What's That Noise?! [Ian Kallen's Weblog]

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20040713 Tuesday July 13, 2004

I've made the switch I've been using unix laptops as my main work environment for about 7 years. It started with a Dell Pentium 90 in 1997 that ran FreeBSD. In recent years, it's been Mandrake, SuSe and RedHat Linux. But for a number of years, I've admired from afar Mac OS X.

The last few months using a Dell laptop running Windows XP and the funkiness that comes along with it (unpredictable wireless compatibility, viruses, random crashes, having to run cygwin to get some basic shell and utility functionality) has been madness. Now I'm posting this from my new 15" Powerbook. As I've suspected, this is Apple getting an OS right and "Bravo," I say!

The lore as I recollect is this:
One of the designers of BSD, Kirk McKusick, taught (still teaches?) a course at Berkeley on BSD internals (they were in the Extended Education catalog for years, haven't looked lately). His Spring 1998 term class was filled with Apple engineers -- the word I'd heard is that a whole cadre of FreeBSD and NetBSD enthusiasts left that course to work on the networking, filesystem and other core capabilities of Mac OS X. Some years later, after all of the shenanigans with Walnut Creek CDROM and Wind River, Jordan Hubbard, alpha-geek of the FreeBSD project, was hired away by Apple.

So here I am, having come full circle, running a BSD laptop! Brilliant!

( Jul 13 2004, 10:34:26 AM PDT ) Permalink


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