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.

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Model 15 (Music)
Model 15 1.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Music Price: $29.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: The Moog Model 15 App is the first Moog modular synthesizer and synthesis educational tool created exclusively for iPad, iPhone and... | Read more »
How to deal with wind in Angry Birds Act...
Angry Birds Action! is a physics-based puzzler in which you're tasked with dragging and launching birds around an obstacle-littered field to achieve a set objective. It's simple enough at first, but when wind gets introduced things can get pretty... | Read more »
How to get three stars in every level of...
Angry Birds Action! is, essentially, a pinball-style take on the pull-and-fling action of the original games. When you first boot it up, you'll likely be wondering exactly what it is you have to do to get a good score. Well, never fear as 148Apps... | Read more »
The beginner's guide to Warbits
Warbits is a turn-based strategy that's clearly inspired by Nintendo's Advance Wars series. Since turn-based strategy games can be kind of tricky to dive into, see below for a few tips to help you in the beginning. Positioning is crucial [Read... | Read more »
How to upgrade your character in Spellsp...
So you’ve mastered the basics of Spellspire. By which I mean you’ve realised it’s all about spelling things in a spire. What next? Well you’re going to need to figure out how to toughen up your character. It’s all well and good being able to spell... | Read more »
5 slither.io mash-ups we'd love to...
If there's one thing that slither.io has proved, it's that the addictive gameplay of Agar.io can be transplanted onto basically anything and it will still be good fun. It wouldn't be surprising if we saw other developers jumping on the bandwagon,... | Read more »
How to navigate the terrain in Sky Charm...
Sky Charms is a whimsical match-'em up adventure that uses creative level design to really ramp up the difficulty. [Read more] | Read more »
Victorious Knight (Games)
Victorious Knight 1.3 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.3 (iTunes) Description: New challenges awaits you! Experience fresh RPG experience with a unique combat mechanic, packed with high quality 3D... | Read more »
Agent Gumball - Roguelike Spy Game (Gam...
Agent Gumball - Roguelike Spy Game 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Someone’s been spying on Gumball. What the what?! Two can play at that game! GO UNDERCOVERSneak past enemy... | Read more »
Runaway Toad (Games)
Runaway Toad 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: It ain’t easy bein’ green! Tap, hold, and swipe to help Toad hop to safety in this gorgeous new action game from the creators of... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Indian Smartphone Market Grows Annually by 12...
India’s smartphone market grew by 12 percent year-over-year, with 24.4 million units shipping in Q1 2016. The top five vendors stayed the same, with Samsung in the lead, followed by Micromax, Intex... Read more
Get Notifications When Your Friend’s Phone Ba...
Calgary, Canada based Stonelight Pictures has announced the release of Battery Share 1.0.1, its new utility for iOS 9 supported devices. The company notes that people are spending more time on their... Read more
11-inch 1.6GHz/128GB MacBook Air on sale for...
Amazon has the current-generation 11″ 1.6GHz/128GB MacBook Air (sku MJVM2LL/A) on sale for $749.99 for a limited time. Their price is $150 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model... Read more
Price drops on clearance 2015 13-inch MacBook...
B&H Photo has dropped prices on clearance 2015 13″ MacBook Airs by up to $250. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 13″ 1.6GHz/4GB/128GB MacBook Air (MJVE2LL/A): $799, $200... Read more
Mac minis on sale for up to $100 off MSRP
B&H Photo has Mac minis on sale for up to $100 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 1.4GHz Mac mini: $449 $50 off MSRP - 2.6GHz Mac mini: $649 $50 off MSRP - 2.8GHz Mac mini... Read more
13-inch Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to...
B&H Photo has 13″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for $130-$200 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 13″ 2.7GHz/128GB Retina MacBook Pro: $1169 $130 off MSRP - 13″ 2.7GHz/... Read more
Apple price trackers, updated continuously
Scan our Apple Price Trackers for the latest information on sales, bundles, and availability on systems from Apple’s authorized internet/catalog resellers. We update the trackers continuously: - 15″... Read more
SanDisk Half-Terabyte SSD Optimized for Every...
SanDisk Corporation has announced the SanDisk Z410 SSD, a cost-competitive, half-terabyte solid state drive (SSD) that enables manufacturers to design for a broad range of desktop PCs and laptops.... Read more
Churchill Downs Racetrack Selects VenueNext t...
Churchill Downs Racetrack has announced an agreement with VenueNext to implement its technology platform for the start of Churchill Downs 2016 Spring Meet, which includes the 142nd running of the... Read more
Record 700 Million Pounds of CE Recycled in 2...
The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) reports that a record-setting 700 million pounds of consumer electronics (CE) have been recycled under the eCycling Leadership Initiative (ELI). According to... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Job Description:SalesSpecialist - Retail Customer Service and SalesTransform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
Restaurant Manager (Neighborhood Captain) - A...
…in every aspect of daily operation. WHY YOU'LL LIKE IT: You'll be the Big Apple . You'll solve problems. You'll get to show your ability to handle the stress and Read more
*Apple* Subject Matter Expert - NTT Data, In...
…in Owings Mills, MD has a 6+ month contract position available for an Apple Subject Matter Expert. TITLE: Apple Subject Matter Expert LOCATION: Owings Mills, Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
Restaurant Manager (Neighborhood Captain) - A...
…in every aspect of daily operation. WHY YOU'LL LIKE IT: You'll be the Big Apple . You'll solve problems. You'll get to show your ability to handle the stress and Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.