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Linux Journal: Mac OS X: First Impressions

Dec 10, 2000, 14:43 (3 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Paul Barry)

"Apple Computer, the very antithesis of the Open Source movement, and considered evil by the GNU project due to their closed technology practices, is known the world over for killing as many third-party companies as it created (and killing them for no reason other than they dared to make money from Apple's technology). And then there's Steve Jobs. Could we possibly find an individual more unlike Linus Torvalds? We are told Jobs is ill-tempered, mean, merciless, unconscionable and abusive to those that work with and for him. We are told to trust him at our own peril. And, we are told he possesses an ego that's roughly the size of China. So, why, in heavens name, would we ever want to cover new technology from Apple Computer?..."

"Apple's newest OS offering is called Mac OS X. The very name hints at its two major components. Mac OS X is the Macintosh interface built on top of a UNIX base. It has as its base a technology called "Darwin", which is an open-source implementation based on the Mach micro-kernel. Yes, your eyes aren't playing tricks with you--Apple has open sourced a core software technology. What is especially interesting is that the Darwin open-source development team is readying a version of the kernel for Intel chip technology; this alone should start some Linux alarm bells ringing). The currently available implementation, officially bundled as "Mac OS X Public Beta", targets the PowerPC microprocessor...."

"Apple Computer announced the beta release of Mac OS X Public Beta in the fall of 2000 and offer the technology to the Macintosh community for $29.95. Members of their developers programmes received a copy of the OS for free, together with a CD of developer tools. This is how I acquired my copy, as I doubt I would have been willing to pay for the privilege of beta testing Apple's latest OS creation. I don't mind paying for a full release product (like a Linux distribution), but charging for a beta product...come on, Apple! So it costs to produce and ship all those CD's; but surely it doesn't take much to make Mac OS X available for free download?"

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