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Old 10th January 2022, 03:37 PM   #1
AmyStrange
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Linux and UNIX reminiscences

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Originally Posted by suren View Post
Most people who use Linux are usually IT people or some tinkerers. Linux has worse hardware and software support and the vast majority of users don't care if a software/hardware vendor doesn't support Linux. Even on nerdy sites like w3schools Linux percentage is around 4.3%. Telling that Linux worked on your God chosen hardware is unfair at best, considering Windows runs normally on almost all PCs and Laptops.

And yes, Linux is more unpolished compared to Windows, you often struggle to get things work. I've seen countless of bugs in Linux distributions. It isn't just difference. Just look at the reviews on dedoimedo.com and his opinion about desktop Linux.

You can cherry pick instances when old Linux programs worked and old Windows programs didn't but this won't change the reality that Windows has much better backward compatibility compared to Linux. Backward compatibility in this context means that it can run old applications, not running on very old hardware. Win7 will probably fail to run on XP era hardware but most XP era software will run on Win7. Here is an example of Win 3.1 GUI program working on Win10.

Even Linus Torvalds confirms that the compatibility is a big problem in Linux https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PmHRSeA2c8&t=287s .
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Isn't Linux a different flavor of Unix?

And isn't Unix used on all internet servers?

The reason I ask this is because Unix uses the forward slash (/) to show file paths, while windows uses the backward slash (\) instead?

I'm probably wrong, but what the hey, asking questions of smart people is better than looking like a dumb**** all my life, which if you've followed my post, you'd know that I'm really good at it.

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ETA: does anyone else who switched to Win11 notice that their computer has slowed down?

I was able to download Win11 to my second computer (it has 8 GBs of Ram), while I couldn't on my first one, but even though it only has 4 GBs, the browser (Edge) is still faster than my second one with Win11.

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Old 10th January 2022, 03:44 PM   #2
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Linux is a more recent adaptation of the earlier Unix operating system and it's Linux that runs a lot of the internet. And, yes, Unix and Linux use the forward slash. The web also uses the forward slash but off the top of my head I'm not entirely sure if that was driven by being compatible with Linux or not. Even though Linux hosts a lot of web sites it's also not uncommon to have websites hosted by Windows servers. Web sites hosted by windows will still use the forward slash for web sites.

And an awful lot of unpredictable things will try to just correct it if you use the wrong one so it can be hard to tell what the "real" convention is.

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Old 10th January 2022, 04:32 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
Linux is a more recent adaptation of the earlier Unix operating system and it's Linux that runs a lot of the internet. And, yes, Unix and Linux use the forward slash. The web also uses the forward slash but off the top of my head I'm not entirely sure if that was driven by being compatible with Linux or not. Even though Linux hosts a lot of web sites it's also not uncommon to have websites hosted by Windows servers. Web sites hosted by windows will still use the forward slash for web sites.

And an awful lot of unpredictable things will try to just correct it if you use the wrong one so it can be hard to tell what the "real" convention is.
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Thank you for your answer, and by the way, can you still use Unix/Linux to write C++ code and compile it? It's how I learned basic code writing back in the 1990s.

And just to keep this on topic, I've sometimes been able to solve my browser problem with Win11 by turning it on and off a couple times, but that's a pain in the *** solution.

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ETA: Since ARPANET (the forerunner of today's internet) was initiated at the same time as UNIX (1969), I think it's safe to say that UNIX was the OS used at the time.

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Old 10th January 2022, 05:55 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by AmyStrange View Post
Thank you for your answer, and by the way, can you still use Unix/Linux to write C++ code and compile it? It's how I learned basic code writing back in the 1990s.
Yeah, definitely. It's pretty safe to say that the vast majority of developer activity can be done on Linux.
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Old 10th January 2022, 07:13 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
Yeah, definitely. It's pretty safe to say that the vast majority of developer activity can be done on Linux.
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Once again thank you, but what I meant was that the C++ development program was actually built into the original Unix OS, so you didn't have to buy anything separate.

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Old 10th January 2022, 07:22 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by AmyStrange View Post
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Once again thank you, but what I meant was that the C++ development program was actually built into the original Unix OS, so you didn't have to buy anything separate.

