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Apple Businesses

OS X 416

So, now that OS X has been out a few days and people have had a chance to put it though its paces, let's take a look at it. wonders if the new OS was released half-baked. Ars Technica puts it through its paces with a very thorough review. O'Reilly plans to release tech books covering OS X, so if your bookshelf isn't full yet, you can add a few more. Certain major software projects are already being tried on OS X - look out Adobe. And finally, we know it's not April 1, but we thought the picture of OS X on a Visor was cute. Any other good links to reviews? Post them below.
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  • by Anonymous Coward
    I've compiled and installed a number of X-Windows things for OS X, including glib, gtk+, imlib, jpeglib, etc., XEmacs, WindowMaker, AfterStep, Xfce, XV, rxvt, Freeciv, Dillo, gFTP, and Postilion. (To start X-Windows, you need to type ">console" at the login window; login to the console, type startx, and away you go.) Apple added a number of symbolic links at places other flavors of *NIX usually have their system libraries; the links point to the location of said libs in Apple's distribution. Hence you no longer need to hack the hell out of the configures and makefiles to get things to compile. In fact most things just require a simple ./configure, make, make install, without any modifiction aside from occasionally needing to specify --host=powerpc-apple-darwin1.3 or --host=powerpc-apple-machten.

    Go to [] or [] for more information on getting X to run under OS X. For that matter, if anyone's interested in running X without having to shutdown OS X's native window manager first, check out the XonX project at [].
  • I think he meant a real OS. =P
  • by Don Negro ( 1069 ) on Tuesday April 03, 2001 @06:33AM (#319151)
    It was much quicker than I had been led to believe.

    Config: Rev 1 Blue and White G3 400Mhz, 256MB, 1 9 GB UltraSCSI 2 HD, 1 8.4 GB ATA HD.

    I was previously running MacOS 8.6, and I chose to wipe my 8.4 GB HD and copy my old system folder over en masse, mainly because I have ProTools/Powermix, Bias Peak, and Reason all happily coexisting on that system, and I'll be damned if I screw up that happy accident for *any* new OS.

    So, I installed 9.1 on the 9 GB, then installed OS X. The initial 'welcome' screen played the QT movie that others have written about, but the music was what caught my attention. It was almost certianly remixed Portishead - no one else does the ambient vibraphone thing like they do.

    I chose to skip the internet set-up. I connect to SBC DSL via PPPoE and I was a little apprehensive. I shouldn't have worried. It took 2 minutes with the Internet Connect App. I selected Built-In Ethernet, the protocol pulldown menu changed from PPP to PPPoE, and I selected that. Typed in my username and password, and I had IP connectivity.

    I was installing off an Apple Internal CD, which has a reduced software set, so I used my new connection to go the and download a copy of OmniWeb. Slick little browser, that. Clean, small, uncluttered. My wife used to work for AT&T Wireless (a large NeXTSTEP installation) and she had nothing but good things to say about OmniWeb, and she was right.

    I spent most of the rest of the night digging around for printer drivers for my Epson Photo 1200, to no avail. It would recognize it from the USB bus, but listed it as unsupported. Supposedly there were new drivers from Epson available via iDisk, so I created a new iTools account and dug around in there for a while, but was unable to find them. I did download some nifty software, though.

    Some people have bitched about the anti-aliased fonts being blurry or hard to read. I can see how this could happen. I have an Apple Studio Display 17", which has a Mitsubishi Diamondtron tube with a .25 dot pitch. With a less-tightly grained monitor, 10 pt. fonts would have been hard to read. I was running 1152X870, millions of colors, 75 Hz, and the small text got *easier* to read between 18" and 3' back from the monitor. Closer, and it got progressively more grey as I could better resolve the anti-aliasing.

    I was able to hang a few processes, which were easily killed off via ProcessViewer (second thing I aliased to the Dock, right behind the terminal). Click on process, Apple-Shift-Q. Gone.

    My explorations were cut short by the fact that I had to go run errands, but I expect to spend most of tonight screwing around with it, and I expect that I'll be able to give better anecdotal evidence about OS X in the new future.

    Don Negro

  • gosh, it would be nice if Quartz were optimized for a single 3d card, like ATI for instance? Seeing as how pretty much all Macs have at least an ATI built in.

    Should they have held-off? No, this ball needs to get rolling and now. It's not just Mac users that have been denied the OS that X is destined to become, it's the entire world that's dying for an OS that "does not suck". It's our last, best hope.

    Companies like Adobe clearly are needing some kind of incentive to get off their asses and carbonize apps. A 1.0 release is as good an incentive as any.

    I consider myself an early adopter, but I'm not buying OS X, I'm sticking with 9.1 because I was not impressed with performance of PB on my 300MHz beige G3. Reports are mixed about performance now, but I'm not expecting that I'll be one of the lucky ones like the guys who say it screams on their 233 MHz Rev A iMac. So I'm going to wait, maybe 6 months, maybe a year, until a little more maturity, more drivers, and more apps are there, and by then maybe the stock market will have recovered enough so I can afford new hardware to run it on. ;)
  • My wife owns an iMac, and those Harmon/Kardons aren't all that.

    they're okay, they get the job done, but you really don't want to listen to music without an additional subwoofer. There's just no bass at all to those things.
  • The thing is, I think that the pundits do not believe that their readership understands what NeXT is/was. They think it's a CS-academic-geek-trivia thing, and that most people are more likely to understand what BSD is.
    Also, BSD is like, in with all the GNU/OpenSource/Linux stuff, so it's 1337.

    So they say BSD.
  • Feng Shui is a scam invented by furniture salesmen to make spending enormous amounts of money on trendy furniture and redecorating seem "new age" and "spiritual" and "multicultural".
  • It could be that if Microsoft doesn't get it's ass in gear and either Cocoa-ify IE, or fix whatever is wrong with the Carbon version (which may turn out to be Carbon itself from what Siracuse writes), then when OS X starts shipping in significant quantity, OmniWeb may just start eroding IE's marketshare. . .

    Where's Netscape? SOL. er, I mean AOL.
  • I doubt there's any technical reason we can't have the apple menu the way it used to be. Heck, how long did it take for a shareware hack to make it out for PB? two weeks?

    How long did it take for similar apple menu functionality to show up in the Dock? two months?

    I'm 100% certain that it was a stubborn, political, Steve ass-kissing decision. Had they put configurability back into apple menu, it would have diminished the necessity for the Dock - rumored to be one of Steve's special favorite features (mainly because of the Genie effect when minimizing, because it's a super-cool thing that makes Windows look WEAK).
  • uh, yeah. Until you start doing things like moving stuff into and out of the Application folder, then suddenly permissions break for no explainable reason, and your average Mac user is out buying Unix for Dummies so they can figure out how to use, man, su, sudo, chmod, hacking netinfo to enable the root account, etc. etc. ad nauseum.

    Having unix superhero powers is very cool.
    Having to use them for simple everyday tasks that weren't necessary on the old OS is very uncool (expecially when it's because of buggy behavior as described above).
    OS X has changed a simple drag-n-drop file move operation into a major educational ordeal involving many steps.

    IMHO, this is *not* the highly touted, much promised "Macintosh ease of use on a powerful Unix OS".
  • by Seth Morabito ( 2273 ) on Tuesday April 03, 2001 @07:58AM (#319159)

    I'm really surprised more people in the media haven't commented on how much NeXT there is in MacOS X. The common battlecry is "it's based on UNIX", or with a little more specificity, "it's based on BSD". Look, the truth is, this is NeXTSTEP (or OPENSTEP for you 4.2 fans) with a funny interface.

    Let's review. There is a BSD layer, yes, but it's no more BSD than NeXTSTEP had. Think back to 1990. Imagine yourself sitting in front of a big black cube. Open up a shell, and you'll find it's tcsh. Look around at the file system. You'll see it's strikingly similar to MacOS X today, virtually the same layout.

    Most important are the runtimes available. The primary runtime, now called "Cocoa", was formerly just called OPENSTEP. It's Objective-C, and all objects inherit from NSObject (NS - NextStep, get it?). You can get access to a lot of these objects through Java as well, but mostly you use Objective-C to write native MacOS X applications.

    The display layer, now called "Quartz", is Display PostScript at its heart. You'd be more accurate to call it "Display PDF", but since PDF is really an extension of PostScript... well, you get the idea.

    Oh, and applications are "bundles" (really just directories that encapsulate their internal components and expose a single icon) that end in a ".app" extension. That is so very, very NeXT.

    The good news is that there are so many core enhancements since OPENSTEP 4.2. This is not your father's OS. The tight integration into the system of a really rather decent Java VM is a delight. Quartz has come a long way since the initial Display PS. The mere fact that and are included for free is marvellous.

    I was a NeXT Computer booster from way back, I've always had a soft spot for them. And MacOS X just confirms what I knew was going on in 1996 -- NeXT bought Apple, not the other way around.

    (And thank God, too.)


  • Actually mozilla runs pretty well on it if you want to try that.


  • by Lally Singh ( 3427 ) on Tuesday April 03, 2001 @08:40AM (#319162) Journal
    I have to disagree. Truth is that I've been a rabid Linux and UNIX user for years, spending many of them programming Motif under CDE...

