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Teaching a Maccie Manners

You can't add grey cells to an empty vessel.

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Below is a message box from Rixstep's application Xscan. It's just scanned a complete hard drive and enumerated over a million files in 6.81 minutes.

It didn't just find one million plus names. It also assembled the complete system data on those one million plus files - the name, the path, the size, the extended attributes, the access control entries, the system/user flags, the inode or volume control ordinal number, the number of links because Unix files can have more than one name, the file owner, the file group, the date created, the date when info was last changed, the date last modified, the date last accessed, and the full file 'mode' including read/write/execute privileges for owner, group, and other, together with the sticky bit, the set UID bit, the set GID bit, and the generic file type.

All in 6.81 minutes.

You can't do that with standard Apple software. You can't do it very well with software from other vendors either. All you get from Apple is a cute app that displays obscenely huge icons for some but not all of your files. And there's nearly nothing you can do with them.

You can't see sticky bits, system flags, ACEs... You can't see most of that. You can't even bloody enumerate all your files on disk. That's. Not. Even. Close.

But oh look! There's a new television series with Reese Witherspoon! Wow!

Serious technical people were initially interested in Apple. Back in the day when Apple still made medium-range Unix server hardware that held up well against the high-priced spread. Some of those gadgets were dazzling.

As the techies got closer, invariably their first question was:

'OK so show us your file manager!'

And Apple showed them Finder. And the techies walked away.

About Rixstep

Stockholm/London-based Rixstep are a constellation of programmers and support staff from Radsoft Laboratories who tired of Windows vulnerabilities, Linux driver issues, and cursing x86 hardware all day long. Rixstep have many years of experience behind their efforts, with teaching and consulting credentials from the likes of British Aerospace, General Electric, Lockheed Martin, Lloyds TSB, SAAB Defence Systems, British Broadcasting Corporation, Barclays Bank, IBM, Microsoft, and Sony/Ericsson.

Rixstep and Radsoft products are or have been in use by Sweden's Royal Mail, Sony/Ericsson, the US Department of Defense, the offices of the US Supreme Court, the Government of Western Australia, the German Federal Police, Verizon Wireless, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Microsoft Corporation, the New York Times, Apple Inc, Oxford University, and hundreds of research institutes around the globe. See here.

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John Cattelin
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