Having moved quite frequently between several different machines over the last few months, I thought I might offer some advice on how to do things on different operating systems:


  • You can probably do it in several ways
  • None of them will be particularly intuitive
  • Some of the ways will cost you lots of money
  • If it doesn’t work, getting support will cost you even more money
  • At least there are an awful lot of other people who can sympathise.


  • You can do anything
  • It won’t cost you anything
  • It will be exceedingly reliable
  • It will probably be horribly complicated
  • If you can’t do something, just modify the source, update your compiler, find and install a few extra packages, and recompile the kernel
  • Well done! Go to a party and see if you can find anyone who appreciates how clever you’ve been.

Mac OS X

  • Things on the Mac fall broadly into one of two categories:
    • Things that have been done right
    • Things that haven’t been done yet
  • You can therefore do it easily or not at all
  • If you can’t do it, just relax and go to Starbucks instead
  • It probably wasn’t that important after all, man.

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© Copyright Quentin Stafford-Fraser