    As a user who's been through many unices and been heartbroken by all the UIs it's been through, I could really see OS X being my final home. I enjoy the antialiased graphics in all my applications. I enjoy the built in UI. I enjoy the general low pain-in-the-ass factor that I have with either UNIX or Windows when it comes to software installation, hardware installation, or any other maintanence task.

    Apache is pre-installed. I installed PHP and mysql within ten minutes, and am fully up & running. GCC 2.95.2 comes on the development CD, and project builder's got a fairly nice editor. I installed bash 2 and vim 5.7, and I can't say I've ever been this comfortable on any other computer in my life.

    Sure, customizing the windowmanager of the week (and I've been through it all when it was actually like that back when fvwm95 was the rage) is fun for a while, but I have SHIT TO DO. The biggest attribute I must give many people who need to customize X to the very limits, who need to install 400 themes, or any other truly useless overtweaking activity is TOO MUCH TIME ON THEIR HANDS.

    Armed with a shell prompt and the easiest to use GUI I've ever known on UNIX (because Mac OS X is a UNIX, remember that!), I've never been happier.

    And, the fact that I don't have to put up with the PC architecture's completely fucked up hardware is wonderful. A 64bit cpu that does up to 4 GFLOPS is wonderful in my mind. I enjoy not using an interrupt controller dated to 1979 (yes, I know all about the APICs, but how many devices use the little fuckers?).

    Also remember that macs have a longer lifetime than PC hardware. A pentium is barely usable, while a normal powermac is fine under OS 9. Sure alot of macs will be obsoleted by OS X, but many still run OS 8 or 7.x with glee. All that an old linux box really says is "router."

    So, before everyone goes off into their non-linux tirade, ask yourself, what are you in it for? A quick reaction to show your 3733+3ness, or a genuine love for a good every day use & programming environment?

    One of the biggest plusses now is that your grandmother (no, not the one that sends patches to Alan Cox, the other one) will probably most likely use UNIX with you :-)


  • NeXT was, in fact, so successful that they went out of business a few years back.
    a funny comment: 1 karma
    an insightful comment: 1 karma
    a good old-fashioned flame: priceless
  • Another one is that IE performs really badly in its beta-carbonized form.

    I think IE is worse in the OSX release then it was in the public beta. Not really slower as much as it crashes way more often, and the "page holder" has stopped working. I have more or less switched to OmniWeb.

    P.S. I dig the new finder, but maybe that is because I like the new list view (well the NeXT list view).

    P.P.S. umount -f seems to cause lockups pretty easily. Too bad, all the other BSDs are stable after one.

  • Applications - well, I hardly ever have to run anything in Classic. I've found an email application, an mp3 player, a web browser, AIM, a LiveJournal client (addict? me? never...) and other things that I need for daily happiness, all either Carbonized or already Cocoa. The only things I need Classic for are things like Photoshop and Dreamweaver - and it works just fine for those. Not every application I'll ever use is available yet - but stuff I need on a daily basis is all already supported in OS X.

    I pretty much agree with you, for two reasons:

    • Classic may not be the ideal solution, but it does work for the vast majority of applications. Hell it even works for pre-release 1980's versions of MacDraw that are written for a different CPU!
    • I really believe that a lot of places have been dragging their feet on doing OSX ports until there was a release. Not delaying the release for 3rd party apps was a good idea. Also not installing it on new Macs is a great idea, because the thing ain't finished.
    Plus, if you think something's missing - add it. Apple couldn't get ssh included, but many many people have gotten OpenSSH installed and working with a minimum of hassle.

    I heard the govm'nt didn't OK Apple's paper work until about four hours after the golden master was cut. Beats me if it's true, but it makes a good story. It was only modestly harder to get compiled and installed on this OS then on others. I was kinda looking forward to a mass release OS with ssh built in though.

  • Being able to call up a terminal which is actually part of a Mac system absolutely rocks. Although, has anyone been able to replace the default shell with bash?

    Have you tried chsh /path/to/bash? It worked for switching to zsh.

  • In the older OSes, as I understand it, you have a set amount of virtual memory (set in a control panel). Each application reserves a set amount of memory (which in theory is the maximum amount of memory it would ever need) when it launches. So, IE might reserve 16 megs of memory, but only be using 7 or 8 at any given time. This way, each running application will never had its memory used by another app (in theory). The down side is that since the amount of memory an app has reserved is fixed, you don't get as many apps in physical memory as you do in an OS with a real VM system.

    FYI, you can do (almost) that on OSX and other Posix systems (like Linux). Use "setrlimit". It won't pre-allocate the memory though, just limit the apps.

  • if Carbon/Cocoa apps actually used the system call interface directly.

    You may mix any of the APIs (according to the OSX overview doc - I havn't finished my reading, let alone started testing!) except classic (Carbon is 80% to 95% of Classic, depending on how you count).

    However if you use a fairly narrow set of APIs you can be a Carbon OS X app under OSX, and still run under OS9 (and I think OS8).

  • by stripes ( 3681 ) on Tuesday April 03, 2001 @06:14AM (#319169) Homepage Journal
    The fact is, it has little in common with bsd other than the fact that there is a bsd interface to the mach kernel that is there for the sole purpose of allowing it to run unix programs such as apache, sendmail, etc.

    Sure, it has little in common except the whole 4.4Lite source base. Oh, and all the shims so it can use FreeBSD device drivers and filesystems. Oh, and the systemcall interface, which native OSX applications can/do use (unlike WinNT where you wither have a GUI, or you have Posix, but it is almost impossible to have both).

    Most people seem to think that it started out as BSD and apple built their own window system on top, which is far from the truth.

    How do you think it started out? It was MACH when NeXT built it, which had a BSD single server on it (not 4.4 at the time because 4.4 wasn't available). NeXT put their own windowing system on top because they felt (like many others) that X sucks.

    The BSD stuff is a convenient way for apple to use existing software, nothing more.

    Duh. What do you think Linux is? It is an easy way to use all that existing Unix app code.

    Actually that is a bit far from the mark since Apple isn't getting a huge amount of mileage from existing Unix apps (mostly they don't have a friendly UI, and the ones that do need to use a new API for the UI anyway!).

    Why should it matter that Apple chose BSD to reuse existing code? Isn't that the reason to choose an OS? What's next? Bitching at Red Hat for choosing Linux so they can use all that existing Linux software? Well, duh, of corse.

  • Like the $899 iMacs?

    I _am_ a Mac user, and I know that Apple's prices are awful. Although there is the possibility of generic components being of lower quality than name brand, in truth they're just as frequently the same components.

    The Windows platform is hugely benefited by the ability of some guy in the middle of nowhere to assemble computers on margins so thin he can see through them, but to be able to sell them to people in his town. Apple, or Dell, or Gateway, or Compaq, or whomever can never have presences in all markets, and the Web isn't always a viable replacement.

    Frankly, I doubt they'd ever even consider selling computers with a profit of $5 or $10 because it's too low - regardless it is a perfectly worthwhile niche to be filled.

    Only one really big company - MS - is trying to move in on that segment, with the XBox (possibly future revisions, that use .Net and incorporate WebTV) but it's chiefly a response to the OS now being one of the most expensive parts of a low end system. If eMachines started selling Linux systems (if they could manage somehow) MS would percieve it as a threat, so it's acting preemptively ;)

    We can't pretend that the world is in the 1980s forever. Relatively good generic parts - ones that are 'good enough' are pervasive, and we had better deal with that. If Apple were smart they'd port over to x86 as fast as possible to take advantage of the cheaper, faster, more standard hardware. And if they had the opportunity (read: MS is broken up) they would need to spin off their hardware division entirely and license the OS to absolutely anyone that wanted it, from Michael Dell to Krazy Larry.

    But I doubt they'll even be able to get that far, these days.
  • Except the PHB answered "Mauve" without any concern or confusion.

    Of course most PHB's haven't founded three extremely succesful companies either (Apple, Next, & Pixar.) Nor have most PHB's been reponsible for many of the major changes in computing we've seen in the past two decades. I'm not much of a fan of Steve Jobs but one does have to accord him respect for his accomplishments.

    -- Michael

    ps Before some not-very-knowledgable person cuts in with the old urban legend about Xerox PARC & GUI's: It's been debunked, The Lisa team was well advanced on their own GUI well before they visited Xerox.

  • I've never met Steve Jobs so I don't feel qualified to judge his mental state. Clearly he's able to function & I'd like to believe anyone who earns my salery^2 and oversees three large companies to have some credible skills & brains.

    Just for accuracy Jobs didn't manage the Lisa project, indeed the Mac was his secret skunkworks project that he led under a pirate flag off of the Apple campus. As to adopting Xerox PARC technologies it's generally accepted that the built-in networking with the then very affordable (compared to the competition) Apple Laserwriter was a key element in the Mac's success. No, it didn't involve Ethernet but it was the first hardware & OS to come with any sort of built-in networking and Apple was the first computer manufacturer to pair their product with a laser printer.

    As to mismanaging the Mac project it may not have been succesful until after he left but it was certianly more succesful then either the Apple III or the Lisa projects that preceeded it.

    The Next plant story I heard was that he delayed production to have the robots repainted correct colors. There was no building-orientation or Feng-Shui (then unknown) involved in it.

    As to Pixar being small: they have a multpple movie contract with Disney so they can afford the occasionial flop. I don't think there's any fear of their going belly-up soon.

