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A Technical History of Apple's Operating Systems

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the does-turtle-count dept.

244

An anonymous reader writes "As part of his 1680-page book Mac OS X Internals: A Systems Approach, Amit Singh of kernelthread.com wrote a very detailed technical history of Apple's operating systems. Since he had to cut down on the history chapter because of the book's already too-large size, most of this chapter didn't make it to the printed book. Singh has made available the history chapter as a free PDF. The file is 140 pages long, and is generously filled with figures and screenshots. It starts with the internals of the original Apple I and goes through a tour of all operating systems Apple dabbled with, including internals of A/UX, Lisa OS, and such. It even covers details of outside influences like the Xerox Alto, STAR System, Smalltalk, and Sketchpad, and closer to home things like Mach, NeXTStep, and OpenStep."

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Apple ][ (5, Insightful)

BWJones (18351) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776030)

One of the coolest things about the Apple I and Apple ][ was that Apple Computer included the schematics for *all* of the motherboard and CPU design. Everything was documented so that users could build interfaces with both the software and the hardware with a minimum of fuss. So, even though Amit Singh calls the manual included with the Apple ][ as a "preliminary manual, it was remarkably complete.

Despite how far we've come, there are time I really miss my old Apple ][.

Re:Apple ][ (1)

zlogic (892404) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776051)

*sigh* I remember when TVs made in the Soviet Union contained schematics so that you could repair them yourself (I'm not joking!)

Re:Apple ][ (2, Interesting)

Amouth (879122) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776069)

I had an old sony tv that needed a delay loop replaced.. it isn't a hard task when you have the schematics.. i called sony.. they said they could sell them to me for 150$.. i told them they where crazy.. and i bought a new tv

Ironic Irony (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15776221)

Boy, there's a contradiction in terms: "technical" and "Apple".

Now, now, fanboyz: back to "making a web site, listen to some iTunes", 'cause "I'm a Mac!"

Re:Apple ][ (5, Insightful)

booch (4157) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776347)

I think that's what they wanted you to do. Even if you didn't buy a Sony TV, a substantial percentage of people will, so Sony wins by making you buy a new TV instead of fixing your old one. Or they win by charging you an outrageous price for the schematics and repair manuals.

And the reason that they do this is that they (and you) don't have to pay the real cost of disposing of the old TV. Instead of recycling the TV and reclaiming all the materials, you'll probably just toss the old TV in the trash. And the hazardous chemicals will leak into the soil. Our descendents will have to clean that shit up eventually, which will cost tons of money. But we don't have to pay that, so we just go get a new TV cheap.</rant>

Re:Apple ][ (2, Insightful)

Gospodin (547743) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776509)

Our descendents will have to clean that shit up eventually, which will cost tons of money.

Or they'll have developed pollution-eating bacteria and it'll cost about a nickel. We really don't know, do we?

Apple ][-Bit player. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15776537)

Interesting? Who do I have to pay to get an (+3: interesting)? Seriously it isn't a conspiracy. The reason is why you have an AFFORDABLE (ok cheap) TV. You want something that's repairable? Expect to pay more.* Your "recycling" comment doesn't even have a thing to do with "repairable".

*Not just the TV, but the equipment and skills to do a repair. Can you say MINORITY? I thought you could.

Re:Apple ][ (1)

Ucklak (755284) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776074)

TVs sold in the US used to contain schematics. I haven't bought any recently butI did install a DLP recently and it didn't have any schematics.

Re:Apple ][ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15776198)

*sigh* I remember when TVs made in the Soviet Union contained schematics so that you could repair them yourself (I'm not joking!)

OK. You KNOW you are just asking for it, don't you? You left yourself WIDE open.

My first stereo system came with schematics as well, and it was a cheapie too.

Schematics included (1)

the_doctor_23 (945852) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776677)

Miele washing machines in Germany ship with complete schematics and timing diagrams taped to the underside of the hood.

Re:Apple ][ (4, Interesting)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776066)

was that Apple Computer included the schematics for *all* of the motherboard and CPU design.

God, we have come a long way haven't we - now Apple will cease & desist you for linking to their Service Manual.

