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Sunday, June 30, 2013

Plan 9

I once installed this on my Dell Inspiron 3700 laptop (circa 1998) in the waning days of 2009 and promptly sent it back to 1990 (as you can see from the screen shot.)

Plan 9 has some things in common with classic UNIX, some old-school UNIX commands are recognized, but everything else goes way off the beaten path. There's a whole different learning curve to Plan 9. 

A whole different learning curve.

The documentation goes on extensively how Plan 9 sets out to be different from any other operating system out there you've used and on that, they have succeeded. 

Giving Plan 9 commands (after a few years of working with terminals, it's pretty simple. It's just that your average Windows non-geek is going to shit a twinkie when faced with the expectations of Plan 9) on how to run programs, how to mount writable media, how to display pictures and play games and read man pages and HTML files, how to copy and paste. Copy and paste is actually "snarf and paste" in the Plan 9 OS. Different, it is. Other than that, it's about as functional as Congress.
Plan 9 replaced UNIX at Bell Labs as the organization's "primary platform in the mid '80s for research and explores several changes to the original UNIX model that facilitate the use and programming of the system, notably in distributed multi-user environments." 

But it doesn't do Flash.

It was first released to the public in 1992. But next to Windows 3.1 or Mac of the time, it looked awfully primitive.

And it still does. Not the big seller in the world of modern computing. I shudder to think how this will even handle a mere DOS emulator, to say nothing of a simple MP3.....

Here's a video of Plan 9:


Plan 9 was really just a massive headache to me. But if you're a budding programmer/developer who really wants to get in on the ground floor of something in relatively uncharted waters and make it work, then hit the manual on Plan 9.


But here's a handy tip if you're an average computer user who likes to easily surf the web. download anything and easily summon up music. photos and documents on Plan 9 - FORGET IT.

I just wish Plan 9 would get rid of that fat, jelly-bean like rabbit as it's mascot. Find a better logo....PLEASE! 

Like I said, Plan 9 is out there and ready for some SERIOUS R&D. But otherwise, it's not going to amount to much more but a computer hobbyist toy. But that's a one-up in itself: Ever heard of a virus that attacks a Plan 9 computer yet?

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