Friday, April 29, 2005

Obsolete Again

I still haven't fully embraced the MacOSX, and though I now spend more time in OSX than I do in OS9, I'm still more comfortable with OS9, having worked on Macs since the days of OS6. OSX was such a departure from the usual way of doing things that I was (and to an extent continue to be) reluctant to let go of the known and take a leap of faith into the unknown.

My Mac has the ability to start up in either OS9 or OSX -- a feature Apple has since discontinued. And for the longest time I kept it in OS9, only conducting small experiments with OSX. The only thing that kept me in OS9 was that I hadn't upgraded to OSX versions of QuarkXpress and Photoshop -- and that running these programs in Classic Mode was often a dicey proposition.

And then I got a project which required me to have the latest version of QuarkXpress, which also required me to go one step further into OSX and upgrade to Panther (OSX 10.3) And now I've slipped even further from the safety of my moorings.

One of the reason I've never been fully satisfied with OSX is that it's far too much like Microsoft Windows for my tastes. The navigation is Windows-like, and though you can set it up so it looks like OS9, it still operates like a web browser. Can someone explain to me why navigating through your file system should act like a web browser? Navigating the file system should not require a "back" button.

Moving files and folders in OSX now requires me to have two finder windows open at the same time. This goes against the logical construction of a file system. Think of it in physical terms. Let's say you have a desk drawer with two folders in it. You want to move a document from one folder to the next, so you open both folders, remove the document from one folder, and place it in the other. You close both folders and then you close the drawer. That's how it worked in OS9.

In OSX, the equivalent actions requires that you summon up a second desk that is an exact duplicate of the first desk. You open the drawers in both desks, remove the document from the folder in one desk, and transfer it to the equivalent draw er in the second folder in the second desk, which causes the exact same action to happen in the equivalent drawer in the first desk. You then cause the second desk to vanish in a puff of binary code.

This makes no logical sense, and it's one reason OSX never struck me as particularly friendly.

I upgraded to Panther less than a month ago, and as often happens to me, the moment I upgrade, the upgrade becomes obsolete. Today, Apple releases the next version of OSX -- nicknamed "Tiger," and I'm only just getting used to Panther. I suspect my computer is old enough and slow enough that upgrading is probably not a wise idea. So is it time to get a new computer? Probably. But my affinity for OS9 makes the prospect of a new computer less appealing. Curse you Steve Jobs! I want my dual startup! I want the freedom to start up in OS9 if I feel like it!

Granted, there are some awesomely cool features in Tiger that I can't wait to try out. But . . . but I like my OS9! (Besides, I still have some very good games for OS9, and what the heck am I supposed to do about them? Give them up?)

Maybe there's a hack somewhere that will allow the latest and greatest G5 to start up in lowly OS9 if so desired.

If not, I'm sure I'll end up buying a new computer eventually anyway, but I'm hanging on to my current one . . . just like I hung on to my even older Mac, . . . the one with the SCSI interfaces by which I can operate (among other things) my elderly but quite useful scanner.

I shouldn't need to have three computers to get my work done.

But at least none of them are running Windows.


Post a Comment

<< Home