Quadra 660AV what's with the "PowerPC" label?

Swift Griggs swiftgriggs at gmail.com
Wed Jun 15 15:40:36 CDT 2016

On Wed, 15 Jun 2016, Jerry Kemp wrote:
> I'm not arguing your stance.  Real hardware is the best.  That said, 
> after you have ran out of room due to too many other systems, I would 
> rather have the opportunity to experience A/UX, or Rhapsody or even AIX 
> 1.3x via virtualization or emulation, than to have totally missed the 
> experience.

I completely agree with you. I have had a Shoebill setup for a while, now. 
It just kinda whet my whistle, so to speak. 

> At this point, ver 10.11 and/or 10.12 beta, do you really see much, if 
> any of that NeXT heritage?

I do. Two things are strong reminders that have stuck with OSX. The first 
is Objective-C and the other is the zillion library calls that *still* 
start with "ns" (next step). However, that's a sign of heritage, not a 
tribute to [NeXT|Open]STEP or a return to it's UI.

> It was very obvious in earlier versions of OS X with netinfo and other 
> goodies, then thing slowly began to slip away after 10.4.

TBH, I haven't messed with it much since about 10.6. Now that they've 
embraced this "app store" concept, I'm _done_ with them. I don't believe 
that's going to lead to anything that I'm going to like.

> I see it as an OS with a Mach/XNU kernel, BSD userland and Apple's GUI 
> slapped on top.  Used to be called Aqua, not sure what the current term 
> is.

Great concise description, actually. 

> identity-complex is an interesting term for linux.  As I watched linux 
> move up and grow, and these comments are reflective of my observations 
> from probably 10+ years back, my primary though is that they aren't 
> doing anything new, they aren't bringing anything new to the table.  

Hmm, I dunno about that. There are lots of new things besides just drivers 
and what-not. New network protocols, better fine-grained locking, storage 
features galore like LVM2 caching and asynchronous DRBD solve some 
long-itching business problems. It's come a long way. I just don't like 
where it's *going*.

> They are just re-inventing the wheel (standard Unix software) under the 
> GNU umbrella.

Well, the GNU guys are at least. Talk to Linus and he seems to bridle at 
the assertion that the GNU guys have written a larger volume of high 
quality code than him and his LKM cohorts. I've seen him speak and scoff 
at the "GNU/Linux" moniker.

> Its obvious that the systemd thing is a very controversial one, but I 
> see the move as just one of the "trying to keep up with the other 
> players in the field, i.e. launchd in OS X or svc services in 
> Solaris/Solaris distro's.

AIX has SRC, Solaris has SMF, OSX has launchd, so I guess they wanted to 
jump on the bandwagon. Only those megacorp OSs had nobody to ask or be 
beholden to when they decided to invent a new init system. Linux's 
leadership is just as, if not more independent, but also I'd argue they 
had a bit more responsibility to the "community" than what they showed. 
Linux was built by volunteers. They didn't do much asking before they went 
down a road a LOT of those same volunteers hated (and I'm talking 
programmers, not some whiny user).

> I find it funny people are fighting for the Sys V rc scripts.  I 
> remember how much they were hated when Sun rolled out Solaris 2.x and 
> everyone wanted the BSD rc/rc.local/rc.xxxxx scripts back, because the 
> Sys V system was too complicated.

I'm still irritated by that, honestly. It never "worked out" any better 
than us "greybeards" though it would.  However, it was only a minor "let's 
overcompliate this a bit" compared to the complete head-transplant done by 
systemd. However, Solaris has SMF which actually does use binary opaque 
data (SQLlite database files) in lieu of standard text files. That was 
unforgivable blasphemy in my eyes. However, since they waited until 
Solaris 10 to really go ape with it, I don't care. ZFS got ported 
elsewhere and that was the main attractive feature in SunOS 5.10, IMHO. My 
two least favorite Solaris "features" are SMF and SDS/SVM.

> With the exception of stuff like systemd, many times the old utilities 
> are still there, or are easily acquired.

True. However, systemd replaces an awful lot of the "legacy" systems. I'd 
refer you to the sock puppet. 


> Its just that many, especially new system admins are only aware of new 
> ways, and either don't know, don't have anyone to show them or just 
> don't care about the options available to them.

Oh, I'm sure that will become more and more of an issue as systemd becomes 
"the way we've always done it." to younger Linux admins and users.

> Especially for a system admin, at any level, getting started up is a 
> scary proposition with a steep learning curve.  I'm certain that many 
> here have frequently seen this tagline in the past.

Maybe it's my bias, but I think UNIX is dead-easy to learn, but it does 
take *some* effort in the learning. I teach various UNIX classes on a 
regular basis (commercially not at a school). I'd bring up another old 
addage (Harley Hahn, I think said it):

"Unix is easy to use but harder to learn. Windows is hard to use but easy 
to learn."  

