Apples and Oranges

Apples and Oranges

Article from Issue 133/2011

Since the death of Steve Jobs, a lot has been written about him. I never met the man in person, but I admired the work Apple did in creating well-designed products.

When you have complete control over both the hardware and the software, it is a lot easier to develop a product. You limit the number of hardware controllers you support and the number of features you supply. Digital’s Unix systems, on Digital’s own proprietary hardware, were known to run for years without rebooting. Digital controlled the software and the hardware.

In cases like Microsoft and Linux, operating systems support many times the types of processors, peripherals, and controllers that Apple supports. In the case of Linux, many of the device drivers are not written by the people who create the hardware, which might disallow a lot of the error detection and recovery planned by the makers of the hardware.

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