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What You Need To Do

You care about your platform; you want to see it survive; here's what you need to do.

It's easy when sitting at a comfortable Mac box and playing with Spotlight and Dashboard widgets to forget 95% of the world are still in misery. You don't worry about viruses and trojans and porn dialers and zombie generals; you don't worry about any identify thefts on your machine; all those Windows users out there do.

In fact there's still so much of that stuff going around that you have to begin to understand that those other people have a different appreciation of what being online means.

They're armed to the hilt with personal firewalls and antivirus and anti-spyware utilities; they don't know any longer what and who they can trust; they continually get exploited by malicious spam that their system can't protect them from.

To them, the Internet is a very dangerous place to be and given enough time they will finally opt to not be online at all.

And then we'll all lose.

Your platform represents the single possible alternative. It is the only commercially viable variation on Unix that has the clout and the flair to replace Windows.

The Internet breathes Unix and OS X is Unix - and without Unix users of the Internet are going to go on being attacked as Windows users are today.

And once was the time when your platform was only Unix and nothing more. But over the years it's been contaminated, first by third party vendors, and later by diehards who did not want to accept the fact Apple couldn't create their own OS.

As if it would have mattered anyway: Unix has thirty years under its belt already, thirty years of refining the underbody to any modern platform, thirty years of finding the microscopic holes where interlopers can get in and plugging them. Anyone starting from scratch would be a fool.

But your platform is rapidly losing its cross platform interoperability. Yes, you are running Unix, and yes, NeXTSTEP ran on Unix, but your vendor have taken an essentially simple and elegant design and corrupted it. It's been corrupted for the sake of third party vendors who continue to give you substandard products and you are paying for it.

Unix users on other platforms don't know what to make of the files you send them. No other Unix platform has anything as silly as the resource fork. Your OS X calmly zips these up as external files and lets your friends try to deal with them.

Your default mail client speaks of giving you the option of sending 'Windows friendly attachments' when it's really a question of attachments usable by anyone at all not on an Apple box and definitely not something particular to Windows.

Your system is even considerably slower than other Unix systems out there because it runs so much Carbon junk under the bonnet. You can't get machines fast enough and your vendor add more flotsam and jetsam to appease third party vendors again and again. And you pay for it.

NeXTSTEP is eminently portable and before the merger (and even after) was found on a variety of platforms. When Steve Jobs first turned up in Cupertino in January 1997 he was showing off his Wintel laptop running NeXTSTEP.

But as Apple tried to appease third party vendors this support was drawn in. And even though 'Marklar' has continued all these years, the platform is no longer available to run anywhere else. Even the programming language Objective-C is owned by Apple, having been bought from Stepstone in 1995.

Your vendor must license the OS. License it to hardware vendors. GNOME and KDE for Linux are not going to do it. As great as they are, they simply are not going to have the market panache to dent Microsoft's hegemony. Your OS X desktop could - and should.

Write to Apple.

Write to them and tell them you've had enough of this nonsense with isolation. Tell them you want your friends on other platforms to be able to use files you send them.

Tell them you want back the speed your Apple hardware gives you.

Tell them you want an end to this kowtowing of third party vendors.

Tell them you want OS X to rule the world.

At the end of the day it doesn't matter which flavour of Unix people are running - they're all good, they're all stable, they're all secure.

But they need to be able to work together and right now your flavour of Unix is not cooperating at all.

Moreover, your vendor could be in the forefront of rescuing the world from its current doldrum with viruses, trojans, and organised computer crime. They could do it and some might even say they should do it.

Write to them and tell them you're one of those who believe this to be true.

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