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Mac OS X = UNIX with a GUI?

post #1 of 186
Thread Starter 
Dear all,

I am having this discussion with a friend of mine who is a Mac preacher searching for converts (and I am the one he is trying to gain for the Mac religion ).

We are at a point of the discussion where it's coming down to whether Mac OS X is or is not a UNIX with a GUI (an excellent GUI I must say) bundled with extra software.

My claim, based on having worked for a long time with Linux (Redhat, Debian), HP-UX and Sun Solaris, is that Mac OS X is a UNIX + GUI (I stress probably the best GUI ever built on top of a UNIX-like OS) + a bunch of bundled software/applications intended for non expert users.

Ever since I abandoned the Commodore Amiga religion, I have a pragmatic approach with computer platforms. I love UNIX but at the same time I recognize that 90 % + of the world computers use Windows, therefore for my day to day operations, I use Windows.

For my non day to day operations, Linux is just great. And given that when I am using UNIX I rarely use any of the high level stuff, I prefer to go shell/filesystem instead (actually the ability to have full control of the OS from the shell is the reason why I like UNIX in the first place), I don't see any reason to move to Max OS X. Simply put, I don't see anything in Mac OS X that I cannot get from either Windows or Linux. The high level software bundled with Mac OS X doesn't compensate for having a minority OS, not for me at least. And as I said, I try to stay completely away from religious OS wars, I am done with that stage of my life.

So basically guys, do you agree with the statement Mac OS X is a UNIX + GUI + a bunch of bundled software/applications intended for non expert users?

Thanks!
post #2 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by curious_about_mac View Post

Dear all,

I am having this discussion with a friend of mine who is a Mac preacher searching for converts (and I am the one he is trying to gain for the Mac religion ).

We are at a point of the discussion where it's coming down to whether Mac OS X is or is not a UNIX with a GUI (an excellent GUI I must say) bundled with extra software.

My claim, based on having worked for a long time with Linux (Redhat, Debian), HP-UX and Sun Solaris, is that Mac OS X is a UNIX + GUI (I stress probably the best GUI ever built on top of a UNIX-like OS) + a bunch of bundled software/applications intended for non expert users.

Ever since I abandoned the Commodore Amiga religion, I have a pragmatic approach with computer platforms. I love UNIX but at the same time I recognize that 90 % + of the world computers use Windows, therefore for my day to day operations, I use Windows.

For my non day to day operations, Linux is just great. And given that when I am using UNIX I rarely use any of the high level stuff, I prefer to go shell/filesystem instead (actually the ability to have full control of the OS from the shell is the reason why I like UNIX in the first place), I don't see any reason to move to Max OS X. Simply put, I don't see anything in Mac OS X that I cannot get from either Windows or Linux. The high level software bundled with Mac OS X doesn't compensate for having a minority OS, not for me at least. And as I said, I try to stay completely away from religious OS wars, I am done with that stage of my life.

So basically guys, do you agree with the statement Mac OS X is a UNIX + GUI + a bunch of bundled software/applications intended for non expert users?

Thanks!

Hi there, meet Windows, Unix derivative + GUI. NT and DOS are both Unix children. Albeit more distant than Linux, but children nonetheless. When all is said and done, most every OS in existence has roots coming from Unix. So saying Unix + GUI applies to a LOT more than OS X or Linux.

But as far as reasons for switching go, no one ever said OS X does things the others don't. What you can do in one you can do in the others. But it's how those features were implemented that makes each OS different.

The reason OS X is so appealing to so many people right now is that it just does what they want it to without much of a fuss. And it does it well. It doesn't need a lot of tweaking to get the job done. Also, it doesn't pop up a million errors, tell you to install the latest GCC package, or get viruses every 5 mins.

If you LIKE messing around with the command line and tweaking the OS to your every whim, then OS X isn't for you.
post #3 of 186
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by smashbrosfan View Post

Hi there, meet Windows, Unix derivative + GUI. NT and DOS are both Unix children. Albeit more distant than Linux, but children nonetheless.

Sure!

But my question is more direct. There is a difference between being a descendant (or even borrowing ideas from) and being a clone (or an almost clone). In the case of Mac OS X, if I take away the GUI and the high level stuff, all I see is a UNIX, same file structure, same commands (mv, cp, top, etc work equally well in HP-UX, Solaris, Linux...).

Just want to make it clear that the posting is not intended in any way to be demeaning towards Mac OS X. I think that Apple did an excellent job with the OS, but somehow when I hear the preachers of Mac OS X they remind me to the preachers of Linux in the late 90s': they were convinced that theirs was an entirely new OS, ignoring the fact that both Linux and Mac OX X are UNIX-like-clones.

Cheers!

PS: Apparently, I read first an imcomplete version of your posting that only included the first two lines. I agree with your final point, I do like messing around wit the command line :-)).
post #4 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by curious_about_mac View Post

Sure!

But my question is more direct. There is a difference between being a descendant (or even borrowing ideas from) and being a clone (or an almost clone). In the case of Mac OS X, if I take away the GUI and the high level stuff, all I see is a UNIX, same file structure, same commands (mv, cp, top, etc work equally well in HP-UX, Solaris, Linux...).

Just want to make it clear that the posting is not intended in any way to be demeaning towards Mac OS X. I think that Apple did an excellent job with the OS, but somehow when I hear the preachers of Mac OS X they remind me to the preachers of Linux in the late 90s': they were convinced that theirs was an entirely new OS, ignoring the fact that both Linux and Mac OX X are UNIX-like-clones.

Cheers!

PS: hadn't seen your entire post. I agree with your final point, I do like messing around wit the command line :-)).

I guess I'm not seeing your point here then. Having Unix, the most stable, secure, and widely used OS as OS X's back end was kind of the whole point of OS "X". Apple wrote their own proprietary OS from System 1 to OS 9.

OS X, pronounced OS Ten, was the jump to Unix, an OS that was already well known. So... yes, you can take away the GUI and have a Unix-BSD sub base OS behind it all. But why is that a bad thing?

Maybe you should go look up OS 9 and then go look up it's competition.
post #5 of 186
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by smashbrosfan View Post

I guess I'm not seeing your point here then. Having Unix, the most stable, secure, and widely used OS as OS X's back end was kind of the whole point of OS "X". Apple wrote their own proprietary OS from System 1 to OS 9.

OS X was the jump to Unix, an OS that was already well known. So... yes, you can take away the GUI and have a Unix-BSD sub base OS behind it all. But why is that a bad thing?

Maybe you should go look up OS 9 and then go look up it's competition.



Hey! That I am the one who agrees with you! I think it was a wise decision for Apple to go UNIX, as you say, the most stable and secure OS and certainly one of the most used OS's in mission critical apps. It's my Mac OS X friend preacher who is trying to convince me that Mac OS X is a complete different creature all together from all other UNIX-es.

From your answer, I infer that you and I are on the same page.

Cheers!
post #6 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by curious_about_mac View Post



Hey! That I am the one who agrees with you! I think it was a wise decision for Apple to go UNIX, as you say, the most stable and secure OS and certainly one of the most used OS's in mission critical apps. It's my Mac OS X friend preacher who is trying to convince me that Mac OS X is a complete different creature all together from all other UNIX-es.

From your answer, I infer that you and I are on the same page.

Cheers!

Well OS X "is" completely different. But not in the way you're talking about. Apple of course did edit their version of the Unix that's in OS X a little bit, but what makes OS X a completely different creature, as your friend calls it, is the UI itself. Lets face it, 99% of the users out there will never even touch a command line, and I'm sure a large percentage don't even know what it is. For those people the GUI serves a mighty purpose.

In Windows, using the GUI, if you want to change the IP address, something an IT admin does on a daily basis, you have to right-click on "My Network Places" (already a UI guidelines no-no by Apple's standards), then click properties, then right-click the the network interface (ethernet, wireless, etc), click properties, then find the TCP/IP Protocol, right-click that, hit properties AGAIN, (that's a total of 4 right clicks) and set the IP address.

Of course there are other means of getting to the same menu, but that's the easiest way. Which is still no easy task relatively speaking. And honestly, "logically speaking", is WAY too far out of the way, and misplaced. To do the same task in OS X, click the System Preferences icon in the dock, click "network" click either Ethernet or Wireless, and there it is, the IP address. Not hidden under 4 layers of submenus.

The entire OS is laid out like this. Logical, easy, and by far the most productive. No other OS even comes close to this simplicity. Most Linux boxes mimic the Windows UI, which is a mess of unfollowed guidelines. THAT is what your friend is talking about.
post #7 of 186
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by smashbrosfan View Post

Well OS X "is" completely different. But not in the way you're talking about. Apple of course did edit their version of the Unix that's in OS X a little bit, but what makes OS X a completely different creature, as your friend calls it, is the UI itself. Lets face it, 99% of the users out there will never even touch a command line, and I'm sure a large percentage don't even know what it is. For those people the GUI serves a mighty purpose.

Yeah! I agree with that too. The UI is what makes Mac OS X different.
As for your last point, I just happen to be on the remaining 1%. To change the IP address there is nothing quicker than a ifconfig here and there. I find the Windows way painful (in Linux I just do it manually) but then again, it's what 90% + computer users have...

Cheers!
post #8 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by curious_about_mac View Post

In the case of Mac OS X, if I take away the GUI and the high level stuff, all I see is a UNIX, same file structure, same commands (mv, cp, top, etc work equally well in HP-UX, Solaris, Linux...).

Yes, you can actually take away the GUI and run X11 on top of the BSD layer. Two ways for that: (1) run the OS X GUI and X11 in parallel and let the latter take over the screen (this will hide the former), (2) log in as console in the login window, once you have set up the necessary .xinitrc file. This will kill the OS X GUI and will let you in a pure X11 environment.

I have never tried the method (2), so I don't know the details or if there is something to pay attention to. But I love the commodity to have a full blown X11 environment running in a parallel world with hidden Mac OS X applications, ready to be called again with a keystroke when needed (in which case the X11 UI is hidden).
post #9 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by smashbrosfan View Post

If you LIKE messing around with the command line and tweaking the OS to your every whim, then OS X isn't for you.

Why? Mac OS X comes with a terminal application (a proper OS X application) and with X11, under which you can install xterm, aterm, etc. You can mess with that as much as you like. Usual warnings apply of course.

Plus, a Macintosh is the only and one platform today capable to run virtually everything in parallel using the emulation and virtualization solutions available. This includes legacy Mac OS applications, almost everything Windows-related, many Linux distributions and Unix flavors too. And when you get enough of all that, the OS X GUI and application bundle (Apple and third-party) is there to give you relief.
post #10 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by smashbrosfan View Post

... NT and DOS are both Unix children. Albeit more distant than Linux, but children nonetheless. When all is said and done, most every OS in existence has roots coming from Unix. ...

This is completely wrong. MacOS X 10.5 is certified by the Open Group as UNIX 03. Linux is what is known as a Unix workalike. MS-DOS has no roots in Unix. It is the evolution of Q-DOS, which Microsoft bought from Seattle Microcomputer. Q-DOS was largely copied from Intergalactic Digital Research's CP/M. CP/M was inspired by DEC's RT-11 for that company's PDP-8 [or was it the PDP-11] minicomputer. RT-11 predates Unix by years. NT was Microsoft's version of OS/2 with an incompatible GUI. IBM/MS OS/2 was largely designed by the same guy who designed DEC's VMS.
post #11 of 186
Thread Starter 
PB, Mr Me,

Thank you for your very good points. In fact, even Apple advertises Mac OS X as a UNIX with a GUI/UI (again, great ones!),

http://www.apple.com/macosx/technology/unix.html

So next time I have one of those Mac priests trying to convince me that Mac OS X is NOT a UNIX with a GUI, I'll tell them to read the sacred scripture of their church!!!!

Is Mac OS X to UNIX what Mormonism is to Christianity? Given that Mac OS X is UNIX certified, and the mormons didn't get the blessings of the Vatican while other christian faiths did, I am more tempted to say that Mac OS X is to UNIX what Anglicanism is to Christianity. For agnostics like myself, one will always find fanatics claiming that their denomination is better, but at the end of the day, they all look Christians to me, with very little differences from one another.

Cheers!
post #12 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by curious_about_mac View Post

Simply put, I don't see anything in Mac OS X that I cannot get from either Windows or Linux.

Mac OS X has more software support than linux (no Adobe apps on Linux) and it is better than Windows for stability, overall performance, ease-of-use etc.

Take the benefits of unix with commercial support and you've got a recipe for the perfect OS. What lets Apple down is their hardware.

Quote:
Originally Posted by curious_about_mac View Post

So basically guys, do you agree with the statement Mac OS X is a UNIX + GUI + a bunch of bundled software/applications intended for non expert users?

I would agree with that but those things are important. I've used Linux before and every time I've found it to be slow (driver issues probably) or just that there was nothing to do in it. You get Firefox, the GIMP software and instant messaging apps but what else can you do besides use one or two specialized commercial apps?

Media support is quite a big thing for me and Linux doesn't have Quicktime. I use that all the time in a variety of applications.

For me personally, OS X is the best unix platform and the easiest to use, which makes me question why people would use Linux. OS X can do stuff that Linux can't but Linux can't do anything OS X can't from what I can see. Windows has the best commercial software and driver support so it can offer more.

Also don't forget, a lot of what comprises OS X came from NextStep. OS X is a hybrid of Next and FreeBSD platform. Steve Jobs founded Next after he was kicked out of Apple.
post #13 of 186
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

For me personally, OS X is the best unix platform and the easiest to use, which makes me question why people would use Linux. OS X can do stuff that Linux can't but Linux can't do anything OS X can't from what I can see. Windows has the best commercial software and driver support so it can offer more.

Yes. If Mac OS X had a worldwide market share > 40 %, I think this question would be a no brainer. The problem is that it's not the case and I think it's unlikely to be the case unless Apple decides to open the Mac platform to other hardware manufacturers. And there is the catch: if Apple wanted to make Mac OS X an open hw architecture, they would run into the type of hw support problems for which MS has been accumulating knowhow during decades. Not sure if it's an easy challenge.

As you pointed out, one of the best things of Windows, which is largely ignored by most of its critics, is that for all its shortcomings in stability and security, it supports a wide variety of hardware seamlessly. Mac OS X's stability comes at the price of a very tightly controlled driver support. That's nothing new. During the UNIX wars, that was the model Sun, HP, IBM and Silicon Graphics tried. And none of those workstations was able to capture a sigfinicant market share in the desktop. True that none of those workstations was price competitive either with Wintel or Mac. But it's also true that the average non geek computer user (ie, people like my sister) doesn't care much about the stability/security aspect beyond a very minimum threshold. They care more about having an easy to use platform that is widely deployed and for which there are insane amouts of hw/sw to choose from: that's exactly what Windows gives them.

And in my particular case, most of the stuff that I do day to day with Windows (text processing, email, etc) is intended to interact with users who are 90% + Windows users. I don't want to waste a single second of my life having to deal with file formatting issues; we all know that no file format conversion across platforms is ever flawless (not even from Mac MS Word to Windows MS Word and viceversa). And for my non day to day ops, I have Linux!
post #14 of 186
I though NT came from some of the VMS roots when MS bought some of that technology from Digital? I work wiht a VMS hacker that say next to Balmer on a plane and they talked about how VMS was great technology but if we were looking to go with Linux we should reconsider. Now we have a huge linux cluster.
post #15 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by curious_about_mac View Post

Dear all,

I am having this discussion with a friend of mine who is a Mac preacher searching for converts (and I am the one he is trying to gain for the Mac religion ).

We are at a point of the discussion where it's coming down to whether Mac OS X is or is not a UNIX with a GUI (an excellent GUI I must say) bundled with extra software.

My claim, based on having worked for a long time with Linux (Redhat, Debian), HP-UX and Sun Solaris, is that Mac OS X is a UNIX + GUI (I stress probably the best GUI ever built on top of a UNIX-like OS) + a bunch of bundled software/applications intended for non expert users.

Ever since I abandoned the Commodore Amiga religion, I have a pragmatic approach with computer platforms. I love UNIX but at the same time I recognize that 90 % + of the world computers use Windows, therefore for my day to day operations, I use Windows.

For my non day to day operations, Linux is just great. And given that when I am using UNIX I rarely use any of the high level stuff, I prefer to go shell/filesystem instead (actually the ability to have full control of the OS from the shell is the reason why I like UNIX in the first place), I don't see any reason to move to Max OS X. Simply put, I don't see anything in Mac OS X that I cannot get from either Windows or Linux. The high level software bundled with Mac OS X doesn't compensate for having a minority OS, not for me at least. And as I said, I try to stay completely away from religious OS wars, I am done with that stage of my life.

So basically guys, do you agree with the statement Mac OS X is a UNIX + GUI + a bunch of bundled software/applications intended for non expert users?

Thanks!


http://arstechnica.com/journals/appl...-certification

From the above link:
Quote:
Mac OS X 10.5 on the Intel platform is a "true" UNIX OS, rather than just being UNIX-like.


I believe IBM and HP are the only other vendors who have a OS certified as such.
post #16 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by curious_about_mac View Post

And there is the catch: if Apple wanted to make Mac OS X an open hw architecture, they would run into the type of hw support problems for which MS has been accumulating knowhow during decades. Not sure if it's an easy challenge.

No, it's relatively easy to get that right.

1) you define a tight set of hardware and software standards

2) you certify to (1)

This is what both Apple and Microsoft do. The problem Microsoft have is they have a large set of legacy technology to support and they didn't define or enforce standards tightly enough dating all the way back to their first 'Multimedia PC' specification. You also have lots and lots of manufacturers who do not follow standards and do not certify yet somehow it's Microsoft's fault when your uncertified card, printer or device addon doesn't work in a new release of Windows.

IME Microsoft gets a lot of crap thrown at them for device incompatibles when it's usually the device manufacturers fault.
post #17 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by curious_about_mac View Post


So basically guys, do you agree with the statement Mac OS X is a UNIX + GUI + a bunch of bundled software/applications intended for non expert users?

To answer your initial question though...


No, it's not.

It's Real proper 100% UNIX (certified) based on BSD + a GUI + a whole set of advanced frameworks (as an ex-Amiga guy you'll know about Libraries) and other pervasive technologies built in to the core like Applescript (like ARexx but moreso), PDF creation in everything without hacks like Ghostscript or having to buy Acrobat....

