Call me innovative, call me daring, or call me Linda. I still won't answer. I did, however, answer the call to pre-order MacOS X. My copy arrived in the hands of a stressed FedEx guy who's day was brightened because "Apple's sending out tons of these today." A good sign of local Mac support, but I really hope others in my FedEx route are having better luck with OS X.
It's easy to trash things Apple, picking on the little things they do wrong, so I'm going to take a different route and heap praise and lauding on OS X. It works great (once I reformatted the drive the preview copy was on - "updating" the preview copy resulted in all kinds of screwups)! It's fast (as long as users with RagePro graphics chips read the TIL note to keep colors set at thousands, not millions, and provided you replace the lazy 5400 RPM IDE drive Apple ships with most machines with a faster 7200 RPM drive)! It's stable!
OK, the stability one won't quite fit in parenthesis. It's looking like heaping praise is not working.
Browse any OS X discussion forum and you'll see it obviously has problems. Of course it does - it's the first version of a major new OS. It's bound to have bugs. The stability issue is actually a bit entertaining, to its credit. The MacOS used to just flat out crash. Frozen mouse and all. Windows, on the other hand, kicked and screamed on its way out, fighting furiously to ignore the fact that it no longer could tell a .dll from a .doc.
OS X ponders instead of crashes. It sits working on something in the background, unresponsive to menu selections and force quits. In fact, force quits are flat out gone. You can command-option-escape till the cows come home and nothing happens. The swan song of OS X, protected memory, is intact for the times when applications just disappear, but those mysterious activities it gets distracted with for several minutes leave me wishing for the traditional system freeze.
But switching back to the "classic environment" and its system freezes reveals a startling discovery that thousands of others are noting; OS 9.1 very rarely freezes. It's also very comfortable, very intuitive, friendly, fast and flexible. It's the MacOS we've been promised for years. Sure, Internet Explorer crashes 9.1, as it will in OS X as soon as they figure out how to crash it. Most applications behave quite well though, as does the OS itself.
It don't matter. OS X is the future. That future doesn't include my $99 mistake, a Voodoo 3 2000 card, and for a while it doesn't include much of anything without launching the "classic environment." But all of these things will change. OS X will be everything the "classic environment" was and more. We will look back on OS 9 with the same wonder System 6 now posesses.
Until then, OS 9 needs a utility that launches the "modern environment" in a separate window.
- Omar Oddfellow