Quadra 660AV what's with the "PowerPC" label?

Swift Griggs swiftgriggs at gmail.com
Wed Jun 15 13:39:05 CDT 2016

On Wed, 15 Jun 2016, Liam Proven wrote:
> In Ireland, "gear" means hard drugs, so maybe it's safer!

Whoa. I didn't know that. You are right. I'll have to convert to using 
"kit" exclusively next time I'm in the UK. I'm usually just in Heathrow or 
Gatwick waiting to fly out to Oslo. I still have some friends in Norway I 
visit every 5-10 years. They speak British English, too. So, for all I 
know they might think the same in Oslo. However, I don't remember hearing 
that particular term there when I lived in Norway about 15 years ago. 
However, I lived in a little town called Moss, and there wasn't much in 
the way of hard drugs to talk about, hehe. :-)

> This is why I spent money on getting my ZX Spectrums restored. :-)

Rock on. That sounds fun. Those are some cute little micros.

> > Linux+systemd desperately wants to be Windows nowadays
> I think that's an overstatement, almost an actionable one.

I cite the similarities between 'svchost' and 'systemd'. Despite the 
desperate hand-waving that they are "nothing alike" or "have completely 
different functions" by systemd apologists, my opinion is that they are 
*extremely* similar in both form and function and those people just don't 
like that the truth hurts and wears and ugly M$ mask, to add further 
insult. They want to duck, obfuscate, or deny the fact that Linux just 
made the exact same *mistake*.  In fact, systemd probably has even more 
functionality centralized and rolled into one set of tools than 'svchost' 
does. I don't mean to attack you or your opinions, Liam. I'm just 
explaining my basis for the statement about Linux wanting to be Windows, 
nowadays. While that's probably an exaggeration, it's still got some nasty 
and uncomfortable similarities.

> TBH I'm happy to see _more_ differentiation between, for example, Linux 
> and the other FOSS Unices. There wasn't that much to choose between them 
> before.

That's a good and healthy perspective. I think the core problem with the 
systemd drama is that it's created a schism in an area that some naive 
folks like me thought there could/would never be one. Politicians, 
business weasels, mafiosos, and lawyers are the ones who are supposed to 
have these kinds of ugly disagreements, not geeks. That was my mindset, I 
think. It's shocked me quite a bit to see the whole thing go down and to 
understand that there was a "new breed" of folks who saw discarding the 
UNIX philosophy as a natural progression, not a denigration or regression 
of first principles.

> Kinda. But only kinda. The original goals of simplicity, consistency 
> etc. were lost -- no, thrown away -- *decades* ago. Unix is almost the 
> definitions of big, complex, arcane, and scary these days.

Hmm, that's hard to argue with as I think of the commercial variants. 
However, I think the BSDs have stayed out of this trap and devised some 
fairly clever strategies (like ports/pkgsrc) to keep them above the fray 
and true to their values. However, there are three projects 
(net/free/open) and if one goes off the rails, it's easy to turn to the 
others. However, if we are talking about Solaris 11 or AIX 7.2, okay yah, 
having to ship your OS on a DVD is pulling your RV into Stupidtown and 
staying parked. Right there with you. My last NetBSD -current install a 
week or two ago was @280M (full install, uncompressed). So, there are 
still very lightweight choices available.

> From what I've seen, systemd makes things like enabling/disabling
> services _simpler_ for your average Joe.

Well, I work with both consulting gigs and direct client support for other 
Linux admins. So, I directly work with systemd and with users who struggle 
with it. I've written some in depth documentation for systemd. It's about 
the same from the user point of view. I mean, "service mysqld start" isn't 
much different from "systemctl start mysqld". If you mean that it'd be 
easier for a user to setup a unit file than a script; probably so. 
However, most packages/software come with a script or unit file anyway (or 
both in some cases). I don't think systemd is significantly easier or 
harder for users, honestly. It's just different at that level. It's what's 
under the hood and the way it was done that's more controversial.

