Windows PC developer converts to Apple’s Mac OS X

“I got my first PC in 1997. It was a Dell Pentium II with Windows 95,” Peter Bright writers for Ars Technica.

MacDailyNews Take: Our condolences.

Bright continues, “I got it because I was interested in computers and I wanted to learn how to program them, so I picked up a student edition of Visual Studio 97 and duly learned C++. At that time, Windows was really the only game in town; Macs were ever so expensive and, as everyone knows, there was no software available for them.”

MacDailyNews Take: Not sure if he’s joking or if he’s just woefully misinformed. Apple Macs have always had a wide variety of applications. Tens of thousands available in 1997. Maybe not the latest, but even plenty of games, too.

Bright continues, “Microsoft was pretty good to me at the time. The Windows OS was fast and reasonably stable. We didn’t have to worry about allocating memory to applications or rebuilding our desktops, and although the preemptive multitasking and protected memory were not perfect, the system was obviously more stable than any Mac.”

MacDailyNews Take: Debatable. Our Macs never crashed (much), but then again, we knew how to manage extensions and allocate memory, etc. To average users, we’d have to say that both Macs and Windows PCs of the time crashed – and way too often. In our experience, the Windows PCs in the places we worked at the time (TV stations, ad agencies, video/film production houses) crashed noticeably more often that the Macs. The Mac UI was, as always, far superior to Windows.

Bright continues, “In 2001, Apple just about managed to get OS X out the door—dragging Mac software kicking and screaming into the 21st century—but had so little confidence in the thing that it still made the computers default to Mac OS 9. “

MacDailyNews Take: Okay, he wasn’t joking; he’s woefully misinformed. It had noting whatsoever to do with confidence. Macs ran Mac OS 9 to allow for backwards compatibility (all of our software at the time was for the Classic Mac OS). The first release of Mac OS X was a beta. Apple was carefully easing its users into the new OS. Allowing for backwards compatibility is exactly what Microsoft will need to do if they plan to finally jettison the morass of Windows spaghetti code and start clean – they’ll need to provide a way for their sufferers to run their old WIndows programs.

Bright continues with some Mac OS X history and then writes about how Mac OS X has spawned “high-quality applications that Apple is putting out, and they’re being seriously pushed in their respective industries. And that means that they’ve got to be written properly. Core Audio in OS X really works. It’s a modern low-latency audio API. Core Image and Core Video allow high-quality real-time GPU-accelerated image/video processing. The infrastructure has got to be good, because the markets into which these programs are sold won’t stand for anything less.”

“This has had a hugely positive effect on the Mac software ecosystem. There are lots of developers producing Mac applications and utilities. And they’re actually making an effort with them. Conscientious developers, who care about making an application that looks good, works well, and exploits the capabilities of the OS, are putting out great applications for MacOS X. We see applications like OmniGraffle, Adium, NetNewsWire, Delicious Library, Quicksilver, Coda, Unison… these apps are all well put together, a lot of effort has clearly gone into them, and there’s a real sense that their developers care that they don’t suck,” Bright writes.

Bright writes, “Windows software has never struck me as being like that. The third-party software ecosystem for Windows is big, no doubt about that. But it’s also incredibly shoddy. Most Windows applications—from both major software companies and minor ones alike—are ugly, poorly-thought-out, clunky pieces of crap. While there are a few artisan developers for Windows, most Windows devs just don’t care.”

MacDailyNews Take: Now, he’s on track.

Much more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “RadDoc” for the heads up.]


  1. If you’re going to snipe at the columnists you feature here, why not give them their due up front? When I see you taking apart somebody paragraph by paragraph, I visit another site for news. By the time we understand he’s moving to Mac and his reasons, you’ve turned him into an idiot. You do it with Enderle and other writers, as if that makes you smarter. I don’t expect you to adhere to the standards of journalism, but it appears immature to treat columnists this way. The guy woke up, but you want to knock him out and back to sleep. A little more respect, please.

  2. It is funny about how time gets compressed in people’s minds and history gets distorted. Many people think it is just the last year or two that Apple has come roaring back, but in truth the company has been on a pretty steady upward swing for at least six years, and arguably longer.

