MAC COMES OF AGE - OS X
I've always thought of the Apple Mac as a niche machine great for applications such as Quark, PageMaker and (our own use) FrameMaker, but not really as a machine of more general interest in the Open Source environment.
With the coming of the new OS X operating system, my better half has persuaded me to have a look at the Mac in wider general use and, I have to admit it, I'm something of a convert.
OS X is a "nix" operating System - in the Unix and Linux family, but that's overlaid with the Mac look and feel and applications that make the Mac great for the non-geek. As both the operating system and the computer hardware are supplied by the same company, it does all work together and there's none of the searching for device drivers and building a Kernel to do.
We've added a somewhat high end Apple G4 Powerbook laptop to our fleet of training systems; initially for experimentation so that we can practice what we preach. There's something of a danger that this machine is going to take over as our daily use machine and course server.
Let me go through the topics we teach:
Perl Supplied with OS X
Java Supplied with OS X
Tcl/Tk Downloads and installs easily
PHP Supplied with OS X. Easily configured
Ruby Downloads and installs easily
MySQL Downloads and installs fairly easily
[Update - Python and courses - Python supplied with OS X]
[Update - Tcl/Tk and Expect now supplied with OS X]
What else do we need that's not "Classic Mac"? Web Server - we're using Apache (and I've modified the machine's sleep timing as I don't want my server's cpu snoozing if it's likely to get web requests)
And what do we need that's not very easy under some "nix" systems? When travelling, we dial in through AOL. AOL software is now available for OSX. The CD writer and DVD ROM, sound streaming and all the rest work and seem to be working well. We've installed an Apple Airport card and we're running both Wireless and CAT 5 networking.
Still to be done? I still have to move a FrameMaker license across (and that may have to run under OS 9 for the moment). I need to sort out naming services, as the system doesn't default to using the /etc files (plenty of evidence that it can be done - I just need time to learn and experiment and I AM already talking to DNS). I should also check into Expect, but that's a very specialist requirement.
Early days, but I have to say it - technically and practically it's exceptionally promising; I do wish Apple well with OS X; I hear rumours of a port to Intel and that would be a very interesting move
See also Mac and OS X resources
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