OS 9, Mine, All Mine
Subject:   Frontier developer was getting bad advice from his "PC-centric" friends
Date:   2004-07-25 22:19:09
From:   some-guy
Ken Hagler wrote:

""It's also very fragile -- kernel panics and application crashes are quite likely to produce hard-drive corruption or irreparable damage to system files. Based on what my PC-centric co-workers have told me, OS X is comparable to Windows 98 in its lack of stability."

Unfortunately, his friends are giving him bad advice.

  • The only things that can cause a kernel panic are the kernel itself, and kernel extensions, which can come from either Apple or third parties, and installed either in-box or via the third-party software installers. I have several friends who are photographers who have suffered from problems with scanning, and they blamed it on Mac OS X, when in fact it was because their SCSI cards (always Adaptec cards) were being driven using crappy quality drivers that would cause the kernel panic. You can find out the cause by looking at /Library/Logs/panic.log to see what the problem is.

  • It seems really unlikely that running any IDE should ever cause a kernel panic, unless it is a really creepy, scary IDE that thinks it needs to install KEXTs (kernel extensions). Neither Xcode/Project Builder nor CodeWarrior have ever caused me kernel panics in 4 years of Mac OS X development.

  • For me, development has become much more reliable because of the memory protection afforded me by Mac OS X. I never had that developing in Mac OS 9 - it was almost mandatory to have a development system and a test system. With Mac OS X I can do both on one with confidence.

  • Application crashes may leave the files that app had open in an inconsistent state, but otherwise their crashing has no effect on the system at all. Kernel panics may have negative effects because the disk cache was never flushed to the disk, but journaling on Mac OS 10.3 takes care of that.

  • Windows 98 is much more like Mac OS 9.1 than it is like Mac OS X. The comparison is frankly so misinformed, I (and I would suppose, any other reasonably well-informed reader) wouldn't be able to take this seriously. I am not trying to be mean about this, but it is honestly quite funny to hear someone say that in an article that wasn't published on April 1st.

But, if Mac OS 9 is working for you, all the power to you!