NuTek Mac comes

Liam Proven lproven at
Mon Jul 18 11:40:16 CDT 2016

On 15 July 2016 at 22:29, Swift Griggs <swiftgriggs at> wrote:
> On Fri, 15 Jul 2016, Liam Proven wrote:
>> 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! :-) )
> Woot! The benefits of working with small clients over time.

Well yes. Really, the clients of a friend of mine -- a Windows expert.
He didn't do Mac stuff; I stepped in to help with that.

> Well, if you ever put hands on another M68k, you might give it a shot. The
> key is to have an extra partition to setup with a BSD disklabel et al. If
> you have enough space (or a spare disk) it's pretty darn straightforward.
> It loads using a MacOS based loader program, so you don't have to ditch
> MacOS, either. However, the install is pretty raw (I like it, but I have a
> feeling you wouldn't).

Honestly, if I ever feel the urge to try NetBSD, it'll be on as
generic a PC as I can find.

> However, it's nowhere near as raw as, say,
> OpenBSD's installer. If you ever happen to install OpenBSD, Liam, please
> have a video camera rolling. I will be able to get all the choice British
> curse-phrases in one go that way.

I have done it in a VM. I was not at all impressed, but I did
eventually get it working.
> Also, just as an aside, your ex-roomy who told you that you weren't liking
> parts of UNIX because you weren't a dyed-in-the-wool coder (not to say you
> aren't smart or technical or can't do what you need to do with coding) was
> right. It's a programmers OS and it panders to coders and admins, others
> will be grousing about weird things they don't need and don't see a reason
> for, items being over-minimized, too spartan, or downright bizzare and not
> enough in the way of well-integrated features for users with other goals
> besides coding. Fully 100% agree with that dude, and I totally acknowledge
> that there is a rusty tetanus side of that double edged sword. That's why
> I still dabble with the darkside and play with GUI-focused OSes, too. It's
> a whole different feel. When I want to code, I plant myself in front of
> NetBSD or FreeBSD.

Indeed yes. But more than that, it's a very specific sub-family of
programming -- the all-manual, all-traditional, C-family type.

Contrast with Windows with rich IDEs and fancy autocompletion etc.,
even for C-family code.

And contrast the C culture which now rules the world with the old-time
non-C-family machines: Lisp Machines, Smalltalk boxes, the niche
Oberon family. Step outside the C mould and you find environments
which their old fans say stomped all over the C family for real

>  When I want to record/compose a song, I break out an
> SGI, Amiga, or maybe someday a Mac (I got a fancy audio rig for my 68k
> Quadra recently).

Read /In The Beginning Was The Command Line/? It's out there for free.
You remind me of that.

>> Dear gods that was a hell of a job, and while it was fun, it wasn't
>> really worth the effort.
> Hehe, I ran MorphOS, too. It was fun for a while, but I can't really
> handle a proprietary OS on a such a small scale.

It has some potential but the niche is closing.

E.g. on the 1st/2nd gen Raspberry Pi, MorphOS or AROS would have been
great. Single CPU core, no wireless anything, small and fast. Ideal.
Linux was too big for them.

The RPi 2 was quad-core. Less of a good fit.

The RPi 3 is quad-core with onboard Wifi and Bluetooth. A poor fit for
the Amiga OSes which don't handle such things at all yet, AFAIK.

>> 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.
> I got one way later, too. Well past when they were new/prime. I have the
> exact same feeling. For me SGIs were the biggest lust-target because I
> actually had played with them long enough to know what I was really
> missing (and I was younger and all that happy stuff).

I understood the lust back in the day, for the awesome graphics power.
But everything has that now, and anyway, I never understood 3D and
OpenGL -- the maths is too much for me.

>> 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 all.
> In my experience using tools like "ReEFIt" make multi-booting OSX and *ix
> or BSD on a Macs way easy, but yeah, they don't need much to "justwork"
> nowadays.

I've put rEFInd on it now and it starts to boot again, but fails. I
will investigate.

