Re: Why read FoRK?

I'm not a real doofus, but I play one at a national laboratory. (
Mon, 13 Jan 1997 23:51:13 -0600

I'm pretty much in Brer Ron's tar patch, although I backed in through the VMS
door. "VMS can do anything that UNIX can do better", is a phrase I've been
known to spout because I like ambiguous humor, but I have a particular
intonation I use when I say it. I could wax annoying about many of its
advantages, like robustness, reliability, decent backup software, adherence to
standards (often beating mainstream UNIXes in XPG branding), but, as they say in
Latin class, there's no sense beating a dead Horace.

My take on Apple and NeXT, vis-a-vis Microsoft is the same as VMS vs. UNIX.
Undeniably superior product, but something, someone, somewhere (I believe The
Dilbert Principle has some applicable observations in this respect) is calling
different shots, and insisting on a single winner. No peaceful coexistence.
No WordPerfect *and* MSWord. No VMS *and* UNIX. Interoperablility is useful
only to the extent that we can get the customers to move their files to our
platform and off of the competitors'. That's been my experience, at least, for
the last 20+ years.

My interest in NeXT(STeP), aside from the entertainment value of the annoyance
it provokes in Redmond, is the hope that it might provide some improvement to
the UNIX environment (as if sh/ksh/csh, etc. from even a single vendor could be
spoken of as *an* environment), but I think this unlikely, from the little I've
read of the press releases, and such. Aside from that, I don't think about
them at all. I support systems running Digital UNIX, and IRIX, and to a lesser
degree, AIX. My home page and some of my user files are on a Solaris box.
My desktop is an extremely fast Alpha running DU. I can translate some Sun and
Solaris executables to run on it in native mode, even perhaps MAE. But I don't
have much need, I'm afraid.

I own a PC at home, because it's affordable and the software I want and need is
primarily aimed at that market. Yes, DOS and Windows suck, but they do what I
want most of the time. And then there are the games. If I want to do something
intense, I do that at work.

So, why FoRK? Because it's fun and informative. To be close to Rohit, and
various people named Tim, and their friends. To get the scoop on what's going
on out there, because there's simply too much for me to keep up with any other
way. I depend on others to look in areas I don't have time or inclination to
pursue. That way I don't miss important stuff, even if I don't yet realize
its importance. I wouldn't keep up with Apple any other way.


"Now that I have my ``APPLE,'' I comprehend COST ACCOUNTING!!"
Zippy the Pinhead