Jaguar: Time to Stop Pussyfooting Around
Subject:   missing the point
Date:   2002-08-01 19:48:54
I appreciate your sentiment on switching to OSX, but you're overlooking a few major points.

1) A lot of people have to upgrade their machines to use it. I have a beige G3, which technically can run OSX, but only at a painfully slow clip. I can't afford a performance drop like that and haven't been able to afford a new machine with this economy. I'll go X when I get a fast G4 (this fall!) Don't forget there are actually people out there who have pre-G3 machines, they can't go X.

2) A lot of people use Quark as their #1 application. What's the point of "upgrading" system software that can't run your most valuable app? Blame Quark, but this is a major issue for Apple. Quark still dominates the design and publishing world-- that's a lot of workstations...

3) Version 10 was an alpa, 10.1 was a beta and now maybe we're getting somewhere releaseable with 10.2

4) I freelance in a shop with about 200 mac workstations. It's a big project to upgrade all those machines and explain to a bunch of artists who are computer dumb why the application switcher isn't there anymore. This is really 2 points.
A) why should IT depts go for such a headache (or myself for that matter, when their really not getting that much out of it and
B) why did Apple have to change the finder in such fundemental ways-- it's confusing to me and I'm good with computers. I know a lot of designers who are going to be very upset (and calling tech support) when the have to switch and so many things are different.

5) Did I mention Quark?

6) This "upgrade" is a weekend project. Who has that kind of time? I use my computer to pay my rent. I can't risk having it down while I tinker the OS. 9 works great. It's stable and it's fast. Why take the risk for so little gain?

Like most "geeks" (and I mean that in a complimentary way) you have an amazing ability to emphasis what the majority of people don't care about and downplay whats really important to the majority of "real users". That list of 10 superb features of Jaguar reads like a tech spec. Uber geek speak. Give me a break. Does Mom, Dad, the college student, the web surfer, the artist, musician, designer really care about BSD, CUPS, PPTP or LDAT? They probably care about iChat and Sherlock 3(which I think is a travesty too, Apple should have given the Watson folks a lot of money for that idea) and the address book .

What about those poor AOL users? They certainly don't have the whereforall to deal with all this. Like Mr. Jobs said, we should be thankful we've gotten 20% already.

Go to a UNIX system that needs to run a whole other OS just run the gamut of apps that I use?
No thank you.

Robert Israel

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Showing messages 1 through 7 of 7.

  • Derrick Story photo Missing the point? I don't think so.
    2002-08-01 23:30:34  Derrick Story | O'Reilly AuthorO'Reilly Blogger [View]

    Actually, I don't think I'm missing the point at all.

    Let's start with all those "poor AOL users." The AOL client for Mac OS X is just as easy as on any other platform. You turn on your computer, launch AOL, and do your thing. Those folks have it made.

    As for Quark, you can't tell me that 80 percent of the Mac user community is relying on Quark as their main application. It just ain't so. Those who do rely on Quark won't be able to switch to Mac OS X outright until January or so. But those same people can still buy and install Mac OS X and start getting comfortable now. You can run both OSs on one computer.

    Here's what I'm trying to say: Software vendors aren't going to hang around and wait forever for the Mac community to reunite under Mac OS X. Take Microsoft. They've already said that they will not write any more software for OS 9. Period. If their OS X titles don't sell, then they pull back. Money is a big part of this conversation. And we are going to have to part with some of our money to keep our platform. Believe me, I did not like shelling out my bucks to buy an Office upgrade. I'm a writer for a living, and writers don't earn a lot of dough.

