Re: Congrats! OS/X in NYTimes

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From: Strata Rose Chalup (
Date: Wed Sep 20 2000 - 15:03:05 PDT

Well, yes and no-- I seem to recall that Cygnus joined the Sun Catalyst
marketing arm, err, developer group just in time to get some gcc
binaries on the Catalyst CD, much to the irritation of the unbundlers.

Anyone closer to the event have more details? Up to and beyond "dEwD, u
R dEd r0ng"...

I learned how to use some pseudo-cross-compiler features in gcc, barely,
and then promptly and relievedly forgot once gcc binaries were routinely
available. Remember building the ELF version on SunOS 4.x, ftping it to
Solaris, making sure /usr/ccs/bin was in your path, linking the ELF
build to cc and removing the cruftified Solaris cc, then making the full
gcc version and installing in /opt. Phew!

Of course, the more things change, the more they stay the same. We just
got a FreeBSD 4.1 box from a colo provider. I want to install ssh on
it. The /usr/ports stuff won't let me compile ssh without ssl, and ssl
won't let me compile ssl because it's already part of the system! Joy!

OK, I did hands-on sysadmin for 14 years, and spent the last 3 doing
project management. Technically, I spent the first 11 doing hands-on,
then 2 - 3 doing mostly sendmail, firewalls, and web servers, then after
that architecting increasingly larger systems and usually serving as
team lead and/or project manager as we built them. To say that I'm
"rusty" on things like printing, network drivers, etc is a massive
understatement. Oh yeah, and I was stricly a Sun/Solaris and Mac type
also-- never touched a PC if I could help it, and I could usually help
it. But I am *amazed* at what a culture shock Linux and FreeBSD are
turning out to be!

<M-X $Rant Mode$>

So I got the 4.x version of the ports tree and will try temporarily
mv'ing /usr/ports aside, subing the 4.x ports, and seeing if it's
smarter. Why the appropriate one wouldn't have come with the install,
dunno. Could be something even more malevolent. I'm learning to expect
that. Didn't know there was such a thing as a ports directory until
looking for openssh for BSD and hitting the pages.

And I've learned to "mv" the hard way via my recent Learning Experiences
with redhat. It's "smarter" about inodes vs filenames than Solaris was,
so when things are linked to ../../lamefoo.h (for instance) and you try
to pick up a tree and put it down elsewhere, well, you lose. Trying to
optimize your disk space on Solaris? No problem, pick up /usr/local and
put it down in /opt, link /opt/local to /usr/local, ta-dah. Do that on
redhat, ta-dah, you can never compile anything again because now it
can't find the system libraries in the right places and you are 100%
f**k'd until reinstall. Maybe there was some bizarre flag to gtar that
I could have passed that would have diddled the inodes, G-d help us.
It's the kind of thing I'm learning to look for.

I think I find that having years of iterative refinements in my admin
style suddenly turning into landmines the most disturbing part of the
process. Roughly 99% of all the things I find out there about linux in
general or redhat in specific are for novices or "fellow linux admins".
I've yet to find the document that describes the pungi stakes along the
trail like the one I mentioned. The lowest blow-- a learning linux
guide for VMS users! Doh!

Did I mention that I miss SunOS 4.x? And that I never thought I'd say
that, since I found it weird and evil after "growing up" on DEC Ultrix
on Vaxen and MicroVaxen? I got turned down for my first CA job because
the hiring person thought I'd been misrepresenting my experience. I
gave the wrong location for the default named directory, among other
things. Later I learned it was BSDism vs Sys5ism, and that the East
Coast vax crowd was Sys5ish, the West Coast crowd (natch) BSDish. The
punchline is that now I can't remember where the named directory was
supposed to go, since I've seen it in so many places, each "the
default"-- /usr/lib/named, /var/named, /var/lib/named, /etc/named.

At least BSD is trying-- the system message was something like "if you
can't find stuff, try the 'hier' command to get an idea of the
filesystem layout". There is a filesystem spec out there, but I am
finding only stale copies of it alas. ssh....via ssl....via yet another
gentle slap in the head to our ISP that when we buy a box and name it
foo.ourdomain.tld they should FIGURE OUT to add foo.ourdomain.tld into
our domain which they administer...



<deliberately unclosed $Rant Mode$ tag>

> -----Original Message-----
> From: []
> Sent: Monday, September 18, 2000 8:07 AM
> To: Robert Harley
> Cc:
> Subject: Re: Congrats! OS/X in NYTimes
> Robert Harley said:
> > A version of Unix with no development tools? I need that like a hole
> > in the head... thanks, but no thanks.
> One word -- Solaris ;)
> At least OS/X will have a freely-downloadable/install-from-free-CD
> compiler. Solaris had *none* apart from their big-bucks commercial
> offering until GNU got around to porting gcc, and even then it was a bitch
> to install and gcc's output on Sun processors wasn't great. (It's
> probably improved since then tho'),
> --j. [inaugural post on a new list = nerdy UNIX comment, what's new ;)]

Strata Rose Chalup []   |, KF6NBZ
Director of Network Operations            |       VirtualNet Consulting
KnowNow, Inc []     |

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