By now you know I'm nothing if not appreciative of the fine efforts of the men and women of retail. Aside from keeping the wheels of our capito-socialist economy turning, these frontline grunts of merchandising seem never at a loss when it comes to the kind of valuable information that makes all of our shopping experiences easier. In order to honor their heroic efforts, I've decided to start posting the results of weekly calls to them in which I ask them for help with a single, simple question. Here's the first one, conducted last week, two days prior to the release of OS X. As unreal as it sounds, this is actually what was said.
Microcenter (Tustin, Calif.)
Well, there you have it. I didn't bother to correct him on the ship date. He'd figure it out all by his little self soon enough.
26 , 2001
Well, Mac OS X 10.0 saw its official debut this weekend, and I was there on Day 1 to buy it in a regular old retail store just like the common man. I even have my OS X Hanes Beefy-T to show for it. I think sales might have been a bit more brisk if it hadn't lacked CD-R and DVD support, but I don't care how many people bought it. You know why? I've been waiting for Apple's "modern OS" since the first hints of Rhapsody, and now, after years of waiting, the promise has finally been fulfilled. And now I, a mere mortal from the central badlands of Orange County, Calif., have it in my possession. Even better, I have it, and it works.
True to my promise of a few weeks back, I went out and bought it and installed it on the very first day. I backed up a few of my more important files, read the Read Me and promptly loaded it up.
It's a beautiful thing, man. Using it is like partying in the land of the Lotus Eaters. It's hard to tear myself away from it. I feel like I've been doped up on the good stuff and set loose naked in a forest of dryads. No wonder Jobs came out with the Flower Power iMac. He's been using this OS for the last year. That just might be the longest high on record!
Seriously, this is good stuff. It runs great, and almost all of my applications run on it, including Final Cut Pro 1.25. (Final Cut Pro 2 won't work even in Classic mode, according to Apple.) This is a fantastic OSthe first time I've felt this way since my first experiences with the Mac. It's given me a whole new computera great one.
So here are some of my experiences so far.
What I've found is that switching between the two is no problem. OS X does not fundamentally alter your disks, and I wound up losing very little in the process. (The only things that changed were some preferences. Basically programs that are super-copy-protected will require you to reenter your serial numbers, but I believe this is more a function of booting off a different drive than any actual data being lost. The only other change I've found so far is that my Stickies files were consolidated into a single Sticky under OS X; when I go back to 9.0.4, they behave just as they used to.)
As for applications, I've now had a chance to run just about my entire software library, which is, I can almost guarantee, much larger than yours. With just a few minor exceptions, everything runs beautifully. As I mentioned, even Final Cut Pro 1.25 works. So do Photoshop 5.5 and 6, Dreamweaver 4, Illustrator 8, Freehand, Studio Artist 1.5, Fireworks 3 and 4, Premiere 5.1 and 6, After Effects 4.1, InDesign 1.5, PageMaker 6, QuarkXPress 4.11, Cleaner 5, LiveMotion, Amorphium Pro, Director 8, Flash 4 and 5 and Office. The OS X version of LightWave ran great in demo mode, but for some reason it couldn't find my hardware key. I couldn't install Maxon's Cinema 4D XL for OS X because the installer couldn't seem to find my original version of Cinema 4D XL. (That's a problem with the installer, not OS X.) I'll try to clear both of these up soon.
The minor setbacks included Creature House Expression 2, which wouldn't run at all, and Dreamweaver 4, which initially couldn't seem to connect to my remote server under OS X. The fix was a very simple one for Dreamweaverjust a matter of setting Passive FTP in the OS X Network Preferences. One interesting piece of trivia is that fact that the OS X native version of iTunes will not run in full-screen mode, while the OS 9 versioneven running under OS Xwill play full screen with just a little jitteriness.
And speaking of the Internet, one very important thing for me was support for PPPoE. Because my DSL service provider (Pac Bell) is so lame as to use such a weak technology, it was crucial that OS X be able to deal with it properly. So now, instead of using the application that came with my service, I'm using Apple's own Internet Connect software. So now I don't have to deal with that Enternet 300 application anymore, and I'm glad of it.
As I say, it's only been a couple of days (as of this writing), and I haven't had a chance to test all of my software or plugins. But I'll keep you posted on any further troubles or triumphs as they come up.
This OS is the most stable thing I've ever seen. I tried so many way to get it to crash, but it wouldn't. There was only one application that wouldn't run in Classic mode (Expression 2 from Creature House). Actually, it crashed. But all I had to do was force quit it and go about my business.
This is a feature extremely well implemented in OS X. When you attempt to force quit an application, a dialog box appears asking you which application or applications you want to quit. When you select one, it just quits. The system doesn't freeze. The mouse doesn't stop working. Everything just goes on as if nothing had happened. It's really great. System freezes have been a daily fact of like since System 7. Now it looks like that's all over with.
For me, OS X is everything I had hoped for. It's fast. It's smooth. It's gorgeous to look at and fun to use. And, most important, it doesn't crash. Applications do, yes. But the OS doesn't. Just fantastic. It can't do everything it needs to do yet, but it's off to a great start. In the end, the greatest weakness of OS X is its addictive quality. I simply have to work in 9.0.4 sometimes, and going back is a major bummer because OS X is just so amazing. I think this time around we all owe Apple a big round of applause.
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Dave Nagel is the producer of Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; host of the Creative Mac, Adobe InDesign, Adobe LiveMotion and Synthetik Studio Artist WWUGs; and executive producer of Creative Mac, Digital Media Designer, Digital Pro Sound, Digital Webcast, Plug-in Central, Presentation Master, ProAudio.net and Video Systems sites. All are part of the Digital Media Net family of online industry hubs.
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