Apple Archive

The End of the Mac as We Know It

- 2001.02.16

March 24, 2001. The end of the Mac as we know it

"The most advanced operating system is about to be introduced. Is your system ready for it? Are you ready for it?"

Mac OS X is about to be introduced. For the first time ever, Mac users will have a truly modern operating system running on their computers.

This operating system is also about to make many Mac OS computers almost obsolete. The 6400, 7600, 8600, and 9600 will be unable to run OS X. You may be asking, "Those all can run OS 9 well - why not X? My 8600 is just three years old."

Mac OS X officially requires a PowerPC 750 (G3) processor or better. While you may be able to get it to run on your 8600, it is PowerBook 3400not supported. The only G3 not to be able to run X will be the original PowerBook G3, sometimes known as the 3500 or Kanga (the first PowerBook G3, the one that looks like a 3400).

OS X will change the way you work with your computer. OS X will act more like <gasp> Windows 95!

I will let you know now that I don't care for Windows; it just doesn't work the way I do. However, it has some advantages - and many of those are used in OS X.

OS X will be like Windows 95 in several ways. First, the Mac OS "Finder windows" will now be in the fashion of Windows 95 with directory buttons and a pull down menu.

The Mac OS will now carry a "minimize" button (about time!), which stores the window in the dock. That reminds me - say good-bye to your application switcher. The dock is about to take over - and it is much more convenient. Just click, and you are in your program. It also expands so that you can see all of the programs that are open.

OS X will take some getting used to. There are no crashes or freezes in X. There is also a new interface to get used to, Aqua. Aqua is pretty, but it doesn't look like the current Mac OS. Apple could have easily incorporated more of the current Mac OS into X. OS X is a great OS, just not the Mac OS everyone knows.

When OS X finally ships on March 24th, I think that few will be using it as their main OS. They will use the current Mac OS as long as they can.

There will be a great number of users who will never make the upgrade. I know my grandmother won't be upgrading - she has a Performa 636CD and is very happy with it as it is running Mac OS 7.6.1. She, and many other people like her, don't need to or want to upgrade. All of the programs she wants to use run fine on her current system, so why buy a G3 just to upgrade to the latest OS? Then there are the schools, which are using 5200s, 5400s, 5500s, and 6100s. They aren't going to make the upgrade either. Many schools can't afford new computers. Some don't have a computer as good as a 6100. Some don't even have computers.

So who are the people who will be buying Mac OS X? Well, there are the curious people who want a peek at the latest and greatest out of Cupertino; there are the Mac-freaks, who have to get everything Mac (those are the people who have 128s with Apple HD20s, Apple Lisas, Colour Classics, Twentieth Anniverary Macand 20th Anniversary Macs along side their new TiBooks); and there are the graphics people who often like to have the latest. Those are the people who buy every single version of programs like Photoshop, Illustrator, QuarkXPress, and DreamWeaver.

Mac OS X may or may not appeal to businesses yet. Since many of them aren't using G3s or G4s (many businesses still have 7300s, 7600s, 8600s, etc.), only some might be likely to upgrade to OS X - and that means retraining their employees who aren't familiar with the new OS.

OS X is a big deal - bigger than the upgrade from System 6 to 7, bigger than the changeover to PowerPC, bigger than the upgrade from Mac OS 7.x to 8, and yes, even bigger than the upgrade from Windows 3.1 to 95. It's not just a big deal for the Macintosh; it's a big deal for the whole computing world. Not only will the company that was ready to die in the mid-90s have the most advanced operating system, but it will also be getting a lot of extra attention. Never before has the Mac been this big.

The Mac is the future.

OS X is the future.

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