God, how I miss the old Apple :-(

Apple ][-Uphill both ways. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15776442)

"God, we have come a long way haven't we - now Apple will cease & desist you for linking to their Service Manual."

God, we have come a long way haven't we? Now we have a cure for bubonic plague.

"God, how I miss the old Apple :-("

God, how I miss the old diseases :-(

Re:Apple ][-Uphill both ways. (1)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776628)

God, how I miss the old diseases :-(

Oh yes, I agree with you completely - Apple closing off their service manuals is just like wiping out a disease.

Probably even more beneficial to the human race in many ways - thanks for your insight.

IBM did this too... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15776162)

The IBM PC Technical Manual had schematics AND an assembly language
listing of the bios.

Re:Apple ][ (5, Interesting)

beadfulthings (975812) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776245)

My Aged Mum, now in her eighties, bought the first Apple ][ ever sold in her small Southern city and shortly thereafter traded up to the ][c. She was an artist by trade. The first thing she did was to construct a couple of cables that she needed for her work (video was one that I recall). Then she sat down with the manuals, learned Applesoft BASIC, and wrote a program or two that enabled her to generate patterns for complex weaving with a large loom. Eventually she acquired an interface that allowed the Apple to actually drive the loom--it was a complicated system of switches and relays that raised and lowered the various harnesses or frames on the loom. She did all of this when she was past fifty and with no prior training at all, though she was regular in attendance at users' group meetings once a users' group was formed.

I still have (and treasure) bits of cloth of complex, intricate design, created and produced with the aid of that Apple. She truly made it an extension of herself.

Re:Apple ][ (1)

gb506 (738638) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776397)

That's rock and roll all day long.

Re:Apple ][ (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776702)

Consider this post modded +1, Fantastic.

Not as good as the Beeb though (4, Interesting)

Space cowboy (13680) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776292)

For me, the best 8-bit computer ever was the BBC micro - I doubt it ever gained any traction over here in the US, but *man* was that a well-designed and elegant machine.

The OS was fully vectored and modular, the BASIC language had procedures and functions, as well as a built-in assembler that could access BASIC variables, but the hardware design was what made it stand out. It had every i/o port under the sun - serial, parallel, "user i/o", other dedicated ones for a network (Econet), to support floppy disks and hard disks, and even plug in a second co-processor (there were 8086, Z80 and 32000 variants I think). You could get Pascal and C for it, and it supported 80-column text on a monitor.

And to bring it slightly back on-topic, the documentation was simply excellent - the "Advanced user guide" told you just about everything you needed to know about the machine, from the event i/o to interrupt-programming, documenting the OSxxx calls, and all the port i/o etc.

Nothing since has come close to the flexibility of that machine given the design limitations at the time, and it's a tribute to the designers.

Of course, such largesse can be abused [grin] See My first and only virus-writing incident [slashdot.org] ...

Simon

Re:Apple ][ (1)

booch (4157) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776364)

The Commodore 64 also had a schematics fold-out in the back of the system manual. They appeared to be quite complete.

Re:Apple ][ (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776377)

The Commodore 64 also had a schematics fold-out in the back of the system manual. They appeared to be quite complete.

At least some Amigas came with them as well, I think at least all the OCS Amigas, but I only had a manual for my A500. I'm pretty sure A1000 and A2000 also came with schematics.

Re:Apple ][ (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776578)

They were still doing this in 1991, when I bought my A500+. And I remember thinking "Damn, this thing's barely documented" when I got it. Full circuit diagrams, and a guide to Workbench 2.

I don't think I got a printed manual at all with the Thinkpad I bought a few months ago, just a fold-out set-up card.

No they didn't (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776714)

"One of the coolest things about the Apple I and Apple ][ was that Apple Computer included the schematics for *all* of the motherboard and CPU design."
1. Apple didn't make the cpu. MOS did. It was a 6502 just like the one that runs Bender.
2. At no time did apple include the "schematics" of the 6502.
My Commodore64 also came with the schematics and the pin outs of all the ports.

