Forum OpenACS Q&A: An informal question about the new iBook G4

I know that maybe this is not the best place to ask, it really has nothing to do with OpenACS, but since some/many of you uses Macs laptops I'd like to hear your opinions about it. (It's also because this is the online community that I feel most belonging to 😊)

The thing is that I'm thinking about buying the new G4 just because is cheap, small and gorgeous, but since I'm about to go back to college for a year (Mannheim here I go!), I am worried about the ease of use and the compatibility with Microsoft applications like Office.

Last laptop I bought was a Vaio VGN-S1XP worth it 2500€ and it was stolen one night in my office. I'm not going to make the same mistake, so cheap is really important.

About ease of use, ok, everybody knows that Mac OS X Tiger is the most ease of use OS in the world, but maybe not for me, having use Windows and Linux-KDE all my life. To put you in context the last time I used a Mac it was three people (two of them web nerds) trying to copy files from a CD to an iMac (we were creating shortcuts) but after 10 minutes trying we just left the CD there. So please no religion discussions here.

Therefore my questions are:

Is Mac OS X Tiger similar to Windows XP from a non-technical user point of view?
Could I use the MS Office (and all my legacy documents) as always?
Will I have problems sharing docs with Windows users?
Are there as many development tools (for open source development of course) as for Linux/Windows?
Is going to take me months before I get used to the new OS? (How could I work with just one button in my mouse?)
Would you change from Windows to Mac without too many concerns?

I’d really appreciate to take advise from you.


Juanjo \o.o/

Posted by Nick Carroll on

I've switched from windows to macos x, and haven't looked back! The great thing about OS X is that you can open up a terminal, and you have all the power of unix from the command line. Also you can use MS Office on the Mac. Either buy the Mac version, or buy virtual pc and use your pc version.

You'll find a lot of development tools for the Mac. They include JBuilder, emacs, BBEdit, XCode, etc. You should also check out Fink, which is a package management system like apt-get.

If you don't like the one button mouse, then plug in your two button mouse, and you have right click for contextual menus. Or upgrade to Apple's Mighty Mouse for 5 mouse buttons.

My recommendation would be to take that leap of faith and make the switch.


Posted by Harish Krishnan on
I recently did a leap of faith myself with powerbook g4 and I couldnt agree more with Nick. I have been a KDE/ Xp user myself but only now do I realize what I was missing. Using OS X provided me a no frills approach interms of usability along with the power of unix. With usability .. it might be a bit confusing but its only for a short period. And with respect to applications we have openoffice version for Mac OSx called Neooffice. I have been discovering that there are a very good number of applications supported on Mac.
check this link:
Posted by Malte Sussdorff on
I did my leap of Faith in 2001 and I never regretted it one single second. Now I got my second powerbook and they are, well, awesome to say the least. And Spotlight in Tiger just rocks.

Not to mention that you have the best office software that exists in the market. M$ Office 2004. Though it remains to be seen how this works out with Entourage and Spotlight (currently I index my account using Apple Mail, but read all with entourage).

Posted by Walter McGinnis on
You should also check out darwinports for package management (, it was inspired by FreeBSD's port system. I prefer it to fink. Vinod Kurup recently posted his port for installing OpenACS. You can find instructions here:

I just saw a mention of a DVD training video for Windows switchers today. You can find it here:

Good luck. You won't regret it.

Posted by Juanjo Ruiz on
Thanks a million for your replies (off and online) and for the useful links.
I'm now convinced that it'll worth it. 😊