Stephen Williams sdw at lig.net
Fri Oct 7 09:27:30 PDT 2011

On Fri Oct  7 08:19:21 2011, HK Pang wrote:
> Agreed! Personally, Jobs/Apple hardly mattered in my
> educational/professional life.

GUI, real word processing, multi-media (other that what came from Atari 
/ Amiga)...  There has been a lot of indirect influence.

> In high school, Apple 2 was expensive, so I could only afford a
> Commodore 64 but I could program in Basic/Pascal just as well.

Ick.  I learned on Atari.  Far better than Commodore 64, or Pet, etc.  
I used and programmed on them a bit: they seemed incomplete and a hack. 
 Or anything from Microsoft (buggie!  If you wrote much mbasic between 
CP/M and Win3.1 eras, you know what I mean.) or Digital Research at the 
time.  Too bad they were mismanaged.

> In college,  the Mac was expensive too, so I could only afford a
> no-name IBM PC compatible but I could get on to the Internet and login
> to a Unix/VMS just as well.

I avoided Macs for the same reason.  And, pre OS X, I'm happy that I 
did.  I used Linux, a lot.  Still love it.

> When the NeXT came out, even at the deeply discounted price of $3000,
> it was still twice as expensive as the Gateway 386 that I ended up
> buying. Don't forget that was the cheap 386 that started the whole
> Linux thing.
> After college, I hardly know anyone who got a job/rich because of
> their Apple experience

True for a while, but changed now.  Many companies and organizations 
are OS X only now: NASA Ames, many game-related companies, etc.

OSX has a few special things that are nice, but also some hacks that 
are just OK.  However, it is a fairly clean derivative of Unixen 
principles which gives it characteristics that are far better than all 
Microsoft products.  It does cost more, bound to premium hardware only. 
 But if you can afford it, it's worth it.  You're likely to spend more 
on Microsoft products in the long run unless your time and suffering is 
very cheap.  Amazingly, that continues to be true.  Apple ought to 
release it to run on any hardware by leveraging a Linux base.  But they 
have no reason to do so.  And it may be better to have Linux slugging 
it out completely independently.  Linux already owns the server and 
supercomputing markets.  And, in some sense, half of mobile.  Desktop 
usage will require a few killer apps and a stable and complete enough 
ABI to get ISVs to write code for it as a third catch-all platform.  
You get all three desktop / server platforms mostly for free with Qt, 
but not everyone has gone that route yet.


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