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GUI OS X Operating Systems Unix Apple

Looking Back At OS X's Origins 312

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the i-fail-at-history dept.
DJRumpy writes "Macworld Weekly has an interesting look at the history of OS X from its early origins in 1985 under NeXT and the Mach Kernel to Rhapsody, to its current iteration as OS X. An interesting, quick read if anyone is curious about the timeline from Apple's shaky '90s to their current position in the market. There's also an interesting link at the bottom talking about the difference between the original beta and the release product that we see today."
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Looking Back At OS X's Origins

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  • ars technica on os x (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 20, 2010 @11:34AM (#33637566)

    Check out Ars' run down too: http://arstechnica.com/apple/reviews/2010/09/macos-x-beta.ars [arstechnica.com]

    • by camperslo (704715) on Monday September 20, 2010 @12:38PM (#33638642)

      Other links might be of interest to the /. crowd too, like info on the hack that allowed Darwin or OS X (up to 10.4.x IIRC) to run on some older (PPC) hardware that didn't support it. It was an open-source utility called XPostFacto [macsales.com] With an Ultra-160 SCSI or ATA interface card for acceptable disk performance, an old 9600 worked surprisingly well. Having 12 RAM slots, a 9600 could hold up to 1.5 gig of RAM, which is pretty decent for something made in the 90s.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 20, 2010 @11:43AM (#33637710)
    "Apple Computer -- proudly going out of business since 1977!"
    • Re:our motto... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Lev13than (581686) on Monday September 20, 2010 @01:20PM (#33639336) Homepage

      Apple in the early 90s was a terrible company with shitty, slow, bug-ridden products (maybe I'm biased - I owned a Performa 5200) and terrible customer service. It certainly didn't help that their share price was less than a loaf bread.

      To understand how they got from 1996 to where they are today you need to remember that, flow of funds aside, it was actually NeXT that acquired Apple. Apple didn't pick up an operating system - NeXT acquired a hardware distribution channel.

    • I never thought I'd see the day when their stock was worth so much more than Microsoft's, and that they had ubiquitous products in huge demand by the consumer public.
  • NeXT. Thanks. (Score:3, Informative)

    by kwerle (39371) <kurt@CircleW.org> on Monday September 20, 2010 @11:44AM (#33637736) Homepage Journal

    Thank you, editors.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nextstep [wikipedia.org]

    • by Chaostrophy (925)

      NeXTstep used a variety of cap options, NextSTEP......ah, the late 1980s-early 1990s!

  • by antifoidulus (807088) on Monday September 20, 2010 @11:47AM (#33637790) Homepage Journal
    Is Steves war on color in the Operating System. Every single release of OS X has removed significant amounts of color from the operating system and applications. The latest iTunes is just another example of that, I absolutely hate it because I cannot quickly glance at the icons and figure out which one is which. Maybe it's just a rationalization 20 years later for why Apple didn't adopt color graphics earlier.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by shoehornjob (1632387)

      What the article doesn't mention is Steves war on color in the Operating System

      Maybe that's why he is always wearing those damn black turtlenecks.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Would you rather have your OS X or iTunes look like this? While these colors make the Amiga desktop stand out from the black-and-white Mac or C64 GEOS of the day, it's also extremely garish:

        http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/b/b3/Amiga_Workbench_1_0.png [wikimedia.org]
        (zoom 300% to recreate the old 14 inch look of Amiga)

        Ick. Well at least it could do preemptive tasking.

        • by LWATCDR (28044)

          Actually for the day it was great.
          It did have color and real multitasking. Back then UIs where very new. IT actually got better over time and you could customize it a lot.

          • by sznupi (719324)

            Once plain look of Workbench got good enough - from the setups I've seen it was almost "you could customize it too much" (yes, "in the eye of the beholder/owner/user, et al." - but I wonder how many people were put off by such creations during random demonstration)

          • I don't customize anything. I just use the default of whatever's given to me (except Windows, when I switch to the classic style because it's faster).

            On my Amiga 500 it still has that garish blue-orange look, overlaid with a File Manager that has all the CLI commands down the center and you just click them to issue the command (example copy df0:resume ram:resume). I often don't load Commodore's Workbench at all.

        • On the other hand Workbench 2's color scheme is a lot like the current OSX: grey with blue highlights. Maybe that's why I like OSX so much, feel's like home.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by drerwk (695572)

      Maybe it's just a rationalization 20 years later for why Apple didn't adopt color graphics earlier.

      Every Apple I've had, starting with the II+ has had color graphics.

