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RE: MathCad (was TEDDS)

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> -----Original Message-----
> From: Christopher Wright [mailto:chrisw(--nospam--at)]
> Sent: Thursday, May 24, 2001 9:37 PM
> To: SEAOC Newsletter
> Subject: RE: MathCad (was TEDDS)
> And the Mac did it first. Gates had to copy the Mac OS because it was
> obvious that DOS was obsolete, for all the reaons you've stated. Simple
> as that.

I don't think this is the case. Rather, the Mac OS and Windows (as well as
OS/2's Presentation Manager interface for that matter) all derived from the
same idea: The Xerox PARC project of the late 1960s-early 1970s.

Surely you realize that the "look and feel" of the Mac OS was not unique; in
fact there were "windowing systems" running on top of Unix (most notable the
"X Window System", OSF's "Motif", etc.) several years before the first Mac!
(X is still with us today, in fact, being the fundamental graphical
interface behind just about ALL the various Linux front-ends).

Now don't misunderstand me; I'm not knocking Macintosh. I've used Mac, and I
like it just fine--and I think they're FINALLY allowing the software to
catch up to the hardware with OS X--but it is simply silly to suggest that
Mac somehow "broke new ground" that was "copied by Microsoft with Windows."
It just ain't so. In fact, I would point out that "under the hood," Windows
NT/2000 passed by the Mac OS long ago; OS X is only just now coming into use
as a serious, "crash-proof" system and while it has many bugs, I have to say
that Windows 2000 is absolutely rock-solid (can't say the same thing about
those silly "toy" OSes, Windows 9x/Me).

If Microsoft COPIED anything, it was the earliest versions of Presentation
Manager, which was the part of OS/2 1.x that had actually been developed by
IBM. But again, IBM had simply taken the window concept from the original
Xerox PARC project, just as X Window System and Motif, etc.

Mac was just another, separate branch of that development. However, I admit
they were the first to take the concept "to the masses" with the Macintosh
(the earlier LISA which used a similar interface, was supposed to be a
high-end graphics workstation, but was too slow and too expensive to shove
the Unix-based workstations out of that market, and so was scrapped).

Finally, remember that Apple tried to milk the Apple ][ for all it was
worth, introducing new models into the late 1980s, so they weren't even
completely "all-Mac" until then!

And I promise not to mention the Apple III if you won't.

William L. Polhemus, Jr., P.E.
Polhemus Engineering Company
Katy, Texas
Phone 281-492-2251
Fax 281-492-8203

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