OPEN THREAD 20200324

Basically, all legal free speech is allowed. We will assist the authorities in dealing with illegal speech. You are each other’s moderators. Have fun. And don’t forget to MAGA at nuclear levels.

After going through the elements, we now enjoy a sequence of RANDOM somewhat pseudo-random topics that will be thrown out for investigation and commentary on each open thread. At some point, in a way something like composite numbers, I will accidentally hit a second occurrence of one of them – that’s just normal.

Have fun!

Citizen U

(a.k.a. W on the OTHER site)

Day 139 – The NeXT Computer and the NeXTSTEP Operating System

12 thoughts on “OPEN THREAD 20200324

  1. Y’know, there’s a lot of things to unpack in the subject of “The NeXT Computer and the NeXTSTEP Operating System”, and it’s really impossible to even discuss without some historical context.

    It’s probably easiest to start with NeXT being founded by Steve Jobs after he was fired by Apple.

    Wait, what? Didn’t Steve Jobs die as CEO of Apple? Well, yeah — after they hired him back.

    If you trace it through the Jobs line (which is not the only line and not necessarily the best trace for every purpose). Jobs co-founded Apple with the Woz in 1976, went public in 1980, and both he and Woz left in 1985 — Woz to a cushy “consultant” role, but Jobs in a noisy flounce triggered by the CEO he’d hired two years earlier — John Sculley, formerly of PepsiCo. Jobs founded NeXT, which actually had a computer in 1988. NeXT had an operating system (NeXTSTEP), various peripherals, a whole new object-oriented programming environment (Interface Builder, which became OpenStep), and was winning technical accolades across the board (although not sales).

    In his spare time, Jobs bought control of a computer-graphics spinoff from Lucasfilm in 1986 that eventually became PIXAR. He probably regarded Sculley’s years at Apple as the most productive of his life…..though not Apple’s. [PIXAR was purchased by Disney in 2006 for $7.4B, which made Steve Jobs the largest individual shareholder of Disney.]

    Gil Amelio, formerly of National Semiconductor, became CEO of Apple on February 2, 1996. Apple purchased NeXT on February 4, 1997. Apple’s stock price slumped during Amelio’s tenure, taking a big hit on June 26, 1997 when an anonymous seller sold 1.5 million shares — which lead to his ouster as CEO in early July and the appointment of Steve Jobs as interim CEO. (Eventually it was discovered that the “anonymous” seller……was Steve Jobs.)

    Oh, and NeXTSTEP became the foundation of all subsequent Apple operating systems.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Before going to Europe on business, a man drove his Rolls Royce to a downtown NY City bank and went in to ask for an immediate loan of $5,000.
    The loan officer was quite taken a back, and requested collateral.
    “Well, then, here are the keys to my Rolls-Royce”, the man said.
    The loan officer promptly had the car driven into the bank’s underground parking for safekeeping, and gave him $5,000.

    Two weeks later, the man walked through the bank’s doors, and asked to settle up his loan and get his car back.
    The loan officer checked the records and told him, “That will be $5,000 in principal, and $15.40 in interest.”
    The man wrote out a check, thanked the loan officer, and started to walk away.
    “Wait sir,” the loan officer said, “while you were gone, I found out you are a millionaire. Why in the world would you need to borrow?”
    The man smiled. “Where else could I securely park my Rolls-Royce in Manhattan for two weeks and pay only $15.40?”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Other things that were happening around the same time —

    https://www.cbronline.com/news/sci_systems_fortune_3216_to_be_replaced_by_entry_level_formula

    https://www.computerhistory.org/collections/catalog/102639961

    Fortune Computer was located on Fortune Drive in San Jose. I worked around the corner. They made Motorola 68000-based computers running licensed UNIX. At one point, one of their development staff got some Silicon Valley street cred by disassembling his dev machine and mounting its individual components on the side of his desk — he had previously claimed that anything he had in a box got grabbed at night and shipped by salesmen.

    Note that the History Museum’s item is from 1982 and the news report is from 1987. They were around for a while.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A successful businessman flew to Vegas for the weekend to gamble. He lost the shirt off his back, and had nothing left but a quarter and the second half of his round trip ticket. All he needed to do was somehow get to the airport, and then he’d be home-free. So he went out to the front of the casino where there was a cab waiting. He got in and explained his situation to the cabbie. He promised to send the driver money from home. He offered him his credit card numbers, his driver’s license number, his address, etc… The cabbie said, “If you don’t have fifteen dollars, get the hell out of my cab!”

    So the businessman was forced to hitchhike to the airport and was barely in time to catch his flight.

