June 25, 2002

Migrating from Linux to MacOS X


It's been a month since I'm on MacOS X.

The consumer part is really nicely done. I love the integration with iPod for example, it's really easy to update this little device with the MP3 you just ripped by plugging in the music CD in the laptop.

I guess any user of any operating system, gets into habits which are hard to accomodate on the other operating system he/she would really like to run. At least this is my case migrating to MacOS X from Linux.

After more than 5 years on Linux, I really miss few things on MacOS X. I miss the freedom I have to hook into almost every application, by cracking it open and extending it to fit my needs. This is the case for example with the mail application: I used Exmh for a long time on Linux. I modified it to add various customizations I needed. I also used procmail quite a bit to sort out all the email I'm receiving daily.

As I mention in an earlier post, I found MacOS X's Mail application to be quite a poor replacement to the above setup. There is no way, at least in 10.1.5 to specify multiple criterias to filter on, specify multiple actions to be taken on a message, and to filter junk mail. The last one is getting even more important nowadays with the number of junk emails reaching 100 in some bad days.

Surprisingly I found Microsoft Entourage to be quite good at the above tasks. The only thing missing is the ability to remove duplicate emails, which are messages posted across multiple mailing lists. I believe it can be fixed through the use of an AppleScript action, but I still need to learn that. Unfortunately Entourage comes with Office v. X, which is quite pricey (over $400 last time I checked).

In fact this is one of the first things you notice when you change a free software operating system, and move to a proprietary one, regardless of how nice it is: you have to pay for good programs, because the free software ones are not yet ported. At least not the good GUI programs.

Another program I badly miss on MacOS X is XEmacs. More on this topic in my Emacs log.

Posted by ovidiu at June 25, 2002 02:54 PM |
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