> > Linux wants to cop that cool, without any binding respect towards the 
> > UNIX philosophy.
> No, I disagree. It's moving on. It's abandoning some of the legacy 
> stuff, but there are loads of other OSes that are keeping it.

Well, I respect your opinion, but I think you might be missing my 
particular point. They might see what they are doing as "moving on", but 
folks who revere and respect UNIX as a set of ideas see that as a betrayal 
of those ideas. Ie.. like saying you are "moving on" from your wife to 
your mistress. It's definitely a change, but it's also breaking faith with 
someone who trusted you. Right or wrong, justified or not, that's how a 
lot of people felt.

Also, the underlying point that I was really trying to make is that I get 
a sense from newly minted Linux zealots that they don't feel they've done 
anything "against" the UNIX way, they see their actions as coherent with 
it. I would disagree if I could catch my breath and stop laughing at them. 
I think they are deluding themselves for the sake of trying to hold on to 
some cache' associated with UNIX. That's an association that Linux 
deserves less than it did pre-systemd (again, my opinion, not trying to 
state it as a fact). Heck at this point, Linux is probably more well known 
than UNIX is, so why do folks get so butthurt & riled when some old 
"greybeards" like myself or Brian Kernighan look askance at their latest 
dramas and threaten to take away their UNIX card (speaking figuratively of 
course) ? My answer on offer is "Because UNIX has some street cred that 
Linux users want to (at this point falsely) lay claim to." That's my real 

> I am seeing a lot of flouncing off in a huff. I'm /not/ seeing drops in 
> adoption, use, any of that.

Well, neither am I, really. It's just super-uber-geek stuff and probably a 
tempest in a teacup to everyone else. Linux has incredible momentum right 
now. So, does Windows. TBH, most of the folks who made a big show of 
flouncing off were already gone. I walked away from Linux a long time 
before systemd exited the collective Linux colon. I'd imagine most people 
making noise about systemd probably did the same. So, you are right, it 
probably didn't polarize anyone who wasn't already there. However, it's 
like watching an ex-girlfriend start dating a drug dealer. You don't 
really care *that* much, but you still shake your head and wonder what 

> > who were long time Linux users are now fleeing to BSD or elsewhere.
> People are _saying_ it. Are they _doing_ it?

Hmm, it's pretty hard to say for sure. I did see a noticeable (not huge) 
influx of pretty hardcore Linux users show up on the FreeBSD forums and 
mailing lists during the hottest parts of the systemd drama. However, I'd 
hesitate to call that anything but anecdotal. Then again, for me it's 
always been quality over quantity. So, if only a handful did jump ship and 
move to BSD, well... it's probably the handful we wanted. The rest of them 
not only can stay with Linux, they really really should stay there. It 
goes back to the pristine-beach example where if you find a pristine 
beach, you might think twice about building an easy road to get there and 
trying to tell everyone about it. Otherwise, it's not going to be pristine 
for long, and will eventually morph into something you hate, with a 
McDonalds and a Disney gift shop out there. It won't just be other nature 
lovers visiting for long.

> ... but is proprietary, closed-source, runs only on expensive (but good) 
> proprietary hardware...

That's a fair point. Also, I was repeating/quoting something I'm seeing on 
forums and Reddit, I'm not sure I'd agree that OSX + BSD encompass the 
ultimate solution to all problems either.  There are definitely some 
people who feel more comfortable with those values. Plus, Linux is free 
and that has a ton of value that OSX can't compete with also. Schoolkids 
in 3rd world countries are much better served by Linux than OSX, as far as 
I can tell. The Apple hardware and licensing is just too expensive for 
some uses.

> > and BSD is better on servers.
> *Ridiculously* contentious. I'm seeing and hearing of little _real_ 
> adoption.