Apple has given Apples a bad name. (-1, Troll)

davro (539320) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776045)

Apple is history.

Re:Apple has given Apples a bad name. (1)

davro (539320) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776114)

opinion assumption, opinion assumption ""Do not feed the trolls.""

1680 pages? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15776048)

Why not shoot for 2000 and turn off even more readers?

Those were the days... (2, Interesting)

gasmonso (929871) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776053)

I remember making "awesome" games in the 40x40 graphics mode. Not too easy to make a game in a couple hours anymore ;)

http://religiousfreaks.com/ [religiousfreaks.com]

Re:Those were the days... (-1, Offtopic)

sgt_doom (655561) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776108)

Super site, gasmonso!!!!!

A great book, recently published, by Bart D. Ehrman, called Misquoting Jesus [harpercollins.com] might be good reading for you.

Re:Those were the days... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15776243)

Fuck you. I turned sigs off. I don't want to read about your lame ass site, asshole.

Re:Those were the days... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776392)

Fuck you. I turned sigs off. I don't want to read about your lame ass site, asshole.

One wonders just what the ratio of CommentsBitchingAboutTheSig(bytes) to Sig(bytes) is like.

The test in parentheses would be subscript, but slashdot doesn't allow it. I can have sup, but not sub?

Re:Those were the days... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15776416)

Too bad you got modded down. gasmonso isn't trying to annoy people with sigs disabled. No, he's abusing Slashdot to try and increase his site's PageRank.

Sigs get the rel="nofollow" attribute added to them, as do all posts. (Check it out: view the source for this link, and see the rel="nofollow" added. [google.com] ) There's one exception: posts posted with the +1 Karma Bonus. Posts made with the Karma Bonus do NOT include rel="nofollow". Go ahead, check out the source of gasmonso's comment [slashdot.org] : no rel="nofollow" because he posted using the karma bonus.

gasmonso always posts with his not-a-sig at the bottom to enable him to spam Google with that link.

(To check the source, I'd highly recommend using Firefox and it's "View Selection Source" feature. Just select the text around the link, right click, and hit "View Selection Source". Then check for rel="nofollow".)

So the "fuck you" is totally appropriate, although not just for people who have disabled sigs. gasmonso's acting like a spammer, trying to leach of Slsahdot's PageRank.

Re:Those were the days... (1)

soft_guy (534437) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776439)

Not too easy to make a game in a couple hours anymore

I think that depends on what kind of game you are trying to make.

What I want to know is (1, Funny)

Clockwurk (577966) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776059)

Who liked MacOS prior to OSX?

What were you smoking?

Where can I buy some?

Re:What I want to know is (3, Interesting)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776139)

Actually, it wasn't that bad... in the earliest iterations, it was miles above what Windows could provide, and for ordinary users, it was rather slick. I remember as a 16-year-old the day I saw the Macintosh 'Classic' for the first time when my mother brought it home from work for the weekend (the Mac Classic form factor was fairly brand new then) - compared to the Windows 2.0/DOS rig on my parents' shiny new Amstrad "2286" (remember DOSSHELL? - Windows 2.0 it was pretty much like that)? The Mac blew away Windows/DOS in usability, presentation and performance. It was damned slick.

Of course, time went on, and things changed radically since then, but Mac UI development was, in its early days, miles beyond what Microsoft could muster.

Now - why MacOS decided to stick with the same setup in spite of Win95/98? Dunno.

/P

Re:What I want to know is (4, Informative)

TomHandy (578620) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776283)

It's not so much that Apple "decided" to stick with the classic Mac OS for so long despite Win95/98 as much as that they were just in a total mess in terms of their next gen OS stuff. Apple spent a lot of the 90's trying to figure out a new Mac OS, and a lot of the future was supposed to be in the original projects codenamed Copland and Gershwin (the original Mac OS 8 and Mac OS 9...... what eventually came out as Mac OS 8 and Mac OS 9 had little to do with this). Copland was originally supposed to be a totally modern OS, and Gershwin would apparently have had even more radically new elements, a lot borrowed from the Taligent collaboration with IBM on an OS codenamed "Pink". But none of this ever panned out, and all Apple could do was release the commercial Mac OS 8 and Mac OS 9 OS's as stopgaps. Apple had considered buying BeOS once it became clear that the internal Copland project wasn't working out, and they ultimately ended up buying NeXT. For all intents and purposes, Apple became NeXT, and Mac OS X can be seen in many ways as the ultimate development of NextStep, rather than the classic Mac OS.

