[thechat] OS-X - some notes

Bob Davis bobd at members.evolt.org
Mon Mar 26 13:52:58 CST 2001

Ok, here are some initial impressions.

First, I have to say that it's a lot better than the PB version I had 
before. They have made a lot of improvements.  It's running smurfy on my 
PowerBook (Pismo 500, 256MB Ram) and seems to be generally happy about 
things.  I will have to boot into 9.1 to install a few things (the 
Photoshop Installer isn't happy about the media verification CD swap 
that you need to install upgrades...), but that's not a big deal.

So - when was the last time you saw this from a Macintosh OS?

[localhost:~] bob% uptime
  2:40PM  up 20:33, 1 user, load averages: 0.09, 0.26, 0.29

The Terminal app is very cool. I have it open all the time just to watch 
what's happening.  Yes, being a little smart about *nix is pretty key to 
really making the most of this OS.  Is it necessary?  No. If you really 
want to make it a very nice development system though, you should get 
comfortable with unix commands and the cli.

What's missing?  Well, it looks like they didn't get everything just 
so.  PHP is broken, so I'll have to re-install apache with PHP and MySQL 
(not too hard).
For some reason, they don't have SSH installed in the machine. They give 
you the developer tools though (compilers, etc), so you can make OpenSSH 
pretty easily.  I just did, and it was pretty smooth. (instructions 
here: http://www.stepwise.com/Articles/Workbench/2001-03-21.01.html ).

There's no real HTML editor in here, but BBEdit works fine in Classic 
There's no support for a lot of little devices - like Wacom tablets.
There are no pop-up windows, and a lot of the stuff you have gotten used 
to with MacOS is different now.
The dock is actually pretty cool - though I liked the 'dock' that NeXT 
used better.

Some people report that the OS is slow - I don't see it.  Is OS 9.1 
faster? Probably, but they've had 17 years to work on it, so it should 
be.  Multi-threading is way cool - surfing and reading mail while I'm 
compiling OpenSSH is something I'd never even try in Classic.

One thing that was different about the release - in Beta you could su to 
root very easily.  In the release, root login is disabled by default.  
You have to enable it and assign a root password (it used to be the 
admin password, but I guess they aren't using that any more). Anyway, 
they have locked the machine down more so that the 'average' user won't 
go in and rm the system folder.  Probably a good thing.

I like it.  I'll be living in it for a while.


bob davis
bobd at members.evolt.org

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