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You may be right for C. But UNIX was around long before C++.
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Old 10th January 2022, 07:43 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
Linux is a more recent adaptation of the earlier Unix operating system and it's Linux that runs a lot of the internet. And, yes, Unix and Linux use the forward slash. The web also uses the forward slash but off the top of my head I'm not entirely sure if that was driven by being compatible with Linux or not. Even though Linux hosts a lot of web sites it's also not uncommon to have websites hosted by Windows servers. Web sites hosted by windows will still use the forward slash for web sites.

And an awful lot of unpredictable things will try to just correct it if you use the wrong one so it can be hard to tell what the "real" convention is.
I've found std::filesystem, added in C++17, makes interoperability between Linux/Windows a lot easier. Takes care of the forward/backward slash PITA.
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Old 10th January 2022, 08:21 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Gord_in_Toronto View Post
You may be right for C. But UNIX was around long before C++.
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Crap, you're probably right, because I'm talking about when I used it in 1995.

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Old 10th January 2022, 08:27 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by AmyStrange View Post
Once again thank you, but what I meant was that the C++ development program was actually built into the original Unix OS, so you didn't have to buy anything separate.
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You seem to be referring to 1995 and a lot of things were going on then. Hard to say what you experienced. You can get Linux in various forms with a ton of different things built in.
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Old 13th January 2022, 09:00 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by eerok View Post
That's funny, but 64K was the total RAM of the PDP-11/34 I learned to code C on in the 70s. (That computer was worth $70K and required an air-conditioned room.)
In 2007, while I was doing field service for wood mills, I had to repair a PDP-11 that was being used to automate a high speed lathe for plywood. This was a mill at a reservation. It was the floppy drive that failed, they happened to have older, failed floppy drives in a closet. I removed a motor from a closet drive and placed it in the recently failed drive and it worked. We were just lucky, there was no "troubleshooting" to see if it was a motor failure. I told them that updating to a modern PC was necessary because we were only lucky and finding parts for such an old computer is nigh-impossible. I wonder if they ever did.
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Old 13th January 2022, 09:10 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by thaiboxerken View Post
In 2007, while I was doing field service for wood mills, I had to repair a PDP-11 that was being used to automate a high speed lathe for plywood. This was a mill at a reservation. It was the floppy drive that failed, they happened to have older, failed floppy drives in a closet. I removed a motor from a closet drive and placed it in the recently failed drive and it worked. We were just lucky, there was no "troubleshooting" to see if it was a motor failure. I told them that updating to a modern PC was necessary because we were only lucky and finding parts for such an old computer is nigh-impossible. I wonder if they ever did.
It looks like DEC continued to sell the PDP-11WP into the 90s. I didn't know that. The machine I learned on ran UNIX Version 7 -- I might still have photocopies from the manuals. I used a line editor, and I had to print out my code to actually look at it.

Geez, memory lane.
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Old 13th January 2022, 11:36 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by eerok View Post
It looks like DEC continued to sell the PDP-11WP into the 90s. I didn't know that. The machine I learned on ran UNIX Version 7 -- I might still have photocopies from the manuals. I used a line editor, and I had to print out my code to actually look at it.

Geez, memory lane.
Wow. You're about the only person I've ever heard even mention UNIX 7. I managed a UNIX 7 shop in TO at a time when just we and Bell had the only two commercial UNIX licenses (from AT&T) in the city.

As you say, "Memory Lane".

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Old 13th January 2022, 11:52 AM   #13
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My first 'nix machine was a university PDP-11, which I accessed using a 300-baud modem (the kind where you put the phone handset into a large box with cushioned cups to hold the handset). I don't recall the 'nix version, but this was in the early 80's.
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Old 18th January 2022, 02:22 PM   #14
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I just recently was trying to install Linux on an old laptop, mostly for viewing PBS streamed movies on Passport. Ubuntu works beautifully, but it needed a bunch of codecs that are available but not loaded by default, because they're not open source. Various on line resources tell me how to do this, and sure enough, I manage to start the process, which loads a huge number of little things into the system. Until, halfway through, we get to a Microsoft fonts page which requires an "OK" which stops the entire process. The OK doesn't work. Try again, try loading a different way, try a different version of the same package. No go. Back on line I go, looking for answers. Sure enough, many people have had this problem, and helpful gurus provide long and complicated methods for bypassing the problematic page, until, halfway down the answers, someone says "undocumented, you simply have to hit the "tab" key to light up the OK." Sure enough, off it goes. Hours spent trying different ways to load the codecs, and the solution takes a second.

