Friday, November 10, 2006


worlds worst unix clone

This morning I explained the unix file permission model to one of my users. A file belongs to a user and a group, and you can set read, write, and execute or search for user, group, and others. (An executable file can have "set User ID" and/or "set Group-ID" and it will run as its owner instead of as the user and group that invoked it. That's the ingenious basis of the whole security model, and it was the patented feature whose expiration made free unix clones legal.) Unix has had this since the beginning in 1969 or '70.

Windoze NT had something like it, which was almost usable in Windoze 2K, in theory. But most Windoze developers ignored it and most Windoze apps won't run right as a regular user.

Windoze Vista will finally start enforcing it. They'll tell you it's for security, but we know MSFT regards user security as nothing but a public relations issue. MSFT now needs a security model to protect intellectual property. They'll use it to make it even harder to copy your system to a new hard drive or back up certain copyrighted files. A generation of computer users who know no other system will think MSFT invented it, when it has really taken them twenty years to try to copy it and they still haven't gotten it right. More than ever, Windoze is little more than a really bad unix clone.

"Those who do not understand unix are doomed to reinvent it, poorly." -- Henry "utzoo" Spencer

"Windows NT will be a better unix than UNIXTM!" -- Wm. Gates at some long-forgotten trade show

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