Re:What I want to know is (4, Informative)

TomHandy (578620) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776327)

Actually, looking through the Mac OS X Internals PDF, there's a whole section there about Apple's quest for a new OS........ this goes into a lot of detail about all the options Apple considered. This is actually some great reading if you're curious about all of this.

I did (5, Insightful)

LKM (227954) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776150)

Daring Fireball wrote about this recently [daringfireball.net] . Here's the most important quote of the article:

The difference between the old Mac OS and Mac OS X isn't that it used to suck but now it's great. The difference is that Mac OS X's appeal is broader; it is good in more ways than the old Mac OS was.

Yeah, I did use and like Mac OS 9, Mac OS 8 and System 7. I did smoke lots of weed, but that had nothing to do with it. There are two things to consider: First, it went up against crap like Windows 3.11 and Windows 95. Second, it was the prettiest, most easy-to-use OS, even with cooperative multitasking and lack of memory protection.

Mac OS X added a lot to what makes a Mac great, but Mac OS 9 had a lot going for it, too.

Re:I did (4, Funny)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776196)

... it was the prettiest, most easy-to-use OS, even with cooperative multitasking and lack of memory protection.

Memory protection used to be explained in the following way:

  • UNIX - if a program needs more memory, the system gives it more memory
  • MacOS - if a program needs more memory, the system tells you and you have to give it more manually and try again.
  • Windows/DOS - if a program needs more memory, your computer just crashed.

For all practical purposes this was the state of things for many years.

That's not Memory Protection (2, Informative)

LKM (227954) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776250)

Technically, that's not memory protection, but memory consumption. Memory protection protects the address space of each application from other applications, so applications can't overwrite other application's memory data.

Prior to Mac OS X, all Mac applications shared one common memory space, which had the advantage that hacking was simple, but had the disadvantage that one rogue application could crash everything, or even worse, change other applications' data without anyone noticing.

Re:I did (4, Insightful)

Haeleth (414428) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776395)

For all practical purposes this was the state of things for many years.

It's a rather misleading description, though. More accurately:
  • UNIX/Windows NT/OS X - if a program needs more memory, the system gives it more memory; if there is no more memory to give, the program is terminated.
  • Windows 9x - if a program needs more memory, the system gives it more memory; if there is no more memory to give, your computer crashes.
  • MacOS 8/9 - if a program needs more memory, the system tells you and you have to fiddle around with a fussy little dialog box to give it more manually and try again, at which point another program will complain that it no longer has enough memory. Repeat ad infinitum, all the while gritting your teeth and reciting the mantra "this is better than Windows, this is better than Windows" until you almost believe it.

Re:I did (1, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776571)

if there is no more memory to give, the program is terminated.

On most UNIX systems, if there is no more memory to give then malloc() fails (returns NULL) and you can then try freeing memory elsewhere and trying again, or go into some recovery mode (typically make sure everything is saved and then quit).

On Linux, if there is no more memory to give, then a random process is terminated.

Re:I did (2, Insightful)

LKM (227954) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776601)

So your personal mantra would be "crashing is better than telling me if there's a memory problem"?

Re:I did (0)

p4ul13 (560810) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776611)

UNIX/Windows NT/OS X - if a program needs more memory, the system gives it more memory; if there is no more memory to give, the program is terminated.

Terminated or cached out into virtual memory. Hell, Windows and MacOS both had virtual memory. Might not have been executed as well as it is today, but it was there...

Re:I did (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776744)

1) Windows 9x - if a program needs more memory, the system gives it more memory; if there is no more memory to give, your computer crashes.
2) MacOS 8/9 - if a program needs more memory, the system tells you and you have to fiddle around with a fussy little dialog box to give it more manually and try again, at which point another program will complain that it no longer has enough memory. Repeat ad infinitum, all the while gritting your teeth and reciting the mantra "this is better than Windows, this is better than Windows" until you almost believe it.


