July 27, 2005

Co-habitating OSX and Linux

Posted in Commentary at 5:43 am by Michael Sweeney Media

Now, a disclaimer, I have not done this (yet). I do not have an Intel Dev box to try this on but Apple took it seriously enough to press the orginal author to take down his directions. But, through the magic of Google’s cache, you too can read the directions. In my case, I printed off the pages as a PDF for future reference. Shame on Apple professional or not with the take down order.

Apple got where they are today by hacking in a garage. Hackers will take Apple to the next level when they finalize the move to Intel chips and they damn well better get used to the idea. The genie is out of the bottle, Elvis has left the building and he isnt coming back any time soon. Apple would do better to enlist the aid the hacker/maker community and see what cool ideas could come of it. Go to MAKE magazine and put out a challange, smallest OSX portable clocked at 3Ghz (just an idea!), run your boat off an Intel based OSX running embedded controller and so on. Sounds alot like Linux doesnt it? I use Windows as you may have guessed reading the blog and I use Linux of several types. I now use OSX on a daily basis. They each have good points and bad points but one of the best points to have is an OPEN system where people can tweak to their hearts desire. Linux wins that race hands down and some amazing things have come from it. Although the self-piloting SUV running OSX as the brains definitely makes the grade.

With the migration to Intel chips, Apple is at the tipping point of it’s life. It will tip over one way and take over the world (Thanks Pinky and the Brain) and if Apple tips the other way, it will go the way of Kaypro, Osborne and many other “coulda-beens”. I understand that Apple is trying very hard to maintain control of the software/hardware to keep up the famous quality of Apple, but with that said, we are talking about Intel chips and there are billions of them waiting for a copy of OSX. There are many, many people who would sacrifice some stablity to have OSX running on their Dell, HP, Compaq, E-Machine(well, maybe not an E-Machine) and others. The chance to dump Windows and all the daily crap that goes with it. In many cases, if the video worked well enough, they had sound and the damn thing booted up each day with a bluescreen or lockup, they would be happy campers. These folks do not need nor do they want perfection, they just want the damn PC to work 95% of the time with the understanding that very little is perfect (my wife excepted 🙂 ). I know my in-laws just want to use the word processor and get their email and yet, they are being force into becoming virus and spyware experts due to the constant barrage of crap hitting their Windows box. I personally dumped my Windows box for the Mac after spending HOURS and HOURS trying to stay on top of the AV, the spyware, the registry cleaning etc..etc..etc. I resented Apple in way for making me have to buy yet another box (the iMac) when I have perfectly good hardware already in the form of a Dell intel based system. I really did think about stuffing Darwin on it but I have already played the Linux game and I did not have time for a repeat with Darwin.

Maybe Apple will get the message but I dont have high hopes. I lived through the dark days with Apple when they killed off the clones and almost went under themselves. Closed systems never prosper and I pray they do not repeat history.

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