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100+ services run on an idling Apple computer
This is how it always begins.
APPLE PARK WAY (Rixstep) — There was a time when the new Apple/Unix community was burgeoning. The most unlikely marriage of all time seemed to be a reality. CLIX was taking off. Every major and minor research facility and institute of higher learning was using OS X. Dave Thomas of the FBI was openly recommending them. Rob Malda of Slashdot talked of 'the missing piece in the puzzle'. And Rob Braun of Apple Computer was tasked with making OS X 'open source'.
That was then. This is now. And what a change.
All systems suffer from featuritis over time, as Eric Raymond pointed out. But when it comes to getting just ridiculouser and ridiculouser, perhaps no one will ever surpass Apple. Bell Labs of Murray Hill found a way to simplify in the 1970s, and Torvalds of Helsinki found a way to renew this effort twenty years later. And now, thirty years on, such an effort may be needed again.
The embalmed glory known as John Siracusa admitted that Apple's 'end of the line' MacOS 9.22 would regularly crash overnight whilst doing nothing at all. A pause for thought is necessary there.
Recently Apple released an update called Big Sur, and their computers came to a standstill the world over. Because most applications must obtain approval in realtime from Apple's headquarters to even run on your machines.
(Notably, as reported by network experts stateside at the time, the only applications that did launch and run as usual were Rixstep's - for a good reason as all who follow this site know.)
Everyone knows that the enemy of robustness is complexity. But the 'engineers' at Apple have little experience with large-scale systems. Only a few years ago they were running simplistic cooperative multitasking systems and most likely none of them had ever seen the inside of a mainframe, much less created software for one. This is a big issue which can creep into any system, and not just computer systems either. This is how rot begins.
There are over one hundred running services listed here. These are active running services all taking time slices on what's supposed to be a dinky PC. When tiny contraptions get more complex than the mover-and-shaker boxes, something's wrong and the designers and bosses have lost all sense of proportion.
As time goes on, they'll panic more and more, hire on more pieces of plumbers pipe, and find a way to survive by utilising the BS spin of their vicious marketing department. But their systems will move inexorably towards ultimate doom. It happened once in the 1970s, it repeated itself a mere twenty years after that, and - given how Apple keep going about things - it's long overdue thirty years later.
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