The POCWACTSO Files: Making the switch — the tale of a “non-early adopter”
By Mark Newhouse (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 27, 2002
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Last summer I traded in a tangerine Revision A iBook for a top-of-the-line (at the time) TiBook. It came with Version 10.0.4 of Mac OS X — still rather buggy and, for me at least, unusable. So I stuck with OS 9. I had been saying that I would wait until Apple made OS X the default OS out of the box before I’d start using it, anyway.
Periodically I would boot into the new OS to give it another try. After 10.1 came out I even managed to find an upgrade CD and get it installed on the laptop, but it still wasn't compelling enough to make me want to switch.
Then, at last month’s Macworld came the nudge I needed; Jobs made two announcements that pushed me into the world of Aqua. One, that OS X would be the default OS out of the box, and two, the introduction of iPhoto. Both of these encouraged me to give OS X yet another try.
But 10.1.2 is what Apple is shipping on the new systems, and iPhoto, while compatible with 10.1, really wants 10.1.2.
A frustrating side journey to installer hell
So I made a trip to Apple’s Web site to get iPhoto and the 10.1.2 update. The only problem was that the 10.1.2 update wouldn’t install (I couldn’t choose a destination disk). Back to Apple’s Web site to see what was wrong. I discovered I needed to install something called Installer Update. So I downloaded it, only to find it wouldn’t install either. By this time it was pushing midnight, so I put it off for another time. I should note that I was getting amazing bandwidth in OS X, downloading the 34MB update in less than two minutes (over AirPort, no less)!
So last night I tried again. Back to Apple’s Web site, where I discovered that I needed to download yet another file to install (Security Update 10-19-01) before I could install the Installer Update that would allow me to install the 10.1.2 update. Success at last — though it would have been a much better experience if the installer would have told me why I couldn’t install these updates, rather than just not allowing me to pick a destination drive.
A consummate consumer OS
Now that I am up to date with the same version of the OS that comes default on all new Macs, I understand why Apple moved up the date by three months (if you follow Steve’s clock). Update glitches aside, OS X is truly a consumer OS. It’s big, bright and beautiful. It’s easy to understand, especially if you are new to computers. And perhaps most importantly, with all the iApps, it is fun to use.
I found myself enjoying using a computer again. After importing a bunch of digital images into iPhoto — pictures I had taken about four years ago — I hit the Share button and then the Slide Show button. I picked the background music, hit the Enter key, and I was instantly taken back four years to when my middle daughter was just one, and my youngest hadn’t been born. I had to show my wife. She was impressed (and she’s not impressed by technology very often).
But it didn’t stop there. I launched the OS X version of iMovie. I opened a project that I was working on in the Classic version. I could hardly believe that I was using the same machine. The preview played smoothly, not jerkily as it did under OS 9. My grandmother is in a nursing home recovering from a fall. My wife suggested that I bring the laptop in and show her the iMovies.
This, the improved Internet speed, and instant waking from sleep has made me a believer in X. In fact I’ve begun to think of OS 9 in a similar vein as I do about Windows — more of a workhorse, do-your-job OS — and OS X is where I go to have fun.
Mark Newhouse (is that his real name, or a clever pseudonym?) blogs at mac.com — where he claims to “put the blah in blog.” He firmly believes that even a bad day using Mac OS 9 is better than a good day using any version of Windows.