I should have been more specific and said "some feel like it's better for 
servers." In reality, I'll be realistic here, it's not "better" it's just 
different. I regularly work with Linux servers with many years of uptime 
on them. I see it run very stable and securely in the majority of jobs 
people put it to. FreeBSD also lacks a lot of features vis-a-vis Linux. 
The LVM2 feature list is longer than GEOM's, DRBD is more functional than 
HAST. The majority of the LVM code in NetBSD is ported over from Linux and 
they shaved a few features there, too. Linux supports many more graphics 
cards and weird server hardware. So, there is *definitely* going to be 
places that, in practical terms, Linux might be a great choice and even 
"better" than FreeBSD. I don't think for a minute that my horror at 
systemd changes any of the latter facts. It's a value-system thing for me, 
personally. I don't have the hubris to believe it's bigger than that.

> Some posturing, yes, but Linux's breadth of driver support, apps, 
> functionality, automation, pretty much everything, means it's the 
> dominant server platform of the WWW.

I won't argue that one bit. I agree. However, I don't think any of the 
points I'm trying to make are either validated nor repudiated by the sheer 
volume that Linux gets used. It's a value-system argument by a specialist 
to other specialists. To an Android or set-top-box user, all this is 
laughable. They could care less and I get that.
> And Android is still selling a *billion devices a year!* So it's pretty 
> dominant on the client side, too.

Sure, but as a desktop or server OS, Android, oh man, I don't even know 
where to start. I'll just say that you won't find me buying any Android 
desktops or servers in the near future, no matter how many lemmings run 
off that particular cliff. I like my illusion of *some* privacy, too, but 
I digress.

> BSD is _nowhere_ by comparison. A rounding error.

I wholeheartedly agree and quietly hope that it stays that way. Hordes of 
humans don't tend to improve things. There is a sweet spot that BSD hits 
nicely for me. Remember all the talk by Linux users about "world 
domination" ? I say "Be careful what you wish for." They basically have 
achieved world-renown and, as you point out, MASSIVE popularity beyond 
most peoples expectations. However, large-scale-adoption doesn't buy you 
street cred with everybody. I'm not a Beyonce' fan, either, and she's 
hella popular.  Some people have a more specific value scale. The world 
might not care, but that's cool, we don't care about the world, either. 

> I am very happy if systemd /et al/ mean a boost in BSD adoption, takeup, 
> development, etc. I'm not sure I'm seeing it though.

Well, you have very reasonable attitude. I'm guessing to most people, you 
sound much more enlightened on the topic. I'm sure I probably come across 
as "raving" or like some kind of inflexible purist. Again, this all comes 
down to first principles, not a contest about what gets the most use and 
adoption. The value associated wide adoption isn't something germane to my 
assessment of worth in this case.

> It's dead, though, isn't it?

Yes. IRIX is dead as a doornail. Also, with the way it died, I'd give 
about 1000:1 odds of any legal form of IRIX ever re-surfacing. However, I 
noticed that the source is floating around several places. Maybe some 
illegal/hobbyist/illicit stuff might eventually see the light, but I doubt 
it. It seems to me even the forums on Nekochan are slowing down. I still 
use it and love it, and I have no problems securing it for "real world" 
stuff. However, it's nothing but a hobby, nowadays.

> Agreed. Although it's not alone. AIUI things like AROS and Haiku are 
> just as GUI-centric, it's just that they have shells _as well_.

Yes, and I wish both of those projects well. I've actually donated money 
to both projects. Like you, I like lots of OS's floating around. My world 
would be terribly boring with just one or two.

> >> But I spent real money -- very very rare for me
> > Do you normally just find free stuff or grab folks cast-off items ?
> Yep!

Cool; you're a true scrounger, then! I might have been tempted to try 
that, but my nostalgia always seems to come a day late and a dollar short. 
They gear is always rare and priced-up by the time I care. SGIs were the 
only thing I was smart enough to horde up at the time they were cheap and 
current. Macs, Amigas, etc.. I have to revisit on Ebay. :-/

> They were nice. I'm almost tempted but I think I'll stick with mainly 
> portables from now on.