    Indeed upon rereading it appears that I've corrected or rebutted all of your points so far leading me to wonder how much direct involvement with Pixar Jobs has. You say "little" & "in spite of" but frankly you don't seem a reliable source.

    As to being reliable to holding the keys to anything, I'd like to note that all three companies are doing relativly well, seem poised to weather the industry turndown and he *does* have the keys, we don't.

  • Maybe this is another brilliant but unpopular move by Jobs (a la killing the clones)

    Apple never had clones, it had licensees. There's a fundamental difference:

    • Clones reverse-engineer intellectual property in a legal fashion and produce a (mostly) work-alike.
    • Licensees enter a legal contract between themselves and the product owner for access to the technology based on a flat-rate, per-unit, etc. fees. They're selling the "real deal" with permission from the licensor.
    Apple licensed it's hardware, designs, and MacOS 7.0 to a number of companies including Power Computing, IBM, Bandai, Umax, Motorola, Daystar & I believe Dell. Appple intended for these companies to extend Apple's distribution into super-high-end markets, low-end markets like education or difficult-for-Apple-to-service ones like Asia. Instead the ones that exercised their licenses (IBM, Bandai & I believe Dell also never did) soon began to cannibalize Apple's own sales. Furthermore the licensees ended up costing more then they produced in revenue.

    When Apple attempted to renegotiate rates (it had the impending release of MacOS 7.5 which was not under license as leverage) it was unable to do so. After some acrimony Apple decided to drop the program altogether and exercised a clause in the contracts allowing them to buy back the licenses.

    However at no time was this situation analagous to IBM & the companies who against it's will (and numerous lawsuits) cloned the IBM PC and made it so popular. Indeed IBM spent years & millions fighting them, even going to the extent of inventing whole new architectures attempting to regain control of it's market.

  • Part of the problem is that Apple is trying to sell OS X as Mac OS 10. They didn't bother to put that .0 on the box, in their ads, or anywhere else. (Hell, they ditched Arabic numerals entirely! Talk about avoiding the issue!)


    Those folks buying MacOS X don't know they're getting into something completely different, they're just plucking down US$120 for another MacOS upgrade, nothing to see here folks move on no news...

    I think we can safely assume most MacOS buyers know there's something special about MacOS X. The same way we can assume Win2K buyers know that it's not Win95 & that WinME & WinXP folks also 'get it'. There's kinda a limit on how explicit boxes need to be & I think this is about it.

    Presumably MacOS 10.1 etc. will have be more specific but for right now I see no issue with just calling a product by it's name on first release & it being implicit it's .0; explicit can come later when there's more versions to concern one's self with.

    Thank you for registering your concern though & I'm sure it will be duly noted.

    ps My MacOS X 10.0 box is in another country - what does it say on the outside? I don't recall.

  • Actually writing MacOS device drivers can be pretty hairy, there's some nasty code down there. I helped with a SCSI driver in the late 80's (proofread code & did reality-checks on the coder) - scary stuff.

    That said our dissafected youth never actually bothered to claim he knew diddly about such himself, instead he just sidestepped the question & the invitation to list a single API, MacOS or not.

    However he DID over-clock Win98 which, like, *totally* awes me...

    Oh, yeah, & "predecessor" as in came before, yeah like coal is the predecessor to Multics 'cause it came before.

    Frankly it's just a mouthy kid without a clue nor socal skills.

    Set phaser on.... "Ignore".

  • Er - Next was bought by Apple for 400 million.

    Indeed Next is often described as having bought Apple for -400 million.

    How else do you describe it when the principals of the bought company all end up running the buyer & the bought technology becomes the basis for all of the buyer's new projects?..

    That's not the same as "they went out of business a few years back".

  • by maggard ( 5579 ) <> on Tuesday April 03, 2001 @08:31AM (#319188) Homepage Journal
    Oh kid you gotta stop smokin' that cheap shit!

    Statement by sorry statement:

    1. Apples products have always been inferior. Er, and you base this opinion on... ?
    2. I'm talking from a software Engineering point of view. Ah, OK. So you don't like the API's then? Tell me, could you list a single API of any sort? How about a MacOS API? Or are you just truly talking out your butt as you seem to be?
    3. Up until OS IX/X, OK, first of all MacOS 9.x & MacOS X 10.x are completely different beasts, you can't logically lump them together.
    4. it didn't have a real operating system, Ah, it may not have one up to your exacting standards but yes, MacOS pre-X does have an OS. It doesn't have protected memory and relies on cooperative multitasking instead of preemptive multitasking but yes, it's there and in every sense a "real" OS.
    5. no command shell, So that's your criteria? Righ, MacOS doesn't ship with one. There are third-party ones but then the whole idea of MacOS was to get *away* from the command line & use a WIMP (Windows-Icons-Mouse Pointer) interface.
    6. no real easy to use interface, Er, the MacOS GUI(s) aren't easy-to-use? I don't think you'll find a lot of agreement there. Ranging from novices to power-users most agree that Mac's GUI(s) are their strongest feature. Not perfect but arguably better for the vast majority of folks then anything else availiable out of of a box.
    7. just a GUI, that's it That's right, a GUI floating in space, no OS below it... (Hint: Go check the root directory "System Folder" on any Mac, more particularly check the files "System" & "Finder" on any pre-X MacOS.)
    8. If you wanted extra, you had to buy it. Such as?... This differs from?...
    9. Apple is certainly better then Microsoft in every ascpect in GUI and OS stability design MacOS >X is more stable then Win2K?! (choke) Heck I like Macs but not even I can say that one without giggling. Easier to maintain, yes. More productive, yes. More stable, not. MacOS X is shaping up to be far more stable OS but with MacOS 9.x Mac'ers were just happy it's the "most stable release in years"; note no one saying it's rock-solid stable like a *nix box usually is. The fact is that much of the unstability comes from third party patches but the point that it's easy to destabilize the OS remains (try holding down the mouse - freeze everything.) Sorry Honey but right there you've completely marked yourself as a clueless goober.
    10. but the lack of a command shell in early versions Again what's with the command shell? You got some sort of prompt fetish? What, exactly, would you have wanted this for and why do you believe Apple didn't include it if it was so critical?
    11. and that of a good advertising department killed Apple Yeah, that 1984 commercial sank without a trace... Look, Apple has had good campaigns & bad campaigns but most will agree that the early ones were excellent and some of the more recent ones have been pretty good. Name any company that's had 25 years of unqualifiedly great advertising... None.
    12. Former Apple products were nowhere near that of UNIX Er, first of all back then *nix's were big iron / big ticket items. Name one consumer OS that was comperable to a *nix... Uh huh. Look here son, you gotta go reading more then the textbook-for-dummies before you go lecturing your betters on the history of computing (the back issues of Byte would be a good start.)
    13. The problem with Unix and its precursor, Mulics, Not. Unix's name is a play on the name "Multics" but they're not related, not in any significent way. As someone who had a Multics account trust me on this.
    14. is that they were made for users who already knew how to use a computer and not for beginners As to being written for novices / power users, back then we were all novices & by definition power users. There was no concept of different skill levels, the wonder was that any of this worked at all & there was certianly darn little to compare it to.
    The problem with Monday-morning Quarterbacking is that you had to have watched the game, or at least read about it. You, heck I'm not even sure you're literate much less conscious or capable of critical thought.

    Do your parents know you're on their computer? Isn't it your bedtime? Or naptime? Mebbe when you grow up you'll learn to write about what you know, in the meantime be quiet, don't fidget, pay attention & mebbe you'll learn something.

  • DP was PS based.
    PDF is PS based.
    PDF is not DP based.

    PDF can be thought of as a sorta-objecty-oriented extension of PS. It's not the interpreted PS like PS v.2 but rather a 'chunky' version with elements in it that can be often pulled out & manipulated independantly.

    -- Michael

    It is hoped that PDF will continue to evolve & that in mebbe two generations it might be a fully object-oriented which would lead to some really interesting features like distributed rendering, multiple views, etc.

  • by maggard ( 5579 ) <> on Tuesday April 03, 2001 @07:28AM (#319190) Homepage Journal
    Wow - Apple released a .0 release.

    You'd think nobody had ever done so before. That Linux version n.0 sprang from the earth complete, perfect, without errors or missing parts.

    Heck, MS Windows 9x has gone through, what, 9 revisions and it *still* has fundimental technical flaws and persistant bugs (some of which are both trivially reproducable & trivially fixable.)

    Now Apple finally get's an OS out the door, doesn't spend the next decade polishing it in the lab and now folks want to diss it?


    Wait 'till July when Apple ships the darn thing on their hardware. Wait 'till it's been through a patch cycle or two. Wait 'till the developers have finally gotten their asses out of beta and shipped some product, there's some more native applications out there. Wait 'till Apple & third parties have had a chance to go in & fix some of the booboo's, some folks have had an 'itch to scratch' & used the Open Source 'Darwin' to muck about a bit and rework things. Then stop comparing, well, apples to oranges and instead compare MacOS X to any other .1 OS.

    In the meantime Apple has just released a consumer *nix with more shipping copies then any other *nix. It's includes a number of innovations: XML-based 'scripts' to GUI-ify the notoriously idiosyncratic *nix et al configuration files, a non-X rendering layer based on the public format PDF, and of course the immensely productive Nextstep-derived object-oriented Cocoa development environment.

    Finally it's gotting *nix into more houses & businesses then anything else has, all of the press regarding GNU/Linux et al notwithstanding.