    The point I'm trying to make is that it's time for us to start using Mac OS X in whatever capacity we can. We are at a crossroads, and I want this platform to succeed. I'd like to hear fewer excuses and more creative thinking on this issue.
    • Missing the point? I don't think so.
      2002-08-02 03:16:01  geertdeg [View]

      I think Robert is right. If you say "As for Quark, you can't tell me that 80 percent of the Mac user community is relying on Quark as their main application.", I think you're underestimating how big the prepress-community is within the Mac-community. I have switched to OSX for prepress and it doesn't work better than OS9. After 2 months "production"-work (and I'm an experienced Mac-user) my main feeling is: OSX is TOO SLOW. We had to upgrade all our software to native applications and the native applications are just slower than under OS9! The only DTP-application which is native is InDesign 2.0 and most service-bureaus are just too lazy or don't have the time to learn this new software. And why should they, if they can run XPress on their old G3-machines much faster? Worst of all: most service-bureaus don't accept InDesign-files! In prepress, for PDF-generation, we need Distiller, which isn't native and we need FlightCheck, Enfocus PitStop & CertifyPDF which aren't native because not all the PDF-technology from Adobe isn't native yet. Then there is the problem with the fonts, which now reside in 4 locations! I could figure it out with Suitcase, but most users just want to use their computer to WORK with it and don't want to struggle with all those fontproblems and quirky old applications running in Classic mode. The largest "community" within the Mac-community are the prepress people. If Apple doesn't make their OS much faster or at least as fast as OS9, they're gonna lose their largest market and this will simply be the end for Apple. I'm not ashamed to say that "working" with the computer is much smoother today with Windows XP than with Mac OS X. We have also a G4-450 (Sawtooth) that won't work with OS 10.1.5. We replaced already 4 times the hard drive and we keep getting "kernel panics". That machine won't even start and is unusable. According to Apple-dealers it's a "defective processor module". But we do heavy Photoshop-work with that same machine under OS9 without many system-errors! My conclusion is: OSX is a buggy OS, which is not enough tested on all their machines. I'm sure there are very much people who have the same "kernel panics" - look at the forums, even the Apple-forums. Apple should focus their attention at stability of the OS and not on al these "iApps", otherwise there will be a "switch" to WinXP. In my humble opinion it would also be wise if they use Intel-processors in their future machines.
      • Missing the point? I don't think so.
        2002-08-02 16:47:06  simx [View]

        OS X is not buggy, nor is it slow, and nor is it worse than XP.

        I have been using OS X full time since OS X 10.1 came out last September, and let me tell you something: OS X really IS light years ahead of OS 9.

        I rarely have crashes anymore with OS X. In contrast, I had a crash at least once a day, if not more, because I used it all the time. This stability alone is reason enough to upgrade to OS X: it increases my productivity probably tenfold because I don't have to restart so much (rarely at all).

        Furthermore, OS X 10.1.5 is PLENTY fast on "old" hardware. I'm sitting at a Snow G3 iMac at 500 MHz, which many people claim is not enough to run OS X decently. On the contrary, it runs OS X MORE THAN ADEQUATELY. I know many people who are completely satisfied with OS X on even older machines, too.

        In retrospect, it's probably futile to argue like this, especially when you're one of those deluded users who think that switching to Intel processors will be an easier transition than from OS 9 to OS X. NEWS FLASH: OS X is the future, and it is stable, reliable, much easier to use, and overall much better. Get over your obsession with OS 9 and make the leap.
        • Missing the point? I don't think so.
          2002-08-02 18:06:17  geertdeg [View]

          I think that I mentioned that I already work with OSX to do PRODUCTION work. At home I work with OSX since Public Beta on a G3 B&W, at work with a G4-800 Mhz. And yes, for apps like Internet Explorer, iApps and Office, OSX maybe not so slow. But have you ever worked with Quark XPress (Classic modus and terrible screen redraws), InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop or Acrobat? Do you think that "scrolling" in an Acrobat-document is faster with OSX than with OS9? I don't think so. If you compare the performance of those apps with their OS9-versions, they are MUCH SLOWER. And that's my point: OSX IS NOT READY for production purposes. If you have those apps on your computer, do the test for yourself and you will have to admit that it runs all much slower. The Finder in OSX is also slow compared to the OS9 Finder. If you speak to many OSX-users, their most hated cursor of all times is the OSX "rainbow"-cursor. This speaks for itself.