That definitely saves on space. However, I tend to keep laptops in bags 
with all the other kit that comes with them. So, nowadays I have to 
consider the size of the bag not just the laptop. When I do that, 
sometimes a small desktop can still make sense. However, not in this case. 
I've had to purge some other stuff to make room. I got rid of some junk 
PCs and monitors. The RGB monitors for the 68k Macs take serious space. I 
only have one right now. It's the AppleVision 14" that came with this 
660AV. I thought it was junk, but it's really just beat up. The real 
problem was the PRAM battery. Once I replaced that, the machine booted up 
fine and the monitor powers on once it sees the video signal. It's a bit 
out of focus, but I took the cover off and adjusted the pots on the CRT 
logic board to my liking. It looks very nice, now.

> I've been using Unix since 1989 or so. I would not call myself an 
> expert, but I'm competent at a basic level. I've installed quite a few 
> machines, including in production environments.

Cool. That's longer than me. I started in 1992 with HPUX, then 1993 with 
Linux, then @1997 or so with BSD and went nuts with tons of other 
variants, too. That was my "UNIX World Tour" time (the mid-1990s). I 
wanted to learn them ALL (and I'm still trying). I've been pretty 
obsessed with UNIX since day-one. It was definitely love at first sight.
> I have so far not learned enough to get a bare CLI FreeBSD install 
> online with a GUI. It seems to me to make things unnecessarily 
> obstructive.

Hmm. I think you'd fly right through it, Liam. You are a smart guy, I 
doubt you'd have any significant problems these days. Still, it's a 
console-based install. FreeBSD guys know that it's really damn hard do a 
graphical install on a machine that's setup on a serial mux. I think OS 
vendors radically underestimate how many machines are in that 
configuration. Since I work with customers who have fairly large data 
centers, I see that all the time. However, I know that the character based 
installation puts a lot of people off. I do, nonetheless revel in the fact 
that it's still that way. Also, if you haven't seen the new 'pkg' (package 
management tool ala 'apt-get') that's come out for FreeBSD in the last few 
years, I think you'd be impressed. It's extremely solid. Still, it's 
definitely not for everyone.

> Oh, yes, true. Although keep a virus scanner running: those downloads 
> are often infected IME.

I got that impression a bit from some forum posts about Mac Garden and 
others. I have already found one (virus) on a compilation CDROM. So, I'm 
definitely going to heed that advice. Still, I've never seen such a large 
and attractive "endowment" of software waiting in the wings. There are 
still *far* more games on the M68k macs, for example, than I can get for 
Linux (just volume-wise). Though there have been some great games for 
Linux that have come out recently (Age of Wonders III comes to mind). 
SteamOS is struggling with adoption, but there are some great games around 
as part of the effort.

> I used to keep a few disks around with SilverLining, a D3 driver and a 
> few other things. Still a PITA though.

Man, I wish I had done that. I had to go burn a bunch of shareware CDs to 
get Stuffit, BinHex, patched HD tools, etc... Until you have that stuff 
you are well and truly stuck.

> You do need quite a chain to span from SD/DD disks for a Mac+ or 
> something up to DVDs for late-era PowerPC machines. :-(

Yeah, I'm not quite intrepid enough to want to collect any 68000-based 
macs. They didn't start to interest me until the Mac IIfx/IIci days and 
the 040' came around. You can all get a belly laugh from the fact that the 
main reason I got a Quadra 700 is that it looks so damn cool in Jurassic 
Park (and it runs A/UX). :-P 

> The new monicker is macOS [sic]. Fits with iOS, watchOS, tvOS, etc. So, 
> macOS Sierra. Sounds daft to me. :-/

Ugh. When I saw that on OSnews or Slashdot or wherever, I let out a big 
sigh, because it's *hard enough* to find 68k-related stuff. Market-droids 
these days can only act on previous programming. That's why we have so 
many Marvel movies and "reboots" / "re-imagined" versions of older movies. 
Real creativity must be approved by the corporate board (and doesn't get 


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