So, I've installed MacOS 10.4.8 on my PC. It's your run of the mill PC board from Gigabyte with an Opteron 165 (Dual core overclocker, cheap, check it out!) and 3GB RAM. I've got a lot of drive space, like 1.8T, on this box.
Anyways, I wanted to see if I could run MacOS on my PC. Well, after a little work, it runs. It runs well. In fact, I've been using it as my primary OS at home for about two weeks and it's been running stable. I have full CI/QE operating on my BFG 6800GT and dual monitors. Sound, net, it all works.
I downloads craploads of software. FCS (complete, 30GB,) the iLife DVD, Office:mac, Parallels, and I installed a copy of fink and MacPorts to play with.
It's certainly better then Windows. It's more enjoyable to use, and although MacOS isn't without bugs (you find strange little things here and there) it certainly hasn't had any serious problems. I mean, Windows is stable on this machine, and I wouldn't reboot XP for weeks at a time, but it still had dumb problems like Explorer hanging and such things.
All has not been wonderful in the land of MacOS, however. There's no good music players. Well, scratch that. iTunes is good. But it's certainly not great. It won't play WMA's. This is a problem for someone with over 4000 WMA's in addition to the 14,000 MP3's. You can convert them to MP3 with iTunes I believe, but I'd rather not convert already 192kbit WMA's to another lossy compression. It's not worth it.
There's Songbird, which shows promise, but it chokes if you have a music library large enough. I hope they fix it soon. It plays anything.
WinAMP won't run under crossover, and it seems silly to run an XP VM just to run WinAMP. It works, though, since Parallels Desktop is so good. It really blows the door off of VMWare (mac and PC) with video performance and sound quality. It's considerably slower on the backend then VMware workstation though - the CPU gets tied up easily and there's no obvious way to limit CPU usage for a virtual machine.
VLC is nicer on the Mac then the PC, just because of the way the menu bar has controls and the player can float like most apps. On Windows it's a little awkward if you use a skin, so you have to use the boring default Windows skin with VLC. VLC plays anything but has no media library.
Quicktime is pretty much the same as VLC as far as interface goes but plays less things.
I'm relegated to compiling and running Amarok, the KDE media player, installed with fink. This will be my second attempt at getting it compiled - I hope it works this time.
I hate the way applications are sorted. One giant bucket. I created a new sub-folder called "User Applications" and I dump new apps there into sub-folders. I found that if I moved out the default apple-installed stuff, when a new user logs on the dock will show all questionmarks because the links get broken. There's probably a way to fix it.
I had to install a utility called SteerMouse to adjust the mouse acceleration settings. The default MacOS mouse handling is like pushing your mouse through mud. The "slow" speed is always way too slow, and the acceletation too high. There's no good middle ground. SteerMouse fixes this. Apparently you can also install an MS Mouse driver but I didn't even go there.
I still don't like the menu bar, and it's a pain when you have multiple monitors. Lots of mouse rolling if you're working with an app off the primary screen. Maybe the new MacOS with it's "spaces" will help. You should have the option of putting a title bar on every screen, and have the last active window on that screen have the menu bar.
PowerPC apps do run slow, although it's not THAT bad. Office:mac runs okay. It's just an office suite, so it's fine. UB versions of most big name apps are available as updates or full packages already. But that leads me to the next thing:
Software. While Safari is a good browser, Firefox is much nicer. fink has allowed me to run many "Linux" apps that are better replacements for Windows apps then native OSX ones. Azureus is a great Bittorrent client (and not under Rosetta like the "official" BT client.) OSS rules.
The problem is that if you do more with your computer then media and Office, like play games, you're really buggered. I've witnessed first hand that you can play games on OS X. AOE3 runs fine, almost as fast as the Windows version. But there's just no titles, and the ones that do exist don't often play multiplayer with PC versions. It's a problem if you like games. Like a Mac with BootCamp, it sucks to boot into Windows just to play a game. This isn't really the fault of the MacOS, but it's a problem none-the-less.
But if you do like media stuff, there's a lot of it. Apple has been buying up a lot of software and releasing it for less money. Take Shake for instance - it used to cost $12K a seat from what I hear. Apple bought it, and released it for $400. Final Cut seems solid and is quickly gaining momentum in the pro-sumer videographer market. This is no doubt partly because Adobe has their heads up their ass with Premiere - Not only is a Premiere Pro not forthcoming on OSX, it's dog-slow on Windows. Really, it's slow. VERY DAMNED SLOW. I put together a small HDV video and it was like going old school with a Pentium 233Mhz and DV video. Avid Xpress and FCP have a lot less trouble working with HD content.
Spotlight is crap. It forever indexes everything, and eats up gobs of resources when it does so. I've tried the various work-arounds but it's unavoidable. And it's the only way to search.
File Systems. Yea, it's Microsoft's fault. NTFS is read-only on the Mac, but hopefully ntfs-3g will be ported or something. There's no good file system you can use that's accessible on both operating systems. I couldn't get the ext2fs to work on OSX (a lot of people have trouble with it) but the ext IFS for windows worked fine. MacDrive works fine on Windows, but won't mount read-write if Mac wasn't shut down properly and has no tool to check HFS disks. And it's slow. So, what are we left with? FAT32. Yea, wonderful. It works but it's scary on 500GB disks and you can't store files bigger then 4GB. (if anyone has a suggestion here, I'm all ears.)
Overall, this Hackintosh has been a lot of fun to play with. Really, it wasn't hard to get running. With so many things being USB, IEEE1394, and more "standard" in communication, Apple could make a few calls to some major vendors, get a little more driver support for MacOS, and release MacOS for general use. Or, they could stop outright trying to prevent it from running on a standard PC but offer it up as "unsupported."
I realize Apple makes shit loads of money on their hardware, but they've got a good product here and it's a shame they don't sell it.
I've used Vista and it's unimpressive. It's ugly, too. The black taskbar isn't bad, but the default powder blue window framing is nauseating and there's no way to change it. C'mon Microsoft, grow up a little.
I won't ever buy a Mac computer though, because they're TOO EXPENSIVE. I'd buy MacOS and Mac Apps, but not an Apple computer. --expecially now that they're REALLY just PC's. Before, they were "special" PC's because they used PowerPC chips. It would be one thing if they were a little bit more expensive then an HP or Dell but holy shit are the Mac's expensive. They're nice, yes, but they're sucky expensive.
I still dislike the Mac community. Wait, that's unfair. There's a lot of great developers writing things for OSX. Fink and MacPorts are really great, and there's tons of little utilities to overcome the shortcomings of the default OS. But I really can't stand the whiny bitches I see all over digg and around the internet. All these lame ass "switchers" stories. Come on people, it's a computer. Use what works for you. I can firmly say now that I DO in fact like MacOS, but you guys gotta drop the 'tude. It's old and it only hurts your cause.