a = 1
for i in range(1,1000000):
a = (a + i)/i
On my laptop and workstation (1.5Ghz AMD Athlon, underpowered by today's standards), this takes 0.8 seconds to run. On the default python program on OS X, this takes 1.3 seconds! Using the version of python obtained from fink, this drops to 1.1 seconds, but still far slower than the Athlon systems. This is all using python 2.3.5.
Have not looked into detail for the reasons behind this, but I suspect that it is in part because OS X is tuned to be a desktop, not a server. Responsiveness of the GUI is paramount.
At any rate, this is disappointing, but not a deal breaker for me. While it means I have to run the intensive functional tests on a separate, development machine, I can still use the powerbook for most of my daily work. I always have a workstation somewhere within ssh distance of me anyway, and sadly enough, most of my daily work does not involve CPU intensive activity anymore. Things such as responsive email, web browsing and document editing are more important.