Usually if you want upside down inside out thinking, you'll find it in Android, but perhaps an Android programmer was moonlighting at Microsoft.
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Old 18th January 2022, 03:00 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by AmyStrange View Post
Isn't Linux a different flavor of Unix?
Not exactly.

POSIX is a standard that specifies how a computer operating system should interact with other software. It's based on the Unix OS, which is the ur-example of this interaction behavior.

Linux is an independent project to produce a POSIX-compliant OS. The different flavors of Unix all start with a basic Unix kernel, and extend from there. Linux was written from scratch to achieve the same POSIX result.

Quote:
And isn't Unix used on all internet servers?
No. Not only are a lot of servers actually running Linux, but there's also a growing amount of Windows, and probably some other esoteric stuff that's not any of those three.

It also depends on what you mean by "internet server". Strictly speaking, the Internet is the underlying information transmission infrastructure. On top of that, there's the computers using that infrastructure to serve content or provide other services to humans and other computers. This upper layer of content and services is, broadly speaking, the World Wide Web, or "web". A lot of "internet" servers are actually "web" servers. The server that runs this forum, for example, is a webserver.

On the other hand, the industrial-strength routers that move information around along one data path or another are also computers. Imagine an army of tiny switchboard operators, sitting at the junction of every major and minor information pathway, flipping bits this way and that to keep the messages flowing. These can be thought of as "internet servers". They can run Unix or Linux, but a lot of them run custom-built, task-optimized operating systems like Cisco's IOS.

Quote:
The reason I ask this is because Unix uses the forward slash (/) to show file paths, while windows uses the backward slash (\) instead?
The forward slash / is a Unix convention widely copied, as in Linux. IIRC, Microsoft uses the backslash \ because they'd already decided to use the forward slash as a special character in their DOS command line utility.

But nowadays things can get pretty weird. URLs use the forward slash as a path delimiter, as in http://internationalskeptics.com/forums. As a result, Microsoft's webserver app, IIS, is perfectly comfortable using the forward slash to resolve URLs (even if it has to translate them to backslashes when looking up the local resource behind the scenes; I'm not sure if that's even true).
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Old 18th January 2022, 03:09 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by AmyStrange View Post
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-

Once again thank you, but what I meant was that the C++ development program was actually built into the original Unix OS, so you didn't have to buy anything separate.

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Heh. Just as the "internet" is actually the Internet and the Web on top of it, so too is "unix" actually two separate things: The Unix kernel itself, and the vast library of utilities large and small that were developed to run on Unix and make a total package. This is the GNU software suite. Most of all of it has been ported to Linux. You can typically expect a Linux box to come bundled with all the same familiar GNU utilities you were using on your Unix box. (Of course some flavors come more stripped down than others, while others include a bunch of stuff above and beyond the classic GNU bundle.)

But a C++ compiler should be pretty standard. If your OS doesn't include it out of the box, it should be trivial to install one via the OS's package manager.
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Old 18th January 2022, 03:14 PM   #17
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The Windows API is happy to accept forward slashes to separate path nodes. So, for example, in CreateFile(), you can use "C:\MyFile.txt" or "C:/MyFile.txt" (In C or C++, as with many programming languages, the backslash is an escape character, so you'd put "C:\\MyFile.txt" in your code statement; only one backslash gets emitted by the compiler -- an escaped backslash is a single backslash.)
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Old 18th January 2022, 03:39 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Not exactly.

POSIX is a standard that specifies how a computer operating system should interact with other software. It's based on the Unix OS, which is the ur-example of this interaction behavior.

Linux is an independent project to produce a POSIX-compliant OS. The different flavors of Unix all start with a basic Unix kernel, and extend from there. Linux was written from scratch to achieve the same POSIX result.


No. Not only are a lot of servers actually running Linux, but there's also a growing amount of Windows, and probably some other esoteric stuff that's not any of those three.

It also depends on what you mean by "internet server". Strictly speaking, the Internet is the underlying information transmission infrastructure. On top of that, there's the computers using that infrastructure to serve content or provide other services to humans and other computers. This upper layer of content and services is, broadly speaking, the World Wide Web, or "web". A lot of "internet" servers are actually "web" servers. The server that runs this forum, for example, is a webserver.

On the other hand, the industrial-strength routers that move information around along one data path or another are also computers. Imagine an army of tiny switchboard operators, sitting at the junction of every major and minor information pathway, flipping bits this way and that to keep the messages flowing. These can be thought of as "internet servers". They can run Unix or Linux, but a lot of them run custom-built, task-optimized operating systems like Cisco's IOS.


The forward slash / is a Unix convention widely copied, as in Linux. IIRC, Microsoft uses the backslash \ because they'd already decided to use the forward slash as a special character in their DOS command line utility.

But nowadays things can get pretty weird. URLs use the forward slash as a path delimiter, as in http://internationalskeptics.com/forums. As a result, Microsoft's webserver app, IIS, is perfectly comfortable using the forward slash to resolve URLs (even if it has to translate them to backslashes when looking up the local resource behind the scenes; I'm not sure if that's even true).
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Interesting and thank you.

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Old 18th January 2022, 04:06 PM   #19
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Deleted (I mean "slashed")

Last edited by BowlOfRed; 18th January 2022 at 04:08 PM. Reason: Pretty much the same as a previous message on slashes..
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Old 19th January 2022, 12:32 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Not exactly.



POSIX is a standard that specifies how a computer operating system should interact with other software. It's based on the Unix OS, which is the ur-example of this interaction behavior.



Linux is an independent project to produce a POSIX-compliant OS. The different flavors of Unix all start with a basic Unix kernel, and extend from there. Linux was written from scratch to achieve the same POSIX result.





No. Not only are a lot of servers actually running Linux, but there's also a growing amount of Windows, and probably some other esoteric stuff that's not any of those three.



It also depends on what you mean by "internet server". Strictly speaking, the Internet is the underlying information transmission infrastructure. On top of that, there's the computers using that infrastructure to serve content or provide other services to humans and other computers. This upper layer of content and services is, broadly speaking, the World Wide Web, or "web". A lot of "internet" servers are actually "web" servers. The server that runs this forum, for example, is a webserver.



On the other hand, the industrial-strength routers that move information around along one data path or another are also computers. Imagine an army of tiny switchboard operators, sitting at the junction of every major and minor information pathway, flipping bits this way and that to keep the messages flowing. These can be thought of as "internet servers". They can run Unix or Linux, but a lot of them run custom-built, task-optimized operating systems like Cisco's IOS.





The forward slash / is a Unix convention widely copied, as in Linux. IIRC, Microsoft uses the backslash \ because they'd already decided to use the forward slash as a special character in their DOS command line utility.



But nowadays things can get pretty weird. URLs use the forward slash as a path delimiter, as in http://internationalskeptics.com/forums. As a result, Microsoft's webserver app, IIS, is perfectly comfortable using the forward slash to resolve URLs (even if it has to translate them to backslashes when looking up the local resource behind the scenes; I'm not sure if that's even true).
Why didn't they just check when they wrote MS-DOS which way UNIX did it. They guessed and they guessed wrong. It caused all kinds of hassles for me over the years.
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Old 19th January 2022, 01:05 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
Why didn't they just check when they wrote MS-DOS which way UNIX did it. They guessed and they guessed wrong. It caused all kinds of hassles for me over the years.
There were LOTS of different operating systems back then, all doing things different ways.

DOS 1 probably wasn't influenced by Unix at all. If any compatibility was was considered, it would be with CP/M. But DOS 1 didn't support directories, so there was no path separator and no need to see how others did it.

TOPS-10 used forward slashes a bit (and has quite a few similarities with DOS commands). It might have been what the DOS flag option was patterned after.

When DOS 2 needed a path separator, apparently IBM wanted to keep the forward slash for command options and forced MS to use something else.
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Old 19th January 2022, 01:27 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by eerok View Post
It looks like DEC continued to sell the PDP-11WP into the 90s. I didn't know that. The machine I learned on ran UNIX Version 7 -- I might still have photocopies from the manuals. I used a line editor, and I had to print out my code to actually look at it.

Geez, memory lane.
Originally Posted by Gord_in_Toronto View Post
Wow. You're about the only person I've ever heard even mention UNIX 7. I managed a UNIX 7 shop in TO at a time when just we and Bell had the only two commercial UNIX licenses (from AT&T) in the city.

As you say, "Memory Lane".