  • by IRNI ( 5906 ) < minus threevowels> on Tuesday April 03, 2001 @05:31AM (#319193) Homepage
    Ok I am going to try to lay this all out without sounding anything like a flame. This OS release is sort of the poster child for unfinished software releases. This OS is for all purposes Public Beta II. If you go read the discussion boards for installation on Apple's site or the forums on MacFixit you will see how many problems this OS has. It won't even run on my G3 Lombard Powerbook. There are so many threads on what could be causing it. Ram, Processor, Font folder in the wrong place. All suggesstions give tips... none of them make the OS get past installation on my system. The install took 2 and a half hours on my laptop. 9.1 runs fine without any problems. I have used recent internal builds of OS X without a problem either... except for kernel panics... which I figured would go away with the release version but they haven't according to the discussion threads. So DP4, Public Beta, 4k56 and 4k60 all ran nicely on my powerbook. But the Official release will not run at all. Apple says they do not know but are working on it. I don't see any progress. And another pet peve I have developed is that Apple has all but forgotten the lombard powerbook. They only care about the pismo and Ti. The lombard is probably the most needing of a firmware update but every firmware update is for the pismo. Anyway. I love OS X.. just waiting for it to actually work and for Apple to get their heads out of their asses. :)
  • Actually, Apple officially calls it "OS X 10.0" from what I understand. That's sort of redundant, if you ask me, since they've insisted all along that the "X" is pronounced "ten" . . .

    I'm all for calling it "OS X 1.0" personally, since it's really a different animal from any previous Mac OS.

  • Well, I was thinking that they could have the X just be "ex", and not refer to ten. Then you could have "OS X 1.0.1" or the like. That, of course, would be confusing since they've insisted that the "X" is really "10", but it's no less confusing to your average person than "OS X 10.0" . . .
  • Now, with the release of OS X, I'm thinking about buying myself a Mac portable (probably the next incarnation of the iBook) after Apple starts shipping them with OS X pre-installed. It's not that I can't handle installing it myself or anything, but I don't feel like shelling out $1500 for a new system, then $130 for the OS, when I can wait three months and get it included in a more stable format...

    OS X is what caused me to finally purchase a (new) Mac . . . I got one of the G4 machines that they were unloading right after they announced the newer models earlier this year in anticipation of it. I became enamored with the power of UNIX (and UNIX-like operating systems) while in my CS degree, so the classic Mac OS never really appealed to me, except for the interface.

    I'm not stuck on OS X though, if I end up not liking it I know I can always go the Linux route on it -- I've always wanted to run something UNIX-like on PPC hardware anyway.

  • by fireproof ( 6438 ) on Tuesday April 03, 2001 @05:31AM (#319197) Homepage
    In the older OSes, as I understand it, you have a set amount of virtual memory (set in a control panel). Each application reserves a set amount of memory (which in theory is the maximum amount of memory it would ever need) when it launches. So, IE might reserve 16 megs of memory, but only be using 7 or 8 at any given time. This way, each running application will never had its memory used by another app (in theory). The down side is that since the amount of memory an app has reserved is fixed, you don't get as many apps in physical memory as you do in an OS with a real VM system.

    From my experience, you run out of memory pretty fast. I've got a old 7100/80 at work I kick around on every now and then, and it has 64 megs. Right now, the OS has reserved 15.1 megs, and it's using about 95% of that. IE has 11.9 megs reserved, and is using about 80% of that. Outlook is using about 50% of the 8.8 megs it. If I launch Excel and Word, then all my physical memory is suddenly "used" and if I run other apps, I have to use the virtual memory.

  • From my experience, you run out of memory pretty fast.

    Absolutely, if you're a hard-core user on the classic MacOS, you need hundreds of megabytes of RAM. I worked in a Mac shop when I was in college, doing a lot of FileMaker & Photoshop work, and having to tinker with the RAM settings for each application was my biggest gripe about using the Macintosh. To get acceptable performance, I'd wind up dedicating 40MB of RAM to Netscape, 80MB to FileMaker and 128MB to Photoshop.

    As a Windows user by nature, I got frustrated rather quickly with the non-protected memory and having to specify how much RAM my applications needed. I always felt like I was supposed to be psychic about what I was going to be doing later in the day..

    Now, with the release of OS X, I'm thinking about buying myself a Mac portable (probably the next incarnation of the iBook) after Apple starts shipping them with OS X pre-installed. It's not that I can't handle installing it myself or anything, but I don't feel like shelling out $1500 for a new system, then $130 for the OS, when I can wait three months and get it included in a more stable format...
  • They don't recommend upgrading an existing system at all.

    I think that is sage advice from Microsoft for the average home user. Obviously the same doesn't apply for people who know what they're doing. Upgrading from Win9x or NT to 2000 works "sort-of". You get a usable box, but you'll probably start having problems in a week or two.

    Clean installs are the way to go, hands down, but most home users can't handle this without shooting themselves in the foot. They'll do something like reformat their box and install their new OS okay, but they didn't have the foresight to download Windows XP versions of their drivers before they did so, so now they're sitting there, running in 640x480 with 16 colors, and they're caught in a Catch 22. Without drivers for their crappy Winmodem, they can't connect to AOL to download the XP versions of their drivers...

    This is why for most people, it makes more sense to just wait until you get a new computer, unless you have a technical friend who is willing (or can be bribed with pizza) to spend an entire Saturday at your house, installing the new OS for you. Or, will let you bring your box over to his place, where he can use his cable modem to grab drivers and BIOS updates, etc. as needed.

    In short, upgrading from Win9x to XP isn't going to be as simple as popping in a CD and clicking "Upgrade". On the surface, it will be, but the user isn't going to have a very good experience with the OS, and Microsoft will start hearing the same sort of complaints that Apple is suffering right now.
  • I agree that slashdot is often extremely hypocritical and clueless. However, I think many of the criticisms of MacOSX/Apple have been quite unfair. While it is true that we may not accept certain things from Microsoft, Microsoft is in a consirably different position. Quite simply, they dominate the market; they can afford to (and can hardly afford not to) make sure that certain features are in at release date. Apple, on the other hand, is a much smaller company targeting a much smaller niche. In essense, you're comparing apples to oranges (no pun intended). Furthermore, MacOS X is essentially a completely new operating system, totally unlike anything Microsoft has attempted to date. In short, it's a very demanding effort that is being supported by a company with limited resources.

    Now this is not to say that we should ignore the software itself; rather it is a suggestion that we might be well served to try cutting Apple a little bit of slack. The "problems" that we see in MacOS X seem to be symptomatic of a slight lack of resources, not of lack of effort, care, direction, or what have you. With a little bit of time, we might well expect these criticisms to be solved. If Apple fails to solve the problems with MacOS X in a reasonable amount, then we should write them off, since they're either not capable of bringing the resources to bear or because they simply don't care.

    As for the whole Linux thing, I think Linux is, and has basically always been, doomed to mediocrity. Linux's problem is probably not lack of caring per se, but rather a combination of lack of effort (in absolute terms) and resources; none of which will ever be solved in a GPL/idealists world.
  • A problem also is the actual decline in usability from os/9 to os/x, which stems from changes to the finder and the general methodolgy of the thin.

    As a 16 year mac veteran, I can tell you that usability in the beta was much better. After a month of using it, I would wince at the thought of booting into os 9. It's like having to give up your humvee for that cheesy go cart I tried to make in 6th grade. It just takes a little bit of time, and your workflow is so smooth.

    Memory consumption is a big issue that all reviews seem to note.

    Classic had a vsize of 1.6GB when I was using it. The key is to not use classic if you can avoid it. There's tons of Open Source software for unix that just takes a li'l bit of fiddling to get to work, if any ;) The serious plus to memory in OS X is vastly better VM thatn OS 9, and getting rid of the need for manually setting static stack sizes for apps. I NEVER got a memory error under OS X PB, but i still see the occaisional memory error under OS 9.

    Another one is that IE performs really badly in its beta-carbonized form.

    I would use IE for browsing, and wget for downloading. OmniWeb is crashy too, but it's a far better browser (the multithreading in that one is like a breath of fresh air after spending time in a riot gas chamber). I would keep my eyes peeled for the carbon versions of opera and iCab. Also, look for that second fork of fizzilla...that one shoudlbe somewhat nifty.

  • I've been "Bleeding six colors" since '85. If you think OS X is un-maclike, then you don't know what the mac is about at all.

    It isn't about popup folders. It isn't about the control strip.

    The MacOS is a software manifestation of this ideal:

    Your tools should be extremely powerful, intuitive, elegant, and above all else, when you need them to, they should get the fsck out of your way!!!

    The Classic MacOS accomplised this. Mac OS X takes this ideal further than most people ever dreamed.

    Just because it doesn't look or act exactly the same, doesn't make it un-maclike. On the contrary, I believe the differences in OS X make it more maclike than the original.

