I thought it might be interesting to check out the Plan 9 operating system, since it’s sort of the sequel to UNIX and is supposed to have cool new features (like better support for the “everything is a file” concept of UNIX). Luckily, you can download an ISO file for a live/install CD, so I downloaded it and fired it up in QEMU….
It’s pretty weird. It looks kind of like UNIX and Squeak had a child. The GUI is pretty strange and not very pretty, IMHO. A 3 button mouse is pretty much a necessity as they’ve mapped the buttons to different things. I tried to move a window by dragging the title bar of the window, but that caused it to resize rather than move. It seems that you have to use Button 3 to move windows. This was pretty excruciating, because I was on my PowerBook with a 1 button trackpad. For some reason, the scrollbars in apps were totally confusing and unusable to me. It looked inspired by Squeak, with touches like using one of the mouse buttons to execute the word under the cursor and even a cutesy mascot, Glenda the bunny, reminiscent of the Squeak mouse. I thought the shell, rc, might be interesting, but I lost interest when I saw that there seemed to be no filename completion, as least with the tab key.
Well, here’s the screenshots: