MacOS X 10.1 and 10.2

Observations, Notes, and Issues


  MacOS X is the newest OS from Apple.  It is a BSD UNIX like OS, it uses the Hurd Mach micro kernel with a BSD compatibly layer.  It comes with many standard UNIX utilities and even includes gcc out of the box!  However, it uses a proprietary window manager that is called "Aqua" and is NOT X11 compatible.  As a consumer OS, MacOS X is quite impressive, however, most long time UNIX type people will probably find MacOS X confusing.
  I finally bought an Apple PowerMac since MacOS X is UNIX based.  I love UNIX and thought "wow", finally a major consumer OS is UNIX based!  I can now run commercial applications as well as my favorite Open Source programs on a UNIX based computer!  However, I was sort of disappointed.  MacOS X is nice, but it just doesn't "feel" like a real UNIX system.  I suppose that I am biased since I have over 15 years of experience administering "real" UNIX systems (SunOS, Solaris, HPUX, IRIX, and Linux) and expected more...  I am especially disappointed that MacOS's "Aqua" window manager is not X11 based.  X11 is one of the major strengths of UNIX, with X11 you send the display of one computer to ANY other UNIX computer!  With MacOS X this is not possible.
  This is a rambling list of my observations of MacOS X as delivered by Apple.  Many of the problems that I will mention can be overcome by adding additional Open Source packages (X11 [XDarwin], and libc.a come to mind immediately).  These notes are from the point of view of a long time UNIX user (my primary home computer is a Sun SunBlade).  Maybe someone at Apple will read this and fix most of these problems.
  I think that Apple's "Switch" campaign may be ok for Winbloze users, but I don't understand all of the Linux/Slashdot users going gaga over MacOS X.....

What I have: A PowerMac "Quick Silver".  2x1Ghz G4 CPUs, 640M of RAM (I added the extra 128M RAM)



In short, MacOS X is very pretty, and it does video editing very well, but it won't be replacing my SunBlade (Solaris) any time soon for serious work.

Copyright © 1993-2002 by Robert Barnes

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