Hi, I've been a Mac user from day one as a graphic artist. I have used every iteration of the system beginning with 1.2.2.
I recently sold a newer 533Mhz G4, and upgraded my old 233Mhz G3 to be my "OS 9 FOREVER" machine. I was surprised upon purchasing the new G4 to find out it wasnt significantly faster than my G3. This made me mad, really, really mad. Having listened to Apples marketing department, and gotten burned for it, I set out to learn as much technically about the MAC as I could. Thats not an easy undertaking by any stretch, as there has traditionally been ZERO technical information published about the MAC. I had to understand why my new G4 didnt act significantly different than my G3, and why I had to pay two grand to find that out. To this day, I still havent answered that question, but in the process I have answered a lot more questions that make me look at the MAC platform with a more critical eye. Why give up totally on a platform that has served me very well for the past 20 years? The answers are very simple:
1-Apple has decided that it wants to play with the big boys now, and no longer serve a niche market. Their solution to this? OSX, the noisiest, most confusing, least intuitive user interface I have ever had the displeasure of using. Apple, a la Microsoft, have put the programmers in the drivers seat. No longer are the end-users considered when writing apps, getting the technology to market has become focus number one. (Whether it works or not.)
2-I am sick and tired of Panther confusing focus amongst applications. I am sick and tired of slow performance in OSX. I am sick and tired of that stupid InDesign IDLK temp file screwing with menu order in an open window. I am sick and tired of having to confirm a shutdown. I am sick and tired of clicking in one direction, and having the computer go off on its own tangent, THINKING it knows better than I do what I need to accomplish at that moment. Also, I am sick and tired of paying $130 for each minor upgrade to be a part of Apples product testing department. (Hey, shouldnt I get benefits and an office as a product tester?)
3-Newer OSX versions of traditional graphics software titles don't match up to their OS9 counterparts, (i.e. Quark v6.0 costing $80 LESS than v5.0, you dont even have to USE it to understand it is not up to snuff) or, offer no real innovation at all, other than the price tag. (i.e. Adobe CS) OS9 apps like: PageMaker 7.0, Illustrator 10.0 and PhotoShop 7.0 will very reliably fill print production needs for the forseeable future. Theres no more innovation to be had in that arena, the apps do it all, already.
4-In my zest to learn everything technical about computing, I discovered Windows 2000. Say what you will about Micro$crooge, Win2K is a very stable, reliable OS. (XP is no real innovation either, being nothing more than Windows 2000 with a pretty blue interface on it.) I have since built a custom PC, for THOUSANDS less than it would have cost me to buy the SAME or lesser technology in a MAC platform machine. I now have the fast machine I have always wanted, and didnt have to declare bankruptcy in the process.
5-At the end of the day, the OS should have no impact on your productivity levels. OSs dont get work done, applications do. OSX is such a loud, brash and smelly colleague, that focusing on work, as opposed to the interface, is so much more of a challenge now. OS9s joy is the fact that it is very unobtrusive.