[X Newbies] Saving Mail and Other Program Data

Raoul Armfield armfield at amnh.org
Fri Apr 23 09:20:30 PDT 2004

:Rhetorical, my foot. Of course you know that's the one question you'll 
:get most answers for. I'll try to give you a slightly different one.
:Think of Mac OS X as a cruise ship. Deep in the bowels there's the 
:engine, the core without which the ship is just a hunk of metal. On X, 
:that's the Mach kernel. Next, there're all the shafts and cranks and 
:machinery around the engine that transmit the power to the propeller, 
:supply it with fuel, generate the electricity to run 
:everything else on 
:the ship -- that's the BSD subsystem, or the "Unix" part of the Mac. 
:Together, and with a few other bits and pieces, they form Darwin, the 
:OS X ship's power plant. (Incidentally, Darwin is free, and 
:can also be 
:installed on other machines than Macs). Relying on all that is the 
:graphics subsystem (Quartz, QuickTime, etc.) and the application 
:subsystem (Cocoa, Java, etc.). That's the ship's crew -- they make the 
:ship run, and you see them here and there, but you don't have much 
:direct interaction with them. And, on top of it all, there's Aqua, the 
:graphical user interface -- that's the captain and the purser and the 
:stewards, all dressed in spiffy uniforms, speaking your language and 
:offering to carry out your slightest wish.
:Now, some people are perfectly happy with that. They want something, 
:they tell the purser, and the purser tells the steward, and 
:the steward 
:tells the crewman, etc., and eventually they get what they want. Other 
:people prefer a more direct way. They speak the language, they 
:know the 
:proper word for every crank, shaft, knob, or button, so they go 
:directly to the mechanic who runs the powerplant and tell him 
:what to do. In other words, they use the Terminal. It's certainly 
:faster -- _if_, that is, you do know how to talk to the 
:mechanic -- but 
:it can also end up with the ship on the rocks, holed below the 

I must say that is the best explanation/argument for the prescence of
terminal in OS X I have read/heard to date.


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