>While travelling through the latest additions to the Mackido site I
>noticed this article which sounded very promising but then went to put
>me offside with the very blatant [misguided statement]:
>"NT is not really multi-user, it is more of a glorified file and print
>server with decent administration tools. You can log in as different
>users, but only one can be logged in at a time without special
>software (like Citrix's WinFrame)."
>Hmm... spot the raw problem here? Let's rephrase it and change the
>subject and see if it still holds true:
>Unix is not really multi-user, it is more of a glorified file and
>print server with decent administration tools. You can log in as
>different users, but only one can be logged in at a time without
>special software (like telnetd or X windows).
Incorrect, John. I can log up to 12 users in at the same console.
Alt+F2-11 will give me a fresh console window with a login prompt. This is
incredibly useful when you need to change config files and you happen to be
at Joe Enduser's client machine, or when you're working at the console, not
working as root (for obvious reasons), and need to get back in as root
without using the su command at your user prompt. The advantage with using
Alt+F* at the root console is that the sysadmin doesn't -have- to work as
root. He/she/it can work as a normal user, with regular user rights and
privileges, and then only login as root when needed- most importantly, not
having to either leave the console they're at, and NOT having to reboot or
restart the OS.
>Get the picture? NT isn't multiuser because you need software to let
>remote users log with an interactive session but of course Unix is
>when you still need software to let remote users log in with an
No, John, you don't. See above. If Joe Enduser has an X session running, I
can even use Ctl+Alt+F* to give myself a console screen- WITHOUT killing
his X session to do it.
>Let's look for a definition of multiuser then? Sounds to me like the
>ability for the machine to support multiple users. Fine. My NT box
>currently has at least five different user accounts active at the
>moment (System, Administrator and three different jw accounts). Each
>have their own access permissions and have their own set of mutually
>exclusive processes. Sound multiuser yet?
>*If* I want to allow multiple interactive users on my machine (which
>frankly isn't particularly useful to me) then I could go and get
>Winframe, NTRigue, WinDD, or in about a month, Hydra and Picasso. The
>fact is that the software *is* available and NT supports it.
And if you go the NT route, you have to lighten your wallet (yet again) just
to add functionality Unix (in its various flavors) already has.
>who says differently is either a liar or terminally misguided.
>On the Mac maybe. Not in the rest of the world. I seem to recall
>that NT is multi-user, VMS is multi-user, OS/2 is multi-user, S/390 is
>multi-user... Should I go on?
I think it depends on your definition of "multi-user". I haven't played
with VMS in about 8 years, so I can't really speak for VMS. S390 and OS/2
I've never played with at all. I do know NT, however, and I think the only
way to define NT (out of the box) as multi-user is to say it's "multi-user,
but only one login per client machine at one time".
>My point is that Unix offers almost nothing to the MacOS user and
>switching your Mac to Unix is probably not a good idea. A much better
>option if you can't do without Unix is get a PC (an old 486 is good)
>to sit in the corner and run Linux. You'll thank yourself for it in
I'll agree with you there (Knew eventually I would! <g>). I wouldn't advise
anyone to strip OS 8.1 off of their shiny new G3 to run LinuxPPC on it- the
G3's are too expensive to use just to learn Unix when one can build a
cheapie Intel-based system to do the same thing. The other option for G3
folks is to use VPC or RealPC and load Linux on top of it- especially if
we're talking about a system just to learn the ins and outs of Unix, where
performance isn't really an issue.
Many reports say the G3's perfomance is severly crippled by the MacOS
kernel, and I agree. It's the reason why I won't purchase a new G3 (or it
may be G4, by that time) until OSX goes final. It's not a completely fair
analogy, but it's why Linux runs rings around Win95 on the same machine, and
is also dramatically more stable. Give me a machine made by Apple that can
use the 750 to its full potential, and I'll be the first in line to buy it-
but presently, the cheapie 586 PC is my "stable multi-user" box- running
>John Wiltshire | (w) +61 7 38342783
>Fear: when you see B8 00 4C CD 21 and you know what it means.
Network Systems Specialist
NovaNET Learning, Inc.
"In computing because it beats working for a living."
I speak for me.
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