­ Hi,
I'm a UNIX man since the days of Sys4R4. Since then I run Linux and nothing else than Linux, no dual, triple, quadruple boot into anything else. To be honest I don't like Apple because it's an elitist system: People pay at least one thousand bucks just for the feel like being part of a superior elite. Under Sys4R4 me and 50 others shared one big resource: no place for any elitist movement.

I was introduced to Unix in the mid 1990's through my wife's VMS account at UT Arlington, where they had a portal to the WWW. I was able to download Slackware with the 0.9 kernel on 11 floppies including X11. I installed this on my system at the time - either a DEC Rainbow 100B? or a handme down generic PC. A few years later at Western Illinois University - they had some Sun Workstations there and I loved working with them. It would be several years later, though, that I would actually use unix in a work setting - 1998. I don't even remember what brand of unix, but I think it was again, sun, though no gui, so not as much love. Still, I was able to use rcs and and when my Windows bound buddies lost a week's work because of some snafu with their backups, I didn't lose anything - jackflash was the name of the server - good memories :). However, after this it was all DOS and Windows until, 2005.

I'd been eyeing Macs for some time. I like the visual aesthetics and obvious design considerations. But, in 2005, I finally had a bonus big enough to actually buy one. I bought a G5 24" iMac and fell in love with Mac. Next, it was a 15" G4 Powerbook. I loved those Macs until Intel came around and then it was game over, no more PC's in my life (not really, but emotionally, this was how I felt). With Mac going intel, I could dual boot into Windows, Triple boot into Linux, and Quadruple boot into FreeBSD, and I could ditch Fink and finally manage my unix tools properly (arguable, I know) with Homebrew or MacPorts (lately, I've gone back to MacPorts due to Homebrew's lack of support for older OS versions, and for MacPorts seeming rationality).

Anyhow, I have thoroughly enjoyed the Mac ride, but with Catalina, the ride got really bumpy (too much phone home, no more 32 bit programs and since Adobe Acrobat X, which I own, outright, isn't 64 bit, among other apps, this just in not an option for me), and with Big Sur, it's gotten worse, potholes, sinkholes, and suchlike, and the interface is downright patronizing (remember Microsoft Bob?). So, here I am, Mr. Run-Any-Cutting-Edge-OS anytime guy, hanging on tooth and nail to Mac OS Mojave where I still have a modicum of control over my environment.

My thought for the day and question for the group is... It seems that the options for a free operating system (free as in freedom) are becoming ever more limited - Microsoft, this week, announced that their Edge update will remove Edge Legacy and IE while doing the update - nuts; Mac's desktop is turning into IOS - ew, ick; and Linux is wild west meets dictatorship and major corporations are moving in to set their direction (Microsoft, Oracle, IBM, etc.). FreeBSD we've beat to death over the last couple of weeks, so I'll leave it out of the mix for now. What in our unix past speaks to the current circumstance and what do those of you who lived those events see as possibilities for the next revolution - and, will unix be part of it?

And a bonus question, why, oh why, can't we have a contained kernel that provides minimal functionality (dare I say microkernel), that is securable, and layers above it that other stuff (everything else) can run on with auditing and suchlike for traceability?


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