Re: A whole new meaning to putting tasks in the background...

  • From: "M.K. Chatterji" <chat@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: technocracy@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 27 Sep 2000 20:55:44 -0500

  You seem to imply that this can't be done for Linux.  However if you had
bothered to look at a Linux desktop in the last 6 months, you would see that
significant improvement has been made in this area.

Oh I have! See below..

> Unix "engineers" will hate it I suspect, particularly > Linux people I predict, because while it brings the power of *nix to > people who don't know or don't have to know anything about computer > science, well, it's not a shell-enabled (as such) Unix server.

  What I hate is having stones thrown at my profession and favorite OS. You
also seem to have forgotten that OS X is basically a library running on top
of a real OS, that being BSD, which is much like Linux in many ways, save
for it's license.

How could I forget -- it's so Next-ish..

I don't hate BSD, but I don't necessarily like what Apple
is doing with it.  I for one think they should do away with Mach.

  If they have decided to remove the traditional apps that make Unix Unix,
then it's their loss, as those are some of the most powerful tools around.
Cron and bash together, used correctly, can almost put a sys-admin out of a
job.  It's these tools, not just the rock solid kernel upon which they rest,
that makes Unix second to none in the server arena. Without those tools, you
don't have the power of Unix.

  Also about the crack about Linux people hating it.  How come then is there
so much effort being put into making Linux easy to install and use.  Making
it easy to install on Intel hardware is no mean feat either, but apparently
it's getting to the point even clueless journalists are starting to be
impressed with how easy it is, and that in my mind is much more impressive
than making a easy install on a machine where you control what hardware
exists on it. There are tons of Linux groups and companies busily doing the
very same things for Linux that Apple has done with OS X.  Peek up from your
Mac now and then and take a look around at whats happening.

Oh ho, I did peek up Steve. Let me tell you a story or two! All I got was utter frustration. I must be more clueless than the clueless journalists. I have been trying for three or four months now to help my son get Linux running at home, first as a general purpose machine and hoping eventually to get it going as a server for his friends to use. We never even got past the general purpose phase! We have tried Red Hat, VA Linux, Mandrake, Caldera, etc, FreeBSD, et al, and they all have their problems as far as working or installing even 80% right. Even using the so-called Office clone stuff we had problems printing, saving files to exchange with the Wintel world, on and on and on.

If you had been there to troubleshoot, it would all have worked fine within an evening of you looking at it -- but that's just my point. No doubt if I had spent inordinate numbers of hours on it and picked your and John Madden's brain constantly, I might have got it working right for Miles, the way he wanted. I just couldn't devote that much time to it, what with working in Indy and all that. But again, that's my point. (BTW, we used a pretty generic low-end Compaqs. Two different ones in fact, because of hardware and driver suspicions. Still totally frustrated, so we gave up.)

On the Mac on the other hand, we were able to load OS X (in 26 minutes) and it worked the first time -- and I mean everything worked, even local and inter networking--and even all the legacy Mac apps! (Albeit in a separate window.) Of course it was Mac hardware, and that helps when it comes to consistency. Earlier, I used OS X Server and it too worked right off the bat, and included Apache and QT streaming server and ssh shell accounts.

I think that with the vast hardware variations of Intel platforms out there, and with the installs of hardware, (and the fine-control of that hardware install which you referred to above) it's going to continue to be a long time before such an exercise is a no-brainer for a clueless home user -- like me. And I speak from recent experience.

Don't get me wrong, I'm clearly supportive of Linux, the movement, and all of it. Don't forget I was the one doing the right royal battles with RoseAnn, et al, to bring Unix and finally Linux into the fold at ISU. Even sneaking them in under cover of darkness. (In fact I will be sending you an email request for 23 shell and web accounts on Marilyn for my computer literacy class any day now.) But I see a lot of continuing headaches for Linux mass appeal on Wintel hardware -- particularly with that hardware continuing to evolve so fast. Like yet another new video card standard every time we turn around..

If there had been some agreement way back when on a hardware spec standard (like back when CHRP was being considered) I think Linux would have clobbered Microsoft by now in the consumer market as well as the small server market. Also, It's probably the reason why the corporate world (even little ole Ivy Tech) continues to like the outlandishly expensive Solaris/Sun platform -- because there is some predictability and consistency there when it comes to the platform itself.


PCI busses are standard issue now on Mac's yes? I think you should be pleased by that, because it may now be possible for OS X to let you have a choice of hardware that people who use PC hardware have typically enjoyed. The BSD's and Linux share many of the same drivers, so that opens up a wide range of PC hardware you wouldn't ever be able to use under your old Mac OS, but can now, thanks to FreeBSD/Linux. I for one welcome OS X if drivers flow from that direction as well (particularly USB device drivers).

 > Clearly it will be light years ahead of Windows NT, Me, 9x, 2000,
 > etc., but it will probably be a flop in the market because few
 > vendors will take the time to develop the usual Microsoft-ish and
 > other desktop apps for it.

  At any rate it's finally an admission from Apple that they can't make an
OS better than Linux/FreeBSD (if they ever could).  Now if only MS would.

- Steve

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