[scribus] Newbie Mac User

John Morris johnjeff at editide.us
Mon Aug 3 03:51:44 CEST 2009

Hi Jeffrey,
   Thanks for your thoughtful note.

>OS releases come and go.  That doesn't mean you have to slaveishly 
>install them all.
>I tend to install a Linux box and leave it until the hardware fails 
>before building the replacement. When the replacement is built, then 
>I'll generally use the latest linux.
>This is no different to the way I treat MS OSs. I don't have any 95, 
>98 or ME installs because they were poor OSs, but I've seen no need 
>yet to upgrade 2000 or XP boxes. Where I have upgraded 2000 boxes, 
>it has tended to be too Linux though.

   That's good to hear. I do the same with my Macs. However, I'm 
finding more and more that I *have* to upgrade because I want to 
install some new piece of software that only supports the current and 
last current version of the OS. I generally get around this by using 
other software, but I have encountered times when this was not 
possible. That's what forced me up to Mac OS X five years ago.
   The Internet has not helped in this regard as I find more and more 
pages that break rather badly if I don't use a more recent browser, 
which, of course, requires a recent OS. This is really biting my 
folks hard because my mother prefers System 6, which was last 
supported by Apple in about 1990. So far, I have managed to drag her 
all the way up to System 9, but she still complains when a web page 
won't load for her. (That is also and example of the kind of 
long-term stability I would like to see in an operating system.)

>>... (Speaking of virtual machines, I would really like to find one 
>>that will run a current Mac OS client installation.
>Does the Mac OS license allow this ?  Does VirtualBox allow Mac OS ?

   I don't feel a need to be too slavish about such issues. I've paid 
for the license. I'm running the OS on Mac hardware, it is none of 
Apple's business if I'm running directly on the hardware or through a 
virtual machine. However, I can imagine that this is exactly why none 
of the VM software I've looked at officially supports Mac OS 
virtualization. I understand that developers need to watch their 
backs more than I do.
   The last I looked at VirtualBox, I did not see Mac OS listed as a 
supported guest. I have not had time to download the software and try 

>>... (Why waste CRU on *that*?)
>CRU ?

   Computer resource units. It serves as a convenient general term for 
all the different aspects of computers (RAM, hard drive, processor 
speed, pixels, etc.) that could create a bottleneck.

>If you worked in a Linux environment but need a platform to run 
>word, I would have thought that word on XP in Virtual box would be 
>about as good as it could get, especially if you are already 
>experiencing incompatibilities with word on Mac OS ?

   I have no desire to return to Windows, even in a virtual machine. I 
did that for six years and that was enough. At this point, I have 
only a few friends still running Windows, so I don't even have to 
support it any more. If my clients absolutely require an editor who 
uses Windows, there's always Google.

>>I'm looking for more stability, not less.
>You can have as much stability as you like. Once you've got all you 
>need, just don't 'fix' what isn't broken.

   As I mentioned above, this argument only goes so far. As long as I 
want to interact with the rest of the world, there is a certain 
minimum level that I must maintain. Unfortunately, that minimum level 
is moving faster that is was a few decades ago.

>I don't think we've yet seen any mainstream linux distro fall by the 
>wayside have we ?

   I wouldn't know, I've been watching for less than ten years. 
Certainly their popularity waxes and wanes, which might be an 
indication of impending doom.

>>   Second, I am not a run-of-the-mill user. Therefore, I can't 
>>expect to be happy with the default advice. I need to evaluate all 
>>my option, both for the expected longevity of the platform and for 
>>its user interface elements. That evaluation will take time, which 
>>is also holding me back.
>Accepted. And these are things worth taking time over, though the 
>point has been made that regardless of distribution, Gnome, KDE etc 
>are pretty much the same internally.

   That may be good or it may be bad. I've read that KDE, I think, is 
more Windows like. Aside from my dislike for the basic way Windows 
works, I not particularly fond of Windows' look and feel, both the 
old one from 98 and the new one from XP or whenever. If they are all 
converging on looking like Windows, I may be slower in adopting. 
However, I think I have also read that changing the look and feel is 
easier on Linux than it is on Windows or a Mac.
   It's not that I want things to look like a Mac either. I'm not to 
fond of OS X with all its eye candy. What I would really like is the 
ability to make it look the way I would design a user interface. 
However, I doubt there is anything out there that would make this 
easy enough that I would bother doing it. The next best thing is to 
find a theme that is close enough to what I would like that it 
entices me to move.

>... http://www.linux.org/dist/ should get you a short list, but from 
>there on in you would have to find some people who can answer your 
>detailed questions.

   Thanks for the pointer. I'll keep that in mind.

>>I suspect that I will combine these two steps through virtualization. ...
>I'm thinking of doing much the same on my laptop under XP. Maybe 
>something based on the latest 64 Kubuntu or the Mint variant 
>thereof. Always assuming Virtual Box can run a 64 bit OS inside a 32 
>bit one ? I've not checked that yet.

   The manual says that it can as of v2.1.


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