Apple v Linux - Technology overview

Okay you have to admit, Apple does some good things with their tech, The design and products look amazing and I would have a Macbook air in a heartbeat if it was not for the price, they are worth the price but not for a Linux user, someone like me would almost instantly break the warranty.

So whats the next best thing, Look at the technology powering the OS and see what Linux can do to simulate the power of OSX, well more like what did OSX do to copy the power of Linux.
Now I will say it, OSX is more polished and easier to use daily as the system is designed for pure simplicity, it takes no time at all to be ready with Apple, Linux does slightly, but you loose freedom, which I would give time for freedom anyday, anyways lets look at the underlying technology in the new OSX mavericks, and how they link to Linux.

Timer coalescing

This kind of reminds me of wake locks from android, where the system will randomly wake up to do a task, all being without user interaction and knowledge, these are massive battery drainers on android, Timer coalescing attempts to solve this by syncing these sort of wake locks to do it together and make the whole thing reduce less power, allowing the system to fully spin down disks and sleep the CPU (Deep sleep mode) (To the best of my limited knowledge) 

Apple has just gained this with 10.9 which is great news, but as I have seen of Apple keynotes they applaud everything that comes out of their mouths, This is a super old technology, Windows and Linux has had this for years and its prebuilt into Linux kernel, as of 2.6.22 so if your on a distro from the last 3 years thats not debian, you have it installed, it only works on battery power and apple seem to have it setup in a very decent way, but their words hide the truth of this tech.

But non the less its a decent technology increasing our battery a fair amount so don't feel left out :)

App Nap

This basically scales down the resources for the app to a minimum to reduce the hit on battery/performance while remaining open but using significantly less power, BRILLIANT! I hear you cry, as far as I know its not in Linux there is a prototype but I am unsure if its actively around in the kernel now, Hopefully someone has more info but this would be brilliant in Linux and much better received over here than there, as Linux users have a general better idea about their system than OSX users do.

Memory Compression

This is nothing new, it compresses the bytes in sequence and keeps the in a smaller form in memory until it is needed again, I believe we have had this for a while, decompression speed depends on how its actually compressed, so the better compression smaller it becomes but the longer it takes the CPU to decompress, Now CPU these days can easily decompress this stuff, and with memory been so cheap and plentiful we dont need this, I view it as an actual drain on battery than a gain, but for people with older systems (1GB RAM) and decent CPUs (Dual cores) could use ZRAM to improve performance with a slight swap partition as pure fail safe (If you run out of memory your PC will crash as it cant store anything anywhere)


So dont think we are so far behind OSX in fact we are in front, I just wanted to share this with you if anyone is interested, As normal if I have posted anything incorrectly please feel free to post the correction in the comments and I will add it to here 

Apple does have great software, or at least did from what I've read about recent versions of Final Cut and Logic, but Apple keeps you on th upgrade treadmill just to stay secure on the same hardware and has pretty bad planned obsolesce.

I say this having grown up using Macs and Windows/DOS boxes going back to my Mac SE up till my heavily upgraded Quicksilver G4(not long after I had dropped OS X and Windows completely for Linux).

Yeah I grew up on Windows from 95 to 8, then switched to Linux after a few months using 8, but I did use mac in that time, And I found it a plesent experience, nothing crashed and the OS stayed out of the way, but it didnt feel technologically advanced enough for me, I suppose that is what I was looking for in Windows.

The software is great on Apple also, but the devices are better, just get one and throw linux on :) even more beauty then, Using a WM over DE xD

Memory compression is a give and take, as you are wasting alot of latency (Not only do you need to first access the compressed memory, you would need to uncompress it into the cache/memory (most likely memory for heavy workload) and then take the time AGAIN to fetch the uncompressed memory).


I dont see the huge benefits, as it can be rather minimal of compression.



I do believe that *nix have its own kind of app nap, because in our servers we have limited all processes (Some are excluded, those who can at some points require tons of memory and processing power) to a certain amount of memory and processing power.

how did you enable app nap? or do you just have a super minimal system? also thanks for the extra addition to the memory compression :) I do believe in a way it could affect battery life in a negative way

Don't really know, it was already setup on our debian 7 and centOS servers when I got there, I could try investigate it further.


The memory compression would require more CPU cycles, so yes, it would affect battery life by a little.

If you wouldnt mind, would be good to add into this to help others :) But I presume if Debian/Cent has it something like Fedora or Arch will have it on

surely just do that.