      • Oops. (Score:5, Informative)

        by drerwk (695572) on Monday September 20, 2010 @11:56AM (#33637940) Homepage
        Sorry for self reply - my first Mac was a IIci; yes color was missing from the Mac between 1984 and '87.

        Wish I could delete my previsou. post
        • Re:Oops. (Score:4, Insightful)

          by NJRoadfan (1254248) on Monday September 20, 2010 @12:00PM (#33637992)
          Kinda sad the Apple IIgs had a Mac style GUI in color before the Mac did.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            >>>Kinda sad the Apple IIgs had a Mac style GUI in color before the Mac did.

            Kinda sad the lowly 8 bit Commodore had a color GUI before the 32-bit Mac did. The GEOS was black-and-white by default, but could be customized to any 16 color combo.

            1985 - Atari ST / Commodore Amiga released with 32 and 4000 colors
            1986 - C64 got GUI
            1986 - Apple IIgs had 16 color GUI and an improved 6502 with 16 bits (65816)

            I didn't see my first color Mac until my school installed a 68040 Quadra. 1994. Prior to that all

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Creepy (93888)

              Part of the reason for no color was Apple was still targeting business and wanted to be seen as a business machine, not a toy like the Apple ][ line. IMO, Apple made a HUGE mistake of going after the business market exclusively for a while (trying to go head-to-head with IBM) and pretty much pissing on their consumer market. I know several people that (claim) they will never buy another Apple product because of how Apple handled the GS.

    • by Bill_the_Engineer (772575) on Monday September 20, 2010 @12:04PM (#33638052)

      Steve Jobs was fanatical about WYSIWYG on the Mac. Since there were few color printers available in the 80's, it was common knowledge that Jobs felt that color display violated his WYSIWYG philosophy.

      The good old days when Desktop Publishing was the new technology...

      • >>>Since there were few color printers available in the 80's, it was common knowledge that Jobs felt that color display violated his WYSIWYG philosophy.

        Bad philosophy considering many of us were printing color documents using computers like Atari or Amiga or Commodore. The inability to do color on 80s Macs made them look inferior.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          Bad philosophy considering many of us were printing color documents using computers like Atari or Amiga or Commodore. The inability to do color on 80s Macs made them look inferior.

          While I agree that the Mac's inability to do color was a sorely missed feature. I don't think I would go so far as call the Mac inferior. I would say that the Mac was targeted toward the "serious" desktop publishing crowd. Especially since there was better publishing software on the Mac. While the Atari ST and the Amiga were targ

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            >>>I don't think I would go so far as call the Mac inferior.

            I would. And did. The only reason I switched to a Mac was because the better machines (Atari and Amiga) disappeared off the market. The Commodore Amiga could do all the desktop publishing a Mac could do PLUS produce movies (Aladdin) and TV shows (B5, seaquest, space A&B, etc) besides.
            .

            >>>I think Apple took IBM more seriously than the assorted home computers and as long as the average office had B/W printing, Jobs felt justi

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Maybe it's just a rationalization 20 years later for why Apple didn't adopt color graphics earlier.

      Maybe it's just the realization that most software developers do a crappy enough job in black and white that giving them even more freedom to screw up in even more garish ways isn't that great of an idea. Really. You may hate Steve for this, but if it avoids a system looking like Microsoft Windows' Default - Blue Luna [wikipedia.org], it's worth it.

      • There is a happy middle there, and I thought Apple had found it. I actually do sort of like the general theme in Snow Leopard, but I absolutely HATE the new iTunes look because they went overboard taking color out of it. Now it's just dull with 0 increase in usability(and don't get me started on how much I hate the new icon).
        • What about the re-orientation of the close,min, max buttons? WTF do they think this is, Gnome?

          Seriously, It's been close, min, max left to right since the beginning. Why the hell the change now?

          • by rvw (755107)

            What about the re-orientation of the close,min, max buttons? WTF do they think this is, Gnome?

            Seriously, It's been close, min, max left to right since the beginning. Why the hell the change now?

            When you press the green +button, iTunes minimizes to the mini player [macgenie.co.uk], with that same vertical orientation.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by sznupi (719324)

        I actually would like to see "make everything greyscale" button and keyboard shortcut in taskbar/etc.; too often colors screams at the eyes for no good reason.

