Mac OS X (ten) notes
I've tried it, and I like it - as a unix and macos
user, it fits my needs well. It is basically a complete unix system (from NeXT
step OS) with a better than X-Window/CDE graphic interface (though this
isn't networkable like X), with parts of the MacOS added.
It requires a Mac G3, but should run on iMacs.
This isn't an end-user OS yet; that will come later this year perhaps.
There are some limits to what this server release can do - it hasn't full
MacOS features. It requires Ethernet for any networking (no PPP/dialup
from my home mac). The MacOS "yellow box" interface is both more robust than
I'd thought (one can "reboot" from a different system disk inside this), and
less interesting than I'd like since it isn't a seamless integration yet (that
is in the works).
It does have complete, current Apache HTTPd, Perl, Java, GNU development soft
and such, and on a Mac G3 makes a fast HTTP/Web server (according
to Apple docs, it is one of the fastest, certainly for the money).
I could for instance put a FlyBase server onto MacOS X without much work.
The OS X system interface includes full Java support for programming
apps and OS additions as well as its Objective C holdover from NeXTStep.
It isn't a substitute for the easy to use Appleshare server though.
It has some unique network services. Network booting of slave
macs is possible (e.g., for a classroom, but I'd only recommend this where
the admin person wants complete control over the slave systems, it isn't a
money saver) and QuickTime video streaming for multimedia networking. Also
the NeXTStep originate WebObjects for fancy web server and database
interfacing (middleware) is available. I haven't tested these.
For about $250 educational price for MacOS X, plus ~ $900 for an original iMac,
one could have a good unix server/workstation w/ some nice MacOS features.
It doesn't quite compete with a cheap Intel/Linux system in price,
but offers some niceties not available there.
-- gilbertd at bio.indiana.edu