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  Jaguar: Time to Stop Pussyfooting Around
Subject:   The *best* thing Apple has ever done!
Date:   2002-08-08 19:18:13
From:   weberik
Response to: X - (Worthless) Hockey Puck Operating System

Did you honestly expect Apple to stick with OS 9 forever? It was a great OS, but it is definitely long in the tooth. I've been using Macs since 1987, and I've been forced to use my fair share of Windows along the way. I've also installed, used, and developed on Linux.

To me, OS X is a godsend. Beyond the marketing messages Apple is putting out, here's why I prefer OS X to OS 9:

1) NO EXTENSION CONFLICTS: Let's face it, we all became used to dealing with extension conflicts in the Mac OS. It used to make me cringe every time I'd have to explain to one of my less-technically-inclined relatives that even though the Mac is a great OS, from time to time some apps conflicted with other apps, causing the whole machine to crash. With OS X, this doesn't happen. No Conflict Catcher, no Extension Manager, no arcane knowledge of extension conflicts needed to run your Mac comfortably.

2) TRUE MULTITASKING: I can, without any concerns whatsoever, burn a CD while looking for something on Google to assist me in a document I'm writing in Word. Toggling between apps doesn't cause hangs or freezes. Everything just works, and you don't ever have to hold your breath.

3) INTERFACE: A lot of people have problems with the OS X interface, but whatever interface Apple came up with for X, they would have received complaints. Stay too close to the OS 9 look and feel, and some would have said it was antiquated. Go to far towards the Nextstep interface, and people would have howled that it was too unfamiliar. I happen to love the Next-style finder view. I like the Dock. I really love Quartz, and saving files is much more flexible and easier in X.

4) UNIX COMPATIBILITY: For some reason, this freaks out a lot of long time Mac users, who seem to feel that the introduction of a BSD core to the Mac OS is akin to Satan being named to the board of directors. As a multimedia and web developer, I can use all of my favorite UNIX/Linux tools on the same machine I use for graphic design, audio, and video. For the first time, the Mac provides a truly capable vertical solution for developing content and backend systems, and then deploying them on the same OS (or, conveniently, on BSD or Linux with only minimal tweaks). This is *huge* and it not only stopped the exodus of web/multimedia developers who were defecting to Windows, it also is bringing new converts in the door. Furthermore, the same "alpha geeks" who eschewed the Mac as a toy are now snapping up TiBooks, learning Cocoa, and marvelling at how well OS X plays with Open Source tools. This is an example of not only taking care of Apple's core user base, but actually expanding it.

5) THE MAC IS NO LONGER AN ISLAND: As I alluded to in #4, Apple has learned that Macs have to work in mixed environments. And do they ever! OS X runs Windows networks better than Windows, in many cases. It uses widely-accepted protocols, it has become a great Java development platform, and it behaves nicely as a client on any kind of network.

I can understand that you might not like OS X's UI, but that's a subjective comparison. Take that out of the equation, and OS X has OS 9 beat hands down.

Finally, OS 9 was not bringing in converts from the Windows world. OS X is doing that, because it's *so much better* than Windows in so many ways, that even long-time Mac-haters like David Coursey are coming around.

There's no way Apple is going to get rid of OS X, and I for one am glad.