Hm... time for Unix Troll Checklist
Attempts to rally the troops against MS? Check.
Repeated use of arguements/examples long after the impact of their effect is lost? ... Lesee, mentions the NetInfo business about 3 times. Check.
Purports to know what "real" fun is? Check.
Yep, this qualifies as a Unix Troll to me.
I've been tempted to use OS X sometimes, but haven't ever really felt the NEED. Still though, in an attempt to create a "Unix-based" (sigh, whatever) OS, concentrating on stability, functionality, and usability, it looks like Apple's done a pretty good job. As an OS for day to day tasks and casual use like email, Web, chat, music etc etc (i.e. 90% of what the people who SAY they need GCC are really doing on their computer) it seems like its really doing a good job. And while, yes, out of the box, it sounds like its not wonky enough to start doing all the little geeky things that make Unix fun to the .1% of us that actually think a Perl book and some unknown module makes for a good Friday night, there does seem to be enough out there to start doing it. Franky, I remember the case when it took a good 6 hours of downloading, installing, and compiling to get a decent toolset under Solaris 2.5, but noones going to dispute that ITS Unix (or at least, noone without an axe to grind)...
Ultimately, the point (which was rather pointedly missed) that O'Reilly was making was that OS X finally provides some of the benefits of Unix to mass use. If we appreciate Unix, we should believe that its benefits should be in some ways sharable, and that this does not necessarily mean teaching every man, woman, child, and dog in the world how to program Unix Sockets or trap signals with a Perl script. We should hope that the past 20-30 years of development have produced something that the populace in general can appreciate and use without developing a set of arcane information that is of little use to them in their day-to-day life. Sure, that's been the case on the server side, with the design and nature of Unix being a strong reason why the internet works, but the arguement has been made that it would never trickle down to the desktop, and frankly, it hasn't for the most part. But it seems that OS X may be making some headway there. Sure, its not 100% certified-by-the-blood-of-Ritchie Unix, but its certainly helping to bring some of the benefits to the "uncloistered laity".