Monday, June 27, 2005

In the Beginning... was the Command Line, by Neal Stephenson

In the Beginning... was the Command Line, by Neal Stephenson

I’m hit and miss on Stephenson, but this essay is great. He breaks down the operating system religious debate (Mac versus Windows versus Linux) better than most, and is entertaining as well. I’ll admit I tend to be the Microsoft apologist at the office (past and present) but I’m comfortable in the Unix world, too. I’ve never had much use for Macs, although friends tell me that the latest version is pretty darn good. In any case, while Stephenson clearly shows his preference he does a fair job of outlining the pros and cons of all the choices. I haven’t come across anyone else that was anti-Microsoft (although there is very little venom here unlike most diatribes out there) yet thought the government antitrust case was ridiculous. It is a bit dated (BeOS is considered one a major option) but that doesn’t hurt the tale. This essay is an entertaining rant and will be enjoyed by anyone working on distributed machines.

First Sentence:
About twenty years ago Jobs and Wozniak, the founders of Apple, came up with the very strange idea of selling information-processing machines for use in the home.

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