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Sunday, 4 May 2008

BrumCon07 - lunch

. . . continuing in too much detail . . .

After the first talk, came the Break for lunch. I took advantage of the gap to do my sound check. While I was trying to do it, three teens, two boys and a girl, approached me to mock me for using a mac. About half the computers that were used on the stage were macs, actually, a number that surprised me. I was somewhat annoyed with the teens as I was trying to do a sound check. They told me that they liked to spend their free time going to the Apple store to start arguments. Part of what was especially amusing / annoying is that I had exactly the same attitude at their age! I also liked getting into arguments with mac users! Gah, karma!

Mac users are fun to argue with because they're so religious about their computers. But, of course, it was completely different when I used to do it. Because it was me and anything I do is justifiable because I do it.

When I was a young'un, PCs ran DOS and Macs ran MacOS. If you liked to do strange things to the operating system on your computer or to type rather than mouse around and generally try to cause small disasters, DOS was way better. Really. It was so clear at the time. Looking back, though, I've lost a lot of certainty. But, now Windoze is the hugest piece of crap ever excreted from a software company and OS X is unix.

I explained that when I started doing Pro Audio, linux's support for it was not adequate and it's gotten better lately, but I'm still on a mac. I also said that I was born and raised in Cupertino, California, so it was the home team for me. And anyway, it's unix, it's not like I'm running windows or something. "It's BSD" the girl said, as the boys seemed confused by unix != linux. And I wondered why the right speaker was silent. They regrouped, it was the BSD that nobody wanted, shoved out the backdoor. I became satisfactorily annoyed and they wandered off. I went to find food ASAP, to become less peeved.

This was too funny. Anyway, for the record, there are some pieces of software which are not implemented well in FOSS, including score notation. I need to run mac or win to run Sibelius. And I'm sure as hell not going to run windows. Unix is better than Windows. Any Unix is better than any windows.

OS X does have a kind of reject history, though. It started out life as the Mach Kernel, invented at Carnegie Mellon. That kernel was not BSD, but was faster because it emulated BSD in an efficient manner. NeXT used it for NeXTSTEP, their weird operating system. This OS was used in some minor advances in Information Technology, like the invention of HTTP (aka, the World Wide Web). The first web server ran on what would become on OS X. MAX was invented on NeXTSTEP. Along with many other things. It's hard to overstate how fucking cool NeXT boxes were when they first came out. By the time I got a job being a sysadmin on a NeXT cluster, though, the glory had faded completely and NeXT OS was about to die. It had such obvious faults. Like the totally proprietary windowing system. Why didn't they just use X windows like everybody else?

Steve Jobs founded NeXT, so when he came back into Apple, he killed the plans to use the (far superior) BeOS, and switched directions so that the new OS would be NeXTSTEP. It's fortunate that this did not turn into a disaster, since it certainly looked like one from the outside. Anyway, OS X is a respectable OS with a respectable history. Although it still has a propreitary window manger. bah.

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