Ars Technica chews Mac OS X up and spits it out.
April 2, 2001 10:24 AM   Subscribe

Ars Technica chews Mac OS X up and spits it out. The verdict? Shows a lot of promise, but needs work.
posted by darukaru (19 comments total)
To summarize the gargantuan article:

Aqua needs graphics acceleration badly. Live window resizing is painfully slow. Today's 2D graphics hardware is not up to the task posed by Display PDF, thus most rendering is stuck with the CPU.

It's a giant RAM hog. The article says that 128MB really *is* the minimum. (But you can launch every application on the system simultaneously, if you want to.)

Stability still isn't at 100%. Sometimes processes crash and refuse to launch again without a reboot. (The 'Classic' box seems to be the most notorious offender.)

The Finder blows goats. (Only one Get Info window open at a time?!) So does IE 5.1 'preview'.

In short, it's full of the rough edges you'd expect from a 1.0 release. It'll be interesting to see how things polish up by summer, when X.I (or maybe even X.II) comes preinstalled on new machines.
posted by darukaru at 10:25 AM on April 2, 2001

It's still miles better than a Microsoft 1.0 release .... but then again, what isn't?
posted by darren at 10:41 AM on April 2, 2001

I am loving it, frankly. There are huge improvements over the beta (I'm thinking specifically of graphics acceleration) and while IE has managed to crash it twice in the last week and half, it's otherwise stable.

And I just love the interface, esp. when I'm using Apache.
posted by annathea at 11:07 AM on April 2, 2001

from the article:

> Mac OS X is Apple's new operating system. I've said it
> before and I'll say it again: the "X" is pronounced
> "ten", like the roman number, not "ex" like the letter.
> Don't make me come over there.

Yessiree! and vi is pronounced "six." (My Apple runs DOS 3.2.1 - and CP/M, when the Z80 card works...)
posted by jfuller at 11:13 AM on April 2, 2001

When I can download, unpack a tar.gz and type "make", and out come executables, it's worth it.
posted by paladin at 12:30 PM on April 2, 2001

I was playing with OS X at a CompUSA (boo!) this weekend, and a salesdroid asked me if I needed help.

"No, thanks, just playing with oh-ess x."
"Actually," he asserted, "It's oh-ess ten."
I said "I know, I know," and shook my head in a rather pooh-poohing manner.

Back when I was a kid, we used to draw bars across the top and bottoms of our Roman numerals! Darn it!

Anyway... X is very nice and makes me want a Titanium G4 too much.
posted by hijinx at 12:34 PM on April 2, 2001

And when I was a kid, macs used to be popular (oooh! zing!).
posted by fusinski at 2:17 PM on April 2, 2001

And when I was a kid, Winger was popular.
posted by donkeymon at 3:17 PM on April 2, 2001

When I was a kid we had Amigas. You mean you've never heard of them? [falls quietly to the floor sobbing]
posted by davidgentle at 3:24 PM on April 2, 2001

When I was a kid, I programmed basic on apple ][e's.
Oh, and played oregon trail and spellevator.
I can't believe those machines existed in my lifetime, let alone the fact that I played with them all the time. It seems like ancient history.
posted by sonofsamiam at 3:27 PM on April 2, 2001

Spellevator, bah. Spellicopter was much better.
posted by OneBallJay at 3:30 PM on April 2, 2001

Dude...Winger was NEVER popular.
posted by th3ph17 at 4:18 PM on April 2, 2001

There was a time where I owned two 500s, a 2000, and a 4000. All my are gone now. Woe is me. I miss my Guru meditation.
posted by john at 4:34 PM on April 2, 2001

When I was I kid, I had a Z80 and a soldering iron.
posted by lagado at 4:44 PM on April 2, 2001

When I was a kid, I made the robot dance on my TRS-80.
posted by Danelope at 6:18 PM on April 2, 2001

Okay, it has to be said, doesn't it?

When I was a kid, I had a typewriter, a calculator and a compass(missed the slide rule by a hair, thank the gods).

posted by NsJen at 6:40 PM on April 2, 2001

When I was a kid and a student in the Los Angeles Unified School District, I bubbled FORTRAN programs on cards, then sent them through school mail to the big computer (it was called MISS) downtown. A day or two later, I'd get back a list of all the error messages.

There were also some built-in programs. The most amazing one would let you send in a sentence and get back a banner! Can you imagine that? A banner printed on a computer!
posted by dogwelder at 6:45 PM on April 2, 2001

guru meditation is only an emulator away...


i really like the unix stuff in os x, but i have to second the problems above - classic and ie do crash a fair bit, and it really sucks having to wait for menus and resized windows to render....
posted by sawks at 7:38 PM on April 2, 2001

That is one of the few reviews I've seen that actually mentions what is one of my biggest complaints regarding MacOS X -- filename extensions. True, as he says, if you're sending/receiving files over the internet, they are necessary for compatibility, but the rest of the time, when just you're working with files right there on your own machine, you should be able to name them anything you want and still have the Finder recognize them.

Most Carbon apps still support file types and creators, but Cocoa apps, such as Preview and TextEdit, do not. There is basically no way to set things up so that when you double-click a text file it will open in TextEdit without adding the ".txt" or ".rtf" on the end of the file's name. Oh sure, you can go through to each and every one of your text files and tell the Finder (in the "Get Info" window) you want those files to be opened with TextEdit, but you have to do that one file at a time. If you want to change the "generic application" for a particular Mac file type/creator code to be a Cocoa app, you can't do it. And Cocoa apps don't assign types/creators to any files they save (they just append the ".xxx" extension when you first save it, unless you include it yourself).

And for added fun, try renaming a folder "blah.old" or "blah.original" in the MacOS X Finder and see what happens.

I also agree with his comments about the Finder interface. I like the fact that he didn't just say "it sucks"; he explained what makes the MacOS 9 Finder so good, why the X Finder doesn't measure up, and what he thinks Apple should do to fix it. Too bad Steve Jobs ignores negative criticism from pundits and the press. The only way any of that stuff is going to get changed is if large numbers of paying customers send Apple feedback about it.
posted by Potsy at 2:24 AM on April 3, 2001

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