Linked by Eugenia Loli on Tue 15th Jul 2003 18:26 UTC
OpenStep, GNUstep Every so often I have this urge (maybe more of an itch) to spend hours and hours on the web trying to find information about old, obsolete computers of the past. I am intrigued by the XEROX Alto and Star ('70s-'82), the Apple Lisa ('83) and, of course, CRAYs ('75-ish). These were revolutionary machines indeed, they wrote golden pages in the history of computing. In the end of the 1980s, a new innovative product was ready to ship, created by a bunch of people coming from Apple: The NeXT platform.
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I used NeXT computers from '94 to '97 when I was in the Air Force. I loved it then because I liked the fact that it was *nix under the hood and plus I could have dual monitors while my Windows-using peers couldn't (though moving an app window over to the 2nd display was sometimes painfully slow)! Not sure what was available for Windows machines at the time - all I know is that my NeXT box could do it and their Windows machines couldn't or didn't have the hardware to do it. I also liked the object-oriented-ness of it and things like drag-n-drop, which most people take for granted nowadays.
By the time I left the Air Force, the IT shop was migrating from BlackBoxes to intel boxes (and eventually to WinNT (errr!), but I was leaving so I didn't care. After that I was pretty much a Windows user, as I didn't much care for the Apple look/feel (guess that makes me not a true mac-addict by some peoples standards).
When I saw OS X, especially things like the Mail app and the fact that I could open a terminal to get to the *nix shell, I knew right away what I was looking at and I got a big grin on my face. If only I had the cash, I would have bought a mac right then and there.
A few months later, when I was putting Win2K SP3 on my home PC and I rebooted into the great blue-screen-of-death, I got the PC back up enough to be able to access my critical files and then went out and bought my first Apple box. An iMac 17' flat panel unit.
I have not looked back yearning for my Windows box. It has not been easy - my brain and fingers/hands have been brainwashed by years of Windows, plus I still have to use it at work.
I bought VirtualPC, thinking there would be some reason why I would need to use it. I set up my virtual PC and that was pretty much the last time I used it.
I am grateful for NeXT, Apple, Unix, especially Linux, and this good article. I love the history of computing, especially the Internet (guess its my military background remembering DDN) and unix.
I just hope that it is not too late for Apple. It has been proven time and again that the best does not always finish first!