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Ten Years of Mac OS X

Can you believe it's been ten years?

You look at screenshots of Mac OS X Public Beta (or earlier versions) and you think "Holy shit, that's ugly." But at the time it was a breath of fresh air.

I jumped on Mac OS X as soon as I could. I ran developer previews. I got on beta tests for Mac OS X versions of apps as quickly as I could just so I could ditch "Classic."

God, remember Classic? 😛

Ten years. I took a Cocoa class at the Big Nerd Ranch not long after Mac OS X 10.0 shipped. In fact, I managed to snag a copy a few days early because Staples didn't honor Apple's street date - darn near to my March 23 birthday, IIRC. That was a Thursday (street date wasn't until the next Monday or Tuesday, again IIRC) and Sunday afternoon I took off for Asheville, NC to attend the Big Nerd Ranch.

The application I developed back then - iChem - was part of a project I was working on for a college class. It was a periodic table application that could also calculate molecular weights and such. I just checked - it's a .pbproj that won't even open in Xcode. 😛

Anyway, ten years. Wow. Click the Ars Technica article linked to up above for more… take a walk down memory lane.

I still like and display the dock on the bottom of the screen. I've never minded it. I still almost never use Exposé, but I love Spaces. Rendezvous was renamed Bonjour, but I still catch myself calling it Rendezvous from time to time. Apple's produced several versions of various keyboards, but I've liked them all just fine and see no need to spend $150 for a noisy keyboard.

What stands out to you in the past ten years?

3 Responses to "Ten Years of Mac OS X"

  1. Hey Erik,

    It's been a while since I commented on one of your posts (2006). My computing experience was forever changed since the Mac OS X went public beta. I started using my system in new ways, pushing the hardware more, experiencing true system stability along with usable multitasking. So many things Apple got right with Mac OSX. It's hard to even fathom having a Mac OS 9 box being up for weeks at a time without an app that would take everything down.

    The other thing that really stands out to me is the plethora of apps that are free or affordable shareware. Years ago it seemed like finding Mac software was a true test of one's patience. Especially before everyone was ordering things online. Without those catalogs for MacConnection, MacMall, etc you were SoL.

    The feature I like most about OSX is Spotlight. So many times I have gone looking for something and just remember some words in the file name. Spotlight saves me a lot of time there. Between that and Terminal.app. 🙂

  2. This jumped to mind (SLYT). 🙂

  3. What stands out so much to me is how similar Snow Leopard is to NeXTSTEP 2.1. I've been an OS X user since NeXTSTEP 2.1, really.

    What stands out to me is that NeXT really got it right, from the design of the API to the design of the user interface to the design of the filesystem (including app bundles and the /Library and /System directory structures).

    Sure the GUI has changed a lot over the years, but the basic elements are still there, including the services menu and the Dock.

    Sure, it is now called /Applications instead of /NextApps, and /Library instead of /NextLibrary, and /Applications/Utilities instead of /NextAdmin, but the basic design is still the same.

    I can't use OS X today without thinking back to the NeXT.


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