The truth of that slowly sinks in the more you think about it. People can 
usually "click around" until they get whatever they need done on Windows. 
However, doing the same thing in Unix can often be one quick command that 
you can "just type". However, "just" doing it does require a bit of 
learning. Fast food is quick and easy to get, but not that good for you. 
Cooking your own meal is a lot harder and requires patience and learning, 
but will result in better health, more choice, and greater control (unless 
you cook like me in which case a better life insurance policy is in 

> One of the things that keeps me a big fan of Solaris and different 
> Solaris distro's, is that from a command line, depending how you set up 
> your path, you have Sys V commands, BSD commands, linux/GNU commands, 
> POSIX commands, etc.

That's a good point. You've got your BSD stuff in /usr/ucb, your GNU stuff 
on the hook from SunFreeware (well, mirrors nowadays, Sunfreeware went 
commercial) and you've got POSIX & SysV stuff right there also. I didn't 
mean to be *that* hard on Sun & Solaris. You'll have to forgive me. I'm 
still smarting from SunOS -> Solaris. I guess that counts as holding a 
grudge. :-)

> From the command line, you can pretty much set the OS up to behave 
> however you choose, based on your shell and PATH env variables.

Solaris is very flexible. It's also hopeful to me that there are still 
open-source projects predicating what are essentially new operating 
systems using the OpenSolaris codebase.
> If you are running strictly on linux, for the most part, GNU userland is 
> pretty much all you got.

However most of the critical stuff actually accepts both types of syntax 
or there are two subsystems available. I'm thinking of things like 'df' or 
'ps'. You can do 'ps aux' (BSD style) or 'ps -ef' (SysV style) with GNU 
'ps', for example.

> I know the fine people at SCO open sourced the vi license, and there are 
> some other things also out there where you can grab source code and 
> compile Sys V binaries for linux.

Yep. Thank goodness SCO did some good before Zombie-SCO came in and and 
and... ugh. I can't even talk about it.

> This is always a difficult topic to discuss and keep a level head.  The 
> best OS for your server is the one that is stable, does a great job of 
> running your mission critical applications and that there are people on 
> staff trained to support it. A lack of any of those 3 items can be 
> disastrous.

Very well said. 

> At the time, they loved, but were transitioning off of IRIX systems, as 
> the SGI that we knew and sometimes loved, was for all practical purposes 
> gone.

Post-Rick Belluzo SGI was a train wreck. It was so so sad. He was a M$ 
executive and it *showed*. The guy was a complete idiot who made a dog's 
dinner out of everything he touched. He was a useless failure even for a 
business weasel.

> From there, they moved to linux based x86 systems which didn't scale 
> well, then finally to Solaris on SPARC.

You weren't the only ones. 
> IRIX, in and of itself, was a good, but pretty generic Sys V Unix.  It 
> had great hardware and also a lot of great apps written for it, in its 
> day.

It has/had a lot of commercial apps that you won't find on any other UNIX 
variant. Many of them went to Windows after SGI tanked. Some went to 

> One of the other great things about it was the XFS file system.  I guest 
> I just never thought that much about it, at least at the time, but XFS 
> was ported to linux.

It rocks very hard. I think there were a lot of folks in the FreeBSD camp 
who really wanted to adopt it directly, but then the GPL got in the way. 
XFS is truly great, though. I did some file system testing for a private 
lab about 5 years ago. XFS was head and shoulders better than any other 
exant Linux file systems in my tests. It didn't have quite the performance 
of ext4 in some performance tests (it's slower on most metadata 
operations). However, it was still plenty fast for things that matter to 
database applications and that's the bulk of what I end up seeing in 
server farms. Ext4 was categorically terrible in some of my reliability 
tests. In one power-pull test I remember it ate the entire file system and 
I had like 300,000 files in lost+found with inode numbers. "See, I 
recovered for you." Thaaaaankss ext4, I can see a lot changed from ext2... 

> That said, responding to your GUI comment, the GUI isn't the operating 
> system. 

Not in UNIX at least, but it's definitely part of MacOS which is what I 
was thinking about at the time.

> If you have the hardware and the 'hankering, you can download, compile 
> and run CDE, OpenLook, Gnome, XCFE or any X11 window manager you care to 
> take the time to run.

... and all of those are okay, but don't really compare to Aqua/OSX. The 
level of polish and integration just isn't there. Plus, you have all kinds 
of hard-to-understand turf wars when it comes to GNOME and a much lesser 
extent on KDE. I'm a fluxbox user most of the time, because most desktop 
environments I find to be lame and in-the-way.

> I'm a big *BSD fan myself.  There is a lot of great work that get 
> accomplished under the *BSD umbrella, that never seems to get proper 
> attention.

I think most of the BSD folks are okay with that. We work in the shadows 
for the good of mankind (or at least the men who man-up to BSD).  :-)


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