TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Datadump from New York City: The Adoption of Mac OS X.

Volume Number: 18 (2002)
Issue Number: 9
Column Tag: Viewpoint

Datadump from New York City: The Adoption of Mac OS X.

by Andrew C. Stone

I have excellent man-in-the-street news for Mac OS X developers - old time Mac users are now using OS X full time, joining the legion of 'switchers' who are buying Macs for the first time and X is all they know. Having shipped the first suite of native OS X applications, I've been closely following the X adoption by listening to the folks that visit our booth during MacWorld Expos, especially the ones in NYC where you hear the undecorated truth. Critical mass has finally been reached in my estimation because 'da heavies are using it now.

In all previous Expos, I heard things like "When PhotoShop ships, I'll change to X", "when our print drivers are available, I'll change to X", and basically, "when this that or the other thing happens, I'll change to X". Those things must have happened because now users are saying, "The only thing I miss on OS X is ______". This is exactly the discussion that we X developers love to hear, especially for the great ideas they give us!

I have a few "X adoption lead indicator" people, including John Perry Barlow, cognitive dissident and freedom fighter, lyricist for the Grateful Dead and the String Cheese Incident, and ex-Apple Master. He was an '80's Mac user, who saw the NeXT and the Light, and was one of the great journalists for this visionary platform. In 1990 on different Rocky Mountain ranches, the two of us were running NeXTStep, the precursor to OS X and the platform on which the Internet was created. You had to be some kind of unix geek to configure those beautiful black cubes.

By the time NeXT was subsumed by Apple in December, 1996, John had already faithfully repatriated to the Mac. I've followed his foot-wetting into OS X over these last several years, and seeing his home computer running in OS X was a welcome telltale sight indeed.

Walking around SoHo and Greenwich village, you are pleasantly innundated with Apple's new "Switcher" ad campaign. Simple in concept, the ads have a nice-looking but normal person with a look of contempt and a caption like "When my PC didn't work, I used to think it was because of me". The "Switcher" campaign is going to work well, and ex-Windows users are going to be some of the happiest of the OS X lot, and I'll tell you my theory on this:

When NeXT computer ported what is now Cocoa to run on top of Windows 95/NT in 1994, Windows users were given a taste of this new "everything is an object and you can drag and drop data" and all the other cool user interface concepts that were pioneered on the NeXT Computer. Once running on Intel hardware, these ideas were inevitably copied by MicroSoft and other vendors. If you can look behind the dreadful UI color schemes in Windows, many OS X ideas are part and parcel of Windows. So I contend that PC users will actually feel quite at home using Mac OS X, since they don't carry any "not like Macos 9" baggage. My guess is Apple's next campaign will be www.apple.com/9/to/X/Switch!

Since my grandfather lived in New York City, I have a lifelong connection with the $24 rock, including knowing downtown Manhattan before the World Trade Center. But for most of my life, the main anchor of Tribeca was those towers. Just as an amputee is said to have a 'phantom limb', the same effect occurs in our perception of the City, and if you fly into Laguardia, it hits you like a brick. I made a mental note to make a pilgrimage to Ground Zero during MacWorld NYC, since it's only 6 blocks from my cousin Todd Stone's loft and studio.

But living that far downtown had farreaching consequences for Todd. A lifelong landscape painter, he had been painting those towers in early September 2001, and he was in his studio making photographic studies on 9/11. Out of that day came Witness <www.ToddStone.com> : an e-Gallery of watercolors in elegy to those who died that day. Check it out - the site was made on OS X with native Cocoa apps.

After an intense week of schmoozing and finally seeing the advent of the user adoption of OS X, it was time to kick back and enjoy a show at Radio City. Not just any show in that incredibly exquisite venue, but the String Cheese Incident - the Rocky Mountain jam band that's wielding at least one of the Grateful Dead's spiritual torches. Since I have naively grown accustomed to seeing SCI in venues that barely fit 250 people, this was phenomenal! To give you an idea of the energy, before the show, I was on a balcony overlooking the huge foyer. In an impromptu release of all the stress of the week and year, I gave a wild, New Mexico style hoot as loud as I could, echoing off six stories of mirrors and marble. Spontaneously about 1000 people hooted and hollered in return for what seemed like a pretty long time. Wow!

