easy vs. powerful OS

Wed Mar 13 09:13:00 EST 1991

I would like to follow up on Peter Markiewicz's thoughtful discussion
about easy vs. powerful.
I define reliability as "Did the operator obtain the expected benefit
with an acceptable expenditure of resourse?".  How reliable is your
computer?  How reliable is my Mac?  I don't think that there exist
ANY truely reliable computers across a reasonable domain of activity.
Laudable benefits of the Mac that distinguish it from many compeditors
Vendor enforces strong standards for information exchange across
       software packages.
The O/S has strong display, print, and network services models.  Of
       course the best O/S would have a single image model and
       the primative notions "display" and "print" would vanish.
The community of consumers supports strong interface standards.  This
       decreases the learning curve for new applications and supports
       the illusion that one has a single homogeneous computing
IMHO the Mac user interface/desktop metaphor is nice, is reasonably
       intuitive , and has some real problems that any good UNIX
       wizard could point out.
Why hasn't the NeXT, or SUN, or RS/6000 taken the world by storm?
They fit most of the Mac values that I admire.  I believe that it
is because most users don't want to learn the underlying UNIX so
they can set up their computer to do the "simple" things.
I hope that diversity will rule until we come up with simple, extensible,
and deep operating systems.  I look forward to observing GO.  Being old
and a typist and all, I suspect I can compute much more efficiently via
keyboard/pointing device than via pen.  Now I sound just like an old
UNIX advocate don't I!

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