Mac fanboys and Linux users are united in their hatred for Microsoft. Of course, like many co-religionists with minor deviations in doctrine, they loathe each other even more. The Mac-lovers accuse Linux of being overly complex, hard to use, and too esoteric, in contrast to their own beloved Mac. The Linux community, in turn, considers Apple to be as bad as Microsoft in terms of authoritarian control; Steve Jobs is Bill Gates in a black turtleneck, and the Mac is as rigid a vendor lock-in as Windows. Alas, alas if only there was a way to permanently settle the OS Wars!
Fortunately, I have found that way.
You might recall that earlier I pitted Windows Vista’s Chess Titans against Tiger’s Chess App, and later set Chess Titans against Leopard’s version of the Chess App. In both cases the Mac triumphed handily. But the Chess App is based upon the older GNU Chess, and the time has come to pit Leopard against Linux in the ultimate battle of chess-based OS domination!
For our combatants, this time I pitted a Mac running Mac OS X Leopard 10.5.1, with a single-core 1.8 Ghz G4 processor and 3 gigabytes of RAM, against Ubuntu Linux 7.10, running on a 1.4 Ghz Pentium 4 with a mere 512 megabytes of RAM. As before, I gave the Mac white, and assigned Ubuntu to black.
The results were interesting.
Both Leopard and Tiger defeated Vista handily, but this match was a long, grim slog, with a total of 59 moves. In fact, it took nearly a week to finish, since it took the Mac the better part of a half-hour to calculate some of its moves (with the Chess engine process using up 90% of the processor time). For most of the game, both sides stayed fairly equal, exchanging pieces with regularity. In the end, the Mac managed to maintain a slight material advantage with one bishop and one pawn, and that proved decisive in the endgame, when the Mac promoted two of its pawns to queens and simply snowed Ubuntu Linux over.
You can see the results in GNU Chess:
And on the Mac side:
So I expect this proves that Leopard is indisputably better than Ubuntu Linux, and all the Linux devotees out there should cast aside their distros, whip out their credit cards, and buy themselves shiny new $3000 Mac Pros.
You see, this was a very close chess match. And every student of chess knows that the white player starts with a slight advantage; and between closely matched players, that advantage can become decisive. So I think a rematch is in order, with the Mac taking the black side and Ubuntu Linux taking the white.
Only then will we know which OS deserves the title of The One OS To Rule Them All.