UNIX 6, basically the Thompson and Ritchie version. I have an original printed version of this:
Code:
A COMMENTARY ON THE SIXTH EDITION UNIX OPERATING SYSTEM J. Lions. Department of Computer Science The University of New South Wales 1977
That was my university, that was the year I was doing my undergraduate degree, he was my professor.
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Old 19th January 2022, 02:37 AM   #23
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Apple Macs run on UNIX.
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Old 19th January 2022, 03:06 PM   #24
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Apple Macs run on a free version of UNIX. None of that licence fees and IP rubbish for Jobs.
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Old 19th January 2022, 03:35 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
Apple Macs run on a free version of UNIX. None of that licence fees and IP rubbish for Jobs.
It is POSIX-compliant built on top of the XNU kernel based on a BSD code base.
It is free and open source apart from some proprietary graphics operations.
macOS has been certified as Unix by The Open Group
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Old 19th January 2022, 03:50 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
It is POSIX-compliant built on top of the XNU kernel based on a BSD code base.

It is free and open source apart from some proprietary graphics operations.

macOS has been certified as Unix by The Open Group
And they got it for free. They didn't go with Linux because you can't charge for that. The licence they got with this version means you get to take free code and then charge for it.
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Old 19th January 2022, 04:03 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
And they got it for free. They didn't go with Linux because you can't charge for that. The licence they got with this version means you get to take free code and then charge for it.
It was based on Jobs' existing Nextstep platform that was based on the Mach kernel and BSD.

Why would they want to build their OS on someone else's proprietary system?

I remember one of the labs at the university of Teesside had three NeXTstations running distributed modelling software rendered with Display Postscript. They were incredibly fast for the time.
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Old 19th January 2022, 08:50 PM   #28
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Jobs profited from free IP and prosecuted infringements of his own. He was a jerk.
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Old 20th January 2022, 03:39 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Not exactly.

POSIX is a standard that specifies how a computer operating system should interact with other software. It's based on the Unix OS, which is the ur-example of this interaction behavior.

Linux is an independent project to produce a POSIX-compliant OS. The different flavors of Unix all start with a basic Unix kernel, and extend from there. Linux was written from scratch to achieve the same POSIX result.


No. Not only are a lot of servers actually running Linux, but there's also a growing amount of Windows, and probably some other esoteric stuff that's not any of those three.

It also depends on what you mean by "internet server". Strictly speaking, the Internet is the underlying information transmission infrastructure. On top of that, there's the computers using that infrastructure to serve content or provide other services to humans and other computers. This upper layer of content and services is, broadly speaking, the World Wide Web, or "web". A lot of "internet" servers are actually "web" servers. The server that runs this forum, for example, is a webserver.

On the other hand, the industrial-strength routers that move information around along one data path or another are also computers. Imagine an army of tiny switchboard operators, sitting at the junction of every major and minor information pathway, flipping bits this way and that to keep the messages flowing. These can be thought of as "internet servers". They can run Unix or Linux, but a lot of them run custom-built, task-optimized operating systems like Cisco's IOS.


The forward slash / is a Unix convention widely copied, as in Linux. IIRC, Microsoft uses the backslash \ because they'd already decided to use the forward slash as a special character in their DOS command line utility.

But nowadays things can get pretty weird. URLs use the forward slash as a path delimiter, as in http://internationalskeptics.com/forums. As a result, Microsoft's webserver app, IIS, is perfectly comfortable using the forward slash to resolve URLs (even if it has to translate them to backslashes when looking up the local resource behind the scenes; I'm not sure if that's even true).
At the API level, Windows understands the forward slash as a file separator, so in most programming languages, you can use forward slashes or backslashes. Where Windows is really different is in the concept of drives. Drives simply don't exist in the Linux/UNIX world. For any storage device to be recognized, it has to be "mounted" in a directory. All absolute paths start with "/" and "/" followed by a filename references a file in the root directory (top of the file hierarchy).

CPM, the operating system that DOS was derived from, and, I believe early versions of DOS, didn't have directories. They were originally only used with floppies, and all files were in what amounted to the root directory of a floppy. You are correct that CPM and DOS used the '/' as an identifier for command line options, similar to the way that many UNIX/Linux commands use '-', and that is whey when Microsoft or IBM (there was a lot of collaboration between them in the early days of DOS), decided to extend the FAT file system by allowing subdirectories, they used the '\' instead of the '/' as the path separator.

ETA: If you type a local path in the address bar of Explorer using forward slashes instead of backslashes, it works. A cd command in a command prompt using forward slahses also works.

