More Dancing Hamsters
Tuesday, March 16, 1999 by Dave Winer.
This morning I went to Apple's announcement of Mac OS X Server.
You can get most of the facts from other reports that I will point to from the Scripting News home page.
They made performance claims that were impressive, but with respect to Windows NT, incomplete. They compared to Apache running on NT, not to IIS on NT. I have no idea why they didn't compare to IIS, which is a highly optimized server. However the combination of Mac OS X and the new G3 desktop appears to be an inexpensive alternative to Sun's servers.
The open source aspects of the announcement were not momentous. All the components they are releasing as open source already were open sourced.
Eric Raymond (Cathedral and Bazaar) and Brian Behlendorff (Apache and O'Reilly) were there, praising Apple.
Mac OS X Server server doesn't run Macintosh software. This will surprise many Mac server sysops. They touted the ease of installation, but having freshly installed a server on NT (Frontier, of course) I recognized the process. Sure it's simple, as simple as possible, which is to say not as simple as setting up a Mac, but simpler than setting up a Windows machine and far simpler than Apache.
Raines Cohen of NetProfessional says it doesn't run Mac software (in the Blue Box) because they wanted good benchmarks, and the Blue Box slows down software running on the machine. When I asked Jobs the question, he didn't volunteer this explanation. However, he did say that the Blue Box was available for the Mac OS X client.
Steve Jobs is, as always, a polished presenter. Confident, showing appropriate understatement, and clearly on a course different from many people who develop for the Macintosh. His pants were ripped, wearing old sneakers, he looked tanned and healthy.
I tried to talk with Avi Tevanian after the presentation to find out why they didn't build on Linux, rather than going down a different track, but he rushed off quickly.
That's about it. If you have any questions let me know.
PS: I love Apple. Even after all these years. They can get under my skin like no one else. Now, I know it's not healthy, they keep saying goodbye and I keep thinking they don't mean it. But they do. I would love to be able to compile my Mac apps for Linux, I was hoping that's what Apple would announce today. But there's hope. The rumor mill is churning on this one. Our Mac code base may yet have strategic value! Ye-hi. Stay tuned.
PPS: I know the title of this piece makes no sense. I picked it in a hurry. Dancing Hamsters is still one of my favorite story titles of all times. I wanted to reuse it. Sorry!