  • I think the Ars article makes a veyr good point, OS X is a new and improved OS that is sort of intended for new computers. I doubt I'll stick this thing on my G3 333Mhz Powerbook since I'm not getting much of a bargain. Alot of the apps I use now are based on Classic (apart from Appleworks) so I can only make them run slower by switching. However If I just bought a brand spanking new G4 I would almost immediately pick this thing up and spend the time downloading carbonized versions of the programs I use most often. This isn't about the OS sucking on its initial release. It is destined for brand new systems with enough resources to handle it, not for your aging beige G3. I don't think many of the linux zealots here would understand because when you grab the latest kernel it is merely an incremental revision rather than an entirely new OS with a bajillion differences between it and the old system.
  • Besides, it wouldn't matter. The important thing was recognizing what was a good direction to push, and heading that way. I suspect that Apple probably did get some good ideas from Xerox, and so what, Xerox wasn't going to do anything with them. I don't think they ever brought the Star to market (though I do vaguely remember something about a $20,000 version -- which was the price of a house in Cupertino at the time).

    Caution: Now approaching the (technological) singularity.
  • I believe that the PHB's reply to the 'what color Database would you like?' was:

    "I hear purple has more 'RAM'"

  • Damn! I was so close, too! ;-)

  • There's a pretty good review [] of MacOS X on Kuro5hin, you should have included also.
  • by BWJones ( 18351 ) on Tuesday April 03, 2001 @06:28AM (#319220) Homepage Journal
    One of the most impressive things about this OSX release for me is the developer tools that are included. You get Project Builder and an Interface builder that are IMHO some of the best damn tools I have seen for rapid project development. NeXT is definately showing its presence here.

  • I have the final version. I received it from Apple. XonX *DOES WORK*. The sourceforge page says it works, it works, it does work! One problem: on some portables it fails to pickup a keymap. Here's the key, don't type "startx," type "startx -- -quartz" in a window.

    Supreme Lord High Commander of the Interstellar Task Force for the Eradication of Stupidity

  • THen I'm out of suggestions. I'm sitting here, staring at it working on two separate Macs, both running official Apple retail copies of Mac OS X. Well, the keymap thing is causing problems on this iBook, but it does run, it doesn't crash. I'm out of suggestions.

    Supreme Lord High Commander of the Interstellar Task Force for the Eradication of Stupidity

  • Here's an easy way to get around the pricy hardware problem:

    Buy a used [] mac [].

    Kevin Fox
  • Sendmail as default mail deamon - yes
    emacs - yes
    csh, tcsh, zsh - yes - bash you can compile & install

    TeX - not in default, but I know people who have it running.

    Other things that I know that work on OS X are Samba, mysql, ssh, cvs. Apache is the personal web server, and comes with PHP.

    perl -MCPAN -e "install Bundle::LWP" works.

    What is really amazing is that the terminal supports drag and drop; ie drag a folder to it and you get the path on the command line.

    The level of compatability of Darwin with the standard UNIX tools is astonishing to me.

    MOVE 'ZIG'.
  • by rm -rf /etc/* ( 20237 ) on Tuesday April 03, 2001 @05:06AM (#319231) Homepage
    This whole "bsd based" thing has gotten way out of proportion. The fact is, it has little in common with bsd other than the fact that there is a bsd interface to the mach kernel that is there for the sole purpose of allowing it to run unix programs such as apache, sendmail, etc. Most people seem to think that it started out as BSD and apple built their own window system on top, which is far from the truth. The BSD stuff is a convenient way for apple to use existing software, nothing more.
  • So, since game developers writing games for OS X will basically be writing their games for a Unix based OS, does this mean that we will see more ports to Linux since it will be considerably less work to port them over?

    I gotta buy me a Mac.
  • Neato... what I'd like to see is a ports tree, like FreeBSD.

    cd /usr/ports ; make install

    Oh yeeeeeah.... :)

  • I am using XonX on OSX 10.0 and have been for over a week.

    Don't be a idiot. Unless you know what you are talking about, don't open your trap.

    Would you like a Python based alternative to PHP/ASP/JSP?

  • Dude, I have got this working on two machines, the only difference is it is 2 G4's, not G3's... but I can't beleive that would be the problem.

    Would you like a Python based alternative to PHP/ASP/JSP?
  • Hindsight is 20/20.. right now that is the best deal.

    I had a Dual 450 on order, but they ran out of stock so I was put between purchasing a 533 dual (which was the next reasonable step up..) or go down in price and .. for once in my life.. make a bottom end purchase... ;-) about $1500USD purchased a machine that packs a lot of punch.

    If you can afford the dual CPU version though , I definately recomend it. (I would of spent the xtra money if I had not been so impatient and could of waited another month..)

    Would you like a Python based alternative to PHP/ASP/JSP?

  • I didn't pirate the software off of Hotline.. (I try to support QUALITY commercial software)

    I didn't install over a beta. It was a clean install on a seperate partition.

    Man, you are doing something wrong. If you can't even see the STARTX .. there is something very wrong with your installation.

    Would you like a Python based alternative to PHP/ASP/JSP?
  • by Pengo ( 28814 ) on Tuesday April 03, 2001 @10:17AM (#319248) Journal
    My Secret Knowledge..

    Step 1, read the docs:

    Step 2, Download from XFree86 binaries. (Was a december release)

    Step 3, Download the binary update from (4.0.3)

    Install all.

    Download XonX .4 release


    go to terminal



    Download and install WindowMaker binary from

    Install NATIVE OSX/Darwin WindowMaker onto OSX (Doesn't run from Linux box, runs locally)

    modify /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/xinit/xinit

    (I removed startup items that are default and added )

    /usr/local/bin/wmaker &
    xhost +

    I can now choose to compile and run programs natively, or telnet into my Linux machine, type in

    export DISPLAY= (my OSX machine)

    ... the run something such as



    etc etc etc, it's working fine for me...

    ... hit CTRL-OPTION-A ... back to Aqua...

    thats it....

    Would you like a Python based alternative to PHP/ASP/JSP?
  • by Pengo ( 28814 ) on Tuesday April 03, 2001 @06:35AM (#319249) Journal

    I am in the same boat.. I bought a G4 two weeks ago and I am quite happy with it. (I bought the bottom of the line G4 466)..

    It's about as fast as linux in feel of the os, but less buggy. Yes, even though Mac people are complaining, it's 100% imporovment over gimp or kde in terms of stability and 'togetherness'.

    I can use Mozilla, IE, and I nabbed up a copy of Microsoft Office 2001.. Basically I am set. I have a full screen XWindows server running next to the aqua, I can hit CTRL-CMD-A and it bounces from the full screen XWindows server back to Aqua. This is helpful when I feel like running a i386 based program or just want to play with XWindows.

    If you do go for the bottom of the line (466 G4), you should probably buy some more ram .. other than that.. it's been great.

    Oh, and if you use Visio.... there is a native OSX (well, carbon) program out that will let you build Visio compatible documents.. for about $200 you can buy the Windows and Mac OS9/X license and use it at home and work.. Windows or Mac. But I use visio quite a bit for flow charts and network diagrams.

    But, to me user experience was worth more than a few hundred dollar difference between a comparable PC based system. Unix with style ;-)

    Would you like a Python based alternative to PHP/ASP/JSP?
  • I believe you used to be able to create win32 apps in in NextStep. Is this still possible? Would it be possible to create cross platform apps in a subset of Cocoa?

  • OK, I'll craft what I say better:

    I think used to be able to deploy applications written against the OpenStep API on Win32.

    Is this still true, and if so, can you create applications that with recompilation will run either under Win32 or OS X?
  • Aaargh. If

    Maybe this is another brilliant but unpopular move by Jobs (a la killing the clones), but does anybody doubt OS X benefits from having cross platform apps like Apache and PHP? Or that it would benefit if Microsoft ever ported VB?

    It just makes it hard for me to justify targeting the Mac at all. I've been considering WebObjects for some projects, but I'm chary of getting involved with Apple again.

  • Besides all the other missing stuff that's been pointed out in this thread, you also neglected to buy a pair of speakers to go with that sound card. (The iMac comes with some nice Harmon/Kardons).
  • Last time I checked, Windows didn't come with a DVD player or a CD burning application either.
  • I guess we're assuming it's some POS on-board model.
  • $7 case? Don't forget the $17.50 shipping and $20 for the power supply.

    So it comes in at maybe $550. This computer will be total shit and not worth using. Regardless of the architecture and OS, if you pay less than $1000 for a computer, you are buying crap.

    Do you really think that I'd have to spend double to get nice hardware? Some of it is already nice (geforce, logitech) but just for shits and grins, let's upgrade it:

    $111 - Tyan S2054 TOMCAT i810 MB w/ 533 celeron (was $95..)
    $72 - Western Digital HD (was $66)
    $27 - Case w/ power supplly (was $7).
    $17 - 10/100 Netgear ethernet card (was $4)
    $42 - Creative labs DVD (no price change)
    $14 - Logitech Keyboard (no price change)
    $3 - Logitech mouse (no price change)
    $134 - Geforce 2 64M GTS (no price change [in fact, this could be downgraded])
    $170 - 17" NEC monitor (was $119 [I could have found a nice, less known brand for much less but I think you're impressed w/ brand names])

    Total price difference: $93

    That's a pretty nice system. Not the best but more than adequate.

    And while you're picking at the details, let's don't forget the $70+ that you are going to spend on sales tax from buying it at your local computer store. That's not to mention the effort of going to the store, dealing with some store clerk who has no idea what he's talking about or even where the hardware is located.

    A mind is a terrible thing to taste.

  • by yomahz ( 35486 ) on Tuesday April 03, 2001 @06:22AM (#319266)
    And let me know where I can buy that $500 Duron/Celeron with that nice big 17" monitor.