        Maybe that's just because of how I usually used C64 - on a small B&W Soviet TV. It actually made things better IMHO; 16 levels of grey looks quite a bit more refined than 16 colors. Hundreds levels of grey does tend to look that way too, when compared with poor choice of colors (there's one moment when Blue Luna looks fine - when it displays OS sh

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by 0xdeadbeef (28836)

        You may hate Steve for this, but if it avoids a system looking like Microsoft Windows' Default

        What? I hate the OS X look because it reminds me of that. But it is worse, with its scrollbars and progress bars that look like toothpaste, and window buttons so small they make me feel like I'm 82, half blind, and have arthritis trying to click them.

        The user interface achieved perfection with the OS/2, Windows 95 look and feel.

    • by slapout (93640)

      Steve is just making you realize how important color is by taking it away.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by TheLink (130905)
      You're just holding it wrong!
    • by LWATCDR (28044)

      I think a good bit of it was to keep the cost down.
      Remember that the Mac shipped with only 128k at first.
      No expansion was offered.
      And no that was not a lot of memory in 1984. The Apple III that shipped in 1980 had 128k expandable to 512k
      The Commodore B machine "yes I know it was slightly less successful than the AppleIII" Shipped with 128K
      The Apple IIc which shipped in 1984 also had 128 k.
      So you had 8 bit machines shipping with 128k of ram years before the Mac did.

      The Mac was supposed to be a "cheap" comput

      • >>>Remember that the Mac shipped with only 128k at first.

        That doesn't sound so bad. The first Amiga only had 256k and multitasked programs just fine. Mac only had to run one program at a time, so only needed half the space (IMHO). Also I think you're misremembering how much RAM computers came with. RAM was not exactly cheap back then - I spent $90 for a 512k upgrade in 1989. That was considered a bargain.

        1979 - Atari had 48k
        1980 - AppleII+ had 48k
        1982 - C=64 has 64k
        1983 - Apple IIe had 64k
        198

    • by Americano (920576)

      Aesthetically, a choice to de-emphasize the "ZOMG LOOKIT I GOTS SCROLLBARS AND TITLE BAR AND ICONZZZZ" in favor of letting the content in your apps themselves take center stage is not *necessarily* a bad thing.

      If the "plumbing" of the OS & the window manager is overshadowing the content in the apps to the point of distracting users, I'd say that toning down the window manager is probably a reasonable decision from a design standpoint. I don't know if there's anything to indicate how the move towards mo

    • by bonch (38532) on Monday September 20, 2010 @01:26PM (#33639432)

      Colors in OS X are often muted because of people doing visual work. Many (if not all) of Apple's Pro apps use grayscale window controls and highlights regardless of what the rest of the system is configured to use.

    • by david_thornley (598059) on Monday September 20, 2010 @02:25PM (#33640390)

      Apple adopted color graphics way early. They weren't on the early Macs.

      One problem was that color monitors of the time were typically bad. I tried using IBM EGA graphics once, and couldn't stand to use the screen longer than about five minutes. I have friends who used their Apple IIs with monochrome monitors.

      Jobs wanted high quality in the Mac displays, and was perfectly willing to sacrifice color to do so.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by takev (214836)
      Their first Beta had lots of colors, their windows has a light blue pin stripe. Then the graphic artists told Apple that all their graphics became off-color, because their eyes compensated against the slight blue tint (our eyes' automatic white balance).

      Ever since then each version removed more color from the themes and from their applications. Personally I think they went overboard with iTunes, but it may also be that they want everyone to adopt the gray icons in a list for other applications as well. Don'
  • flying cars (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I don't want to be a whiner, but I don't understand what OS X fans are so lyrical about. OS X still has no option to make my car fly, nor does it allow me to play tennis outside in my iTennisCourt, and swim in my iSwimmingPool. Do OS X fans also go crazy over other office equipment, such as staplers or paperclips?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by camperslo (704715)

      You just have to know where to hold down the option key when clicking.

      Find an old Mac SE at a thrift store, hit the debug switch on the side, and type in G 41D89A

      Even if the hard drive is bad, it opens a portal to a parallel universe.

  • Blasphemy! (Score:5, Funny)

    by D Ninja (825055) on Monday September 20, 2010 @11:52AM (#33637868)

    The REAL history of OS X...

    And on the sixth day, Steve Jobs said, "Let there be OS X" and OS X was created, and it was good.

    That's how it goes, right?

    • I quoth from my copy of The Book of Apple:

      And on the sixth day, Steve Jobs said, "Let there be White," and the porcelin white was created, and it was good.

    • by yanyan (302849)

      Actually it was the Xth day...