The show [and after parties and parties after that] were memorable, but wandering around Tribeca at 4 am, I recalled my promised pilgramage to the WTC. Approaching Ground Zero at that eerie time of day, the omnipresent construction lighting illuminated the moisture and dust above the biggest hole I've ever seen in Manhattan. A native New Yorker and I began circumambulating the site, totally alone inside the phantom limb. By the time our circuit was almost over, we were heavy with grief. Then, in this miraculous sort of way, we approached an amazingly verdant park, covered in Irish clover and ancient stones. The sprinklers sent a cool mist over the city streets and our weary bodies, and I swear I'm looking at Ireland.

Reality is stranger than fiction - I was actually gazing upon a piece of Ireland! Stones from each County were brought along with a complete stone ruin to commemorate the lives of those who lived and died during the Irish Potato Famine. I reflected back on the struggles we've had surviving the OS X Adoption Famine, and realized hunger would soon be just a memory worth preserving. As the city awakes, I can leave town knowing that Mac OS X's time has come. In a world where software technologies live and die so quickly, and in a fantastic twist of fate and incredibly focused energy, NeXTStep-OpenStep-Rhapsody-Cocoa has risen to be the most copied and hopefully one day, the most used, operating system in this part of the universe.


Andrew C. Stone, chief architect at Stone Design <www.stone.com>, develops low cost publish to web, print or PDF applicatoins for Mac OS X, and has patiently awaited the adoption of OS X since 1989.

 
AAPL
$97.03
Apple Inc.
-0.16
MSFT
$44.40
Microsoft Corpora
-0.47
GOOG
$593.35
Google Inc.
-2.63

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Audio Hijack Pro 2.11.0 - Record and enh...
Audio Hijack Pro drastically changes the way you use audio on your computer, giving you the freedom to listen to audio when you want and how you want. Record and enhance any audio with Audio Hijack... Read more
Intermission 1.1.1 - Pause and rewind li...
Intermission allows you to pause and rewind live audio from any application on your Mac. Intermission will buffer up to 3 hours of audio, allowing users to skip through any assortment of audio... Read more
Airfoil 4.8.7 - Send audio from any app...
Airfoil allows you to send any audio to AirPort Express units, Apple TVs, and even other Macs and PCs, all in sync! It's your audio - everywhere. With Airfoil you can take audio from any... Read more
Microsoft Remote Desktop 8.0.8 - Connect...
With Microsoft Remote Desktop, you can connect to a remote PC and your work resources from almost anywhere. Experience the power of Windows with RemoteFX in a Remote Desktop client designed to help... Read more
xACT 2.30 - Audio compression toolkit. (...
xACT stands for X Aaudio Compression Toolkit, an application that encodes and decodes FLAC, SHN, Monkey’s Audio, TTA, Wavpack, and Apple Lossless files. It also can encode these formats to MP3, AAC... Read more
Firefox 31.0 - Fast, safe Web browser. (...
Firefox for Mac offers a fast, safe Web browsing experience. Browse quickly, securely, and effortlessly. With its industry-leading features, Firefox is the choice of Web development professionals... Read more
Little Snitch 3.3.3 - Alerts you to outg...
Little Snitch gives you control over your private outgoing data. Track background activityAs soon as your computer connects to the Internet, applications often have permission to send any... Read more
Thunderbird 31.0 - Email client from Moz...
As of July 2012, Thunderbird has transitioned to a new governance model, with new features being developed by the broader free software and open source community, and security fixes and improvements... Read more
Together 3.2 - Store and organize all of...
Together helps you organize your Mac, giving you the ability to store, edit and preview your files in a single clean, uncluttered interface. Smart storage. With simple drag-and-drop functionality,... Read more
Cyberduck 4.5 - FTP and SFTP browser. (F...
Cyberduck is a robust FTP/FTP-TLS/SFTP browser for the Mac whose lack of visual clutter and cleverly intuitive features make it easy to use. Support for external editors and system technologies such... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

