[Beowulf] Joe Blaylock's notes on running a MacOS cluster, Nov. 2007

Robert G. Brown rgb at phy.duke.edu
Wed Nov 21 14:48:48 EST 2007

On Wed, 21 Nov 2007, Tim Cutts wrote:

> It didn't work for Mac OS X's previous incarnation, though, in the form of 
> NextSTEP, did it?  Selling that platform as an OS and abandoning hardware 
> manufacture did not save NeXT.

Yeah, but that's because it was too late and everybody knew that while
NextStep was a great UI, its systems management back end sucked and was
globally incompatible with just about everything.  And it's Unix was
broken, and...

But what if they'd STARTED by selling NeXTStep as a Unix for PCs back
before Linux was really born, for $50 a seat.  OS/2 and Windows BOTH
would have been stillborn, and Jobs would be Gates today.

> And with open source operating systems not far behind in many respects, I 
> don't know how much future there really is in basing a business on operating 
> system software unless, as in Microsoft's case, you already have an effective 
> monopoly.

No, it is probably too late for them.  And eventually Microsoft, too,
shall fall.  No matter how they try to specialize interfaces and patent
things, they face the paradox that if they ever eliminate all
competition they lose their next antitrust suit bigtime and get broken
up.  If they fail to, eventually open source becomes functionally
equivalent at a fraction of the cost.  The only way they can survive is
to suborn the standards process (which they are trying hard to do with
their document type before the ISO or IETF or whatever) and get somebody
to approve an "open" standard that is really closed and hooked to
patents.  And software patents have yet to be really and truly tried in
court -- there have been both successes and failures there.

But we'll see.  Nothing will happen quickly because the companies have
far too much money to go away all at once regardless.


> Tim

Robert G. Brown
Duke University Dept. of Physics, Box 90305
Durham, N.C. 27708-0305
Phone(cell): 1-919-280-8443
Web: http://www.phy.duke.edu/~rgb
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