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by Kyle D'Addario
& Wincent Colaiuta


Get Your OS X Tips Here From Kyle & Wincent!
March 9th, 2001

It is indeed an exciting time to be a Macintosh user. For those that have been, somehow, living buried under a rock or locked in a Pentium III heated office for the last six months, Apple is just two short weeks away from releasing the future in the form of Mac OS X.

It is during this exciting time that we have decided to bring you our new column, focusing on all things OS X, Hot Cocoa. We are also excited to announce the addition of Wincent.org's Wincent Colaiuta to our staff. Wincent has established himself as one of the top authorities on OS X, and brings with him a wealth of Unix and Macintosh experience, as well as the title of "Most Likely To Get A Leaked OS X Build."

Together, Wincent and I plan on covering OS X from a variety of angles. Weekly columns will feature tips and tricks, as well as commentary on the current and future state of Apple and the next generation OS. While OS X will mark a monumental leap forward in not just the Mac OS, but in operating system technology as a whole, the transition to the new OS will not be all sweet smelling roses.

OS X is going to mark a departure from many of the creature comforts that OS 9 users are accustomed to. Notice we said a departure, not a complete lack of all that you know and love. After the initial release of Mac OS X Public Beta last September, emergency rooms around the country found Mac users swarming in like bees that had returned to the hive only to find their queen missing. Where was the Apple Menu? Where was the Menubar clock? Where were the drives? The trashcan? The control strip? And for the love of Steve Jobs, what was that thing at the bottom of the screen?

Mass resuscitations were performed, and after a series of extended R&R vacations, Mac users wanted to know one thing; WTF? Apple, shielding its virgin ears from such language, has worked very hard over the last few months to make OS X look and feel as much like OS 9 as they could. To avoid further verbal abuse, and to keep Mac loyalists as happy as possible, Apple has brought back many of the features originally missing in OS X, and has added the functionality of others, to provide a funky new user interface with an eerily comfortable feel.

Make no mistake, however, the presence of OS 9 features does not mean that OS X is like OS 9, and we for one think that a wonderful thing. Among the things you won't find in OS X that you may have grown used to in OS 9 are Type 10 errors, program crashes that bring down your entire system, having to sit and watch the trash empty before reasonably being able to perform another task, having to leave your machine for a half hour while a 300MB file is Stuffed, or any of the other little “features” that seem to creep up far too often under OS 9.

By way of comparison, OS X is a symphony of beauty and stability. Despite what you may have heard about Aqua, it is beautiful. The icons are gorgeous, the anti-aliasing is better executed under X than under OS 9 giving text a richer look, the interface animations are breathtaking…X is the real deal. Of course, beauty with no brains might make for a fun Friday night, but would not be suited to a long-term relationship. Users have nothing to fear, as X is the total package.

Of course, just like courting and keeping a significant other, using OS X comes at a cost. RAM requirements are high, processor requirements are high, and hard drive space requirements are high. But, as you've so often probably muttered to yourself, "She's worth it, isn't she?

We think she is, and each week Wincent and I will be offering our take on all aspects of OS X. From basic tips and tricks to the Unix side of things to the current and future state of the world of X, you will be able to get it all here. So buckle in, relax, and get ready to spend some time with your new significant other. After all, she is worth it.

Kyle D'Addario
Assistant Editor

You are encouraged to send Richard your comments, or to post them below.


Most Recent Hot Cocoa Columns

Mac OS X & Firewalls: Part One - The Basics
August 17th

Console Yourself: Understanding Mac OS X Logs
August 3rd

Making NFS Work On Mac OS X
July 23rd

Hot Cocoa Archives

Back to The Mac Observer For More Mac News!


Kyle D'Addario is the assistant editor of The Mac Observer and has logged about as much time on Mac OS X as is humanly possible. Kyle studies Computer-Mediated Communication, whatever that is, at the graduate level, and was a founding member of the original Webintosh team.


Wincent Colaiuta runs Macintosh news and criticism site, wincent.org, and joined The Mac Observer team as a contributor in March 2001. He has worked with computers since 1984, and his interests in that area include Macs, PHP programming and security.



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