I don't know what you mean by a bunch of bundled software/applications intended for non expert users. All the apps you get in OSX are pretty much pro grade tools.

If you buy a Mac you also get some bundled apps like iTunes, iPhoto etc as part of iLife. That isn't part of OSX. Do you mean those? if so, try using them - they're plenty powerful despite being easy to use for non expert users.

Perhaps you should read http://www.apple.com/macosx/

The point with Mac OS X is you don't have to choose between the power of Linux and the mainstream application support of Windows - you've got BOTH - and you've got Mac OSX and now you can even run Windows should you find there isn't a Mac or open source UNIX alternative. WTF would anyone run Linux as a desktop OS?
post #18 of 186
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post

To answer your initial question though...

No, it's not.

It's Real proper 100% UNIX (certified) based on BSD + a GUI + a whole set of advanced frameworks (as an ex-Amiga guy you'll know about Libraries) and other pervasive technologies built in to the core like Applescript (like ARexx but moreso), PDF creation in everything without hacks like Ghostscript or having to buy Acrobat....

It seems to me that the answer is yes. You are even emphasizing that Mac OS X is actually real UNIX with 10.5, which is a good thing!
Some people's retoric try to deny that fact, in the same way that some Linux fanatics deny that Linux is UNIX. Oh well!

Quote:
Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post

I don't know what you mean by a bunch of bundled software/applications intended for non expert users. All the apps you get in OSX are pretty much pro grade tools.

What I mean is that, in my case, I barely use any of the high level tools when I am in a UNIX environment. As an example, I do my backups with tar/gzip rather than letting some high level backup utility do it for me. Call me paranoid if you want, but to me (and to most expert users) that's the beauty of UNIX (which Windows lacks), I have full control of the OS from the shell. So, while I am sure many of the non expert users will appreciate the pro grade tools, I couldn't care less because I'll will not use them in most cases.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post

Perhaps you should read http://www.apple.com/macosx/

I have already played with Mac OS X, and the impression that I got is Mac OS X = UNIX with a GUI. And all the answers I've gotten so far, including yours, seem to agree with that statement (save a couple of pointless technicalities).

Quote:
Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post

The point with Mac OS X is you don't have to choose between the power of Linux and the mainstream application support of Windows - you've got BOTH - and you've got Mac OSX and now you can even run Windows should you find there isn't a Mac or open source UNIX alternative. WTF would anyone run Linux as a desktop OS?

That isn't true. Windows is still by a huge margin the most widely supported platform for both HW and SW. And as I said, achieving such level of support is not a trivial task.
But even if I limited myself only to MS applications (Word/PowerPoint/Outlook), I still run the risk that I receive (or I send) a file to one of the many 90%+ who use Windows that has format conversion problems. Wasting 10 min to correct each such potential problems is not worth to me the change. Windows already takes care of that stuff. And for other stuff (like scientific computing), I have Linux. So, as I said, I really don't see the benefit of switching, for a user like me, unless Mac OS X was adopted by 40% + of users (which is unlikely to happen due to the strict control that Apple has on Mac OS X and the hardware).

Cheers!
post #19 of 186
I quit reading about 5 posts in, so if this a repeat, I apologize.

It's a known fact that OS X is a BSD-derrived kernel + way awsome-o GUI. It's also a fact that Windows and OS X (and KDE and my cell phone) all do just about the same thing equally well. They give me pretty pictures to navigate my file system, execute my programs, and configure my operating system parameters.

That said, there are many differences between Windows, OS X, and the other *nix cousins that differentiate these options in the marketplace. Linux was (not so much anymore) a giant pain in the ass to install, configure, update, and fix. OS X had (not true anymore) a small user-base and limited available programs. Windows had *everything* available to *everyone* at *all* times and places.

Now this doesn't mean I'm preaching Windows doctrine. In fact I generally hate it. I've gotten lost one too many times in the registry and ended up crying on the floor while reinstalling some bastard re-incarnation of an M/S DOS GUI (Win95, 98, 98 SE, Me).

I digress. The point I wanted to make is this: Windows/Linux run on just about every computer you can fathom. You can (literally) blindfold yourself, thrash around wildly in the computer parts section of Staples, then drop an extension cord in the pile of mess and boot Linux. This is awesome until you have some quirky hardware incompatibility. Or, you could buy a Mac, which has *extremely* limited hardware options, but has a rock-solid OS that is custom-tuned to run almost solely on that hardware.

I honestly believe that is why OS X is so smooth and stable. There are no 'workarounds' and the like that you must play to get that new NIC card booted in your system. In a Mac, a piece of hardware either 'works', or it wasn't soldered to the motherboard during fabrication. As such, the operating system team spent less time supporting hardware and more time stabilizing the HW/SW interaction and the OS GUI awesomeness that OS X has.

As Linux gains market-share, open-source software matures, and Windows release dates slip (by years), I see Apple's OS market-share increasing as it rides the wake of Linux/open-source, as it already has many of the fundamental similarities (cult-like following, robust OS) with so much more eye-candy/fluff that the every-day user will swoon to. Macs are just plain easy to use.

So yes, get a mac. Use boot-camp and triple-boot Linux, OS X, and Vista, and have it all in one sexy aluminum box, and see which OS you really end up using more.
post #20 of 186
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by acr4 View Post

I quit reading about 5 posts in, so if this a repeat, I apologize.
....
.

I liked your answer. My friend said he'll lend me one of his Mac OS X computers (he has serveral) and I'll do some tests. However, it's unlikely that I switch because,

- As you said, Windows is everywhere. And to me, that's a big + of Windows despite the fact that, like yourself, I am not a a Windows fan. If the market share of Mac OS X increases to 40 %, then I'll give it a more serious thought. I know it's a chicken and egg situation, but I am into OS religious wars any more (ie, I am not going to adopt an OS just for the sake of fighting MS).

- In terms of cult following, I was (and in fact I still am even today in the deepest of my heart) an Amiga cult follower during my teens. Neither Linux nor the Mac can match the experience of owning an Amiga during the late eightes (when every other computer from the competition was years light behind in the multimedia and OS departments). And talking about cult following, the Amiga cult is pretty much alive despite the fact that no new Amiga hardware has been released for more than a decade. Whatever remains alive from the Amiga community is due to the loyalty of its followers. I haven't known any single computer platform able to match that type of following, not even Linux or Mac owners .

