Thinking about OS X, iOS ... and beyond
In 2001, Apple introduced OS X: a completely revamped and UNIX-based operating system which gave the platform some much-needed technologies to the Mac that Mac OS couldn't. It represented a clean break from Mac OS 9, and it is what has kept me in the Apple camp. While OS X -- with its children and grandchildren OSes iOS, watchOS and most recently tvOS -- still forms the basis of Apple's OS strategy, given its age of 26 years (counting from the first public release of NeXTSTEP, which was fused with some Mac OS technologies to give birth to OS X) I was thinking: what would replace Apple's current OSes?
IBM, SCO scheduled to go back to courts over Unix
The long-running but stalled legal battle between Unix vendor SCO and IBM has been reactivated in Utah courts, Groklaw revealed. The proceedings were interrupted when SCO entered bankruptcy court. SCO sued IBM, among others, for using Unix code and integrating it into Linux, though it doesn't own Unix copyrights, as ruled in a different case between Novell and SCO.
Move reflects sea change in non-Windows platforms
DSPanel has utilized Java to create multi-platform native versions of its Performance Canvas Studio for Mac OS X, Linux and Unix as well as its original Windows platform. The suite is the company's flagship product for business intelligence (BI) correlation of various data sources and is also accessible on mobile devices via the web. The program is "multi-tenant" meaning databases can be set up to serve multiple clients, organizations or users to access the data.
Helped lead US' first cyber attack
Robert Morris, who helped develop the Unix OS died Sunday at 78. Mr. Morris was also a renowned cryptographer and expert on online warfare. He was best known for some of his work in the early 70s, he became part of a group developing the Unix computer operating system. His contribution included work on security, password systems and encryption.
Update improves AppleScript support, more
Code by Kevin has launched an update to its Unix page-reader, Manpower, now at version 4. The software presents a three-pane display of Unix Man pages, giving a more easily read view of Unix software documentation -- the built-in manual -- normally accessed via the Unix terminal. It supports printing the man pages, or converting them to text or PDF. Other capabilities include search and browse support and bookmarking.
Gartner breaks down 2010 desktop OS share by cash
A unique breakdown of the OS market by revenue share published by Gartner on Wednesday has revealed moves up in revenue market share by Apple, Microsoft, and some Linux developers last year. Windows as expected stayed on top and gained share by its cash intake, up almost nine points to 78.6 percent and $23.85 billion dollars' worth of sales. Apple only moved up a tenth of a point to 1.7 percent total share, but the growth had it moving twice as quickly and jumping 15.8 percent to $520 million.
UnXis completes taking over SCO's Unix technology
UnXis on Monday afternoon said it had finished buying out all of the SCO Group's staff and patents following its failed return to relevance. The buyout gives it control over SCO Unix as well as the roughly 32,000 contracts SCO still held. Plans weren't exact but would include a "new generation of hardware, software and cloud computing."
RIM says QNX long-term sequel to BlackBerry OS
RIM during a breakfast at the BlackBerry DevCon session today said the QNX foundations at the heart of the BlackBerry PlayBook would eventually replace BlackBerry OS itself. Confirming a rumor, a vice president said the roots to the currently isolated BlackBerry Tablet OS would eventually spread to the smartphones. BlackBerry 7, which doesn't have a timeframe, would likely be a gateway ahead of the full switch.
Bridges AD to over 260 versions of UNIX, Linux, M
Centrify has announced a second update to its flagship product, Centrify Suite 2010, which adds a dozen new UNIX and Linux platforms to the list of supported operating systems for its Active Directory-based access management and identity verification tool. Centrify Express, its free version, has also been updated with Solaris and OpenSolaris support.
Adobe Flash, Reader, Acrobat vulnerable to attack
Adobe outlined a zero day flaw in Adobe Flash that can be used to crash the system it's hosted on or even let an attacker install other malicious software. The problem includes Flash for Android OS devices as well as components, and Flash is the only component Adobe says is being exploited, with no reports of attacks on Reader or Acrobat to date.
Group appeals earlier court decision
SCO Group has filed an appeal in a last-ditch effort to revive the legal battle over Unix patents. The latest move arrives after seven years of unsuccessful litigation, which culminated in the jury verdict and final judgment against SCO in the US District Court for the District of Utah. Judge Ted Stewart attempted to close the case, however the judgement left room for an appeal.
SCO shut out of further cases
SCO was dealt a late and possibly final blow on Thursday as Judge Ted Stewart has handed Novell a declaratory judgment against SCO in court. The decision supports Novell's view that it owns key Unix copyrights and that SCO didn't need or own the copyrights for its controversial SCOsource program, which would have forced some of those using Linux to pay royalties. It further lets Novell dismiss SCO's related lawsuits against IBM and Sequent.
New version supports attaching scripts to events
Bare Bones has released an update to its HTML and text editor, BBEdit 9.5. BBEdit is geared toward both web authors and software developers for manipulating, editing and searching HTML and text. It has professional tools like grep pattern matching, search and replace across multiple files -- including unopened files on remote servers, syntax coloring, Apple and Unix script support and code completion. It also syncs preferences and Application Support folders across multiple Macs via MobileMe.