  • 90's OS (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fermion (181285) on Monday September 20, 2010 @11:55AM (#33637916) Homepage Journal
    In the 90's, all OS sucked. Networking and the internet made them look old. Mac OS still sucked less because of the way it interacted, and continued to interact, with standard compliant devices. The primary problem was that the motorola chips were becoming dated, which Apple fixed in the Mid 90's with the power PC.

    It is interesting to note that at that time MS also released their first real GUI OS, Windows NT. By 1996 MS has a credible OS, which remain useful until 2000, when XP became a reasonable successor. Like Mac OS 9, however, NT was not that consumer friendly.

    In a world where the web has reached a point where social media consumption and creation is what most people do, neither Mac OS X or Windows 7 will be the solution. As much as pundits want to say that people spend their days typing reports, creating powerpoints, that is not what people to. They post to video blogs and watch videos and text. We will see machines that run Windows 7 for business, and Mac OS X for software development and creative content creation, but the that is going to be an increasing niche market. People will be buying iOS and Android devices, because these are going to let them do stuff for $300. An external keyboard and google docs will let them do anything they need for school. Windows Mobile is not going to do it. We have seen the succor to Mac OS X, and it is iOS.

    • Um, actually in the 90s there were some pretty good OSes. Yeah, ME sucked, but Windows NT was actually quite good, plus, the *Nix OSes were still as stable as ever, just not end-user friendly.

      MacOS actually really, really sucked. NT had memory protection, MacOS didn't.

      While NT wasn't exactly a "home" OS, it was used enough to make it pretty common if you knew to get it.

      In the 90s, Mac was way and I mean way behind the curve.
      • by makomk (752139)

        MacOS actually really, really sucked. NT had memory protection, MacOS didn't.

        Even Windows 95 had memory protection. Wasn't quite as good as NT in other ways, but it was definitely a home OS.

    • Re:90's OS (Score:4, Informative)

      by WillAdams (45638) on Monday September 20, 2010 @12:07PM (#33638108) Homepage

      Then what would you say about an OS which:

        - was \textsc{unix}
        - supported the initial versions of http
        - was used to develop a graphical web browser and editor named worldwideweb.app[1]

      NeXTstep, available in 1989

      William

      1 - _Weaving the Web_ by Sir Tim Berners-Lee --- http://www.w3.org/People/Berners-Lee/Weaving/Overview.html [w3.org]

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by BitZtream (692029)

      was that the motorola chips were becoming dated, which Apple fixed in the Mid 90's with the power PC.

      ... the PowerPC chips were designed by Motorola, IBM fabbed them and eventually bought out the design when Motorola dumped it ... which also triggered Apple to jump to x86.

      NT before 2000 was hardly a 'useful' OS. It was Windows, but with an extremely limited set of available software since most things that worked in 95 or 3.x that weren't extremely simple wouldn't work right in NT, if at all. It was buggy

      • by Bassman59 (519820)

        was that the motorola chips were becoming dated, which Apple fixed in the Mid 90's with the power PC.

        ... the PowerPC chips were designed by Motorola, IBM fabbed them and eventually bought out the design when Motorola dumped it ... which also triggered Apple to jump to x86.

        Actually, PowerPC is based on IBM's POWER platform, and the AIM (Apple IBM Motorola) Alliance was formed to basically try to create a RISC alternative to Intel CISC processors.

        Motorola (now Freescale) has not dumped PowerPC; it is still alive and well in the embedded market where Intel has no credible entries (PPC's main competition in that space are various flavors of ARM). The main issue was Freescale's (and IBM's, to an extent) inability to show a roadmap for a much lower power/higher-performance follow-

        • by Trepidity (597)

          Wasn't it only the G5, at the end of Apple's PPC run, that was based on the POWER platform? My understanding is that the G3/G4 weren't POWER-based.

      • by puto (533470)
        I very cleary remember maintaining about 25 NT servers and do not recall having many problems with them. Of course I bought HP servers certified to run NT, so I never had an issue with drivers. This was 1997-1999.
      • Re:90's OS (Score:4, Insightful)

        by uglyduckling (103926) on Monday September 20, 2010 @01:40PM (#33639660) Homepage
        I ran NT4 as my primary OS for about 8 months, and that wasn't my experience at all. Maybe rubbish shareware and 3D games wouldn't work, but all of the desktop productivity type software I had worked, all of the esoteric engineering apps for my uni course worked well. The main issue was device drivers for cheaper hardware, but then it was those that made Win 9x so unstable.
    • I'm firmly in Apple's lap today, and have been using Macs at work and elsewhere for many years, but I couldn't stand the original Mac OS.