Cheers!
post #21 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by curious_about_mac View Post

I liked your answer.

Thanks! It was a long day at work - I was afraid that wouldn't make any sense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by curious_about_mac View Post

My friend said he'll lend me one of his Mac OS X computers (he has serveral) and I'll do some tests.

Excellent! You know, checking email, surfing the web, etc. are identical on all the major OSes. Even every-day office work (Word/Excel/etc, databases/etc) are identical (or close to it) with Open Office and MS Office (Mac/XP only). I like Word more on my Mac than I did on XP because of all the toolbars that go transparent and that flashy GUI stuff. I find it funny that Linux and OS X mount shared Windows drives better than Windows does!

Quote:
Originally Posted by curious_about_mac View Post

- In terms of cult following, I was (and in fact I still am even today in the deepest of my heart) an Amiga cult follower during my teens. Neither Linux nor the Mac can match the experience of owning an Amiga during the late eightes...

My first computer (I was five) was my father's old Amiga Commodore 1000. I had two 3-1/2" floppies and no hard-drive. In fact, I used the VGA monitor from that system for another 10-15 years as TV. I swear the best versions of Tron and Breakout (just to name a few of the classics) were on my Amiga. What an awesome machine.
post #22 of 186
Darwin is the Unix core behind Mac OS X and it is available for free at

http://developer.apple.com/opensource/index.html

The user interface sitting on top of OS X is tied down to the NEXTStep Operating System foundations.

OS X is indeed Unix (Apple's Unix) with Apple's GUI and related frameworks.
Most of us employ the Internet not to seek the best information, but rather to select information that confirms our prejudices. - Nicholas D. Kristof
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Most of us employ the Internet not to seek the best information, but rather to select information that confirms our prejudices. - Nicholas D. Kristof
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post #23 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by acr4 View Post

So yes, get a mac. Use boot-camp and triple-boot Linux, OS X, and Vista, and have it all in one sexy aluminum box, and see which OS you really end up using more.

You mean quadruple-boot Linux, OS X, Vista, and *BSD, right?
post #24 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by troberts View Post

You mean quadruple-boot Linux, OS X, Vista, and *BSD, right?

that's just perverted.
post #25 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by curious_about_mac View Post

It seems to me that the answer is yes. You are even emphasizing that Mac OS X is actually real UNIX with 10.5, which is a good thing!
Some people's retoric try to deny that fact, in the same way that some Linux fanatics deny that Linux is UNIX. Oh well!

No, the answer is still no. OSX is not 'UNIX + GUI'. It's not JUST that it's MORE than that. The UNIX core is one part of OSX. The Aqua GUI is another. Core Animation is another. Core Foundation is another. Core Video is another. Cocoa is another. Carbon is another....

Linux is not UNIX. It's UNIX-like. It's not certified as being compatible with UNIX's API. OSX is.

You're making as much sense as calling Ubuntu, 'Linux + a Window Manager'.


Quote:
Originally Posted by curious_about_mac View Post

What I mean is that, in my case, I barely use any of the high level tools when I am in a UNIX environment. As an example, I do my backups with tar/gzip rather than letting some high level backup utility do it for me. Call me paranoid if you want, but to me (and to most expert users) that's the beauty of UNIX (which Windows lacks), I have full control of the OS from the shell.

Then I do hope you're never a sys admin where I work. No enterprise uses tar/gzip for a backup strategy - it'd be too slow and unreliable, try rsync at least or BRU - and you've obviously not found the command shell in Windows (hint: it's not the Run... command in the start menu).

Quote:
Originally Posted by curious_about_mac View Post

So, while I am sure many of the non expert users will appreciate the pro grade tools, I couldn't care less because I'll will not use them in most cases.

So you use Linux's mail command instead of Thunderbird or another GUI tool, you browse the web with Lynx, you do all your image manipulation with ImageMagick on the command line instead of the GIMP and write all your docs in vi instead of AbiWord or OpenOffice???

Hardcore!!!

Seriously, GUI tools are there to make life easier, even for UNIX grey beards.

Quote:
Originally Posted by curious_about_mac View Post

I have already played with Mac OS X, and the impression that I got is Mac OS X = UNIX with a GUI. And all the answers I've gotten so far, including yours, seem to agree with that statement (save a couple of pointless technicalities).

You'll not get to understand how something works simply by playing with it. If that were the case you'd think Linux was no different to DOS.


Quote:
Originally Posted by curious_about_mac View Post

That isn't true. Windows is still by a huge margin the most widely supported platform for both HW and SW. And as I said, achieving such level of support is not a trivial task.

I never said it wasn't. But you're confusing how Microsoft have reached that today with how you'd do it now knowing the hard work it's been in the last few decades to get here. I'm sure looking back, Microsoft would define much stricter standards.

Quote:
Originally Posted by curious_about_mac View Post

But even if I limited myself only to MS applications (Word/PowerPoint/Outlook), I still run the risk that I receive (or I send) a file to one of the many 90%+ who use Windows that has format conversion problems. Wasting 10 min to correct each such potential problems is not worth to me the change. Windows already takes care of that stuff. And for other stuff (like scientific computing), I have Linux. So, as I said, I really don't see the benefit of switching, for a user like me, unless Mac OS X was adopted by 40% + of users (which is unlikely to happen due to the strict control that Apple has on Mac OS X and the hardware).

What does it matter? If MacOSX does the job for you, what does it matter if it's not the most popular platform? As long as it interacts well with other platforms, gets your job done and runs the apps you need then that's all it has to do.

Format conversion problems between Mac Office and Windows Office are no worse than between different versions of Windows Office IME. If the person you're sending stuff to only needs to read it, send it as a PDF and then it's platform agnostic and comes out exactly like you sent it.

At the end of the day, the Mac is the only platform that runs all Mac software, all Windows software and all Linux software.


Quote:
Originally Posted by acr4 View Post

My first computer (I was five) was my father's old Amiga Commodore 1000. I had two 3-1/2" floppies and no hard-drive. In fact, I used the VGA monitor from that system for another 10-15 years as TV. I swear the best versions of Tron and Breakout (just to name a few of the classics) were on my Amiga. What an awesome machine.

