Subject: Re: Apple information...
To: None <>
From: Bill Johnston <>
List: macbsd-general
Date: 01/08/1994 11:56:49
On Sat, 8 Jan 1994, Robert Hagopian wrote:

> On Fri, 7 Jan 1994, Dave Slotter wrote:
> > I disagree with your statement that Apple would be more willing if you got
> > the word out to the press saying that Apple was sitting on their butts.  If
> > anything, that would give them more reason not to be cooperative.  In addition,
> > Apple is a company. It is also a for-profit company meaning they aren't going
> > to use any of their resources to help a "competitor" (meaning the Alice group)
> > build an product (MacBSD) which would compete directly with one of their
> > existing products (A/UX). It just doesn't make sense.

I doubt that Apple as a "for-profit" company would feel threatened 
by MacBSD, which will only be used by a tiny segment of Mac users.  

What they would resist is any dissemination of technical information 
that would make it easier for its competitors in the hardware and 
system software business to make better versions of PCs and Windows. 
Giving away such info to a group developing freeware won't hurt Apple 
directly, but it might make it harder to for Apple to assert intellectual
property rights should a competitor later try to do something with the 
same info.

> I disagree, as Apple has stopped development of A/UX... (there have been 
> no new versions in any recent history, I believe the last gave support to 
> the 950 or such... way back when...) 

Not so.  A/UX 3.0 introduced support for the Q950.  Since then, 
there have been releases 3.0.1, 3.0.2, and 3.1 (just this week).
The new AWS server Macs running AppleShare Pro are based on A/UX,
so Apple is committed to supporting it for the foreseeable future.

It's true that a new unix variant based on AIX will be offered
for the PowerPCs, but that's just because AIX provides a shortcut
to unix on RISC, because IBM has had it out there for a few years.

>As such, we can only be helping 
> Apple, as third party products do, by providing services that Apple 
> doesn't. And being a for-profit company this can only help :-)...

If you want even the slightest bit of cooperation from the free 
software community, please avoid arguments like this!  Some may
tolerate (barely) those who port free software to pre-boycott 
Macs -- on the grounds that they are stuck with the hardware 
and don't want to waste it running MacOS -- but if you start 
talking about "helping Apple" you'll get no sympathy at all.

Before investing lots of effort, please understand that FSF 
is NEVER going to merge support for Apple hardware into 
release versions of GNU software.  The improvements you make 
to the software won't be taken back into the mainstream either, 
unless you completely disguise the origin of your patches.  
I doubt that we'll see any free unix in the near future that 
isn't integrally dependent on gcc, glibc, and other GNU tools, 
so you'll always be several steps behind the curve.

If you happen to have a Mac and want to run a free unix, 
go for it -- but if you start talking about "helping Apple",
it's kind of like bying assault rifles to use against those
who oppose gun control. 

I'd like to see a Quadra 840 AV that runs NetBSD, too,
with integrated support for voice and the whole nine yards.
It would be computer geek heaven.

Just understand that when you spend your time deciphering 
undocumented chips, and working around boycotts, etc. ...
you're making it easier for companies like Apple to get
away with making it harder to hack in the future.