Woz suggests using Mac OS 9 for virus-free servers

“‘People have PCs that do everything they want them to do, but they just don


  1. No, maybe he is frustrated like many other Mac users. I have had just about enough of this “you don’t have permission to do that!” crap. I’m tired of not being able to make a bootable restore disk.
    I can’t beleive my Applecare had me erase my HD in order to fix a disk error on a 1 month old machine. Restoring was a nightmare.
    I’d say it was like a PC, but that isn’t true. I’ve never had to reformat my PC. I never have to “get permission”.
    I miss System 9 too.

  2. Re:Jeff
    The Woz was writing code before there were personal computers, etc. He is one of the great ambassadors of the computing world and appears to be a very nice guy. In a world of cold, greedy, bottom line business, Woz is the polar opposite. How you could imply that just shows your ignorance. Whatever OS you are running, your computer wouldn’t be as good as it is without Woz and people like him.

  3. Quite surprising that Wozniak subscribes to the stereotype that Mac users, in contrast (presumably with Wintel users) are less skilled in regard to things technical and hacking and the like. This is rubbish. It’s not only the non-technical who want computers to be easy to work with. How many Microsoft-loving developers long for the days of DOS and regret the move to graphical Windows?

    You can spend time learning how to use the computer or you can spend time getting work done. And in the days of OS 7, 8, and 9, studies showed that Mac users were conversant in much more software than their DOS/Windows counterparts. Moreover, not even all developers want to be experts in system admin — nor should they have to be anymore.

    I contend there is no good reason to believe that Mac users are less skilled in hacking — regardless of OS 9 or OS X.

  4. Actaully, a survey of existing virii and exploits that attack macs show that they almost all attack pre-OS X macs. There are some virii that are aimed at BSD, the core of OS X, but they are not widely in distrabution. Some people just do not like CHANGE, that is all there is to it.

    OS X is the surperior OS, it just is not what long time mac users are used to, and they do not want to/like having to learn something new. I had tons of problems pre-OS X with memory and application crashes and OS crashes and high end macs. I rarely have problems on any of my macs now that they are all OS X. It takes a little learning and some patience to become proficient, but the end results are that you are comfortable with a much more stable and effective OS.

  5. Regarding the hacking skills issue, the Woz is quite right. It isn’t that Windows users are more skilled, it is that few users of any OS have the chops to design virii. Most Windows virus attacks are released by script kiddies using what amounts to virus building applications. OS 9 will continue to be immune to such things; OS X may or may not.

    Regarding some people not liking change, there is more to it than that. OS X requires an investment not just in its learning curve but in hardware & software to run it well. Where upgrade budgets are modest to non-existant, switching to OS X isn’t really much of a change for the better since the OS has higher overhead & Classic crashes still take out most of your data. The Woz can obviously afford OS X but many of the groups he works with cannot, which may explain why he isn’t taking the time to learn it. It sure isn’t because he lacks the patience or capacity to do so!

  6. even if OS9 was indeed virus proof like Woz said, I still would pick OSX for running a server. I tried running a web server and perl CGI scripts on OS9, but it would freeze once every couple of days. I got an early copy of OSX Server and it has been rock solid, even on a 6 year old 7300.

  7. >>Also, the sort of people who have Macs tend not
    >>to have the computer skills needed to do
    >>the hacking jobs,’

    I think what Woz was (woz) trying to say is that Macs require less computer skills to remain productive and prevent the computer from trying to turn itself inside out. Those who use Windows (and Linux) have to be more vigilant and computer-savvy.

    Which, of course, most aren’t. Despite the fact that the Mac is still seen as the computer for the non-computer user, it is by no means a brash statement to say that the average Mac user knows much more about their system than the average PC user.

    Don’t forget that the vast majority of virus attacks aren’t just due to lousy M$ security flaws – they’re also reliant on the inquisitive stupidity of the average Outlook jockey. Some virii have been more clever, like Klez, but generally speaking, all the major virii that have annoyed the world in recent years have been the result of too many PC users clicking on email attachments… despite being told over and over not to do so!

    In conclusion, virus writers exploit the stupidity of the average Windows user as much as they exploit the security holes in the average Windows computer.

    Flawed software + dumb user = virus mayhem
    Solid, secure software + vigilant user = no viruses

  8. Whatever the truth is about the number of Macs in use versus PCs, one thing is for sure. Most Windows users didn’t choose to have a computer running Windows whereas most Mac users actually chose this over the more prevalent Windows machines. Windows is certainly more common in large corporations and government offices than the Mac OS. Many Windows users are people working in a large corporation who wouldn’t know what system they were using if there weren’t a Windows logo on the monitor. They probably don’t know even so!

    The “computer savviness” of the average Windows user is low. He or she doesn’t even know what system he is running. In addition to this, to imply that Mac viruses would only be written by Mac users is totally dumb.

    There is a big difference between ease of use and power. The wonderful thing about OS X is that it is very easy to use on the surface, but it has all the raw power of Unix, as far away as one click on the Terminal icon in the dock or as an alias in the Finder.

    John Davis

  9. NeXt and OS9 = OSX

    Rhapsody is a UNIX-based† operating system that includes capabilities from the NeXT and Macintosh operating systems. Rhapsody is made by Apple Computers and runs on Intel/Cyrix/AMD Pentium and Motorola/IBM PowerPC and will have a Run Time Library for Windows.


    If Woz is right, then What’s the Beef? Both are capable OSes under OSX. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

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