You think Option 1 is better than Option 2? I hope you don't have any say in the design of things like aircraft or cars ... all those fussy little gauges; so much more obnoxious than just crashing.

If a program crashed because it was out of memory, and you consequently raised its memory limit and then tried to reopen it, and had insufficent memory, that was your cue to either buy more RAM, or quit some other programs. (Or increase the virtual memory limit, at the expense of speed.)

Beats the hell out of just crashing in my book.

Re:I did (2, Interesting)

TrekCycling (468080) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776607)

Very true. However I too used a Mac originally. It was my first computer, the first one I owned. I played with Commodore 64s, etc. when I was younger. But when I got to college Apple was the defacto standard. I bought myself a Macintosh Performa for like $1500 and on that machine not only learned computers (my high school didn't have the best technology programm back from 89-93), but I eventually taught myself to program. I walked down to Powell's Technical in Portland, Or. and I picked up "Learn C on the Macintosh" [powells.com] by Dave Mark. Great book for me at the time and a great introduction. It was very easy, very painfree and I put my toe in the water, knowing that I didn't have to worry because the Mac *just worked*.

13 years later this is what I do for a living. So no matter how bad the Mac was back then, for many, including myself, it was a jump start into the world of computing and programming in large part because it just did its job and was easy to use. It was a good place to start. I now run Linux at home and have no interest in Macs any longer. But even without multi-tasking or a robust operating system, the Macintosh did its job for the time.

Re:I did (1)

Penguin Programmer (241752) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776262)

Second, it was the prettiest, most easy-to-use OS, even with cooperative multitasking and lack of memory protection.


Exactly. Graphical file managers _never_ got better than the one in Mac OS 9. In fact, they've gone downhill from there (OSX's is a piece of shit). I use the command-line instead of a graphical file manager now (and have since I quit using Mac OS 9 in 1999ish), just because it's easier, faster and better than any graphical file manager.

Re:I did (1)

LKM (227954) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776323)

Graphical file managers _never_ got better than the one in Mac OS 9. In fact, they've gone downhill from there (OSX's is a piece of shit).

I tend to agree. The spatial Finder was a great idea. I like the addition of the NeXT-style browser in Mac OS X, but unfortunately, the new Finder really feels like Frankenstein's Monster, taking parts from everywhere without properly integrating them.

I use Mac OS X's Finder, and it's better than Windows or Nautilus, but there's still a huge amount of work to be done. Unfortunately, we get iWeb instead :-)

Re:What I want to know is (3, Interesting)

peragrin (659227) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776215)

I loved Mac OS 8. I never really used OS 9 but by then it was going up againist win2k.

Mac OS 8 went head to head with win98. The only better choice at that time was BeOS . Yet another good OS killed by an illegal monopoly of a bad OS.

Hell BeFS featured a database File System of the likes MSFT still can't create. and they did it on hardware that even Linux would require recompile and lightweight window manager to run on.

MSFT to this day is still trying to copy cool features found in competitor's now old products.

Re:What I want to know is (1, Flamebait)

0racle (667029) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776293)

Be died because there were few apps for it and the first versions you had to by the BeBox. BeFS was not new either. There was no good reason to use Be, it solved no problem that couldn't be solved with existing OS's.

Re:What I want to know is (1)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776553)

Apparently you never saw it because it had super-slick multimedia capabilities which blew away any other OS at the time.

Re:What I want to know is (0, Flamebait)

0racle (667029) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776642)

I saw it. No one cared. By the time playing movies on your PC became a problem, existing OS's could do it just fine.

Re:What I want to know is (1)

Jeremi (14640) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776669)

BeFS was not new either.


In every way that mattered, it was. Having a concept proved in an academic setting is not the same thing as having a working, well-tuned commercial product that is developed to the point where people can actually use it.


There was no good reason to use Be, it solved no problem that couldn't be solved with existing OS's.