A1000's use 15Khz NTSC/PAL composite monitors (same frequency as a TV), not VGA. You needed an expensive Flickerfixer to get 31Khz VGA output and IIRC the A1000 didn't have a slot for the Flickerfixer cards. A2000's only. I know, still got one.
post #26 of 186
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post

No, the answer is still no. OSX is not 'UNIX + GUI'. It's not JUST that it's MORE than that.

There will always be people who claim that Windows 98 is not Windows 95 (even that Windows 95 doesn't run on top of MS-DOS 7.X) or people who claim that Windows XP is not Windows NT, oh well!

Quote:
Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post

Then I do hope you're never a sys admin where I work. No enterprise uses tar/gzip for a backup strategy - it'd be too slow and unreliable, try rsync at least or BRU - and you've obviously not found the command shell in Windows (hint: it's not the Run... command in the start menu).

This type of idiotic fanaticism is one of the reasons I run away from Mac OS zealots. No, I hope I'll never have to work with you. You come accross as a totalitarian bully, and that's totally disgusting. As a matter of fact, I try to stay away from people like you.

I am sure there are many down to earth Mac users. It's people like you who scare away the non fanatics who are just interested in evaluating an OS (which might I remind you, that's what Mac OS X is: a fucking OS, a fucking UNIX with a fucking GUI).

Quote:
Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post

What does it matter? If MacOSX does the job for you, what does it matter if it's not the most popular platform? As long as it interacts well with other platforms, gets your job done and runs the apps you need then that's all it has to do.
Format conversion problems between Mac Office and Windows Office are no worse than between different versions of Windows Office IME. If the person you're sending stuff to only needs to read it, send it as a PDF and then it's platform agnostic and comes out exactly like you sent it. At the end of the day, the Mac is the only platform that runs all Mac software, all Windows software and all Linux software.

Now that you showed up your deep Narcissistic Personality Disorder, I understand that for you it doesn't really matter since I am sure you interact minimally with non Mac users (something like 90% + of the computer users). Have you ever read about the dangers of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groupthink? For those like me who interact mostly with non Mac users, I refuse to waste a single second with these formatting issues, which can be very annoying and wasteful when one has to edit, as do, those .doc and .ppt files back and forth.

Anyway, the veredict from most of those who have spoken is clear: Mac OS X = UNIX + GUI/UI. Then is a question of taste. Vegans will never understand why people like me see Nirvana when they eat a good beef steak (geeeeee!, only thinking about it makes me hungry), as I will never understand how is possible that some people can live their entire lives without eating meat....

Cheers!
post #27 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by curious_about_mac View Post

There will always be people who claim that Windows 98 is not Windows 95 (even that Windows 95 doesn't run on top of MS-DOS 7.X) or people who claim that Windows XP is not Windows NT, oh well!

And those people would be right to an extent. 95 and 98 share similar technology, as do NT and XP but there's more to an OS than just it's core.

fyi. I've been writing Windows/DOS applications since Windows 2.11 and DOS 3.1. I worked on Windows NT before it was called NT.


Quote:
Originally Posted by curious_about_mac View Post

This type of idiotic fanaticism is one of the reasons I run away from Mac OS zealots. No, I hope I'll never have to work with you. You come accross as a totalitarian bully, and that's totally disgusting. As a matter of fact, I try to stay away from people like you.

I think you're just trolling.

I cut my UNIX teeth on an AT&T 3B2 and now run four Linux servers hosting hundreds of websites. I know my UNIX and Linux inside out and if someone suggested tar as a backup program for production use I'd show them where the door is.


Quote:
Originally Posted by curious_about_mac View Post

I am sure there are many down to earth Mac users. It's people like you who scare away the non fanatics who are just interested in evaluating an OS (which might I remind you, that's what Mac OS X is: a fucking OS, a fucking UNIX with a fucking GUI).

ok, step away from the coffee cup...


Quote:
Originally Posted by curious_about_mac View Post

Now that you showed up your deep Narcissistic Personality Disorder, I understand that for you it doesn't really matter since I am sure you interact minimally with non Mac users (something like 90% + of the computer users). Have you ever read about the dangers of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groupthink? For those like me who interact mostly with non Mac users, I refuse to waste a single second with these formatting issues, which can be very annoying and wasteful when one has to edit, as do, those .doc and .ppt files back and forth.

Bearing in mind the what I've said above, I avoid those annoying and wastful formatting issues by NOT HAVING ANY and sending PDFs instead. Problem solved. Really, you're overthinking though. There's no more an issue Mac to PC than PC to PC IME. How many times have you been sent a Word document where the author has used some font you don't have?


Quote:
Originally Posted by curious_about_mac View Post

Anyway, the veredict from most of those who have spoken is clear: Mac OS X = UNIX + GUI/UI.

And it's obviously not true since you can't take the Mac version of Photoshop and run it on top of any UNIX OS.

You can however do the reverse with any UNIX 03 certified application and usually most Linux apps are only a recompile away from running too.


Quote:
Originally Posted by curious_about_mac View Post

Then is a question of taste. Vegans will never understand why people like me see Nirvana when they eat a good beef steak (geeeeee!, only thinking about it makes me hungry), as I will never understand how is possible that some people can live their entire lives without eating meat....

Perhaps you should cut out the red meat too. Vegans perfectly understand why people like you see Nirvana when they eat a good beef steak. They just think you're wrong. If you fail to understand how it's possible to live without meat then that's also your issue, not theirs.
post #28 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by curious_about_mac View Post

I am having this discussion with a friend of mine who is a Mac preacher searching for converts (and I am the one he is trying to gain for the Mac religion ).

The Mac is a machine. It has no correlation whatsoever with religion. There's your confusion.
post #29 of 186
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by iPeon View Post

The Mac is a machine. It has no correlation once so ever with religion. There's your confusion.



No, no, I am not the one confused. To me it's just a machine!

It's Mac users like aegisdesign who make it appear to the non Mac users that the Mac is a religion. And as such, I am very cautious/suspicious.
post #30 of 186
You know, curious_about_mac, this was quite an interesting thread before you started being incredibly rude to Aegis. He brought up several valid points, he was not rude to you and to respond in the way you did was not at all necessary.

