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PICList Thread
'[OT] Macs'
2005\02\10@052838 by Nate Duehr

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Peter L. Peres wrote:
>
>
> On Wed, 19 Jan 2005, [ISO-8859-1] Hernán Freschi wrote:
>
>> but OS X IS UNIX!
>
>
> No, OS X is Apple's high quality eyecandy gui running on top of
> something that won't fold under its weight, and they made a good choice
> at that imho ;-) Unix is when you have 3 letter commands and 1400-line
> unaudited manpages written by engineers (as opposed to technical
> writers), and the command line completion does not work, and the only
> thing you can click is the ball point pen on the desk. However, when it
> works, it keeps working since those things were designed before someone
> redefined deterministic behavior in operating systems.

That "something that won't fold under its own weight" is the Darwin Kernel, a direct spin-off of BSD Unix's kernel, and all those three-letter commands are readily available in OS X by simply opening a "Terminal" window from the Applications/Utilities folder.

It's a Unix box with a pretty (and very useful) GUI.  They've just hidden that fact well enough the average doofus doesn't realize it.

I ssh into my Macs all the time and do command-line stuff from other machines and even launch X applications on the Sun and Linux boxes and via ssh X forwarding, bring them back to the Mac desktop.  (You do have to install the X server application from the Apple Developer Toolkit for that.)

Nat

2005\02\10@055603 by Lee Jones

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>>> but OS X IS UNIX!

>> No, OS X is Apple's high quality eyecandy gui running on top of
>> something that won't fold under its weight, and they made a good choice
>> at that imho ;-)

OS X appears to be the generic term for the package of an underlying
Unix operating system with a nice GUI layer on top.  More specific OS
version reference is term Jaguar (10.2.x) or Panther (10.3.x); lower
order digit group represents the patch level.

A more correct term for the GUI tends to be Cocoa or Aqua.  That
might be the programming interface to it; I don't write Mac GUI
applications.

>> Unix is when you have 3 letter commands and 1400-line
>> unaudited manpages written by engineers (as opposed to technical
>> writers), and the command line completion does not work,

>From a terminal window, I have all those 2 & 3 & 4 letter commands.
And my command name and file name completion certainly DOES work;
I have to hit escape twice on Mac OS 10.2 (as opposed to once on
some other Unix shells).  And it is trivial to port Unix utilities
to or from Mac OS X -- I write & test tools via OS X command line
then the exact same source compiles on Solaris, HP-UX, & others.

>> thing you can click is the ball point pen on the desk. However, when it
>> works, it keeps working since those things were designed before someone
>> redefined deterministic behavior in operating systems.

> That "something that won't fold under its own weight" is the Darwin
> Kernel, a direct spin-off of BSD Unix's kernel, and all those
> three-letter commands are readily available in OS X by simply opening a
> "Terminal" window from the Applications/Utilities folder.

Exactly.  I spend 2/3 to 3/4 of my time in a terminal window.

> It's a Unix box with a pretty (and very useful) GUI.  They've just
> hidden that fact well enough the average doofus doesn't realize it.

And it has sufficient market penetration that you can get the GUI
tools that you need, like Photoshop, Acrobat Reader, etc.

                                               Lee Jones

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