Re: What now, tech?


Subject: Re: What now, tech?
From: Kevin P. Parks (Kevin.P.Parks@Dartmouth.EDU)
Date: Sun Dec 15 1996 - 19:29:41 EST


This is a confusing time to be looking into hardware.
Since there seems to be more options than ever and
you don't want to be stuck with a platform that no one
else is developing audio apps for.

True MacOs sucks beyond measure (i hate it so much).
It only seems great in comparison to lesser platforms.
Still no threads, no job control. Every little thing that
you do wrong, every little inadvertent click of the
mouse, every left out comma means a coffee break
while the stupid computer reboots. If you can't find
the bug in your code then it takes you all day because
you have to reboot every time you fail to find the
bug.

The mac is ok (though still flakey) if you are
  1. not putting it on a network
  2. only one person is ever going to use it (hey! who put
  that extension in the sys., folder!? now MIDI doesn't work!
   an hey, who deleted my work!)
  3. you only want to do one process at a time.

in other words, doing Finale or ClarisWorks, not hacking
Csound! (though those guys at MIlls just rock! Csound
is more usable on a Mac than it has ever been thanks
to them! Hats off!). Though i still do my papers
on the NeXT because i love the spell checker and
the "digital webster" which you can invoke from
any app just by hitting Command= (so great!
what was life like before it?)

and that shitty file viewer! (i hate that little triangle
thingy they came up with! Look at the nice thing that
SGI has with the path on top! That's cool, but i still
like the browser view in NeXT best. I don't want to have
to open a folder to see what is in it and i don't want 800
windows open.

AND NO MEMORY MANAGEMENT! What is an OS for?!!
Why do i have to tell it how much memory to give an app?
And why can't i get that memory back when the app is idle?
Macs are unusable without GOOBS of RAM. Luckily RAM
is getting more affordable.

The only thing that the mac as an OS has over
NeXTStep is that you can put folders on the
desk top (though if many people are
using the same computer i am not so sure
that is a good thing)

Until CodeWorrior came along it was a nightmare
to develop on. And as nice as CodeWarrior is
i would give it all up in a minute for the
a good command line compiler (gcc) and all the scripting
possibilities you get with UNIX. And the NeXT Interface
Builder is a thing of wonder. I could never build an app
with a GUI on Mac, But i could on the NeXT.

But having said that there is so much
wonderful software for the Mac.
(though most of it is not freeware
like on NeXT/SGI).

I don't think this BeBox thing is anything
to sneeze at either. I could be the thing that saves
apple or does it in (they are trying like hell to buy BeOS
and BeOS is given 'em hell!). And a full blown BeBox is
really affordable and some folks here saw the BeOS in action
and were really impressed.

I would be very interested to hear what you(s) think
about the BeBox, if you have seen it at all.
If you are a NeXTstep user maybe you look at
the BeBox and shrug and say ok (give me
two PPCs and my NeXT would scream!),
but not bad, but from the vantage-point
of a mac user it is VERY exciting!

Looks like you many computer music folks are headed the 02
route and as a UNIX biased person myself i would be happy to
see that, but i am annoyed by the fact that a person on the
street could own a Mac, but someone without academic
affiliation couldn't really do the SGI thing. And since i am
six months away from graduation . . . (god! I'd be stuck
with a Mac! help me!!)

Still, i 'll miss NeXTStep. We dared to dream . . .

kevin parks
the bregman electro-acoustic studio
dartmouth college



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