It does bear repeating that saying that Mac OS X is UNIX + GUI is too simplistic. You may not like that, but it's a fact. It's missing a major, major part of the equation:

Mac OS X is UNIX+frameworks+GUI.

I strongly suggest that if you are genuinely curious, you take the time (and it would be a considerable amount of time) to read all of the arstechnica reviews of OS X from 10.0 onwards (if you get bored, read just the 10.4 and 10.5 ones; if you've more time available you could even go further back and start at the DP (developer preview) 2 review):

Mac OS X 10.0
Mac OS X 10.1
Mac OS X 10.2
Mac OS X 10.3
Mac OS X 10.4
Mac OS X 10.5

On the specific issue of whether you personally should be switching to Mac OS X, I'd say it sounds like probably not. Although for a computer-literate guy like you, a Mac triple-booting OS X + Linux + Windows would enable you to always use the best solution for whichever job you might be doing. And after a while, you'd probably be surprised by how much you were using OS X.
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post #31 of 186
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

You know, curious_about_mac, this was quite an interesting thread before you started being incredibly rude to Aegis. He brought up several valid points, he was not rude to you and to respond in the way you did was not at all necessary.

He is the one who turned the discussion nasty. I am not the type of guy who lets himself bullied without responding.

it's like,

Quote:
Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post

Then I do hope you're never a sys admin where I work. No enterprise uses tar/gzip for a backup strategy - it'd be too slow and unreliable, try rsync at least or BRU - and you've obviously not found the command shell in Windows (hint: it's not the Run... command in the start menu).

Whomever has worked in large UNIX environments with tenths or hundreds of machines doing mission critical stuff (like myself) knows that for production the backup tools are mandatory (combined with high-end hardware like EMC's Symmetrix).

From this whole thread it was clear that we were talking about my desktop. Any additional software layer brings in the possibility of additional bugs, and therefore the possibility of corruption of data during the backup/restore operations. So, while I wouldn't suggest the use of tar/gzip for the massive backup/restore operations that go on in complex organizations, since it wouldn't be practical and the minimum risk of a bug is worth the amount of work saved by having the extra software layer, for my own data, I prefer to use tar/gzip because I know what I am doing.

So, the fact that Mac OS X has backup/restore tools is irrelevant from the point of view that it is a deskup running a UNIX with a GUI. Most expert users in such desktop will rather write a shell script with tar/gzip than use a high level backup utility.

The previous comment, and similar he did in the same line, were intented to be derrogatory. He got what he deserved.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

It does bear repeating that saying that Mac OS X is UNIX + GUI is too simplistic. You may not like that, but it's a fact. It's missing a major, major part of the equation:
Mac OS X is UNIX+frameworks+GUI.

Again, it's a question of how you define GUI. Are CDE/KDE/Gnome "plain" GUIs or do they add "frameworks"? A more interesting question, was Windows 3.X just a "GUI" (deserving a copyright lawsuit from Apple for stealing the look and feel) or was it a GUI + a framework totally different from the Mac GUI?

Most people are comfortable (and the most honest ones in the thread made it clear) with saying that Mac OS X is essentially a UNIX with a GUI/UI, like there are other UNIX-es with GUI/UIs out there: HP-UX, Solaris, AIX, RedHat/Ubuntu, etc... You are free to disagree with that statement but if you make derrogatory comments to those who don't see thinks like you do, you should expect some kind of answer (unless you are a bully accustomed to abuse people without getting any response).


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

I strongly suggest that if you are genuinely curious, you take the time (and it would be a considerable amount of time) to read all of the arstechnicha reviews of OS X from 10.0 onwards (if you get bored, read just the 10.4 and 10.5 ones; if you've more time available you could even go further back and start at the DP (developer preview) 2 review):

Mac OS X 10.0
Mac OS X 10.1
Mac OS X 10.2
Mac OS X 10.3
Mac OS X 10.4
Mac OS X 10.5

On the specific issue of whether you personally should be switching to Mac OS X, I'd say it sounds like probably not. Although for a computer-literate guy like you, a Mac triple-booting OS X + Linux + Windows would enable you to always use the best solution for whichever job you might be doing. And after a while, you'd probably be surprised by how much you were using OS X.

As a matter of fact, I am. And while I was having these discussions I found the following(based on Panther),

http://www.kernelthread.com/mac/osx/

I read through it, some sections in more detail than others. From reading The Architecture section, and from the different responses, I am more convinced than ever that Mac OS X is a UNIX with a GUI (and since Leopard has been officially certified as UNIX, so this claim makes even more sense with the 10.4 version of Mac OS X).

Cheers!
post #32 of 186
I believe the critical question here is, "What makes a Unix system a Unix System?". As I see it, OS X uses a *BSD kernel and implements its own application framework, most notably Carbon and Quartz, on top of it. In addition, it supports the traditional unix biosphere with the common selection of terminal programs, plus the whole X stuff. Most applications running on the Mac however do not need any any of the unix stuff except for kernel calls (which will usually be handled by the framework, and not the application directly).

Here is also the difference to Gnome/KDE. They are completely dependent on the X Server, and even though they add functionality outside the graphical subsystem, all display functions are based on X (as a side note, the X server itself is not limited to Unix enviroments, for instance VMS uses X + Motif for its graphical interface).

Now, if Microsoft layed open its sources for ntkernel32, you could also rewrite a unix kernel to be compatible with it, and thus have Windows running on top of a Unix kernel. Or you could port the NT kernel to OS X. This is of course an simplified concept, but a kernel is simply meant to encapsulate all the tricky hardware control and supply a clean interface for higher levels of the OS to interact.

In summary, OS X contains a lot of unix code both for the kernel and the command tools. But practically all the interaction with the user is through Apple's own frameworks. So ask yourself, if for some reason Apple had adopted the NT or BeOS kernel instead of the BSD one, would OS X be BeOS or Vista with a GUI?
post #33 of 186
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Berlepsch View Post

In summary, OS X contains a lot of unix code both for the kernel and the command tools. But practically all the interaction with the user is through Apple's own frameworks. So ask yourself, if for some reason Apple had adopted the NT or BeOS kernel instead of the BSD one, would OS X be BeOS or Vista with a GUI?

