Editorial 002

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The Way Linux Shoulda Been Done

- And speaking of Apple's new operating system, Mac OS X (see yesterday's article below), if you didn't know, OS X is based on the industrial-strength operating system UNIX. This involved a complete rewrite of the Mac system, a monumental undertaking, but it adds stability, better memory management, and a plethora of other benefits. While using OS X I am often reminded of the similarities between it and Linux, another operating system based on UNIX.
    Out of curiosity and because I happened across a copy of Linux that was free with the purchase of a magazine, I installed Linux on my PC about a year ago just to see for myself what all the hype and hoopla was about. This was back when Linux seemed to be forefront in all the computer news.
    Even though the version I have, Corel's, installed quite easily and had a desktop similar to the Mac and Windows, that's about where the ease of use and user friendliness ended. The first time I tried to install a program myself that I downloaded from the internet (and there was precious little available for anyone other than programmers and network administrators) I quickly learned that Linux had a very long way to go before it would ever be a threat to either Windows or the Mac for the average desktop user. I never could figure out how to install a program and I even 'read the manual' which used words meaningless to the average non-techno wiz like myself. Maybe Linux has improved drastically since then, but I doubt it. Linux may technically be free, but you get what you pay for (which is why open source efforts like Linux will never be commercial successes).
    Anyway, after installing Mac OS X and having this background in Linux, it was quite a pleasant surprise to discover that my Mac running OS X still felt and worked much like my Mac always has except with all the benefits of UNIX plus all the other improvements Apple has introduced. Like, the display is absolutely breathtaking compared to any other operating system. I won't bore you further with how this is done, but suffice it to say that OS X is the way Linux shoulda been done.
    Perhaps Linus Torvalds (creator of Linux) knows this which is why he issued a most insulting and inflammatory statement about Mac OS X shortly after its initial release. Sour grapes. hmmph!

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Copyright © 2001 by Gordon L Wolford.
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