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In The Outliers, Bill Joy is quoted as saying

"If you put your Mac in that funny mode where you can see the code, I see things that I can remember typing 25 years ago."

I'm intrigued - what is this mode? How does one use it?

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    What Mac? What OS? It might be MacsBug and the programmer switch on the old 68000 original Mac line, but it's hard to tell without more clarity. – bmike Aug 23 '15 at 20:04
  • @2xedo Unix is the Mac OS "core". And it is Linux's too. If you're interested in seeing what a Unix code might looks like, you can do it through Linux: in Linux you can download (and eventually edit and publish your own distro) the source code – AlessioX Aug 23 '15 at 20:09
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Single user or Verbose mode.

Verbose mode start up

  • Restart the Mac
  • Immediately hold down the command + V keys

You have successfully entered verbose mode when you see white text appear on the screen.

See Apple Support

  • I think this is what was being referred to. Thanks! – 2xedo Aug 24 '15 at 5:11
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There's no such thing (from the user point-of-view). Mac OS X is not an open-source operating system.

  • Must have been a developer tool, then? – 2xedo Aug 23 '15 at 19:33
  • If you're a developer and you work in Cupertino, sure! – AlessioX Aug 23 '15 at 19:40
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    Or is it referring to Terminal? Lol. – iProgram Aug 23 '15 at 22:08
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More than likely, He is talking about single user mode. Single user mode is a state of the operating system used to repair functionality of the operating system.

  • Coding was done on the black screen which still exists under all that GUI. You can see that it starting up in Verbose Mode - which is also the way to get out of kernel panic. Hold down Comm-V. – Zo219 Aug 23 '15 at 22:07
  • @Zo219 Yes, either verbose or single user mode. The output seems as if it is the "code". Enough speculating. – fd0 Aug 23 '15 at 22:12

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