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OS X Apple

How Mac OS X, 10 Today, Changed Apple's World 342

Posted by timothy
from the x-is-ten-but-x10-is-older dept.
CWmike writes "Ten years ago today, Apple's first full public version of Mac OS X went on sale worldwide to a gleeful reception as thousands of Mac users attended special events at their local computer shops all across the planet. What we didn't know then was that Apple was preparing to open up its own chain of retail outlets, nor had we heard Steve Jobs use the phrase, 'iPod.' Windows was still a competitor, and Google was still a search engine. These were halcyon days, when being a Mac user meant belonging to the second team, writes Jonny Evans. We're looking at the eighth significant OS X release in the next few months, Lion, which should offer some elements of unification between the iOS and OS X. There's still some bugs to iron out though, particularly the problem with ACL's (Access Control Lists) inside the Finder. Hopefully departing ex-NeXT Mac OS chief, Bertrand Serlet, will be able to fix this before he leaves."
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How Mac OS X, 10 Today, Changed Apple's World

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  • by bigstrat2003 (1058574) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @03:35PM (#35602922)
    Interesting use of the past tense there, considering Windows usage still dwarfs Mac OS usage.
  • by mlts (1038732) * on Thursday March 24, 2011 @03:56PM (#35603252)

    Nothing is perfect, but moving to OS X from the previous MacOS/System versions was a smart move for Apple, and was one of the reasons Apple is still around today.

    Before OS X, if a program did not hand control back go the OS via WaitNextEvent(), the Mac essentially need to be restarted. In fact, Macs became so unstable, people ended up just rebooting them every two hours just to be safe.

    It is an ironic contrast to these days where the only time Macs go down is a reboot to install a security patch, or a Safari update (why Safari patches require a reboot is beyond me, but that is Apple for you.)

    Apple did the right thing. People yelled at Apple to get an OS that did actual, preemptive multitasking for years. Multiuser security? You had to use a utility that would do tricks to create the illusion of multiple users, such as Kent Marsh's FileGuard, Empower, Casady & Greene's [1] AME, or another utility.

    Of course, there was the virus issue. OS 9 and previous did have a good number of viruses on the platform. OS X has not had a single one in the wild.

    All and all, OS X has withstood this decade quite well. No major breaches in the wild (except for Trojans like the one bundled with a pirated version of iWork '09). No OS is completely secure (and it often was the first to fall in hacking contests), but it has proven to have a well deserved security reputation in the real world.

    Is there room for improvement? Yes. OS X needs a modern filesystem to compete with ZFS, btrfs, and possible changed to NTFS. OS X also needs full disk encryption and not just FileVault. Hopefully Apple will address these, preferably before they run out of big cat names for OS versions.

    [1]: Yep, the same Casady & Greene who made the software that was renamed into iTunes.

  • by oliverthered (187439) <> on Thursday March 24, 2011 @04:05PM (#35603372) Journal

    Mac OS is dead, long live BSD.

  • by Tharsman (1364603) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @04:40PM (#35603898)
    The point is that Windows was seen as a competitor back then. Apple thought the only way they were able to survive was by defeating Windows and convincing every Windows user the MacOS was better. These days Apple acknowledges there is no competition, that people with their mind set on Windows are unlikely to change that mind, and instead focus just to show case their OS and computers to new generations that are buying for the first time, no longer trying to steal existing consumers from Microsoft.
  • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Thursday March 24, 2011 @06:29PM (#35605660) Homepage Journal

    Dominance is relative.

    And stock price is never, ever an indication of "dominance".

    Plus, I doubt that even you would be so bold as to say that Apple's capitalization has anything at all to do with its personal computing platform and not it's consumer electronics.

    As a user of Apple computers, but not really their consumer electronics, I often wonder if they will ever come out with a new operating system for personal computers.

    Due to the current direction of the company, I have my doubts as to whether the successor to OSX will allow me to buy my own software and install it myself without the prior approval of Apple. I'm not even sure there will be a successor to OSX. I am not saying this to diminish Apple's success, but rather as an indication that they have "moved on" as a company, from making computing platforms that you could use to develop your own software and use for many other creative endeavors, to entertainment and other carefully curated "personal management" software. I believe they have found their niche in creating the successor to the PDA and the kind of computing in which users of Slashdot with UIDs below 1000000 generally engage. I'm not putting this new approach down, I'm just recognizing that with the iOS platforms they have found success that they never reached when they were focused on personal computing.

    Apple's stock has played a big part in allowing my wife and I to send my daughter to a good university. Apple's personal computers played a huge part in my career as a creative artist. Although the Macintosh is no longer my primary platform for music or video production, and it's no longer the clear choice in any of the creative fields - graphic arts, music production, video production, photography - their part in the history of the use of personal computers in those fields is an important one.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24, 2011 @07:33PM (#35606456)

    Have you taken it in for service? I'd put 20 bucks on it being caused by a bad system board. We support HP and Dell machines at work and I see this about once a month in a building of about 8000 people.

  • Re:Apple's World? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sootman (158191) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @09:00PM (#35607170) Homepage Journal

    Well, maybe he's an engineer. Comparing the 55 exploits in the list you linked to--which go back SEVEN YEARS (last entry: June 2010)--to the nearly uncountable number of exploits against Windows is effectively "nonexistent." (Note: Vista and 7 have been doing very well. But DAMN that was a long, painful stretch we had to endure under XP.)

    Is Mac OS X perfect? No. BUT: Has there ever been a widespread virus for it? No. Has there ever been a self-replicating, self-spreading virus in the wild for it? No. Have drive-by downloads ever been a problem? No.

    A few years ago, my teenaged son turned a Windows box from a smoothly-running specimen into an unbootable heap of molten slag (note: exaggerating, but not by much) in a single afternoon of unsupervised web surfing. I switched my wife (it was her computer) and, eventually, him, to a Mac mini, and have not had a problem since.

All life evolves by the differential survival of replicating entities. -- Dawkins