“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.]