    One year later the businessman, having worked long and hard to regain his financial success, returned to Vegas, and this time he won big. Feeling pretty good about himself, he went out to the front of the casino to get a cab ride back to the airport. Well, who should he see out there, at the end of a long line of cabs, but his old buddy who had refused to give him a ride when he was down on his luck…..

    The businessman thought for a moment about how he could make the guy pay for his lack of charity, and he hit on a plan. The businessman got in the first cab in the line, “How much for a ride to the airport,” he asked? “Fifteen bucks,” came the reply. “And how much for you to give me a blowjob on the way?” “What?! Get the hell out of my cab.”

    The businessman got into the back of each cab in the long line and asked the same questions, with the same result.

    When he got to his old friend at the back of the line, he got in and asked, “How much for a ride to the airport?”
    The cabbie replied, “Fifteen bucks.” The businessman said, “OK,” and off they went.

    Then, as they drove slowly past the long line of cabs, the businessman gave a big smile and thumbs up sign to each of the other drivers.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Other, other things that were happening at the same time — I actually owned one of these at one point (never booted, didn’t have the bandwidth/resources to refurb and load) — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AT%26T_Unix_PC

    The overall thing was that Universities all taught Computer Science on UNIX, while all the commercial PC systems at the time were MSDOS-based or 1994-version Macintosh when they graduated. Windows 3.1 — the first Windows that wasn’t a complete joke — came out in 1992.

    And Linus didn’t create the Linux kernel until 1991, and it was very rough at that point.

    So there was a lot of flailing, and weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth, and a lot of money and effort flung in ultimately silly and unproductive directions.

    And when any of that is compared to a Raspberry Pi 4 today, it all seems ridiculous.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Agency: ” Sir, we found 3 candidates as per your requirements. How do you want their placements, sir?”

    MD [Note — I get a lot of these nightly jokes from English sources. MD is “Managing Director”]: “Put about 100 bricks in a closed room. Then send the candidates into the room and close the door, leave them alone and come back after a few hours and analyse [<- not a z, as if you didn't already know it was Brit] the situation:

    1. If they are counting the bricks, put them in Accounts department.

    2. If they are recounting the bricks, put them in Auditing.

    3. If they messed up the whole room with the bricks, put them in Engineering.

    4. If they are arranging the bricks in some strange order, put them in Planning.

    5. If they are throwing the bricks at each other, put them in Operations.

    6. If they are sleeping, put them in Security.

    7. If they broke the bricks into pieces, put them in Information Technology.

    8. If they are sitting idle, put them in Human Resources.

    9. If they say they have tried different combinations yet not a single brick has been moved, put them in Sales.

    10. If they have already left for the day, Put them in Marketing.

    11. If they are staring out of the window, put them in Strategic Planning. And…

    12. If they are talking to each other and not a single brick has been touched, Congratulate them and put them in Top Management.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. A man on a business trip to Las Vegas had heard about how incredible Las Vegas prostitutes were….so, on his first night there, he decided he would go out and try his luck. He walked outside his hotel and looked up and down the street and saw an attractive girl standing on the corner. He approached her and asked her if she is working tonight, and sure enough she said “Meet me in room 804 across the street.” He was in luck. She was a knockout.

    They got to the room and he sat down anxiously on the edge of the bed. She asked him what he wanted, and he thought for a second, then said “How much for a hand job?” She said, “300”. His eyes popped open and he asked “300?” She said, “Walk over to that window and open the curtains”. He proceeded. “See that motel down there? I own it, and I didn’t inherit it. I’m that good.” He was like, “well go right ahead honey”. So she proceeded to give him the best hand job he ever had.

    After a little rest he thought, if that was that good…”How much for a blow job?” She said “600”. OH MY GOD! was his reply. She told him to walk back over to the window. “See that 15 story hotel? I own it and I didn’t inherit it. I’m that good.” He said “Well get to work then sweetie.” And, sure enough, he got the best blow job he had ever received.

    After a little “rebuilding” time, he thought, if that was that good… “How much for sex?”

    She chuckled and said, “Honey, I’d own this whole damned town if only I had a pussy.”

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh, I forgot to mention — I’m going to be manually writing grub entries tomorrow. Been studying it all day.

    One little bit of fun is that Linux prefers to refer to assets (like boot sectors) by UUID — which should stay the same even if you unplug a disk from the first interface card and plug it into the third.

    …..but then, there’s LVM UUIDs, which supposedly serve the same purpose…..but have a different format, a different character set, and are used in different context. Other than that, they’re mostly similar.

    Liked by 1 person

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