Article: One Thing That Annoys Me…

by on March 30, 2005

I always find it fascinating when people who are either forced to use a Mac for work or find themselves switching to Windows have to bring up how crappy Macs were before OS X. Granted, I chalk it up to ignorance, but there is still no excuse. Apparently they like to hold operating systems of old to the same standards that they hold current ones, such as Mac OS X and Windows XP.

First, let me just state that every version of the Mac OS prior to X did not have the memory efficiencies and protection, ultra-secure UNIX core, and automated maintenance tools. For most people, this is already known. What made these great operating systems were that they were fast, did not take up a lot of hard drive space, and were easy to troubleshoot.

Furthermore, I think it’s foolish to compare a previous experience with one of the older operating systems to something like Mac OS X or Windows XP. That would be like comparing Windows 98 to Mac OS X. It just doesn’t stack up because the technology was different (I’m not going to get into Windows-bashing here).

Some even feel that something was lost in the transition to Mac OS X, as Gregory Ng states:

“Prior to unix-based OS, prior to aqua interfacing, and prior to HFS[+], we used [Mac OS] 7.5. And I have never been more efficient.”

The other difference is that the hardware is different. Although the current Macs are still a descendent of the original Power Macs, more hardware is similar to what can be found on PCs. Gone are SCSI, ADB, the round serial ports, and lots of other proprietary goodies. Mix that with a different operating system, and you have an entirely different computer that just happens to run older applications in a special mode. For the sake of this argument, the older Macs are much like the Apple IIs.

Right now, Mac OS X is the best operating system out there, and it’s running on the best hardware out there, but at the time, the older versions worked much better than their competition.

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