Regarding web servers, though a lot of them are running Linux, it is by no means universal. There are plenty that run Window, with either IIS (Microsoft's web server) or a Windows build of Apache (a very popular open source web server primarily but not exlusively used under Linux or UNIX), and there are no doubt plenty of other OS's used and web server.programs used.

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Old 20th January 2022, 06:02 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
And they got it for free. They didn't go with Linux because you can't charge for that. The licence they got with this version means you get to take free code and then charge for it.
Not sure what is meant by "you can't charge for that". Vendors might have to release source code for any GPL bits, but there should be no impediment to charging money for a linux distribution or a product that used one.

The first versions of NeXTSTEP were released more than a year before the first version of Linux, so it wouldn't have even been an option for them. Apple's OS traces history straight back to NeXT. It would be a big job to move everything over to a Linux kernel.
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Old 21st January 2022, 07:00 AM   #31
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I struggle to recall what version of Unix I used first. It was 1983 on a VAX 11/780 and an older 11/something IIRC. Definitely BSD.
Then skip many years to AIX in 1994. V3 for a while moving to v4. At some point I downloaded Linux on some 30 3.4" diskettes and installed on my home PC. I want to say it was Red Hat but not sure. It dual booted with OS/2 Warp. I used a few Sun and HP boxes using their respective Unixes in this period as well as POSIX compliant OS/390 OE. In fact one of my jobs was teaching unix guys OS/390 and OS/390 guys unix. We were testing IBM's MQ Series across multiple platforms.
Then back to mainframes again from 1999 to 2003. After that mainly SLES for a few years then 2017 it was AWS servers. And linux Mint on my laptop.
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Old 21st January 2022, 11:59 AM   #32
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Sun 3/50 with OS, windowing system, and my code all running in 4MB with no hard drive...and then it would start to swap over the (overloaded, shared) 10mbit network.

One of my favorites was Apple A/UX, only because I had 2 hard drives attached and it was so fun watching it blink both lights as it booted.

AIX was the oddest. I had some PC-RTs and some very early laptops that ran AIX 3 I think. It seemed like IBM's goal was to rename all the programs so they'd be in the OS but you couldn't find them.
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Old 21st January 2022, 12:05 PM   #33
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My academic computing was based on Ultrix running on big DEC machines long long ago. My first home Linux was Red Hat 4.2 on a 486 box; my home server and one of my laptops are now running a recent version of Ubuntu.
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Old 24th January 2022, 04:19 AM   #34
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As far as I can recall, the first UNIX system I used was PNX on the Three Rivers PERQ, being sold by ICL, where I was working, around 1984/5. That was to familiarise ourselves with the OS, as we started working on a port of AT&T UNIX Sys V v2 (then v3) to a Intel 386 based modular system (that could also run DR-DOS). We originally had a DEC system (can't remember if it was a VAX or a PDP-11) running the reference implementation, that was replaced by a pair of AT&T 3B2/400 machines, which I administered for a while.

I then moved to HP, where I used HP-UX on series 300 and 800 machines. It was always described as Sys V based, but I suspect it was more complicated than that, since there was a lot of BSD in it. The product I worked on ended up being ported to other UNIX implementations, so I also used Sun (Solaris and SunOS), IBM (AIX) and Linux (various distributions). I then moved into support, and supported systems software on HP-UX, then Linux systems of various distributions at HP and then Hitachi.

I have dabbled, but never succeeded in getting a usable Linux system at home. By the time distributions were usable enough, I was using software that requires Windows (or an Apple system), mainly Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop.
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Old 24th January 2022, 08:41 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
I have dabbled, but never succeeded in getting a usable Linux system at home. By the time distributions were usable enough, I was using software that requires Windows (or an Apple system), mainly Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop.
You could still use Linux if you wanted. I don't know where the idea comes from that there can only be one OS on a computer. On the computer I'm using right now, I have 6 OSes on metal and another 6 VMs. Granted I'm a shameless hobbyist, but there's nothing stopping you from having it all. It's not such an ordeal to boot into whatever it is I want to use, or fire up a VM.

My point is that modern computers are powerful and flexible enough to offer choices like this.
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Old 24th January 2022, 09:19 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by eerok View Post
You could still use Linux if you wanted. I don't know where the idea comes from that there can only be one OS on a computer. On the computer I'm using right now, I have 6 OSes on metal and another 6 VMs. Granted I'm a shameless hobbyist, but there's nothing stopping you from having it all. It's not such an ordeal to boot into whatever it is I want to use, or fire up a VM.

