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Comment Re:It could work. (Score 0) 686

It's not a theory, it's the truth.

In fact the mkLinux you mention was originally a port done by two guys named Mark and Karl, hence "mk".

Steve Jobs saw Slackware on a CD and, being that he wanted to see the floppy disk die, he chose that distro to port as Mac OSX. Most other distros at that point were still on floppy disk. Woz and Seymour Cray were drinking buddies so when they needed some high performance multi-threading support from Cray's UNICOS system, Woz tapped his pal and got access to the necessary code for a handshake rather than the usual multi-million dollar licensing fees.

The whole "NeXTSTEP" thing was to fool investors into thinking they had a solid product, not something they hacked out over a few weeks. In fact if you do any development on Mac OSX or iOS, you will see "ns_____" things called all the time. The "ns" does not mean "NextStep" as many people think. It means "Nice Seymour" as a tip of the hat to the man that made all that code available for free.

I remember all this like it was yesterday.

Comment Re:It could work. (Score 0) 686

Nope. OSX is a fork/mix of early Slackware Linux with some earlier Cray UNICOS multi-threading library support.

NeXTSTEP is based on AT&T SysV UNIX with graphical libraries borrowed from Ashton-Tate's (ahead of its time) Framework suite. If memory serves I think they also uses some of CP/M's successor MP/M 86 for some sweet multiuser stuff.

I remember it all like it was yesterday!

Comment Re:It could work. (Score 2) 686

Good thing you mentioned Apple's OSX, I forgot about that one in my well-researched history.

OSX is a fork of Linux, Slackware specifically, which itself is some original old Linux code with some Cray UNICOS bolted on for what was then some decent HPC.

Comment It could work. (Score 5, Funny) 686

Remember that forks sometimes do succeed.

Take Linux. It forked from OpenBSD which itself was forked from QNX with smatterings of FreeBSD code.

QNX programmed itself from vacuum tubes and trace wires left on the ground at Quantum Software in Ottawa one evening. Dan Hildebrand (RIP) apparently had something to do with this metamorphosis.

Meanwhile across the ocean, FreeBSD was forked from Windows 95 which itself came from the unholy union of MS-DOS and the GEM environment. MS-DOS was bought from a company in Washington State and was a fork of CP/M. GEM was a stand alone thing and should never have been born.

Where was I? Oh yeah, CP/M. CP/M was a copy of Apple's SOS used in the Apple /// series of super-powerful business computers. The source code was left at an airport where Gary Kildall read it when his plane was on auto-pilot.

Apple SOS was a mix/fork of Apple ProDOS and TRS-80's OS; I forget the name, not important. Radio Shack forked their TRS-80 OS from some source code they saw in Lions' Commentary on UNIX 6th Edition.


Comment Re:Evidence of the Great Filter? (Score 1) 365

That would require the Earth to be very very special indeed, and I just don't see it.

Not at all. For example, I just generated a random number between 1 and 1e9. It was 869,502,332. By your logic, therefore, that number must have been very, very special. But no, it was just really improbable and that number happened to come up.

It may very well be the same case with life. Life could just be extremely improbable, and Earth just happened to be "the number" that was picked. This is what the Anthropic Principle is all about. Our perceptions are colored by the fact that we're here, so we think, "Since the Earth is not special, therefore, other planets must have life like Earth." It might just be that Earth was the lottery winner.

I said this in another post, but I'll say it again: The best evidence against life being common is the fact that it only happened once on Earth. It's fairly conclusive that all life on Earth has a common ancestor. If abiogenesis were easy and common, it wouldn't just stop once it happened one time, it would happen continuously over the billions of years since it happened for us. But it didn't.

And honestly, life on Earth being completely unique in the universe isn't that hard for me to believe when I look at the utterly insane complexity of cellular machinery. But again, extreme improbability doesn't matter when we're deal with the anthropic principle. We don't sense how long it took for intelligent life to pop up, just like we didn't sense the 13 billion years until you and I were born to think about all this.

Comment Re:Evidence of the Great Filter? (Score 1) 365


We have zero evidence for life being likely, except wishful thinking in the form hand-waving like the utterly useless Drake equation. On the other hand, we do have some suggestive evidence that life itself is improbable. The biggest evidence is that, as near as we can determine, it only happened once on Earth. If life was probable, it should have continued to re-occur, but we're fairly certain that all life has a common ancestor.

Comment Re:Evidence of the Great Filter? (Score 1) 365

More like, "it's how it was in the beginning. We all know at this point it's a dumb idea and a huge mistake, and Reddit has proven that editing can work and work well, but we're too set in our ways to admit it's a mistake and thus we'll call it 'working as intended' and pretend that it serves a purpose." See also: Deleting accounts.

"The Mets were great in 'sixty eight, The Cards were fine in 'sixty nine, But the Cubs will be heavenly in nineteen and seventy." -- Ernie Banks