> My experience with it is less than 6 months old. Without Macosgarden I'd
> have never got the chance because finding legit disk for it is *hard* if
> you want 3.1. I had all manner of weird install problems because I was
> doing it on a SCSI2SD that isn't an Apple disk so of course Disk tools was
> pissed. The disk tools under A/UX would play nice, actually, but I ended
> up having to do all kinds of CLI jiggery pokery, manually creating file
> systems and what not from an emergency shell, to get A/UX to give up and
> install on the darn thing. It was damn weird (in a cool and unique way)
> once I got it working. and I dd'd off the install images and boot record
> off the MicroSD card once it had finished. I found that they more or less
> worked with Shoebill, at that point, too.

Hmmm. Sadly I think I no longer have any suitable hardware. Unless I
can get my SE/30 fixed.

>> I was a DOS master, once. Probably knew the most about it from any OS
>> I've used!
> I wouldn't call myself a master, but definitely an experienced power-user.
> I did quite a bit of coding using 386|VMM and other such things with
> mostly Borland tools.

Ah, well, I meant supporting it -- networking it, optimising its
memory, etc. I never coded much for it past a bit of QuickBASIC 3 and

(Which were good for their time and much more pleasant than VB.)

> The thing I miss most about DOS was it's "standalone" mentality. You want
> to backup your word processor ? Zip the directory. You want to backup
> Deluxe Paint IIe? Zip the directory. You want to backup Lotus 1-2-3? Zip
> the directory.

Very true. I miss that simplicity.

RISC OS had a similar degree of it in a different way. E.g. GUI apps
have a name starting with an exclamation mark:

They look and act like a single file. But they're not. You can open
them and they're just folders -- the OS handles folders whose name
starts with ! differently. Inside, there are bitmaps for the icon,
help files for any online help, scripts to launch the binaries, and
the binaries themselves -- or BASIC code, which the OS interprets
directly, very very quickly indeed.

So you can open up an app, explore within it, in a way impossible on
Windows or in classic MacOS. (Yes I know about ResEdit. No it's not
the same. ResEdit was a doorway into an arcane realm of black magic.)

> Everyone took a really long drag from the dynamic library joint and passed
> it around in the 90's, too. I took a hit, too, and I get that there are
> many advantages to them, but the big DISadvantage is now many binaries
> become version-specific to a library that may get deprecated in subsequent
> releases.

Heh! True. Never thought of it like that.

> On DOS, that wasn't a problem. Just keep running the old one.


> Sure you can still compile (most) things statically or include old
> libraries, but it's seldom done, fiddly for users, and oft overlooked. I
> often lament how most apps now want "merge" with your OS not simply run on
> their own in a super-self-contained way DOS apps did. I also tend to hate
> registries (not just on Windows, I despise AIX's ODM, too). DOS had no
> such BS, and it's one of the things I liked about it.

It's going away again. The containers trend will kill it, I think. And
a lot else besides.

>> 98, 98SE or ME? 3 different things.
> ME was the one that pissed me off the most and seemed to understand my
> hatred and return it in kind. That OS seemed to me to crash for the
> smallest and most trivial of reasons. Windows didn't seem to get stable
> until the 3.x branch of NT matured into W2k in my opinion. However you are
> WAY more well versed in the M$ black arts, so I believe you when you say
> you could make it behave.

All the Win9x line were hacks, but they were clever hacks. They
behaved OK if you treated 'em right.

I lost a few hundred pounds on one job. A customer bought a 1st gen PC
iPod, meaning Firewire. His Sony Vaio ran 98SE and didn't have the
specs to run 2K. I spent *days* trying to get 'em to talk. No joy.

I later discovered that 98SE only has basic pre-standard Firewire
support, like Win 95B only had basic pre-standard USB support. Win98
can't even mount USB pendrives unless you feed it a proprietary

ME was the first version with full Firewire support. All I would have
had to do was upgrade his Vaio to ME and the iPod would've worked and
I'd have made a decent day's money -- a week's rent.