          For the PowerPC-processors: it seems that Motorola isn't interested anymore in the PowerPC-alliance. Their focus is on embedded processors. Our fastest machines are at 1GHz now, Intel or AMD at 2GHz+. I know that MHz doesn't always matter, but if you keep believing that our Macs are faster than the 2GHz-processors from AMD or Intel, you are simply dreaming. Intel or AMD is just an example, maybe they can choose for another one, but the GHz(!)-gap is becoming a great problem for Apple with their PowerPC-alliance. Apple is a HARDWARE company and despite all marketing from Apple: MHz sells! Mr. Jobs knows this very well: if Motorola keeps too much GHz behind the Intel or AMD cpu's, Apple will be forced to choose for another CPU. And then we're starting all over again with application updates for the new CPU etc... The problems for Apple in the near future are larger than you might think. A couple of months ago, we went to a "Publishing Seminar" from Apple and Adobe. If the people from Apple and Adobe asked the public if they had already "switched" to OS X, I was the only one who could hold my hand up.

          You said: " increases my productivity probably tenfold because I don't have to restart so much (rarely at all)." Waw! How good! And what if your applications crash (don't tell me that this never happens to you)? Oh how great, you don't have to restart your computer, but you do have to restart your application if you want to finish your work or if you have a deadline. I feel (and I am surely not the only one) that OSX runs pretty fine on recent machines from 2002. Working with OSX on earlier models is pretty unpredictable.

          I really hope that Jaguar will be much faster, otherwise the publishing world just can't make the switch (again), because that would be a financial disaster (time = money).

          PS: I'm not "obsessed" with OS 9. I know that OSX is a technically better OS, but speed really matters.
          • Missing the point? I don't think so.
            2002-08-02 21:39:58  elastic [View]

            I do production, and I manage the IT of a multi-platform marketing communications company, so I feel I need to add my experience to this.

            No, we don't us X in the graphics/production area yet, but we've been running OS X server since it was still based on the NeXT GUI. It hasn't crashed for three years running.

            Under 9 Quark runs OK, but with certain situations is highly unstable and sadly even undependable. Frankly I've been unimpressed with Quark overall because it costs a great deal and only with version five did Quark actually start using the Mac OS window defs that were introduced in OS 8!

            Quark is almost a metaphor for what OS 9 is going to suffer from if Apple keeps patching it: unscalable code as the world moves to 64-bit processing and multi-processor computing.

            OS X suffers from having little documentation or track record, but developers have been keen and quick to learn that porting clean code to X isn't so bad.

            As to crashing, rebooting 9 is a cumbersome process. I run X %90 of the time at home where I do graphic design and web development and I hammer my G4 500 MP and it's never crashed. Apps will crash, but rerunning them is better than restarting when you have several processes running at once. I can copy, burn, rip files and still type without a hiccup. Doing batch jobs in 9 ties up my machine even if all I want to do is check a web page or write an email. Basically it makes one computer more useful. You should save often, regardless of OS or platform, the work you lose from apps crashing is always a risk no matter what. So why not save the hassle of rebooting and getting back to where you left off? Rebooting inhibits creative flow more than anything else I can think of.

            No, I don't think OS X is a prime time OS right now, but it will be. I've run it since beta and watched the development skyrocket. I can already do things OS 9 never did so really we're looking at a whole new land of developer opportunities.

            OS development is a huge amount of work, especially at stages of transition like the one Apple is doing now. Still I'm very appreciative of the speed of improvement 10 has gone through.

            When I upgraded to a Radeon video card 10 got better, then ATI started doing monthly driver updates and most of those up the 2D a bit. There are tricks to speed X up too, but the GUI creates a *perceptual* speed issue. Disk access, file copies and other I/O operations are at least 1/3rd faster on the same hardware from what I've seen they just seem slow. The foundation is there, The GUI is catching up. So I think that old hat *NIX folks and techies are fine with 10 but Apple can only move forward or they won't be able to sustain themselves. Basically after adjusting to all of the changes I've been able to work better and look forward to 10.2 (which *is* impressive when you see a beta in action).

