Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 4th May 2013 09:36 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems "NeXT Computer (the original 68030 cube) was a high end workstation that was manufactured between 1988 - 1990. Back then it was a very expensive machine as a complete system would start at $6500 (in 1988 dollars). The machine is a 1 foot cube magnesium case that houses the computer. At the time, its performance was impressive, with a Motorola 68030 CPU running at a screaming 25Mhz, a dedicated floating point CPU, and a digital signal processor built into the system. NeXT cubes featured a magneto-optical drive that stored a whopping 256 Megabytes (by comparison, high end Mac systems at the time might have featured a 20 Megabyte hard drive.) In its day, this was the "Ferrari" of desktop systems!" No new information for the average OSNews reader, but lots of beautiful photos for a beautiful Saturday afternoon.
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The high water mark of computing
by MacMan on Sun 5th May 2013 17:35 UTC
MacMan
Member since:
2006-11-19

NeXT was without a doubt the high water mark of computing at least from an elegance / efficiency standpoint.

IMO, OSX has continued steadily downhill since. I would like to know, why with 20 years worth of effort, we still can't have a Linux desktop that approaches the consistency and usability of NeXT? What exactly does OSX do that requires over a gig of ram when NeXT ran just fine on 8-16 meg?

Look how elegant the package system was on NeXT, all apps are self contained in .app directories, these contain the binaries, icons, resources, and a config file that tells the desktop what icon to display them with, what binary to run and what env vars to set. All self contained. Why do we need .desktop files in special directories? Why do I need to write a .desktop file, edit it to reference an icon, binary just to use an app not in a Linux repo?

Enough of my rant, NeXT was just awesome along with BeOS, wish we could one day have something that simple and usable again.

Reply Score: 2

tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

Everything in the past looks much better in comparison with the present, when one gets the luxury to forget what sucked about the past...

Reply Parent Score: 3

tails92 Member since:
2007-10-07

http://www.windowmaker.org
Then look at GNUstep stuff and start from there.

Reply Parent Score: 2

MacMan Member since:
2006-11-19

I've tried window maker on and off for 10 years, and it sucks as bad today as it did in 2000. For some bizarre reason, they wrote their own toolkit that supposedly visually resembles NeXT, but that's about it, zero integration with GNUStep, gnome or KDE, because, you know what, we want to write our own homegrown toolkit and not just use something sane like GTK or Qt.

I use unity these days, it's far from perfect, but at least it's improving, and starting to get some integration with apps.

Reply Parent Score: 2

MacMan Member since:
2006-11-19

I gave up on GNUStep long ago. It would have been a great API if the underlying toolkit was GTK, but no, they have to rool their own widget set, so GNUStep apps look like crap when running along side GTK (or Qt because Qt is smart enough to use the GTK theme engine so Qt apps look just like GTK).

The original Openstep API was actually cross platform, and used native Windows widgets on Windows so they looked right.

Reply Parent Score: 2

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

NeXT ran just fine on 8-16 meg

From some other posts (the whartung one just above: "8MB RAM [...] These specs basically allowed it to boot up, and I was fortunate to be able to quickly upgrade it to 20MB"), it seems NeXT really wasn't running fine on 8.

But generally, it does seem like an amazing OS, given its age. Not really "the "Ferrari" of desktop systems!", more a Porsche ;) (as in, a supercar that is also actually useful)

Edited 2013-05-09 20:27 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2