I have been using Mac OS X and Mac OS X Server since the beginning. Installing Mac OS X Server 1.0 was something of a wake up call with a NeXT looking interface and this group called “wheel” that had me a little concerned because I had no clue why I would have a group called “wheel” for. Shortly after my first NeXT/UNIX experience I began to find that there were great software packages freely available and often well documented and supported that communities of people developed and maintained.
When Apple first talked about their UNIX based OS, I did not know what to think. I had grown up on an Apple II and had since mastered Apple’s OSes from 6.0 to 9.x and since my livelyhood depended on mastering Apple’ OSes I felt anxious and unsure of myself as an admin. After a few months of playing with Mac OS X Server and then later the Mac OS X beta, I enjoyed a lot of the new features mostly the new levels of stability but there was one thing I grew to love and appreciate most: the new community.
I never thought there would ever be a community better than the Mac OS user community, so dedicated and fused by a company that made great products and great history, but this UNIX and Open Source community was better than I ever expected and I instantly felt at home. As a server admin, I use quite a bit of open source software (Apache, phpMyAdmin, ht://Dig, gimp, MySQL, SquirrelMail, etc) in all my solutions and it has been a breath of fresh air working with the amazing group o f developers and users of this software. As most Apple aficiandos know, our community is very strong and we are proud of the company we have grown to love over the years (some of us even have tattoos ;)) but I am so happy that we were able to come together with the UNIX community over the past few years. We are slowly but surely gaining the respect of developers world wide.
I had the opportunity to go to the 2003 Apache Conference and when the keynote speaker from Sun began his speech, he looked out in the audience and said something like “If I did not know better, I would have thought this was the Apple Developer Conference.” I am just really glad to see the two communities that I have grown to love have finally merged and support one and other. I can finally have my cake and eat it too.