BeOS solved the problem of clunky, slow, primitively designed OS's. It gave you an OS that was fast, lightweight, pretty, had all the modern features, and worked really really well. Unfortunately, the trade-off for all that was that there were few applications and thus few users. The world decided it valued access to lots of apps more than flashy OS design, and given that most people use their computers to get specific things done, not as design fetish objects, that was a reasonable decision.

Re:What I want to know is (1)

nicolas.b (990744) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776566)

NT existed before w2k, so WinNT was the better choice against the MacOS.

Re:What I want to know is (1)

SamHill (9044) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776595)

Hell BeFS featured a database File System of the likes MSFT still can't create. and they did it on hardware that even Linux would require recompile and lightweight window manager to run on.

Maybe today you'd need a lightweight window manager, but at the time (1997-2000), my 132 MHz PPC 604e PowerComputing machine was smoking fast with Linux, especially when compared with its performance under Mac OS 7 and 8. (I ran WindowMaker back then.)

But BeOS was pretty cool. Unfortunately, it never really picked up enough interest to make it more than a niche OS.

Re:What I want to know is (1)

Raqem (964006) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776251)

Who liked MacOS prior to OSX?

What were you smoking?

Where can I buy some?

++

Years ago I hated Mac. When a coworker told me to try OS X, I loved it! I'm a huge Mac fan now; I only own Macs (iMac G5 and a MBP).

I always knew the pre-OS X Mac fans were smoking something... ;-)

Hating Macs (1)

LKM (227954) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776302)

You hated a specific brand of personal computers, yet you think Mac users were the ones smoking something?

What did those poor Macs do to you? Steal your lolly when you were in kindergarden?

Re:What I want to know is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15776344)

What were you smoking?

Where can I buy some?


Call the White house, ask for George...

Re:What I want to know is (0, Flamebait)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776500)

What were you smoking? Where can I buy some?
Call the White house, ask for George...

what are you doing in the white house if you're not selling cocaine --too short

But anyway, Bush is coke. Clinton was the pothead.

Re:What I want to know is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15776705)

ask your wife, Nancy Reagan, I know she'll spit that game. Like one night she came to my house and...

Re:What I want to know is (3, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776355)

The features that MacOS Classic lacked were mainly:
  1. Good multi-user support.
  2. Pre-emptive multitasking.
  3. Protected memory
If you wanted these three, you had two choices; UNIX or Windows NT[1]. Other consumer operating systems didn't have them. Windows gained Pre-emptive multitasking with Windows 95, but it didn't get the other two until MS abandoned 9x in favour of NT. BeOS didn't have the first, but did have the second and was quite popular with Mac users.

What it did have was a heavily Raskin-influenced GUI, which left pretty much anything else in the dust when it came to usability. NeXTStep was in the same area, but much more expensive.

[1] Or VMS and a few others if you had a huge budget.

Re:What I want to know is (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776462)

When the latest MacOS was version 6, it was way the hell better than Windows. IMO 7.x was a huge step backwards, I got more reliability out of 6.0.8 with the multifinder. 7 through 9 are garbage. 6 was crap too but it was small, light, and quite reliable, at least on the IIci :)

Amit's Book (4, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776062)

I did a technical review of the book, and I can thoroughly recommend it (I got a free copy). It's very technical in places (lots of code snippets) but does a very good job of explaining the 'why' as well as the 'what' and 'how' of XNU.

Re:Amit's Book (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15776122)

Nice that you got a free copy, because according to Amazon [amazon.com] it sells for more than than a lot of people would be willing to pay (and that's after the significant discounts of their 3rd party sellers). Remember when you could get fine technical materials no more than $30?

1680 page book? (-1, Troll)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776072)

let me guess... 1500 pages of source code...Unless it's a CRC text I question the usefulness of a book over 1000 pages.

Tom

Re:1680 page book? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15776232)

let me guess... 1500 pages of source code...Unless it's a CRC text I question the usefulness of a book over 1000 pages.