    I also chuckle when writers like this one associate the quality of Mac software with MacOSX. The list of great (or at least important) cross-platform software that started on the Mac includes Excel, PowerPoint, PageMaker, Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere, Mathematica, AOL, iTunes, FileMaker and more — and all of these started on the “classic” Mac OS.

  3. I don’t understand why MDN is always so interested by Switcher stories. Do we Mac users really need to get our decision validated by others. I personally don’t give a damn if some celebrity or unknown developer suddenly sees the light. The story may be interesting to his/her mom but I don’t care.

  4. @max314

    All MDN is doing is pointing out the writer’s errors. There is nothing wrong about that… truthfully, if these so-called columnists and bloggers and what-not actually managed to maintain journalistic integrity by FACT CHECKING, there would be no need for MDN to do what it does.

    If you want to be spoon-fed a bunch of tripe, and take it at face value, then I pity you, and yes you should go get your ‘news’ elsewhere.

  5. max314,

    Does your definition of “respect” mean that MDN should overlook obvious errors and mistakes and let them go uncorrected?

    MDN reported this article perfectly, as usual.

  6. @Max314

    Not sure what you are referring to but I found MDN’s comments relatively bang on. Even when discussing OS9 vs Windows stability…it is indeed debatable. ANd there were many programs back in the late 90’s.

    I read MDN because they do slap you around when you make non-factual statements. Rightfully so. In grayer areas, they do mention that it is debatable but Duhhhh, it is a pro-Mac site. Take it for what its worth.

  7. I think max314 has his panties up in a bunch… or maybe he is bright and in disguise yelling back at MDN as if anyone really cares if ONE person gets upset and doesn’t visit the site anymore. Pretty soon he will run out of new sites to get mad at and just accept it how it is. And btw, Enderle was an idiot.

  8. The good old days are returning. I remember when I beta tested PageMaker 1.0 for Windows (I was a long time beta tester for Aldus Corp). We were given explicit instructions from the testing team:

    “If it doesn’t run like it does on the Mac, it’s a bug.”

    Comin’ around… comin’ around again…

  9. MDN is trying for too much points scoring here.

    NT was good for its time, as Bright says. And not only did it have it preemptive multitasking and protected memory, Dave Cutler also gave it a decent filesystem — something even OS X hasn’t got, since it inherited the old Mac OS’s filesystem.

    NT also had some kind of internal security. The old Mac OS, just like Windows 98, had none:

    “The MacOS system of internal boundaries is very weak. There is a wired-in assumption that there is but a single user, so there are no per-user privilege groups. Multitasking is cooperative, not pre-emptive. All MultiFinder applications run in the same address space, so bad code in any application can corrupt anything outside the operating system’s low-level kernel. Security cracks against MacOS machines are very easy to write; the OS has been spared an epidemic mainly because very few people are motivated to crack it.”

    OS X is far preferable to XP or Vista. And while Microsoft themselves are professional liars — and have people like Enderle and Thurrott to lie on their behalf — it is important to be truthful ourselves.

    NT compared more than favourably with the old Mac OS, and was a good choice for Bright at the time.

  10. The key to running OS9 successfully was dumping all the MS crap. I thought I had and was running at one or two crashes per week then found a couple of MS libraries lurking, trashed them and zero crashes.

    OS9 <strike>was</strike> is fast, I just bought a G4 733MHz Digital Audio to run Photoshop 3! Cheaper than buying Photoshop now and I don’t need it.

    Can we stop with promoting Apple, some of my competitors are thinking of getting Macs. Maybe Zune Tang can come up with some reverse-switcher tales.

  11. I like and enjoy MDN’s take on things – that’s what makes reading their pages a joy.

    If I want the unadulterated version I can just click the link they thoughtfully provide.

    Keep the relevant snipes up – it’s what makes then different!

  12. @Spark,
    Got my first computer ever (my Cube) in Sept. 2000 – I was 28 at the time. I had resisted buying a computer for years because I thought they all sucked. I was wrong – it was the Windoze PCs that sucked. Using my friend’s Mac for 20 minutes was all it took.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.