Good point. To me, and I am OK if other people disagree, what makes UNIX be UNIX is its kernel and the minimum surrounding framework it provides: multi user, multi-process, (multi thread in the most recent versions), time sharing, IPC's, memory management (including but not limited to virtual memory and process context independence), hardware interaction, the filesystem and services provided to processes through System Calls (I am sure I am forgetting stuff but I hope you get the idea). Even networking services, that most UNIX kernels include by default, it's borderline to me. I mean, a UNIX kernel without the TCP/IP drivers/stack is still UNIX to me. In terms of user interaction, the minimum thing UNIX provides is the console or a shell. Why I think that's it? Because all the advantages that are cited for UNIX: stability, security come from its kernel and the minimum framework surrounding it. The higher level stuff provided to facilitate the interaction with the user (what Apple provides) it's not essential for a good OS from the robustness point of view. In terms of user interaction Vista and Mac OS X are very similar (I am already hearing the religious followers of each side screaming) but at core, Vista is NT and Mac OS X is UNIX, which gives Apple something to brag about in its battle with Windows but which leaves unimpressed those who are familiar with other UNIX-es with GUIs: "and your point is?" "ever since I met a UNIX for the first time when I was a little kid I knew UNIX was superior to either Windows 3.X/95 or NT".

To give an analogy with physics. It's like if you have lived your whole life thinking that Newton's law of physics were the state of the art in terms of knowledge of the physical world (which is what many people whose last contact with physics was an elementary class they took in high school might believe). Then suddenly and by chance, in your thirties, you discover the work of Einstein or the more recent work on String theory, which explains better certain phenomena and you try to gain adepts to your cause. Most physics professors will be unimpressed with you and will even look at you with a smile that it took you so long to learn that Newton's Laws of physics were archaic and incomplete. Still, the engineers working at Boeing or Airbus building planes will tell you: sure your Einstein staff is cute, but for us designers of planes Newton's Laws are just fine and much simpler to deal with.

Well, in this analogy: the guy who discovered Einstein's work in his thirties is the type of Mac user whose universe is limited to whatever Apple utters (therefore until the release of Mac OS X he didn't know much about UNIX), the physics professors are the expert computers users, and the engineers working for Boeing are the pragmatic computer users who might or might not know about Einstein's work.

Cheers!
post #34 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by curious_about_mac View Post



No, no, I am not the one confused. To me it's just a machine!

It's Mac users like aegisdesign who make it appear to the non Mac users that the Mac is a religion. And as such, I am very cautious/suspicious.



Oh I see, you don't have a problem with the machine, it is the opinions of those who use the machine that is preventing you from using it. Good luck with that.
post #35 of 186
http://www.apple.com/macosx/technology/unix.html

Quote:
Leopard is an Open Brand UNIX 03 Registered Product, conforming to the SUSv3 and POSIX 1003.1 specifications for the C API, Shell Utilities, and Threads. Since Leopard can compile and run all your existing UNIX code, you can deploy it in environments that demand full conformance complete with hooks to maintain compatibility with existing software.
post #36 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by curious_about_mac View Post

or the more recent work on String theory

Stay away from Superstring Theory/String Theory (if you're trying to show your knowledge), as it was always "iffy" though very virulently spread by its practitioners (I was never one of them) -- and the holes that were there when first put forth are really, really showing nowadays. It was math first, physics second from the word go (as opposed to 7-D Superplanar outlooks and suchlike).

On the other hand, the people who bandy it about at the upper levels are truly gung-ho, so maybe you could use Superstring Theory as an analogy for the Mac owners who put you off from buying.

Otherwise, carry on.
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post #37 of 186
Anyone who doesn't think OS X is a UNIX 03 certified operating system from the ground up with an industry leading Windowing API/WindowServer/Graphics Subsystem needs to get back on their meds.
post #38 of 186
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Anyone who doesn't think OS X is a UNIX 03 certified operating system from the ground up with an industry leading Windowing API/WindowServer/Graphics Subsystem needs to get back on their meds.

Thanks for this authoritative remark. Nothing better than the opinion of one of the contributors to the core technology of Mac OS X to settle the issue. And as I said several times, this fact is indeed a very good thing for Mac OS X.

A different question is that of the benefits for the end user of using a UNIX + GUI OS, with probably the best UI among those those UNIX-es, in the desktop world when 90% + users are on Windows. I'll give it a try though!

Cheers!

PS: BTW, I didn't post my contact info because I am suspicious of spam/who knows what. Those intereested in getting it, I'll be happy to share it with you.
post #39 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post

A1000's use 15Khz NTSC/PAL composite monitors (same frequency as a TV), not VGA. You needed an expensive Flickerfixer to get 31Khz VGA output and IIRC the A1000 didn't have a slot for the Flickerfixer cards. A2000's only. I know, still got one.

I was five at the time. All I know is my monitor said "Amiga", and I used the RCA outputs of a VCR to drive it. To switch from TV to computer, I had to flip a switch on the front panel. For all I know that monitor could have come from the Amiga 2000 that replaced my 1000. Who knows, but it lasted me until probably 2000.
post #40 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by curious_about_mac View Post

Thanks for this authoritative remark. Nothing better than the opinion of one of the contributors to the core technology of Mac OS X to settle the issue. And as I said several times, this fact is indeed a very good thing for Mac OS X.

A different question is that of the benefits for the end user of using a UNIX + GUI OS, with probably the best UI among those those UNIX-es, in the desktop world when 90% + users are on Windows. I'll give it a try though!

Cheers!

PS: BTW, I didn't post my contact info because I am suspicious of spam/who knows what. Those intereested in getting it, I'll be happy to share it with you.

One of the focal points to Spotlight is to have people uncomfortable with UNIX to have a searching tool that doesn't require one to have any understanding of sed, awk and grep.

Great tools, but for the general consumer a meta tagged searching system from the BeOS days makes more sense.

However, I wish Apple would hook in a tagging system we had at NeXT that if I needed to go to a user's folder which was someone across the mapped network, regardless of domain I could just command->tilde and a textfield would make key and order front allowing me to type in the user's name and I was immediately taken to their publically accessible files/folders under their account. Then if I wanted to keep their public folder accessilbe [dev teams used this a lot for reports that didn't need to be in a revision control system] I just dragged the folder to the WorkspaceManager.app Shelf [resizeable of course to my choice].
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