      On a technological level, I also think it was far behind the competition in terms of memory protection, cooperative multitasking, etc.

    • Re:90's OS (Score:5, Interesting)

      by mlts (1038732) * on Monday September 20, 2010 @12:54PM (#33638910)

      I'd disagree. The two best UIs from the early '90s were from NeXTStep and IRIX [1]. NeXTStep was very usable, although a bit funky to get used to with the command bar and such. However, it was one of the few workstation OSes that was also a very well thought out OS for daily desktop use. Hardware wise, the NeXT was expensive, but the cube was well made, and the printer did a decent 400 DPI, which was great for its time.

      Come the mid 90s, Windows 95 was actually a decent improvement, but the NeXT dock is still one of the UI concepts that is still common even now.

      [1]: Technically, the IRIX 4Dwm window manager. For eye candy, it couldn't be beaten at the time (and this was before CDE came out, and waaay before the KDE/GNOME initatives.)

    • >>>In the 90's, all OS sucked. Networking and the internet made them look old. Mac OS still sucked less...

      Man do I disagree with that statement. The best operating system was Amiga OS, since it was the only one that could do preemptive tasking, enabling people to run multiple programs at the same time (but without bringing down the whole system if one crashed). Mac OS was a close second. GEOS on C=64 a close third.

      And then came Windows which sucked worse than DOS or CLI.

      As for processors, well

  • by WillAdams (45638) on Monday September 20, 2010 @11:55AM (#33637918) Homepage

    It was OPENSTEP 4.2 --- which Apple actually sold for a time, along w/ providing free Y2K patches and free upgrades to NeXTstep 3.3 or OPENSTEP 4.2 to license holders of earlier versions.

    Amusing rumour is that ``Yellow Box'' was so named because Bill Gates, when asked if he'd develop for NeXT stated, ``Develop for it? I'll piss on it.''

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/11/14/gates_says_jobs_saved_apple/ [theregister.co.uk]

    As nice as Mac OS X is though, I'd still rather have NeXTstep:

      - Display PostScript
      - built-in PANTONE colour library
      - vertical, movable menu bar w/ tear off menus and pop-up menus
      - top-level Print, Hide, Quit and Services menu
      - TeX provided by default and supported by the nifty TeXview.app
      - inspector-provided sort options for Miller-column filebrowser view
      - re-sizeable Shelf which can store multiple file selections as a single icon
      - nifty apps which made use of Services and Display PostScript like beYAP.app, Altsys Virtuoso, poste.app &c.

    William

  • by joeflies (529536) on Monday September 20, 2010 @11:56AM (#33637934)
    could of used a screenshot or two of the historical operating systems. we all know what OS X looks like, but fewer of us have seen a living breathing Next cube
  • by linebackn (131821) on Monday September 20, 2010 @12:09PM (#33638142)

    The last time I checked, there still was no way to kick around the really old original 68k versions of NeXTSTEP other than buying a NeXT machine and its optical media off of eBay. I wish somebody would write NeXT emulator that emulated the original 68k machines. The x86 version is interesting and all, but the 68k version is where it all started.

    I guess people only bother emulating platforms that have lots of games.

    • by sznupi (719324)

      I guess people only bother emulating platforms that have lots of games.

      Is there something about IBM mainframes [wikipedia.org] the greybeards aren't telling us? ;)

  • Actually, Apple used NeXT because they had to buy the worthless company for $400 million, bailing out Jobs' personal net worth, to get Jobs back.

    Apple's in-house OS, MacOS 8, made it to first developer release before Jobs killed it. This is not what Apple eventually released as "MacOS 8"; that was a warmed-over System 7. The real MacOS 8 was a completely new kernel, with protected memory and a CPU dispatcher, both of which the original MacOS lacked. (Deep down, the original MacOS was like DOS - no mem

    • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Monday September 20, 2010 @12:25PM (#33638424)
      Actually, System 8 (Copland) had a ton of problems without including Jobs. The problem was, it was a disjointed effort where nothing was getting done. If anything blame Ellen Hancock for purchasing NeXT because when she was hired she basically said "screw this, it isn't ever going to get shipped" so they bailed out Jobs.

      Copland wasn't going anywhere so Apple decided to cut their losses.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Elwood P Dowd (16933)
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Apple's in-house OS, MacOS 8, made it to first developer release before Jobs killed it. This is not what Apple eventually released as "MacOS 8"; that was a warmed-over System 7. The real MacOS 8 was a completely new kernel, with protected memory and a CPU dispatcher, both of which the original MacOS lacked.