    From []:

    $95 - 533 celeron w/ MB
    $31 - 128 M RAM
    $7 - Mid Tower case
    $134 - Geforce 2 64M GTS
    $4 - 100Mb ethernet card
    $42 - DVD Drive
    $15 - Logitech Keyboard
    $3 - Logitech Mouse
    $119 - 17" monitor
    $66 - 10 Gig HD


    A mind is a terrible thing to taste.

  • by Uri ( 51845 ) on Tuesday April 03, 2001 @04:51AM (#319270)
    ...visit []. Presently, it's all still a bit fiddly though - so be warned. A screenshot of the GIMP (running fairly happily, it seems) can be found here [].
  • Not by a long shot. I've used OSX Server, the public beta, and the shipping release. The last of these three is by far the coolest, but it's still missing damn near everything that makes the MacOS my platform of choice. And I'll be using Classic until X catches up, thank you.

    X is lagging in a lot of areas- pop-up folders are smoked, the control strip is gone, the dock is a joke, and I'd love to have the *finder* as opposed to this piece of ass NeXT replacement. As has been pointed out in the Ars review, there is something a lot like this that has been available for the classic OS for a long time- and I used it for about a minute and a half. A few other Mac users that I know laughed it off and likewise refused to use it- and when OSX starts shipping preinstalled, well... it won't be shipping in my direction until the GUI gets marginally close to that of the Classic OS.

    In so very many ways, OSX is really a step down or backwards- the UI "feels" too much like Windows and other, similar half-assed graphical frontends for my liking, despite the apple menu.
  • by NetCurl ( 54699 ) on Tuesday April 03, 2001 @05:23AM (#319275)
    I mean, even if this OS produces everything it claims to, is it really worth an intel user to switch over when you can get a duron/celeron box for 500, and the cheapest way to get a mac is an iMac for about 8 or 9 hundred and then you have to suffer through a 15" monitor?

    So your Duron/Celeron box for $500 comes with a 17" monitor? Really? That's incredible.

    At least the iMac has a monitor, while it may be overpriced, there is a price-point that is very succesful in all platforms of Computer sales that is right around $800-$1000. The iMac isn't geared toward the power user, rather, toward Joe Friday who wants a computer for the internet, word processing, email, and his 5 year old kid to play "Reader-Rabbit" on.

    And let me know where I can buy that $500 Duron/Celeron with that nice big 17" monitor.

  • Just a quick correction, my understanding is that Apple has no plans to install OS X on *all* shipping machines until sometime in 2002, it definitely won't be ready by July. July is when the MacWorld Expo will take place in NY, when the slightly updated OS X (10.0.2 i believe) and likely newer (faster) G4, Powerbook and iMac machines will all be announced.

  • Classic crashes way too much for me to trust it when I'm trying to get my work done. I don't have any choice but to use Classic apps, since there's basically zip out there as far as carbonized/cocoa apps

    Then you shouldn't be using it yet. Getting OS X and running mostly Classic apps is like using Linux and only running WINE. Apple has always said that you should switch to OS X when the apps you normally use have Carbon or Cocoa versions available. For most users, that time is not now, which is why the OS X rollout was relatively low-key. This summer an updated OS X will start shipping preinstalled on all Macs, and at that point there will be many more native apps.

  • Hmmm... do you have a Win2K box anywhere?

    Start->Run... (or Windows key + R)

    I'm seeing a DVD player. Ugly as sin, but it's a DVD player. Now, to get back on my KDE box before I get infected or something...
  • Two posts up:
    One thing that I don't like about OS X is the root account is not active right off the start. They are afraid that if traditional MAC users are able to change /etc/motd, then the system will crash or something.

    This isn't as much of a problem as you might think.

    If you want to fiddle around with system settings via the GUI tools, you'll be prompted to give the admin password, which will be the password for the account you first created. No big deal, and you can do what you want to do with no hassles.

    If you want to mess around with settings via the underlying text files, again, no big deal -- just use `sudo vi $file` and you can edit it as you please.

    Not having default access to root isn't a big deal here, because you can accomplish whatever you want to do without it. Keep in mind, this is semi-*nix, and in that spirit you only semi-need root access.

    Parent post:

    What Apple's doing is trying to reduce security vulnerabilities by not even allowing anyone to log in as root, not even locally.

    And here's where your *nix expertise can hurt you. I have been informed that creating an initial login account called "root" is a bad idea (though of course it is a perfectly typical thing to do in the *nix world).

    Apparently a friend of mine did this and inadvertently wreaked all kinds of havoc. My best guess is that the name "root" was now attached to both the superuser and a not-so-superuser, and things pretty much fell apart from there, with the only recovery being reformatting & reinstallation.

    Lesson: if you want root that badly, fine, but don't expect it as a GUI login option. Remember: su & sudo are you friend, so don't be afraid to call on their help when needed.

    Apple has given it's customers an unusually large gun, hidden in plain sight for those that know where to look: don't point the damn things at your own foot for crying out loud... :)

    ...not that anyone is going to see a post this far into the discussion, but oh well....

  • Comparing no-brand cheap-as-dirt components to a preassembled name brand computer is an eternal part of the Mac vs PC discussions, and I won't do more than point it out here.

    But it seems to me that you will spend thousands of hours in front of whatever machine you aquire. If, as you say, the apple product is superior, even if you only value that advantage to only $0.01 per hour, the Mac looks pretty attractive.

    These days I make well into 6 figures, but I still have some vague memories of being a very poor student, and the equation may well be different for someone in that situation.
  • Yeah, compared to Windoze or Solaris, the interface is perfectly OK. Compared to the pinnacle of usability and productivity OS UI, it is painfully inadequate. If you've not really used Mac OS 9, X will seem quite decent.

    It's like the remote control, if you're old enough to remeber life before it. We were perfectly happy getting up from the counch to switch channels of adjusting the sound. Had we been given a 10 foot stick custom designed to click the tv buttons from the sofa with, we would have loved it. Once you get used to the convenience of a real remote though, the stick is unbearably inconvenient.

    Let me also point out that usability is NOT a matter of taste about what's pretty etc. It is a hard science where you measure how fast people accomplish tasks using different UIs, and while I haven't done the tests myself, I have no doubt that many of the problems in the X Finder are very real and measurable.
  • I saw some discussion of java on X, and someone claimed that it ships with java 1.3. If you do "java -version" on the command line it says it's 1.3, according to him.

    You'd think that the work of porting java from Solaris and/or Linux would be pretty minimal, compared to doing it for MacOS 9.

    I'm hoping I can get a MacOS X box for my new java programming job that starts in a few months. The dual 1GHz should be out by then...
  • Overclocking a laptop is interesting and all, but why would you do it? That can't be good for battery life. In addition, that's a pretty hefty clockspeed bump it must get really hot when it's sitting on your lap.
  • by DeadSea ( 69598 ) on Tuesday April 03, 2001 @08:34AM (#319292) Homepage Journal
    I have been excited about OS X because this is the first time in a long time that the most recent versions of my software will work on a Macintosh. Previous versions of Mac OS have supported up to Java 1.1.8. OS X supports Java 1.2. I have been using Java2 features such as the new Swing GUI for some time in my programs.

    The good:
    Java actually works. Programs that are pure Java are able to run just fine. This is an amazing step for Macintosh.

    The bad:
    Running java programs on a mac is not easy. I had to use a command line to run all my software. Since this is the first command line on a Mac, I assume that Mac users will not be willing to go that route. Neither class files or jar files are double clickable. By contrast, jar files on windows are associated with Java and open right up when you click on them. Apple does have a tool that will package your as a Mac Application. However, it appears that it can only be run on a Macintosh and as a GUI. Since I don't develop on a Mac, this isn't really a good option. I would consider switching, but if I did, then I would like to be able to build everthing from a make file, so I'm hesitant.

    Apple has done a poor job of porting the MRJ, the java hooks into the Mac OS. Specifically, I was upset to find that the command for opening a web browser hasn't been implemented. I have a crossplatform class [] for opening a web browser from Java, but as of yet have not been able to get it to work with OS X. This can be done on other systems by using a command line, but applications on OS X appear as directories on the command line, and most Mac apps don't accept command lines anyway.

    I also consider the MRJ to be a poor solution because after using these system specific classes your applications will not compile on other systems that do not have these libraries. You have to jump through hoops using the Reflection API in Java to be be able to find the classes at runtime so that your stuff will compile on other systems.

    I'd say Java on the Mac is good enough. I'll start supporting OS X as a platform that my programs run on. Provided they don't have to open a web browser, and given that the user has a bit of command line savvy.

  • by hub ( 78021 ) on Tuesday April 03, 2001 @05:42AM (#319300) Homepage
    To answer questions asked here:
    • MacOS X is the descendent of NeXTStep. Call it NeXTStep 6.0 (version 5.0 was MacOS X Server aka Rhapsody). OpenStep APIs are here. They have been renamed Cocoa.
    • MacOS X has a BSD layer on top of Mach like its ancestor NeXTStep. It is like OSF/1 too (from Digital). Note that this is NOT a microkernel architecture but more a macrokernel. Mach kernel version evolved compared to the version found in NeXTStep
    • MacOS X is the descendant of MacOS 9. This is tru and false. In fact, speaking of architecture, this is completely false. Speaking of user experience and API, it is a great step forward, but it shows its roots: menu bar on top, Finder to handle files, etc. Carbon is also here to provide legacy support with some cleanup, and Classic is here to really provide legacy support.
    • MacOS X foundations are open source. This true if we restrain on the core OS. Starting with the graphic layer (CoreGraphics aka Quartz), it is completely proprietary. This open source part is called Darwin. See uname and Apple Public Source web [].
    • MacOS X is NOT FreeBSD. While MacOS X borrows utilities from the various BSDs (Free, Net and Open are all represented), it is not in anyway binary compatible. But at source level, it works quite good, unless it depends on X11 or any library that depends on it.

