Mint Debian XFCE as a dual boot on their Mac? I'd love to be able to do this on my 2007 white Macbook.

Update: wow, nobody can answer my question? I'd hate to do it and then mess up everything.
This post is undeniable proof that people simply hate change. Lion is miles ahead of Snow Leo and Snow was miles ahead of Leo. Tim, if you Mac is crashing that often, you are simply doing something wrong. OSX is one of the most stable Operating Systems ever developed. I have been using OSX since 10.3 and will never look back. As a Computer Information Systems student, I had to use XP, Vista, and 7 on a regular basis, along with various Linux distros. Nothing compared to the responsiveness and stability of OSX. Please rethink your post as its very obvious that you simply don't like for something to change from your norm.
And Tim, there are a number of solutions to your trash problem if you would just do a quick search. Terminal commands, keyboard shortcuts, I could go through and extensive list so solutions but what would you learn from me doing it for you?
+Shane Bryson OSX is utter shit to the advanced user. File management (it cant even merge folders), window management - the grouping is non existent in the dock, and tonnes of other issues have made my past few weeks a living hell on OSX. No sir. This is for users who want to just arent that tech savvy. Simple, menial tasks are made unnecessarily hard. The hardware gets credit. The touchpad is awesome. But when youre using it to navigate through an OS that is so limited in its basics, its quite frustrating. No thank you. And +Tim O'Reilly is right. Back to KDE when my laptop's fixed! BTW I've had notification center on my Linux for 6 years. Lion is not miles ahead of everything since sliced bread. Youre very very wrong. Even Ubuntu (which I havent used for a couple of years has more features and is more tweakable for the advanced user than Lion). A turd, no matter how shiny is still a turd.

Mythbusters - Polishing Poop
There's too friggin much going on!!! Everyday I find myself swearing at the simplest task. I inadvertently swiped the mouse, drag an icon, or sneeze and I'm hyper spaced to some foreign window!! Then I think "WTF! I was just dragging to the trash, why am I here!!" Lets go back to simple!! Less is MORE!! You guys at apple are over thinking this!!
If you really think about it, what can you do in 10.8 that you couldn't do in Mac OS 8.0 ? After 1 and a half decades of evolution, things are pretty much the same, while becoming horribly more restricted for developers and users alike. Apple has past being the cool underdog, and turned into the next Microsoft. The problem is there is no cool underdog in existence to replace it, yet.
+Ben Slaney  I don't think I really need to go through the HUGE list of features and abilities added between 8.0 and 10.8. That was just a truly stupid statement. 
+Brian Ramsay  Nope definitely still could include Linux, just not one of the community distributions.  Have you checked out ChromeOS?  It's stripped to hell, but they got all the hardware features pre-configured.  My new Samsung Series 3 Chromebook (ARM) is fairly fast with my DIY Ubuntu GNU/Linux Installation, but when it had ChromeOS it was cooking.  
Yes! I use Ubuntu on everything personally, my desktop has been running it since v8, on latest (14) now, just let it run updates and upgrades, never a wipe/reinstall. That's how good it is. Yes there have been bugs sometimes after an upgrade, but their usually fixed in an (automatic) update within a week or so. Can't say the same about Winblows or Mac OS. I run all 3 as a developer though, have a Macbook Pro for work. It was rock solid on 10.6.x and as slowly gone down hill since. I'm on Mavericks now and I've lost data on thumb drives at least 3 times now from pulling when it appears to be ejected, only to get a message I didn't eject properly. Come on, still no "safe to remove" message like Winblows and Ubuntu? And, at least 1-2 times a week when I reboot, I get no login, just a gray screen and mouse pointer forever, have to power down by holding the power button which I hate to do.
Words right out of my mouth. bring back the human qualities. What happened to intuitiveness? Did gates send over his boys after Jobs death?
Matt, this crap started before his passing. I think it was iOS coming out that did it. Trying to "integrate" those features into OS X.
I'm staying on 10.6.7 and no further. Updated the old MBP with SSD and, well, I don't need much (maybe buy another 2nd mbp 2008/2009 so I can swith the ssd in  it when mine will be dead). Happy with it. If I were to buy new, I might go to some Chromebook, when they'll be a bit better.
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