My point is that modern computers are powerful and flexible enough to offer choices like this.
What prevents me from going the multi-boot route is that once I have the OS I need for some specific software, it turns out that OS also does everything else I want to do. With very few exceptions.

At home, my OS choice is determined mainly by the games I play. Since Windows runs the games, and also runs every major web browser, that's pretty much my entire life all on one OS. The only exception is a little bit of shell scripting I do from time to time. For that, I use Window's embedded Ubuntu instance, which I can get to without having to exit Windows.

At work, it's all MacOS all the time. This includes a unix/linux-like terminal for all my command-line needs, plus the same "runs all the browsers" functionality as Windows. The only exception is the one Windows server I manage. The Windows Remote Desktop client for Mac is a pain to get and requires a personal account with the Apple Store. With credit card and everything, even though the RDP client itself is actually free from the store. Since I don't want to go down that rabbit hole, I requisitioned a Windows VDI from corporate, which I use to RDP into the server in question.
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Old 24th January 2022, 10:16 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
What prevents me from going the multi-boot route is that once I have the OS I need for some specific software, it turns out that OS also does everything else I want to do. With very few exceptions.
I wouldn't expect anyone else to be as crazy as I am, but I do find that people put artificial limits on what can be done. I use everything except BSD, though I did use FreeBSD for years. (Lately I just don't have the patience for it, though that could change.) But when I use macOS and Windows I always have a Linux VM available.

If I played games more often, I'd use Windows more often, simply because I'm a pragmatist, but as it is there are too many things I do that are more natural on Linux. For example, I have scripts using Emacs/Pandoc/Sed to convert Markdown text to local HTML pages, which I use every day. I've never been able to make this work smoothly on Windows or macOS. Also I simply have a vast curiosity about various Linux distros, of which there are many.

Anyway, my intention on this topic is descriptive rather than prescriptive. I love my complicated computer life, but few others would.
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Old 24th January 2022, 11:16 AM   #38
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Not being a programmer nor gamer, I solve the multiple OS issue with different computers. Since one of the advantages of Linux is that it seems to run on just about anything, when my previous Win 10 laptop had a fatal hard drive crash, I just scrounged up another hard drive, wiped it, and installed Linux on it while I awaited a new laptop delivery. Once running, I found it worth keeping around, and now use it as a spare when, for example, I want to stream video (by wire) to the TV, or watch a DVD in another room while exercising, but not to unplug and replug the laptop I am using now.

Though this is not an issue for me, I imagine someone who has a taste for risky web sites could use a Linux-only computer, knowing that if something goes wrong, it affects only that, and that it can easily be rebooted or even reloaded from a read-only external drive. So when that XXX porn site or discount drug emporium turns out to be full of ransomware, you can just say "go to hell" and start over.
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Old 24th January 2022, 12:21 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post
Not being a programmer nor gamer, I solve the multiple OS issue with different computers. Since one of the advantages of Linux is that it seems to run on just about anything, when my previous Win 10 laptop had a fatal hard drive crash, I just scrounged up another hard drive, wiped it, and installed Linux on it while I awaited a new laptop delivery. Once running, I found it worth keeping around, and now use it as a spare when, for example, I want to stream video (by wire) to the TV, or watch a DVD in another room while exercising, but not to unplug and replug the laptop I am using now.

Though this is not an issue for me, I imagine someone who has a taste for risky web sites could use a Linux-only computer, knowing that if something goes wrong, it affects only that, and that it can easily be rebooted or even reloaded from a read-only external drive. So when that XXX porn site or discount drug emporium turns out to be full of ransomware, you can just say "go to hell" and start over.
This is the kind of thing I'm talking about. There are options, and there's no reason to limit oneself to just one. Well, except if someone simply isn't interested, which is fair enough. But Linux is so easy to make use of in various ways.
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Old 25th January 2022, 06:24 AM   #40
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Another who likes a few games that are windows only so my desktop is windows. I use Git bash for scripting as I installed it along with git and it integrates nicely into window with an "open git bash here" right click option on folders. I can write vbscript but it sucks and trying to rememberwhich calls are cscript irritates me and I like pipes. My laptop I use for programming etc and runs Linux mint. Games that run under Steam also get played there. Both run libre office, intellij, etc.
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