  • by barneyfoo ( 80862 ) on Tuesday April 03, 2001 @04:55AM (#319304)
    The biggest problems with OsX so far are speed, which is the #1 complaint, especially with native OSX apps, ironically. A problem also is the actual decline in usability from os/9 to os/x, which stems from changes to the finder and the general methodolgy of the thin. Memory consumption is a big issue that all reviews seem to note. Another one is that IE performs really badly in its beta-carbonized form.

    On the bright side, most reviewers seem to agree that the Unix underbelly really gives os/x strength in terms of usability, and a VM subsystem that is more robust and general purpose, rather than the flakey patchwork that was os/9. Most reviewers seem to agree that OS/X has alot of potential yet to be fulfilled on the usability side and the performance side, and thus suggest waiting until July or thereabouts, when apple will start preloading computers with a newer version of os/x for the masses.
  • There's some Mac games for OS9, but not a whole ton for OS X. (Diablo and Deus Ex came out in a timely manner - read: within six months of the PC version - and versions of the Sims and Livin' Large exist, for example. These are all OS9 games though.)

    As far as mouses are concerned, my two-button scrollie wheel optical mouse works *out of the box* in OS X - no need to load extensions or control panels anymore. It works lovely.
    "During your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I was riding the pogostick."
  • Naw... We've got OS X running on an old beige G3/233.. It's not perfect by any means, but it works. The performance isn't as stellar as on my G4 Powerbook, but it's serviceable.

    And the beige G3 is considered by many, including myself, to be an old machine.

    Windows XP's system requirements aren't going to be much better, but I know that Microsoft and Apple are like twin anathemas to most /. denizens.

    "During your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I was riding the pogostick."
  • by Ciannait ( 82722 ) on Tuesday April 03, 2001 @05:26AM (#319310)
    I read the Ars review with some interest.

    I've been running OS X since March 24th or so, thanks to Staples selling it early, and I've personally been very impressed with it.

    I'm a long-time UNIX geek and recent Mac convert. (Despite the initially seemingly-high pricetag, the quality of the hardware and support is unbeatable.)

    I don't think it's fair to say the OS was shipped "unfinished" or "half-baked". From time to time, you have to decide what bugs and problems you can live with, and get stuff out the door. (How long was 2.4 in development? If I'm not mistaken, since I'm not a Linux person, Linus finally slapped a code freeze on it, did he not?)

    Yes, I have to boot into OS9 to watch DVD's. Windows doesn't ship with a DVD player (Media Player doesn't count. I don't use it to play my mp3's, I won't use it to watch my DVD's) and certainly has issues, and Linux has been not-ready-for-primetime since its inception.

    Aqua is eyecandy, and a lot of it is probably overkill to some of our more utilitarian users, but there's a whole lot of config files and resource forks just waiting to be hacked. Lots of sites exist, as a matter of fact, devoted to such things.

    Applications - well, I hardly ever have to run anything in Classic. I've found an email application, an mp3 player, a web browser, AIM, a LiveJournal client (addict? me? never...) and other things that I need for daily happiness, all either Carbonized or already Cocoa. The only things I need Classic for are things like Photoshop and Dreamweaver - and it works just fine for those. Not every application I'll ever use is available yet - but stuff I need on a daily basis is all already supported in OS X.

    The only real caveat I've heard about its support, in fact, is a lack of real MIDI support. But I've heard that's being worked on.

    Plus, if you think something's missing - add it. Apple couldn't get ssh included, but many many people have gotten OpenSSH [] installed and working with a minimum of hassle.

    It needs a bit of work, but the potential within OS X is huge. I'm looking forward to watching it grow.

    "During your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I was riding the pogostick."
  • by passion ( 84900 ) on Tuesday April 03, 2001 @07:22AM (#319311)

    You can easily plug in some larger POS monitor to the Standard VGA output port [].

  • by iso ( 87585 ) <`ofni.orezpraw' `ta' `hsals'> on Tuesday April 03, 2001 @05:10AM (#319317) Homepage

    i've been using MacOS X since Developer Preview 3, and following the Ars write-ups as well: they're always very well done. this latest review of OS X final is excellent, but i think John goes overboard on bashing the interface. the issue with Aqua is that it borrows a lot of interface workings from the UNIX, NeXT and Windows world, and isn't 100% Mac. this is infuriating to Mac die hards, but to people like me who have only owned a Mac for a couple of years (with a primarily UNIX background before that) i'm right at home with Aqua.

    the reports of MacOS X being "half-baked" are over the top. yes there are some things missing from OS X, and yes it's not as "polished" as MacOS 9, but it's hardly as "unfinished" as many of the reviews would suggest. first of all any of the "unfinished" bits are interface-only; the guts of MacOS X are excellent. of course to Mac people the interface is the computer, which is where all of these reports come from.

    so why is it unfinished? well first of all the UI is quite slow for certain functions. mostly it's the transparencies and other Aqua-isms that can't be accelerated with a typical 2D graphics card, so the CPU is working overtime to render the screen under heavy loads. many of the slow downs can be directly seen in the Mac's most important application, the Finder, which is why you'll hear the Mac folk screaming bloody murder. many have suggested that as Quartz (the UI rendering engine) is optimized for 3D cards, the interface will speed up substantially.

    admittedly there are some bugs in the interface, especially related to classic applications (as noted in the Ars Technica review). sometimes these can cause UI lockups and stalls that for Mac-users, looks like a complete OS hang. Apple of course needs to work these thigns out before OS X gets pre-installed on all Macs in July.

    all in all i'd say that MacOS X is an excellent operating system with great potential. but at the same time this release was not highly trumpeted by Apple for good reason. it's not designed to instantly replace every Mac-users desktop tomorrow, but rather to bring in the early adopters and determine what the priorities are for everyday Mac users. it's still a fully-functional OS, and i use it every day outside of work for general net use and development, and to that end, it works phenomenally.

    but the question is, should the current release of OS X be the "final" release? i'd say yes. again, i'm not a long-time Mac user (and really, i only got a Mac to use OS X), so i don't see the interface as lacking substantially. and while the MacOS 9 interface is nice, it's not the be-all and end all, and things needed to be changed. the UI as it stands is extremely useable (for instance, i prefer it in its current state to every single Linux interface i have ever tried), and any changes from here on in have to be made by getting it in the hands of as many people as possible to make it better. it's a painful process for Mac users religiously tied to their interface, but in the end i think it'll make for a better UI.

    so the bottom line: i wouldn't suggest it to my not-so-computer-savvy Mac friends, but to anybody even reasonably familiar with UNIX, you'll feel right at home.

    - j

  • by peteshaw ( 99766 ) <> on Tuesday April 03, 2001 @04:49AM (#319341) Homepage
    Well, I have heard a lot about OS X and it sounds impressive. And while I would be the envy of my neighbors with one of those cool looking cubes, I just can't get around the hardware cost.

    I mean, even if this OS produces everything it claims to, is it really worth an intel user to switch over when you can get a duron/celeron box for 500, and the cheapest way to get a mac is an iMac for about 8 or 9 hundred and then you have to suffer through a 15" monitor?

    I am sympathetic to Apple's plight. They probably rightly feel that by adanoning a unique hardware platform they destroy the gravy train.

    Apple has a superior product. No question.

    But until I can buy OS X for my cheap and available hardware platform, my interest is going to be limited to reading these interesting threads on /..

    Sorry if this is not directly germane to the topic at hand. But its the everpresent problem, right?

  • by GodHead ( 101109 ) on Tuesday April 03, 2001 @05:08AM (#319342) Homepage

    I like OS because it's X-tream. I also want to run Windows XP! And Linu-X! I'll be so XXXXing leet....


  • Let me begin by saying that I used to be a rabid, frothing at the mouth Linux/UNIX advocator. I've been using Linux exclusively for nearly two years.

    Anyways, when I found out about Mac OS X, I was very excited. I wanted to try it. The interface looked so incredibly well done. Whoever says that Windows has a nice user interface must be joking; I think that the Windows GUI is extremely bland.

    So I bought an iMac 233 for a steal over at eBay. I ran Mac OS X Public Beta for many months in anticipation of the final release.

    The day the final release came out, I was so impressed with Apple hardware and the beta, that I ran out and bought one of the new iMacs just so that I would have the extra speed boost in running OS X.

    Anyways, let me say that I have not been disappointed in the slightest! OS X is everything that Linux should have been. It's powerful enough for the command line lovers, but elegant enough for the common desktop user. I don't care what anyone says; Linux is not ready for the common user.

    Common Linux scenario. I'm running KDE with some GNOME apps, along with Netscape 4.77 and emacs. Say I want to change my computer's theme. That means I have to find a KDE theme, a GTK theme (and figure out how to install it from KDE), and edit my .Xdefaults file, testing new values for Netscape and emacs until everything is the way I want.

