Friday, June 15, 2018


Carolina in My Mind

Subtitle: UNIX in my Mind

Excuse me for being sentimental but I have been using an Apple Mac Mini for the last few days.  And of course this is a computer based on the UNIX operating system, albeit one kernel'd from Mach, a variant of UNIX that is probably my least favourite ever, and I choose my critical words carefully.

I reflect that I have been using UNIX or UNIX like computer systems since 1979.  This is just under 40 years.   And since the first day of using Cromix and PC/IX and System 7 it was pretty much love at first command line.

Compared to the other Operating systems I was familiar with, names like  VSPCJCL OS/360, CP/M,  CDOS and some other fledgeling Personal Computer products, it was a totally and utterly different world.  A much better world.

A Windows User?
So in 2018 can Marcus explain with any credibility why I am a Windows  (Server) user.

First you should know that Linux is the modern day replacement for UNIX.

So to explain the choices

Linux:  Too many distributions, too many changing applications and ways of doing the same thing.  The clearest example is of Graphical Desktops.  Many distributions (example Mint) have multiple versions of the OS with differing desktops.   And there are other schisms within Linux such as systemd, and Distro Upgrades and Distribution Backups which are handled between poorly or not at all.

Which bring us to Apple OSX or macOS as it is now rebranded.   The Apple Operating system which I must admit fulfills so many of my critical requirements.  Based on UNIX  (albeit Mach kernel), single Dependable if rather lacklustre and low resolution GUI Desktop.   The power of a GUI with the ability to drop down into UNIX command line whenever I need.

It's all great except for one thing:  Power!  Apple hardware has just not kept pace with alternate platforms like Windows and Linux. 

The fastest Apple computer, currently an iMac Pro is still less than half as powerful as the computer that I built 2 years ago now.  It is a total and utter disgrace.  It is no secret that Apple derives most of its revenue now from the Smartphone market and computers for the Power user or non laptop user have been out of their minds now for several years.

Windows Then
So Microsoft Windows Server still ends up being the best of the trio.  Windows contains some stupendously stupid components, but I can ignore them.  Also, I can add in UNIX functionality to Windows 10 via the native Linux Subsystem and on the server platform I stick to the amazing Cygwin

But UNIX though

A week spent with my 16GB i7 Mac Mini, complete with SSD though has shown me that although it is slow, I cannot deny that I still desperately miss native UNIX

I've even invoked an Apple Automator script 

on run {input}
   set the_path to POSIX path of input
   set cmd to "vim " & quoted form of the_path
   tell application "System Events" to set terminalIsRunning to exists application process "Terminal"
   tell application "Terminal"
      if terminalIsRunning is true then
         do script with command cmd
         do script with command cmd in window 1
      end if
   end tell
end run

that now invokes the vim editor whenever I click on any .txt text file.   

Because to me,  vi   (it is a link in macOS to vim) will always be my most natural text editor.

And with that 

echo Carolina in my mind |  sed "s/Carolina/UNIX/g"

Carolina in my Mind

The Mach System
Critique of Mach walfield
Microkernels are just stupid
Mac Pro delays