            Looking at Google, most of the Windows users are still using Windows 98! Windows 2000 is substantially improved from 98, yet a huge slice of the pie is still using older versions and now MS is pushing XP as hard or harder than Apple pushes OS X (you must buy a recent computer to run it, etc.). It's not that different, just a larger slice of the pie.

            Just had to say all that. Really I feel that every point is valid here, it's about what you do and what works for you, and as such obsolescence is not something that should get in the way of what you do. OS X will get there. It has more options and expansion in it's source code than OS 9, but the painful transition must happen.
          • Missing the point? I don't think so.
            2002-08-09 23:39:41  dlattari [View]

            I too, am a graphic prepress professional. I chose to partition my drive and experiment with 10.1>10.1.5.
            Within an hour of my first taste of it I was planning my full switch (which will become complete when Quark finally shows some loyalty to its traditional user base and release an OSX version).
            To summarize my experience:
            1. No crashes now for over 6 months - ALWAYS ON. This is worth the price of admission right there!
            2. Quark runs in classic mode only marginally slower than in OS9 and freezes less.
            3. Suitcase is more than adequate for font management.
            4. Illustrator is a dog, but has ALWAYS been a dog!
            5. PS performance is comparable and mostly better in OSX.
            6. FTP, web design, mail and surfing is smooth as on OSX.
            7. PDF creation using Distiller is speedy and reliable on my rig.
            8. Not one kernel panick ever... don't even know what it looks like (I presume it's a sys wide freeze?)
            9. My Epson worked like I never switched OS.
            10. My AGFA scanner worked like I never switched OS
            11. All still and video cameras plugged and played with an ease that was almost disconcerting - and jawdropping for the PC nuts looking at my box secretly wishing it would fail (gotta be the most satisfying demo one can do to a Mac-hating PCnut. You'd have to shoot me to go back to OS9... and I loved OS9. Sure you've got to 'think' about how to transition smoothly.... but sticking one's head in the sand is only going to give one a much steeper learning curve later... and there WILL be a later.

            In case you're wondering I have a G3 B&W 450MHz with a bog standard Rage 128 video card.
            My 2 cents on what will improve performance of OSX?
            RAM, RAM and more RAM. I have 1Gb on board and my rig rocks with this SPECTACULAR OS!
            For productivity losses you perceive would result - here's my take on that. Nothing will increase productivity more when working in Quark and most other prepress production software like more RAM to keep more apps open and ready for action, and twin 21" monitor setups.
            Enjoy now... or later (but you vill enjoy ;-)
            Good luck
          • Missing the point? I don't think so.
            2002-08-26 18:37:09  adamrice [View]

            Don't be disingenuous. Relaunching an application is much faster than rebooting a computer. If you're suffering chronic crashing, this adds up pretty quickly.

            I've had very few application crashes. The only times I've been forced to reboot is after major software installs. I've had to do a few logout/login cycles (still much faster than rebooting). This amounts to time saved and less hair pulled.

            I'm running a 400 MHz G4 that I bought in Nov 2000 (I think). I've been running X since 10.1.4 was available--a few months now. Some tasks on this system are faster than under 9, some are slower. Some system behaviors are annoying (file renames in the finder, open/save dialog navigation), some are a little weird at first but not necessarily bad (the dock). I've modified the system with a few tweaks from Unsanity to make it more comfortable.

            Some of the software updated for X is not really an upgrade, and some is actually a downgrade (Quickeys). There are a few tasks that have become more annoying due to the lack of independent software on par with the OS 9 equivalent, but on balance, I think my productivity is at least as good as before. Some programs are flat-out better: Chimera is a much better web browser than anything available for 9, and it's only at version 0.4, fer crissakes. Office X (I can't believe I am praising it for this) has yet to corrupt any of my files, which was a major time-waster before.