NuTek Mac comes

Liam Proven lproven at
Fri Jul 15 13:44:11 CDT 2016

On 14 July 2016 at 19:42, Swift Griggs <swiftgriggs at> wrote:
> I had forgot myself until I recently started messing with OS8.1 again.

Me too, until I restored a bunch of my Macs to sell them before I left the UK.

> Anecdotally, lately I've felt that 7.6 + Open Transport was a bit more
> stable than 8.1.

I'll take your word,.

> However, neither approaches "stable" by my definition.

Er, no.

> Some of the bugs I've seen have also been really nasty. For example I was
> playing with Aldus Pagemaker from way-back-when and I noticed that after
> you saved over the same file N number of times it'd become corrupt and
> unusable.


Reminds me of horrible compatibility glitches with OS X in the early
days. E.g. one of my clients had Blue & White G3s on a Windows NT 4
network. (Later they pensioned them off, bought G5s, and gave the B&Ws
to me! :-) )

OS X had both AppleTalk and SAMBA network clients, so it could attach
to the NT server's shares either by afp:// or smb:// URIs *and see the
same files*.

But Adobe Photoshop files had resource forks. Open them via SMB and
the app couldn't get at the resource fork and the file looked
corrupted. Save it, and it was.

You *had* to open the files from AFP drive connections -- but the app
and OS had no way to enforce this, no warnings, nothing. And trying to
teach non-techie graphical designers the difference and what to do
was, shall we say, non-trivial.

> The hardware is solid, though. When I fire up NetBSD on the machine it's
> pretty much just as stable as it is on the x86 side, just slower.

Never tried it. I only ever tried Linux on PowerPC once, and that was
to aid in the process of installing MorphOS on a G4 mini. Dear gods
that was a hell of a job, and while it was fun, it wasn't really worth
the effort. I don't have "Amiga nostalgia" because I never owned one
at the time. I respect them -- I wanted one! -- but I went with RISC
OS and that's what I miss.

Actually, I just upgraded my Mac mini with a dual drive upgrade --
SSD+HD. The drives' donor is my old Toshiba desktop-replacement
notebook, which mainly ran Linux. To my great surprise, the Mac could
boot off the PC-formatted SSD and Ubuntu loaded with no mess or fuss,
detected both my screens, and went straight online, no problems at

That's my /second/ ever experience of FOSS Unix on Apple kit!

> I also
> notice that A/UX seems to be much more stable than OS8.1. For example,
> when I fire up "fetch" (an FTP client) that often crashes and locks up my
> 8.1 setup on A/UX 3.1, it still crashes a lot but A/UX doesn't lock up. It
> just kills the client process. Of course, on A/UX, I usually just use the
> CLI for such things anyhow. It was an enlightening experiment, though.

I *must* run up A/UX some time. :-(

> Hmm. I didn't run into anyone who was a dyed-in-the-wool Apple fan who
> wasn't over-the-moon excited about OSX. I thought it was pretty cool,
> myself. However, on freeware UNIX variants I'm the guy who often just gets
> sick of having graphics at all (even though I use Fluxbox 90% of the time)
> and drops down to the framebuffer console for a while for a refreshing
> break. :-) So, OSX was too "slick" for me. I (mostly) like my UNIX uncut.
> :-)

I'm the opposite. :-)

> Yep. Don't forget my old friend DOS, either. Ctrl-alt-delete keys got
> quite a workout on those boxes, too.


I was a DOS master, once. Probably knew the most about it from any OS I've used!

I should have considered it, but I didn't -- partly because it didn't
have a native GUI. Windows became that, in time, but not 'til the
'90s, really. GEM wasn't native and didn't live past the change to the
'286, at least in my world -- and thanks to Apple, the PC version was

I didn't consider it because I was thinking of the home-computer GUI
OSes, but you're right, it deserved to be in there.

> However, it's travails were *nothing*
> compared to say Win98ME, which crashed 3-4 times a day for me on ALL
> machines I tried it on. That was bottom-barrel Windows, IMHO.

98, 98SE or ME? 3 different things.

I didn't like 98 but SE was better. Even ME became OK after it was updated.

Around 2002-2003 or so, I refurbed and gave away cast-off PCs from
some of my clients, giving 'em to friends and relatives who couldn't
afford a PC at that time. (Linux really wasn't ready for non-techies

If they could, I put W2K or XP on them. But I had a couple of machines
where my stock of suitable compatible RAM meant they maxed out at
80MB, 96MB or in one case 128MB. That's really not enough for Win2K,
let alone XP. (I reckon 192MB was the minimum useful RAM for them.)

So, reluctantly, I put ME on them, as the most modern OS they could run.

And with the unofficial community "service pack", a newer browser and
some FOSS apps, you know, actually, ME was not half bad. It was quick
and stable enough for use on a machine with >64MB but <=128MB of RAM.
I was impressed. Yes, at release, it was crap, but they did actually
fix it.

Put Firefox, Thunderbird, WinAmp, VLC and OpenOffice on it, plus
ZoneAlarm and AVG or something, and it was perfectly usable and secure
enough for a non-techie to use it day in, day out.

>> -up OS. In my experience, more stable than OS/2 >=2.
> I've spent all of about five minutes with OS/2. After working for IBM for
> years, and watching that drama just soured me on touching it. I might have
> liked it, though. Who knows? It just didn't have hardly any software I
> cared about and I had 100% certainty that IBM would screw it up.

