[OS X TeX] OS X TeX newbie needs help installing TeX on non-boot volume

Rowland McDonnell rjmm-lists1 at fireflyuk.net
Mon Sep 12 15:24:36 CEST 2005

> On Sep 11, 2005, at 5:19 PM, Rowland McDonnell wrote:
> > I'm merely disagreeing with the wildly overenthusiastic Unix fans
> If you want to avoid the impression of flaming, you could choose less  
> loaded words than "overenthusiastic" and "fans".

(this really doesn't belong on the mailing list and I expect I'm
annoying lots of people.  With luck I'll shut up before I get *too*

Well, the sort of person who makes unjustifiable sweeping claims such
that my experience with MacOS X is seriously atypical *is* wildly
overenthusiastic.  I know they have no reliable data.  So how is
mydescription problematic?

I'm not sure what you mean by `loaded words' either.  They're not loaded
to my mind.

> > That is not flaming Unix - just pointing out that there are
> > experiences and never mind that The Steve and his cohorts says
> > everything's better now: it ain't.  Is it flaming to engage in a
> > disagreement?  I don't think so.
> You use words that impugn those you disagree with. 

Hmm.  I'm not sure I know what you mean.

>Have you  
> considered the possibility that OS X is better for a majority of  
> users, even though it might not be better for you?

This is entirely irrelevant to the mailing list.

But have you considered that maybe I have considered all the things
you're asking me about?  And have you considered that I know quite a lot
about what people want to do with computers?  And have you read
carefully what I wrote?

Carefully, I said.

Note what I said about the improvements in MacOS X reliability.

Note also that you don't know about my opinions on the general utility
of any particular OS because I've not said.  So please - don't be so
hasty in your conclusions.

> Have you also  
> considered the possibility that the problems you had are not typical?  

Have you considered the possibility that talking about typical
experiences is incredible arrogance on anyone's part - for the reason
that none of us has good data about typical experiences.  It's also
pointless: the `thing' about modern computers is that different people
have wildly different experiences.  A typical user is one of the
majority.  What if 45% of users have problems, and each of those
problems falls into one of (say) a hundred different categories?

You'd have most people having a nice time, and a bunch of people all
with weird problems that no-one else seems to get (so they're told).
The typical user is happy - but many users are seriously disgruntled.

This is the sort of situation we have with MacOS X - although I do not
claim to have any knowledge at all of the fraction of users with serious
problems, nor do I claim to have a clue what sort of problems people
have with MacOS X *in the general case*.

I could rattle off scores of stories of serious MacOS X problems
suffered by those other than me, mind.  Everything from missing presumed
dead Mac Help all the way up to the amazing vanishing user account

But I don't claim to have any knowledge of what's typical.

> Computers and operating systems are very complex, and subtle factors  
> may cause problems for a few people that the majority do not feel.  

I knew this so long ago that I suspect you might not have been born at
the time.

> Because of that, specific discussion of specific problems (to do with  
> TeX) is much more useful than sweeping claims that no one here can  
> validate.

... sweeping claims that no one here can validate - such as the sweeping
claim that my experience with MacOS X is atypical?

So yes, you are correct to point out that it's not very useful to make
such sweeping claims.  That's what I was pointing out too.  The
difference is that you think it's okay to make sweeping claims that you
agree with.  I don't think any of 'em are valid.

Anyway.  None of this belongs on a technical mailing list.  I'll shut up
on such matters now.

--------------------- Info ---------------------
Mac-TeX Website: http://www.esm.psu.edu/mac-tex/
           & FAQ: http://latex.yauh.de/faq/
TeX FAQ: http://www.tex.ac.uk/faq
List Post: <mailto:MacOSX-TeX at email.esm.psu.edu>

More information about the macostex-archives mailing list