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OS 9 and Unix
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Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Mar 2004
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Mar 25, 2004, 12:30 PM
Ok this is for a bet. A PC-using friend of mine is certain that OS 9 is Unix-based. I'm insisting that OS X is the first Mac OS to be Unix-based. I'm pretty sure I'm right, but I need proof before I take his money from him. he's more up on how GUIs talk to operating systems and that sort of thing. I just need to be able to point him in the direction of a weblink or some other source material supporting my assertion that there is no Unix foundation to OS 9. Can anyone help me out?
Mac Elite
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Cambridge
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Mar 25, 2004, 01:27 PM
You may want to try www.theapplemuseum.com for some info on the early systems. Also, http://www.kernelthread.com/mac/osx/history.html has some good info on why Apple chose Unix for OS X.

I guess it would be tough to prove that the original Mac OS is not based on Unix because it's just something that everyone knows for a number of reasons. First, it was written by engineers within Apple. Their goal was to get away from the CLI. Second, it didn't have protected memory, preemtive multi-tasking, etc. I know this isn't entirely necessary to define a Unix, but it indicates that the original Mac OS (and the 8 successive versions) are not Unix.
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Mar 25, 2004, 02:44 PM
Well, there was A/UX, but that's definitely not OS 9. It only ran on certain 68K Macs.
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Mar 26, 2004, 10:26 PM
Here is some irony from the Programming Starter Kit For Macintosh:

"The future of Macintosh programming lies in object-oriented languages. The hottest new toys arriving on our desktops are written in object-oriented languages. The best application frameworks are all object based" ( Jim Trudeau 1995).

Mac OS 9 is definetly not based on UNIX.
- Unlike UNIX you have to allocate memory in Mac OS 9. So if you run out of memory in Adobe Photoshop you'll have to increase to make more images.
- The Mac OS 9 approach doesn't allow you to type in commands to get tasks done at specific times. The Finder is not a seperate application like in Mac OS X and it is harder to run more than a few applications at once. If you search the archives you'll see that many people did not want to switch because of the command line in Mac OS X. Which clearly shows that Mac OS 9 did not have one or else why the fuss if one did exist.
Posting Junkie
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Mar 29, 2004, 02:44 AM
^ What's so ironic about that quote? The future then (now our present) was object-oriented languages. I can't imagine writing a GUI app in a procedural programming language these days - what a waste of time!

Anyway: OS 9 is about as far from UNIX as you can possibly get. It has very, very little in common with UNIX.

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