War and Peace (Penguin Classics Paperback): 1472 pages
Lord of the Rings (Houghton Mifflin; 50th Anniversay Edition): 1216 pages
Physics, David Halliday & Robert Resnick, Parts I & II, John Wiley & Sons: 1189 pages
Gravitation, Charles Misner, Kip Thorne, John Archibald Wheeler, Freeman press: 1279 pages

Re:1680 page book? (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776574)

Those are all works of fiction though. I'm talking about a real concrete book about science.

[hehehe yeah I am joking].

Chances are if your book is 1680 pages you should divide and conquer that sucker.

I mean I could write a book called "All there is to know about computers" and cover software, hardware, design, engineering, algorithms, etc, in one huge 32,618 page book. That doesn't make it a good idea.

Tom

Thanks for the link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15776097)

Just gave a glimpse to it, but it seems it's going to be a very pleasant reading for a 'technostalgic' like me.

who cares? (-1, Troll)

WiFireWire (772717) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776107)

MAC OS is cool and all, but is this really necessary?

Re:who cares? (2, Funny)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776147)

MAC OS is cool and all, but is this really necessary?

Too early for existential type questions. I think I need my coffee :)

First, the Earth cooled. (3, Funny)

ettlz (639203) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776191)

Then, the UNIX came, bit it got too big and fragmented, but it didn't die out, and turned into BSD.
Then Steve Jobs came, and he brought forth NeXTStep.
And then Apple bought up NeXTStep, added some more BSD, and gave it some pretty clothes and called it OS X. I couldn't believe it. They opened the closet, took out the best eye candy, and walked straight into town...

Re:First, the Earth cooled. (1)

ashayh (636057) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776585)

I think you meant to link this (Gospel of Tux). [ao.com] .

Now... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15776193)

MS can copy off OS X much easier. All they have to do is read the OS X chapters and....

oh, wait. It's in pdf, not a word document.

Guess they'll have to go back to waiting for the new OS X release and copying then...

Archeological dig (4, Funny)

OakDragon (885217) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776199)

From TFPDF:
Lisa was discontinued in 1985. In September 1989, Apple buried about 2700 Lisa computers in the Logan landfill in Utah. The value of the computers had depreciated so much that the tax break received from scrapping the computers resulted in more money for Apple than could be obtained by selling them.

Anybody feel like digging? :)

Re:Archeological dig (1)

another_fanboy (987962) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776276)

Might be worth quite a bit now if any still work.

quick obselescence (0, Redundant)

peter303 (12292) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776217)

I took OS comparison course in MIT's business school some years back, and must say of all the courses I took in computer science, that one became the least useful the quickest. OS's seem to be changing faster than computer languages, and much faster than good SE techniques like design patterns.
I'm guessing that it is because the underlying hardware is changing rapidly- many hardware sectors increase in size and performance a magnitude every five years, making some resource algorithms less meaningful. Plus novelties like flash, MRAM, cores, cells, and GPUs, etc. all have to be integrated in.

Learn concepts, not imlementations (2, Insightful)

LKM (227954) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776270)

I took OS comparison course in MIT's business school some years back, and must say of all the courses I took in computer science, that one became the least useful the quickest.

That's why you should always learn concepts instead of implementations. Concepts remain useful and can be used to judge new implementations, while implementations always go away eventually.

Re:Learn concepts, not imlementations (1)

cockroach2 (117475) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776497)

I couldn't agree more...

1680-page book ? (2, Funny)

DavidD_CA (750156) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776225)

This is what happens when you get a contract that says you're paid by the word.

Re:1680-page book ? (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776499)

I'm just glad it wasn't one of the O'Reilly "In a Nutshell" series. 1680 pages is one large nut!

1680-page "nut"? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15776711)

No! THIS [freeyellow.com] is a large nut.

Re:1680-page book ? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776588)

A lot (probably around 40%) of the content of the book is listings from the Darwin source code. The book would be a lot shorter without these, but then you'd need to read it in front of a computer and read the code from the screen.

