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Article: Mac OS X Turns X Today

by on March 24, 2011

It seems like only yesterday, in my younger and more foolish days, I was ripping Mac OS X a new one, but then again, that was almost ten years ago. I’ve grown up, and thankfully so has Mac OS X, adjusting from an awkward, forced replacement to the aging, but well-loved (at least among Mac geeks) classic Mac OS, to something so refined that we’re not really sure how it really needs to be improved.

X Turns X

Looking back now, some of the things I wrote about seem downright silly, and I should’ve forgiven some of the work-in-progress things, such the lack of certain components (Chooser, Extensions, Control Panels, and the Control Strip), the early integration with Mac OS 9.x, and the gratuitous eye-candy. That being said, I think that my fears were about like any other die-hard Mac user’s—a lot of fear, some worry that this new operating system would end up killing Apple, and that my applications wouldn’t carry over. A mere months after using my first Mac OS X-capable Mac (running 10.1 and then 10.2 immediately after), I was completely Classic-free.

What I failed to mention went away were stability issues, poorly-implemented multitasking, and that each new version got buggier and more complicated. OS X seemed to defy operating system rules, as many newer versions were more efficient and used less disk space—Apple even used this as a selling point for 10.6 Snow Leopard—then again, it was because it got rid of a lot of PowerPC-based code.

I think the funnier thing is how Mac OS X’s aqua interface has gotten more and more toned-down over the years, looking more like a refined version of the classic Mac OS. Sure, some odd things remain, like the Aqua scroll bars, or the glossy buttons, but it certainly looks more like a simple platinum when compared to the early versions. Heck, there’s no denying that Microsoft saw the translucent-and-gloss look and built it into Windows Vista and 7, but even that looks over-the-top compared to Apple’s latest iteration of OS X.

Nonetheless, whenever you got into using Mac OS X, it’s been a good ride so far, so here’s to ten years and ten more!

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