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Public Beta -- OUCH!
Authored by: newbish on Jul 11, '03 09:30:50AM
I had no choice when I first started with OS X -- Apple's installer had all the standard warnings about installing a beta OS. I noted them and went on about the installation as I had done dozens of times before when playing with a new OS.

What Apple neglected to mention about the PB install was that it rewrote the computer's boot ROMs, not just the hard drive's boot track! So I was completely unable to return to OS 9! Oh, well. I felt completely foolish, but sometimes you have to learn the hard way...

Initially, I didn't like it. The first thing that stuck in my craw -- aside from the rewritten boot ROM -- was the three "candy" buttons for window control. My reaction was, "My God! It's Windoze!" Fortunately, it took me only a minute or two to realize that there was more function in those three buttons depending on context, than what the Windows offering had.

For the most part, it was simply a matter of getting used to a new interface. In about two weeks, I knew there was no way I would voluntarily go back to OS 9.

The transition was and has not been an easy one. I lost the use of most of my graphics programs, and had to resort to using them in Windows until each one appeared in OS X. Indeed, the last and most important piece of my arsenal -- form-Z -- was only released for OS X a couple of months ago. Yes, I could use Classic mode for some things, but on an older G3 it was slow. And one thing about 3D design is that crashing is one of the key features of any 3D program. The classic mode was just that much more unstable. But it certainly gave me the opportunity to view OS X and Windows side by side over an extended period of time. Though Windows certainly improved with 2000 and XP, it still hasn't got the same oomph that OS X does.

One of the first things I loved about OS X, was the ability to super-customize it! I was aghast when I was reading comments from users saying that it was more difficult to customize than OS 9. The key power to any UNIX-based operating system is the ability to customize it. If there isn't a command available to perform something you do regularly, then you can add it to the system. Want a GUI interface for that command? It really isn't all that difficult either, even for a novice, to set something up with the Developer Tools Apple supplies. Want to add something to the menu? Learn XML, and Apple's interface will fall open wide to you!

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