[futurebasic] Re: [FB] Re: ~Vars as parameters (warning: long & somewhat off topic)

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From: Derek Smith <dereksmi@...>
Date: Fri, 27 Apr 2001 16:04:33 -1000 (HST)
You know, a guy can only take so much of this.

> A concern I have with Mac OSX and its 1970's vintage UNIX structure
> and thousands of invisible files is that such "trivial" clean
> installs we have taken for granted under each OS through 9.x will be
> a thing of the past.

Why?  Why?  Have you even tried?  Using the right tools to back up all the
required system files is all that's needed.  Once you move them back to
the target disk, you can hold option down at startup and the firmware
scans for bootable system software on the disks available...you then click on
the OSX icon and all is well.

> I perform sysops in a multi-platform environment. What has endeared
> me most to the Mac OS is its simplicity. Only a handful of invisible
> files (the desktop databases, some file sharing and cleanup stuff),
> single files for the System and Finder, and an easy-to-understand
> directory structure for things like extensions and control panels.
> It's true there can be thousands of system files on a Mac, but most
> are easily identifiable with experience. And problems often could be
> corrected by simply trashing a corrupt prefs file.
>
> I fear with OSX we now enter the same paradigm as Windoze with its
> hundreds, if not thousands, of cryptic DLLs and a hybrid binary-ASCII
> Registry when, if hosed, takes down the entire system. (I was working
> on a friend's PC the other day following a major crash. Can't
> remember if it was a Dell or Gateway, but at any rate the owner's
> manual warned not to attempt a fresh system install... period.)

Why do you fear this?  Why?  Have you actually taken a look at OS-X?
Where do you people come up with this stuff?

Apple has a very clear overview of the entire system architecture
including the file system included on the developer CD that ships with
OS-X.  If you don't know anything about a brand new OS like this, it helps
a great deal to READ UP.

> We also forfeit full control of the GUI to a command line interface.
> I would venture to speculate that as I write this, some hacker is out
> their salivating at the prospect of being able to hack via TCP/IP
> thousands of new Macs being positioned to ship with OSX.

What? No, no, no, see this kind of statement makes others not care for
even *trying out* OS-X, let alone use it on a regular basis.  DO NOT
BELIEVE THIS STATEMENT.

The BSD subsystem is OPTIONAL and you can choose to not install it.  BSD
include the command line and various standard unix apps like pico and tar,
ftp, telnet, etc.  If you don't know what they are and don't care or are
incredibly paranoid like Ken, just leave it out of the install.  Even if
you do install it, you certainly don't have to fire up the command line
for any reason at all.  You can use it to twiddle with things that the
control panel might not yet support, but I mean, come on, that's voluntary
last I checked.

Furthermore, it is not the case that Apple took 1970's era UNIX and put
pretty graphics over it and that it is full of security holes.  When was
the last time you read about an earthshaking bit of hacking done to a unix
machine?  Last thing I read about were DOS attacks on yahoo.com and others
like it, but that's not limited to affecting UNIX machines.

> There goes the security we have so long enjoyed.

If OS-X had a fatal flaw in it security-wise, experienced unix hackers
would have easily exposed it by now.  Stop telling people things like this
matter-of-factly when you are basing it on nothing.

> While it's true that our UNIX systems at work run very stably, when
> they are hosed by a power outage or improper shutdown, you have major
> problems when files are corrupted or overwritten. Just hope it
> doesn't get your data.

Yeah like Macs don't get hosed by power outages or corrupt files when
improperly shutdown.  They do.  I've had a couple crashes and kernel
panics under X as a result of experimenting I did with Cocoa and X has
held up well.

> To be frank, when I boot my Mac, I really don't want to be bothered
> with a log-in, password, multi-user stuff, etc. I want to get to
> work. Soon I will have no option.

Multi-User login features are disabled by default in X retail.  Just like
in OS9....you actually have to turn the feature on.

> Welcome to the world of root and emacs. It hasn't been this much fun
> since edlin.

See this kind of stupidity really gets to me.  Here we have an excellent
new OS to cut our teeth on and before you even use it you hate it.

Why don't I clear up the thing about "root".  Regardless what people saw
in the public beta, you cannot login as root under X.  You cannot type
"su" in a terminal and have a field day.  I know you people saying
otherwise are clueless, because if you had actually tried it under X
retail you would know better.  The only possible way to login as root is
to open up your user data file that the Users control panel creates with
the NetInfoManager app and change your user id to 0.

If you have the command line installed, you can do root actions yourself
by prepending your commands with the "sudo" directive as long as you have
an administrator password.

Why you would want to do any of this is beyond me, as X completely
eleminates the need for a root "user".  Its reserved for system processes
that you don't need to know or care about.  The only time I used the root
controls was when I installed PHP 4 and the newest apache web server on my
powerbook.  The software update control panel will do it for you during
the next round of updates that Apple releases.

Frankly I enjoy the telnet feature under terminal and that's about it.
Use emacs if you want.

I really have to plead that you people at least use the OS for a wide
range of things and try to base your resulting rants in facts.  All the
things I've heard so far go along the vein of "Its not OS 9!"  You're
right, its not.

My hat is off to Jim Henson, who's rant was based on his personal
experience using X.  He hated the bouncing icons and the window animation.
I love how the rest of you pull this stuff out of thin air or things you
read about 70's unix.  Or worse, things you read in an email like Ken's
and then spread around as if you know what you are talking about.

Please, just use it and read the included information.  Its informative
and makes you feel a lot more comfortable with things once you know what
its all there for.  If you still don't like it for whatever reason, you
can contribute something useful to feedback@....

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