Librarian Pro 2 adds business optimizations
Koingo Software has launched updates of two of its software titles, MacPilot 4 and Librarian Pro 2. Mac Pilot enables hidden features and abilities in the MAC OS, and can optimize and run maintenance routines as well. It runs a user interface over more arcane UNIX scripts, allowing everyday users access to features like disabling menu-bar translucency, erasing recently used files, disabling system animations and changing winnow resizing speeds.
Jury unanimously decides in favor of Novell
The SCO Group faces yet another loss in its legal battle involving a number of Unix patents, according to a blog post on Novell's website. A District Corut of Utah jury on Tuesday issued a verdict confirming Novell's ownership of the Unix copyrights. SCO had attempted to convince the court that IBM and Novell were illegally profiting from SCO-owned Unix code built into their respective versions of Linux.
QNAP NAS servers get 8TB capacity, hot swap bays
QNAP recently announced it has added two new Turbo NAS servers to its extensive lineup, including the TS-419P for desktops and the rack-mounted TS-419U. Their specs are nearly identical, including the same Marvell 1.2GHz processor, 512MB of DDR2 RAM and support for up to 8TB. Either can hold both 2.5- and 3.5-inch hard drives in four hot-swappable bays. Storage expansion is made possible thanks to four USB ports and two eSATA ports.
Blackout 3.1 ($9) is a utility that can dim a screen regardless of the monitors current hardware or gamma settings. The application works by placing a transparent window over the desktop. The window provides the dimming effect and passes keystrokes and clicks through to underlying applications. The update includes two new display modes, Spotlight creates a circle of light which can follow the cursor or stay fixed on a specific area, and Soft Edges gradually fades the corners of the screen. Version 3.1 includes several improvements to some of the softwares existing features. New options have been added to the system-wide menu, the window fading animation has been improved, and some of the menu items have been reworded for clarity purposes. [Download - 0.86MB]
QNAP Turbo NAS servers
QNAP Systems on Monday said it will soon release two new Turbo NAS servers meant for use in corporate or entry-level enterprise environments. The TS-439U-RP and TS-439U-SPK share the same four-drive design that fits into 1U racks and has hot-swappable bays. Total capacity in either is 8TB when using 2TB drives. Either can be configured to accommodate 2.5-inch or 3.5-inch hard drives, with a 1.6GHz Intel Atom CPU and 1GB of RAM overseeing the actual workload of the system. The models can transfer data at 87.3MBps when reading from FTP sites and in RAID 5 mode.
MS exec's work in Mac OS X
The work of a current Microsoft executive is behind the existence of Mac OS X and the iPhone firmware, a report suggests. The head of Microsoft's Research division, Rick Rashid, claims that code of his remains within the Mac OS, and by extension the iPhone OS, even after decades of design and evolution. "If you use a Macintosh or an iPhone, which honestly I would not recommend," says Rashid, "you would be using code that I wrote more than 25 years ago."
Cronette 1.0 released
Tension Software is shipping the first version of Cronette, a utility for Macs and Mac servers. The software executes a variety of tasks automatically, without any user input; tasks are organized into a master list, where users select a task to edit details. Actions can be assigned to launch daily, weekly, monthly or yearly, and as frequently as up to 10 times per day.
Cocktail 4.2 update
Maintain has released v4.2 of Cocktail, its general maintenance and tweaking utility for Mac OS X. In particular, the software is said to ease access to some of the more complicated functions available within the Unix shell. The update adds several new features, mainly the ability to search for corrupt preference files and delete them. Users can also run through a database of Mac OS error codes, eliminating the need to look them up online.
UNIX GUI updated
Code by Kevin has announced PortAuthority 2.6, an update to its graphical user-interface software for the MacPorts command-line tool for UNIX. MacPorts is an open-source community project that uses the Mac OS X command line, X-11 and Aqua software to bring UNIX to everyday users -- by providing a GUI for users seeking a simple interface over the command line complexity of MacPorts. Utilizing an approach featuring windows, menus and icons, PortAuthority works inside the MacPorts infrastructure, allowing users to update, install and search for specific MacPorts programs.
Sharity 3.4 bug fixes
Objective Development on Thursday unveiled Sharity 3.4, an update to its UNIX platform SMB file system that adds several bug fixes and improved compatibility with NAS devices. Sharity allows users to mount shared volumes from Windows, Samba, and other SMB/CIFS servers onto UNIX-based systems such as Mac OS X, Sun Solaris, and Linux, among others. Sharity 3 is available for evaluation for free, with personal licenses starting at $30, and commercial licenses at $200.
Manpower 1.0 released
Utility maker Code by Kevin has released a new tool for Mac owners running a Unix shell, Manpower. The program assists with the "man" command, which describes the purpose and usage of various built-in Unix tools; this however is limited to a fixed font size, and a single pane of text at a time. Manpower claims to improve on this by expanding to a three-pane interface, similar to an e-mail client.
SCO receives $100 million
Having almost disappeared completely late last year, SCO says it has been resuscitated by a new financing plan. Under the terms of the deal, Stephen Norris Capital Partners and "its partners from the Middle East" will supply up to $100 million, enabling SCO to reorganize and launch a new series of products. SNCP will gain a controlling interest in the company, and take it private, allowing it to slip out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.