Linux is making Apple Great Again

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2023-03-26 18:30:14

MAGA pun aside, Linux is doing more for Apple hardware than macOS right now… at least in the eyes of some old UNIX nerds like me.

At the Southern California Linux Expo (SCaLE) earlier this month, the closing keynote was given by Ken Thompson (co-creator of the UNIX operating system and the Go programming language). During the Q&A session following that keynote, Ken was asked “What’s your operating system of choice, today?” While you can watch it here, his response was:

“I have for most of my life, because I was sort of born into it, run Apple. Right now, recently, meaning within the last five years, I’ve become more and more and more depressed and [Laughter] what Apple is doing to something which should allow you to work is just atrocious, but they are taking a lot of space and time to do it so it’s ok. [Laughter] And I have come within the last month or two to say even though I’ve invested a zillion years in Apple, I’m throwing it away and I’m going to Linux. To Raspbian in particular. [Applause] Anyway, I’m half transitioned now.”

As an Apple user since the early days of Mac OS X UNIX (now called macOS), I mirror Ken’s sentiment exactly. Many of us watching Apple these past two decades have seen macOS move slowly towards closed standards and tighter control, instead of openness and functionality. When I boot my mid-2000s era Apple PowerBook G4 for a nostalgia kick, I’m reminded of how great macOS once was.

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