mdw at martinwills.com mdw at martinwills.com
Fri Oct 7 10:01:11 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.

Most of that was given to Apple by Xerox PARC.  The roots of all of these
elements are found in either Xerox or Bell Labs R&D.  Steve saw the
marketing potential and took it to a new level.

>> 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.

OS X owes it's heritage to BSD Unix and the windowing architecture from
Darwin (which I believe is still available as a package for Linux).

> 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.

Seems a page out of Sun Microsystems.  They had the best unix running on
premium hardware... Only difference is Steve Jobs was a great marketeer..
Not to different from the good 'ol days of P.T. Barnum.

>  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.
> sdw
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