NuTek Mac comes

Swift Griggs swiftgriggs at
Thu Jul 14 12:42:30 CDT 2016

On Thu, 14 Jul 2016, Liam Proven wrote:
> That was one of the things people didn't talk about in the classic days. 
> I supported classic MacOS Macs up until the early noughties. They were 
> horribly unstable.

I had forgot myself until I recently started messing with OS8.1 again. 
Anecdotally, lately I've felt that 7.6 + Open Transport was a bit more 
stable than 8.1. However, neither approaches "stable" by my definition. 
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 

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. 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 embraced OS X early on, but some people hung on as long as possible, 
> and others disliked OS X so much they switched to Windows.

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. 

For some reason, I don't have the same hangups on non-UNIX OSs. It's 
because my biases are weaker outside of UNIX boxen.

> All the now-nostalgicized-over '80s OSes were pretty horribly unstable: 
> Windows 3.x, and indeed 9x; Amiga OS; ST GEM; Acorn RISC OS. None had 
> proper memory protection, few had preemptive multitasking or didn't do 
> it well.

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

> -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.

> 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.  :-)

> > Plus, back in the 1990's I met a couple of people who did own them, 
> > and they were *super-snobby* about it, which also turned me off.
> Well, they had reason. In their time they were /incredibly/ radical 
> computers.

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.

> 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. :-)

> GNOME 2 was all right. Best desktop of its time.

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. 

> GNOME 3's main role seems to be inspiring replacements for itself and 
> providing some foundations for them. ;-)

Ha! I would agree wholeheartedly. 

> I think it's arguably happened, actually, in the form of your next 
> paragraph.

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.

Woman falls into fountain while texting:

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

> > Who knows, maybe Android will become that.
> Nah, not with Chrome OS etc. around.

Didn't Sergei Brin say they'd probably get merged? I seem to remember 
that, but who knows. I don't think I've even seen ChromeOS. 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. 

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".

> 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. 

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

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

> 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, 

> 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 

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.


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