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Tom Briant

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Saturday, May 21, 2016

Apple has a great idea and All Great Ideas contain the seeds of their own destruction.

My past few articles concentrated on resurrecting old word-processing files from the glorious Classic OS past. You might think that I live in the past. Hey, I’m turning 61 in three weeks. 


Now let me turn my attention to what I think lies in the future for Apple. 


I think Apple, at least Apple’s operating system OS X, will be replaced or supplemented by another system. 


I have two big reasons to think this way. First, some crucial parts of Apple’s operating system have started to show their age. I’m looking at you, HFS+ file system, in particular. 


Can the HFS+ file system, which Apple retained when it switched from Classic OS to OS X, keep up with the demands of the 21st Century? I note that both of Apple’s main competitors, Windows and Linux,  use newer file systems. 


Talk has swirled for years about Apple changing the HFS+ file system to something better.  Sun Microsystems developed the ZFS file system which a lot of people thought Apple would use. Now the speculation focuses on btfs, a system used in some Linux distros. 


Which brings me to Apple’s next problem. It’s actually a feature, not a bug. Apple’s hardware is incredibly versatile. I have run Windows, Linux, and Classic OS on my current OS X hardware. Sometimes all at once. 


So who develops this new operating system and why do they do it? I believe it will come from virtual reality and gaming or pornography. 


You may feel sickened to think that the improvement in general computing comes from the morally dodgy fringes. We must remember that Apple itself sprung from the fringes. The mainstream employers in the late 1970’s of Jobs and Wozniak, Hewlett-Packard and Atari, do not stand at the forefront of personal computing any more.


Should we be surprised to wake up one day to find out some smart Indian or Chinese or Middle East refugee kids have developed the next generation OS? No, we shouldn’t. When will it happen? I’m predicting, out of my neither orifice, that it will happen in the 2020s or 2030s. 


In the meantime, I shall work at my 20th Century technology-based Mac. I’m not interested in virtual reality, as I’m having enough trouble with reality as it is.


You are welcome to comment on my prognostications. 


Tom Briant

Editor, MacValley Blog

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