Posts tagged file

Windows vs. Mac OS X: Aspects reviewed

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Tiny Spoiler: no Macintosh/Apple praising found in this post.

So to make my blog interesting to a bigger audience I decided to publish both in german (because I think one should never forget where they came from, especially if you’re partially surrounded by all those programmers who write great programs in bad english and think that’s OK) and english of course.

The language i choose will most likely be based on the subjects i cover. Whether they are of interest for everyone or rather just the people from my language area (which is Austria and not Germany for all those who didn’t know).
What i want to talk about are the following experiences i had with the operating systems Windows from Microsoft and Mac OS X from Apple in specific scenarios.

My School (University of Applied Sciences Hagenberg) offers me the possibility to access my personal files on their server from everywhere where i have internet – through a WebDAV protocol. Which is great by the way.
Anyways, here are two short overviews of how the previously mentioned operating systems handle all the fuzz:
Mac OS X 10.5.6: When I connect it asks me for my credentials and everything seems to be working smoothly. But after moving some files back and forth you realize that OSX tends to for example say it overwrites a folder but in fact it just uses a different set of characters to name the folders and files so then you might have 2 Folders with almost the same Name existing side by side (i.e. Übung01 and Ubung01), but OSX will still only show you the one you just copied over. Furthermore what seems really cool is that no matter how bad your WiFi connection might be at the moment, OSX seems to be browsing through the folder structure smoothly at any time. Which is until you find out that OSX just buffers the contents of the folders you’ve already been to and what you see can very likely just be an outdated view of the actual data, someone else might have edited.
Windows XP: So Windows has the possibility to access FTP/WebDAV/… from within the Explorer as well which I didn’t find out until recently. Just like OSX it asks me for my credentials at first login which i then choose to save for further logins. First of all, with Windows you can access the server over its own file protocol (called Samba in the UNIX world) if you’re in its local network (so in this case when I’m at school). The hierarchically highest link you would be able to access is \\fshome\students and then you have to go through all the subfolders until you eventually find your own files. But the problem is that you may not dare to access \\fshome for example. Because if you do you’re on your way to eternal damnation. You don’t have the rights to access it but contrary to other Samba servers you wont get the opportunity to correct your mistake through a simple altert-window. You’ll just find out that this explorer.exe is lost forever. (Apparently this doesn’t happen on all Windows machines but my point stands.) On the upside of things, Windows doesn’t seem as smooth as OSX while browsing through the folder structure, which assures me that whatever Windows shows me is up-to-date content
So why can’t I work with my files on every type of computer the same way? Using anything else than Explorer/Finder is not an option because I want it to work with the same File Browser I use for everything else on said operating system.
So maybe I’ve just been a Windows user for a too long period of time and just don’t know my way around UNIX systems and if anyone would try to point that out i will not hesitate to agree with them but what do you think: Would you rather have an operating system that claims to work in every scenario but doesn’t, or an operating system which obviously doesn’t work in every scenario but seems to be doing the job well if you know how to work with it?
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