Mookie Returning to the Mac World?

december 4, 2001

It could just well happen. Actually, I can say that it will happen. I will be return to using a Macintosh soon. I have my eyes set on an iBook 600. I haven't used a Mac in years now. Do I miss the platform, yes. But there was never really anything compelling to make me think to returning to the platform in any serious function -- why invest into a Macintosh machine when I already have a PIII on my desktop and a VAIO notebook from work? Here's why. A few weeks back I went to lunch with Darrell. After lunch Darrell needed to pick up a network card, so we stopped by the local MicroCenter (Yea, they're sometimes over-priced, but they were close to where we ate). After Darrell picked out his network card we wandered into the Mac section of MicroCenter. Darrell's has been and still is a die-hard Mac guy.

It was there that I got my first taste of MacOS X. Yea, I heard all the things about it. It's based on the mach kernel, it's all BSD underneath, it's the next-gen MacOS. So what? I got my PIII and I could install Linux on it if I wanted Unix. Well that reason all but fell to the wayside after I saw MacOS X in action.

My first question to Darrell was, "Can I get a shell prompt?" And he launched a shell window with tcsh running. My jaw dropped open. So, I though, yea, OK it's probably just a stripped down version of BSD without all the tools -- like, and I thought of a tool that I love: Perl. So, I typed "perl -v" an by gosh, it had Perl on it. I was sold. A damn good looking GUI and Unix all in one box? That's like having all the goodness of Linux merged with Windows XP -- but better. Apon subsequent playing with the MacOS X and lots of research I've come to conclude that MacOS X is not only the next-gen Macintosh Operating System, but the next generation Operating System period. Why?

Pure and simple, it has all the goodness of Linux/Unix but without all the splintering. There is a standardized location for files and where things should go. Unlike trying to work the differences between RedHat Linux and SuSE Linux, I know where the files are in MacOS X. The GUI dubbed Aqua in MacOS X kicks the shit out of any window manager in Linux. Sorry KDE or Gnome, Aqua is just better. Prettier, more organized, and better thought out.

Also, MacOS X looks better than Windows, but has Unix underneath it. If you don't like Unix, then you don't have to use. If you want to tap into that power, then it's all yours. A tcsh prompt sure beats the hell out of having the cmd promt in Windows NT/2000/XP.

Oh, did I mention that it comes with a developer's CD so that if you don't have the tool on MacOS X that is available for Linux, you can just build it for MacOS X. And all programs from previous MacOSes run just fine in MacOS X.

OK, so here's my question to ya'll reading that might be Mac users, I'm already sold on the iBook. Can you tell me more cool stuff about MacOS X? I'd love to hear it. Got cool URLs for me to look at? I'll probably get my iBook in January or early February. Can't wait to hear from you.

Oh and for ya'll Linux and Windows lovers out there, before you flame me read this: I still love Linux and will continue to use it -- it is great for servers (I run with RedHat Linux) and is cheap too (free). And I still have to use Windows. I use it at home, I use it at work. I use it sometimes because I have to, but if I can ween myself from it, at least at home, then I will.

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