      As others have pointed out, Jobs didn't kill Copland (the OS you're referring to). Apple's pre-Jobs executive team of Gil Amelio and Ellen Hancock did. As of about the time when that developer release was "released" (only to device driver developers because it was too dysfunctional for anybody working at a higher level, and actually too dysfunctional even to do device driver development on, but they had missed so many deadlines there was a lot of pressure to release something), Amelio and Hancock were con

  • I imagine it started out something like this:

    #include nextstep.h

    int main(argc, char *argv[])
    { //TODO: Insert OS here
    }

    • by fnj (64210)

      try.c:1:10: error: #include expects "FILENAME" or <FILENAME>
      try.c:3: error: expected ')' before 'char'

  • In the Public Beta, Mail.app was present at a bristling young version 1.0. Surprisingly, it worked quite well.

    Huh. I wonder what happened to it? Because "worked quite well" is not a phrase I would use to describe Mail.app in any version of OSX that I've used (that is, Tiger and above).

  • A "look back at the origins of OS X", and the acronym BSD doesn't appear even once in the article. WTF?
    • by abigor (540274)

      That would be more of a history of NextSTEP, which is where the BSD stuff was originally pulled in. There's this misconception that modern OS X is more or less a clone of one or more BSDs, but that is not the case.

      • by nuckfuts (690967)

        I'm not suggesting it's a clone, but that BSD is a link in the chain. Even if farther back than NextSTEP, is it not a part of "the origins"?

        On a subjective level, I've never been extremely comfortable doing technical support in a purely graphical environment. Having little hands-on experience with OS X, I sometimes struggle to locate a feature or setting that I know must be there. If I drop into a Terminal session, however, things appear somewhat familiar. At this level, the Unix heritage of OS X seems appa

        • by abigor (540274)

          Well, OS X is a Unix, so it's no surprise it feels familiar. Agreed about NextSTEP, although didn't the article mention it derived from "Unix"? I can't recall if it did or not. For most readers, the distinction between just saying "Unix" and "BSD" is probably irrelevant.

  • BeOS (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Bob Hearn (61879) on Monday September 20, 2010 @01:31PM (#33639498) Homepage

    Left out of that history is the branch that almost happened: for quite a while the smart money was that Apple would buy Be, Inc. and use BeOS [wikipedia.org] as the basis for their future OSes. More than a few developers (myself included [wikipedia.org]) based their business models on this happening.

    • by hessian (467078)

      I am an unabashed Jean-Louis Gassee fan, having used Macs back in the 1980s and at the time wondered why they didn't allow me to use expansion cards like an Apple //, or even expand the memory (early 128K/512K Macs made that rather difficult!).

      When BeOS came out, I was fairly thrilled at the idea, but had no idea how to get my hands on a Be box. A few years later, I got to see BeOS on an Intel box.

      I was at first somewhat nonplussed, because this was a 160mhz 486dx2 style nightmare machine... but the BeOS ma

  • Mac Plus to iMac (Score:3, Interesting)

    by spaceyhackerlady (462530) on Monday September 20, 2010 @03:12PM (#33641112)

    The first Mac I ever played with was a Mac Plus, circa 1986. When I found myself in the market for a computer of my own shortly afterwards I looked at a Mac, but didn't end up buying one. Silly me. My girlfriend at the time needed to buy a computer for her company, and when she saw how blown away I was by an Amiga, she figured if I was impressed by it it had to be good, and that's what she bought. I played with a NeXT cube and was impressed by it, but couldn't begin to even think about buying one. I sent my resume to NeXT and got a nice letter back, but no interview.

    Fast-forward to 1995 and I'm doing Mac development, System 7, in the transition from 68k to Power PC. My development box was a Quadra 650 with a PowerPC daughter board, so I could boot and run it either way. Our first PowerPC compiler didn't support fat binaries, but I had no difficulty figuring out how to use ResEdit to paste in CODE resources from 68k executables to make my own fat binaries. I had fun tracking down some memory management issues, the usual crash when switching back to your app in MultiFinder. Am I showing my age or what?

    A couple of years ago I saw a Mac Mini in a store, thought it was cute (always a good reason to buy a computer!), played with it a bit, was impressed, and bought one. After a couple of years I bought an iMac, which is my current home computer. At work I have all the Linux and Solaris boxes I want, plus an XP box to read email on, but the computer I spend my own money on at home is a Mac.

    ...laura, long time Mac enthusiast and fangirl

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