Not many native apps, no. But it was a better way to run DOS and Win3
ones than any MS OS of the time. I actually bought it, with my own
money, and ran it on my first 2 or 3 PCs.

>> 1980s for me. The expensive kit I couldn't afford were things like the
>> Apple ][ and BBC Micro, or even a fully-tricked-out C64.
> Glad it wasn't just me.  :-)


It's why I collected so many later. All these shiny toys I couldn't
afford when they were new!

> It's a fair point, but something that gets my back up faster than just
> about anything computing-related is unvarnished elitism by spoiled rich
> kids. Ie.. people who think it's not what you know or what you can do with
> what you have - it's only what you own. Ugh.

I can see that.

>> Wouldn't know. I don't do cars. I like BMW bikes, though. Had an R80/7
>> with a sidecar for many years.
> That actually sounds pretty fun and much harder to visualize that at a PTA
> meeting. :-)

> XFCE was a close second for a while and is still going pretty strong. If I
> wanted an "integrated desktop environment" these days (which I don't) I'd
> probably reach for that.

It's what I run on non-Ubuntu distros.

> It has. I agree. The numbers of Android devices are mind-boggling. These
> wasteoids running into water fountains while texting *are* Linux users,
> but I'm not sure they really represent anything but consumers and the full
> implications of that are yet to be seen.

True. But I think Android is going to be what gets the other 2 billion
humans online, by and large, and the implications of that will be

> People here spend *insane* amounts of time on them. In my eyes,
> Smartphones are the new TV. Another opiate of the masses.

Well in a way, yes. But people use them to *communicate* and that's a
good thing.

> Didn't Sergei Brin say they'd probably get merged? I seem to remember
> that, but who knows.

I don't think so.

I've seen both half-hearted "yes probably" statements and also
flat-out denials. Basically, I don't think they know.

> I don't think I've even seen ChromeOS.

No, me either, but I do kinda fancy a cheap light ChromeBook!

> The idea of a
> "cloud OS" is utterly repugnant to me on being-pwned-by-big-brother
> basis. I won't touch that crap. That's one of many reasons why I actually
> do *use* these old OSes and marginal desktops like BSD boxes. Fewer
> attackers are looking to target them.

Fair enough. I find it so useful, the amazing range of stuff you can
do now, all for free, that I'm deeply tied into it.

I could barely work without Gmail, Dropbox and so on.

> I actually think that it might be fairly difficult or impossible today to
> create a commercial desktop OS that wouldn't be full of corporate spyware,
> NSA backdoors, and other unacceptable "features". Business weasels of
> today just can't resist the sirens call of stolen metadata and tracking/ad
> dollars. However, back in the 80s-90s the vendors knew that they had to at
> least give the impression they were competing via making a great OS for
> the consumer. Nowadays, they've nearly dropped the facade and cynically
> decided corporate feudalism trumps consumer empathy every time: witness
> the "subscription model".

Probably. :-(

Recommended reading: Cory Doctorow, /Little Brother/

Free ebook, from the author:

You'll appreciate "Paranoid Linux".

>> I loved my Blackberry Passport -- its OS really is a better Android than
>> Android. However, it just doesn't have the apps.
> I almost got one of those simply on the basis that:
> 1. It's QNX (neat!)
> 2. It's not iOS or Android.
> 3. It still does a lot of "smartphone" things.

Buy mine? Please? :-D

I'm serious, it's for sale.

> Ultimately I didn't do it because I figure it's still "too smart" for me
> to be comfortable, and the battery life can't hold a candle to my current
> dumb phone.
>> BB10 is close, but proprietary. Perhaps Jolla comes closer?
> The stuff that appeals to me is more along the lines of:
> Punkt MP01
> Johns Phone

Oh dear gods. No no no.

I use my phone for many hours a day.

I reckon I use it for *phone calls* about 2-3 times a month and SMS
about 2-3 times a week.  That's almost a legacy feature it happens to

> ... or the one I use that I imported from some Russian-a-stan:

Cool, but no, I use Google Translate and Google Maps and Google
Calendar and things many times a day. A pocket device without them now
is a paperweight to me.

>> I reckon a 64-bit version of Windows 2000, with support for the newer
>> APIs -- to hell with Metro etc., just classic Win32, no DOS, no 16-bit,
>> [...]
> I'd love that. I'd use it for VMs I have to create to access a zillion
> different client VPNs I have to use. Nowadays I use WinXP, or if I must,
> Win7.
>> Anything that runs WINE has native Firefox, surely, plus other browsers?
> Yes, true. I mainly use WINE under NetBSD, which does have Firefox, but
> not Chrome (yet). Since I mostly turn off Javascript and Flash, using
> simple browsers like Dillo are often fine, too. Websites these days are
> basically a huge hairball of code they assume I will run, when all I care
> about is markup and content. I get why it's done, but they can't force me
> to participate. So, browser choices usually aren't the issue. It's usually
> some game or media program from Windows that blows up spectacularly in
> Wine.

OK, fair enough.

> As an aside, I love running suspicious programs that end up having viruses
> or whatever in WINE then when I see them trying to pivot, simply killing
> processes and wiping out the whole damn WINE container. However, with
> online file scanners like virustotal being free, I rarely take even that
> small risk anymore.


Liam Proven • Profile:
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