“Mac…Running Linux. Imagine The Possibilities”

The Intel chip… For months, it’s been trapped inside a Mac, inside a pretty little box, dutifully performing pretty little tasks when it could have been doing so much more. Starting today, the Intel chip will be set free, and get to live life in a Mac… running Linux. Imagine the possibilities.”

This “spoof” of Apple’s marketing campaign recently appeared on a Linux users’ website. Linux, as many hard-core computer nerds are aware, is an “Open Source” alternative to the proprietary systems brought to you by Bill and Steve. For those who are able to write their own software, Linux is the number one choice of operating system. Not only does it offer stability, but – unlike Windows and Mac OSX – it’s free.

Now, a programmer at UC Berkley has tested Linux on his MacBook Pro with a 2.16 Ghz Intel Core Duo Chip and 2 GB of RAM, and has shown that it runs up to 2 times faster than Mac OS X. Even more significantly, Windows XP also performed better than OSX, though not as fast as Linux. In some tasks, the Linux system took only 1/3 the time of OS X – and used far less RAM.

Part of the fault lies in the design of OS X, which is based on the “Mach Microkernel” and the Berkeley Standard Distribution kernel. Whereas in Linux variables for system calls are passed directly via the register file, Mac OS X uses memory buffers to shuffle them around before they are written in the RF. Simply stated: digital information in the Linux system goes through fewer steps than it does with OS X. 

Of course, the drawback is that Linux – at the moment – lacks the same kind of GUI featured by Mac and Windows that most computer users have become accustomed to, and there is not a great deal of commercially-useful software designed available for Linux. Nonetheless, if you are a code warrior and not afraid to strike out on your own, Linux can definitely give a speed boost to your Intel-equipped Mac.

The Intel chip… For months, it’s been trapped inside a Mac, inside a pretty little box, dutifully performing pretty little tasks when it could have been doing so much more. Starting today, the Intel chip will be set free, and get to live life in a Mac… running Linux. Imagine the possibilities.”

This “spoof” of Apple’s marketing campaign recently appeared on a Linux users’ website. Linux, as many hard-core computer nerds are aware, is an “Open Source” alternative to the proprietary systems brought to you by Bill and Steve. For those who are able to write their own software, Linux is the number one choice of operating system. Not only does it offer stability, but – unlike Windows and Mac OSX – it’s free.

Now, a programmer at UC Berkley has tested Linux on his MacBook Pro with a 2.16 Ghz Intel Core Duo Chip and 2 GB of RAM, and has shown that it runs up to 2 times faster than Mac OS X. Even more significantly, Windows XP also performed better than OSX, though not as fast as Linux. In some tasks, the Linux system took only 1/3 the time of OS X – and used far less RAM.

Part of the fault lies in the design of OS X, which is based on the “Mach Microkernel” and the Berkeley Standard Distribution kernel. Whereas in Linux variables for system calls are passed directly via the register file, Mac OS X uses memory buffers to shuffle them around before they are written in the RF. Simply stated: digital information in the Linux system goes through fewer steps than it does with OS X. 

Of course, the drawback is that Linux – at the moment – lacks the same kind of GUI featured by Mac and Windows that most computer users have become accustomed to, and there is not a great deal of commercially-useful software designed available for Linux. Nonetheless, if you are a code warrior and not afraid to strike out on your own, Linux can definitely give a speed boost to your Intel-equipped Mac.

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