    That's just too inconvenient. In fact, after running OS X for a week now, I found that there were a lot of annoying inconveniences that I put up with in Linux that I don't have to deal with in OS X. It got to the point with Linux where I was saying, "I'm so tired of constant sysadmin battles... I just want something that works." You know what? Mac OS X just works.

    Not to mention the fact that I find Apple hardware far superior. There's none of the Intel Driver Hell that I've dealt with using other OSes. I plugged in my iMac (which was equipped with CDRW, ethernet, modem, etc...) and everything worked, no tweaking necessary.

    What I like the best is the XonX program that a bunch of sourceforgers are working on. By hitting Command-Alt A, I can switch back and forth between my old XFce desktop and my new, spiffy Aqua desktop.

    To those who say that Apple hardware is too expensive... yes, the powermacs and the cubes are still fairly high in price. If you're looking to play around with OS X, pick up an iMac. They're very reasonably priced machines that pack a lot of power.
  • by demaria ( 122790 ) on Tuesday April 03, 2001 @04:57AM (#319357) Homepage
    Emacs. Yes, it has emacs. Runs in text mode.

    Porting, sure you probably can. It includes developer tools. Thank you Apple! :)

    No built in X-Server. "There is no X in MacOS X". You can use an X server as a standalone application just like you can in Windows and OS9.

    Don't know about NFS.

    It runs a beta of IE now, and Office is being ported.
  • by yerricde ( 125198 ) on Tuesday April 03, 2001 @08:31AM (#319360) Homepage Journal

    So, since game developers writing games for OS X will basically be writing their games for a Unix based OS, does this mean that we will see more ports to Linux since it will be considerably less work to port them over?

    Mac OS uses proprietary Carbon and Quartz APIs instead of the POSIX and X11 APIs we're used to on *n?x boxen. But good abstraction layer libraries such as Allegro [] will solve much of the problem.

  • Well, I've had it on my iBook (466Mhz, 10GB/HD, 192MB Ram) and I have to say that it's all been pretty painless.

    Installation was easy. Bung in CD. Wait 20 mins. Reboot.

    Stability is good. No kernel panics (yet).

    To me, startup time is irrelevant (within reason). I put the machine to sleep when I don't use it, anyway, so startup time is approximately 2 seconds.

    I spent the weekend getting as much carbonised stuff as I could in replacement for the Classic stuff I'd been running before, which has meant that I've been able to get underway with most things. True Classic really does hog resources, but the long term plan is that you won't be running it much any more. Just some 'old favourites' that don't get updated will stay running under Classic. It wouldn't surprise me if in a few years time, Classic is dropped.

    Games run OK too. Played the Sims with no noticable problems. (Apart from the dock trying to pop up when you move the mouse to the bottom of the screen, but you can quickly sort that out...)

    True, it loves RAM, but this is all short term stuff. Computing power and RAM is on the up, and this is a new release. I'm going to put as much RAM in my machine as I can (320MB, I think) and I should hope things should kick along nicely. I guess that this is the chance you take when being an early adopter. RAM prices have nosedived recently, so I'll be upgrading.

    I'd just like the right printer driver for my HP printer now... (not included in the set that was shipped on the CD, unfortunately). This means I've got to reboot under 9.1 to print, but as I only print about 3 documents a week, it's not a big issue.

    Only real gripe - some of the apps are fairly ropey (Mail in particular), but that's not an operating system problem. I think we shall be given a good few updates in the next few months. Fine by me.

    Generally, I'm pretty happy with it. Apple did the right thing releasing it early (*). Only then can developers start running apps on it.

    (* - Early is a subjective term. We should have been using this 4 years ago....)


    P.S. OS X on a Visor - Pah. Damn article posted on April Fools day.....
  • by connorbd ( 151811 ) on Tuesday April 03, 2001 @07:58AM (#319387) Homepage
    They're hardly shy -- most of the company brass (especially Steve and Avie "Mr. Mach" Tevanian) are NeXTies. It's just that they've subsumed it so completely that to all intents and purposes old-line cubers have been grandfathered as Mac folks (I guess, anyway).

    What does bug me is that Apple doesn't push the fact that "their" tech (i.e. NextStep) was the base of the very first implementation of the World Wide Web. They should have been pushing that to a near-ridiculous degree when Rhapsody first shipped; after all, what better way to plug your server OS than to emphasize that it ran the first web server?

    (And, yes, it's fair to say that. Scratch X, find OpenStep; there was even an issue of MacAddict a while back that showed how to activate the old Next look on Cocoa apps.)

  • by connorbd ( 151811 ) on Tuesday April 03, 2001 @08:15AM (#319388) Homepage

    I'll give you this much -- the interface of the shipping version of OS X is an inexcusable kluge. Apple painted themselves into a corner with the Public Beta interface and wound up having to go back and return the Apple menu to where it belonged, but they screwed up by not really making it the Apple menu we all know and love.

    I'm inclined to believe there's some NextStep interface baggage involved there. So be it. But make a working Apple Menu -- the old way -- as soon as possible. Put an Apple Menu Items folder in my home directory so it's as easy to manage as the original. That can't be so hard.

    The interface isn't *awful*, mind you; it's just not very Mac-like and will take way too long to get used to. The finder isn't bad at all. The dock... well, I could take or leave that, but the use of the dock as a control strip replacement doesn't quite wash with me.

    BTW, a quick history, for those of you not quite Mac-savvy enough to know about the nifty little gadget we've come to know and love: the Control Strip started out as a way for PowerBook users to control various system functions. It was intended solely for PowerBook users and was rigged to run only on those systems, but enough people found it useful that it was hacked to ignore the machine type. Apple got the hint and made it general system software in the next release, for both desktop and mobile. Its function was merged into the dock in X, which works, but it's a bit... oh, messy?

  • by danheskett ( 178529 ) <> on Tuesday April 03, 2001 @05:36AM (#319435)
    I think his point was that you can add a 17" monitor later on. How could you do that with an iMac? See, I can buy that $500 box and use any old POS monitor I have laying around. In a few a months, I could buy a 21" monitor if I wanted.

    Thats the point, I believe.
  • by grammar nazi ( 197303 ) on Tuesday April 03, 2001 @04:44AM (#319456) Journal
    I found a link to step-by-step instructions as to how to overclock your G4 powerbook. Now you can have the 500MHz powerbook for the price of the 400MHz one.

    Here's the link []

  • by u2zoo ( 213839 ) on Tuesday April 03, 2001 @05:42AM (#319467) Homepage
    Well I have been running OS X on my iBook (firewire) since March 27th and personally I'm quite impressed. Just to give some background:

    iBook (firewire) G3 366 320mb of Ram (okay so that is a little more than average) no DVD or CDR/W

    I upgraded OS X to build 4L5 (10.0.1) [] ( ) with the "unreleased" update that is floating around. Now for me . . . OS X is light and snappy . . I hear quite random things when I read through all the boards and newsgroups though.

    Classic apps are not as fast . . but are certaintly usable. SO far I have played with Photoshop 6, Dreamweaver UltraDev 4, and Freehand 9 in classic emulation mode.

    Also . . I should probably point out that I have used linux before . . I also have a full time BeOS (please don't go bankrupt!!) box at home too . . that said I use the command line and unix functions everyday . .

    The default shell is TCSH . . which I found odd . . but whatever . . I think it comes with ZSH and CSH installed too. This site [] ( osx.html ) has a precompiled Bash install for you . . which is quite nice. And for you Python freaks a precompile version is here too [] ( ).

    I have installed the hack called Docking Maneuvers [] ( ), which lets you move the "dock" to the right, left, and top . . instead of just the default bottom.

    I've had to go through and make some "compability" fixes . . creating symlinks for things like cc to gcc . . or /Users to /Home . . but those are just little geeky pleasures I find that make it more user friendly . . I'm sure my mom as a mac user would care less.

    Speaking of which, the OS install in about 10 minutes, I rebooted . . configured the PPPoE to work with my Verizon DSL and walla I was on the internet . . so for my mom . . that being done in like 12 minutes is purty nice.

    Hmm . . I'm quite enjoying it . . I haven't expierence the number of problems with IE 5.1 beta that most people have . .in fact I really have expierenced many problems at all . . it hasn't crashed once. I was sad to find out that Fortune wasn't available . . "sniffle" . . but I just grabbed the source from somewhere and compiled it. wheeee.
  • by Auckerman ( 223266 ) on Tuesday April 03, 2001 @07:55AM (#319481)
    "iMacs don't have internal CDRW. Some have DVD but most have simple CD-ROM. None have CDRW"

    Yeah, none of them except this one [].

  • by SpyceQube ( 224045 ) on Tuesday April 03, 2001 @08:09AM (#319484)
    Let's see: no Firewire, shitty with a capital SHIT monitor, a dog slow processor, and no sound. All of wich is secondary to the fact that this system has no power supply.

  • BBspot Interviews Apple CEO Steve Jobs []

    this reminds me of the immortal Dilbert comic where the boss walks in from some idiot leadership meeting and suggests they install a "SQL". Dilbert then (knowing his boss doesn't kown diddly) asks him if he already knows in which color he wants the server ... which of course makes things for the pointy-haired boss *very* -if not to- complicated...
    the point to the whole story is the joke about the colors isn't so absurd anymore...


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