I didn't know, Apple hadn't documented it yet, and I always work
no-fix, no-fee. So a lot of effort down the drain for no reward.

Everyone hates ME, but it did mature into something usable.

>> It's why I collected so many later. All these shiny toys I couldn't
>> afford when they were new!
> Same here. One man's trash is another man's treasure.

Yep. But I am asking myself, with my much-simplified life, moved here
to a single room in suitcases, how much I need all the houseful of
clutter still in storage in London? I never played with most of it. So
I think I will sell the lot and move on, lighter.

> Whoa. Czech! I love that place. I was there in my 20's for a while and I
> have never seen so many beautiful women in my life


>  (and they will actually
> talk to you occasionally, even if you aren't Fabio).

I don't know who Fabio is, but yes, Czech girls are very friendly. :-)

> The people were super
> friendly and welcoming to me, too. I'll never forget it. Of course it was
> pre-USA-terror-freakout days when folks in Europe loved Americans. :-)

It's not changed that much. Now we Brits attract pity. You will if
President Trump gets in.

But only briefly. WW3 will sort it out.

> Nowadays when I go to Europe I pray people will think I'm from Canada.
> I've had some bad experiences when they found out otherwise :-(


>> It's what I run on non-Ubuntu distros.
> XFCE is a pretty solid workhorse that doesn't do to shabby at staying
> thin.

I love me a vertical taskbar though. Xfce does that better than any
other Linux desktop, but still not well, compared to how smooth it is
on Windows -- or BeOS!

>> 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
>> staggering.
> I'm guessing you are going to be correct, and I try to keep that in mind
> as I bash on it.   :-)
> To me it's a mole/privacy-invader, to others is a stepladder out of
> poverty. So, they win the relative importance comparison, for sure. I just
> wish we could both be satisfied.

Competitors will arise. Every monoculture falls, either to diversity or death.

>> Well in a way, yes. But people use them to *communicate* and that's a
>> good thing.
> Well, riding on trains a lot and seeing people constantly on the phones,
> I see essentially three archetypes of glued-to-their-phones:
> 1. Young women (and men to a slightly lesser extent) who can't overcome
>    their social drive and are just plain addicted to checking every
>    possible social media channel (SMS, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat,
>    Instagram, rinse-repeat). That's pretty much all the do. I'm not sure
>    that communication is beneficial or just plain compulsive/addictive
>    behavior.

Don't knock it, if that's what they want to do.

Never hate on someone because they like things you don't like, so long
as those things do no harm.

> 2. The I-have-a-million-apps-and-feel-empowered-by-technology hipster.
>    This is the guy with not only his smartphone out. He's got the Apple
>    Watch, two tablets, and an (unused) laptop in his bag behind him. He
>    feels like a ninja because in his world, no matter what, "there is an
>    app for that". He's wrong of course, and I'll eat him if we are ever
>    stranded in the wilderness.

> 3. Business-weasels who are surreptitiously glancing at the other weasels
>    to see if they have a more *expensive* phone, laptop, suit, or watch.
>    If not, all is well. Now, he can settle in and try to figure out how to
>    get this malware off his phone he got from surfing porn sites in Chrome
>    from his phone.

Don't care. Decided long ago not to become one.

So long as they aren't banksters screwing over the whole world, they
don't bother me.

> All humor and cynicism aside, I'm still on the fence when it comes to the
> benefit of phones in the first-world. The benefits come with some fairly
> heavy drawbacks, too.

You don't have to accept 'em. Some still have good privacy options. FB
etc aren't mandatory.

>> > Didn't Sergei Brin say they'd probably get merged? I seem to remember
>> > that, but who knows.
>> I don't think so.
> No seriously, I found it. It's in the Wikipedia page for ChromeOS. He
> doesn't sound super-committed, though.

Well quite. :-)
>> I've seen both half-hearted "yes probably" statements and also flat-out
>> denials. Basically, I don't think they know.
> ha! That sounds about right.

