On Mon, 8 Feb 2021 at 13:12, Will Senn <will.senn@gmail.com> wrote:

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.

I hear you on this one.  I'm sticking with Mojave as well on my Mac laptop, but part of that is also because I refuse to give up on what is now an almost eight year old machine that has no real problems and has all of the hardware and ports I want.  Apple loves to move quickly and abandon compatibility, and in that respect it's an interesting counterpoint to Linux or a *BSD where you can have decades old binaries that still run.

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?

Oh no, not this can of worms... I bet Clem has quite a bit to say about this, but I'll boil it down to this: Mach bombed spectacularly (check out the Wikipedia article, it's pretty decent) and set the idea in people's heads that microkernels were not the way to go.  If you wanted to write a microkernel OS today IMHO you'd need to be fully UNIX compatible, and you'd need to natively write EVERY syscall so that performance isn't horrible.  This has turned out to be much harder than one might think at first glance.  Just ask the GNU Hurd folks...  All said, this is probably a space where the time and effort required to squeeze the last 10%, or 5%, or 1% of performance out of the hardware just isn't worth the time investment.