G4 cube (was Re: 68K Macs with MacOS 7.5 still in production use...)

Tor Arntsen kspt.tor at gmail.com
Thu Sep 15 02:30:46 CDT 2016

On 14 September 2016 at 16:51, Liam Proven <lproven at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 14 September 2016 at 15:59, Tor Arntsen <kspt.tor at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On 14 September 2016 at 15:50, Liam Proven <lproven at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> To this day, I have never once used any form of NFS or ever seen it in use.
>> A typo, I presume? NFS, as in Network File System?
>> Used, for example, everywhere where Sun boxes were installed, for our
>> (European) company that would be from around 1989 and onwards (and we
>> were a bit late with Sun), and it's going strong, although (almost)
>> without Sun boxes. And common with NAS, of course.
> No typo. As far as I know, working in tech since 1988, I have never
> ever seen it used.
> All Unix types assume that it is very common. In mixed environments --
> which means more or less every one I've ever worked in -- it isn't.

I still find it very strange. Back in 1988 was probably when I first
got to use a Sun machine, and from 1989 we started using more of them,
but it was certainly a mixed environment - it had to be, we had a lot
of infrastructure from earlier. It took quite a few years until it was
all *nix (and *nux, after a while). The thing is that a Sun machine at
the time more often than not didn't have a disk big enough to keep all
the software (and other files), and/or the sysadm found it difficult
to maintain even a small number of workstations or servers
individually. So at that time it was extremely common to have a lot of
the software accessible via NFS.  In other words, an NFS path was
usually part of the computer user's $PATH.

So unless there was only a single *nix machine on campus there would
be NFS. I saw the same thing in other local companies and in other
European countries, e.g. Italy, which I visited extensively back then.
Companies would have different environments, but most of them would
have a small number of Unix servers and maybe a single workstation,
the rest would be terminals. And later Windows PCs. The small number
of Unix boxes would in any case always use NFS in one way or another.

Back to 2016. In an environment with mixed Unix, Linux and Windows
computers, the shared documents are simply made available via NFS for
*nix and Samba for Windows. From the same server(s). Been that way
forever by now. If there's a single *nix box which needs anything from
somewhere else then NFS is the natural choice, mixed environment or

In any case I'm absolutely certain that as far as NFS is concerned
there couldn't and can't possibly be any difference in usage between
Europe and the US.  I spent so many years travelling between various
sites on both sides of the Atlantic pre- and post-2k, and I never
noticed anything different there. I actually suspect that you *have*
seen NFS in use, you just didn't notice it. A bit like not noticing
that the USB stick runs Linux.. which happens. And various other more
or less surprising places.

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