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ZDNet: (Dawning of a) new Mac era

Sep 06, 2000, 13:40 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Stephan Somogyi)

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"Only one more week until Apple Computer Inc. makes the long-awaited Mac OS X public beta available to us rabble. This event isn't earth-shattering by virtue of Apple hitting this milestone, though. Instead, it registers on the Richter scale because it's a big step closer to delivering the first Unix-based consumer-oriented OS."

"...it's downright mean for Apple to... kick loose no information about that older hardware. It's facile to argue that Linux for PowerPC (both the monolithic and Mk versions) has most of these drivers already, but that's not the point. A lot of that work has been trial and error; rather than trying to get hardware support working in Darwin (and erring), it would be much more efficient -- not to mention result in more-reliable drivers -- if Apple actually coughed up the docs. I have two Old World PCI machines that I'd quite like to run Darwin on, and the prospects aren't great at the moment."

"Plenty of prospective customers -- especially the corporate crowd -- will with very good reason inherently distrust any young and untried Unix. Make no mistake: OS X's BSD APIs may be standard, but OS X's guts are very shiny new technology, most of which hasn't seen any kind of field testing like, say, the [way] xBSDs or even Linux has. And it's not like new bugs aren't being found in Linux and its standard apps and libs today, many years after their introductions. ... People try stuff out on older hardware; anecdotes are legion of resurrected 486s running Samba on Linux as proof-of-concept before The Big New Hardware Purchase. This is precisely the kind of thing that Apple needs to foster, not quash."

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