LEX Goes Free For One Day In Honor of Ne...
LEX Goes Free For One Day In Honor of New Update Posted by Jennifer Allen on July 24th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Thomas Was Alone Goes Universal, Slashes...
Thomas Was Alone Goes Universal, Slashes Price to $3.99 Posted by Ellis Spice on July 24th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Meerkatz Challenge Review
Meerkatz Challenge Review By Jennifer Allen on July 24th, 2014 Our Rating: :: FONDLY PUZZLINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Cute and challenging, Meerkatz Challenge is a fun puzzle game, particularly for fans of... | Read more »
Book Your Appointment with F.E.A.R. this...
Book Your Appointment with F.E.A.R. | Read more »
It Came From Canada: Epic Skater
For all the hate that it gets for being a pastime for slackers, skateboarding really does require a lot of skill. All those flips and spins take real athleticism, and there’s all the jargon to memorize. Fortunately for us less extreme individuals,... | Read more »
Cultures Review
Cultures Review By Jennifer Allen on July 24th, 2014 Our Rating: :: SLOW-PACED EMPIRE BUILDINGiPad Only App - Designed for the iPad Cute it might seem, but Cultures is a bit too slow paced when it comes to those pesky timers to... | Read more »
More Paintings Have Been Added to Paint...
More Paintings Have Been Added to Paint it Back! Posted by Jessica Fisher on July 24th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
The Order of Souls Review
The Order of Souls Review By Campbell Bird on July 24th, 2014 Our Rating: :: STORY GRINDUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad The Order of Souls is a free-to-play, turn-based RPG with a genre-mixing art style, interesting... | Read more »
Revolution 60 Review
Revolution 60 Review By Jordan Minor on July 24th, 2014 Our Rating: :: LASS EFFECTUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Revolution 60 is a bold, cinematic action game with ambition to spare.   | Read more »
Matter (Photography)
Matter 1.0.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Photography Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0.1 (iTunes) Description: Add stunning 3D effects to your photos with real-time shadows and reflections. Export your creations as photos or video loops... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Save on 5th generation refurbished iPod touch...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 5th generation iPod touches available starting at $149. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free. Many, but not all... Read more
What Should Apple’s Next MacBook Priority Be;...
Stabley Times’ Phil Moore says that after expanding its iMac lineup with a new low end model, Apple’s next Mac hardware decision will be how it wants to approach expanding its MacBook lineup as well... Read more
ArtRage For iPhone Painting App Free During C...
ArtRage for iPhone is currently being offered for free (regularly $1.99) during Comic-Con San Diego #SDCC, July 24-27, in celebration of the upcoming ArtRage 4.5 and other 64-bit versions of the... Read more
With The Apple/IBM Alliance, Is The iPad Now...
Almost since the iPad was rolled out in 2010, and especially after Apple made a 128 GB storage configuration available in 2012, there’s been debate over whether the iPad is a serious tool for... Read more
MacBook Airs on sale starting at $799, free s...
B&H Photo has the new 2014 MacBook Airs on sale for up to $100 off MSRP for a limited time. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only. They also include free copies of Parallels... Read more
Apple 27″ Thunderbolt Display (refurbished) a...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 27″ Thunderbolt Displays available for $799 including free shipping. That’s $200 off the cost of new models. Read more
WaterField Designs Unveils Cycling Ride Pouch...
High end computer case and bag maker WaterField Designs of San Francisco now enters the cycling market with the introduction of the Cycling Ride Pouch – an upscale toolkit with a scratch-free iPhone... Read more
Kingston Digital Ships Large Capacity Near 1T...
Kingston Digital, Inc., the Flash memory affiliate of Kingston Technology Company, Inc.,has announced its latest addition to the SSDNow V300 series, the V310. The Kingston SSDNow V310 solid-state... Read more
Apple’s Fiscal Third Quarter Results; Record...
Apple has announced financial results for its fiscal 2014 third quarter ended June 28, 2014, racking up quarterly revenue of $37.4 billion and quarterly net profit of $7.7 billion, or $1.28 per... Read more
15-inch 2.0GHz MacBook Pro Retina on sale for...
B&H Photo has the 15″ 2.0GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $1829 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $170 off MSRP. B&H will also include free copies of Parallels... Read more

Jobs Board

Sr Software Lead Engineer, *Apple* Online S...
Sr Software Lead Engineer, Apple Online Store Publishing Systems Keywords: Company: Apple Job Code: E3PCAK8MgYYkw Location (City or ZIP): Santa Clara Status: Full Read more
Senior Interaction Designer, *Apple* Online...
**Job Summary** Apple is looking for a hands on Senior…will be a key player in designing for the Apple Online Store. The ideal designer will have a Read more
*Apple* Sales Chat Rep - Apple (United State...
…is looking for motivated, outgoing, and tech savvy individuals who want to offer Apple Customers an unparalleled customer experience over chat. At Apple , we believe Read more
Mac Expert - *Apple* Online Store Mexico -...
…MUST be fluent in English and Spanish to be considered for this position At Apple , we believe that hard work, a fun environment, creativity and innovation fuel the Read more
*Apple* Industrial Design CAD Sculptor - App...
**Job Summary** The Apple Industrial Design team is looking for a CAD sculptor/Digital 3D modeler to create high quality CAD models used in the industrial design process Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.