Lisa OS (4, Interesting)

MooseDontBounce (989375) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776226)

My CS Prof. at the time (Summer of 1982 or 1983, an old retired IBM'er who worked on the first computers for the Military) had a daughter that worked for Apple on the Lisa project. He had a pre-production model on his desk with a serial number under 300. She needed Steve Jobs personal okay to send him the computer for his testing. (So I was told) I remember it was the coolest thing I'd every seen back then. We took the cover off and his daughter's name was one of the names inscripted on the inside cover. Blew away the Apple II & Trash-80's we were using at the time.

Re:Lisa OS (1)

soft_guy (534437) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776564)

You are talking about the Lisa, or the Mac?

For 10K, the Lisa certainly SHOULD have been better than a TRS-80.

No wonder the book is 1680 pages (1, Troll)

Junks Jerzey (54586) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776313)

This article is information overload in the extreme. What does Apple II DOS have to do with OS X? Or why Wozniak chose the 6502 over the 6800? Or the Apple III SOS or Apple II Prodos? Or Apple transitioning to PowerPC chips in 1994? Some of the newer stuff is interesting to know, for historical reasons, like the failed OS development projects that led up to OS X, but there's no way this should have been 140+ pages. It doesn't bode well for the rest of the book.

Re:No wonder the book is 1680 pages (1)

w3woody (44457) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776615)

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. -- George Santayana

Re:No wonder the book is 1680 pages (2, Insightful)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776621)

Believe it or not, there ARE people out there who are interested in this kind of detailed history. Simply because you're not interested doesn't mean that others don't want to read it.

What a load of crap (-1, Troll)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776360)

In the PDF, it says on Page 2 that "This page is intentionally left blank"

NO IT'S NOT, IT'S GOT "This page is intentionally left blank" ON IT SO IT'S NOT BLANK!!!

I give up sometimes I really do...

Re:What a load of crap (2, Funny)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776448)

In your post, it says "I give up sometimes I really do..."

NO YOU DON'T, YOU JUST WASTED YOUR TIME explaining, "This page is intentionally left blank" SO YOU HAVEN'T GIVEN UP!!! :P

Re:What a load of crap (1)

avalys (221114) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776456)

I don't understand what you're complaining about.

Re:What a load of crap (1)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776475)

I don't understand what you're complaining about.

--
This space intentionally left blank.


Arghhh!!!!!!!

Re:What a load of crap (0, Offtopic)

ettlz (639203) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776533)

What it should really say can be generated by the Python
def blankpage():
print "This page intentionally left blank except for a message stating `",
blankpage()
print "'"
(damn Slash indentation destroyer) but I think they renormalised it.

Re:What a load of crap (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776584)

Just a piece of advice for you: don't ever try to work for the government, okay?

Why it didn't appeal to christians... (2, Funny)

winphreak (915766) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776384)

"The Apple I was introduced at a price of $666.66." Coincidence? Conspiracy? Nah, just a good price.

wished for more about A/UX (2, Interesting)

ChristTrekker (91442) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776464)

As the new maintainer of the A/UX FAQ [dyndns.org] , I keep hoping to learn more about it. Unfortunately the author didn't bring up anything I didn't already know. That said, the page or two he had is a good summary for those that have never used A/UX before.

Re:wished for more about A/UX (1)

0racle (667029) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776543)

I just wish I could find a copy.

I bought this book - it is very good. (1)

soft_guy (534437) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776539)

I pre-ordered this book and I received it maybe 10 days ago. It is a very good book.

I knew (1)

Ian McBeth (862517) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776548)

I knew it was a good thing that I am still hanging onto my Mac OS 0.98 system disk.
I have almost every Mac OS that was released, even though I no longer have the machines that run them.

Excellent form of promotion (1)

QuantumFTL (197300) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776623)

I think it would be cool if more authored did this - releasing the "deleted scenes", so to speak, of their works for free, as a promotion for what they kept... especially if they were still high quality. It probably increases sales quite a bit (I wasn't even considering buying this book until after looking at the sample), and gives something useful directly to the community.

What was the book written in? (1)

tyrione (134248) | more than 8 years ago | (#15776660)

Word? The random choice of fonts, and crappy layout makes it clear that this highly skilled engineer, "Doesn't know LaTeX!"
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