>> No, me either, but I do kinda fancy a cheap light ChromeBook!
> TBH, me too. However, the damn thing better run NetBSD. :-)

Nope, ChromeOS. I mean I'd like to dual-boot Ubuntu but there's no
point running something where the hardware is fighting you. Go with
the flow. Be a reed that bends in the wind, not a tree that resists it
and breaks.

> Ohh, I just had an idea... I wonder if they can be hacked to run RISCOS.
> That would be really cool. I'll have to Google it. They are mostly ARM
> boxes, IIRC.

A few are, but most are low-end Intel chips. RISC OS, no, not yet. The
best RISC OS laptop is one of these:

I have a friend who has a RasPi, in a case, velcroed onto the back of
the lid of a Motorola Atrix phone dock. Works very well. Bit of a
lash-up but it goes.

The sad thing is that although RISC OS is maintained, it's very
obsolete. There have been no RISC OS laptops or tablets since the '90s
so although the OS did once contain power-management code, it's all
long-gone and unmaintained. It needs to be brought back, updated and
re-incorporated. Same as the JVM which is 15+y out of date.

And it doesn't support Wifi, either. Or Bluetooth.

>> 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.
> It's true. The panoply of online services offering for free things that
> would have cost thousands (or been impossible) 15 years ago is staggering.
>> Recommended reading: Cory Doctorow, /Little Brother/
>> Free ebook, from the author:
>> You'll appreciate "Paranoid Linux".
> Ha! Yep, I've read it. Good reference: right on point.


>> Buy mine? Please? :-D I'm serious, it's for sale.
> I'd consider it if I hadn't just dropped $150 to buy a buddy's used Punkt
> phone. If you ain't sold it by this time next year, hit me up again ! :-)

I'll have to cut the price 'til it goes. In a year it'll be hopelessly
obsolete and worthless.

>> Oh dear gods. No no no. I use my phone for many hours a day.
> I don't use mine for weeks at a time. When it rings it's never a good sign
> (it's work, someone has died, or someone is wanting something from me I'm
> not going to be happy about).
>> 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
>> have!
> I probably would do the same, but I've always got that little bird on my
> shoulder saying "They are watching you and trying to screw you." I can't
> feel comfortable in what I consider to be such a user-hostile environment.
> So, I'm that Luddite on the train where there are 90 people in the train
> car and nobody under 60 is doing anything but staring at their phone...
> but me. I'm reading a some Stevens hardcover book or a trashy fantasy or
> SF novel. I might be tempted to use a laptop with a wireless 4G data card
> in there, but it's expensive and I get plenty of time on the metal anyway.
> Reading when I'm on the console helps me sharpen my mind (and it always
> needs sharpening, hehe).

Fair enough. Whatever you choose. I've embraced this tech more than
most other near-50somethings. I'm a leading player of Swarm, a
social-networking geolocation game which means I win points by telling
all my friends where I am all the time. You'd *hate* it.

>> 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.
> You'd have fun ridiculing my desk, then. I still have a Rolodex (paper
> one), a (very) old HP calculator, an At-a-glance paper calendar, and in my
> car I have a small bag with 4-5 books of maps. Yes, paper maps. In my
> pocket are a rinky-dink phone (as discussed), a 3" folding knife with
> screwdriver, a Fischer Space Pen, my leather wallet, and usually 4-5 3x5
> notecards in my opposite pocket. Also, I often carry an Sony NEX-7 digital
> camera, if I have my pack. Rarely do I carry a "real" computer et al. It's
> probably because I have a different kind of job and travel needs versus
> you. You sound like you bounce around a lot. I have a pretty static
> routine these days.

I am coming to love my Kindle and can almost see myself getting rid of
all paper books soon. Ditto physical music media. The videos I gave
away to charity shops before I left the UK.

I love the idea of owning a few tiny lightweight devices which
automatically sync everything I own, know, need, am doing and
reading/watching/listening to, all the time, without any intervention
from me. All using free services on cheap COTS hardware running free
OSes. It's terrific.

Liam Proven • Profile:
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